The Ballad of Lilly Mae and Jack Clay

The Ballad of Lilly Mae and Jack Clay …

ballad

This is the ballad of lovers
who were so torn apart,
by a jealous crooked sheriff,
who had an evil heart,
but a true love wins every time
when trouble is to start.

~~~

She wore a gown of emerald green,
when on the stage at night,
for it enhanced her flame red hair,
oh! how men did delight
with the sweetest voice ever heard,
and eyes of green so bright.

They all knew her as Lilly Mae,
up from Gold Hill she came
to Virginia City to sing,
it was her life-long dream,
her youth and beauty was admired,
and had become her fame.

She sang at Piper’s Opera House,
above the town’s main street,
Tuesday and Thursday nights,
where upper class would meet,
and the Silver Queen on Fridays,
where miners she would greet.

Not a man could capture her heart,
though many sure did try,
but Lilly Mae’s far away look,
seen in her bright green eyes,
told of the man she truly loved,
Jack Clay she would stand by.

They all knew why Jack Clay had gone,
and left her all alone,
he was on the run from the law,
for murder of Frank Stone,
and Sheriff Gredd was out to kill
Jack, Sheriff Gredd had sworn.

Even ladies of the town loved
the darling Lilly Mae,
and invited her to their teas,
on almost every day,
and would chat while playing cards,
Canasta they would play.

Ladies would beg for a ballad,
for the songtress to sing,
and Lilly Mae sang of lost love,
sweetly her voice would ring,
and all the ladies would then cry
for Lilly Mae, the poor thing.

Late one night Jack Clay took the risk
to find his Lilly Mae,
word of him got to Sheriff Gredd,
who aimed to kill Jack Clay,
outlaw wanted dead or alive,
Sheriff would get his pay.

Lilly Mae heard that Jack had come
looking for her in town,
she left the Silver Queen that night,
ran out in her green gown,
to the arms of the man she loved,
but she was soon shot down.

The Sheriff meant to kill Jack Clay,
but shot Lilly Mae instead,
With one arm holding Lily Mae,
Clay then shot Sheriff Gredd,
the bullet found its target fast,
and the Sheriff lay dead.

Lilly Mae whispered to Jack Clay,
I still love you she cried,
Jack kissed his darling wife gently,
and prayed she would not die,
Jack lifted her into both arms
and carried her inside.

The miners gathered round Jack Clay
and darling Lilly Mae,
he lay her down on a sofa,
the miners backed away,
as Jack kissed his love one more time,
get Doc they heard him say.

You saw me shoot in self defense,
and I am in all ways,
innocent of all crimes, no one
believed but Lilly Mae,
so, I have to keep on running,
and will die quick some day.

Any of you men can shoot me
now and get the reward,
I won’t draw my gun against you,
because so help me Lord,
I’d rather die by Lilly Mae,
for too long I have warred.

Not a man among them would shoot,
there was not a dry eye
In the Silver Queen that sad night,
none wanted Jack to die,
If Lilly Mae believed you Jack,
with you we will stand by.

And all the men asked Jack to stay,
we all will help you fight,
to prove your innocence in court,
and we will set things right,
for Lilly Mae we will do this,
she made our life so bright.

Doc came and examined Lilly Mae,
get more light over here
Doc yelled, and four lanterns were brought,
he worked hard to save her,
as Jack stood close by to help Doc,
all felt tension and fear.

After a few hours Doc stood up,
came close to losing her,
Doc said, she lost a lot of blood,
but, she will live, stay near,
I’ll send my wife over to help
care for her and stay here.

True to their word the miners won,
the court battle they fought,
it was proven that Sheriff Gredd
was guilty all along,
and framed Jack with murder to win
Lilly Mae and her songs.

Lilly Mae soon healed in her rooms
at Silver Queen Hotel,
Jack Clay was elected Sheriff,
and all things turned out well,
back together in their own home
life was peaceful and swell.

This is the ballad of lovers
who were so torn apart,
by a jealous crooked sheriff,
who had an evil heart,
but a true love wins every time
when trouble is to start.

~~~~

© 2019 Phyllis Doyle Burns

Author’s Note

A ballad is usually quite long. I tried to make it a bit shorter without losing the flow of the story.

I copied the rhyme and syllable format from a piece titled The Ballad of Reading Gaol , written by Oscar Wilde on May 19, 1897. There are six lines per stanza. The rhyme scheme is a-b-c-b-d-b and the syllable count is 8-6-8-6-8-6.

Thank you for reading about Lilly Mae and Jack Clay. I hope you enjoyed the story.

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Phyllis Doyle Burns

Chief Editor at The Creative Exiles
I have always liked to write.It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions.

I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles forThe Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am a freelance writer for Fiverr. I am currently an author on HubPages, a member/author of the Maven Coalition, and Senior Editor and an author for The Creative Exiles.

Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader.

I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Phyllis Doyle Burns

I have always liked to write. It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions. I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles for The Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am a freelance writer for Fiverr. I am currently an author on HubPages, a member/author of the Maven Coalition, and Senior Editor and an author for The Creative Exiles. Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.

8 thoughts on “The Ballad of Lilly Mae and Jack Clay

  • June 23, 2019 at 11:30 AM
    Permalink

    I love old western ballads and yours, Phyllis, were written with skill. Stories of Virgina City are so interesting. Filled with hard work, sacrifice, betrayal, and the list goes on. Thank you for a story well told. I hope you are well. Jamie

    Reply
    • June 23, 2019 at 12:03 PM
      Permalink

      Thank you, Jamie. I am so glad you like the ballad. I appreciate your kind words. I am well, hope you are also well. Take care.

      Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 7:01 PM
    Permalink

    Your storytelling skill is undeniable Phyllis, and you relish in these types of period pieces. So well crafted and a delight to read. Great work dear friend.

    Reply
    • June 23, 2019 at 10:57 PM
      Permalink

      Thank you very much, Tony. I am honored by such praise from a master of the written word. Take care dear friend.

      Reply
  • July 5, 2019 at 10:51 AM
    Permalink

    Have no doubt that I was a crying. My wife is a Lilly Mae. Thanks for true enjoyment.

    Reply
    • July 5, 2019 at 1:30 PM
      Permalink

      You are most welcome, Eric. Thank you for a spirit-lifting comment. I am so glad you related and enjoyed the work.

      Reply

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