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


Author's Note

CAN you leave me so, my Dan,
Can you leave you' little Fan
'Ter all o' me lub fe you?--
An' my heart is still true, true.
Can you leave me, leave me so,
Full me heart wid grief an' woe,
Leave me to a bitter fate,
When I'm in dis awful state?
'Member you de days gone by
When for me you said you'd die?
How you let me see you' heart,
Vowing we could never part?
'Member you my foolish pride
When we be'n up mountain-side?
How you go do'n 'pon you' knee,
Sayin' you'd be true to me?
An' I followed you away
Do'n to dis ya dreary bay;
Fool to lef me mudder's home,
When she said me shouldn' come!
Now, sake ob a to'n-bred miss,
You mus' treat me laka dis!
Tramplin' me under you' feet,
Tu'nin' me out in de street.
Will she warm you when you're chill?
Will you get of lub you' fill ?
Will she starve herse'f fe you,
As I always use' fe do?
Will a to'n gal go bare-feet,
Jes' fe try mek two ends meet?
Will she car' water an' wash,
Jes' fe help out you' lee cash?
Is she sweet an' undefile'
As you took me, jes' a chil',
To' I knew about de wul',
Gave to you my pure pure soul?
Will you leave me all forlorn
To' de lilly baby's born?
Who wi' eber tek me in
Wid dis dreadful load o' sin?
Foolish, foolish young gals who
T'ink a constab could be true!
Foolish, foolish every one
Who will trus' a policeman!

Dem wi' ondly try fe rob
All de good you mighta hab;
An' 'fo' you can count de cost,
You wi' find you'se'f lost, lost.
Will you leave me, heartless Dan,
For a risky to'n woman?
When I'm burdened do'n wid woe,
Will you leave me, leave me so?

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