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Rachel Lyman Field

The Quiet Child

By day it's a very good girl am I;

I sit by the fire and sew,

I darn the stockings and sweep the floors

And hang the pots in a row.

But, oh, by night when the candle's out

And my bedroom black as pitch,

I've just to crackle my thumbs to turn

Into a wild bad witch.

Nights of storm and nights of stars

Are all the same to me—

It's up on my broom and straddle the wind

As it whips my pigtails free.

Over the chimney pots to go,

Past the jumbled lights of towns,

With the hosts of good black trees beyond,

And dim sheep-sprinkled downs.

No one knows when morning comes

And I'm back in bed once more,

With tangled hair and eyes a-blink

From the sunshine on the floor—

No one knows of that witch who rode

In the windy dark and wild—

And I let them praise my sober ways,

And call me a quiet child!