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How cruel are the parents

Language: English

How cruel are the parents
    Who riches only prize,
And to the wealthy booby
    Poor woman sacrifice !
Meanwhile the hapless daughter
    Has but a choice of strife :
To shun a tyrant father's hate,
    Become a wretched wife !

The rav'ning hawk pursuing,
    The trembling dove thus flies :
To shun [impending]1 ruin
    A while her pinions tries;
'Till of escape despairing,
    No shelter or retreat,
She trusts the ruthless falconer,
    And drops beneath his feet.

Translation(s): FRE GER

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View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns, Cambridge edition, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1897, page 281.

1 Beethoven: "impelling" (?)

Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Kalt ist der Eltern Busen"
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Comme les parents sont cruels", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2006-01-11.
Last modified: 2014-07-28 11:41:05
Line count: 16
Word count: 77

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