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Segregation

Robert Service

I stood beside the silken rope,
      Five dollars in my hand,
And waited in my patient hope
      To sit anear the Band,
And hear the famous Louie play
      The best hot trumpet of today.
      
And then a waiter loafing near
      Says in a nasty tone:
"Old coon, we don't want darkies here,
      Beat it before you're thrown."
So knowin' nothin' I could do
      I turned to go and--there was Lou.

I think he slapped that Dago's face;
      His voice was big an' loud;
An' then he leads me from my place
      Through all that tony crowd.
World-famous Louie by the hand
      Took me to meet his famous Band.

"Listen, you folks," I heard him say.
      "Here's Grand-papa what's come.
Savin' he teached me how to play,
      I mighta been a bum.
Come on, Grand-pop, git up an' show
      How you kin trumpet Ol' Black Joe."

Tremblin' I played before his Band:
      You should have heard the cheers.
Them swell folks gave me such a hand
      My cheeks was wet wi' tears . . .
An' now I'm off to tell the wife
      The proudest night o' all ma life.

Added: 25 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 24 Apr 2017 8:54 PM | Viewed: 9106 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4133/ | Viewed on 24 April 2017.
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