The Cruel Mother
No: 20; variant: 20[N2]
- There was a duke’s daughter lived at York,
All alone and alone a
And she fell in love with her father’s clarke.
Down by the greenwood side a, side a,Down, etc.
- She loved him seven long years and a day,
Till at last she came big-bellied away.
- She set her back against a thorn,
And there she had two pretty babes born.
- She took out a penknife long and short,
And she pierc’d these pretty babes to the tender heart.
- So as she was walking in her father’s hall,
She saw three pretty babes playing at ball.
- The one was clothed in purple, the other in pall,
And the other was cloathed in no cloths at all.
- ‘O pretty babes, pretty babes, will you be mine?
You shall be clothed in scarlet so fine,
And ye shall drink ale, beer, and wine.’
- ‘We are three angels, as other angels be,
And the hotest place in hell is reserved for thee.’