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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V. 1876–79.


Colin and Lucy

By Thomas Tickell (1685–1740)

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

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.