Canto The First
“Through days of old and days anew,
Passing on, not passing through,
Of ruddy pallor or deathly hue,
As phantoms, spectres, demons flew,
Or rotting corpse, corporeal shell,
Seamlessly traversing a heaven or hell,
Their form has changed, their spirit not,
They have haunted dreams that memories begot
And whispered on winds of time,
O’er peaks and plains and desert climes.
“Borne of demons, in female guise,
Ensnaring men by gazing eyes,
The Serpent’s kiss of poisoned bliss,
Another falls unto her abyss.
Lamia! As Keats did show,
None could resist nor even know,
‘Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake,
Came, as through bubbling honey, for Love’s sake’,
For Love is blind and curses fool or faculty,
In equal measures, as did She.
“Caligula, too, he bore that mark,
The Tyrant banished to the flame,
And left alone, his hell was dark,
Residing in his shallow grave,
But twas not long ‘til the fiend returned,
And haunting thro’ the palace,
His mortal frame not enough was burned,
Or so the legend has us.
“In Middle Age the fiend did grow,
With werewolf, witch and devil,
His plague was wont as blood did flow,
And elevate above the level
Ground, on which mortal man expired,
Tho’ demon lived as yet,
And conjured superstition thro’ fire,
Which enabled man to forget.
“In Chaucer’s time the grave refused,
To contain the beast and so abused,
The laws of nature, returned again,
The fiend and brought the end,
Of many folk of village and town,
And caused their turn within the ground,
But they, like he, emerged afresh,
Or so is said, and bringing death,
They brought the circle to the start,
Which only ends when pierced, the heart.
“Over seas and over air,
Emerging now from within his lair,
The Vampyre once more rose again,
Though now his form was not the same,
Twas thro’ Byron, or his one time friend,
Which caused further immortal ends,
They gave him blood, well in their way,
And held him there, in full sway,
To prey upon all their kind,
And live him on through words and lines.