Any mother might be the mother of any of them. But these two are
the victims. I remember a little poem that gives the soliloquy of a boy
about to be hanged, a soliloquy such as these boys might make: The night
my father got me His mind was not on me; He did not plague his fancy To
muse if I should be The son you see.
The day my mother bore me She was a fool and glad, For all the pain
I cost her, That she had borne the lad That borne she had.
My father and my mother Out of the light they lie; The warrant would
not find them, And here, ‘tis only I Shall hang so high.
O let not man remember The soul that God forgot, But fetch the county
sheriff And noose me in a knot, And I will rot.
And so the game is ended, That should not have begun. My father and
my mother They had a likely son, And I have none.
No one knows what will be the fate of the child he gets or the child
she bears; the fate of the child is the last thing they consider. This
weary old world goes on, begetting, with birth and with living and with
death; and all of it is blind from the beginning to the end. I do not know
what it was that made these boys do this mad act, but I do know there is
a reason for it. I know they did not beget themselves. I know that any
one of an infinite number of causes reaching back to the beginning might
be working out in these boys' minds, whom you are asked to hang in malice
and in hatred and injustice, because someone in the past has sinned against