from"The Boy's Wonder Horn"
(a folk ballad collection, ca. 1808)
Postponement

our children could read this one to us

    "Mother, oh mother, I'm starving, no lie!
    Give me bread or else I'll die!"

      "My darling child, just wait and see,
      Tomorrow we'll sow it,1-2-3!"

    And as they sowed the golden grain,
    The child continued to complain:
    "Mother, oh mother, I'm starving, no lie!
    Give me bread or else I'll die!"

      "My darling child, just wait and see,
      Tomorrow we'll reap it,1-2-3!"

    And as they harvested the grain,
    The child continued yet again:
    "Mother, oh mother, I'm starving, no lie!
    Give me bread or else I'll die!"

      "My darling child, just wait and see,
      Tomorrow we'll thresh it,1-2-3!"

    The grain lay on the threshing floor,
    But the child continued all the more:
    "Mother, oh mother, I'm starving, no lie!
    Give me bread or else I'll die!"

      "My darling child, just wait and see,
      Tomorrow we'll grind it,1-2-3!"

    They ground the grain fine in the mill,
    But the child cried out in anguish still:
    "Mother, oh mother, I'm starving, no lie!
    Give me bread or else I'll die!"

      "My darling child, just wait and see,
      Tomorrow we'll bake it,1-2-3!"

    The bread was baked with haste and cheer,
    But the child was laid out on her bier.