Paul Laurence Dunbar

Explore the Books

Howdy Honey Howdy (1905)

Howdy Honey Howdy

Illustrated with photographs by Leigh Richond Miner
Decorations by Will Jenkins

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright 1896, 1899, 1903, and 1905

Puttin' The Baby Away

Eight of 'em hyeah all tol' an' yet
Dese eyes o' mine is wringin' wet;
My haht's a-achin' ha'd an' so',
De way hit nevah ached befo';
My soul's a-pleadin', "Lawd give back
Dis little lonesome baby black,
Dis one, dis las' po' he'pless one
Whose little race was too soon run."

Po' Little Jim, des fo' yeahs' ol'
A-layin' down so still an' col'.
Somehow hit don' seem haidly faih,
To have my baby lyin' daih
Wi'dout a smile upon his face,
Wi'dout a look erbout de de place;
He ust to be so full o' fun
Hit don' seem right dat all's done, done.

Des eight in all but I don' caih,
Dey wa'nt a single one to spaih;
De worl' was big, so was hy haht,
An' dis hyeah baby owned hit's paht;
De house was po', dey clothes was rough,
But daih was meat an' meal enough;
An' daih was room fu' little Jim;
Oh! Lawd, what made you call fu' him?

It do seem monst'ous ha'd to-day,
To lay dis baby boy away;
I'd learn to love his teasin' smile,
He mought o' des been lef' erwhile;
You wouldn't t'ought wid all de folks,
Dat's roun' hyeah mixin' teahs an' jokes,
De Lawd u'd had de time to see
Dis chile an' tek him 'way f'om me.

But let it go, I reckon Jim,
'll des go right straight up to Him
Dat took him f'om his mammy's nest
An' lef' dis achin' in my breas',
An' lookin' in dat fathah's face
An' 'memberin' dis lone sorrerin' place,
He'll say, "Good Lawd, you ought to had
Do sumpin' fu' to comfo't dad!"

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Howdy Honey Howdy, Lyrics Of Sunshine and Shadow

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435. Phone: (937) 775-2525