Friday, August 26, 2005

Performance for the Gorgon

When I was just a bonny lass No more than sixteen year I’d walk the woods for hours alone I’d not yet learned to fear One day I chanced to meet a boy Along the sunny path He stopped to speak, but on I went I feared my mother’s wrath The next day he was there again And so our love began He’d follow my steps through the wood And hold my trembling hand One day he asked me for a gift T’was one I would not give What happened next I’ll not forget For all the days I live He pushed me down, he tore my dress I’m sure you know my fate The love I thought I held for him Hardened quick to hate When nine months passed The babe was born But cold and blue and still I buried him all by myself Atop a lonely hill I grieved the child and sorrow was A stone upon my chest I’d never feel his rosy lips Against my swollen breast The years moved on, I lived alone A spectre in the wood I gathered herbs and moss and stones To make my livelihood One day I hap’d upon a lass Who’d lost her lonely way I brought her home as darkness fell And bade her, “Mistress, stay.” Her husband was the same young man Who’d left me in such need Her bulging belly told me that he’d Planted one more seed I fixed her pennyroyal tea And waited for the night I knew the herb would start her pains Before the morning light She cried in pain and rent the sheets And pushed with all her might A lovely girl came squalling forth With early morning’s light I wrapped the babe, ignored the lass Prepared myself to leave At the door I paused and said “It’s now your turn to grieve.” I took the babe and crossed the sea And raised her as my kin My grief is gone, my heart is light Despite this evil sin The boy had stolen from me twice My honor and my son my double sorrow still outweighs the theft of just this one So all you girls Be careful when you wander in the wood And all you boys remember What you give, you’ll get as good.


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