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Lyrics of Love and Laughter

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Visitor

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: 226

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Little lady at de do’,
W’y you stan’ dey knockin’?
Nevah seen you ac’ befo’
In er way so shockin’.

Don’ you know de sin it is
Fu’ to git my temper riz
Wen I ’s got de rheumatiz
An’ my jints is lockin’?
No, ol’ Miss ain’t sont you down,
Don’ you tell no story;
I been seed you hangin’ ‘roun’
Dis hyeah te’itory.

You des come fu’ me to tell
You a tale, an’ I ain’—well—
Look hyeah, what is dat I smell?
Steamin’ victuals? Glory!
Come in, Missy, how you do?
Come up by de fiah,
I was jokin’, chile, wid you;
Bring dat basket nighah.

Huh uh, ain’t dat lak ol’ Miss,
Sen’in’ me a feas’ lak dis?
Rheumatiz cain’t stop my bliss,
Case I’s feelin’ spryah.
Chicken meat an’ gravy, too,
Hot an’ still a–heatin’;
Good ol’ sweet pertater stew;
Missy b’lieves in treatin’.

Des set down, you blessed chile,
Daddy got to t’ink a while,
Den a story mek you smile
Wen he git thoo eatin’.