Dely

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Dely
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

            DELY

Jes' lak toddy wahms you thoo'
  Sets yo' haid a reelin',
Meks you ovah good and new,
  Dat 's de way I 's feelin'.
Seems to me hit 's summah time,
  Dough hit 's wintah reely,
I 's a feelin' jes' dat prime—
  An' huh name is Dely.

Dis hyeah love 's a cu'rus thing,
  Changes 'roun' de season,
Meks you sad or meks you sing,
  'Dout no urfly reason.
Sometimes I go mopin' 'roun',
  Den agin I 's leapin';
Sperits allus up an' down
  Even when I 's sleepin'.

Fu' de dreams comes to me den,
  An' dey keeps me pitchin',
Lak de apple dumplin's w'en
  Bilin' in de kitchen.
Some one sot to do me hahm,
  Tryin' to ovahcome me,
Ketchin' Dely by de ahm
  So 's to tek huh f'om me.

Mon, you bettah b'lieve I fights
  (Dough hit's on'y seemin');
I's a hittin' fu' my rights
  Even w'en I 's dreamin'.
But I 'd let you have 'em all,
  Give 'em to you freely,
Good an' bad ones, great an' small,
  So 's you leave me Dely.

Dely got dem meltin' eyes,
  Big an' black an' tendah.
Dely jes' a lady-size,
  Delikit an' slendah.
Dely brown ez brown kin be
  An' huh haih is curly;
Oh, she look so sweet to me,—
  Bless de precious girlie!

Dely brown ez brown kin be,
  She ain' no mullatter;
She pure cullud,—don' you see
  Dat 's jes' whut 's de mattah?
Dat 's de why I love huh so,
  D' ain't no mix about huh,
Soon 's you see huh face you know
  D' ain't no chanst to doubt huh.

Folks dey go to chu'ch an' pray
  So 's to git a blessin'.
Oomph, dey bettah come my way,
  Dey could lu'n a lesson.
Sabbaf day I don' go fu',
  Jes' to see my pigeon;
I jes' sets an' looks at huh,
  Dat's enuff 'uligion.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.