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Poem by James Weldon Johnson


The Ghost of Deacon Brown


In a backwoods town
Lived Deacon Brown,
And he was a miser old;
He would trust no bank,
So he dug, and sank
In the ground a box of gold,
Down deep in the ground a box of gold.

He hid his gold,
As has been told,
He remembered that he did it;
But sad to say,
On the very next day,
He forgot just where he hid it:
To find his gold he tried and tried
Till he grew faint and sick, and died.

Then on each dark and gloomy night
A form in phosphorescent white,
A genuine hair-raising sight,
Would wander through the town.
And as it slowly roamed around,
With a spade it dug each foot of ground;
So the folks about
Said there was no doubt
'Twas the ghost of Deacon Brown.

Around the church
This Ghost would search,
And whenever it would see
The passers-by
Take wings and fly
It would laugh in ghostly glee,
Hee, hee!--it would laugh in ghostly glee.

And so the town
Went quickly down,
For they said that it was haunted;
And doors and gates,
So the story states,
Bore a notice, "Tenants wanted."

And the town is now for let,
But the ghost is digging yet.



James Weldon Johnson


James Weldon Johnson's other poems:
  1. An Explanation
  2. Brer Rabbit, You's de Cutes' of 'Em All
  3. De Little Pickaninny's Gone to Sleep
  4. And the Greatest of These Is War
  5. Sence You Went Away


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