Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Reluctance - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Will I have some mo' dat pie?
No, ma'am, thank-ee, dat is--I--
Bettah quit daihin' me.
Dat ah pie look sutny good:
How 'd you feel now ef I would?
I don' reckon dat I should;
Bettah quit daihin' me.

Look hyeah, I gwine tell de truf,
Mine is sholy one sweet toof:
Bettah quit daihin' me.
Yass'm, yass'm, dat's all right,
I 's done tried to be perlite:
But dat pie 's a lakly sight,
Wha 's de use o' daihin' me?

My, yo' lips is full an' red,
Don't I wish you 'd tu'n yo' haid?
Bettah quit daihin' me.
Dat ain't faih, now, honey chile,
I 's gwine lose my sense erwhile
Ef you des set daih an' smile,
Bettah quit daihin' me.

Nuffin' don' look ha'f so fine
Ez dem teef, deah, w'en dey shine:
Bettah quit daihin' me.
Now look hyeah, I tells you dis;
I 'll give up all othah bliss
Des to have one little kiss,
Bettah quit daihin' me.

Laws, I teks yo' little han',
Ain't it tendah? bless de lan'--
Bettah quit daihin' me.
I 's so lonesome by myse'f,
'D ain't no fun in livin' lef';
Dis hyeah life's ez dull ez def:
Bettah quit daihin' me.

Why n't you tek yo' han' erway?
Yass, I 'll hol' it: but I say
Bettah quit daihin' me.
Holin' han's is sholy fine.
Seems lak dat 's de weddin' sign.
Wish you 'd say dat you 'd be mine;--
Dah you been daihin' me.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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