Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: The Heart of Lucinda Druell
By Kenn Allan
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Had one abiding jewel,
A beauty rare, yet pure of heart,
Her name—Lucinda Druell.
Around her throat, three polished keys,
Of copper, brass, and gold,
Adorned a fragile silver chain—
A treasure to behold!
When asked to what those keys belonged,
Her eyes would flash with fun,
She'd lay the charms across her palm,
Then clench them tight, as one.
"The first belongs to Heaven’s gate,
Which waits beyond the skies.
The second keeps my virtue safe,
Should impure thoughts arise.
“The third unlocks my virgin heart,
For true love to possess.”
And if men asked which key was which,
She’d tease, “You’ll have to guess.”
My summers passed with soul possessed;
Oh! love can be so cruel!
I dared not whisper my desire,
for sweet Lucinda Druell.
One autumn's eve, a devil flew,
To roost in Potters Glen,
Enchanting women with his charms,
And tempting hearts of men.
His eyes beheld Lucinda's soul,
So innocent within,
And with his smooth beguiling words,
Persuaded her to sin.
No sooner was her fall complete,
Lucinda screeched in pain,
She grabbed the keys around her neck,
And tore them from the chain.
"My copper key has turned to lead,
My key of brass to rust,
My golden key no longer shines!"
She flung them to the dust.
"I nevermore shall play the fool,
Of those who would entice!"
And then she tightly locked her heart,
And sheathed her soul in ice.
For me, that night, Lucinda died;
She vanished with the breeze,
To haunt the shadows of the night,
And lurk among the trees.
Her legend spread both near and far—
The Vamp of Potters Wood,
Who craved the lusts of righteous men,
And sullied all she could.
Despite all this, I sought a way,
To save her from her plight,
But whilst I walked by light of day,
Lucinda prowled by night.
With winter came the tawdry tales,
Which like the snowfall spread—
Lucinda dwelt on Widows Hill,
Consorting with the dead.
I wrapped myself in cloak and scarf,
To brave the wicked snow,
And pocketed three tiny keys,
Abandoned long ago.
The raging storm around me swirled,
To freeze my noble cause,
The trees above me scratched the sky,
With gnarled and craggy claws.
I soon ascended Widows Hill,
But near its dark plateau,
A specter loomed against the night,
And threw me to the snow!
Her raven hair was wildly tossed,
Her eyes were icy flame,
I smelled her putrid shroud of sin,
And heard her hiss my name.
“So you have come,” Lucinda said,
Her voice like crackling frost,
“Remain with me forevermore,
And dwell among the lost.”
From where I sat in frozen fear,
My thoughts in disarray,
Three tiny keys slid from my coat;
Lucinda looked away.
Repentance glistened in her eyes,
And shame eclipsed her pride;
I understood and scooped the keys,
All scattered at my side.
“Hear me, O LORD,” I prayed aloud,
Above the howling gale,
“Bring comfort to Lucinda’s soul,
And let your peace prevail.
“Restore her key to Heaven’s gate,
May virtue once more thrive;
And heal the blemish on her soul,
Which keeps her guilt alive.”
I struggled on the frozen slope,
To rise upon my feet;
Lucinda cringed and backed away,
In hesitant retreat.
“Fear not, my love,” I reassured,
“Don’t lose yourself to blame;
The LORD forgives your wayward path,
Come back, from whence you came!”
I clenched the keys within my fist,
Before she could depart,
And lunged at her retreating form,
And held them to her heart.
A thankful moan escaped her lips,
She gave my fist a squeeze,
As melting ice poured from her chest,
And cleansed those tiny keys.
The copper, brass, and golden charms,
Shone brighter than before,
And in the glow of lessons learned,
I loved Lucinda more.
In early spring, we pledged our love,
Until death do us part,
And to this day I hold the key,
To sweet Lucinda’s heart.
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