THEN I had religion, THEN I had a vision.

I could not turn from their revel in derision.

# More deliberate. Solemnly chanted. #

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,

CUTTING THROUGH THE FOREST WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

Then along that riverbank

A thousand miles

Tattooed cannibals danced in files;

Then I heard the boom of the blood-lust song

# A rapidly piling climax of speed and racket. #

And a thigh-bone beating on a tin-pan gong.

And "BLOOD" screamed the whistles and the fifes of the warriors,

"BLOOD" screamed the skull-faced, lean witch-doctors,

"Whirl ye the deadly voo-doo rattle,

Harry the uplands,

Steal all the cattle,

Rattle-rattle, rattle-rattle,

Bing.

Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM,"

# With a philosophic pause. #

A roaring, epic, rag-time tune

From the mouth of the Congo

To the Mountains of the Moon.

Death is an Elephant,

# Shrilly and with a heavily accented metre. #

Torch-eyed and horrible,

Foam-flanked and terrible.

BOOM, steal the pygmies,

BOOM, kill the Arabs,

BOOM, kill the white men,

HOO, HOO, HOO.

# Like the wind in the chimney. #

Listen to the yell of Leopold's ghost

Burning in Hell for his hand-maimed host.

Hear how the demons chuckle and yell

Cutting his hands off, down in Hell.

Listen to the creepy proclamation,

Blown through the lairs of the forest-nation,

Blown past the white-ants' hill of clay,

Blown past the marsh where the butterflies play: --

"Be careful what you do,

# All the o sounds very golden. Heavy accents very heavy.

Light accents very light. Last line whispered. #

Or Mumbo-Jumbo, God of the Congo,

And all of the other

Gods of the Congo,

Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you,

Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you,

Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you."

II. Their Irrepressible High Spirits

# Rather shrill and high. #

Wild crap-shooters with a whoop and a call

Danced the juba in their gambling-hall

And laughed fit to kill, and shook the town,

And guyed the policemen and laughed them down

With a boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM.

# Read exactly as in first section. #

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,

CUTTING THROUGH THE FOREST WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

# Lay emphasis on the delicate ideas.

Keep as light-footed as possible. #

A negro fairyland swung into view,

A minstrel river

Where dreams come true.

The ebony palace soared on high

Through the blossoming trees to the evening sky.

The inlaid porches and casements shone

With gold and ivory and elephant-bone.

And the black crowd laughed till their sides were sore

At the baboon butler in the agate door,

And the well-known tunes of the parrot band

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