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along Crane River's sunny slopes
     Blew warm the winds of May,
And over Naumkeag's ancient oaks
     The green outgrew the gray.

[361] 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. “

[362] “Son Andrew, for the love of God
     And of thy mother, stay!”
She clasped her hands, she wept aloud,
     But Andrew rode away.

“O reverend sir, my Andrew's soul
     The Wenham witch has caught;
She holds him with the curled gold
     Whereof her snare is wrought.

She charms him with her great blue eyes,
     She binds him with her hair;
Oh, break the spell with holy words,
     Unbind him with a prayer! “

‘Take heart,’ the painful preacher said,
     “This mischief shall not be;
The witch shall perish in her sins
     And Andrew shall go free.

Our poor Ann Putnam testifies
     She saw her weave a spell,
Bare-armed, loose-haired, at full of moon,
     Around a dried — up well.

“Spring up, O well! ” she softly sang
     The Hebrew's old refrain
(For Satan uses Bible words),
     Till water flowed amain.

And many a goodwife heard her speak
     By Wenham water words
That made the buttercups take wings
     And turn to yellow birds.

[363] They say that swarming wild bees seek
     The hive at her command;
And fishes swim to take their food
     From out her dainty hand.

Meek as she sits in meeting-time,
     The godly minister
Notes well the spell that doth compel
     The young men's eyes to her.

The mole upon her dimpled chin
     Is Satan's seal and sign;
Her lips are red with evil bread
     And stain of unblest wine.

For Tituba, my Indian, saith
     At Quasycung she took
The Black Man's godless sacrament
     And signed his dreadful book.

Last night my sore-afflicted child
     Against the young witch cried.
To take her Marshal Herrick rides
     Even now to Wenham side. “

The marshal in his saddle sat,
     His daughter at his knee;
“I go to fetch that arrant witch,
     Thy fair playmate,” quoth he.

“Her spectre walks the parsonage,
     And haunts both hall and stair;
They know her by the great blue eyes
     And floating gold of hair.”

[364] “They lie, they lie, my father dear!
     No foul old witch is she,
But sweet and good and crystal-pure
     As Wenham waters be.”

“I tell thee, child, the Lord hath set
     Before us good and ill,
And woe to all whose carnal loves
     Oppose His righteous will.

Between Him and the powers of hell
     Choose thou, my child, to-day:
No sparing hand, no pitying eye,
     When God commands to slay! “

He went his way; the old wives shook
     With fear as he drew nigh;
The children in the dooryards held
     Their breath as he passed by.

Too well they knew the gaunt gray horse
     The grim witch-hunter rode
The pale Apocalyptic beast
     By grisly Death bestrode.

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