The Ordeal


The Ordeal was published in Williams' collection, The Tempers (1913).
The Ordeal
Nicolas Tonelli, Eastern newt red eft, 2009
O Crimson salamander,
Because of love's whim

the winding flame
Predestined to disman him
And bring our fellow home to us again.

Swim in with watery fang,
Gnaw out and drown
The fire roots that circle him
Until the Hell-flower dies down
And he comes home again.

Aye, bring him home,
O crimson salamander,
That I may see he is unchanged with burning—
Then have your will with him,
O crimson salamander.


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