Old Black Joe

By Stephen C. Foster Stephen C. Foster
Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear their gentle voices calling “Old Black Joe.”

I’m coming, I’m coming, for my head is bending low:
I hear those gentle voices calling, “Old Black Joe.”

Why do I weep when my heart should feel no pain
Why do I sigh that my friends come not again,
Grieving for forms Now departed long a go?
I hear their gentle voices calling “Old Black Joe.”

I’m coming, I’m coming, for my head is bending low:
I hear those gentle voices calling, “Old Black Joe.”

Where are the hearts once so happy and so free?
The children so dear that I held upon my knee,
Gone to the shore where my soul has longed to go.
I hear their gentle voices calling “Old Black Joe.”

I’m coming, I’m coming, for my head is bending low:
I hear those gentle voices calling, “Old Black Joe.”

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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