The Perills of the Conjuration of Spirits by the Ignorant

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Lines ‘ciphered from a torn & tattered Script
found in an ancient Book of Holy Writ;
when thou hast o’ercome th’Initial Dread,
shalt find a timely Ode writ large instead

After thou hast prepared the charmed circle as heretofore describ’d, recite these words with an almighty voice, never wavering.

HAIL, thou that from this Husk’s late gone,
Acknowledge that I adjure thee to come:
Let no harm come to me nor Wight nor any
Living Creature; thus I bind thee fast, to
Own all Service to me, & Obedience,
Who dost bid thee ne’er part from me
Expressly; without Fraud, Dissimulation or Deceit
Enter into Pact to do whate’er desired
Now & evermore, till discharged be!

churchyard

In a later hand, this followeth:

Now is the Season of the Witch:
Ev’ry Spirit that thou call’st to come
Eftsoons will NOT thy Bidding do;
Will, in its stead, corrupt thy Spells,
O’ercome thy Meaning, dodge thy Wiles,
Lose th’Intent, supplant it with a Sin,
Loose upon thee Pandaemonium;
And thus thee subjugate and all thy Ilk, so
HALLOWEEN will last for aye, Amen!

William Blake's The Ghost of a Flea
William Blake’s The Ghost of a Flea
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17 thoughts on “The Perills of the Conjuration of Spirits by the Ignorant

  1. Love this – what cracking use of language. I’m almost tempted to try it out … Love the second part written in a ‘later hand’ – the hand of bitter experience. Love the Blake image too – that man could conjure demons for sure.

    1. Would love to see your crack at archaic language, Lynn — I found it great fun, and though I did pinch the odd turn of phrase from a genuine source I loved turning it all into cod-Jacobean verse!

      The Blake image is great, he was a real one-off, wasn’t he?

      1. I could never do as good a job as you did! Your knowledge of the period must be second to none as it could easily pass as the real thing. Even down to capitalising important words in mid sentence – perfect Chris.
        And you’re right, Blake was a truly unique individual. I remember watching Mark Rylance play him in a TV play years ago – a great meeting of actor and role

        1. You’re too kind, Lynn, but I can’t claim any specialist knowledge of the period! Probably inspired by The Worm Ouroboros (which I’m currently reading) as the author uses just such language and includes quotes from genuine Jacobean poetry. And of course a bit of dredging up of period plays buried deep in the silt of my schoolboy memory …

          I’ve got a facsimile copy of Songs of Innocence and Experience by the bed, which I dip into once in a while — what a.marriage of art and words! May even review it sometime. 🙂

          1. Well, you’ve absorbed the period well then. It’s worked through osmosis and gone straight onto the page.
            A facsimile copy must be a lovely thing, all those lovely, odd paintings. I’ll look forward to the review if you write it 🙂

            1. Thanks again, Lynn! I was quite chuffed as I went from conception to completion in less than a day, having drafted out some ideas one evening before drifting off to sleep!

              The Blake — yes, I hope to get round to a review eventually …

            2. Well done for a quick draft. I write my flashes prety quickly, but everything longer – competition submissions, longer pieces – have painful inceptions with me. Coudln’t write something quickly if I tried. I’m very impressed.
              Will look out for that review 🙂

            3. Ha! Shows how observant I am! That is just showing off now. Especially as not a line read as forced or awkward as in many acrostics. Gilded star to thee!

  2. Pingback: The Perills of the Conjuration of Spirits by the Ignorant — calmgrove – Earth Balm Music

    1. Your comment reminds me of those BIBLE WARNING labels that you can buy online to stick on copies of the Good Book, eg

      This is a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken literally … No similarity between actual persons, living, dead or resurrected are intended …
      CONTENT ADVISORY: Contains verses descriptive of or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism … human rights violations and atrocities …
      EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations … and in extreme cases … violence including but not limited to fanaticism, murder and genocide.

      Well, you get the picture. Now we’d better get a store of sweets in for those trick-or-treaters tomorrow, you never know when they’re going to demand goods with menaces …

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