More Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

LAL OF KILRUDDEN


 

KILRUDDEN ford, Kilrudden dale
Kilrudden fronting every gale
On the lorn coast of Inishfree,
And Lal’s last bed the plunging sea.

Lal of Kilrudden with flame-red hair,

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And the sea-blue eyes that rove and dare,
And the open heart with never a care;
With her strong brown arms and her ankles bare,
God in heaven, but she was fair,
That night the storm put in from sea?
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The nightingales of Inishkill,
The rose that climbed her window-sill,
The shade that rustled or was still,
The wind that roved and had his will,
And one white sail on the low sea-hill,
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Were all she knew of love.

So when the storm drove in that day,
And her lover’s ship on the ledges lay,
Past help and wrecking in the gray,
And the cry was, "Who’ll go down the bay,

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With half of the lifeboat’s crew away?"
Who should push to the front and say,
"I will be one, be others who may,"
But Lal of Kilrudden, born at sea!

The nightingales all night in the rain,

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The rose that fell at her window-pane,
The frost that blackened the purple plain,
And the scorn of pitiless disdain
At the hands of the wolfish pirate main,
Quelling her great hot heart in vain,
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Were all she knew of death.

Kilrudden ford, Kilrudden dale,
Kilrudden ruined in the gale
That wrecked the coast of Inishfree,
And Lal’s last bed the plunging sea.

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