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

De Dog-Drivers' Frien'




Stay your hasty hands, my comrades,
   I must speak to you again,
For you beat de dog 'dout mussey,
   An' dey are we night time frien'.
Treat dem kindly, treat dem kindly,
   For they are God's creatures, too:
You have no more claim dear comrades, 
   On de earth than what dey do.

'Cos you locked him up in barracks
   T'rough some fallin' point o' his,
You must' beatin' him so badly
   For de little carelessness?
Treat dem kindly, treat dem kindly,
   For they are God's creatures, too. 
You have no more claim, dear comrades, 
   On de earth than what dey do. 

When de hours are cold an' dreary,
   An' I'm posted on me beat,
An' me tired heavy body
   Weighs upon me weary feet,
Oftentimes dem come aroun' me
   Wid' dem free an' trustin' soul,
Lyin' do'n or gambolling near me
   Wide a tender sort o' gro'l.:

An' I snap my fingers at them,
   While dey wag dem tail at me;
Can you wonder that I love them,
   Them, me night-time company?
Treat dem kindly, treat dem kindly,
   For they are God's creatures, too;
You have no more claim, dear comrades,
   On de earth than what dey do.

Sometimes dey're a bit too noisy
   Wid deir long leave-taking bark;
But I tell you what, it cheers me
   When de nights are extra dark.

So dear comrades, don't illtreat him,
   You won't mek me talk in vain;
'Member, when the hours are dreary,
   He's do poor dog-drivers' frien'.
Treat dem kindly, treat dem kindly,
   For dey are God's creatures, too;
You have no more claim, dear comrades,
   On de earth than what dey do.

 

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  1. The Work of a Gifted Jamaican (Upper half)
  2. The Work of a Gifted Jamaican (Lower half)