Maybe it’s like they should have known
To hang the kern outside the door;
But they were busy at the time,
So saw their baby never more.
At first they knew not he was gone;
The cradle had a child within
That cried and fretted all the day,
And grew a face as old as sin.
But he was never seen to play
Or smile at them as babies do.
At times he’d fling his things about,
And utter words they never knew.
Although in years a child, his age
In guile went back to ancient times;
They thought he was a punishment
For ancient and forgotten crimes.
And though he lived for many years
He aye retained his wizened shape;
And when he died unmourned, unwept,
They reckoned it a glad escape !
Mona’s Herald 11.2.64