The Fate of Richard & Effie Duke

ricard and effie duke

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The Fate of Richard and Effie Duke
composed by Coby Preston [Blanche Preston Jones]

Oh, hearken to this sad warning,
You husbands who love your wife,
Don’t never fly in a passion
And take your companion’s life.

Of Doctor Rich Duke I will tell you,
Who lived up beaver Creek way,
He married fair Effie Allen
And loved her well, so they say.

Both Effie and Rich had money,
But he was much older than she,
And she said, “All your lands and money
Should be deeded over to me.”

His wife he loved and trusted
And he hastened to obey;
But the fact he soon regretted
That he deeded his riches away.

They quarreled and then they parted,
The times were more than three,
For both of them were stubborn
And they never could agree.

Now Doctor John, his brother,
Was a highly respected man,
He brought Effie home one evening,
Saying, “Make up your quarrel if you can.”

And Rich seemed glad to see her,
And followed her up the stair,
But only God and the angels
Know just what happened there.

Doctor John was down at the table
When he heard the pistol roar;
He ran up the stairs in a moment
And looked in at the open door.

Poor Rich lay there by his pistol
With a bullet through his brain,
And Effie lay there dying
Writing in mortal pain.

They were past all human succor,
No earthly power could save;
And they took their secrets with them
To the land beyond the grave.

Now all you wives and husbands,
Take heed to this warning true.
Never quarrel over lands and money
Or some day the fact you will rue.

from Jean Thomas. Blue Ridge Country (NY: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1942) (pp. 234-235)

Last Update: August 28, 2011