|The girl, Bessie Smith|
Here follows the rest of the story, as I know it, that I called "The Ballad of Bessie Brown."
A poem that the second Mrs. Brown, Lillie, sent to Bessie is not dated. The envelope is lost and so too the picture she enclosed to show and tell my mother's Aunt Bessie about the life that Bessie could have had in sunny California.
It astonishes me, however, that Lillie spent the time, the creative trouble and the postage to tell Aunt Bessie, Who's Sorry Now? Only Lillie titled her poem "The Cord That Bound Three Hearts, The Will That Severed Two––To Miss Bessie Smith" [sic]. Or rather sick? Or syrupy sweet?
|Page 1 of 6|
Girl Meets BoyThou once wert young and fair,
As sweet as girl could be,
Thine eyes were like the summer skies,
Or like the deep blue sea …
The man was young and brave,
A noble man was he;
His face was sweet, his heart was true,
As honest as could be.
|Page 2 of 6|
On page 3, the story heats up. How Bessie's heart turned to stone, stone De Witt's love could not penetrate.
Boy Loses Girl
Boy Gets Better GirlPage 5 recounts the truer love heartbroken Dewitt found in Lillie.
That's stickin' it to her, Lillie. Turn that knife and make her bleed. The letter is tattered, suggesting that Aunt Bessie read this tome many times.
|Bringing in the sheaves|