Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
II. Parting and Absence
“As slow our ship”
Thomas Moore (1779–1852)
AS slow our ship her foamy track
  Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still looked back
  To that dear isle ’t was leaving.
So loath we part from all we love,        5
  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,—        10
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        15
  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 naught but love is wanting;        20
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        25
  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,        30
We turn to catch one fading ray
  Of joy that ’s left behind us.

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