In The Morning

'LIAS! 'Lias! Bless de Lawd!
Don' you know de day's erbroad?
Ef you don' git up, you scamp,
Dey'll be trouble in dis camp.
Tink I gwine to let you sleep
W'ile I meks yo' boa'd an' keep?
Dat's a putty howdy-do-
Don' you hyeah me, 'Lias -you?

Bet ef I come crost dis flo'
You won’ fin’ no time to sno'
Daylight all a-shinin’ in
W'ile you sleep -w'y hit's a sin!
Aint de can'le-light enough
To bu'n out widout a snuff,
But you go de mo'nin' thoo
Bu'nin' up de daylight too?

'Lias, don’ you hyeah me call?
No use tu'nin' to'ds de wall;
I kin hyeah dat mattuss squeak;
Don' you hyeah me w’en I speak?
Dis hyeah clock done struck off six-
Ca'line, bring me dem ah sticks!
Oh, you down, suh; huh, you down-
Look hyeah, don' you daih to frown.

Ma'ch yo'se'f an wash yo' face,
Don' you splattah all de place;
I got somep'n else to do,
'Sides jes' cleanin' aftah you.
Tek dat comb an' fix yo' haid!-
Looks jes’ lak a feddah baid.
Look hyeah, boy, I let you see
You sha' n't roll yo' eyes at me.

Come hyeah; bring me dat ah strap!
Boy, I'll whup you 'twell you drap;
You done felt yo’se’f too strong,
An' you sholy got me wrong.
Set down at dat table thaih;
Jes' you whimpah ef you daih!
Evah mo'nin' on dis place,
Seem lak I mus' lose my grace.

Fol' yo' han's an' bow yo' haid-
Wait ontwell de blessin' 's said;
'Lawd, have mussy on ouah souls-'
(Don' you daih to tech dem rolls-)
'Bless de food we gwine to eat-'
(You set still -I see yo' feet;
You jes' try dat trick agin!)
'Gin us peace an' joy. Amen!'

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Comments (6)

I have always had my students to learn this poem along with other Black poetry. A great poem
I love this poem i always have Every since i 1st heard my sister practicing before i started schoo
The first poem taught by my mother. Yahweh keep us.
In 6th grade (2004) , our teacher had us do a project where we had to recite poems.My mom had a book of Langston Hughes poems and we chose this one! I remember being excited, raising my hand to go first, and getting a standing ovation from the class and having to do an encore. I performed it for my family at the next gathering and everyone loved it. Now I'm 25 and can still remember every word. I should perform it for the family again soon.
When I was in the 6th grade ('51) I had a classmate who would regularly recite this poem verbatim from memory. And 'tho I'd never seen or heard it since, I've never forgotten it. Now, having found it, I know why.
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