The Making of a Witch
“ All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.”
A green-gowned maid sat by the stream
combing out her floating hair,
when dancing on the firefly air
there came to her a man of dream.
He loved her out of her fine array,
praised russet hair with silver tongue;
in the melt of the winter's dead white sun
she quickened his child as he rode away.
She hadn't learned to reckon cost;
what's quick to grow was quicker to die.
A fast coiled steam of fire and sky,
her love bled out with the babe she lost.
The witchlight flickered in the dark,
the fat white mare was foundered lame.
On the thirteenth night, the black dog came
to suck at her breast and leave his mark.
She scryed her crystal in cold midnight
for sign of him who'd cracked the bell,
drew nightshade visions from the wishing well
to give her in nightmare a second sight.
Of wolfsbane, poppy, black hellebore
she mixed the paste that gave her flight
from mem'ry, to melancholy, feeling, fright;
She screamed till she could dream no more.
They burned her where the high roads cross.
Priests plied the censor while cowards dug
to cover her bones bound tight and snug
washed clean of her fever, at what a cost.
Posted for real toads
Sunday Mini-Challenge: The Envelope Quatrain
Kerry gives us a profound narrative challenge: to follow in Tennyson's footsteps in In Memorium. I wouldn't pretend to go that far, but I've tried to preserve a period feel.
For a full description of form and subject, see above link.
Header Image: The Love Potion, 1903, by Evelyn De Morgan
Public domain via wikimedia commons
Footer Image: Inspire (c) Ellen Wilson
Used with permission. Thanks, Ella!