Category Archives: Patience Worth

Descriptive Writing

JEWISH_TEMPLE00000020The opening of Chapter XIII of the book ‘Panda’, the first of a trilogy of books written by Pearl Curran  and Patience Worth which were published as ‘The Sorry Tale’ in 1917 provides a good example of one of the descriptive writing styles of Patience Worth. I think it is rather simple writing and at times choppy perhaps but if one reads it carefully and slowly letting the images form in one’s mind, I think that it provides a very good example of Patience Worth’s ability to generate a sense of place.

Patience Worth used different writing styles in her published works and ‘The Sorry Tale’ is unique in that language usage and writing style seem to be especially created by Patience Worth for this work.  The language is Modern English but the grammar and form are a creation of Patience Worth. The style can be confusing as it seems to be written as one who was present at the time.  Characters walk into the scene and speak without being named and some characters have several names so at times one does not know who is speaking until much later in the narrative.

It is difficult for me  to believe that Pearl Curran wrote this either from her conscious mind or from her subconsciousness mind.  Pearl Curran had a limited  formal education, having had to drop out of the first year of high school due to illness when she was  around 14 or 15 years old.  She claimed to have had no interest in writing or history and she never traveled outside of the central part of the United States prior to writing ‘The Sorry Tale.’

One may get a sense of actually being there as the scene unfolds.  Perhaps Pearl Curran or Patience Worth was just reporting what she saw 2000 years ago when she danced as  the “white mist” Theia for the Roman Emperor Tiberius.


The morn spread forth the golded tresses of the sun, and lo, a star still rested upon a cloud bar.  And Jerusalem slept.  The temples stood whited, and the market’s place shewed emptied.  Upon the temple’s pool the morn-sky shewed, and doves bathed within the waters at its edge.

Beside the market’s way camels lay, sunk upon their folded legs, and chewed, their mouths slipping o’er the straw, and tongues thrust forth to pluck up more for chewing.  The hides shewed like unto a beggar’s skull, hair fallen off o’er sores.

The day had waked the tribes, and narrowed streets shewed bearded men, and asses, packed.  The temple priests stood forth upon the stoned steps and blew upon the shell that tribesmen come.  From out the pillared place the smoke of incense curled, and within the stone made echo of the chants and sandals-fall of foot.

And tribes sought out the place, and lo, like unto ants they swarmed up and o’er the steps, to sit and make wisdom of the wording of the priests.

And merchants spread forth their wares upon the temple steps that they who came from out should see. Bent and shrunk like unto the skins of ox, they sat and whined, hands spread forth o’er the wares.  Filthed hands bore fruits, and faces dead looked out from swathing of cloth; and they whined, and shewed sores and twisted limbs.

Beside the pool stooped women who put therein their hands and cast drops upon withered greens.  One, dark and black-locked, held  between her knees a youth of young years and searched within his locks for abominations, but stopping that she eat from off a fruit that lay beside.  Within the market’s place the merchants brought forth cloths and hung, spread wide o’er the bins, and shewed of breads and fishes and jewels and cloths and skins.  And made word one unto another of the wares.

A beggar squatted at the road’s skirt plucking at his scabs, and grinned unto the passers through his whines.

Within the walls the men of other lands came forth.  And smells sent them up unto the day, scents of spice and fruits and filth.  And the wall’s gate had been oped since the light and the beggars came within like dreams unto night.

The patter of ass’s hoof sounded upon the stoned street and brown-stained lad came after, shouting unto the market men: “Water!  Water, that ye sup!”

And lo, upon the ass there hung two jugs of skin.  And the man came forth and brought out bowls.  And he loosed the jugs and sat them upon his hip that he pour forth.  And they supped and wiped their beards upon their hands and their hands upon their mantles.

And there came from out the narrow street a maiden, who wore o’er her face a cloth, and she bore a tray of fruits and blooms.  And upon her arms there shewed copper bands, and at her ankles they shewed, and the flesh of her bare legs was stained green with their touching.  And o’er her breast hung a broad strand of black locks, and her bosom shewed dark beneath the white cloth that covered it.  And within her ears hung hoops of metal.  And she chanted of her wares and cast sharp glances unto the market’s men.  And the youths of the market’s men called unto her and held up moneys, and lo, she cast down her eyes and saw them not.

