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Poem: "Ballad of Mad Ann Bailey"

Man Ann, from the streets of London Town
Rides in a wamus shirt
And britches made of a red buck's skin
Instead of a linsey skirt.

Her coon tail cap is ringed with dust,
Her horse's flanks shine wet,
And the rowelled wounds in his black side sting
With the salty grime of sweat.

Her screams are cut with a cockney blur
Bust she gives the white alarm,
And she carries a flint lock rifle primed
In the crook of her muscled arm.

The scalps in her belt outfly the wind,
And the gravels whirl to flame.
Death! Death! To the copper-skinned...
Plague on the Shawnee name!

She curses the race who killed her man,
With oaths from an English slum.
She swears by the god of the border folk
And swigs from her jug of rum.

Source: Louise McNeill, Gauley Mountain (1939).


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