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The Good Witch and Errant King

This fantasy poem is an allegory of how well intentioned men can make terrible mistakes, many times in the name of religion, and cause untold harm to those who mean them only well. It is a poem of magic, evil, witches, spells, and redemption. I consider it one of my best fantasy poems.
©2011 by Jon Gutmacher
There was a king
in far off land
a godly man
as religions stand
who said his prayers
never took things light
but thought, too much
that he was

A bishop did
come fore him once
and told of witches
an evil hunch
that they were damned
and caused all harm
and thus incited
a great

The king prayed long
for an answer true
and then took knights
and witches slew
and those who hid
and those who fled
were the only witches
were not dead

“And now I’ve rid them
from the land
The crops will grow
all witch be damned!
the bishop smiled
the people prayed
at last
from nothing
they were saved

and the witches who
once roamed the land
doing good
by spell and hand
were few and far
and secret, too
so very few
the people

Then Evil came
with good witch gone
and took the land
and smote it on
and drought and cold
and disease ran thru
the kingdom suffered
as no one

And bishop came
to castle gate
and then
at throne
could hardly wait
to cast more blame
who did not pray
it was – Them
who caused
this blackened

And so King passed
several laws
And threw in chains
some hundred more
and tortured those
who would not pray
so each could see
their Evil way

And now the people
were truly sad
too many laws
that made them mad
but nothing did protect the land
the pestilence
still, was out of hand

“Oh, Bishop – what is
left to do?
I have listened twice
to only you
my kingdom dies
the livestock low
the people sick
the crops
won’t grow

The Bishop shook his head
but twice
he didn’t know
had no advice
could only pray
could only bow
would nothing stop
the pestilence now?

And then the Queen
came down with pain
a sickly look
like ashen rain
the joy she was
it was
no more
the church bells rang
her death
at store

The King so low
despondent now
for all got worse
no fields to plow
and then a dream
came on one night
it lit the room
it set him right

“Tomorrow we go
into the wood!
A dream has told
of witches good
that they are not the evil
that we thought
but heal the land
What have I wrought?”

And on that morn
the King, one knight
they braved thick forest
to get it right
and there so deep
and there so dark
a simple cottage
the King did hark

“I mean no harm
No harm will come
A dream did show . . .
Please, do not run!
And all this time . . .
I’ve been so wrong
you’ve hidden here
too long
too long

And then the witch
came into view
so fair and kind
he surely knew
what Bishop told
was ah, so wrong
his laws were bad
his people wronged

“I am no witch as
witch you know
I heal the sick
in rain
or snow
you killed my kind
as witches go . . .
but I will heal your queen!”

And with a wave
of magic hand
a change did come
across the land
and all the sick
and all the blight
did vanish in
a stroke
of light

The King bowed down
a humbled man
and said the words
as best he can:
“I’ve done you wrong
“I’ve killed your kind
“While all through time
“You were so kind

“I revoke the laws
“I restore your place
“I open my kingdom
“I accept disgrace
“And never will this happen twice
“Forgive me, please
“Give your advice

And then she smiled
and flowers grew
twelve fairies appeared
and then He knew
that the Land needed magic
for it to stay
for it was magic that kept
the evil

And from that time
no witch was burned
for hence there was
a lesson learned
that those with Power
are mainly good
they’re sheltered deep
in thickest wood

They protect the land
Protect the peace
Keep pestilence out
beyond Evil’s reach
And those who dwell
are only good
if They, you need
go deep
in wood

For if your heart
is straight and true
then only good
witches do

The image is by an amazing artist, Hank Akins, and is entitled: “Enchanted Evening”. It was found at While the artist has a separately listed website address, I have been unable to access it, but am still trying to contact him for permissions.
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