Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Noddin' By De Fire - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

SOME folks t'inks hit's right an' p'opah,
Soon ez bedtime come erroun',
Fu' to scramble to de kiver,
Lak dey'd hyeahed de trumpet soun'.
But dese people day all misses
Whut I mos'ly does desiah;
Dat's de settin' roun' an' dozin',
An' a-noddin' by de fiah.
When you's tiahed out a-hoein',
Er a-followin' de plough,
Whut's de use of des a-fallin'
On yo' pallet lak a cow?
W'y, de fun is all in waitin'
In de face of all de tiah,
An' a-dozin' and a-drowsin'
By a good ol' hick'ry fiah.
Oh, you grunts an' groans an' mumbles
Case yo' bones is full o' col',
Dough you feels de joy a-tricklin'
Roun' de co'nahs of yo' soul.
An' you 'low anothah minute
'S sho to git you wa'm an' dryah,
W'en you set up pas' yo' bedtime,
Case you hates to leave de fiah.
Whut's de use o' downright sleepin'?
You can't feel it while it las',
An' you git up feelin' sorry
W'en de time fu' it is pas'.
Seem to me dat time too precious,
An' de houahs too short entiah,
Fu' to sleep, w'en you could spen' 'em
Des a-noddin' by de fiah.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010



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