Lit2Go

Humour and Dialect

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Expectation

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: 359

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You ‘ll be wonderin’ whut ’s de reason
I ’s a grinnin’ all de time,
An’ I guess you t’ink my sperits
Mus’ be feelin’ mighty prime.
Well, I ‘fess up, I is tickled
As a puppy at his paws.
But you need n’t think I’s crazy,
I ain’ laffin’ ‘dout a cause.

You’s a wonderin’ too, I reckon,
Why I does n’t seem to eat,
An’ I notice you a lookin’
Lak you felt completely beat
When I ‘fuse to tek de bacon,
An’ don’ settle on de ham.
Don’ you feel no feah erbout me,
Jes’ keep eatin’, an’ be ca’m.

Fu’ I’s waitin’ an’ I’s watchin’
‘Bout a little t’ing I see—
D’ othah night I’s out a walkin’
An’ I passed a ‘simmon tree.
Now I’s whettin’ up my hongry,
An’ I’s laffin’ fit to kill,
Fu’ de fros’ done turned de ‘simmons,
An’ de possum ’s eat his fill.

He done go’ged hisse’f owdacious,
An’ he stayin’ by de tree!
Don’ you know, ol’ Mistah Possum
Dat you gittin’ fat fu’ me?
‘T ain’t no use to try to ‘spute it,
‘Case I knows you’s gittin’ sweet
Wif dat ‘simmon flavoh thoo you,
So I’s waitin’ fu’ yo’ meat.

An’ some ebenin’ me an Towsah
Gwine to come an’ mek a call,
We jes’ drap in onexpected
Fu’ to shek yo’ han’, dat’s all.
Oh, I knows dat you ‘ll be tickled,
Seems lak I kin see you smile,
So pu’haps I mought pu’suade you
Fu’ to visit us a while.