The Poetry Corner


By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Who dat knockin' at de do'? Why, Ike Johnson,--yes, fu' sho! Come in, Ike. I 's mighty glad You come down. I t'ought you 's mad At me 'bout de othah night, An' was stayin' 'way fu' spite. Say, now, was you mad fu' true Wen I kin' o' laughed at you? Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f. 'T ain't no use a-lookin' sad, An' a-mekin' out you 's mad; Ef you 's gwine to be so glum, Wondah why you evah come. I don't lak nobidy 'roun' Dat jes' shet dey mouf an' frown,-- Oh, now, man, don't act a dunce! Cain't you talk? I tol' you once, Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f. Wha 'd you come hyeah fu' to-night? Body 'd t'ink yo' haid ain't right. I 's done all dat I kin do,-- Dressed perticler, jes' fu' you; Reckon I 'd 'a' bettah wo' My ol' ragged calico. Aftah all de pains I 's took, Cain't you tell me how I look? Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f. Bless my soul! I 'mos' fu'got Tellin' you 'bout Tildy Scott. Don't you know, come Thu'sday night, She gwine ma'y Lucius White? Miss Lize say I allus wuh Heap sight laklier 'n huh; An' she 'll git me somep'n new, Ef I wants to ma'y too. Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f. I could ma'y in a week, Ef de man I wants 'ud speak. Tildy's presents 'll be fine, But dey would n't ekal mine. Him whut gits me fu' a wife 'Ll be proud, you bet yo' life. I 's had offers; some ain't quit; But I has n't ma'ied yit! Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f. Ike, I loves you,--yes, I does; You 's my choice, and allus was. Laffin' at you ain't no harm.-- Go 'way, dahky, whah 's yo' arm? Hug me closer--dah, dat 's right! Was n't you a awful sight, Havin' me to baig you so? Now ax whut you want to know,-- Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f!