Little Brown Baby Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Little Brown Baby

Rating: 3.0

Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
Come to yo' pappy an' set on his knee.
What you been doin', suh - makin' san' pies?
Look at dat bib - you's es du'ty ez me.
Look at dat mouf - dat's merlasses, I bet;
Come hyeah, Maria, an' wipe off his han's.
Bees gwine to ketch you an' eat you up yit,
Bein' so sticky an sweet - goodness lan's!
Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes,
Who's pappy's darlin' an' who's pappy's chile?
Who is it all de day nevah once tries
Fu' to be cross, er once loses dat smile?
Whah did you git dem teef? My, you's a scamp!
Whah did dat dimple come f'om in yo' chin?
Pappy do' know you - I b'lieves you's a tramp;
Mammy, dis hyeah's some ol' straggler got in!

Let's th'ow him outen de do' in de san',
We do' want stragglers a-layin' 'roun' hyeah;
Let's gin him 'way to de big buggah-man;
I know he's hidin' erroun' hyeah right neah.
Buggah-man, buggah-man, come in de do',
Hyeah's a bad boy you kin have fu' to eat.
Mammy an' pappy do' want him no mo',
Swaller him down f'om his haid to his feet!

Dah, now, I t'ought dat you'd hug me up close.
Go back, ol' buggah, you sha'n't have dis boy.
He ain't no tramp, ner no straggler, of co'se;
He's pappy's pa'dner an' play-mate an' joy.
Come to you' pallet now - go to yo' res';
Wisht you could allus know ease an' cleah skies;
Wisht you could stay jes' a chile on my breas'-
Little brown baby wif spa'klin' eyes!

Little Brown Baby
Natalie 12 February 2020

I heard a reference of this from a preacher from NY. Every since then, it made me think of my nephew, Tyshawn. He was the complete description of this poem. Now I have grandchildren that still remind me of this poem.

1 0 Reply
Musehfa 24 June 2018


1 0 Reply
Joey Valenzuela 23 September 2009

yeahehe..'tis paul's childhoo' though... and he's grea' too.. love's po'ms....hehe

3 1 Reply
Mavis Johnson 24 December 2006

Brings back memories of the PWS days.

3 3 Reply
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Ohio / United States
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