When De Folks Is Gone

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

What dat scratchin' at de kitchin do'?
Done heah'n dat foh an hour er mo'!
Tell you Mr. Niggah, das sho's yo' bo'n,
Hit's mighty lonesome waitin' when de folks is gone!

Blame my trap! How de wind do blow!
An' dis is das de night foh de witches, sho'!
Dey's trouble gon' to waste when de old slut whine,
An' you heah de cat a-spittin' when de moon don't shine!

Chune my fiddle, an' de bridge go "bang!"
An' I lef' 'er right back whah she allus hang,
An' de tribble snap short an' de apern split
When dey no mortal man wah a-tetchin' hit!

Dah! Now, what? How de ole j'ice cracks!
'Spec' dis house, ef hit tell plain fac's,
'Ud talk about de ha'nts wid dey long tails on
What das'n't on'y come when de folks is gone!

What I tuk an' done ef a sho'-nuff ghos'
Pop right up by de ole bed-pos'?
What dat shinin' fru de front do' crack...?
God bress de Lo'd! Hit's de folks got back!

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