The village known as Potters Glen
 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 squeeze 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 inquired which key was which,
 She’d tease, "You’ll have to guess."

My summers passed with soul obsessed–
 Oh! Love can be so cruel!
I dared not whisper my desire
 For sweet Lucinda Druell.

A devil flew one autumn's eve,
 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 is rust,
My golden key no longer shines!"

 She flung them to the dust.

"I nevermore shall play the fool
 For those who would entice!"

And so she tightly locked her heart
 And sheathed her soul in ice.

Lucinda disappeared that night;
 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 these words, 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.

"At last, you've come," Lucinda said,
 With voice like crackling frost,
"Remain with me forevermore
 And dwell among the lost."

As I quaked in frozen fear
 With 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.

"O, hear me Lord," I prayed aloud
 Above the howling gale,
"Please comfort poor Lucinda’s soul
 And let your peace prevail.

"Restore her key to Heaven’s gate
 So virtues lost may thrive,
And heal the blemish on her soul
 Which keeps her guilt alive."

I struggled on the frozen slope
 To rise onto 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

 Return from whence you came!"

I clenched the keys within my fist
 Before she could depart
And lunged at her retreating form
 To hold them o’er 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.