The Cruel Mother
No: 20; variant: 20D
- THERE lies a lady in London,
All alone and alone ee
She’s gane wi bairn to the clerk’s son.
Down by the green wood sae bonnie
- She’s taen her mantle her about,
She’s gane aff to the gude green wood.
- She’s set her back untill an oak,
First it bowed and then it broke.
- She’s set her back untill a tree,
Bonny were the twa boys she did bear.
- But she took out a little pen-knife,
And she parted them and their sweet life.
- She’s aff untill her father’s ha;
She was the lealest maiden that was amang them a’.
- As she lookit oure the castle wa,
She spied twa bonnie boys playing at the ba.
- ‘O if these two babes were mine,
They should wear the silk and the sabelline!’
- ‘O mother dear, when we were thine,
We neither wore the silks nor the sabelline.
- ‘But out ye took a little pen-knife,
And ye parted us and our sweet life.
- ‘But now we’re in the heavens hie,
And ye’ve the pains o hell to drie.’