Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

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434             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" I say, you! " he said, as he turned back and caught a glance at the dispirited faces behind him. " Strike up a song, boys, — come !'
The men looked at each other, and the " come" was repeated, with a smart crack of the whip which the driver carried in his hands. Tom began a Methodist hymn, —
" Jerusalem, my happy home, Name ever dear to me ! When shall my sorrows have an end, Thy joys when shall " —
" Shut up, you black cuss! " roared Legree; " did ye think I wanted any o' yer infernal old Methodism ? I say, tune up, now, something real rowdy, — quick ! "
One of the other men struck up one of those unmeaning gongs, common among the slaves.
" Mas'r see'd me cotch a coon,
High hoys, high! He laughed to split, — d' ye see the moon,
Ho! ho! ho ! boys, ho ! Ho! yo! hi —e! oh!"
The singer appeared to make up the song to his own pleasure, generally hitting on rhyme, without much attempt at reason; and all the party took up the chorus, at inter­vals, —
"Ho! ho! ho! hoys, ho! High — e — oh ! high — e — oh! "
It was sung very boisterously, and with a forced at­tempt at merriment; but no wail of despair, no words of impassioned prayer, could have had such a depth of woe in them as the wild notes of the chorus. As if the poor, dumb heart, threatened, — prisoned, — took refuge in that inarticulate sanctuary of music, and found there a language in which to breathe its prayer to God ! There was a prayer in it, which Simon could not hear. He only heard the boys singing noisily, and was well pleased; he was making them " keep up their spirits."