The Old Front Gate


W'en daih 's chillun in de house,
  Dey keep on a-gittin' tall;
But de folks don' seem to see
  Dat dey 's growin' up at all,
'Twell dey fin' out some fine day
  Dat de gals has 'menced to grow,
Wen dey notice as dey pass
  Dat de front gate 's saggin' low.

Wen de hinges creak an' cry,
  An' de bahs go slantin' down,
You kin reckon dat hit's time
  Fu' to cas' yo' eye erroun',
'Cause daih ain't no 'sputin' dis,
  Hit's de trues' sign to show
Dat daih 's cou'tin' goin' on
  Wen de ol' front gate sags low.

Oh, you grumble an' complain,
  An' you prop dat gate up right;
But you notice right nex' day
  Dat hit's in de same ol' plight.
So you fin' dat hit's a rule,
  An' daih ain' no use to blow,
W'en de gals is growin' up,
  Dat de front gate will sag low.

Den you t'ink o' yo' young days,
  W'en you cou'ted Sally Jane,
An' you so't o' feel ashamed
  Fu' to grumble an' complain,
'Cause yo' ricerlection says,
  An' you know hits wo'ds is so,
Dat huh pappy had a time
  Wid his front gate saggin' low.

So you jes' looks on an' smiles
  At 'em leanin' on de gate,
Tryin' to t'ink whut he kin say
  Fu' to keep him daih so late,
But you lets dat gate erlone,
  Fu' yo' 'sperunce goes to show,
'Twell de gals is ma'ied off,
  It gwine keep on saggin' low.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.