I Saw Three Witches

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I Saw Three Witches
written by Walter de la Mare
Songs of Childhood (1902)




    I saw three witches
    That bowed down like barley,
    And took to their brooms 'neath a louring sky,
    And, mounting a storm-cloud,
    Aloft on its margin,
    Stood black in the silver as up they did fly.

    I saw three witches
    That mocked the poor sparrows
    They carried in cages of wicker along,
    Till a hawk from his eyrie
    Swooped down like an arrow,
    And smote on the cages, and ended their song.

    I saw three witches
    That sailed in a shallop,
    All turning their heads with a truculent smile,
    Till a bank of green osiers
    Concealed their grim faces,
    Though I heard them lamenting for many a mile.

    I saw three witches
    Asleep in a valley,
    Their heads in a row, like stones in a flood,
    Till the moon, creeping upward,
    Looked white through the valley,
    And turned them to bushes in bright scarlet bud.

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