“Nada hath tucked her heart with the blooms.” said the market’s men, and Nada shrugged and cast bloom unto the men.

And lo, the lad of the water jugs looked up unto her and the dark skin of her cheek burned.  And the men laughed loud and spake:

“Nada hath loving for the white-skin of Rome.  Yea, but the sun of Jerusalem hath darkened him.  Lucius, thou knowest she looketh unto thee at the every day!”

And he shewed his white teeth in smiling.  And lo, there came forth from out the bin that shewed of jewels that looked precious, a one bent, whose beard shewed long and black and who rubbed his hands one upon the other.  And they called his name “Jacob.”

And Nada looked unto him with frowning and spake:

“Thou Jew!  Thinkest thou that seeking out upon the roadway thou mayest tempt the hoard of him!  Lucius, he hath seen thee take of moneys and seeketh thee that thou shalt spend within the bin of him!”

And Jacob spread forth his hands and smiled and made words of lamentation, and spake of the jewels he had within his bin, that, should they seek, would rob him of his bread, so little did they bring and so much had he put forth for their buying.  And Nada said:

“Lest then we do thee wrong, we seek thee not.”

The Folly of Atheism

Fog040715AFrom time to time Patience Worth would be asked to perform ‘stunts’ of composition to demonstrate that her abilities were far and away beyond those writing skills of the common man or woman.  Dr. Walter Franklin Prince documented some of these ‘stunts’ in his 1926-27 investigative report of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth titled  “The Case of Patience Worth”  Often these tests involved delivering two different  writings at the same time, shuffling one line of a poem, say, with a line of something different, usually a narrative or dialogue

In one test called “A Climactic Experiment” by Dr. Prince, he asked Patience to do something which he considered “entirely unreasonable.”  He suggested that she “dictate something in the way of a dialogue, breaking off every little while and giving a line of poetry in modern style,  and so on alternately, until the poem is completed.”  Dr. Prince suggested that  the subject of the dialogue be any kind of a conversation between a lout and a wench at a Fair and that the subject for the poem would be “The Folly of Atheism”.

Patience Worth took up the challenge immediately beginning with the conversation between a lout and a wench at a Fair and then interspersing it with lines of the poem.

Ha’e ye seen the mummers settin’ up a puppet show, athin the fieldin’?

Who doubts his God is but a lout;
Who piths his wisdom with egotry
Hath lost his mark.

Aye, I see’d ’em fetchin’ past, and buyed o’ a ribbon and a anew latchet, and a shoon-bucklin and tasseled thongs.

 To doubt is but to cast thee as a stone
Unto the very heart of God.

Aye, and I fetched me a whistle; and heared the doings of the village—that Mark, the smithy, haed a new wench; and she be heft.
Aye a wide tale.  I heared it, but heeded it nae.  I been feastin’ ‘pon the new thong.

Who doubts his God
Hath but announced his own weak limitation;
Hath tied his hand and fettered of his foot.

Weel, ‘gad!  Did ye see the dominie wi’ his new breeks, and a sabba’ shirt?
Weel, can ye heed it, and him at the fair?
A wide tale, eh?

To doubt thy God
Is but to stop the everlasting flow of mercy;
To die of thirst and lose thee in the chaos of thyself.

Dr. Prince stated that “About eight seconds elapsed between my announcement of the subjects and the beginning of dictation, which proceeded uninterruptedly to the end, about as rapidly as it could be taken down. ” He continues saying, “Is there any mark in this indicating haste, or hinting that another composition of widely differing subject, mood and style was proceeding wither simultaneously or in instant alternation?  Is there any dislocation of language therein, any hiatus of thought?  It there any lack of meat in the lines, of valid and forceful meaning?  What word needs alteration?  Note the adroit introduction of the word lout from the theme given for the other composition, as much as to say that the doubter of God is also an awkward blunderer, a shallow bumpkin.  The last four lines are magnificent, sweeping as they do from the stopping of the stream of mercy in Heaven to the fall into the crater of doom on earth.”

