Long beyond the mem'ries of you or I
There was a shining castle in the sky
Where lived a maiden and her dear brother
With neither a father nor a mother
The boy was fair, his sister dark
She sang as sweetly as a lark
While she tended to the castle garden
Of which she was the devoted warden
She tilled the soil, she planted seeds
She watered them and pulled the weeds
The local songbirds all would flock
To perch on her lily-white frock
And pull at the ribbons, as was their sport
With them she had a deep rapport
She spoke their tongues; and well she knew
The virtues of the herbs she grew
And how best to invoke them in a brew
She was a proper Witch, and true
Her brother was of great renown
An oft-sung hero in the town
Though no one knew what was his birth
He was a Prince for all his worth
And much beloved by all the girls
For his strong arms and long pale curls
And for rescuing damsels in distress
His motto: "Ev'ry girl is a Princess!"
And if sometimes a maid he saved
Was less than perfectly behaved
And returned home a maid no more
Her family certainly bore
No resentment to her savior
She alone fell out of favor
By his great deeds he earned such fame
That the whole world soon learned his name
The people came from far and wide
"Save our daughters!" the masses cried
The poor Prince, he was over-taxed
He fled to his sister and asked
No, begged for her to lend him aid
"Of course I will," his sister said
"A magic sword I'll forge for you
Enchanted to always strike true
And be unbreakable, yet light as air
After that, new garments will I prepare
Bring me old rags and I will shape
A white silk suit and matching cape
And imbue protections in ev'ry stitch
For I am a gifted and clever Witch
I'll make a proper Prince of you
If you'll make me your Princess too"
At those last words the boy's heart fell
"That I cannot, as you know well
As my sister you can never
Be my Princess; a Witch forever
Is your role; take heart, for it suits you well
But please, dear sister, cast your spell"
The Witch at this was quite downcast
But she cheered up, it did not last
She forced a smile and bowed her head
And went to do the things she'd said
Her brother with new clothes and arms
Set off through cities, towns, and farms
And did more than he ever had
To rescue girls and make them glad
For all who asked he bravely fought
Alas, the more he did the more they sought
His sister's magic worked its best
But in the end he needed rest
Back to the castle in the air
He soon returned, and collapsed there
His sister, seeing this, took fright
"Dear brother, you're a sorry sight!
But worry not, I have the cure
An enchanted sleep, deep and pure
Once you're healed up, I'll waken you"
Gladly the Prince drank down her brew
And fell into much needed sleep
And now the Witch began to weep
"Oh dearest brother, how I've missed
You and envied the girls you've kissed
Oh, don't you love me, brother dear?
Those other girls, I start to fear
Will someday soon be your demise
I dread reopening your eyes!"
Meanwhile below it wasn't long
Ere there gathered a vicious throng
Beneath the castle to demand
The Prince lend them his valiant hand
In rescuing their daughters from
All kinds of plights; he did not come
So they prepared to storm the gait
The Witch came down and shouted, "Wait!
You've worked my brother half to death
He cannot hear you, save your breath
This castle is protected by
Years of my magic; should you try
To breach the door or scale the wall
I guarantee you all will fall"
"What about our daughters?" the reply came
The Witch said, "Them I do not blame
And I will help them if I can
Just give me time to form a plan"
The crowd roared so it made her wince
"A girl can never be a Prince!
Leave us be and fetch your brother
Make him come; we'll have no other"
"I won't," said she. "He's grown too weak"
"What is this slander that you speak?"
Shouted back the furious throng
"The Prince we know is brave and strong!"
Then cried a voice both loud and shrill:
"She's holding him against his will!
What other explanation could
There be? Our Prince is just and good
He never would desert us all
Unless she had him in her thrall!"
The crowd at this broke into parts
And sep'rately they voiced their hearts
"'Tis true!" said one; "I'll be sworn," another
And, "To think: she did this to her brother!"
"Traitor!" "Devil!" "That whore!" "That bitch!"
Then as one they screamed, "Kill the Witch!"
She tried to flee but soon was caught
Though she was stronger than they thought
They stabbed her, burned her, hanged her high
Try as they might, she would not die
Though through it all she screamed in pain
And writhed and cried and fought in vain
As one last attempt on her life
They cut her heart out with a knife
She bled so hard her dress turned red
And so the mob left her for dead
The castle, then, they sought to take
But this was their final mistake
She'd warned them but they had not heard
And were attacked by countless kinds of bird
Set upon by starlings, shrikes, and crows
Wrens, thrushes, jays; and soon there rose
The cacophony of their cries
As men fell, blinded, from the skies
To this day the Prince still sleeps like stone
Sprawled silent on his marble throne
The garden the Witch used to tend
Has gone to seed; the thorns now rend
The castle's stones and choke its halls
And cordon off its outer walls
As for the Witch, she's living yet
(She takes what comfort she can get)
She's heartless now, and full of hate
And seeks to free her brother from his fate
For which she needs a noble heart
To work her long-forgotten art
But does there still exist a heart that's true?
For only will the purest do
The rest, discarded; oh, beware
Should you meet a girl with long flowing hair
As twisted and dark as the hearts of men
And a gown as red as the blood within