Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Armistead Churchill Gordon (1855–1931)

[Born in Albemarle Co., Va., 1855. Died in Staunton, Va., 1931. From Befo’ de War. Echoes in Negro Dialect. By A. C. Gordon and T. N. Page. 1888.]

ALL o’ dese here doin’s

Don’t suit me;

Ise an ole-time nigger—

Don’t you see?

Dis here eddication’s

Humbug, sho’;

It’s done played de devil

Wid Ebo.

Somewhar ’bout lars’ summer,

Dicey she

Tuk ’n’ struck a notion—

Don’t you see?

Says she: “Ise been thinkin’.”

An’ I says:

“What you done thunk, honey?”

Says she: “Yes,

“I’se been thinkin’ mons’ous

’Bout Ebo;

He’s fo’teen year old now—

Don’t you know?”

S’I: “Old ’oman, you is

Right, I ’spec’;

Dar’s fo’teen—he kim fus’—

Dat’s kerrec’!”

Says she: “He’s a-growin’

Up a fool;

An’ Ise gwine ter sen’ him

Ter de school.”

Bein’s how it looked like

She was bent

On de projick, Ebo

Tuk ’n’ went.

An’ sence dat lars’ summer—

Don’t you see?—

Dat ’ar boy have p’int’ly

Outdone me!

Whe-ew! de norrations,

Dem o’ his’n!

Umph! I ’busses laughin’

Jes’ ter lissen!

What you think dat Ebo

Come tell me?

Dat all dis here y’arth here—

Flat, you see—

Dat it’s roun’, an’ rolls jes’

Like a ball!

“Ebo, dat’s a lie,” I

Says, “dat’s all!

“Don’t you see yer mammy,

Evvy night,

Set de water-piggin

Out o’ sight

“Ob you chillun, up dar

On de shelf?—

Now, Mars’ Spellin’-booker,

’Splain yerself—

“Sunrise, dat ’ar water’s

In dar still;

Ef de y’arth turned over,

It ’ud spill!”

But he keeps resistin’

It are so—

Eddication’s done gone

Sp’ilt Ebo.

He’s forever tellin’

Some sich lie;

He’s gwi’ fine out better


Ef Ebo keeps l’arnin’

At dat school,

Nex’ thing, he’ll be provin’

Ise a fool!

I are p’int’ly gwine ter

Take Ebo

Way f’om dat ar school-’ouse,

Sartin sho’!