Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow

by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1913
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
  • Word Count: 353
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: love, mom, mother
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Ain’t it nice to have a mammy
W’en you kin’ o’ tiahed out
Wid a–playin’ in de meddah,
An’ a–runnin’ roun’ about
Till hit’s made you mighty hongry,
An’ yo’ nose hit gits to know
What de smell means dat ’s a–comin’
F’om de open cabin do’?

She wash yo’ face,
An’ mek yo’ place,
You’s hongry as a tramp;
Den hit’s eat you suppah right away,
You sta’vin’ little scamp.
W’en you’s full o’ braid an’ bacon,
An’ dey ain’t no mo’ to eat,
An’ de lasses dat’s a–stickin’
On yo’ face ta’se kin’ o’ sweet,
Don’ you t’ink hit’s kin’ o’ pleasin’
Fu’ to have som’body neah
Dat’ll wipe yo’ han’s an’ kiss you
Fo’ dey lif’ you f’om you’ cheah?

To smile so sweet,
An’ wash yo’ feet,
An’ leave ‘em co’l an’ damp;
Den hit’s come let me undress you, now
You lazy little scamp.
Don’ yo’ eyes git awful heavy,
An’ yo’ lip git awful slack,
Ain’t dey som’p’n’ kin’ o’ weaknin’
In de backbone of yo’ back?
Don’ yo’ knees feel kin’ o’ trimbly,
An’ yo’ head go bobbin’ roun’,
W’en you says yo’ “Now I lay me,”
An’ is sno’in on de “down”?

She kiss yo’ nose,
She kiss yo’ toes,
An’ den tu’n out de lamp,
Den hit’s creep into yo’ trunnel baid,
You sleepy little scamp.