African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Paul Laurence Dunbar, "A Plea" (1901)

Treat me nice, Miss Mandy Jane,
      Treat me nice.
Dough my love has tu'ned my brain,
      Treat me nice.
I ain't done a t'ing to shame,
Lovahs all ac's jes' de same;
Don't you know we ain't to blame?
     Treat me nice!

Cose I know I 's talkin' wild;
      Treat me nice;
I cain't talk no bettah, child,
      Treat me nice;
Whut a pusson gwine to do,
Wen he come a-cou'tin' you
All a-trimblin' thoo and thoo?
      Please be nice.

Reckon I mus' go de paf
      Othahs do:
Lovahs lingah, ladies laff;
      Mebbe you
Do' mean all the things you say,
An' pu'haps some latah day
W'en I baig you ha'd, you may
      Treat me nice!

Published in Lyrics of Love and Laughter
Also published in Colored American Magazine, April 1901

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