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[VA] Uncle JERRY (owner William H. Holcombe)

Weekly Standard


The following homely, but touching verses are from the
pen of Dr. William H. Holcombe, of Virginia.

Why, Jerry, what means all this sadness and fear?
Here's your bitters, man! Why do you cry?
Who told you I'd sell you? the trader that's here?
By zounds, sir, he told you a lie!
When I sell the gold ring from my dead mother's hand
Or the sword which my grandfather bore,
When at Guilford his troopers made such a bold stand,
I will sell you---and not before!!

Why, don't you remember my face as a boy's
When I often sat on your knee,
Whilst you and, in your rugged monotonous voice,
Your foolish old ballads to me?
I wept at your sad ones, and laughed at your gay,
And made you repeat them all o'er;
Ah! when I forget my life's happiest day
I will sell you--and not before!

You made me the boat which I launched on the tide,
And my traps for the birds in the snow;
You led my bay pony, and taught me to ride,
And half the good things which I know.
You wept like a child when they sent me to school,
To be absent for six months or more;
When you are a villian or I am a fool.
I will sell you--and not before.

If poverty's cup I am sentenced to drain,
I will part with you last of them all;
Your kindness, Old Jerry, would double my pain,
And your sorrows embitter my fall.
If fate or misfortune should cause us to part,
There's a GOD will unite us once more;
Go drink my good health and console your old heart,
And love me and serve as before.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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