Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

« Bethink thee, William, of thy fault,

* Thy pledge and broken oath : “ And give me back my And give me back my

troth.

30

maiden vow,

“Why did you promise love to me,

« And not that promise keep?
Why did you swear mine eyes were bright,
“ Yet leave those eyes to weep?

35

“How could you say my face was fair,

And yet that face forsake ? “How could you win my virgin heart,

« Yet leave that heart to break ?

40

Why did you say my lip was sweet,

“ And made the scarlet pale ? “ And why did I, young witless maid,

“Believe the flattering tale?

45

« That face, alas! no more is fair ;

“ These lips no longer red : “Dark are my eyes, now clos'd in death,

“ And every charm is fled.

“The hungry worm my sister is ;

“This winding-sheet I wear: “And cold and weary lasts our night,

« Till that last morn appear.

50

“But

FF But hark! the cock has warn'd me hence !

A long and last adieu !
• Come see, false man, how low she lies,

“Who dy'd for love of you."

55

red :

The lark sung loud; the morning-smil'd
With beams of

rosy
Pale William shook in ev'ry limb,

And raving left his bed.

60

He hyed him to the fatal place

Where Margaret's body lay :
And stretch'd him on the grass-green turf,

That wrapt her breathless clay :

65

And thrice he call’d on Margaret's name,

And thrice he wept full sore :
Then laid his cheek to her cold grave,

And word spake never more.

*** In a late publication, intitled The Friends, &c. Lond. 1773, 2 vols. 12mo, (in the first volume) is inserted a copy of the foregoing ballad, with very great variations, which the Editor of that work contends was the original ; and that Mallet adopted it for his own, and altered it, as here given.-But the superior beauty and simplicity of the present copy gives it so much more the air of an original, that it will rather be believed that some transcriber altered it from Mallet's, and adapted the lines to his own taste; than which nothing is more common in popular songs and ballads.

XVII.

LUCY AND COLIN.

-was written by Thomas Tickell, Esq. the celebrated friend of Mr Addison, and Editor of his works. He was son of a Clergyman in the North of England; had his education at Queen's College, Oxon ; was under-secretary to Mr. Addison and Mr. Craggs, when successively secretai ies of state; and was lastly (in June 1724) appointed secretary to the Lords Justices in Ireland, which place he held till his death in 1740. He acquired Mr Addison's patronage by a poem in praise of the opera of Rosamond, written while he was at the University.

It is a tradition in Ireland, that this Song was written at Castlctown, in the county of Kildare, at the request of the then Mrs. Conolly-probably on some event recent in that neighbourhood.

Of Leinster, fam'd for maidens fair,

Bright Lucy was the grace;
Nor e'er did Liffy's limpid stream

Reflect so fair a face.

5

Till luckless love and pining care

Impair'd her rosy hue,
Her coral lip, and damask cheek,

And eyes of glossy blue.

10

Oh! have you seen a lily pale,

When beating rains descend?
So droop'd the slow-consuming maid;

Her life now near its end.

Ву By Lucy warn’d, of flattering swains

Take heed, ye easy fair :
Of vengeance due to broken vows,

Ye perjured swains, beware.

15

Three times, all in the dead of night,

A bell was heard to ring ;
And at her window, shrieking thrice,

The raven flap'd his wing.

20

Too well the love-lorn maiden knew

That solemn boding sound;
And thus, in dying words, bespoke

The virgins weeping round.

25

“ I hear a voice you cannot hear,

“ Which says, I must not stay: “I see a hand you cannot see,

" Which beckons me away.

30

“ By a false heart, and broken vows,

In early youth I die.
Am I to blame, because his bride
o Is 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

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, ye comrades, bear,

“The bridegroom blithe to meet; « He in his wedding-trim so gay,

I in my winding-sheet."

45

She spoke, she died;-her corse was borne,

The bridegroom blithe to meet; He in his wedding-trim so gay,

She in her winding-sheet.

50

Then what were perjur'd Colin's thoughts ?

How were those nuptials kept?
The bride-men flock'd round Lucy dead,

And all the village wept.

Confusion, shame, remorse, despair,

At once his bosom swell:
The damps of death bedew'd his brow,

He shook, he groan'd, he fell.

55

From the vain bride (ah, bride no more !)

The varying crimson fled,
When, stretch'd before her rival's corse,

She saw her husband dead.

60 Then

« PreviousContinue »