Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Ebo
By Armistead Churchill Gordon (1855–1931)
 
[Born in Albemarle Co., Va., 1855. Died in Staunton, Va., 1931. From Befo’ de War. Echoes in Negro Dialect. By A. C. Gordon and T. N. Page. 1888.]

ALL o’ dese here doin’s
  Don’t suit me;
Ise an ole-time nigger—
  Don’t you see?
 
Dis here eddication’s        5
  Humbug, sho’;
It’s done played de devil
  Wid Ebo.
 
Somewhar ’bout lars’ summer,
  Dicey she        10
Tuk ’n’ struck a notion—
  Don’t you see?
 
Says she: “Ise been thinkin’.”
  An’ I says:
“What you done thunk, honey?”        15
  Says she: “Yes,
 
“I’se been thinkin’ mons’ous
  ’Bout Ebo;
He’s fo’teen year old now—
  Don’t you know?”        20
 
S’I: “Old ’oman, you is
  Right, I ’spec’;
Dar’s fo’teen—he kim fus’—
  Dat’s kerrec’!”
 
Says she: “He’s a-growin’        25
  Up a fool;
An’ Ise gwine ter sen’ him
  Ter de school.”
 
Bein’s how it looked like
  She was bent        30
On de projick, Ebo
  Tuk ’n’ went.
 
An’ sence dat lars’ summer—
  Don’t you see?—
Dat ’ar boy have p’int’ly        35
  Outdone me!
 
Whe-ew! de norrations,
  Dem o’ his’n!
Umph! I ’busses laughin’
  Jes’ ter lissen!        40
 
What you think dat Ebo
  Come tell me?
Dat all dis here y’arth here—
  Flat, you see—
 
Dat it’s roun’, an’ rolls jes’        45
  Like a ball!
“Ebo, dat’s a lie,” I
  Says, “dat’s all!
 
“Don’t you see yer mammy,
  Evvy night,        50
Set de water-piggin
  Out o’ sight
 
“Ob you chillun, up dar
  On de shelf?—
Now, Mars’ Spellin’-booker,        55
  ’Splain yerself—
 
“Sunrise, dat ’ar water’s
  In dar still;
Ef de y’arth turned over,
  It ’ud spill!”        60
 
But he keeps resistin’
  It are so—
Eddication’s done gone
  Sp’ilt Ebo.
 
He’s forever tellin’        65
  Some sich lie;
He’s gwi’ fine out better
  By-um-by.
 
Ef Ebo keeps l’arnin’
  At dat school,        70
Nex’ thing, he’ll be provin’
  Ise a fool!
 
I are p’int’ly gwine ter
  Take Ebo
Way f’om dat ar school-’ouse,        75
  Sartin sho’!
 
 
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