“Succubus” and “Lilith”

My poem “Succubus” fits into the well-established genre of poems, novels and stories based on the legend of a female demon or vampire who seduces men during the night-time and consumes their souls or bodies in some way.  “Succubus” was written quite a while ago, and I can’t recall whether it was inspired by a particularly vivid dream or nightmare or not.  I have a vague impression that I might have been thinking about Keats’s poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci” at the time, but “Succubus” is a slightly quirky take on the genre.  The only other poem I’ve written on the subject is “Lilith”, which is more traditional in tone and form.  I remember being struck by the phrase “she wore a gown of night”, that I had read or heard somewhere, and writing “Lilith” as a consequence.  “Lilith” featured in an earlier post in this blog, but I include it again here, so that, with “Succubus” you have two contrasting attempts at the genre.


It was the very pith of him,
the neverlasting quick of him,
the so so tender wick of him
she took.

Yet no vestigial rim of him,
no unconnected limb of him,
no loving kith or kin of him
she overlooked.

In short, a sorry tale.
The essence of the male
became her holy grail.

Leaving, in her wake,
drained remnants of a lake,
infused with bitter chill.
A bleak, abandoned place,
impossible to fill.


Her eyes were dark, her feet were bare,
she wore a gown of night.
Two ravens, hovering above,
obscured the lunar light.

She moved towards him soundlessly,
gliding through the air;
gentle breezes flickering,
tousling lustrous hair.

He could not meet her gaze; hopeless was the fight.
Timorous, enfeebled at this spectral sight,
he froze in place, his scattered senses
roaming where they might.

Her mantle closed around him,
infusing scent of wormwood.
Moths, fluttering from her mouth,
first chilled, then stilled his blood.



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