Witch-moon that turnest all the streams to blood,
An Oath -- beneath this blasted Oak and bare
That rears its agony above the flood
Whose swollen mask mutters an atheist's prayer.
What oath may stand the shock of this offence:
"There is no I, no joy, no permanence"?
Witch-moon of blood, eternal ebb and flow
Of baffled birth, in death still lurks a change;
And all the leopards in thy woods that range,
And all the vampires in their boughs that glow,
Brooding on blood-thirst -- these are not so strange
And fierce as life's unfailing shower. These die,
Yet time rebears them through eternity.
Hear then the Oath, witch-moon of blood, dread moon!
Let all thy stryges and thy ghouls attend!
He that endureth even to the end
Hath sworn that Love's own corpse shall lie at noon
Even in the coffin of its hopes, and spend
All the force won by its old woe and stress
In now annihilating Nothingness.
This chapter is called Imperial Purple
and A Punic War.