The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


The Witches' Flight


Come, Red Mouse,
    And come, Black Cat!
Oh, see what the goat
    And the toad are at!
Oh, see them where
They rise in the air,
And wheel and dance
    With the whirling bat!

We rise, we rise
    On the smoking air;

And the withered breast
    Grows young and fair;
And the eyes grow bright
With alluring light,
And the fierce mouth softens
    With love’s soft prayer.

Come, White Sisters,
    Naked of limb!
The horned moon reddens;
    The stars grow dim;

The crags in the gloom
Of our caldron’s fume
Shudder and topple
    And reel and swim.

We mount, we mount

    Till the moon seems nigh.
Our rout possesses
    The middle sky.
With strange embraces,
And maddened faces,
And steaming tresses,
    We twist and fly.

Come, White Sisters,
    And four-foot kin,
For the horned moon sinks

    And the reek grows thin,
And brief is the night
Of our delight,
And brief the span
    Of our secret sin.