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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
Why Adam Sinned
 
Alex Rogers
 
 
“I HEEARD da ole folks talkin’ in our house da other night
’Bout Adam in da scripchuh long ago.
Da lady folks all ’bused him, sed, he knowed it wus’n right
An’ ’cose da men folks dey all sed, “Dat’s so.”
I felt sorry fuh Mistuh Adam, an’ I felt like puttin’ in,        5
’Cause I knows mo’ dan dey do, all ’bout whut made Adam sin:
 
Adam nevuh had no Mammy, fuh to take him on her knee
An’ teach him right fum wrong an’ show him
Things he ought to see.
I knows down in my heart—he’d-a let dat apple be        10
But Adam nevuh had no dear old Ma-am-my.
 
He nevuh knowed no chilehood roun’ da ole log cabin do’,
He nevuh knowed no pickaninny life.
He started in a great big grown up man, an’ whut is mo’,
He nevuh had da right kind uf a wife.        15
Jes s’pose he’d had a Mammy when dat temptin’ did begin
An’ she’d a come an’ tole him
“Son, don’ eat dat—dat’s a sin.”
 
But, Adam nevuh had no Mammy fuh to take him on her knee
An’ teach him right fum wrong an’ show him        20
Things he ought to see.
I knows down in my heart he’d a let dat apple be,
But Adam nevuh had no dear old Ma-am-my.
 

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