Born: Feb­ru­ary 22, 1857, Charles­ton, South Ca­ro­li­na.

Died: Jan­ua­ry 7, 1927, At­lan­ta, Georg­ia.

Buried: Westview Ce­me­te­ry, At­lan­ta, Georg­ia.


Frank was the son of Val­en­tine Stan­ton, and hus­band of Le­o­na J. Jos­sey.

A jour­nal­ist, he be­came Po­et Laur­e­ate of the state of Georg­ia in 1925. He was some­times called the Ri­ley of the South.



When the Old Man Got Religion

When the ol’ man got religion things sorter changed aroun’,
The house wuz topsy-turvy, the worl’ wuz upside down;
We didn’t know what hit us; ’peared like we’d stared wrong;
Life had to be made over to his halleluia song!

’Twuz in the winter season? He lit in thisaway:
He pulled the kiver off us long ’fore the break o’ day;
Stir roun’! stir roun’! he’d holler all up an’ down the stairs—
This life’s too short fer sleepin’; rise up fer family prayers!

We crawled out from that kiver with mournful sighs an’ groans,
The teeth of us a-chatterin’ like minstrels beatin’ bones!
An’, ranged aroun’ the fireplace—a mighty mournful ring—
He’d holler: Hymn Two Hundred: Let ever’body sing!

An’ you never heard such singin’ sence life an’ time begun;
The angels couldn’t stand it, an’ stopped their ears an’ run!
Fer the music, comin’ zig-zag from them new singin’ ranks,
Wuz worse than storm-winds howlin’
Roun’ Jordan’s stormy banks!

He kept the whole house hustlin’:
Work while it’s called To-day!
An’ pray whilst you’re a-workin’; but work an’ work away!

But ever’ youngster of us—with sad an’ sollum face,
Wuz prayin’ fer the ol’ man to fall away from grace!

Long years have passed an’ left us still with our work to do;
An’ the ol’ man, bein’ weary, went Home an’ left us, too;
Led by his homely counsel safe to the shelterin’ fold—
Sightin’ the fur-off city with shinin’ streets of gold.

An’ evermore we’re praisin’ of the Providence on high
That the ol’ man got religion in the happy days gone by;
An’ we hope to hear him shoutin’,
When we reach the heavenly stairs,
In the bright, Celestial mornin’—
Rise up to fam’ly prayers!

Frank Lebby Stanton
Up from Georgia, 1902