Dr. sam






TO MISS GRACE KING

Down in the old French quarter,
 Just out of Rampart street,
  I wend my way
  At close of day
 Unto the quaint retreat
Where lives the Voodoo Doctor
 By some esteemed a sham,
Yet I'll declare there's none elsewhere
 So skilled as Doctor Sam
  With the claws of a deviled crawfish,
  The juice of the prickly prune,
  And the quivering dew
  From a yarb that grew
  In the light of a midnight moon!

I never should have known him
 But for the colored folk
  That here obtain
  And ne'er in vain
 That wizard's art invoke;
For when the Eye that's Evil
 Would him and his'n damn,
The negro's grief gets quick relief
 Of Hoodoo-Doctor Sam.
  With the caul of an alligator,
  The plume of an unborn loon,
  And the poison wrung
  From a serpent's tongue
  By the light of a midnight moon!

In all neurotic ailments
 I hear that he excels,
  And he insures
  Immediate cures
 Of weird, uncanny spells;
The most unruly patient
 Gets docile as a lamb
And is freed from ill by the potent skill
 Of Hoodoo-Doctor Sam;
  Feathers of strangled chickens,
  Moss from the dank lagoon,
  And plasters wet
  With spider sweat
  In the light of a midnight moon!

They say when nights are grewsome
 And hours are, oh! so late,
  Old Sam steals out
  And hunts about
 For charms that hoodoos hate!
That from the moaning river
 And from the haunted glen
He silently brings what eerie things
 Give peace to hoodooed men:--
 The tongue of a piebald 'possum,
  The tooth of a senile 'coon,
 The buzzard's breath that smells of death,
  And the film that lies
  On a lizard's eyes
 In the light of a midnight moon!

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