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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Thomas Moore

490. The Journey Onwards

AS slow our ship her foamy track

Against the wind was cleaving,

Her trembling pennant still look’d back

To that dear isle ’twas leaving.

So loth we part from all we love,

From all the links that bind us;

So turn our hearts, as on we rove,

To those we’ve left behind us!

When, round the bowl, of vanish’d years

We talk with joyous seeming—

With smiles that might as well be tears,

So faint, so sad their beaming;

While memory brings us back again

Each early tie that twined us,

O, sweet’s the cup that circles then

To those we’ve left behind us!

And when, in other climes, we meet

Some isle or vale enchanting,

Where all looks flowery, wild and sweet,

And nought but love is wanting;

We think how great had been our bliss

If Heaven had but assign’d us

To live and die in scenes like this,

With some we’ve left behind us!

As travellers oft look back at eve

When eastward darkly going,

To gaze upon that light they leave

Still faint behind them glowing,—

So, when the close of pleasure’s day

To gloom hath near consign’d us,

We turn to catch one fading ray

Of joy that’s left behind us.