Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

The Memory Of Martha - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

OUT in de night a sad bird moans,
An', oh, but hit's moughty lonely;
Times I kin sing, but mos' I groans,
Fu' oh, but hit's moughty lonely!
Is you sleepin' well dis evenin', Marfy, deah?
W'en I calls you f'om de cabin, kin you hyeah?
'T ain't de same ol' place to me,
Nuffin' 's lak hit used to be,
W'en I knowed dat you was allus some'ers near.
Down by de road de shadders grows,
An', oh, but hit's moughty lonely;
Seem lak de ve'y moonlight knows,
An', oh, but hit's moughty lonely!
Does you know, I's cryin' fu' you, oh, my wife?
Does you know dey ain't no joy no mo' in life?
An' my only t'ought is dis,
Dat I's honin' fu' de bliss
Fu' to quit dis groun' o' worriment an' strife.
Dah on de baid my banjo lays,
An', oh, but hit's moughty lonely;
Can't even sta't a chune o' praise,
An', oh, but hit's moughty lonely!
Oh, hit's moughty slow a-waitin' hyeah below.
Is you watchin' fu' me, Marfy, at de do'?
Ef you is, in spite o' sin,
Dey'll be sho' to let me in,
W'en dey sees yo' face a-shinin', den dey'll know.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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