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Lyrics of Love and Laughter

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Memory of Martha

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: 278

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Out in de night a sad bird moans,
An’, oh, but hit ’s moughty lonely;
Times I kin sing, but mos’ I groans,
Fu’ oh, but hit ’s moughty lonely!
Is you sleepin’ well dis evenin’, Marfy, deah?
W’en I calls you fom de cabin, kin you hyeah?
‘T ain’t de same ol’ place to me,
Nuffin’ ’s lak hit used to be,
W’en I knowed dat you was allus some’ers near.

Down by de road de shadders grows,
An’, oh, but hit’s moughty lonely;
Seem lak de ve’y moonlight knows,
An’, oh, but hit’s moughty lonely!
Does you know, I’s cryin’ fu’ you, oh, my wife?
Does you know dey ain’t no joy no mo’ in life?
An’ my only t’ought is dis,
Dat I’s honin’ fu’ de bliss
Fu’ to quit dis groun’ o’ worriment an’ strife.

Dah on de baid my banjo lays,
An’, oh, but hit’s moughty lonely;
Can’t even sta’t a chune o’ praise,
An’, oh, but hit’s moughty lonely!
Oh, hit’s moughty slow a–waitin’ hyeah below.
Is you watchin’ fu’ me, Marfy, at de do’?
Ef you is, in spite o’ sin,
Dey’ll be sho’ to let me in,
Wen dey sees yo’ face a–shinin’, den dey’ll know.