Here is the poem stripped apart from the conversation;.


Who doubts his God is but a lout;
Who piths his wisdom with egotry
Hath lost his mark. To doubt
Is but to cast thee as a stone
Unto the very heart of God.
Who doubts his God hath but announced
His own weak limitation;
Hath tied his hand and fettered of his foot.
To doubt thy God is but to stop
The everlasting flow of mercy,
To die of thirst and lose thee
In the chaos of thyself.

and here is the dialogue;

He:       Ha’e ye seen the mummers settin’ up a puppet show athin the fieldin’?
She:      Aye, I see’d ’em fetchin’ past, and buyed o’ a ribbon and a new latchet, and a shoon- bucklin and tasseled thongs.
He:       Aye, and I fetched me a whistle, and heared the doings of the village—              Mark,  the smithy haed a new wench, and she be heft.
She:      Aye. a wide tale.  I heared it, but heeded it nae, I bein’ feastin’ ‘pon the     new  thong.
He:       Weel ‘gad!  Did ye see the dominie wi’ his new breeks, and a sabba’ shirt?
She:      Weel, can ye heed it—and him at the fair?  A wide tale, eh?

Dr. Prince continues to give his praise for the endeavor and ends by saying ‘these two
themes, so widely different in subject, tone, period, and language requirement, with no
notice and consequently no opportunity for antecedent reflection unless eight seconds can
be regarded as opportunity, were .  .  .  from the lips of the woman whose life history,
previous to the announcement of “Patience Worth,” had given no indication or promise of
literary ability. ”




Patience Worth Philosophy

140821collectiveHere are two of Patient Worth’s better efforts to explain her philosophy concerning man’s fear of the unknown.  Casper Yost collected and wrote a philosophy of Patience Worth but unfortunately he could not find a publisher to publish it.  Yost’s draft copy of ‘The Philosophy of Patience Worth’ apparently has been lost although I believe that someone out there has a copy which eventually may come to light in the future.


How have I caught at fleeting joys,
And swifter fleeting sorrows, and days and nights,
And morns and eves, and seasons too,
Aslipping thro’ the years, afleet!
And wither hath their trend then led?  Ah wither?

How do I to stop amid the very pulse o’ life,
Afeared?  Yea, fear clutcheth at my very heart!
For what?  The night?  Nay, night doth shimmer,
And flash the jewels I did count
E’er fear had stricken me.
The morn?  Nay, I waked with morn atremor,
And know the day-tide’s every hour;
How do I then to clutch me at my heart—
Afeared?  The morrow?  Nay, the morrow
But bringeth old loves and hopes anew.

Ah. woe is me, ’tis emptiness, aye, naught—
The bottomlessness o’ the pit that doth afright!
Afeared?  Aye, but driven fearless on!

What!  Promise ye ’tis to mart I plod?
What!  Promise ye new joys?
Ah, but should I sleep, to waken me
To joys I ne’er had supped!

I see me stand abashed and timid,
As a child who cast a toy beloved,
For bauble that but caught the eye,
And left the heart ahungered.

What!  Should I search in vain to find a sorrow,
That had fleeted hence afore my coming—
And found it not?—Ah, me, the emptiness!
And what!  Should joys that but a prick of gladness dealt,
And teased my hours to happiness
Be lost amid this promised bliss?
Nay, I clutch me to my heart in fear, in truth!

Do harken Ye!  And cast afearing
To the wiles of beating gales and wooing breeze.
I find me throat aswell and voice attuned.
Ah, let me then to sing, for joy consumeth me!
And fear hath slipped away to leave me sing.
To wake—and wonder warmeth at my heart,
I’ve waked in yester-year!

What!  Ye?—And what!—I’st thou?
Ah, have I then slept to dream?  Come, ne’er
A dream-wraith looked me such a welcoming!
‘Twas yesterday this hand wert then afold,
And now—ah, do I dream?
‘Tis warm-pressed within mine own!
Dreams!  Dreams!  And yet, we’ve met afore!

