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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 Irwin Russell (1853–1879)

YOU, Nebuchadnezzah, whoa, sah!

Whar is you tryin’ to go, sah?

I’d hab you fur to know, sah,

I’s a-holdin’ ob de lines.

You better stop dat prancin’;

You’s pow’ful fond ob dancin’,

But I’ll bet my yeah’s advancin’

Dat I’ll cure you ob yo’ shines.

Look heah, mule! Better min’ out;

Fus’ t’ing you know you’ll fin’ out

How quick I’ll wear dis line out

On yo’ ugly, stubbo’n back.

You needn’t try to steal up

An’ lif’ dat precious heel up;

You’s got to plough dis fiel’ up,

You has, sah, fur a fac’.

Dar, dat’s de way to do it!

He’s comin’ right down to it;

Jes’ watch him ploughin’ troo it!

Dis nigger ain’t no fool.

Some folks dey would ’a’ beat him;

Now, dat would only heat him—

I know jes’ how to treat him:

You mus’ reason wid a mule.

He minds me like a nigger.

If he wuz only bigger

He’d fotch a mighty figger,

He would, I tell you! Yes, sah!

See how he keeps a-clickin’!

He’s as gentle as a chickin,

An’ nebber thinks o’ kickin’—

Whoa dar! Nebuchadnezzah!

Is dis heah me, or not me?

Or is de debbil got me?

Wuz dat a cannon shot me?

Hab I laid heah more’n a week?

Dat mule do kick amazin’!

De beast wuz sp’iled in raisin’—

But now I ’spect he’s grazin’

On de oder side de creek.