Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/22

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16
ON THE SHORES OF TENNESSEE.


Where he's tended corn and cotton
     For dese many a long-gone year.
Over yonder missis' sleeping—
     No one tends her grave like me:
Mebbe she would miss the flowers
     She used to love in Tennessee.

"'Pears like she was watching massa;
     If Pompey should beside him stay,
Mebbe she'd remember better
     How for him she used to pray—
Telling him that 'way up yonder
     White as snow his soul would be,
Ransomed by the Lord of heaven,
     Out of life in Tennessee."

Silently the tears were rolling
     Down the poor old dusky face,
As he stepped behind his master,
     In his long-accustomed place.
Then a silence fell around them
     As they gazed on rock and tree,
Pictured in the placid waters
     Of the rolling Tennessee.

Master, dreaming of the battle
     Where he fought by Marion's side,
When he bid the haughty Tarleton
     Stoop his lordly crest of pride;
Man, remembering how yon sleeper
     Once he held upon his knee,