“The Widow's Lament”
"My sister, hear and I will relate The troubles I have seen, What sorrows I have seen of late Which are the fruit of sin." "My father" has beaten her brutally; her baby daughter and husband died of disease. She looks forward to meeting and praising God
Widow's Lament, The Partial text(s) *** A *** From Harvey H. Fuson, Ballads of the Kentucky Highlands, pp. 138-139. "Copy furnished by Prof. Leon Denny Moses." My sister, hear and I will relate The troubles I have seen, What sorrows I have seen of late Which are the fruit of sin. My father laid his chastening rod, The stroke has not been light; But sure he has been a faithful God, A judge that will do right. I had a loving daughter dear, Most precious to my sight; Alas, the stroke it was severe Which took my heart's delight. There I shall join and praise with him, And tell my troubles here, How much I heard and felt and seen Since he has landed there. (Stanzas 1, 2, 3, 12 of 12.)
Sort of a modern paraphrase of the first two chapters of the Book of Job. No sign of what happened to the next forty.
Fuson's orthography (which may come from the manuscript) is rather deceptive. The second stanza is given as
My father laid his chastening rod,
The stroke has not been light;
But sure he has been a faithful God,
A judge that will do right.
However, it is clear that it is her oh-so-faithful God who has been abusing her; meaning that the first line should probably be understood as "My Father laid his chastening rod." Not that the Bible observes such distinctions (neither Biblical Greek nor Biblical Hebrew had upper- and lower-case letters), but it's the way the people who write pieces like this usually write. - RBW
- Fuson, pp. 138-139, "The Widow's Lament" (1 text)
- ST Fus138 (Partial)
- Roud #4287
- BI, Fus138