Henry Clay Work Poems >>
Used-Up Joe

I'm de only one left ob de Colony niggers;
 How things do meander away!
When dey count my yeahs dey break down on de figgers,—
 Fer things will meander away.
I was heah when Columbus discubbered Ohio;
 I'm dyin' wid hunger today.
Lock me up in a pantry day's filled wid mince-pie—
 Oh! how things would meander away.

Brudder Gabriel, blow! I am ready to go;
 I am tired ob dis long delay.
You've de wicked to warn; better look for yer horn,—
 Fer things will meander away.

I's as poor as de turkey dat Job was its owner;
 How things do meander away!
I'm as sick as de whale when he landed up Jonar,—
 Fer things will meander away.
I'm in debt for my day before yesterday's dinner,
 An' can't find de cash fer to pay:
In dat Savin's Band game some one else was de winner,—
 Fer things will meander away.

I'm a gnarly ole tree, wid a hurricane fightin';
 How things do meander away!
All de limbs are torn off, an' de leabes gone akittin',—
 Fer things will meander away.
Send me home for repairs when de hurricane ceases;
 Remember de words dat I say!
Tie me up in a bag, an' don't stop for de pieces,—
 Fer things will meander away.

Had my right eye knocked out by a word dat I hollered;
 How things do meander away!
Called a white man a fool, an' an axerdent follered,—
 Fer things will meander away.
Den a railroad collusion run ober some cattle,
 An' one ob my limbs went astray;
An' anudder I left on de cornfield ob battle,—
 Fer things will meander away.

Nitro-glycerum cans are not safe to unsodder;
 How things do meander away!
An' wid circular saws 'tisn't wise fer to bodder,—
 Fer things will meander away.
Dis ere top-lock was lifted by red Injun debils;
 'Twas den de black wool become gray;
An' my last wooder leg was shot off by de rebels,—
 For things will meander away.

Nicodemus, my son-in-law, long ago started;
 How things do meander away!
An' dey say, from de gum-tree his bones hab departed,—
 Fer things will meander away.
He will nebber come back, let me tell ye—no, nebber!
 To pick up his burden of clay:
Gib a mud-turtle wings an' a free pass forebber,—
 Ob course he'll meander away.