Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Snowin' Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Dey is snow upon de meddahs, dey is snow upon de hill,
An' de little branch's watahs is all glistenin' an' still;
De win' goes roun' de cabin lak a sperrit wan'erin' 'roun'.
An' de chillen shakes an' shivahs as dey listen to de soun'.
Dey is hick'ry in de fiahplace, whah de blaze is risin' high,
But de heat it meks ain't wa'min' up de gray clouds in de sky.
Now an' den I des peep outside, den I hurries to de do',
Lawd a mussy on my body, how I wish it would n't snow!

I kin stan' de hottes' summah, I kin stan' de wettes' fall,
I kin stan' de chilly springtime in de ploughland, but dat's all;
Fu' de ve'y hottes' fiah nevah tells my skin a t'ing,
W'en de snow commence a-flyin', an' de win' begin to sing.
Dey is plenty wood erroun' us, an' I chop an' tote it in,
But de t'oughts dat I 's a t'inkin' while I 's wo'kin' is a sin.
I kin keep f'om downright swahin' all de time I 's on de go,
But my hea't is full o' cuss-wo'ds w'en I's trampin' thoo de snow.

What you say, you Lishy Davis, dat you see a possum's tracks?
Look hyeah, boy, you stop yo' foolin', bring ol' Spot, an' bring de ax.
Is I col'? Go way, now, Mandy, what you t'ink I's made of?--sho,
W'y dis win' is des ez gentle, an' dis ain't no kin' o' snow.
Dis hyeah weathah 's des ez healthy ez de wa'mest summah days.
All you chillen step up lively, pile on wood an' keep a blaze.
What's de use o' gittin' skeery case dey 's snow upon de groun'?
Huh-uh, I 's a reg'lar snowbird ef dey 's any possum 'roun'.

Go on, Spot, don' be so foolish; don' you see de signs o' feet.
What you howlin' fu? Keep still, suh, cose de col' is putty sweet;
But we goin' out on bus'ness, an' hit 's bus'ness o' de kin'
Dat mus' put a dog an' dahky in a happy frame o' min'.
Yes, you 's col'; I know it, Spotty, but you des stay close to me,
An' I 'll mek you hot ez cotton w'en we strikes de happy tree.
No, I don' lak wintah weathah, an' I 'd wush 't uz allus June,
Ef it was n't fu' de trackin' o' de possum an' de coon.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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