Rape of the Southern Witch
                       Stephen the Plebeian

There was, of course, a wicked witch of the east, a wicked witch of the west,
and the "good" witch of the north. But, I do not believe that anything at all has
been written about the Southern Witch. This must be an oversight among the
pundits of letters. Not to please them, or the critics, but rather to pacify my own
eccentric, philosophical wondering, I have racked my poor plebeian brain for
many years, searching for a favorable means to rectify this loss to American
literature, this silence concerning the Southern Witch. Today I discovered, what
I consider to be, that remedy.
Today I was fleeing the capitol of South Carolina (Columbia) in a twenty ton rig,
pushing the powerful diesel engine of my truck to its limits; fleeing because I
was very much in danger of arriving late with the freight! In my line of work
(driving for UPS) arriving late is considered next to criminal, and punishable by
next to corporal means. We do guarantee on time delivery of all packages and
the company will accept no excuses for tardiness from any driver. Even acts of
God, such as earthquake, fire, flood or hurricane must be substantiated and the
driver must call in immediately with credible evidence (including witnesses) or
he may not be held blameless.
I was headed east on interstate twenty six, out of the hills toward the low
country and interstate ninety five; which would take me south to my
destination - Jacksonville, Florida. My jukebox (AM&FM) was tuned to South
Carolina educational radio. They were broadcasting live from the South
Carolina State House. The good senators were debating a proposed bill to
remove, from the capitol dome, that most loved (and hated) symbol of the long
dead (but most certainly not forgotten) Confederacy - the Stars and Bars.
The date of that debate was April 12, 2000. On April 12, 1861, one hundred and
thirty nine years earlier, Southern forces fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston
harbor. Actually, they demanded surrender on the 12th, and began shelling
early in the morning of the 13th. Most history books credit that event as the
beginning of the War Between the States. On April 12, 1865 that conflict ended,
the Stars and Bars came down in South Carolina, and all across the South
(temporarily down, in the years of reconstruction and Northern retribution,
mostly down, except in some backwaters were it rose up persistently,
obstinately waving on a
warm and rising Southern Wind). The stars and strips
were raised again (That reverenced banner under which slavery was a fact of
law for eighty-nine years). The Union was preserved, and the cost (in human
life) was 600,000 American souls -the bloodiest war in our history.
Slavery was abolished.  But not until the South was decimated.
    Not until her
major cities were shelled into submission. Not until Sherman had marched
across Georgia, with his battle seasoned regulars, slaughtering the old men
and young boys (black and white) of the home guard. Not until he (Sherman)
had spared the city of Savanna (some say far a substantial sum of money)
before turning north to exact a "righteous vengeance" on the people of South
Carolina; burning homes, schools, and churches; robbing, butchering,
destroying the slightest semblance of resistance; raping women and children
(black and white) through the low country and the midland hills to the capitol.
Not until Lee surrendered his half starved, ill clothed, shoe less, bullet-less, lice
plagued, dysentery infected army of Virginia at Appomattox. Not until all the
above was accomplished, was slavery then abolished in all of the States and
Territories of the United States of America.
It was not until the centennial celebration of that infamous conflict, in 1965, in
memorial to the thousands who suffered and died, that the Stars and Bars were
raised again over the capitol dome of South Carolina. No one took much notice
at the time. The Nation was caught up in newer conflicts and endeavors; the
civil rights movement, the beginnings of the Vietnam war and protests, the race
to put a man on the moon, the yearly assassinations of presidents, preachers,
and political candidates, and the assassinations of the assassins. No one
seemed to notice that all across the South, incorporated into state flags, flying
over state confederate memorials, the Stars and Bars were waving again - on a

warm and rising Southern Wind.
As I listened to the debate concerning the removal of the Confederate flag, I
was very much impressed by the oratorical skills, the impassioned rhetoric,
and the sincere conviction of those Senators who argued on either side of the
issue. From their detailed speeches, I learned a great deal about the history and
the heritage, the honor and the character of the good people of South Carolina.
As I listened to them speak with eloquence about the blood, the sweat, and the
tears - the sacrifices made by both sides during the war and the reconstruction
years, through the depression era, and the years of the civil rights movement,
until the present - as I listened I began to realize that these good people would
come to a civil, and just conclusion to this matter. A conclusion that would
benefit all the good people of South Carolina - regardless of outside pressures
or influences.
Just north of the Savanna River, the radio signal began to fade. I turned off the
static and drove along listening to the low rumble of the truck's diesel engine. I
rolled down my window enjoying the bright April sunshine, and that
warm and
rising Southern Wind.
I could feel it in every fiber of my being, coursing through
my veins, beating in my heart, just as my ancestors surly felt it many years ago
when they crossed the wide Atlantic to settle in the low country of Hampton
County South Carolina. I drove along thinking about all I had heard that day.
The ghosts of the low country began to speak to my soul.     Slowly my mind
began to compose a poem - a poem about that tenacious arrogance, that
rebellious, undefeated spirit of the South; a poem about that glorious,
honorable, gracious, and beautiful spirit that simply will not die!

Down east of Eden and south of old Oz
In a land so real, some say, it really n 'er was
Three hags sat sewing the fates to a stitch
And singing the rape of the fair Southern Witch
(singing the rape of the fair Southern Witch)
There was Ida the ignorant and Dina disease
Helga of hunger, all sisters of sleaz'
And bent o'er the frame to quilt hate and wrong
Hideous they hissed and cackled this song
A stitch to the east, a stitch to the west
Violate her flesh and ravish her breast
Oh come hell's soldiers, oh come bloody gore
Vitiate the Witch and take her to whore
(vitiate the Witch and take her to whore)
Then Ida the ignorant, gifted with sight
Saw on the plane one bold Southern knight
Astride a steed emaciated and poor
The last of his creed, champion of yore
His lance, tradition; honor, his sword of wars
His banner, tattered, rag of the Stars and Bars
Then Helga and Dina refrained, "Amon! Amon!
Let us starve this fool till his bowls run water
Let us slay his sons and sack his daughter
Let us plague his flesh with pestilence sore
Till he hates the Witch and curses the Whore
(till he hates the Witch and curses the Whore)"
Then ignorant Ida refrained, "It is done! It is done!"
Then they brought out the Witch, cast her down at his feet
Belladonna of the South, once lovely, gracious, pure and sweet
He lifted her up, kissed the dirt, and the tears from her eyes
His heart beat with love, with passion, for her the hags despise
He is Beauregard! He will not bend! He will not bow!
He lifts up his head, to all men he makes this vow;                        


Down east of Eden and south of old Oz
In a land so real, some say, it really n 'er  was
Three hags sat sewing the fates to a stitch
And singing the rape of the fair Southern Witch
(singing the rape of the fair Southern Witch)

Stephen Wayne
Copyright SunShine DixieLand Company 2003
Rape of the
Southern Witch