OUT beyond the edge
The last house stands alone
Behind the blackthorn hedge
Is the hovel of the crone

Furtive callers come at night
For a remedy or spell
Or to learn from second-sight
And what the stars foretell

In her tattered homespun gown
And unseen cloak of fear
She is shunned within the town
No one goes too near

Some folks say she's good
While others fear she's bad
Doesn't live the way she should
Many think she's mad

She is no proud man's wife
And comes at no one's call
The earth commands her life
As one in nature's thrall

She listens in the night
To the voices of the trees
Reads the swallows flight
Hears whispers on the breeze

In the earth her mind has roots
Her heart beats out the season
Her thoughts are growing shoots
Of power without reason

So men, who fear to break
The fragile towers of the mind
Would have her to a stake
And to the flames consigned

For knowledge not of God
Nor gift of men's conceit
Must be deplored as odd
And the devil's to defeat