Paul Laurence Dunbar

Li'l' Gal

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

Oh, de weathah it is balmy an' de breeze is sighin' low.
Li'l' gal,
An' de mockin' bird is singin' in de locus' by de do',
Li'l' gal;
Dere 's a hummin' an' a bummin' in de lan' f'om eas' to wes',
I 's a-sighin' fu' you, honey, an' I nevah know no res'.
Fu' dey 's lots o' trouble brewin' an' a-stewin' in my breas',
Li'l' gal.

Whut 's de mattah wid de weathah, whut's de mattah wid de breeze,
Li'l' gal?
Whut 's de mattah wid de locus' dat 's a-singin' in de trees,
Li'l' gal?
W'y dey knows dey ladies love 'em, an' dey knows dey love 'em true,
An' dey love 'em back, I reckon, des' lak I 's a-lovin' you;
Dat 's de reason dey 's a-weavin' an' a-sighin', thoo an' thoo,
Li'l' gal.

Don't you let no da'ky fool you 'cause de clo'es he waihs is fine,
Li'l' gal.
Dey 's a hones' hea't a-beatin' unnerneaf dese rags o' mine,
Li'l' gal.
Cose dey ain' no use in mockin' whut de birds an' weathah do,
But I 's so'y I cain't 'spress it w'en I knows I loves you true,
Dat 's de reason I 's a-sighin' an' a-singin now fu' you,
Li'l' gal.