Brighter then, and brighter as it seemed

Shone the spectre, as Geraldine screamed

‘Mercy, have mercy upon me, mother mild

‘Twas not my wish to besiege thy child!’

‘Then whose, demon-stock?’ Set forth the mother

‘Doth the succubus have father, sister, brother?

Art thou witch, warlock, devil’s sporn?

In which measureless cavern wast thou born?

In which savage place, devil haunted

Out of which hags unclean womb wast enchanted?



Geraldine flung up her arm the incandescence to ward

Then with unimaginable swiftness fled o’er the sward

Fled thru’ copse, fled thru’ coppice

Loosed the cincture from beneath her bodice

Hissing she drew in her breath aloud

As ‘neath the clutching trees she bowed

Her silken robe and inner vest

Dropped from her naked breast

Then, O! what change did transpire

O’er this lofty lady, this object of desire

Whose stately neck and arms were laid bare

Whose blue-veined feet now unsandaled were?

Her lithe form yet more lissome became

Sinuous, snake-like, till no semblance of human form did it retain


And then in sinuous winding curves

Swiftly glided away

A bright green serpent escaping sun’s bright ray

Yet still pursued that spectral blaze of light

The mother’s burning heart ardent for the fight

Tho’ no longer of this mortal coil

To ward her daughter, was to her sweet toil

She poised to strike

To rid the world of evil and its like

When, echoing thru’ forest and glade

Ne’er was sweeter sound e’er made

A bugle call, the herald’s sign:

Bracy was come in the nick of time


Offas Dyke1