Paul Laurence Dunbar

Explore the Books

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

A Florida Night

Win' a-blowin' gentle so de san' lay low
San' a little heavy f'om de rain,
All de pa'ams a-wavin' an' a-weavin' slow,
Sighin' lak a sinnah-soul in pain.
Alligator grinnin' by de ol' lagoon,
Mockin'-bird a-singin' to be big full moon,
'Skeeter go a-skimmin' to his fightin' chune
(Lizy Ann's a-waitin' in de lane!).

Moccasin a-sleepin' in de cyprus swamp;
Need n't wake de gent'man, not fu' me.
Mule, you need n't wake him w'en you switch an' stomp,
Fightin' off a 'skeeter er a flea.
Florida is lovely, she's de fines' lan'
Evah seed de sunlight f'om de Mastah's han',
'Ceptin' fu' de varmints an' huh fleas an' san'
An' de nights w'en Lizy Ann ain' free.

Moon's a-kinder shaddered on de melon patch;
No one ain't a-watchin' ez I go.
Climbin' of de fence so's not to click de latch
Meks my gittin' in a little slow
Watermelon smilin' as it say, "I's free;"
Alligator boomin', but I let him be,
Florida, oh, Florida's de lan' fu' me--
(Lizy Ann a-singin' sweet an' low).

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Li'L' Gal, Lyrics of Love and Laughter

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