A lonely rider traversed the sand upon his sturdy mount,
Beneath a sky so filled with stars that no man might ever count.
A dangerous dash across open land on a night without a moon,
A last ditch chance for absolution before his brother hangs at noon.
He pushed on harder than he should until his pony found a rut,
A broken leg and a bullet played it seemed fate had punched him in the gut.
He went on by foot and prayed to God “Please let a stagecoach happen by,
Or a cowboy with a horse to lend, Dear Lord don’t let my brother die.”
“It weren’t he at the house that night that poor Lizzy got herself kilt,
I knowed all too well because it were me, I alone bear up the guilt.”
“I loved her all to sweetly Lord but my affections were each one spurned,
So on that night I took her life and waited for her true love to return.”
I laid in wait to bushwhack the varmit whoever the cur might be,
Along the trail that led to her house behind a big oak tree.
“It were my intention to shoot him down and lay him at her side,
I then seen him on the dapple gray that only my brother’d ever ride.”
“It struck me like a thunder bolt to think that I broke my brother’s heart,
So I lit clean on outa Texas with my hope of making a brand new start.”
“Her pa swore to the judge that my brother deprived dear Lizzy of her life,
Because she told him the night before that she’d never be his wife.”
“It t’were me that he’d heard talkin’ the night that Lizzy passed away,
Now I got to get back to that town, Dear Lord, to have my final say.”
“It seemed that my brother was luckier at love than ever he were at dice,
But I had dashed his hopes each to the rocks and left him to pay the price.”
But as he prayed and walked along a rattler took him by surprise,
And as the poison run it’s course the murderer closed his eyes.
And in his mind he could see his kin dangling from a rope,
So as the snakebite did it’s work he took one last stab at hope.
He drew his buck knife from his boot and opened up his shirt,
To carve out his confession was his aim so with a cry he went to work.
And when they found his body in the morning just a half-mile out of town,
They found the note that he’d carved on his chest, “I shot Lizzy down.”