The Cruel Mother

By Anonymous Anonymous
She sat down below a thorn,
     Fine flowers in the valley;
And there she has her sweet babe born,
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

"Smile na sae sweet, my bonnie babe,"
     Fine flowers in the valley,
"And ye smile sae sweet, ye'll smile me dead,"
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

She's taen out her little penknife,
     Fine flowers in the valley,
And twinn'd the sweet babe o' its life,
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

She's howket a grave by the light o' the moon,
     Fine flowers in the valley,
And there she's buried her sweet babe in,
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

As she was going to the church,
     Fine flowers in the valley,
She saw a sweet babe in the porch,
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

"O sweet babe, and thou were mine,"
     Fine flowers in the valley,
"I was cleed thee in the silk so fine,"
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

"O mother dear, when I was thine,
     Fine flowers in the valley,
Ye did na prove to me sae kind,"
     And the green leaves they grow rarely.

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Poet Anonymous

Subjects Living, Death, Parenthood, Mythology & Folklore, Horror

Poetic Terms Ballad

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Parenthood, Mythology & Folklore, Horror

Poetic Terms Ballad

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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