Beverly J. Sweeney
The Girl From County Down - Poem by Beverly J. Sweeney
T'was a fine misty day in old County Down
when the young Kelly girl drove a jaunting cart
into the quiet and charming Irish town.
Villagers eyed her with penetrating stares,
and asked, "What's the Kelly girl do'n there?"
The lace curtain were drawn as tight as could be,
but everybody knew what people were do'n , you see.
A handsome stranger had arrived in town this early morn,
looking like a Gypsy Tinker whose clothes were torn.
The Innkeeper was polite; not especially kind,
for he know the stranger had thiev'n on his mind.
The young girl stood at the Innkeeper's door,
while her timid eyes focused on the wooden floor.
"Could I please speak with the man who just arrived?",
She asked, gasping for air in a soft nervous sigh.
With a stern look and an evil eye, he replied,
"No , lass, he's not for the likes of you, I fear.
You'd best heed my words and stay away from here.
He's a strange man, he is. I feel it in my bones!
Now, take leave child and return to the safety
of your Father's home!"
"Oh, please, Sir, I must insist on speaking with him?"
He replied "You have no business com'in to my Inn!
You're just full of the dickens and look'n for sin!
Now, be gone with you and don't come back ag'in!
Hurt and dismayed, the young girl ran fast away.
Tears were streaming down her flushed rosy cheeks,
as the jaunting cart passed by the old town creek.
"There's that shameful young Kelly girl again!"
An old woman whispered to her pious friend.
"She's not been baptized and wild as the wind!
Her wicked ways can only lead to mortal sin!"
Down the winding glen she rode,
as fast as her horse would run,
through the damp misty air out of morning sun.
She fought back tears, wondering what she's done?
Filled with embarrassment, confusion and shame,
the girl's life was never to be the same for
she hadn't foreseen the danger of the narrow lane.
When the jaunting cart crashed into the stone wall
the young girl and her horse took a nasty fall.
They both died in County Down on the fine misty day,
and the people in town found little more to say.
The Innkeeper was finishing his chores
when his quest walked down the stairs
and stood by the light of the open door.
He was speechless as he looked into the face
of the stranger he'd seen one time before.
Dressed as a Priest and clean as a could be,
the young man was no Tinker, it was plain to see.
'Have you seen the pretty young Kelly girl today?
She's my own sweet cousin, I'm delighted to say!
I've come to baptize her for she's becom'in a Nun!
Oh, what a glorious celebration! Our Lord has won!"
"No, Father, I've seen no one a 'tall, a 'tall! Not, I."
Was the Innkeeper's shameless reply...
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