Frozen Charlotte

At a nice store near my house that sells “eclectic curiosities and essential goods,” they have on display a small platter of tiny china dolls, most missing at least one limb.  A small card on the table explains that these are “Frozen Charlottes.”  Wikipedia (ugh) explains that Frozen Charlottes were between one and eighteen inch-standing, naked figures molded in one piece.  They were made between 1850 and 1920, and their name was inspired by the American folk ballad “Fair Charlotte,” about a superficial twat who froze to death because she wouldn’t cover up her pretty, pretty dress with a freaking coat during a polar vortex.



And now, the supremely creepy lumberjack ballad.  Take it away, boys!



Young Charlotte dwelt by the mountain side

In a rude and lonely spot;

There was no house for three miles round

Except her father’s cot.


And yet on many a wintry eve

Young swain would gather there;

For her father kept a social abode,

And she was very fair.


He liked to see his daughter dressed

Just like a city belle;

For she was the only child he had,

And he loved his daughter well,


Her hair was black as raven’s wing,

And her skin like lilies fair,

And her teeth were like the pearls so white:

Few with her could compare.


At the village inn fifteen miles off

There’s a merry ball tonight.

Although the air is freezing cold, Our hearts are warm and light.


How eager was her restless gaze

Till a well known voice she did hear

And driving up to the cottage door

Charles Leslie did appear.


“O daughter dear,” the mother said,

“This blanket around you fold,

For it is a dreadful night abroad,

You’ll catch your death of cold.”


“Oh nay! Oh nay!” young Charlotte said,

And she laughed like a gypsy queen:

“To ride in blankets muffled up

I never would be seen.


“My silken cloak is quite enough,

You know ’tis lined throughout;

Besides I have a silken shawl

My face to tie about,”


Her gloves and bonnet being on,

She jumped into the sleigh,

And away they rode to the mountain-side

And over the hills away.


There is music in the sound of merry bells,

As over the hills they go.

What a reeking wake those runners make,

As they bite the frosty snow!


Then away they rode so silent

Till five cold long miles were past,

When Charles with these few frozen words

The silence broke at last:


“Such a night as this I never knew;

My reins I scarce can hold.”

Young Charlotte exclaimed with a feeble voice,

“I am exceeding cold.”


He cracked his whip and he urged his steed

Much faster than before,

Until at length five more cold miles

In silence was passed o’er.


“Oh! how fast the freezing ice.

Dost gather on my brow.”

Young Charlotte exclaimed with a feeble voice,

“I am growing warmer now.”


Then away they rode through the frosty air

And by the cold starlight,

Until at length the village inn

And ballroom hove in sight.


They reached the inn, and Charles sprang out

And gave his hand to her.

“Why sit you there like a monument

That hath no power to stir?”


He asked her once, he asked her twice;

But she said not a word;

He asked her for her hand again,

But still she never stirred.


He tore the muffler from her face,

And the cold stars on her shone,

And quickly in the lighted hall

Her lifeless form was borne.


They tried every means they could

Her life for to restore;

But Charlotte was a frozen corpse

And never could speak more.


He sat himself down by her side,

And the bitter tears did flow;

He said, “My dear intended bride

I never more shall know.”


He threw his arms around her neck

And kissed her marble brow,

And his thoughts went back to the place

Where she said, “I’m growing warmer now.”


He bore her back into the sleigh

And with her he rode home,

And when he reached her father’s house,

Oh! how her parents mourned!


They mourned the loss of their daughter dear,

And Charles mourned o’er his doom,

Until at length his heart had broke:

Now they slumber in one tomb.

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