Paul Laurence Dunbar
A Plantation Portrait
HAIN'T you see my Mandy Lou,
Is it true?
Whaih you been f'om day to day,
Whaih, I say?
Dat you say you nevah seen
Dis hyeah queen
Walkin' roun' f'om fiel' to street
Slendah ez a saplin' tree;
Seems to me
W'en de win' blow f'om de bay
She jes' sway
Lak de reg'lar saplin' do
Ef hit's grew
Straight an' graceful, 'dout a limb,
Sweet an' slim.
Browner den de frush's wing,
An' she sing
Lak he mek his wa'ble ring
In de spring;
But she sholy beat de frush,
Hyeah me, hush:
W'en she sing, huh teef kin show
White ez snow.
Eyes ez big an' roun' an' bright
Ez de light
Whut de moon gives in de prime
An' huh haih a woolly skein,
Black an' plain,
Hol's you wid a natchul twis'
Close to bliss.
Tendah han's dat mek yo' own
Feel lak stone;
Easy steppin', blessid feet,
Small an' sweet.
Hain't you seen my Mandy Lou,
Is it true?
Look at huh befo' she's gone,
Den pass on!
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