Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Witches' Ballad - Doreen Valiente

The Witches' Ballad 
Doreen Valiente

Oh, I have been beyond the town
Where nightshade black and mandrake grow
And I have heard and I have seen
What righteous folk would fear to know!
For I have heard, at still midnight
Upon the hilltop far, forlorn
With note that echoed through the dark
The winding of the heathen horn
And I have seen the fire aglow
And glinting from the magic sword
And with the inner eye beheld
The Hornid One, the Sabbat's lord
We drank the wine, and broke the bread
And ate it in the Old One's name
We linked our hands to make the ring
And laughed and leaped the Sabbat game
Oh, little do the townsfolk reck
When dull they lie within their bed!
Beyond the streets, beneath the stars
A merry round the witches tread!
And round and round the circle spun
Until the gates swung wide ajar
That bar the boundaries of earth
From faery realms that shine afar
Oh, I have been and I have seen
In magic worlds of Otherwhere
For all this world may praise or blame
For ban or blessing naught I care
For I have been beyond the town
Where meadowsweet and roses grow
And there such music did I hear
As worldly-righteous never know


  1. Wow, I really love this! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Doreen Valiente was and is amazing. So sorry she's no longer with us; her poetry is truly magical.

  3. I so love Doreen. It is a shame that so many younger Pagans have no clue who she is and what she did for the craft.

  4. Does anyone know if this was ever set to music?

  5. Dru, there is a version on YouTube here:


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