THE THREE CROWNS
Day 4, Tale #6  of Giambattista Basile’s "Il Pentamerone"
    retold in narrative verse by Laura J. Bobrow



A king once wished to have an heir. 
One day, out loud, he said a prayer:
“Oh, heaven, send a child to me.” 
A voice replied, “Which shall it be?

A boy or girl?  It’s yours to choose,
but with each one you’ve much to lose.
A daughter who will fly away?
or son who’ll claim your life one day?”

Perplexed, the king sought sage advice. 
“Is honor lost the greatest vice?
or early death the thing to fear? 
What do you think?  I want to hear.”

“He’d kill, with you, your whole estate,
while she’d be thought of as ill-fate
but leave your realm intact,” they deemed. 
A girl child would be best it seemed,

and with that choice the king concurred. 
When next the spectral voice was heard
he answered, “Woman!”  In due time 
a girl was born.  She was sublime.