Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Colin and Lucy
By Thomas Tickell (1686–1740)
 
OF Leinster, famed for maidens fair,
  Bright Lucy was the grace;
Nor e’er did Liffy’s limpid stream
  Reflect so sweet a face:
Till luckless love, and pining care,        5
  Impaired her rosy hue,
Her coral lips, and damask cheeks,
  And eyes of glossy blue.
 
Oh! have you seen a lily pale,
  When beating rains descend?        10
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,        15
  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.        20
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,        25
  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:        30
Was I to blame, because his bride
  Was thrice as rich as I?
 
‘Ah, Colin! give her not thy vows,
  Vows due to me alone:
Nor thou, fond maid, receive his kiss,        35
  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!        40
 
‘Then bear my corse, 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 corse was borne,        45
  The bridegroom blithe to meet,
He in his wedding-trim so gay,
  She in her winding-sheet.
 
Then what were perjured Colin’s thoughts?
  How were these nuptials kept?        50
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,        55
  He shook, he groaned, he fell.
 
From the vain bride, ah, bride no more!
  The varying crimson fled,
When, stretched before her rival’s corse,
  She saw her husband dead.        60
Then to his Lucy’s new-made grave,
  Conveyed by trembling swains,
One mould with her, beneath one sod,
  For ever he remains.
 
Oft at this grave, the constant hind        65
  And plighted maid are seen;
With garlands gay, and true-love knots
  They deck the sacred green;
But swain forsworn, whoe’er thou art,
  This hallowed spot forbear;        70
Remember Colin’s dreadful fate,
  And fear to meet him there.
 
 
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