Beneath the Yampy Shade

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 lub 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. 

From Songs of Jamaica (Aston W. Gardner & Co., 1912) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.