Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COLIN AND LUCY, by THOMAS TICKELL



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COLIN AND LUCY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Of leinster, famed for maidens fair
Last Line: And fear to meet him there.
Subject(s): Leinster, Ireland


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
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 Colin's 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 bride -- ah! bride no more --
The varying crimson fled,
When stretched before her rival's corpse
She saw her husband dead.

Then to his Lucy's 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! whoe'er thou art,
This hallowed spot forbear;
Remember Colin's dreadful fate,
And fear to meet him there.





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