Songs of Jamaica (1912)

Killin’ Nanny

Two little pickny is watchin’,
While a goat is led to deat’;
Dey are little ones of two years,
An’ know naught of badness yet.

De goat is bawlin’ fe mussy,[1]
An’ de children watch de sight
As de butcher re’ch[2] his sharp knife,
An’ ‘tab[3] wid all his might.

Dey see de red blood flowin’;
An’ one chil’ trimble an’ hide
His face in de mudder’s bosom,
While t’udder look on wide-eyed.

De tears is fallin’ down hotly
From him on de mudder’s knee;
De udder wid joy is starin’,
An’ clappin’ his han’s wid glee.

When dey had forgotten Nanny,
Grown men I see dem again;
An’ de forehead of de laugher
Was brand’[4] wid de mark of Cain.

  1. Mercy
  2. Reaches, lays hold of
  3. Stabs
  4. Branded


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This work (Poems by Claude McKay by Claude McKay) is free of known copyright restrictions.