Lit2Go

Humour and Dialect

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Protest

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: 220

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Who say my hea’t ain’t true to you?
Dey bettah heish dey mouf.
I knows I loves you thoo an’ thoo
In watah time er drouf.
I wush dese people ‘d stop dey talkin’,
Don’t mean no mo’ dan chicken’s squawkin’:
I guess I knows which way I’s walkin’,
I knows de norf f’om souf.

I does not love Elizy Brown,
I guess I knows my min’.
You allus try to tek me down
Wid evaht’ing you fin’.
Ef dese hyeah folks will keep on fillin’
Yo’ haid wid nonsense, an’ you’s willin’
I bet some day dey ‘ll be a killin’
Somewhaih along de line.

O’ cose I buys de gal ice–cream,
Whut else I gwine to do?
I knows jes’ how de t’ing ‘u’d seem
Ef I ‘d be sho’t wid you.
On Sunday, you’s at chu’ch a–shoutin’,
Den all de week you go ‘roun’ poutin’—
I’s mighty tiahed o’ all dis doubtin’,
I tell you cause I’s true.