Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Li'L' Gal (1904)

Li'L' Gal

Illustrated with photographs by
Leigh Richmond Miner
of the Hampton Institute Camera Club
Decorations by Margaret Armstrong

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright 1896, 1899, 1903, and 1904

When Sam'l Sings

Hyeah dat singin' in de medders
Whaih de folks is mekin' hay?
Wo'k is pretty middlin' heavy
Fu' a man to be so gay.
You kin tell dey's somep'n special
F'om de canter o' de song;
Somep'n sholy pleasin' Sam'l,
W'en he singin' all day long.

Hyeahd him wa'blin' 'way dis mo'nin'
'Fo' 't was light enough to see.
Seem lak music in de evenin'
Allus good enough fu' me.
But dat man commenced to hollah
'Fo' he'd even washed his face;
Would you b'lieve, de scan'lous rascal
Woke de birds erroun' de place?

Sam'l took a trip a-Sad'day;
Dressed hisse'f in all he had,
Tuk a cane an' went a-strollin',
Lookin' mighty pleased an' glad.
Some folks don' know whut de mattah,
But I do, you bet yo' life;
Sam'l smilin' an' a-singin'
'Case he been to see his wife.

She live on de fu' plantation,
Twenty miles erway er so;
But huh man is mighty happy
W'en he git de chanst to go.
Walkin' allus ain' de nices' --
Mo'nin' fin's him on de way --
But he allus comes back smilin',
Lak his pleasure was his pay.

Den he do a heap o' talkin'
Do' he mos'ly kin' o' still,
But de wo'ds, dey gits to runnin'
Lak de watah fu' a mill.
"Whut's de use o' havin' trouble,
Whut's de use o' havin' strife?"
Dat's de way dis Sam'l preaches
W'en he been to see his wife.

An' I reckon I git jealous,
Fu' I laff an' joke an' sco'n,
An' I say, "Oh, go on, Sam'l,
Des go on, an' blow yo' ho'n."
But I know dis comin' Sad'day,
Dey'll be brighter days in life;
An' I 'll be ez glad ez Sam'l
W'en I go to see my wife.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Li'L' Gal, Lyrics of Love and Laughter

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