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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

As Slow Our Ship

Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

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 loath 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 vanished 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 earthly tie that twined us,

Oh, 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 assigned 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 consigned us,

We turn to catch one fading ray

Of joy that’s left behind us.