Old Christmas Morning

Old Christmas Morning

ROY HELTON

"Where you coming from, Lomey Carter,
So airly over the snow?
And what's them pretties you got in your hand,
And where you aiming to go?

"Step in, Honey: Old Christmas morning
I ain't got nothing much;
Maybe a bite of sweetness and corn bread,
A little ham meat and such,

"But come in, Honey! Sally Anne Barton's
Hungering after your face.
Wait till I light my candle up:
Set down! There's your old place.

Now where you been so airly this morning?
"Graveyard, Sally Anne.
Up by the trace in the salt lick meadows
Where Taulbe kilt my man."

Taulbe ain't to home this morning . . .
I can't scratch up a light:
Dampness gets on the heads of the matches;
But I'll blow up the embers bright."

"Needn't trouble. I won't be stopping:
Going a long ways still."
"You didn't see nothing, Lomey Carter,
Up on the graveyard hill?

What should I see there, Sally Anne Barton?
Well, sperits do walk last night."
There were an elder bush a-bloo ing
While the oon still give so e light.'

Yes, elder bushes, they bloom, Old Christmas,
And critters kneel down in their straw.
Anything else up in the graveyard?
One thing more I saw:

I saw my man witb his bead all bleeding
Where Taulbe's shot went through."
" What did he say? He stooped and kissed me.'
What did he say to you?

"Said, Lord Jesus forguv your Taulbe;
But he told me another word;
He said it soft when he stooped and kissed me.
That were the last I heard."

"Taulbe ain't to home this morning."
"I know that, Sally Anne,
For I kilt him, coming down through the meadow
Where Taulbe kilt my man.

"I met him upon the meadow trace
When the moon were fainting fast,
And I bad my dead man's rifle gun
And kilt him as he come past."

But I heard two shots." "'Twas his was second:
He shot me 'fore be died:
You'll find us at daybreak, Sally Anne Barton:
I'm laying there dead at his side."