Amelia Opie

(12 November 1769 – 2 December 1853 / Norwich)

Ballad


Round youthful Henry's restless bed
His weeping friends and parents pressed;
But she who raised his languid head
He loved far more than all the rest.

Fond mutual love their bosoms fired;
And nearly dawned their bridal day,
When every hope at once expired,
For Henry on his death-bed lay.

The fatal truth the sufferer read
In weeping Lucy's downcast eye:
"And must I, must I, then," he said,
"Ere thou art mine, my Lucy, die!

"No,...deign to grant my last, last prayer;
'T would soothe thy lover's parting breath,
Wouldst thou with me to church repair,
Ere yet I feel the stroke of death.

"For trust me, love, I shall my life
With something like to joy resign,
If I but once may call thee wife,
And, dying, claim and hail thee mine."

He ceased: and Lucy checked the thought
That he might at the altar die,....
The prayer with such true love was fraught,
How could she such a prayer deny?

They reached the church....her cheek was wan
With chilling fears of coming woe....
But triumph when the rites began
Lent Henry's cheek a flattering glow.

The nuptial knot was scarcely tied,
When Henry's eye strange lustre fired,
"She's mine! she's mine!" he faltering cried,
And in that throb of joy expired.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Colleen Courtney (6/5/2014 9:43:00 AM)

    Ha! I also was thinking oh my, such sad and heartbreaking poem! And then that zinger of a last line to throw in a subtle sense of humor! Although I suppose seeing as how he still died it is still fairly sad. I think........... (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (6/4/2014 4:56:00 PM)

    ......oh I truly love this write......I am so pleased she made him a happy man....and yes the last line gave me a laugh......truly a pleasure to read...
    .................................................~~~~~~ love love love ~~~~~~........................................................ (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Vaughan Jones (4/4/2014 10:01:00 AM)

    This is supposed to be a sad poem. To all intents and purposes, the subject couldn't be more dismal. Yet it carries before it a sense of morose humour, very reminiscent of a later poet, Hilaire Belloc. The rhyme scheme tends towards the comic opera, and the final stanza removes Death to a different stratosphere. Either that, or I'm spending too much time reading poetry. (Report) Reply

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