Puttin' The Baby Away

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by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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EIGHT of 'em hyeah all tol' an' yet
Dese eyes o' mine is wringin' wet;
My haht's a-achin' ha'd an' so',
De way hit nevah ached befo';

My soul's a-pleadin', "Lawd, give
back
Dis little lonesome baby black,
Dis one, dis las' po' he'pless one,
Whose little race was too soon run."

Po' Little Jim, des fo' yeahs ol'
A-layin' down so still an' col'.
Somehow hit don' seem ha'dly faih,
To have my baby layin' daih
Wi'dout a smile upon his face,
Wi'dout a look erbout de place;
He ust to be so full o' fun,
Hit don' seem right dat all's done,
done.
Des eight in all, but I don' caih,
Dey wa'nt a single one to spaih;
De worl' was big, so was my haht,
An' dis hyeah baby owned hit's
paht;
De house was po', dey clothes was
rough,
but daih was meat an' meal enough;
An' daih was room fu' little Jim;
Oh! Lawd, what made you call fu'
him?

It do seem monst'ous ha'd to-day,
To lay dis baby boy away;
I'd lu'ned to love his teasin' smile,
He mought o' des been lef' erwhile;
You would n't t'ought wid all de
folks
Dat's roun' hyeah mixin' teahs an'
jokes,
De Lawd u'd had de time to see
Dis chile an' tek him 'way f'om me.

But let it go, I reckon Jim
'Ll des go right straight up to Him
Dat took him f'om his mammy's nes'
An' lef' dis achin' in my breas',
An' lookin' in dat fathah's face
An' 'memberin' dis lone sorrerin'

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