I see me flitting thro’ this vale,
And tho’ I strive to spell the mountain’s height
And valley’s depth, I do but fall afail.
Wouldst thou then drink a potion
Were I to offer thee an empty cup?
Couldst thou to pluck the rainbow from the sky?—
As well then might I spell to thee.

But I do promise at the waking—old joys,
And sorrows ripened to a mellow heart;
And e’en the crime-stained wretch, abasked in light,
Shall cast his seed and spring afruit!

Then do I cease to clutch the emptiness,
And sleep, and sleep me unafeared!


Swift as light-flash o’ storm, swift, swift,
Would I send the wish o’ thine asearch.
Swift, swift as bruise o’ swallow’s wing ‘pon air,
I’d send asearch thy wish, areach to lands unseen;
I’d send aback o’ answer laden.
Swift, Swift, would I to flee unto the “Naught,”
Thou knowest as the “Here.”
Swift, Swift I’d bear aback to thee
What thou wouldst seek.  Swift, swift,
Would I to bear aback to thee.

Dost deem the path ahid doth lead to naught?
Dost deem thy footfall leadest thee to nothingness?
Dost pin not ‘pon His word o’ promising,
And art at sorry and afear to follow Him?

I”d put athin thy cup a sweet, a pledge o’ love’s-buy.
I’d send aback a glad-song o’ this land.
Sing thou, sing on, though thou art ne’er aheard—
Anew born o’ His loving.

Set thee at rest, and trod the path unfearing;
Athin the reach o’ thee—e’en through
The dark o’ path at end o’ journey.
His smile!  His word!  His loving!
Put forth thy hand at glad, and I do promise thee,
That joy o’ earth asupped shall fall as naught,
And thou shalt sup thee deep o’ joys, o’ Bearer,
Aye, and Source; and like glad light o’ day,
And sweet o’ love—thy coming here shall be!

The Language of TELKA

TelkaThere are some people who think that Pearl Curran wrote, if not from her conscious mind, then from her subconscious mind.  That is, information about the language, locations and history she wrote about must have been gathered somehow by her conscious mind and stored in her subconscious to be pieced together, bit by bit,  to produce authentic-sounding historical stories about Medieval England, England during the 1600s, Victorian England or Palestine and its surrounds of 2000 years ago.

However you want to look at it, whether Pearl Curran wrote the poems, plays and novels or Patience Worth dictated them, the trick was amazing.  Just how could someone like Pearl Curran or Patience Worth with a very limited formal education and not very worldly by any definition, do that!  Is it possible that a woman with a grade-school education; one who had not traveled farther than Missouri, Texas or Illinois; who had no dreams to become a writer; who had only read one or two childhood novels, who had little or no interest in poetry and who reported discombobulated knowledge of history and geography could write material acclaimed by numerous  experts of literature to be outstanding if not superior to the writing of recognized authors?

The evidence of Patience Worth perhaps is not of the type that most people want to hear or read about.  It is not what one would expect in the grocery store tabloid.  Patience Worth does not predict the future; there is no finding of lost jewelry or persons, there are no messages from the dearly departed relatives, there are no apports, disembodied voices or apparitions of any sort.  In lieu of those phantasms, Pearl Curran left behind a tangible collection of materials that anyone may consider first-hand. Her evidence is not hearsay or second or third-hand information.   No— it exists in the language of her poems, plays, novels and ‘table-talk’ during sittings with Patience Worth.

Casper Yost who participated in sittings with Patience Worth and who subsequently wrote the first book about her apparently agrees!  He wrote one of the best, if not the only serious discussion of the language used by Patience Worth in her medieval poem ‘Telka’ and I highly recommend that those who are interested in language as evidence read his article.  It can be found at the end of Telka or  in Walter Franklin Prince’s book The Case of Patience Worth.  Casper Yost, when discussing the evidence for Patience Worth writes that, “It is the locutions of Telka, and in particular the vocabulary and the uses of that vocabulary, that are, I believe, miraculous.” Yost continues by saying:

The Story of Telka contains about sixty thousand words, and about nine-tenths of it is in dialogue.  From beginning to end it is rhythmical; not a hidden rhythm such as may be found in the works of many great writers of prose, but a regularly recurring accent in the iambic measure that dominates the entire work.  That is not to say that it is metrically precise.  It is far from that; but the ruling cadence never wholly disappears, and at times it flows from many lines with hardly a break in the rhythm.

