Brown Baby Cobina, with his large black velvet eyes,
His little coos of ecstacies, his gurgling of surprise,
With brass bells on his ankles, that laugh where’er he goes,
It’s so rare for bells to tinkle, above brown dimpled toes.
Brown Baby Cobina is so precious that we fear
Something might come and steal him, when we grown-ups are not near;
So we tied bells on his ankles, and kissed on them this charm —
” Bells, guard our Baby Cobina from all devils and all harm. ”
Gladys May Casely Hayford (Aquah LaLuah)
From: “Caroling Dusk: an Anthology of Verse by Black Poets.” Edited by Countee Cullen.
Wall, Cheryl. Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.