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    As We Sow We Shall Reap   Table of Contents     The Lost Teddy Bear

Johnson, Maggie Pogue
Virginia Dreams

- What's de Use ob Wukin in de Summer

What's de Use ob Wukin in de Summer

Time at All

What's de use ob wukin in de Summer time at all,
When de sun am bilin' hot en de sweat begins to fall;
What's de use ob diggin' in de fields ob co'n en 'taters,
Plantin' squash en beans en pickin' ripe tomaters.

What's de use ob pickin' in de field's ob huckleberries,
Or pullin' at de trees, pickin' off de cherries;
What's de use ob wukin or plowin' in de heat,
Eatin' ha'f-cooked meals en blisterin' yo' feet.

What's de use ob habin houses in de summer time,
'Tis plenty good out doors when de blessed sun do shine;
When de fields is clothed wid green, de meadow en de lane,
You need no kin' ob shelter 'cept in fallin' ob de rain.

'Tis mighty hard a wukin when de sun am beamin' down
En not a spot ob coolness to be seen aroun',
When ebery way you turn, de sun am shinin' hot,
En ebery inch ob flesh am a bu'nin' spot.

'Tis mighty hard a walkin' in fields ob turned up groun',
For miles en miles a plantin', out ob hearin' ob de town,
A sowin' ob de wheat or plantin' ob de co'n;
It sho is bitter meat en hard wuk sho's you born.

'Tis fearful hard a-stayin' in de field de livelong day,
When de hours am slowly passin' en you hab so long to stay;
En you wuk so bery hard when you stop you hardly know
De way to take fer home dat wont seem kin' o' slow.

But arter t'inkin' ober all de change is got to cum,
I spec's I'll take de Summer, wid all de shinin' sun;
Case when de winter sets his foot upon dis naked earf,
He brings about much sadness to take de place of mirf.

Den de hard times cum a peepin' en a movin' in fer sho,
Sho'in' ob his grinnin' teeth, knockin' at yo' do';
'Tis den he tries to rob yo' ob trunk en clo's,
En soon you fin' yo'se'f a-settin' out ob do's.

De chills dey soon cum ober you, you fin'no whar to go,
As you wander 'long about de street en seek from do' to do';
No wuk to do, no shelter, not a crus' ob bread to eat,
No good warm clo's to sooth' de chill, no shoes fer naked feet.

'Tis den I see de use ob wukin in de sun,
It matters not how hot, no day I'll eber shun;
'Tis den I see de need ob plantin' wheat en co'n,
En puttin' up fer winter, 'tis a fact, as sho's you born.

'Tis den I know de need ob drappin' squash en 'taters,
Plantin' beets, en plantin' beans en pickin' ripe tomaters;
'Tis den I see de good old need ob pickin' huckleberries,
En pullin' down de limbs a-gatherin' ob de cherries.

For all dis helps, I tells you, when Winter cums wid col',
En starts His round ob freezin' en starvin' many souls;
It keeps away old hunger when He cums wid starin face,
En leabes you a sufferin' en starvin' in disgrace.

En now I'll tell you one en all, de Summer time am hot,
I'd sooner be a little warm den freezin' 'bout in spots;
I'd radder be out in de field when de sun an beamin' down,
En wuk de blisters on my hand as I make a weary round.

I'll take ol' Summer any time on my list fer sho,
Den fool wid winter in His wrath when He knocks upon de do';
I'll take de heat en sweat en plant de fields ob co'n,
Radder'n face ol' Winter's breff in de coolness ob de morn.

No day will eber 'pear so long, no field so bu'nin' hot,
But what I'll plant de c'on en fill in ebery spot;
No idle moments will I spar' but days ob earnest toil,
To sho de blessed benefits ob wukin in de soil.

Case Summer time to me am dear en 'tis den I spec's to wuk
En ef I has de time to spar' 'tis Winter time I'll shirk;
I'll try to 'scape His freezin' days en b'ar me burdens free,
Take Winter time in all His ways but Summer time fer me.

    As We Sow We Shall Reap   Table of Contents     The Lost Teddy Bear