Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1242. Kree
By Armistead Churchill Gordon
        MY boy Kree?
He played wid you when you was a chile?
        You an’ he
Growed up tergether? Wait! Lemme see!
Closer! so I can look in yer face!—        5
        Mars’ George’s smile!
        Lord love you, Marster!
Dar ’neaf dat cypress is whar Kree lays.
        Sunburnt an’ grown!
Mars’ George, I shudden ha’ knowed you, son,        10
’Count o’ de beard dat yer face has on,
But for dat ole-time smile o’ your’n—
        “An’ Kree?” you say.
        Had n’t you heerd, Marster,
He ’ceasded de year dat you went away?        15
        Kree an’ you!
How de ole times comes back onst mo’—
Moonlight fishin’s, an’ hyars in de sno’;
Squirrels an’ jaybirds up overhead,
In de oak-trees dat de sun shined through!—        20
        Look at me, Marster!
Here is me livin’; an’ Kree, he ’s dead.
        ’Pears ter me strange
Now, when I thinks on ’em, dose ole years:
Mars’ George, sometimes de b’ilin’ tears        25
        Fills up my eyes,
’Count o’ de mizery now, an’ de change—
        De sun dims, Marster,
Ter an ole man, when his one boy dies.
        Did you say “How?”        30
Out in de dug-out, one moonshine night,
  Fishin’ wid your baby brother—he
Wid de curls o’ yaller, like streaks o’ light,
An’ de dancin’ big blue eyes. Dead, now—
        Kree died for him;        35
        An’ yearnin’ for Kree,
        De Lord tuk him, Marster:
De green grass kivers ’em bofe f’om sight.
        Heerd o’ de tale?
Did n’ know Kree was de one dat drowned        40
  Sav’n’ Mars’ Charley? Well, ’t were he.
  De boy waxed weaker, his face mo’ pale,
Arter de corpse o’ poor Kree were found.
        Two months later he went, you see:
        God bless you, Marster!        45
Nine years has rolled over bofe onder ground.
        Worn out an’ gray,
Here I sets waitin’, Mars’ George, alone.
        All on ’em’s gone—
Marster an’ Mistis, an’ Charley an’ he.        50
  You an’ me only is lef’. Some day,
When you ’s gone back ter yer ship on de sea,
        I ’ll hear him say,
Jes’ as he used ter, a-fishin’, ter me:
  “Daddy, come over!” An’ passin’ away,        55
Dat side de river, again I ’ll be
        Wid my boy Kree.

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