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Humour and Dialect

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Lullaby

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: 282

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Bedtime ’s come fu’ little boys.

Po’ little lamb.
Too tiahed out to make a noise,
Po’ little lamb.
You gwine t’ have to–morrer sho’?
Yes, you tole me dat befo’,
Don’t you fool me, chile, no mo’,
Po’ little lamb.
You been bad de livelong day,

Po’ little lamb.
Th’owin’ stones an’ runnin’ ‘way,
Po’ little lamb.
My, but you ’s a–runnin’ wil’,
Look jes’ lak some po’ folks chile;
Mam’ gwine whup you atter while,
Po’ little lamb.
Come hyeah! you mos’ tiahed to def,

Po’ little lamb.
Played yo’se’f clean out o’ bref,
Po’ little lamb.
See dem han’s now—sich a sight!
Would you evah b’lieve dey’s white?
Stan’ still twell I wash ‘em right,
Po’ little lamb.
Jes’ cain’t hol’ yo’ haid up straight,

Po’ little lamb.
Had n’t oughter played so late,
Po’ little lamb.
Mammy do’ know whut she ‘d do,
Ef de chillun’s all lak you;
You ’s a caution now fu’ true,
Po’ little lamb.
Lay yo’ haid down in my lap,

Po’ little lamb.
Y’ ought to have a right good slap,
Po’ little lamb.
You been runnin’ roun’ a heap.
Shet dem eyes an’ don’t you peep,
Dah now, dah now, go to sleep,
Po’ little lamb.