A Letter

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Dear Miss Lucy: I been t’inkin’ dat
I’d write you long fo’ dis,
But dis writin’ ‘s mighty tejous, an’ you know
jes’ how it is.
But I’s got a little lesure, so I teks my pen in
Fu’ to let you know my feelin’s since I retched
dis furrin’ lan’.
I’s right well, I’s glad to tell you (dough dis
climate ain’t to blame),
An’ I hopes w’en dese lines reach you, dat dey’ll
fin’ yo’se’f de same.
Cose I’se feelin’ kin’ o’ homesick—dat’s ez
nachul ez kin be,
W’en a feller ‘s mo’n th’ee thousand miles across
dat awful sea.
(Don’t you let nobidy fool you ‘bout de ocean
bein’ gran’;
If you want to see de billers, you jes’ view dem
f’om de lan’.)
‘Bout de people? We been t’inkin’ dat all
white folks was alak;
But dese Englishmen is diffunt, an’ dey’s curus
fu’ a fac’.
Fust, dey’s heavier an’ redder in dey make-up
an’ dey looks,
An’ dey don’t put salt nor pepper in a blessed
t’ing dey cooks!
W’en dey gin you ol’ tu’nips, ca’ots, pa’s-
nips, beets, an’ sich,
Ef dey ain’t some one to tell you, you cain’t
‘stinguish which is which.
W’en I t’ought I’se eatin’ chicken—you may
b’lieve dis hyeah’s a lie—
But de waiter beat me down dat I was eatin’
rabbit pie.
An’ dey’d t’ink dat you was crazy—jes’ a reg’-
lar ravin’ loon,
Ef you’d speak erbout a ‘possum or a piece o’
good ol’ coon.
O, hit’s mighty nice, dis trav’lin’, an’ I’s kin’ o’
glad I come.
But, I reckon, now I’s willin’ fu’ to tek my way
back home.
I done see de Crystal Palace, an’ I’s hyeahd
dey string-band play,
But I has n’t seen no banjos layin’ nowhahs
roun’ dis way.
Jes’ gin ol’ Jim Bowles a banjo, an’ he’d not go
very fu’,
‘Fo’ he’d outplayed all dese fiddlers, wif dey
flourish and dey stir.
Evahbiddy dat I’s met wif has been monst’ous
kin’ an’ good;
But I t’ink I’d lak it better to be down in Jones’s
Where we ust to have sich frolics, Lucy, you an’
me an’ Nelse,
Dough my appetite ‘ud call me, ef dey was n’t
nuffin else.
I’d jes’ lak to have some sweet-pertaters roasted
in de skin;
I’s a-longin’ fu’ my chittlin’s an’ my mustard
greens ergin;
I’s a-wishin’ fu’ some buttermilk, an’ co’n braid,
good an’ brown,
An’ a drop o’ good ol’ bourbon fu’ to wash my
feelin’s down!
An’ I’s comin’ back to see you jes’ as ehly as I
So you better not go spa’kin’ wif dat wuffless
scoun’el Quin!
Well, I reckon, I mus’ close now; write ez soon
‘s dis reaches you;
Gi’ my love to Sister Mandy an’ to Uncle
Isham, too.
Tell de folks I sen’ ‘em howdy; gin a kiss to
pap an’ mam;
Closin’ I is, deah Miss Lucy,
Still Yo’ Own True-Lovin’ SAM.

P.S. Ef you cain’t mek out dis letter, lay it by
erpon de she’f,
An’ when I git home, I’ll read, it, darlin’,
to you my own se’f.

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