poet Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

#6 on top 500 poets

Sylvester’s Dying Bed

I woke up this mornin’
’Bout half-past three.
All the womens in town
Was gathered round me.


Sweet gals was a-moanin’,
“Sylvester’s gonna die!”
And a hundred pretty mamas
Bowed their heads to cry.


I woke up little later
’Bout half-past fo’,
The doctor ‘n’ undertaker’s
Both at ma do’.


Black gals was a-beggin’,
“You can’t leave us here!”
Brown-skins cryin’, “Daddy!
Honey! Baby! Don’t go, dear!”


But I felt ma time’s a-comin’,
And I know’d I’s dyin’ fast.
I seed the River Jerden
A-creepin’ muddy past—
But I’s still Sweet Papa ’Vester,
Yes, sir! Long as life do last!


So I hollers, “Com’ere, babies,
Fo’ to love yo’ daddy right!”
And I reaches up to hug ’em—
When the Lawd put out the light.


Then everything was darkness
In a great ... big ... night.

Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Add this poem to MyPoemList
2,7 out of 5
60 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about Sylvester’s Dying Bed by Langston Hughes

  • Eve Walker (6/6/2019 9:56:00 PM)

    This is so beautiful! !

    Report Reply
    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Smosh (4/29/2019 10:28:00 AM)

    We read this at our studio and this was really nice.

    Report Reply
    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Lodigiana PoetessLodigiana Poetess (10/16/2017 3:54:00 PM)

    I really enjoyed the wonderful way that I was lead through this, the fluidity and imagery were great- enjoyed it very much

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (5/7/2016 3:53:00 AM)

    Enjoyed reading it- its imagery, its narrative, its humour. It's simply awesome.

    Report Reply
    10 person liked.
    1 person did not like.



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?