Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital Collection

Beneath the Yampy Shade

[Footnote on Title: "Yampy"]

WE sit beneat' de yampy shade,
   My lee sweetheart an' I; 
De gully ripples 'cross de glade,
   Tom Rafflins hurry by.

Her pa an' ma about de fiel'
   Are brukin' sugar-pine;
An' plenty, plenty is de yiel',
   Dem look so pink an' fine.

We listen to a rapturous chune
   Outpourin' from above;
De swee-swees, blithesome birds of June,
   They sing to us of love.

She plays wid de triangle leaves,
   Her hand within mine slips;
She murmurs love, her bosom heaves,
   I kiss her ripe, ripe lips. 

De cockstones raise deir droopin' heads
   To view her pretty feet;
De skellions trimble in deir beds,
   Dey grudge our Iub so sweet --

Love sweeter than a bridal dream,
   A mudder's fondest kiss
Love purer than a crystal stream,
   De height of eart'ly bliss.

We hear again de swee-swees' song
   Outpourin' on de air;
Dey sing for yout', an' we are young
   An' know naught 'bouten care.

We sit beneat' de yampy shade,
   We pledge our hearts anew;
De swee-swees droop, de bell-flowers fade
   Before our love so true. 

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