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Sam Wouters: The Carpathian Blood Countess

Sam and Jela Wouters

Join me, dear seraph, when Destiny's sorrow
Enters the dewing domains of the morrow;
Let be rekindled thy heart which was frozen,
Aimed at by light from the heavens been chosen.

As New Year's Eve got veiled in shrouds of night,
A century to die, a new to light,
In Vienna's streets a carriage did pass
St. Stephan's mighty dome for midnight mass
And gothic smells of incense and of death
Coalesced around a Countess, who was saith
To hold sweet beauty in her body paled
Beneath a cloak of velvet black, which trailed
Across the treshold of the chilly church
And floated smoothly to her waiting perch.
Elisabeth, that was her christian name,
Like Bathory her lineage of fame;
A famous Countess, aye, she was, endowed
With mickle wit, but envious and proud;
And though her intellect was rare, some thrill --
The lust for blood and beauty -- made her kill.
In Hungary her fiefs she wisely ruled,
Yet in the arts of alchemy been schooled,
Her mind had knit the strange delusive thought
That made her think the red from maidens wrought
Had powers to retain her ageless skin,
Yea! to immortalize; therefore the sin
Of murder she committed: life she scathed
While in pure young blood her flesh she bathed.
Many maids had in her dungeons died,
That grounds around thin coverage supplied
And that the neighb'ring villages got stripped
Of girls, from sad parental bosoms ripped;
Yet still she saw her beauty slightly fading,
Though results seemed ever more persuading.
"'Tis but peasant's milk," she wondered now,
"Perchance some noble nectar will allow
More splendour to my body... Yes, I'll feed
Upon some fresh blue-blooded virgins, that I need!"
And while this thread inside her head was woven,
High soprano melodies had cloven
Through the choir into the pillared nave
To touch the Countess, charm her, and enslave.
Cold shivers 'pon her rigid spine they'd sent,
And willingly their stroke she underwent,
While round her neck the little hairs they stirred
To reach th' angelic heights her ears had heard;
But when she saw Ilona who had sung,
Her eyes desired what they found and stung
Through sixteen candles on the altar burning
In the trembling maid's: she started yearning
For this virgin, virtuous and fair,
With soft enameled face and golden hair.
O, in that dress, all white and so naďve,
Firm outlines of young breasts she could perceive
And slowly as in trance with staring eyes
Her glovčd hand she slid between her thighs;
Though, after moments, moving to her hips,
A pensive smile did curve her luscious lips.
Yet later when came home the Countess famed
Into her snow-clad mansion, lust-inflamed
With dreams of sweet Ilona still in bloom,
She sought the Turkish pillows in the room
And had Darvulia, a witch-like maid,
Give orders to the driver, while she stayed
There pond'ring on what happened before church.
For after lunch she'd used her shape to search,
Admire her beauty in her mirrors bright,
Until that afternoon, when wrinkles light
Had so enraged her that th' entire court
There would have sought a safe resort
As far away as possible from her,
If any there had been; aye, now they were
Afraid; now all foresaw their ghastly fate:
Their severed heads fresh-piked above the gate;
At least one maiden's head would roll, they'd thought,
The reason hearing which her anger brought.
But, naye, the rage was for the mirrors meant,
For th' only joy the Countess could content
Was having all her image-bearing glasses
Put outside into the snowy masses;
There direct destruction she conveyed,
Which meek and stiff to death the maids obeyed.
These looking glasses, framed in braze and gold,
All of which contained her secrets old,
That knew too much and kept the faint reflection
Of her weaknesses and imperfection,
Thus were gathered in the snow, then smashed,
And all their pieces in the courtyard trashed.
The Countess' thoughts now trailed to homely bliss,
Aye, to the tow'ring castle of Cahtice,
With all its catacombs and dungeons dark,
The sepulchre to maiden corpses. "Hark!
There is that scream again that ever poises
Th'air. Ah, all those faint yet dreadful noises,
Carried with the clouds throughout the night,
Dread-driven by the wind towards the light.
Hence! Out, foul daemons! Torture me no more,
With all the galls of guilt thou hast in store!
Out, out, I say! and vanish in the air,
Be swallowed by the moonbites of despair;
No longer batter at my windows curtained,
Fester me no more!" But then, ascertained
Of her frenzy, did she laugh away
Ill fear and so her daemons did dismay.
Aye, standing up she to the curtains strode,
Oped them slightly, watched the darkened load
Of snow that lay upon the ledge, and smiling,
While her heart new symphonies was riling,
Cruelties she spawned within her core
Bringing horned emotions like before.
The night was black, as black as black can be
And but the nightowl keen could scarcely see
A prey. A timid rat unspied did crawl
Beneath his tree, daring the Count of fowl
Thus searched this rural rogue his way... Alas,
For as he started in the shallow grass
The darting bird in bloodlust bit his breast.
Meanwhile the Countess, eagerly undressed,
In myriad movements wantonly advanced, --
While yearning so and turning slowly, -- danced
Her way towards the hearth; and in its fire
Put the pointed pokers, while desire
Licking at her moistened groin did cease
Her luscious limbs with heat. This knew to please
The charmed Elisabeth. Again a finger
Fine did downward trail and 'twould but linger
At her navel small... Tickle-trickle...
Tickle-lick... The horseshoes fickle
Clicks upon the smoothened stone she heard,
The rattle of a rocking coach, which stirred
Her in her trance and made her refuge seek
Within a nightgown white. One mound did peek
From it, shaping her smooth-embroidered lace...
And restless thoughts again her heart did pace,
