Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)
Foolin' Wid De Seasons
Seems lak folks is mighty curus
In de way dey t'inks an' ac's.
Dey jes' spen's dey days a-mixin'
Up de t'ings in almanacs.
Now, I min' my nex' do' neighbour,--
He's a mighty likely man,
But he nevah t'inks o' nuffin
'Ceptin' jes' to plot an' plan.
All de wintah he was plannin'
How he 'd gethah sassafras
Jes' ez soon ez evah Springtime
Put some greenness in de grass.
An' he 'lowed a little soonah
He could stan' a coolah breeze
So 's to mek a little money
F'om de sugah-watah trees.
In de summah, he 'd be waihin'
Out de linin' of his soul,
Try 'n' ca'ci'late an' fashion
How he 'd git his wintah coal;
An' I b'lieve he got his jedgement
Jes' so tuckahed out an' thinned
Dat he t'ought a robin's whistle
Was de whistle of de wind.
Why won't folks gin up dey plannin',
An' jes' be content to know
Dat dey 's gittin' all dat's fu' dem
In de days dat come an' go?
Why won't folks quit movin' forrard?
Ain't hit bettah jes' to stan'
An' be satisfied wid livin'
In de season dat 's at han'?
Hit 's enough fu' me to listen
W'en de birds is singin' 'roun',
'Dout a-guessin' whut 'll happen
W'en de snow is on de groun'.
In de Springtime an' de summah,
I lays sorrer on de she'f;
An' I knows ol' Mistah Wintah
Gwine to hustle fu' hisse'f.
We been put hyeah fu' a pu'pose,
But de questun dat has riz
An' made lots o' people diffah
Is jes' whut dat pu'pose is.
Now, accordin' to my reas'nin',
Hyeah's de p'int whaih I 's arriv,
Sence de Lawd put life into us,
We was put hyeah fu' to live!
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