The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury

This part about witches, the marching of religions and the oblique references to the Inquisition are high on social commentary and dark humor.

 

Until whole continents, hellbent
Named ‘witches’ of the Innocent,
And did conspire
To burn old women, babes, and virgins in a fire.”

“All Europe was a cloud of witches’ smoke.
Their judges often bound and burnt with them
For what? A joke!

“Through all of Germany and France,
Ten thousand so-called evil witches
Hung to kick their final antic dance
No village but what shared a dread uproar
As each side named the other for a devil’s pig,
Old Satan’s sow, the Demon’s maddened boar.”

 

“Until: ‘all men are spoiled with guilt!
All sin, all lie!’
So, what to do?
Why, everyone must die!” 

 

 

 

“Anyone want to be a witch?” asked Moundshroud, at last.