In the little red house by the river,
When the short night fell,
Beside his web sat the weaver,
Weaving a twisted spell.
Mary and the Saints deliver
My soul from the nethermost Hell!

In the little red house by the rushes
It grew not dark at all,
For day dawned over the bushes
Before the night could fall.
Where now the torrent rushes,
The brook ran thin and small.

In the little red house a chamber
Was set with jewels fair;
There did a vine clamber
Along the clambering stair,
And grapes that shone like amber
Hung at the windows there.

Will the loom not cease whirring?
Will the house never be still?
Is never a horseman stirring
Out and about on the hill?
Was it the cat purring?
Did someone knock at the sill?

To the little red house a rider
Was bound to come that night.
A cup of sheeny cider
Stood ready for his delight.
And like a great black spider,
The weaver watched on the right.

To the little red house by the tiver
I came when the short night fell.
I broke the web for ever,
I broke my heart as well.
Michael and the Saints deliver
My soul from the nethermost Hell!

Other Poems by Mary Coleridge

Bibliography

Coleridge, Mary. Poems. Ed. Henry Newbolt. London: Elkin Mathews: 1908.

Coleridge, Mary. The Collected Poems of Mary Coleridge. Ed. Theresa Whistler. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1954.


Mary Coleridge

Last modified 26 April 2006