A New Fairy Tale About a Very Old Witch

At no time in our past has the ATLANTIC received as many poems as are now submitted to us. They are evidence of an interest in poetry which never slackens. As an incentive for writers yet uneslablished, we set aside a number of pages in our February and August issues to be devoted to the work of young poets.

Inward, ever more inward, said the Princess,
Bends my furious laughter,
For in me is a serious woman
Who cannot be happy ever after,
Whom no one can love.
I am my own mother, my own child,
Cried the Princess, and her grief rose wild.
Ancient believer, survivor, said the Princess,
Oh crone, my bony Evermore, my core,
Out of swollen yellow dangers you have swum
Silent as a rat, your black rags wet with scum.
Under my twinkling diadem, said the Princess,
I lower my eyes — not from modesty, not from innocence.
No one must see too soon what shafts can be;
I know my heart, this witch that beats in me.
Wait till I dry my eyes, I am one with you, crone, I come.
As time has wrinkled you, so have you wrinkled time,
Changing the courses of rivers, the faces of my people.
My kingdom rings about me as it does
Because of what stings in me, said the Princess,
And out of this demon jewel must grow
All I would know of love.