Possum Trot

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by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I’ve journeyed ‘round’ consid’able, a-seein’
men an’ things,
An’ I’ve learned a little of the sense that meetin’
people brings;
But in spite of all my travellin’, an’ of all I think
I know,
I’ve got one notion in my head, that I can’t git
to go;
An’ it is that the folks I meet in any other spot
Ain’t half so good as them I knowed back home in
Possum Trot.

I know you’ve never heerd the name, it ain’t a
famous place,
An’ I reckon ef you’d search the map you could
n’t find a trace
Of any sich locality as this I’ve named for you;
But never mind, I know this place, an’ I love it
dearly too.
I don’t make no pretensions to bein’ great or
fine,
The circuses don’t come that way, they ain’t no
railroad line.
It ain’t no great big city, where the schemers
plan an’ plot,
But jest a little settlement, this place called
Possum Trot.

But don’t you think the folks that lived in that
outlandish place
Were ignorant of all the things that go for sense
or grace.
Why, there was Hannah Dryer, you may search
this teemin’ earth
An’ never find a sweeter girl, er one o’ greater
worth;
An’ Uncle Abner Williams, a-leanin’ on his staff,
It seems like I kin hear him talk, an’ hear his
hearty laugh.
His heart was big an’ cheery as a sunny acre lot,
Why, that’s the kind o’ folks we had down there
at Possum Trot.

Good times? Well, now, to suit my taste,—
an’ I’m some hard suit,—
There ain’t been no sich pleasure sence, an’
won’t be none to boot,
With huskin’ bees in Harvest time, an’ dances
later on,
An’ singin’ school, an’ taffy pulls, an’ fun from
night till dawn.
Revivals come in winter time, baptizin’s in the
spring,
You'd ought to seen those people shout, an' heerd
'em pray an' sing;
You’d ought to’ve heard ole Parson Brown a-throwin’ gospel shot
Among the saints an’ sinners in the days of Possum Trot.

We live up in the city now, my wife was bound
to come;
I hear aroun’ me day by day the endless stir
an’ hum.
I reckon that it done me good, an’ yet it done
me harm,
That oil was found so plentiful down there on
my ole farm.
We’ve got a new-styled preacher, our church is
new-styled too,
An’ I’ve come down from what I knowed to
rent a cushioned pew.
But often when I’m settin’ there, it’s foolish,
like as not,
To think of them ol’ benches in the church at
Possum Trot.

I know that I’m ungrateful, an’ sich thoughts
must be a sin,
But I find myself a wishin’ that the times was
back agin.
With the huskin’s an’ the frolics, an’ the joys I
used to know,
When I lived at the settlement, a dozen years
ago.
I don’t feel this way often, I’m scarcely ever
glum,
For life has taught me how to take her chances
as they come.
But now an’ then my mind goes back to that
ol’ buryin’ plot,
That holds the dust of some I loved, down there
at Possum Trot.

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