Ballad of Burnt House

They say her name was Delsie,

a beauty rare and bright

Her moves like graceful glisse’,

Her skin as dark as night.

 

She was just a common slave,

but oh! that girl could dance and sing!

Watchers laughed and clapped and waved;

and in one heart, love did spring.

 

William was the only son

of John who owned the inn;

he begged and pleaded til at last,

his father gave consent.

 

Delsie came to live and serve

at the Harris roadside inn,

men in secret watched her curves

and envied lucky William.

 

But William’s heart was dark and cold

and killing was his aim,

he murdered peddlers for their gold,

and hid his awful gain.

 

But someone saw and someone told

and William soon was gone.

He sold the inn and took the gold,

and left sweet Delsie all alone.

 

She wept and mourned her missing man,

and called his name in vane

One night she settled on a plan

to put the inn in flames.

 

And when the people saw the fire

and came to put it out,

They searched for Delsie low and high,

then someone gave a shout.

 

“Look! There she is! Up in the tower!”

They watched as Delsie twirled

She seemed held by some great power

as smoke and flame around her swirled.

 

Then in the fiery red-hot gleam

the inn came tumbling down;

The last they heard was Delsie’s scream,

The last they saw her burning gown.

 

Now if you visit late at night,

be sure to take a friend,

For Delsie’s laughter, bold and bright

still rises on the wind.

 

 

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About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
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