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Poem by John Mayne


Helen of Kirkconnel


I wish I were where Helen lies,
For night and day on me she cries;
And, like an angel, to the skies
Still seems to beckon me!
For me she lived, for me she sigh'd,
For me she wish'd to be a bride;
For me in life's sweet morn she died
On fair Kirkconnel-Lee!

Where Kirtle waters gently wind,
As Helen on my arm reclined,
A rival with a ruthless mind
Took deadly aim at me.
My love, to disappoint the foe,
Rush'd in between me and the blow;
And now her corse is lying low,
On fair Kirkconnel-Lee!

Though Heaven forbids my wrath to swell,
I curse the hand by which she fell--
The fiend who made my heaven a hell,
And tore my love from me!
For if, when all the graces shine,
Oh! if on earth there 's aught divine,
My Helen! all these charms were thine,
They centred all in thee!

Ah! what avails it that, amain,
I clove the assassin's head in twain?
No peace of mind, my Helen slain,
No resting-place for me.
I see her spirit in the air--
I hear the shriek of wild despair,
When murder laid her bosom bare,
On fair Kirkconnel-Lee!

Oh! when I 'm sleeping in my grave,
And o'er my head the rank weeds wave,
May He who life and spirit gave
Unite my love and me!
Then from this world of doubts and sighs,
My soul on wings of peace shall rise,
And, joining Helen in the skies,
Forget Kirkconnel-Lee. 



                      John Mayne


John Mayne's other poems:
  1. The Curieux
  2. The Muffled Drum
  3. Mary Marton
  4. To the Army and Navy Returning from the War
  5. Bonaparte, OТer the Sea


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