The Wife at Usher's Well

Public Domain


During the time of open doors, spirits could visit their loved ones and expected to be made welcome, yet they could not eat mortal food and must return to the land of the dead before dawn. If the host continued to mourn, they would be admonished for keeping the spirit from rest.


There was a knight and a lady bright

Three little babes had she

She sent them away to the north country

For to learn there grammerie


They hadn't been gone but a very short time

'Bout three months and a day

When Death, cruel Death, came riding along

And he carried those babes away


And when she heard her babes were dead

She did mourn, she did weep

'Till they cam to her one dark midnight

Saying,"Mother we cannot sleep."


She set the table. She gave them wine,

Gave them bread, and gave them meat

But they were not able to touch a bite.

"We are dead: we cannot eat."


"Mother, oh mother, we cannot stay.

We must go e're break of dawn.

Your weeping keeps us from our rest

In our graves where we belong."



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Concerts in Brief

  • Dec 8
    Little Brown Church,  Round Pond
  • Dec 14
    Washburn-Norlands Living History Center,  Livermore
  • Dec 14
    Phippsburg United Congregational Church,  Phippsburg
  • Jan 8
    Brunswick UU Church,  Brunswick
  • Mar 16
    Lakewood Manor,  Richmond