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 The grass was green on Rial-side,
The early birds at will
Waked up the violet in its dell,
The wind-flower on its hill.
“Where go you, in your Sunday coat,
Son Andrew, tell me, pray.”
“For striped perch in Wenham Lake
I go to fish to-day.”
“Unharmed of thee in Wenham Lake
The mottled perch shall be:
A blue-eyed witch sits on the bank
And weaves her net for thee.
She weaves her golden hair; she sings
Her spell-song low and faint;
The wickedest witch in Salem jail
Is to that girl a saint. “
“Nay, mother, hold thy cruel tongue;
God knows,” the young man cried,
“He never made a whiter soul
Than hers by Wenham side.
She tends her mother sick and blind,
And every want supplies;
To her above the blessed Book
She lends her soft blue eyes.
Her voice is glad with holy songs,
Her lips are sweet with prayer;
Go where you will, in ten miles round
Is none more good and fair. “
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