Epics of this length are not numerous.  Love stories of ten thousand lines which Telka approximates, are rare in poetic form.  And love stories in metre, with plots that are carried forward with the ease and steady progression of a modern novel, without a diversion from the central theme, are, to say the least, unusual.  So it would seem to be justifiable to assert that a story of this extent and character, put in rhythmical speech, without monotony of cadence; a story that while it has high poetic qualities yet arouses and holds the active interest of the reader in the narrative to the end, is in itself a remarkable achievement..  .  .  it is the locutions of Telka, and in particular the vocabulary and the uses of that vocabulary, that are, I believe, miraculous.  I have said that practically every word in it is of Anglo-Saxon origin or usage.  By that I mean about ninety per cent. of it is of that derivation, as I shall show later.  The remaining ten per cent. is composed of old French, with an occasional Scandinavian word, and, rarely one of Celtic, or direct Latin origin.  .  .  .  it is the southern dialect (of England) that the language of Telka, as well as the language customarily used by Patience Worth subsequent to the beginning of Telka, is most closely allied.  There is in it more of the words and idioms peculiar to, or most prevalent in, that region, at the present time as well as in the past, and she has given reason to believe that if she could communicate vocally her pronunciation would be southern.  Yet the dialect of Telka is not wholly southern.  If it were its sources might be definitely fixed.  But it contains word and phrase forms peculiar to the north, others that are of the colloquial usage of the east or the west or the middle shires, either at present or in the past.  It seems not to be the language of any period of England nor of any locality of England.  I am unable to find that, in the form she gives it, it was ever written or ever spoken.  It has words of various periods as well as of various localities.

One looks in vain through the recorded speech of England, from Ælfric to Chaucer, from Chaucer to Shakespeare, from Shakespeare to the present, for anything with which to compare it.  Far exceeding Chaucer in the preponderance of Anglo-Saxon words, it bears not the slightest resemblance to Chaucer.  Retaining some of the forms of middle English, it shows no general likeness to the works of any writer of the middle English period.  Having much in common with what is technically termed modern English, from 1500 to the present, it differs in many particulars from every writer and every century of this chronological division.  Nor does it seem possible, dialectical as it is, to identify it with the dialect of any time or of any section.

The language of Telka is, it would seem, a composite of dialects, a tongue that is in a sense artificial, although it contains few words that have not the authority of usage, and it is by no means certain that the exceptions are lacking in authority, for all sources have not been examined.  .  .  .  I believe it is safe to say that no book since the days of Layamond, with the exception of Wickliffe’s Bible, is as exclusively Anglo-Saxon as this work of Patience Worth’s ..  .  .  I have found that an average of about ninty per cent. of them are of Anglo-Saxon origin, accepting Webster as a sufficient authority for such derivations, and including the pre-Norman Scandinavian words.  .  .  .  I am inclined to believe that not fifty words in the entire book are of direct Latin or Greek origin, and I venture the assertion that, with a single exception, there is not one word of later entry into the language than the year sixteen hundred.  .  .  .  It is true that Anglo-Saxon is the essential framework of our language, and it is difficult to write a single sentence of length without using Anglo-Saxon words, but it is also somewhat difficult to write a single sentence wholly in words of Anglo-Saxon origin that would not be commonplace, and I do not believe that any one could write and speak rapidly, fluently and beautifully, as Patience does, so restricted. .  .  . at no time since the beginning of English, as we now know it, in the fourteenth century has there been any writing having more than seventy percent. Anglo-Saxon with the single exception of the Bible, which Weisse gives seventy-seven percent.  Weise does not include Wickliffe’s Bible in his calculations, although he analyzes a single paragraph.  This, although written late in the fourteenth century, is almost exclusively Anglo-Saxon in its verbal origins, and the relatively pure Anglo-Saxon of our King James Version of the Bible is in many cases due to the influence exerted upon its translators by Wickliffe’s remarkable work.  When the figures here given are compared with the ninety per cent. of Telka, it is to be seen that this product of the present has but a single precedent in this particular (Wickliffe) until we get back to the thirteenth century when Anglo-Saxon was still unmixed with French, at least in the speech of the common people.

