Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Lyrics of Love and Laughter (1903)

Lyrics of Love and Laughter

Dedicated to Miss Catherine Impey

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company
University Press, John Wilson and Son, Cambridge USA

Copyright 1903

Reluctance

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 day 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.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Li'L' Gal, Lyrics of Love and Laughter

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