Poem: Mary E Coleridge, ‘The Witch’

An eerie Victorian one for Halloween.

The Witch

I have walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart’s desire.
She came – she came – and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.

Mary E. Coleridge (1861 – 1907) was a British poet and great-grand-niece of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  She was interested in the splitting of the female subject and alternative selves.

2 thoughts on “Poem: Mary E Coleridge, ‘The Witch’

  1. I did. It was the usual ritual of carving a pumpkin with my sister and watching a horror movie.
    Trying to make my one year-old nephew wear a wizard’s hat was a bad idea though.

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