Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Gospel with Banjo and Chorus
By Keene Wallis
 
DEAR ones, I have gambled, I have rolled the bones.
  It’s the truth, praise God!
Hell was open, waiting with its howls and moans.
  There you are, praise God!
Heaven’s gates were opening, up steps the Lamb,        5
“Sister, aren’t you sick of sin?” “Yes,” I said, “I am.”
  And it’s the truth, praise God!
Sinner, aren’t you going there, joining our procession—
Everybody holy, making loud profession?
  And there you are, praise God!        10
 
Dear ones, I have wallowed belly-deep in sin.
  It’s the truth, praise God!
I’d looked into the puddle, devil shoved me in.
  There you are, praise God!
Jesus came and saved me, gave me cleanly clothes:        15
“Sister, rise with Jesus!” and my spirit rose.
  And it’s the truth, praise God!
Sinner, aren’t you going there? All the sky rejoices,
Everything is sounding with the heavenly voices.
  And there you are, praise God!        20
 
Dear ones, drink’s a serpent—it had me by the throat.
  It’s the truth, praise God!
Ever see a rattlesnake swallowed by a shote?
  There you are, praise God!
Jesus came and grabbed me: “Sister, I declare!—        25
Devil’s in your gizzard, you can spit him out in prayer.”
  And it’s the truth, praise God!
Brother, aren’t you going there? Streets are hung with banners,
Cherubim and seraphim bow and show their manners.
  And there you are, praise God!        30
 
Dear ones, I was loose—Lord, Saturday night!
  It’s the truth, praise God!
Along would come a black man, along would come a white.
  There you are, praise God!
Jesus came and chased them, drove them with a whip:        35
“Sister,” says our Savior, “watch the devil skip!”
  And it’s the truth, praise God!
Lover, aren’t you going there, risen from the lowly,
Justified and sanctified and glorified and holy?
  And there you are, praise God!        40
 
    Dear ones, it’s the truth!
    Truth of God, praise God!
    Sinner, it’s the truth, it’s the truth, praise God!
    Sister, it’s the truth, truth of God, praise God!
    Brother, it’s the truth, it’s the truth, praise God!        45
    Lover, it’s the truth, it’s the truth, the truth!
    Mourner, it’s the truth, and there you are, praise God!
 
 
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