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Candle-Lightin' Time (1901)
Illustrated with photographs by
Leigh Richmond Miner
of the Hampton Institute Camera Club
Decorations by Margaret Armstrong, New York
To my friend Mrs. Fitzgerald
First published by Dodd, Mead and Company
University Press, John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, USA
A Spring Wooing
Come on walkin' wid me, Lucy; 't ain't no time to mope erroun'
W'en de sunshine's shoutin' glory in de sky,
An' de little Johnny-Jump-Ups's jes' a-springin' f'om de groun',
Den a-lookin' roun' to ax each othah w'y.
Don' you hyeah dem cows a-mooin'? Dat's dey howdy to de spring;
Ain' dey lookin' most oncommon satisfied?
Hit's enough to mek a body want to spread dey mouf an' sing
Jes' to see de critters all so spa'klin'-eyed.
W'y dat squir'l dat jes'run past us, ef I did n' know his tricks,
I could swaih he 'd got 'uligion jes' to-day;
An' dem liza'rds slippin' back an' fofe ermong de stones an' sticks
Is a-wigglin' 'cause dey feel so awful gay.
Oh, I see yo' eyes a-shinin' dough you try to mek me b'lieve
Dat you ain' so monst'ous happy 'cause you come;
But I tell you dis hyeah weathah meks it moughty ha'd to 'ceive
Ef a body's soul ain' blin' an' deef an' dumb.
Robin whistlin' ovah yandah ez he buil' his little nes';
Whut you reckon dat he sayin' to his mate?
He's a-sayin' dat he love huh in de wo'ds she know de bes',
An' she lookin' moughty pleased at whut he state.
Now, Miss Lucy, dat ah rabin sholy got his sheer o' sense,
An' de hen-bird got huh mothah-wit fu' true;
So I t'ink ef you'll ixcuse me, fu' I do' mean no erfence,
Dey 's a lesson in dem birds fu' me an' you.
I 's a-buil'in' o' my cabin, an' I 's vines erbove de do'
Fu' to kin' o' gin it sheltah f'om de sun;
Gwine to have a little kitchen wid a reg'lar wooden flo',
An' dey 'll be a back verandy w'en hit 's done.
I 's a-waitin fu' you, Lucy, tek de 'zample o' de birds,
Dat 's a-lovin an' a-matin' evahwhaih.
I cain' tell you dat I loves you in de robin's music wo'ds,
But my cabin's talkin' fu' me ovah thaih!