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The Funeral (Williams Hank)

I was walking in Savannah past a church, decayed and dim When slowly through the window came a plaintive funeral hymn My sympathy awakened and a wonder quickly grew 'Til I found myself environed in a little colored pew Out front a colored couple sat in sorrow nearly wild On the altar was a casket and in the casket was a child I could picture him while living, curly hair protruding lips I'd seen perhaps a thousand in my hurried southern trips Then rose a sad, old colored preacher from his little wooden desk With a manner sort of awkward and countenance grotesque The simplicity and shrewdness in his Ethiopian face Showed the wisdom and the ignorance of a crushed, undying race And he said, "Now don't be weepin' for this pretty bit of clay For the little boy who lived there has done gone and run away He was doing very finely and he 'ppreciates your love But his sho nough father wanted him in the big house up above The Lord didn't give you that baby, by no hundred thousand miles He just think you need some sunshine and he lent it for a while And he let you keep and love him 'til your hearts were bigger grown And these silver tears you're shedding now, are just interest on the loan Just think my poor dear mourners creeping long on sorrow?s way What a blessed picnic this here baby got today Your good fathers and good mothers crowd the little fella round In the angels 'tender garden of the big plantation ground And his eyes they brightly sparkle at the pretty things he view But a tear came and he whispered, "I want my parents too" Then the angel's chief musicians teach that little boy a song Says if only they be faithful, they'll soon be comin' 'long And so my poor dear mourners, let your hearts with Jesus rest And don't go to criticizn' the one what knows the best He has give us many comforts He's got the right to take away To the Lord be praised in glory, now and ever, let us pray