[Byron Society home page] [Other works by Steve] [Event]

The Fantome Fatale of Highgate

by Steven "Prometheus" Hoey

Amidst the stones grey lichen mossed
That trapped him like some hueless dream
He fled past oaks laid bare by frost
From echoes of his breathless scream

Amongst the shadows ’neath Highgate’s spire
She gazed upon him with eyes afyre!

Though long of limb and fleet of foot
She matched his pace with patient stride
His face he blacked with chimney soot
To blend with night his soul to hide

From the remnants of an ancient tomb
She stood and watched amidst the gloom!

Endless was her dogged pursuit
Of the man, her dream and her Grail
Brimming with the Forbidden Fruit,
A quest on which she would not fail!

She floated like mist in leather clad
Toward her Chosen One, her comely lad!

His timorous thews so weary
Fear fuelled, prodigious in strength,
Carried him over paths dreary
His stride of ever-shortened length

The cold, greasy ground of November
Could not yet quench Love’s fading ember

Striving in earnest to bear heat
In a place dank with cryptic cold
She closed the gap on his retreat
A wolf amongst the tender fold

Darkly angel whose cinnamon scent
Clung to our Childe wherever he went!

Exhalation of tombly breaths
Whose sweet-sour tang nostrils cloy
Miasma of ten thousand deaths
Flow forth to claim our forlorn boy

A chill autumn breath nuzzles his throat
Like a pelt of freshly chivvied stoat!

O heart that pumps such fevered blood
Most so scalded as like to burst,
Be silenced by the graveyard mud
That sucks with insatiable thirst!

And then she stood, Blackness before him
The manner of his demise her whim

Weary he fell ’pon hands and knees
As evening spread across the shies
The heavens deaf unto his pleas
Mute as a patient etherised

Upon a slab, trussed like a beast
He was her offering, her banquet feast!

Hecate rose, her haunches high,
Sinewy form close to the ground,
’Round her neck a Trinity tie
Just to show she had been around

On hind legs she rose to grow in height
With raven’s hair and countenance bright

To five feet and six, a goddess
She took shape midst a cloak of fyre
Scholar of demeanour modest
Or Fury when provoked to ire!

Naked and trapp’d ’tween their forces
His manhood the envy of horses

The Dark One struck the Shape Shifter
And the skies rolled with her thunder
Sharp fumes rose as from a snifter
Of brandy quaffed ’fore you chunder

Violet and amber arcs cross-fired
As the course of their battle transpired

The eyes of the Dark Witch blazed black
Splashing shadow o’er all the plain
When in the midst of the attack
Two others joined to bear the strain

Imprisoned amongst the astral fyre
The Childe writhed like a pig in a mire

The Minx, the Lion, the Bearer
Of fyre from Olympian heights,
Battled to put down the Terror
Commingling their singular nights

Three as One their forces prevailed
To pierce Darkness fatally impaled!

When he woke upon his own bed
It was finished [perchance a dream?]
Absolved of fear, absolved of dread
He’d wake no longer with a scream

[As to the demise of the Dark Witch
I have only this much to tell:

Consigned to the Pit of sulphurous tar
She sought solace from her Yorkie Bar]