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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938).  The Book of American Negro Poetry.  1922.
 
Lover’s Lane
 
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906)
 
 
SUMMAH night an’ sighin’ breeze,
  ’Long de lovah’s lane;
Frien’ly, shadder-mekin’ trees,
  ’Long de lovah’s lane.
White folks’ wo’k all done up gran’—        5
Me an’ ’Mandy han’-in-han’
Struttin’ lak we owned de lan’,
  ’Long de lovah’s lane.
 
Owl a-settin’ ’side de road,
  ’Long de lovah’s lane,        10
Lookin’ at us lak he knowed
  Dis uz lovah’s lane.
Go on, hoot yo’ Mou’nful tune,
You ain’ nevah loved in June,
An’ come hidin’ f’om de moon        15
  Down in lovah’s lane.
 
Bush it ben’ an’ nod an’ sway,
  Down in lovah’s lane,
Try’n’ to hyeah me whut I say
  ’Long de lovah’s lane.        20
But I whispahs low lak dis,
An’ my ’Mandy smile huh bliss—
Mistah Bush he shek his fis’,
  Down in lovah’s lane.
 
Whut I keer ef day is long,        25
  Down in lovah’s lane.
I kin allus sing a song
  ’Long de lovah’s lane.
An’ de wo’ds I hyeah an’ say
Meks up fu’ de weary day        30
Wen I’s strollin’ by de way,
  Down in lovah’s lane.
 
An’ dis t’ought will allus rise
  Down in lovah’s lane;
Wondah whethah in de skies        35
  Dey’s a lovah’s lane.
Ef dey ain’t, I tell you true,
’Ligion do look mighty blue,
’Cause I do’ know whut I’d do
  ’Dout a lovah’s lane.        40
 

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