Lyrics of Love and Laughter

by Paul Laurence Dunbar


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: 344
  • Genre: Poetry
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Whose little lady is you, chile,
Whose little gal is you?
What’s de use o’ kiver’n up yo’ face?
Chile, dat ain’t de way to do.
Lemme see yo’ little eyes,
Tek yo’ little han’s down nice,
Lawd, you wuff a million bills,
Huh uh, chile, dat ain’t yo’ price.

Honey, de money ain’t been made
Dat dey could pay fu’ you;
‘T ain’t no use a–biddin’; you too high
Fu’ de riches’ Jap er Jew.
Lemme see you smilin’ now,
How dem teef o’ yo’n do shine,
An’ de t’ing dat meks me laff
Is dat all o’ you is mine.

How ’s I gwine to tell you how I feel,
How’s I gwine to weigh yo’ wuff?
Oh, you sholy is de sweetes’ t’ing
Walkin’ on dis blessed earf.
Possum is de sweetes’ meat,
Cidah is the nices’ drink,
But my little lady–bird
Is de bes’ of all, I t’ink.

Talk erbout ‘uligion he’pin’ folks
All thoo de way o’ life,
Gin de res’ ‘uligion, des’ gin me
You, my little lady–wife.
Den de days kin come all ha’d,
Den de nights kin come all black,
Des’ you tek me by de han’,
An’ I’ll stumble on de track.

Stumble on de way to Gawd, my chile,
Stumble on, an’ mebbe fall;
But I’ll keep a–trottin’, while you lead on,
Pickin’ an’ a–trottin’, dat’s all.
Hol’ me mighty tight, dough, chile,
Fu’ hit’s rough an’ rocky lan’,
Heaben ’s at de en’, I know,
So I’s leanin’ on yo’ han’.