The Scarlet Woman
by: R. Nathaniel Dett
Once I was good like the Virgin Mary and the Minister's wife.
My father worked for Mr. Pullman and white people's tips; but he died two
days after his insurance expired.
I had nothing, so I had to go to work.
All the stock I had was a white girl's education and a face that enchanted
the men of both races.
Starvation danced with me.
So when Big Lizzie, who kept a house for white men, came to me with tales
of fortune that I could reap from the sale of my virtue I bowed my head to
Now I can drink more gin than any man for miles around.
Gin is better than all the water in Lethe.
Next: The Rubinstein Staccato Etude
Previous: The Banjo Player