But the Anglo-Saxon of Telka bears little resemblance to the Anglo-Saxon of Layamon, or even of Wickliffe.  It is modern in the form of most of its words.  It retains few or none of the old Anglo-Saxon inflexions.  There are not a dozen words in it that are obsolete as a whole.  There are many words that are obsolete in the forms she gives them, but their stems are in constant use today.

And it is her construction, more even than her vocabulary, that is peculiar and individual.  She has no reverence for the parts of speech, and little respect for the holiest rules of syntax.  “I be dame,” she says, and therefore not amenable to rule.  If it suits her to make a noun, an adjective, or even a preposition do service as a verb, it is done.  If she wishes to make a noun of an adjective, so be it. .  .  .  But not all the words and locutions that are contrary to accepted standards of the present are without authority of usage in other times.  Patience has said that she is not attached to precedent.  “I be a builder ‘pon word,” she says,“for doth it to stand at low I then do fetch a-high and set at up and make o’ that that be not that that be.”  And one can imagine a twinkle in her eye when she adds, “Thee’dst merry at the word awaked that knoweth not itself.”

It is an interesting and pertinent fact in this connection that the Elizabethan age, with which Patience Worth seems to be most closely associated, was one in which grammatical forms had least stability.  There was in all the leading writers of the period a striking disregard of the precise functions of the parts of speech, and this was especially characteristic of Shakespeare.  “Almost any part of speech can be used as any other part of speech,” says Professor Abbot in his “A  Shakesperian Grammar,” referring to Elizabethan English in general.  “An adverb can be used as a verb, as a noun or as an adjective.  Any noun, adjective, or neuter verb can be used as an active verb.  An adjective can be used as an adverb or as a noun.  Every variety of grammatical inaccuracy meets us.”  The reason for all of this is found in the transitional state of the language, but the fact is a further proof that even in her grammatical anomalies, Patience is in accord with her time.

“Telka, then, is unique in its Anglo-Saxon purity, in its combination of dialectal forms of various localities and various periods, in some of its grammatical peculiarities, and in its diversions or extensions of verbal meanings.  Is it conceivable that anyone would attempt to create such a speech for literary purposes?  What purpose could be accomplished that would not be attained with greater ease and greater certainty by simpler methods? But conceding this attempt, how should it be done?  Setting aside the difficulty of acquiring a vocabulary of English words of Anglo-Saxon origin and skill in their idiomatic use, to the total exclusion of the vastly greater number of modern words with which our minds are saturated, let us assume that the one attempting this thing is already steeped in philological lore, has a thorough knowledge of English etymology, and the ability to separate almost intuitively the Anglo-Saxon words in his vocabulary from those derived from other sources.  I doubt if any philologist has that faculty, but let us admit that he has, and is able to think and express his thoughts in that restricted speech.  Could he make it the vehicle for a literary work of poetic character, intensely emotional, dramatical and spiritual?  I have said that in the dark period between the Norman Conquest and the days of Chaucer the Anglo-Saxon tongue lost many of its words, and the greatest loss was in those of a literary character, for the reason that literature in the vernacular was dead, and it was only the terms of colloquial speech that survived.  .  .  .  And Dr. Murray says: “When the educated generation that saw the arrival of the Norman died out, the language, ceasing to be read and written, lost all its literary words.  The words of ordinary life, whose preservation is independent of books, lived on as vigorously as ever, but the literary terms, those that related to science, art and higher culture, the bold, artistic compounds, the figurative terms of poetry, were speedily forgotten.  The poetical vocabulary shrank to a fraction of it former extent.”

