A half-point Nor’ard from the West,
A bluish-tinted spot of light,
Now deep below, now on the crest
Of a high wave, hove into sight;
And by the curves and speed it made,
Conviction came to every Shade
That here the monster was returning
With all those inner fires burning
That no destruction could assuage;
Though through the hours of the night
The floating victims of the fight
Showed how the wild-cat could engage
His foes; achieve his victories;
For those he could not kill outright
Had either died from heart-disease
Or passed out through a haemorrhage.
An unexpected wonder met
His rolling, unabated eye—
For when he reached the parapet
He found the witches’ cauldron dry.
And there was something which surprised
Him even more; the drunken riot
Was followed by a holy quiet;
The fish lay dead or paralysed;
No witch this time came forth to serve
His inbred hunger for assault
With either rum or wine or malt.
The thing told heavily on his nerve,
That near that massive banquet place
Not one lone member of his race,
Outside the fortress or within,
Survived to give him grin for grin,
Or swish a tail across his face.
And so this wild-cat, now bereft
Of all of life’s amenities,
Took one blood-curdling leap and left
Magellan’s for the vacant seas.
Sullen and dangerous he ripped
A gleaming furrow through the water,
Magnificently still equipped
For combat with rapine and slaughter.
Now with his tail electro-tipped,
Swiftly but leisurely he made
Around the steaming palisade
A blazing spiral which outshone
The fiercest glow of Acheron.
Then suddenly, as if aware,
By a deep ferment in his soul
Or something psychic in his hair,
Of some ulterior, mystic goal,
He sharply turned, began a lonely
Voyage pregnant of immortal raids
And epic plunder. But the Shades
Saw him no more in the flesh. Only
To Satan and the witches three
(In touch with his galvanic tail,
By more occulted masonry)
Appeared a phosphorescent trail
That headed for the Irish Sea.