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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Drifting
By Thomas Buchanan Read (1822–1872)
 
        MY soul to-day
        Is far away,
Sailing the Vesuvian Bay;
        My wingèd boat,
        A bird afloat,        5
Swings round the purple peaks remote;
 
        Round purple peaks
        It sails, and seeks
Blue inlets and their crystal creeks,
        Where high rocks throw,        10
        Through deeps below,
A duplicated golden glow.
 
        Far, vague, and dim,
        The mountains swim;
While on Vesuvius’s misty brim,        15
        With outstretched hands,
        The gray smoke stands
O’erlooking the volcanic lands.
 
        Here Ischia smiles
        O’er liquid miles;        20
And yonder, bluest of the isles,
        Calm Capri waits,
        Her sapphire gates
Beguiling to her bright estates.
 
        I heed not if        25
        My rippling skiff
Float swift or slow from cliff to cliff;
        With dreamful eyes
        My spirit lies
Under the walls of Paradise.        30
 
        Under the walls
        Where swells and falls
The Bay’s deep breast at intervals,
        At peace I lie,
        Blown softly by,—        35
A cloud upon this liquid sky.
 
        The day, so mild,
        Is heaven’s own child,
With earth and ocean reconciled;
        The airs I feel        40
        Around me steal
Are murmuring to the murmuring keel.
 
        Over the rail
        My hand I trail
Within the shadow of the sail;        45
        A joy intense,
        The cooling sense
Glides down my drowsy indolence.
 
        With dreamful eyes
        My spirit lies        50
Where Summer sings and never dies;
        O’erveiled with vines,
        She glows and shines
Among her future oil and wines.
 
        Her children, hid        55
        The cliffs amid,
Are gamboling with the gamboling kid;
        Or down the walls,
        With tipsy calls,
Laugh on the rocks like waterfalls.        60
 
        The fisher’s child,
        With tresses wild,
Unto the smooth, bright sand beguiled,
        With glowing lips
        Sings as she skips,        65
Or gazes at the far-off ships.
 
        Yon deep bark goes
        Where traffic blows,
From lands of sun to lands of snows;
        This happier one,        70
        Its course is run
From lands of snow to lands of sun.
 
        O happy ship,
        To rise and dip,
With the blue crystal at your lip!        75
        O happy crew,
        My heart with you
Sails, and sails, and sings anew!
 
        No more, no more
        The worldly shore        80
Upbraids me with its loud uproar:
        With dreamful eyes
        My spirit lies
Under the walls of Paradise!
 
 
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