De Dog-Rose

Growin’ by de corner-stone,
    See de pretty flow’r-tree blows,
Sendin’ from de prickly branch
    A lubly bunch o’ red dog-rose.

An’ de bunch o’ crimson red,
    Boastin’ on de dark blue tree,
Meks it pretty, prettier yet
    Jes’ as dat dog-rose can be.

Young Miss Sal jes’ come from school:
    Freddy, fresh from groun’ an’ grub,
Pick de dog-rose off de tree,
    Gib Miss Sal to prove his lub.

Then I watch on as dem kiss
    Right aroun’ de corner-stone,
An’ my heart grow vex’ fe see
    How dem foolish when alone.

An’ I listen to deir talk,
    As dey say dey will be true;
"Eber true" I hear dem pledge,
    An’ dat naught can part dem two.

De petchary laugh an’ jig,
    Sittin’ on a bamboo low;
Seems him guess, jes’ like mese’f
    How de whole t’ing gwin’ fe go.

Time gwon, an’ de rose is not:
    I see Fred, wi’ eyes all dim,
Huggin’ up de corner-stone,
    For his love has jilted him;

Left him for anedder man
    Wid a pile o’ money,
Dat he carried from his land
    O’ de Injin coney.

Wonder whe’ de petchary?
    De rose-tree is dead an’ gone;
Sal sit in de big great-house,
    Cooin’ to her baby son.

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