Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

In the Morning


'LIAS! 'Lias! Bless de Lawd!
Don' you know de day's erbroad?
Ef you don' git up, you scamp,
Dey'll be trouble in dis camp.
Tink I gwine to let you sleep
W'ile I meks yo' boa'd an' keep?
Dat's a putty howdy-do-
Don' you hyeah me, 'Lias -you?

Bet ef I come crost dis flo'
You won’ fin’ no time to sno'
Daylight all a-shinin’ in
W'ile you sleep -w'y hit's a sin!
Aint de can'le-light enough
To bu'n out widout a snuff,
But you go de mo'nin' thoo
Bu'nin' up de daylight too?

'Lias, don’ you hyeah me call?
No use tu'nin' to'ds de wall;
I kin hyeah dat mattuss squeak;
Don' you hyeah me w’en I speak?
Dis hyeah clock done struck off six-
Ca'line, bring me dem ah sticks!
Oh, you down, suh; huh, you down-
Look hyeah, don' you daih to frown.

Ma'ch yo'se'f an wash yo' face,
Don' you splattah all de place;
I got somep'n else to do,
'Sides jes' cleanin' aftah you.
Tek dat comb an' fix yo' haid!-
Looks jes’ lak a feddah baid.
Look hyeah, boy, I let you see
You sha' n't roll yo' eyes at me.

Come hyeah; bring me dat ah strap!
Boy, I'll whup you 'twell you drap;
You done felt yo’se’f too strong,
An' you sholy got me wrong.
Set down at dat table thaih;
Jes' you whimpah ef you daih!
Evah mo'nin' on dis place,
Seem lak I mus' lose my grace.

Fol' yo' han's an' bow yo' haid-
Wait ontwell de blessin' 's said;
'Lawd, have mussy on ouah souls-'
(Don' you daih to tech dem rolls-)
'Bless de food we gwine to eat-'
(You set still -I see yo' feet;
You jes' try dat trick agin!)
'Gin us peace an' joy. Amen!'

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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  • Rookie Gloria Medley (5/9/2010 7:47:00 PM)

    I WAS SOOOOO PLEASED TO FIND THIS POEM...MY MOTHER USED TO READ MR. DUNBAR'S POETRY TO US ALL THE TIME WHEN I WAS COMING UP....LOVE THEM...LOVED THE WAY SHE READ THEM...MY YOUNGEST SISTER ASKED US TODAY IF WE KNEW THE POEMS THAT MOM USED TO READ...I TEXTED HER BACK AND RECITED THIS POEM....ALWAYS REMEMBERED IT...RECITED IT TO MYSELF ALL THE TIME...TOLD HER I WOULD LOOK THEM UP...OMG...SOO HAPPY (Report) Reply

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