Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
529. Song—How cruel are the parents
 
 
Altered from an old English song.
Tune—“John Anderson, my jo.”
 
 
HOW cruel are the parents
  Who riches only prize,
And to the wealthy booby
  Poor Woman sacrifice!
Meanwhile, the hapless Daughter        5
  Has but a choice of strife;
To shun a tyrant Father’s hate—
  Become a wretched Wife.
 
The ravening hawk pursuing,
  The trembling dove thus flies,        10
To shun impelling ruin,
  Awhile her pinions tries;
Till, of escape despairing,
  No shelter or retreat,
She trusts the ruthless Falconer,        15
  And drops beneath his feet.
 

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