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Lord Byron (1788–1824). Poetry of Byron. 1881.

I. Personal, Lyric, and Elegiac

Last leaving England

(Childe Harold, Canto iii. Stanzas 1, 2.)

IS thy face like thy mother’s, my fair child!

ADA! sole daughter of my house and heart?

When last I saw thy young blue eyes they smiled,

And then we parted,—not as now we part,

But with a hope.—
Awaking with a start,

The waters heave around me; and on high

The winds lift up their voices: I depart,

Whither I know not; but the hour’s gone by,

When Albion’s lessening shores could grieve or glad mine eye.

Once more upon the waters! yet once more!

And the waves bound beneath me as a steed

That knows his rider. Welcome to the roar!

Swift be their guidance, wheresoe’er it lead!

Though the strain’d mast should quiver as a reed,

And the rent canvass fluttering strew the gale,

Still must I on; for I am as a weed,

Flung from the rock, on Ocean’s foam, to sail

Where’er the surge may sweep, the tempest’s breath prevail.