Constab Ballads (1912)

The Malingerer

ME mus’ wukin overdue,
An’ ’tis all because o’ you;
Me mus’ wuk hard laka dis
‘Counten o’ you’ wutlessness.

‘Tis a dutty sort o’ trick,
Ebery duty-time you sick;
An’ ’tis always my bad luck
Fe detail fe extra wuk.

Night off again me won’ get,
Dese t’ings mek a poo’ man fret,
An’ feel him could not do worse
Dan fe go join Police Force.

Hospital a fe you bed;
God knows wha mek you won’ dead
Doctor no know how fe do,
Else dem wouldan p’ison you.

An’ me know man dyin’ out,
Yet de doctor dem would doubt,
Dough he’s weak in ebery limb,
Dat a t’ing was wrong wid him.

Yet you dih-ya[1] ‘douten[2] use,
Only formin’ like de juice;
An’ dem caan’ see, se’p me king,
Dat you ‘pon malingering.

Ef a money you dah sabe,
Better min’ de open grabe:[3]
T’enk God! new rule come te-day,
Hospital bud gets no pay.

Me wi’ really beat de eight,
But you mark me wud an’ wait!
Your time’s comin’ soon don’t doubt
When you’ll also be kicked out.

  1. Dih-ya: lengthened form of dere (there)
  2. 'Dout, 'douten: without
  3. Although you are saving messing expenses, etc., yet you may catch "hospital sick" (sickness) and die of it ; and then of what use is your money?


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