Thompson, Priscilla Jane
|GLEANINGS OF QUIET HOURS.|
LOOK here, Petah! whut's dis here,
Dat I heard at sistah Brooks,
'Bout you fallin' back dis year,
In most all uv yo' school books?"
"You think me an' pa'll work,
Keep a lazy scamp in school,
Jest to play, an' prink, an' shirk?
Et you do, you ah a fool."
"Oh ma, Mrs. Brooks don't know,
What I do at school each day!"
"Twan't her dat tole me so,
I aint 'peatin' whut she say."
"But I heard it, right enough,
An' I'm b'lievin' uv it, too:
Now, I woont stan' no sich stuff!
So you know whut you kin do."
"I'm not lagging in my books?
'Less it be my algebra;
They told stories down to Brooks--"
"I'm a-b'lievin' whut dey say."
"Fetch dem books fum dat machine,
An' my specks, fum off dat she'f,
I'll find out whut all dis mean,
Gwine to test you fah myse'f.
"Look at me, an' look at pa!
Nevah spent one day in school;
Brung up undah slav'ry's law;
White folks used us fah a tool."
"But jest soon as freedom come,
Me an' pa made up our minds,
To take lessons fum Miss Crum,
An' she said we jest did fine."
"We wuked days, and studied nights;
Pa right here can tell de same,
How de lessons we would fight,
See who'd git the biggest name.
"Doe pa now won't have it so,
"Tis de fac' jes'ax Miss Jane:
I wus fust,--whether or no,
Kase I had de strongest brain."
"Sakes o' life, ma! how you 'blow,'
Kase I once misspelled 'employ,'
Look here Cindy, don't you know?--"
"Oh, hesh! let me test dis boy."
"Whut's dis book you's gibbin' me?
Spose I keer for allerbay?
A, b, c, and x, y, z;
Here, boy, put dis book away!"
"Learned my letters long ago,
And I thought you did de same;
Dese new schools beat all I know!
Don't know you or dem to blame."
"Bring dat spellin' book to me!
You don't use dat book no mo'?
'Spec you ought now, we will see;
Take yo' place tha' by de do."
"Now Pete spell me 'domineer;
Right; now spell me 'gasoline,"
Dey's 'too easy' do I hear?
Never mind, now spell 'machine!"
'Mancipate',(set free, to fly;)
Once I craved dat soon an' late:
'M-a-n--c-i si man--ci,
P-a-t-e, 'Man-ci pate.'
"E' cums fus instid uv 'M',
Dis here spellin' will not do!"
"Dat's de way you spoke it to'im,
Dat boy's jest as right as you."
"Pa, I wush you'd shet yo' mouf,
An' quit takin' on, so mean,
Now den, Petah, spell me 'souf';
Right,--now spell fah 'me, 'ravene'"
"Wrong! I knowed you'd miss a sight;
Dat new's straight, I got at Brooks;
"Ma, I know I spelt that right!"
"Aint I lookin' on de book?"
"Like as not, de boy is right,
Cindy, let me see dat word;
Dat word's 'raven--Sakes o'life!
Kyah! kyah! kyah! you is a bird."
"Oh shet up! an' act wid sense!
Ain't gwine test Pete any mo';
You knowed when I fus' commence,
Dat my eyes wus dim an' so."
"Dat's why I bought dem gold specks,
Dat you made de man take back;
You wont have me here to vex,
Always, wid yo' spite an' slack."
"B'lieve Lucindy's gwine to cry;
Kyah! kyah! kyah! she is a bird!
Makin' out she's gwine to die,
'Case she mispernounced dat word."