A poem said to be written by Elvis Presley for a Texas woman who claims to be the mother of his illegitimate daughter has been authenticated by New York handwriting expert Charles Hamilton.
Hamilton, who appraised the poem at $100,000, said it refers to an enduring romance and may help to confirm Presley's paternity.
"I have examined the poem and it is definitely in Elvis Presley's handwriting," said Hamilton, the man who helped debunk the "Hitler diaries" of 1983. "I value this because it changes our whole view of his life . . . It establishes that Elvis Presley had a lifelong affair . . . He met this girl when he was 18 and she was 16 and apparently loved her until he died."
The woman in question is Lucy de Barbin, whose story was told in a recent book, "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" The book, alleging that Presley sired de Barbin's 28-year-old daughter, Desire'e, has received much publicity and not a little ridicule. The book says Presley's pet name for de Barbin was "Desire'e," after a popular movie of the '50s, and that he never knew of the child's birth.
Author Dary Matera, who said he spent three years tracking down de Barbin and convincing her to talk to him, confirmed last night that he had sent a copy of the poem to Hamilton. Matera said the Presley estate would not permit him to reprint the poem -- which de Barbin says she received as a 1973 Christmas present.
"We have no Shakespeare here, we only have a guy from the country," Hamilton said last night. He noted that the poem contains numerous spelling errors. He said he compared the handwriting with a previously authenticated sample of the rock legend's script and with various inscribed photographs.
The poem, untitled and written on a piece of ordinary typing paper, says:
Seen only by the eyes of my love you're my
Somewhere in time there was my love,
my love was sweet and gentle and anjelic.
There's just one place she could've come from,
There is no way to explain this mircle.
She's a package wrapedcq in clouds of joy.
it makes everything since then seem
Only hearts that love can know this pleasure,
as I travel and see it all,
I know my Desire'e is the greatest
Matera, 32, now resides in Miami. He said yesterday that Lucy de Barbin, 50, is a clothing designer in Dallas and that her daughter, who uses the name Desire'e Presley, is a sometime model in Los Angeles.
"The letter belongs to Mrs. de Barbin," Matera said yesterday. "She'll never sell it -- not for a hundred million dollars.
"I told her people wouldn't believe her, that it was going to be horrible. She was very concerned about those spelling errors. She doesn't want Elvis to be humiliated. She'd rather be called a fraud than for anyone to think Elvis was uneducated.