Casper Yost concludes by saying that anyone,

.  .  .  who attempted this thing would require much more than a knowledge of Anglo-Saxon derivatives, and their middle and modern English forms and meanings.  He would have to know Norman- French words in order to make even a small use of them, and to know many English dialects.  A working knowledge of dialects is hardly to be acquired from books.  One who attempts to write a contemporaneous dialect story without having an auricular acquaintance with the dialect he presents is undertaking a difficult and somewhat dangerous task.  How much more difficult is it to make use of an archaic dialect for which there is no written guide except the fragmentary utterances of provincial characters in old stories and plays or the comparatively rare dialectal ballads and folk songs.

Yet, conceding that the one who is attempting this feat has acquired all the general and special knowledge of words and idioms required for the purpose, he has still to weave a composite of dialects in with a restricted literary language, and make of the mixture a harmonious and beautiful fabric; he has still to put it to use as a vehicle for poetry, for fiction, for the expression of emotion, of a warring of the material with the spiritual and a triumph of the spirit; for the making of pictures as delicate and ethereal as the cobwebs that sometimes drift across the vision on a summer’s day.  Where is the man, or the woman, who can do this, consciously or subconsciously?

Here is a representative example, chosen at random, of the language in Telka taken from the opening paragraphs of Chapter XI, Page 120.  For the full text of Telka see this link.

      The heaven’s eye a-closed at sink o’ moon.  Night’s cool and sweets put silence, a-musiced with winged scrape and notes o’ birds, who wait at eager for the morn and spill o’ note unto the night.  The sun’s robe a-crimsoned, floateth like to a veil up and o’er the gray, till questioning he riseth for to look where night hath hid her loves.  Paths a-show be-glistened, and flower’s- cup waketh for to ope and drink.  Sleep a-hangs e’en ‘pon the morn, and night holdeth sway within the walls a-high.
     Rich silken-covered couch a-standeth it ‘mid gray, where thredding o’ its strand a-showeth not.  RICARDO, bowed deep in dark, a-stopped o’ sleep, a-claspeth blade and shield, a-rest ‘pon him a-stilled.
Soft-whirred the wing o’bird by lattice where dew doth bead.  A rose-light creepeth it athin.  Morn’s breeze, a-born with sun, seeketh it a-through and sootheth it ‘bout the twain a-clasped in sleep.
      Curls, a-loosed from tuck, shower ‘bout the face a-bent.  A-start, wide-eyed, she looketh as a dream.  Sigh, born from out the heart, slippeth ‘pon the air.  The cradled form stirreth, and sway, the TELKA putteth soft hum and sway.

For those not familiar with the archaic language of Patience Worth, with great forbearance allow me to attempt a translation of the above.  I cringe at doing this as any translation is a desecration of a piece of literary art but perhaps by comparison one can see how extraordinary and creative the words of Patience Worth really are.  I find I am not satisfied with any translation I could make, but if you can stand it, read this macerated attempt and then go back and read and reread the beautiful descriptions and metaphors of Patience Worth in this opening to Chapter IX.

It was early morning and the moon had slipped below the horizon.  The birds and crickets, silent during the night, begin to waken as the sun slowly rises.  The roads are wet with water and the flowers are covered with dew.  The world is slowly awakening, except within the castle walls where it is still dark. Ricardo is seen upon a couch, sound asleep holding his sword and shield on his chest as he dozes.  The birds begin to flutter and the rosy light of dawn highlights two people asleep in each other’s arms.  Telka, with her hair hanging about her face is seen as beautiful as she sighs, and then hums to her baby as she rocks its cradle.

Now tell me how, in God’s green acres, did Pearl Curran write this out of her subconscious mind, one letter at a time on the Ouija board?  Remember, this story came quickly as a stream of letters, unparsed and unpunctuated.  Well, of course according to some critics, Pearl Curran must have read old English literature at some time in her life or heard philologists speaking it and stored it in her subconscious to be brought forward word by word to be arranged as beautiful and meaningful poetry.

Occasionally someone criticizes the  language of Patience Worth by saying that it has more of a Scottish dialect in it than a southern English dialect especially when Patience speaks in her 16th century tongue.  Irving Litvag points out in his book Singer in The Shadows that Patience Worth had said that her father was English and that her mother was Scottish.  Perhaps that could account for the amount of Scottish words in the default language of Patience Worth.