The Memory of Martha

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by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Out in de night a sad bird moans,
An’, oh, but hit ‘s moughty lonely;
Times I kin sing, but mos’ I groans,
Fu’ oh, but hit ‘s moughty lonely!
Is you sleepin’ well dis evenin’, Marfy,
W’en I calls you f’om de cabin, kin you
‘T ain’t de same ol’ place to me,
Nuffin’ ‘s lak hit used to be,
W’en I knowed dat you was allus some’ers near.
Down by the road de shadders grows,An’, oh, but hit ‘s moughty lonely;Seem lak de ve’y moonlight knows,An’, oh, but hit ‘s moughty lonely!Does you know, I’s cryin’ fu’ you, oh, my wife?Does you know dey ain’t no joy no mo’ in life?An’ my only t’ought is dis, Dat I’s honin’ fu’ de bliss Fu’ to quit dis groun’ o’ worriment an’ strife.Dah on de baid my banjo lays, An’, oh, but hit ‘s moughty lonely; Can’t even sta’t a chune o’ praise, An’, oh, but hit ‘s moughty lonely! Oh, hit ‘s moughty slow a-waitin’ hyeah below. Is you watchin’ fu’ me, Marfy, at de do’? Ef you is, in spite o’ sin, Dey ‘ll be sho’ to let me in, W’en dey seesyo’ face a-shinin’, den dey ‘ll know.

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