Ophelia’s Lay

A ballad, re-imagining Ophelia’s story.

by the mossy stream, there, we lay
as the rosy dawn shone its way
over spring-fed fields, green, and gay, and laughing with me
see the sparrows fly by our bourn
hear the sylvan breeze tease the leaves
taste the moon-licked skies, as they rise from silver-grey sea

through your eyes I fell, through flame dark seas
with starry shores where dreams soar, to lay
pulsing pearls of hope, in hearts that burst with lush wet green leaves
stretching wide their shade, you carved their way
high to pick the stars, sun-bright flames borne
of shining sky and sea, that speak their love, and your love for me.

could we live that dream? no. not me.
your eyes cut clear through me – there’s naught to see –
mad as Selene, storm-cold, cruel moon, where wild thoughts are borne!
was it all a play? a trap, to lay
for a murderer? or perhaps the way
to your sure success, your throne in stone of history’s leaves?

as the autumn’s gold, rust-crusted leaves
shed on forest floor, and pour on me
all the wealth of fall, i walk, alone, down by that old way
where we used to soar, above the sea;
now to the nunnery you’d have me borne
then a laughing stream, now a dream that to rest I lay.

in my father’s lap, my mouth I lay
shards of love received, unseen, too brief
wringing words of fate, white lies, to thwart your black bourne –
that jewel-crusted crown that’d win you me.
your phantom’s an excuse, which none can see
you’d kill your kin for lust; for greed, you’d seed my love’s soul away!

by my lying tongue, they made you pay;
in the sighing winds, hear you my lay?
scatter rosemary; for thoughts, pray take these pansies …
remember you my song, it shan’t deceive
i’ve downed the leaves of rue, please live, for me
for you I’ll give my crown – but hide – i hear the king’s horn –

the trailing willow weeps. i drift, bereaved.
they’ve sent you so far, to the stars’ cold bourn.
wait awhile my love, I’ll come, you’ll see


in the silent sea.


Author: ckye

Celine Low, a.k.a. Ckye, is a writer and creative writing tutor with an Honours degree in English Literature. Her fictional works have been published by The Bride of Chaos and Marshall Cavendish, and she posts regularly on Twitter and Instagram on an eternal quest to capture both beauty and sublimity through her words. An academic at heart, she also enjoys reading and writing research papers, as she finds a rather masochistic pleasure in gnawing on the musings of wise old philosophers or critics. She aims to travel the world one day, and hopes that the Northern Lights look as good as they do in Google wallpapers.

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