* * The poetry of Ruth T. Whittlesey * *

Mammy's Lullabye

On the road to Memphis town

Where the cotton turns to down,

There's an old black mammy singing;

In her arms so big and brown

There peep out two snow-white ears,

Then two eyes all in tears,

But she cuddles up so cunning

When this lullabye she hears


"When de wes' am growin' crimson,

An' de eas' am growin' pink,

When de roses in de shaders

Seem to bow dey heads an' tink,

Close yo' eyes, ma blue-eyed darlin'

Dat's de birdies goodnight peep;

Lay yo' head down on ma bosom;

Mammy's darlin, go to sleep."

In the ranch house on the hill

Where the nights are cool and still,

And the mocking bird is singing,

Mammy listens with a thrill

To that song of long ago,

Now repeated soft and low

To another blue-eyed lisper

As they rock her to and fro.

That was years ago today;

It was many miles away,

And old grandma's softly sighing

When she hears the old, sweet lay

As a third wee baby's cry

Hushes as that tune draws nigh,

And she joins her mammy sleeping,

To the same old lullabye.

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