Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

A Florida Night


Win' a-blowin' gentle so de san' lay low,
San' a little heavy f'om de rain,
All de pa'ms a-wavin' an' a-weavin' slow,
Sighin' lak a sinnah-soul in pain.
Alligator grinnin' by de ol' lagoon,
Mockin'-bird a-singin' to be big full moon.
'Skeeter go a-skimmin' to his fightin' chune
(Lizy Ann's a-waitin' in de lane!).

Moccasin a-sleepin' in de cyprus swamp;
Need n't wake de gent'man, not fu' me.
Mule, you need n't wake him w'en you switch an' stomp,
Fightin' off a 'skeeter er a flea.
Florida is lovely, she's de fines' lan'
Evah seed de sunlight f'om de Mastah's han',
'Ceptin' fu' de varmints an' huh fleas an' san'
An' de nights w'en Lizy Ann ain' free.

Moon 's a-kinder shaddered on de melon patch;
No one ain't a-watchin' ez I go.
Climbin' of de fence so 's not to click de latch
Meks my gittin' in a little slow.
Watermelon smilin' as it say, 'I' s free;'
Alligator boomin', but I let him be,
Florida, oh, Florida 's de lan' fu' me--
(Lizy Ann a-singin' sweet an' low).

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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