Johnson, Maggie Pogue
|Sister Johnson's Speech|
I went to chu'ch, 'tother night,
De silvah moon was shinin' bright;
Brudder Johnson en his wife was dar,
Dey went wif Jane en me en ma.
Sister Johnson, she jumped up to speak,
She said dat sinners ought to seek
To git the 'ligon ob de soul
Dat shined out in dem bright as gol'.
She said dat sinners ob dis day
Tho't so ob dress en looked so gay
Dat when it cum de Lawd to seek
Dey hearts and souls was pow'ful weak.
En, too, so Sister Johnson said,
De Lawd He am de staff en bread;
He feeds de soul, en fills it, too,
En makes you eber feel anew.
She said, you little gals en boys
Who sets in chu'ch en makes a noise,
You needs to come into de fol'
En git de 'ligon ob de soul.
You needs to fix yo' soul up new,
You better min' what I say, too,
You frisky little gals and boys,
Who likes to set and make a noise.
Sister Johnson she speaked what she know'd
Case she has trabbled on de road,
En speaked to folk in crowded hous',
Where chillun set jis like a mouse.
She's speaked to folks in cities, too,
En towns en villages a few;
She tol' dem 'bout dey low disgrace
En tried to raise folks ob de race.
She says she means to set a zample
En gibe you folks a little sample
Ob how to serve de Lawd outright,
In mornin' or de darkes' night.
De Lawd He made de shinin' moon
To light you fru dis worl' ob gloom;
He made de sun to shine fru day
En light you on de narrow way.
He made dis worl' so cle'r en bright,
He made de darkness ob de night;
He made de grass to look so green
En de snow dat 'pears so white and clean.
En, brudders, as I now do speak,
My voice am gitten low en weak,
But I hopes my talk will be a blessin'
En dat from it you'll l'arn a lesson.
En as I goes from place to place,
I'll try to raise folks from disgrace,
En soun' my notes in cleares' tones,
Befor' I takes de train fer home.
I'll let dem know I takes my stan'
Fer 'spectability ob de lan'
En ef dey still keeps on der ways,
A mighty fog I specs to raise.