SONGS OF CHILDHOOD: 1901
And, as with ropes of amethyst, the boughs with lamps were hung,
And clusters of green emeralds like fruit upon them clung.
"O witches nine, ye dreadful nine, witches seven and three!
Whence come these wondrous things that I this Christmas morning see?"
But straight, as in a clap, when she of Christmas says the word,
Here is the snow, and there the sun, but never bloom nor bird;
Nor warbling flame, nor gloaming-rope of amethyst there shows,
Nor bunches of green emeralds, nor belfry, well, and rose,
Nor cloud of gold, nor cherry-tree, nor witch in brindled shawl,
But like a dream that vanishes, so vanished were they all.
When Lucy sees, and only sees three crows upon a bough,
And earthly twigs, and bushes hidden white in driven snow,
Then "O!" said Lucy, "three times three is nine — I plainly see
Some witch has been a-walking in the fields in front of me."