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The News

Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872 (Dayton) – 1906



Whut dat you whisperin' keepin' f'om me?
Don't shut me out 'cause I 's ol' an' can't see.
Somep'n's gone wrong dat 's a-causin' you dread,--
Don't be afeared to tell--Whut! mastah dead?

Somebody brung de news early to-day,--
One of de sojers he led, do you say?
Did n't he foller whah ol' mastah lead?
How kin he live w'en his leadah is dead?

Let me lay down awhile, dah by his bed;
I wants to t'ink,--hit ain't cleah in my head:--
Killed while a-leadin' his men into fight,--
Dat 's whut you said, ain't it, did I hyeah right?

Mastah, my mastah, dead dah in de fiel'?
Lif me up some,--dah, jes' so I kin kneel.
I was too weak to go wid him, dey said,
Well, now I 'll--fin' him--so--mastah is dead.

Yes, suh, I 's comin' ez fas' ez I kin,--
Twas kin' o' da'k, but hit 's lightah agin:
P'omised yo' pappy I 'd allus tek keer
Of you,--yes, mastah,--I 's follerin',--hyeah!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar was a seminal American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 Lyrics of a Lowly Life one poem in the collection being Ode to Ethiopia more…

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    "The News" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/28923/the-news>.

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