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Poem by Eugene Field


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:Ч
  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!



Eugene Field


Eugene Field's other poems:
  1. Abu Midjan
  2. Ballad of Women I Love
  3. УGuessФ
  4. The Broken Ring
  5. The Wind


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