Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896)

Lyrics of Lowly Life

With an introduction by W.D. Howells

First published by Dodd, Mead and Company

Copyright 1895 and 1896

Lonesome

Mother's gone a-visitin' to spend a month er two,
An' oh, the house is lonesome ez a nest whose birds has flew
To other trees to build agin; the rooms seem jest so bare
That the echoes run like sperrits from the kitchen to the stair.
The shetters flap more lazy-like 'n what they ust to do,
Sence mother's gone a-visitin' to spend a month er two.

We've killed the fattest chicken an' we've cooked her to a turn;
We've made the richest gravy, but I jist don't give a durn
Fur nothin' 'at I drink er eat, er nothin' 'at I see.
The food ain't got the pleasant taste it used to have to me.
They's somep'n' stickin' in my throat ez tight ez hardened glue,
Sence mother's gone a-visitin' to spend a month er two.

The holly-hocks air jest ez pink, they're double ones at that,
An' I wuz prouder of 'em than a baby of a cat.
But now I don't go near 'em, tho' they nod an' blush at me,
Fur they's somep'n' seems to gall me in their keerless sort o' glee
An' all their fren'ly noddin' an' their blushin' seems to say:
"You're purty lonesome, John, old boy, sence mother's gone away."

The neighbors ain't so fren'ly ez it seems they'd ort to be;
They seem to be a-lookin' kinder sideways like at me,
A-kinder feared they'd tech me off ez ef I wuz a match,
An' all because 'at mother's gone an' I'm a-keepin' batch!
I'm shore I don't do nothin' worse 'n what I ust to do
Fore mother went a-visitin' to spend a month er two.

The sparrers ac's more fearsome like an' won't hop quite so near,
The cricket's chirp is sadder an' the sky ain't ha'f so clear;
When ev'nin' comes, I set an' smoke tell my eyes begin to swim,
An' things aroun' commence to look all blurred, an faint an' dim.
Well, I guess I'll have to own up 'at I'm feelin' purty blue
Sence mother's gone a-visitin' to spend a month er two.

This poem appears in the following book(s):

Lyrics of Lowly Life, Majors and Minors

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