The White Witch

O brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
Trust not your prowess nor your strength
Your only safety lies in flight;
For in her glance there is a snare
And in her smile there is a blight
The great white witch you have not seen?
Then,younger brothers mine, for sooth
Like nursery children you have looked
For ancient hag and snaggle-tooth
But no, not so; the witch appears
In all the glowing charms of youth

Her lips are like carnations, red
Her face like new-born lilies, fair
Her eyes like ocean waters, blue,
She moves with subtle grace and air
And all about her head there floats
The golden glory of her hair.

But though she always thus appears
In form of youth and mood of mirth
Unnumbered centuries are hers
The infant planets saw her birth
The child of throbbing Life is she
Twin sister to the greedy earth

And back behind those smiling lips
And down within those laughing eyes
And underneath the soft caress
Of hand and voice and purring sighs
The shadow of the panther lurks
The spirit of the vampire lies

For I have seen the great white witch
And she has led me to her lair
And I have kissed her red, red lips
And cruel face so white and fair
Around me she has twined her arms
And bound me with her yellow hair

I felt those red lips burn and sear
My body like a living coal
Obeyed the power of those eyes
As the needle trembles to the pole
And did not care although I felt
The strength go ebbing from my soul

Oh ! she has seen your strong young limbs
And heard your laughter loud and gay
And in your voices she has caught
The echo of a far-off day
When man was closer to the earth
And she has marked you for her prey

She feels the old Antaean strength
In you, the great dynamic beat
Of primal passions, and she sees
In you the last besieged retreat
Of love relentless, lusty, fierce
Love pain-ecstatic, cruel-sweet

O,brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night
O,younger brothers mine, beware!
Loo knot upon her beauty bright
For in her glance there is a snare
And in her smile there is a blight.