To the sniffing pickaninny once his good old mammy said,
‘Yo’ lil’ black nose am drippin’ from de cold dat’s in yo’ head,
An’ yo’ sleeve am slick and shiny like de hillside when it snows.
Why doan’ you pump de bellers from de inside ob yo’ nose?’
‘Ain’t I been,’ the child replied to her, ‘a-doin’ ob jes’ dat
Twel I’s got a turble empty feel right whur I wears muh hat?
De traffic soht o’ nacherly keeps gittin’ in de road.
I blow muh nose a-plenty, but
it won’t stay blowed.
‘What’s de use ob raisin’ chickens ef dey won’t stay riz?
What’s de use ob freezin’ sherbet ef it won’t stay friz?
What’s de use ob payin’ debts off ef dey’s gwine stay owed?
What’s de use ob blowin’ noses ef dey won’t stay blowed?’
This old world is sometimes jealous of the chap who means to rise;
It sneers at what he’s doing or it bats him ‘twixt the eyes;
It trips him when he’s careless, and it makes his way so hard
What’s left of him is sinew, not a walking tub of lard;
But it’s only wasting effort, for by George, the guy keeps on
When his hopes have crumbled round him and you’d think his faith was gone,
Till the world at last knocks under and it passes him a crown:
Once, twice, thrice it has upset him, but
What cares he when out he’s flattened by the cruel blow it deals?
He has rubber in his shoulders and a mainspring in his heels.
Let the world uncork its buffets till he’s bruised from toe to crown;
Let it thump him, bump him, dump him, but he won’t stay down.
St. Clair Adams.
St. Clair Adams was born in Arkansas in 1883, Adams travels all over the United States and Europe. This poem is in an old book I received from my parents many years ago. I’ve written about it before, “Poems of Inspiration.” It’s a collection of poems brought together by Joseph Morris and St. Clair Adams. The poems inside are not mushy self-help poems but solid wisdom from the “old days”. It’s been a handy book to have around when you get feeling down.
It won’t stay blowed has been a favorite for a long time. No it’s not racist either.