36 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
After a while the singing commenced, to the evident delight of all present. Not even all the disadvantages of nasal intonation could prevent the effect of the naturally fine voices, in airs at once wild and spirited. The words were sometimes the well-known and common hymns sung in the churches about, and sometimes of a wilder, more indefinite character, picked up at camp-meetings.
The chorus of one of them, which ran as follows, was sung with great energy and unction : —
" Die on the field of battle, Die on the field of battle, Glory in my soul."
Another special favorite had oft repeated the words, —
" Oh, I 'm going to glory, — won't you come along with me ? Don't you see the angels beck'ning, and a-calling me away ? Don't you see the golden city and the everlasting day ? "
There were others, which made incessant mention of " Jordan's banks," and "Canaan's fields," and the "New Jerusalem ; " for the negro mind, impassioned and imaginative, always attaches itself to hymns and expressions of a vivid and pictorial nature; and, as they sung, some laughed, and some cried, and some clapped hands, or shook hands rejoicingly with each other, as if they had fairly gained the other side of the river.
Various exhortations, or relations of experience, followed, and intermingled with the singing. One old, gray-headed woman, long past work, but much revered as a sort of chronicle of the past, rose, and, leaning on her staff, said, —
" Well, chil'en ! Well, I 'm mighty glad to hear ye all and see ye all once more, 'cause I don't know when I '11 be gone to glory; but I 've done got ready, chil'en; 'pears like I 'd got my little bundle all tied up, and my bonnet on, jest a-waitin' for the stage to come along to take me home; sometimes, in the night, 1 think I hear the wheels