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

Charity

Now you, John Henry, 'tain't no use
To stan' up daih an' mak no 'scuse.
You needn't tink you foolin' me,
I sutny has got eyes to see!
Oh I's yo' sistah, yes, dat's true;
But den what good's dat gwine to do?
Dey ain't no use in tellin' lies,
You look right sheepish f'om yo' eyes!

Let's see yo' han's, uh huh, I knowed
You washed 'em, but de traces showed.
Let's see yo' mouf; hit looks lak ink--
Yo' sistah cain't tell 'serves, you tink.
Oh my, but yo's a naughty chile,
I has to look at you one while;
You needn't twis' in all dem curves,
To tink you'd stole yo' ma's pusserves.

Ef I tol' ma I guess you'd git
The fines' whuppin' evah yit;
But guess I'll keep it to myse'f
Erbout dat jah erpon de she'f;
Case ma's des awful w'en she stahts,
An' my, oh, how a whuppin' smahts!
So you clomb up? Oh, she'd be madder!
Say, tell me whaih you put de ladder.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Li'L' Gal

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