Verse > Anthologies > James Weldon Johnson, ed. > The Book of American Negro Poetry
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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
When Ol’ Sis’ Judy Pray
 
James Edwin Campbell
 
 
WHEN ol’ Sis’ Judy pray,
De teahs come stealin’ down my cheek,
De voice ur God widin me speak’;
I see myse’f so po’ an’ weak,
Down on my knees de cross I seek,        5
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray.
 
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray,
De thun’ers ur Mount Sin-a-i
Comes rushin’ down f’um up on high—
De Debbil tu’n his back an’ fly        10
While sinnahs loud fur pa’don cry,
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray.
 
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray,
Ha’d sinnahs trimble in dey seat
Ter hyuh huh voice in sorro ’peat        15
(While all de chu’ch des sob an’ weep)
“O Shepa’d, dese, dy po’ los’ sheep!”
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray.
 
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray,
De whole house hit des rock an’ moan        20
Ter see huh teahs an’ hyuh huh groan;
Dar’s somepin’ in Sis’ Judy’s tone
Dat melt all ha’ts dough med ur stone
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray.
 
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray,        25
Salvation’s light comes pourin’ down—
Hit fill de chu’ch an’ all de town—
Why, angels’ robes go rustlin’ ’roun’,
An’ hebben on de Yurf am foun’,
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray.        30
 
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray,
My soul go sweepin’ up on wings,
An’ loud de chu’ch wid “Glory!” rings,
An’ wide de gates ur Jahsper swings
Twel you hyuh ha’ps wid golding strings,        35
When ol’ Sis’ Judy pray.
 

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