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Poem by Thomas Tickell

Colin and Lucy

OF Leinster, famed for maidens fair,
  Bright Lucy was the grace,
Nor eer did Liffys limpid stream
  Reflect so sweet a face;

Till luckless love and pining care
  Impaired her rosy hue,
Her coral lips and damask cheeks,
  And eyes of glossy blue.

O, have you seen a lily pale
  When beating rains descend?
So drooped the slow-consuming maid,
  Her life now near its end.

By Lucy warned, of flattering swains
  Take heed, ye easy fair!
Of vengeance due to broken vows,
  Ye perjured swains! beware.

Three times all in the dead of night
  A bell was heard to ring,
And, shrieking, at her window thrice
  The raven flapped his wing.

Too well the love-lorn maiden knew
  The solemn boding sound,
And thus in dying words bespoke
  The virgins weeping round:

I hear a voice you cannot hear,
  Which says I must not stay;
I see a hand you cannot see,
  Which beckons me away.

By a false heart and broken vows
  In early youth I die.
Was I to blame because his bride
  Was thrice as rich as I?

Ah, Colin! give not her thy vows,
  Vows due to me alone;
Nor thou, fond maid! receive his kiss,
  Nor think him all thy own.

To-morrow in the church to wed,
  Impatient both prepare;
But know, fond maid! and know, false man!
  That Lucy will be there.

Then bear my corpse, my comrades! bear,
  This bridegroom blithe to meet;
He in his wedding trim so gay,
  I in my winding sheet.

She spoke; she died. Her corpse was borne
  The bridegroom blithe to meet:
He in his wedding trim so gay,
  She in her winding sheet.

Then what were perjured Colins thoughts?
  How were these nuptials kept?
The bridesmen flocked round Lucy dead,
  And all the village wept.

Confusion, shame, remorse, despair,
  At once his bosom swell;
The damps of death bedewed his brow:
  He shook, he groaned, he fell.

From the vain brideah! bride no more
  The varying crimson fled,
When stretched before her rivals corpse
  She saw her husband dead.

Then to his Lucys new-made grave
  Conveyed by trembling swains,
One mould with her, beneath one sod,
  Forever he remains.

Oft at this grave the constant hind
  And plighted maid are seen;
With garlands gay and true-love knots
  They deck the sacred green.

But, swain forsworn! whoeer thou art,
  This hallowed spot forbear;
Remember Colins dreadful fate,
  And fear to meet him there.

Thomas Tickell

Thomas Tickell's other poems:
  1. To a Lady before Marriage
  2. The Tomb of Addison
  3. To the Earl of Warwick, on the Death of Mr. Addison
  4. On the Prospect of Peace
  5. To Mr. Addison on His Opera of Rosamond

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