1862 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Tickell

Thomas Arnold, in A Manual of English Literature (1862; 1885) 361-62.



Thomas Tickell resided for many years at Oxford, being a fellow of Queen's College. Although a Whig and an adherent of Addison, he is the author of some spasmodic stanzas, worthy of the most uncompromising upholder of the divine right of kings, entitled Thoughts occasioned by a Picture of the Trial of Charles I., in which lines such as the following occur,—

Such boding thoughts did guilty conscience dart,
A Pledge of hell to dying Cromwell's heart!

Tickell's version of the first book of the Iliad has been already noticed. Among his other poems, which are not numerous, I find only two worth naming — the ballad of Colin and Lucy, and the memorial lines upon Addison. The ballad is pretty, but the story improbable: Colin having jilted Lucy, she dies of a broken heart; the coffin containing her remains meets the marriage procession; the faithless Colin is struck with remorse, and dies immediately; they occupy the same grave. Do not these lines sound like an echo from our nurseries?—

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