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Humour and Dialect

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The News

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: 247

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Whut dat you whisperin’ keepin’ f’om me?
Don’t shut me out ‘cause I ’s ol’ an’ can’t see.
Somep’n’s gone wrong dat ’s a–causin’ you dread,—
Don’t be afeared to tell—Whut! mastah dead?

Somebody brung de news early to–day,—
One of de sojers he led, do you say?
Did n’t he foller whah ol’ mastah lead?
How kin he live w’en his leadah is dead?

Let me lay down awhile, dah by his bed;
I wants to t’ink,—hit ain’t cleah in my head:—
Killed while a–leadin’ his men into fight,—
Dat ’s whut you said, ain’t it, did I hyeah right?

Mastah, my mastah, dead dah in de fiel’?
Lif me up some,—dah, jes’ so I kin kneel.
I was too weak to go wid him, dey said,
Well, now I ‘ll—fin’ him—so—mastah is dead.

Yes, suh, I ’s comin’ ez fas’ ez I kin,—
Twas kin’ o’ da’k, but hit ’s lightah agin:
P’omised yo’ pappy I ‘d allus tek keer
Of you,—yes, mastah,—I ’s follerin’,—hyeah!