The Water-Witch

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The little creek went winding down
‘Twixt whispering reeds and small blue flowers,
Singing a pleasant summer song
Of holidays and playtime hours.

We reached it at the noonday hours,
Coming from the scrub-aisles dime and cool,
Laden with ferns and lilies white,
And rested by it’s deepest pool.

And while we watched with drowsy eyes
The shimmering sunlight on the plain,
The water-witch within the stream
Arose and stood between us twain.

She looked on me with scornful eye
And mocking smile that held no mirth;
She knew my simple soul was kin
To the brown, kindly, homely earth.

But she kissed Maye upon the brow,
As though to steal her soul away;
She kissed here on her Irish eyes,
Her faery eyes, now green, now grey.

And now she walks alone our girl,
Aloof from all life’s joys and pains;
The witch’s kiss is on her brow,
The dancing water in her veins.

Ah! For the hearts that cherish her,
That sigh and pine with secret pain
For her cool lips and smiling eyes;
For Maye will never love again—

Shallow and cold as water’s self!
And my warm heart that loves her well
Can only breathe a prayer to Heaven
To break the water witch’s spell.

© Alice Guerin Crist