For visionlike the breast she did behold
And knew it as a certainty foretold
To be her bared domain which crown,
A sovereign all dark, was with'ring down.
The charm was short, for hollow footsteps sounded
On the threshold and the staircase rounded.
Old Darvulia 'twas, she knew her well,
The only one who chilled her with her spell;
Yes, there her rod upon the door did knock
The fatal striking of a midnight clock,
Foretelling of a maiden's final hour
In the darkness of a dreadful bower.
On a sign the hag this chamber trod
With fair Ilona and her witch's rod;
The maiden, when the Countess called her
Voiced like ice, which deeply 'nthralled her,
Trembled as she bowed before the grace
Of keen Elisabeth, whose pallid face
Had now resumed the sharpened and severe
Expression of a serpent spouting fear.
She heard the Countess speak, "My angel, sing
To me, and that thy melodies may bring
The beauty of the sun and paling moon."
And thus Ilona tried to coin a tune,
But as her tender heart did beat in dread
Recalling well the words her mother'd said
Of their Mistress and her cruel actions,
Savage punishments, and mad reactions
Often ending with a lethal deed,
So pressing fear her song did supersede:
Dreads now fastly in her throat could knot,
Tainted sounds in ghastly air did rot,
Small wrinkles round her rosy lips were curling,
Teardrops round her painted nose came pearling...
Then the Countess struck her... And her claw,
Resembling now a tiger's leaping paw
Did tear Ilona's cloak and fancy dress
Away from her with anger in excess.
She fell. Her soft, wet eyes, now fixed in black,
Held mezmerized in such an endless track,
Were terror-shot. Full naked she was lying
On a Persian carpet and her sighing
And soft throbbing in her throat out there
Were th'only comfort in her grim despair.
As moments passed she heard the noble dame
Now softly whisper her Hungarian name,
"Ilona, warm and beautiful Ilona,
Daughter of fair Sun and lovely Mona,
Come, my lass, that lust no longer lingers,
Bring me all sweet pleasures of thy fingers,
Let thy mouth be gentle like thy voice,
To trail this body and its fruits of choice."
And from her gown herself she was undoing
While these words Ilona brave were wooing;
Their hypnotic power thus succeeded
In diminishing emotion-speeded
Tears which from her honest fears gave vent.
The Countess noticed: on she went,
"Thy passion keep unstained; beware the crude
Untender grape of prudishness which good
And healthy wine more acrid makes, and sours,
Poisoning its flavour by the hours."
Now on hands and knees she slowly crawled
Towards the maid in all her beauty sprawled
Upon the floor before the dying fire,
Her delicious bosom to admire.
Then Ilona's hand she took and heaved
Beneath her chest from which it further thieved;
Aye, thus the maid found strange exotic treasures,
As she learned of great erotic pleasures,
For the Countess, as her breath was hasted,
From Ilona's tender shoulders tasted,
Licked her neck, and nibbled with her lips,
While wetness warm explored her fingertips.
Yet as she reached herself the heavens' heights,
Her face was drawn towards the burning sites
Which from both ways were ridging round the valley
Where her luscious tongue did reel and rally;
And hearing that sweet bosom bravely beating,
Sudden lust befell her now of eating.
So she bit... Ilona screamed and squirmed,
But as the teeth inside her flesh were firmed
It caused more harm, so that her fingers clawed
Into the lady's back, who shrieking gnawed
And, getting loosened from the maiden crying,
Fetched the red-hot pokers yonder lying.
Bloody masked she trembled as she swore,
"Thou bitch, thou foul and basic country whore,
Let's see if pain brings melody in barking
When these toys thy other breast be marking."
This Ilona scared, and up she jumped
But, panicking into a doll she bumped,
An iron lady standing near the door
From which a long, sharp pin her side did gore.
A fine device of torture she there met
With knives in lethal mechanisms set,
Designed to tempt a maiden eager-handed
Gems to touch, around that chin repanded.
There the mistress chuckled. "Ah, ill luck,"
She sneered and then the heated irons struck
Against the bosom of the helpless maid.
Ilona yelped and in a swoon she stayed
Until the Countess for her servants called
And for her witch, who by the sight enthralled
Had everything beheld, a secret shade,
A ghost which in the ghoulish light could fade.
Now out into the cold december night
They brought Ilona with some tapers bright;
Twelve in all with memories and dreams,
For neither stars of hope nor balmy beams
Of painted Mona on the tainted path
Threw light, all fainted or withdrawn in wrath.
Ilona panting on her feet was placed,
Her tortured body naked and embraced
By greedy gusts of snow; her wounds all burning,
So that now her soul to death was turning.
And the witch, in alchemy been skilled,
Some giant jars with icy water filled
To mix them with the liquid of a potion.
Shaking pots with ritual devotion,
She saw the Countess coming, draped in wool:
A dozen tapers lit the horrid ghoul,
Who now had smeared the maiden's blood, --
As if it were a mask of gracing mud, --
About her face, which still in savage rage
Beheld the practice of the wicked sage.
Some servants, being ordered, then did pour
The contents of the jars upon "the whore"
But, as the water touched Ilona's skin,
It froze; and though at first it was but thin,
The layers quickly thickened, and Ilona,
Child of bloody Sun and blackened Mona,
Arms apart, a statue made of ice,
For purity there paid a ghastly price.
And all the tapers by the wind blown dead --
As memories did fade when ice had spread, --
Now slowly cast some smoke into the air,
Like silent mourners for the maiden fair;
And the Countess, as she saw the night
In doubt that there tomorrow would be light,
Now solemnly returned towards her bower,
To the mansion with its tainted tower.