Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Bein' Back Home

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: 375
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: life, nature
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Home agin, an’ home to stay—
Yes, it’s nice to be away.
Plenty things to do an’ see,
But the old place seems to me
Jest about the proper thing.
Mebbe ‘ts ‘cause the mem’ries cling
Closer ‘round yore place o’ birth
‘N ary other spot on earth.

W’y it’s nice jest settin’ here,
Lookin’ out an’ seein’ clear,
‘Thout no smoke, ner dust, ner haze
In these sweet October days.
What’s as good as that there lane,
Kind o’ browned from last night’s rain?
‘Pears like home has got the start
When the goal’s a feller’s heart.

What’s as good as that there jay
Screechin’ up’ards towards the gray
Skies? An’ tell me, what’s as fine
As that full–leafed pumpkin vine?
Tow’rin’ buildin’s—? yes, they’re good;
But in sight o’ field and wood,
Then a feller understan’s
‘Bout the house not made with han’s.

Let the others rant an’ roam
When they git away from home;
Jest gi’ me my old settee
An’ my pipe beneath a tree;
Sight o’ medders green an’ still,
Now and then a gentle hill,
Apple orchards, full o’ fruit,
Nigh a cider press to boot—

That’s the thing jest done up brown;
D’want to be too nigh to town;
Want to have the smells an’ sights,
An’ the dreams o’ long still nights,
With the friends you used to know
In the keerless long ago—
Same old cronies, same old folks,
Same old cider, same old jokes.

Say, it’s nice a–gittin’ back,
When yore pulse is growin’ slack,
An’ yore breath begins to wheeze
Like a fair–set valley breeze;
Kind o’ nice to set aroun’
On the old familiar groun’,
Knowin’ that when Death does come,
That he’ll find you right at home.