A Plantation Portrait


Hain't you see my Mandy Lou,
  Is it true?
Whaih you been f'om day to day,
  Whaih, I say?
Dat you say you nevah seen
  Dis hyeah queen
Walkin' roun' f'om fiel' to street
  Smilin' sweet?

Slendah ez a saplin' tree;
  Seems to me
Wen de win' blow f'om de bay
  She jes' sway
Lak de reg'lar saplin' do
  Ef hit's grew
Straight an' graceful, 'dout a limb,
  Sweet an' slim.

Browner den de frush's wing,
  An' she sing
Lak he mek his wa'ble ring
  In de spring;
But she sholy beat de frush,
  Hyeah me, hush:
Wen she sing, huh teef kin show
  White ez snow.

Eyes ez big an' roun' an' bright
  Ez de light
Whut de moon gives in de prime
  Harvest time.
An' huh haih a woolly skein,
  Black an' plain.
Hol's you wid a natchul twis'
  Close to bliss.

Tendah han's dat mek yo' own
  Feel lak stone;
Easy steppin', blessid feet,
  Small an' sweet.
Hain't you seen my Mandy Lou,
  Is it true?
Look at huh befo' she's gone,
  Den pass on!

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.