Lit2Go

Humour and Dialect

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Hunting Song

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: 466

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Tek a cool night, good an’ cleah,

Skiff o’ snow upon de groun’;
Jes’ ‘bout fall–time o’ de yeah
W’en de leaves is dry an brown;
Tek a dog an’ tek a axe,
Tek a lantu’n in yo’ han’,
Step light whah de switches cracks,
Fu’ dey ’s huntin’ in de lan’.
Down thoo de valleys an’ ovah de hills,
Into de woods whah de ‘simmon–tree grows,
Wakin’ an’ skeerin’ de po’ whippo’wills,
Huntin’ fu’ coon an’ fu’ ‘possum we goes.
Blow dat ho’n dah loud an’ strong,

Call de dogs an’ da’kies neah;
Mek its music cleah an’ long,
So de folks at home kin hyeah.
Blow it twell de hills an’ trees
Sen’s de echoes tumblin’ back;
Blow it twell de back’ard breeze
Tells de folks we ’s on de track.
Coons is a–ramblin’ an’ ‘possums is out;
Look at dat dog; you could set on his tail!
Watch him now—steady,—min’—what you ’s about,
Bless me, dat animal’s got on de trail!
Listen to him ba’kin now!

Dat means bus’ness, sho ’s you bo’n;
Ef he’s struck de scent I ‘low
Dat ere ‘possum’s sholy gone.
Knowed dat dog fu’ fo’teen yeahs,
An’ I nevah seed him fail
Wen he sot dem flappin’ eahs
An’ went off upon a trail.
Run, Mistah ‘Possum, an’ run, Mistah Coon,
No place is safe fu’ yo’ ramblin’ to–night;
Mas’ gin’ de lantu’n an’ God gin de moon,
An’ a long hunt gins a good appetite.
Look hyeah, folks, you hyeah dat change?

Dat ba’k is sha’per dan de res’.
Dat ere soun’ ain’t nothin’ strange,—
Dat dog’s talked his level bes’.
Somep’n’ ’s treed, I know de soun’.
Dah now,—wha ‘d I tell you? see!
Dat ere dog done run him down;
Come hyeah, he’p cut down dis tree.
Ah, Mistah ‘Possum, we got you at las’—
Need n’t play daid, laying dah on de groun’;
Fros’ an’ de ‘simmons has made you grow fas’,—
Won’t he be fine when he’s roasted up brown!