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56. the fisherman of Beaufort.

by Mrs. Frances D. Gage.
The tide comes up, and the tide goes down,
     And still the fisherman's boat,
At early dawn and at evening shade,
     Is ever and ever afloat:
His net goes down, and his net comes up,
     And we hear his song of glee,
“De dishes dey hates de ole slave nets,
     But comes to de nets of de free.”

The tide comes up, and the tide goes down,
     And the oysterman below
Is picking away, in the slimy sands,
     In the sands ob de long ago.
But now if an empty hand he bears,
     He shudders no more with fear,
There's no stretching board for the aching boned,
     And no lash of the overseer.

The tide comes up, and the tide goes down,
     And ever I hear a song,
As the moaning winds, through the moss-hung oaks,
     Sweep surging ever along.
“O massa white man! help de slave,
     And de wife and chillen too,
Eber dey'll work, wid de hard worn hand,
     Ef ell gib 'em de work to do.”

The tide comes up, and the tide goes down,
     But it bides no tyrant's word,
As it chants unceasing the anthem grand
     Of its Freedom, to the Lord.
The fisherman floating on its breast
     Has caught up the key-note true,
“De sea works, massa, for't sef and God,
     And so must de brack man too.

”Den gib him1 de work, and gib him de pay,
     For de chillen and wife him love,
And de yam shall grow, and de cotton shall blow,
     And him nebber, nebber rove;
For him love de ole Carlina State,
     And de ole magnolia-tree:
Oh! nebber him trouble de icy Norf,
     Ef de brack folks — am go free. “

1 The colored people use the word him for “us,” and apply the same pronoun to animate and inanimate objects, whether of masculine, feminine, or neuter gender.

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Beaufort, S. C. (South Carolina, United States) (1)
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