Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Born Bad: Prelude to The Witch

A savage place! As holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
–from Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Inside the dome of Kubla Khan
Was born a child accursed,
Of raven hair and beauty wan,
Sheer evil at its worst.

In childbirth did her mother pass;
The child was held regarded
With wary eyes of empty glass,
As father, too, departed.

Her mewling cries did reach the Khan;
He came to see the cause
Her pallid skin and ebon eyes
Did give great Kubla pause

Unwilling, though, to cast her out
The girl was made a ward
The Khan’s discretion none would doubt
His people loved their lord

But those inside the pleasure-dome
From her themselves would keep
Their children not allowed to roam
Along with blackened sheep

She grew a timid, artful girl
And to the shadows kept
‘Til Kubla sent this devil spawn
To aid the dome’s adept

‘Twas he who saw what lay within
Her lithe and quiet frame
Only to find to his chagrin
The damage done by shame

He sought to teach her wizardry,
A role to fit within,
Alas, it was too late for she,
Neglected as she’d been.

Her mentor she would soon deceive,
Malicious magic maid,
She put on faces he’d believe,
But studied tomes forbade

In secret did she grow in skill
Concocting her designs
Perfecting all her spells until
Fruition showed its signs

For Xanadu’s surrounding caves
Were proof from second sight
‘Twas there she plotted newborn graves
In haunted moonlit night

She took herself a Demon-mate
Who promised ever more
Of power to manipulate
Than e’re she’d had before.

If she would send the souls of men
Upon which he could feed
Immortal he would make her then,
To which she soon agreed.

To set her plan in action, then,
She killed the wise adept
She loved him most of any men;
A single tear she wept.

Now silently she crept beside
The soldiers in their beds
She whispered thoughts of homicide
Upon their sleeping heads.

Her pallid puppets played their roles;
She unto battle sped them;
Then quickly gathered up their souls
And to Demon fed them.

The Khan alone could not be swayed
Through magics that she wove,
And so her demon-lover slayed
When through its heart he drove

Excalibur, the sword of swords,
Its blessed blade impelled;
The witch did shriek and curse the lords
Her sorcery dispelled!

The power of her sorrowed cry
It found the Nightmare-king
But that’s another lullaby
With horrors it will bring.


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