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by Paul Laurence Dunbar


I been t’inkin’ ‘bout de preachah; whut
he said de othah night,
‘Bout hit bein’ people’s dooty fu’ to keep
dey faces bright;
How one ought to live so pleasant dat ouah
tempah never riles,
Meetin’ evahbody roun’ us wid ouah very
nicest smiles.

Dat’s all right, I ain’t a-sputin, not a t’ing
dat soun’s lak fac’,
But you don’t ketch folks a-grinnin, wid a
misery in de back;
An you don’t fin’ dem a-smilin’ w’en dey ‘s
hongry ez kin be,
Leastways, dat’s how human natur’ allus
seems to ‘pear to me.
We is mo’ all putty likely fu’ to have our
little cares,
An’ I think we’se doin’ fu’ rate w’en we
jes go long and bears,
Without breakin’ up ouah faces in a sickly so’t
o’ grin,
W’en we knows dat in ouah innards we is
p’intly mad ez sin.

Oh dey’s times fu’ bein’ pleasant an’ fu’ goin’
smilin’ roun’,
‘Cause I don’t believe in people allus totin’
roun’ a frown,
But it’s easy ‘nough to titter w’en de stew is
smokin’ hot,
But hit’s mighty ha’d to giggle w’en dey’s
nuffin’ in de pot.

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