3. The Town of Brandywine

Rob Hollett, 1999

Young Mary was a maiden when the birds began to sing;
She was fairer than a blooming rose so early in the spring.
Her heart was gay and merry on that morning fair and fine
For her lover was a driver from the town of Brandywine.

Young Charlie used a peavie with a driver's hand and skill,
And he swung an axe with energy in the northern forest still.
He would labour all the winter and in the summer in the pines
And they called him Charlie Williams from the town of Brandywine

Young Mary, she got married to her lover in the spring
When the buds began to blossom and the birds began to sing.
"I will labor all the winter and in summer in the pines
I'll return to you, my darling, when the fruit is on the vine."

Young Mary she was faded and no more was gazed upon,
For the happiness of her maiden dreams his wild career had run,
And early one morning on Wisconsin dreary clime
He had run those noisy rapids for his last sad fatal time.

They found his body lying on the rocky shores below
Where the noisy waters ripple and the silent cedars grow.
"'I would send to her a letter, but I'm afraid that she'd recline,"
Said a friend of Charlie Williams from the town of Brandywine.

Now every raft of timber that goes down the Chippewa
His lonesome grave is visited by drivers on their way.
They will plant wild flowers o'er his grave and pluck the weaving vines
On the grave of Charlie Williams on the river through the pine.

In a distance city I visited not many months ago
It was in a southern climate where strange faces come and go
I saw a gray haired damsel and no more her eyes did shine
It was the widow of young Williams from the town of Brandywine

She smiled as she saw me and she looked so old a gray
"I'm prepared to meet my river boy." those words to me did say,
"And it's early in the autumn when the fruit is on the vine
I will welcome back my river boy to the town of Brandywine"