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: 293
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: feast, meal
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Ef you’s only got de powah fe’ to blow a little whistle,
Keep ermong de people wid de whistles.
Ef you don’t, you’ll fin’ out sho’tly dat you’s th’owed yo’ fines’ feelin’
In a place dat’s all a bed o’ thistles.
‘Tain’t no use a–goin’ now, ez sho’s you bo’n,
A–squeakin’ of yo’ whistle ‘g’inst a gread big ho’n.

Ef you ain’t got but a teenchy bit o’ victuals on de table,
Whut’ de use a–claimin’ hit’s a feas’?
Fe’ de folks is mighty ‘spicious, an’ dey’s ap’ to come apeerin’,
Lookin’ fe’ de scraps you lef’ at leas’.
Wen de meal’s a–hidin’ f’om de meal–bin’s top,
You needn’t talk to hide it; ef you sta’ts, des stop.

Ef yo’ min’ kin only carry half a pint o’ common idees,
Don’ go roun’ a–sayin’ hit’s a bar’l;
‘Ca’se de people gwine to test you, an’ dey’ll fin’ out you’s a–lyin’,
Den dey’ll twis’ yo’ sayin’s in a snarl.
Wuss t’ing in de country dat I evah hyahed—
A crow dot sat a–squawkin’, “I’s a mockin’–bird.”