The Cruel Mother

No: 20; variant: 20[N2]

  1. 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.
  2. She loved him seven long years and a day, Till at last she came big-bellied away.
  3. She set her back against a thorn, And there she had two pretty babes born.
  4. She took out a penknife long and short, And she pierc’d these pretty babes to the tender heart.
  5. So as she was walking in her father’s hall, She saw three pretty babes playing at ball.
  6. The one was clothed in purple, the other in pall, And the other was cloathed in no cloths at all.
  7. ‘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.’
  8. ‘We are three angels, as other angels be, And the hotest place in hell is reserved for thee.’