Averted Malefice

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Averted Malefice  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1912.

Where mandrakes, crying from the moonless fen,
Told how a witch, with eyes of owl or bat,
Found, and each root maleficently fat
Pulled for her waiting cauldron, on my ken
Upstole, escaping to the world of men,
A vapor as of some infernal vat;
Across the stars it clomb, and caught thereat
As if their bright regard to veil again.

Despite the web, methought they knew, appalled,
The stealthier weft in which all sound was still. . . .
Then sprang, as if the night found breath anew
A wind whereby the stars were disenthralled. . . .
Far off, I heard the cry of frustrate ill,
A witch that wailed above her curdled brew.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.