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The Witches' Wood

Music by: Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. Lyrics: Mary E. Coleridge

There was a wood, a witches' wood,
All the trees therein were pale;
They bore no branches green and good
But as it were a gray nun's veil.

They talked and chattered in the wind
From morning dawn to set of sun,
Like men and women that have sinned,
Whose thousand evil tongues are one.

Their roots were like the hands of men,
Grown hard and brown with clutching gold,
Their foliage women's tresses
When the hair is withered, thin and old.

There never did a sweet bird sing.
For happy love about his nest.
The clustered bats on evil wing
Each hollow trunk and bough possessed.

And in the midst a pool there lay
Of water white, as thou' a scare
Had frightened off the eye of day
And kept the Moon reflected there.