Excerpts from The Ballad of Black Orpheus

There was never a history written about the Inner Frontier, so Black Orpheus took it upon himself to set one to music. His name wasn't really Orpheus (although he was black). After the death of his beloved Eurydice, he began writing an epic ballad about the traders and hunters and outlaws and misfits that he came across. In fact, you didn't officially stop being a tenderfoot or a tourist until the day he added a stanze or two about you to the song.

Giles Sans Pitie is a spinning wheel,
With the eye of a hawk and a fist made of steel.
He'll drink a whole gallon while holding his breath,
And wherever he goes his companion is Death.

He's Jonathan Jeremy Jacobar Stern.
He's got lust in his heart and money to burn;
He's too old to change, and too wild to learn,
Is Jonathan Jeremy Jacobar Stern.

Halfpenny Terwilliger, the boldest gambler yet;
Halfpenny Terwilliger will cover any bet;
Halfpenny Terwilliger, a rowdy martinet;
Halfpenny Terwilliger is now one soul in debt.

She lives in a graveyard of shattered ships,
She floats through the void with her broken dreams;
But though she may long for a lover's lips,
The Sargasso Rose isn't what she seems.

She can drink, she can swear, can the Virgin Queen,
And she isn't a stranger to sin.
She knows what she wants, doesn't care where she's been,
And she'll do what she has to to win.

His name is Father William,
His aim is hard to ken:
His game is saving sinners;
His fame is killing men.

Up pops the Swagman, out pops his gun,
Down comes the money, away does he run;
There goes the posse, seeking his den -
Then up pops the Swagman, at it again!

Along the road to Mother Lode
Dwells the Great Sioux Nation,
Which justfies its crime and lies
As predestination.

Come if you dare, come but beware,
Come to the lair of Altair of Altair.
Offer a prayer for the men foul and fair,
Trapped in the snare of Altair of Altair.

He aches for the touch of flesh upon flesh,
He wonders why Fate had to end his beguine,
He longs for a woman, all virginal fresh:
Schussler the Cyborg, unhappy machine.

The Songbird stalks, the Songbird kills,
The Songbird works to pay his bills.
So, friend, beware the Songbird's glance,
If you're his prey, you'll have no chance.

Alas, Poor Yorick, I knew him well:
He can't climb down from the carousel.
He began with dreams, with hope and trust;
Alas, Poor Yorick, they turned to dust.

The call him the Angel, the Angel of Death,
If you've ever seen him, you've drawn your last breath.
He's got cold lifeless eyes, he's got brains, he's got skill,
He's got weapons galore, and a yearning to kill.

Come to the lair of the cold Virgin Queen!
Come and see sights that have never been seen!
Money that's piled as high as the sky,
And a bandit queen anything other than shy!

He's bigger than big, he's taller than tall,
He's meaner than mean, and that isn't all -
He drinks straight from morning right through to the night,
He's ManMountain Bates, and he's anxious to fight.

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Simple Simon killed the pieman on the thoroughfare.
Simple Simon likes the taste of his new outlaw life:
It's not for pies that Simon needs his shining steel knife.

Moonripple, Moonripple, touring the stars,
Has polished the wax on a thousand bars,
Has trod on the soil of a hundred worlds,
Has only found pebbles while searching for pearls.

One-Time Charlie makes mistakes,
But never makes them twice.
His heart is black as anthracite,
His blood is cold as ice.

Silent Annie never speaks,
Never murmurs, never shrieks,
Doesn't whisper, doesn't call -
But someday, someday, she'll tell all.

His sire was a comet,
His dam a cosmic wind.
God wept when first He saw him,
But Satan merely grinned.

He lives on a mountain, a mountain of gold,
With a temper that's hot and a heart that is cold.
He issues his orders, makes known his demands,
Then sits back to watch while his empire expands.

He robs and he plunders, he kills and he loots,
He stealthily sneaks up and suddenly shoots.
He never forgets and he never forgives;
He never relents while an enemy lives.

A riddle inside an enigma,
Wrapped up in a puzzle or two.
What man fits these specifications?
The King of the Outlaws - that's who!

He burns brighter than a nova;
He stands taller than a tree;
He shouts louder than the thunder;
He flows deeper than the sea.

There are those who will say he's a sinner,
There are those who will say he's a saint;
There are those who will swear he's as strong as a bear,
But whatever they tell you - he ain't!

Some say that he's a hundred,
Some say that he is more;
Some say he'll live forever -
This outlaw commodore!