Monday, December 14, 2009

Clelland Miller: Misplaced Hero Worship

Missouri born Clelland Miller
was raised in the vicinity
of the notable homestead of Jesse James.
An' like most folks in that territory
he nurtured a hero-worship
for the brothers with the famous names.
He knew of their deeds within the war,
an' revelled in their doings thereafter;
he could pert near quote them chapter an' verse.
But like all who worship the infamous,
an' try their best ta' follow suit,
there's only one outcome when ya' bed the curse.
It took awhile ta' get noticed,
ta' get the nod from Jesse James,
an' become a member of his crew.
He studied the trade,
an' practiced his skills,
an' learned ta' draw fast when he drew.
It's reckoned he went
along with the James boys
ta' a house where a Pinkerton stayed.
The agent was gone,
but the owner emerged,
an' three shots cut him down like a blade.
Mrs. Daniel Askew
alighted the house,
then gazed at the sight, horrified.
She went ta' her hubby,
she tried what she could,
then watched in vain as he died.
When asked who had done it,
she called out three names,
"It was Frank, and Jesse, and Clell."
But they said there was not
enough evidence,
"It was dark, so how could you tell?"
Yet Miller's outlaw days were numbered,
his luck was running out,
though he didn't know it til it actually came.
It occurred September seventh,
eighteen-seventy an' six,
an' Northfield was the name.
Two James boys,
three Younger brothers,
plus Miller, Pitts, an' Chadwell,
all entered the town,
went straight ta' the bank,
until their plan went all ta' hell.
There were three in the bank,
two guarding the door,
an' three at the end of the street.
One teller did con them,
they bought it, then killed him,
when all hell broke loose an' they beat a retreat.
Miller took the next hit,
a shotgun blast ta' the face,
so he blindly fired an' killed an unarmed man.
Then a medical student
repeatedly fired,
ending Miller's days with the outlaw clan.
He died in the dirt,
a broken bloody pulp,
never knowin' the outcome of the raid.
Both Chadwell an' Pitts
would join him in hell,
on account of mistakes that were made.
shot up, but survived,
were sent ta' the pen fer' life.
Only the James boys
escaped without wounds,
though their futures were now endless strife.
If ya' could ask
 Clell Miller today,
would ya' still worship Jesse the same?
He'd probably contend
a two-party blend,
both Jesse an' he were ta' blame.
So learn from his life,
an' don't pay the price,
the toll on that road is not cheap.
You'll think ya' can win,
but you'll lose in the end,
when the Reaper is called out ta' reap. 

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