A LITTLE TRUE ROMANCE OF JOSEPH KIMBALL AND HIS WIFE LATHILLA
In the city of the Saints dwelt a youth, a comely youth, yet an awkward one according to the description given by himself, for in relating this little history many times he said, “My hands and feet grew so fast, faster than the rest of my body, that I was uncertain at times which way I was going to walk”, and as we scrutinize this person at the present time, there is still no room for doubt about his hands and feet.
However, this youth’s mother owned a cow which he drove to pastures green to be fed. One bright morning as he chanced to pass a house where a blue eyed maiden was standing by the garden gate, he looked at her and grinned. She coquettishly returned his smile, following him with her eyes until he disappeared around the corner. She then made haste into the house and told her mother of this youth who had caused a flutter in her heart.
It was found out later that the age of this youth was 18 years, the maiden being 3 years his junior. A few months later she found out that this youth had a very dear chum (Bill Moffett) older than himself, who had met and had fallen desperately in love with this blue eyed maiden and like Miles Standish had sent this youth to his Presilla to plead his cause, but the maiden, much preferring the youth, spoke up and said, “Why do you not say something for yourself, Joe?” Whereupon he took courage and they were married and like “Maud Muller” had many children to play round their door, which I will paint in verse.
Lathilla on a July day
Saw Jody as he passed that way
A stick in hand, a cow ahead
He drove to meadow to be fed
A maiden fair he chanced to spy
She blushed and turned for she was shy.
He stubbed his toe and nearly fell
For Jody was an awkward lad
To stub his toe it was too bad.
The garb he wore it was a fright
With hickory shirt and pants so tight
And knit suspenders adjusted neat
With bare and calloused blistered feet.
With feet and hands that looked like stalks
He often wondered which way to walk.
His long slim arms hung by his side
In an awkward way that hurt his pride.
The maiden fair with eyes of blue
Her beaus as yet were very few
She rather liked the awkward youth
And flirted some to tell the truth.
This awkward youth he had a chum
Of older years but he was mum
He fell in love with the maiden fair
With eyes of blue and golden hair.
The three they met at a ball so gay
But the chum dared not to come her way.
So the youth he sent with his lovesick tale
With his conceit he would not fail
He thought of Miles Standish who in his life
Had sent John Alden to get him a wife.
He felt quite sure his love would accept
For the youth from him his own love had kept.
As the youth approached in his awkward way
And said to the maiden, How fair the day
Wile grinding his toe in the floor he said
My chum would know if you would wed
The maiden she looked at this awkward youth
And answered, Dear Jody, I tell you the truth
You have spoken fine words for your chum so gay
But I’d rather his words of love he’d say
Why don’t you speak some words for yourself
It gave the youth courage and he was an elf.
The youth and the maid were wedded galore
And many children played round their door
Till now fifty years, how the times have passed
And our blessings are such that they ever will last.
[transcribed by Nora Fowers and Rebecca Staker, Feb. 2010]