The Old Homestead

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‘Tis an old deserted homestead
On the outskirts of the town,
Where the roof is all moss-covered,
And the walls are tumbling down;
But around that little cottage
Do my brightest mem’ries cling,
For ’twas there I spent the moments
Of my youth,–life’s happy spring.

I remember how I used to
Swing upon the old front gate,
While the robin in the tree tops
Sung a night song to his mate;
And how later in the evening,
As the beaux were wont to do,
Mr. Perkins, in the parlor,
Sat and sparked my sister Sue.

There my mother–heaven bless her!–
Kissed or spanked as was our need,
And by smile or stroke implanted
In our hearts fair virtue’s seed;
While my father, man of wisdom,
Lawyer keen, and farmer stout,
Argued long with neighbor Dobbins
How the corn crops would turn out.

Then the quiltings and the dances–
How my feet were wont to fly,
While the moon peeped through the barn chinks
From her stately place on high.
Oh, those days, so sweet, so happy,
Ever backward o’er me roll;
Still the music of that farm life
Rings an echo in my soul.

Now the old place is deserted,
And the walls are falling down;
All who made the home life cheerful,
Now have died or moved to town.
But about that dear old cottage
Shall my mem’ries ever cling,
For ’twas there I spent the moments
Of my, youth,–life’s happy spring.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

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28th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1491 Henry VII (King of England, founder of the Church of England)

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Died:

1914 Franz Ferdinand (assassination sparked the start of World War 1)

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On This Day:

1820 tomatoes are proven to not be poisonous

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Have a good Wednesday, 28th June

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The Old Cabin

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In de dead of night I sometimes,
Git to t’inkin’ of de pas’
An’ de days w’en slavery helt me
In my mis’ry — ha’d an’ fas’.
Dough de time was mighty tryin’,
In dese houahs somehow hit seem
Dat a brightah light come slippin’
Thoo de kivahs of my dream.
An’ my min’ fu’gits de whuppins
Draps de feah o’ block an’ lash
An’ flies straight to somep’n’ joyful
In a secon’s lightnin’ flash.
Den hit seems I see a vision
Of a dearah long ago
Of de childern tumblin’ roun’ me
By my rough ol’ cabin do’.
Talk about yo’ go’geous mansions
An’ yo’ big house great an’ gran’,
Des bring up de fines’ palace
Dat you know in all de lan’.
But dey’s somep’n’ dearah to me,
Somep’n’ faihah to my eyes
In dat cabin, less you bring me
To yo’ mansion in de skies.
I kin see de light a-shinin’
Thoo de chinks atween de logs,
I kin hyeah de way-off bayin’
Of my mastah’s huntin’ dogs,
An’ de neighin’ of de hosses
Stampin’ on de ol’ bahn flo’,
But above dese soun’s de laughin’
At my deah ol’ cabin do’.
We would gethah daih at evenin’,
All my frien’s ‘ud come erroun’
An’ hit wan’t no time, twell, bless you,
You could hyeah de banjo’s soun’.
You could see de dahkies dancin’
Pigeon wing an’ heel an’ toe, —
Joyous times I tell you people
Roun’ dat same ol’ cabin do’.
But at times my t’oughts gits saddah,
Ez I riccolec’ de folks,
An’ dey frolickin’ an’ talkin’
Wid dey laughin’ an’ dey jokes.
An’ hit hu’ts me w’en I membahs
Dat I’ll nevah see no mo’
Dem ah faces gethered smilin’
Roun’ dat po’ ol’ cabin do’.

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

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27th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1872 Paul Laurence Dunbar (poet & author)

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Died:

2001 Jack Lemmon (actor)

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On This Day:

1981 Cambodia adopts its constitution

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Have a good Tuesday, 27th June

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Song Of Summer

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Dis is gospel weathah sho’ —
Hills is sawt o’ hazy.
Meddahs level ez a flo’
Callin’ to de lazy.
Sky all white wif streaks o’ blue,
Sunshine softly gleamin’,
D’ain’t no wuk hit’s right to do,
Nothin’ ‘s right but dreamin’.
Dreamin’ by de rivah side
Wif de watahs glist’nin’,
Feelin’ good an’ satisfied
Ez you lay a-list’nin’
To the little nakid boys
Splashin’ in de watah,
Hollerin’ fu’ to spress deir joys
Jes’ lak youngsters ought to.
Squir’l a-tippin’ on his toes,
So’s to hide an’ view you;
Whole flocks o’ camp-meetin’ crows
Shoutin’ hallelujah.
Peckahwood erpon de tree
Tappin’ lak a hammah;
Jaybird chattin’ wif a bee,
Tryin’ to teach him grammah.
Breeze is blowin’ wif perfume,
Jes’ enough to tease you;
Hollyhocks is all in bloom,
Smellin’ fu’ to please you.
Go ‘way, folks, an’ let me ‘lone,
Times is gettin’ dearah —
Summah’s settin’ on de th’one,
An’ I’m a-layin’ neah huh!

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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26th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1956 Chris Isaak (singer & songwriter)

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Died:

2003 Denis Thatcher, MBE (husband of Margaret) 

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On This Day:

1857 First recipients of the Victoria Cross are awarded by Queen Victoria (Crimean War)

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Have a good Monday, 26th June

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The Knight

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Our good knight, Ted, girds his broadsword on
(And he wields it well, I ween);
He ‘s on his steed, and away has gone
To the fight for king and queen.
What tho’ no edge the broadsword hath?
What tho’ the blade be made of lath?
‘T is a valiant hand
That wields the brand,
So, foeman, clear the path!

He prances off at a goodly pace;
‘T is a noble steed he rides,
That bears as well in the speedy race
As he bears in battle-tides.
What tho’ ‘t is but a rocking-chair
That prances with this stately air?
‘T is a warrior bold
The reins doth hold,
Who bids all foes beware!

 

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

www.aromaticcoffees.co.uk

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