An Exile’s Farewell

by ADAM LINDSAY GORDON (1833-1870)

THE OCEAN heaves around us still
With long and measured swell,
The autumn gales our canvas fill,
Our ship rides smooth and well.

The broad Atlantics bed of foam
Still breaks against our prow;
I shed no tears at quitting home,
Nor will I shed them now!
Against the bulwarks on the poop
I lean, and watch the sun
Behind the red horizon stoop
His race is nearly run.
Those waves will never quench his light,
Oer which they seem to close,
To-morrow he will rise as bright
As he this morning rose.

How brightly gleams the orb of day
Across the trackless sea!
How lightly dance the waves that play
Like dolphins in our lee!
The restless waters seem to say,
In smothered tones to me,
How many thousand miles away
My native land must be!

Speak, Ocean! is my Home the same
Now all is new to me?
The tropic skys resplendent flame,
The vast expanse of sea?
Does all around her, yet unchanged,
The well-known aspect wear?
Oh! can the leagues that I have ranged
Have made no difference there?

How vivid Recollections hand
Recalls the scene once more!
I see the same tall poplars stand
Beside the garden door;
I see the bird-cage hanging still;
And where my sister set
The flowers in the window-sill
Can they be living yet?

Let womans nature cherish grief,
I rarely heave a sigh
Before emotion takes relief
In listless apathy;
While from my pipe the vapours curl
Towards the evening sky,
And neath my feet the billows whirl
In dull monotony!

The sky still wears the crimson streak
Of Sols departing ray,
Some briny drops are on my cheek,
Tis but the salt sea spray!
Then let our barque the ocean roam,
Our keel the billows plough;
I shed no tears at quitting home,
Nor will I shed them now!

Adam Lindsay Gordon

Born on Oct. 19, 1833 at Fayal in the Azores, he was educated in England at Cheltenham College, the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and the Royal Worcester Grammar School. He died on the 24th of June 1870 at New Brighton,

Adam Lindsay Gordon Contemporaries
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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