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In the Morning Analysis

Author: Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar Type: Poetry Views: 1108

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'Lias! 'Lias! Bless de Lawd!

Don' you know de day's erbroad?

Ef you don' git up, you scamp,

Dey'll be trouble in dis camp.

T'ink I gwine to let you sleep

W'ile I meks yo' boa'd an' keep?

Dat's a putty howdy-do--

Don' you hyeah me, 'Lias--you?

Bet ef I come crost dis flo'

You won' fin' no time to sno'.

Daylight all a-shinin' in

W'ile you sleep--w'y hit's a sin!

Ain't de can'le-light enough

To bu'n out widout a snuff,

But you go de mo'nin' thoo

Bu'nin' up de daylight too?

'Lias, don' you hyeah me call?

No use tu'nin' to'ds de wall;

I kin hyeah dat mattuss squeak;

Don' you hyeah me w'en I speak?

Dis hyeah clock done struck off six--

Ca'line, bring me dem ah sticks!

Oh, you down, suh; huh, you down--

Look hyeah, don' you daih to frown.

Ma'ch you'se'f an' wash yo' face,

Don' you splattah all de place;

I got somep'n else to do,

'Sides jes' cleanin' aftah you.

Tek dat comb an' fix yo' haid--

Looks je' lak a feddah baid.

Look hyeah, boy, I let you see

You sha'n't roll yo' eyes at me.

Come hyeah; bring me dat ah strap!

Boy, I'll whup you 'twell you drap;

You done felt yo'se'f' too strong,

An' you sholy got me wrong.

Set down at dat table thaih;

Jes' you whimpah ef you daih!

Evah mo'nin' on dis place,

Seem lak I mus' lose my grace.

Fol' yo' han's an' bow yo' haid--

Wait ontwell de blessin' 's said;

"Lawd, have mussy on ouah souls--

(Don' you daih to tech dem rolls--)

"Bless de food we gwine to eat--"

(You set still--I see yo' feet;

You jes' try dat trick agin!)

"Gin us peace an' joy. Amen!"


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I grew up in the Altgeld Garden housing development in Chicago in between 1958 and 1966. When I was around three or four years old, this was one of the poems mama would read to me almost every night from the Complete Works of Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Surprisingly, I can STILL hear her reciting it (in dialect) just as clearly as I did nearly 50 years ago.

| Posted on 2008-02-08 | by a guest

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