Page:Mistral - Mirèio. A Provençal poem.djvu/143

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Canto VI.]
117
THE WITCH.

Then fell upon them, like a sudden gale
Or white squall on the water fraught with hail,
A swarm of whirling, yelping, vicious things,
Under the fanning of whose icy wings
The mortals, drenched with sweat and struck with cold,
Stood shivering. "Away, ye over-bold,

"Ye spoilers of the harvest, unlicked whelps!"
Taven exclaimed. "Must we then use such helps
To the fair deeds we do? Yet, as by skill
The sage physician bringeth good from ill,
We witches, by our hidden arts, compel
Evil to yield its fruit of good as well.

"Naught's hid from us. For where the vulgar see
A stone, a whip, a stag, a malady,
We witches can the inner force divine
Like that which works under the scum of wine
In fermentation. Pierce the vat, you know,
A seething, boiling scum will outward flow.

"Find, if you can, the key of Solomon!
Or speak unto the mountain in its own
Dread language! It shall move at your behest,
And roll into the valley ere it rest."
Meanwhile they wended lower, and were 'ware
Of a small, roguish voice a-piping there,