FAREWELL, FAREWELL! Her vans the vessel tries,
His iron might the potent engine plies:
Haste, winged words, and ere ’tis useless, tell,
Farewell, farewell, yet once again, farewell.
The docks, the streets, the houses past us fly,
The waters widen—on without a strain
The billows whiten and the deep seas heave;
Fresh in my face and rippling to my feet
Night gathers fast; adieu, thou fading shore!
Yet not, indeed, ah not till more than sea
YE flags of Piccadilly,|
Where I posted up and down,
And wished myself so often
Well away from you and town,—
Are the people walking quietly
Do the houses look as upright
Through the Green Park iron railings
This squally wild north-wester
Ye flags of Piccadilly,
COME home, come home! and where is home for me,|
Whose ship is driving o’er the trackless sea?
To the frail bark here plunging on its way,
To the wild waters, shall I turn and say
To the plunging bark, or to the salt sea foam,
You are my home.
Fields once I walked in, faces once I knew,
Beyond the clouds, beyond the waves that roar,
But toil and pain must wear out many a day,
Come home, come home! and where a home hath he
GREEN fields of England! wheresoe’er|
Across this watery waste we fare,
Your image at our hearts we bear
Green fields of England, everywhere.
Sweet eyes in England, I must flee
Dear home in England, safe and fast
COME back, come back, behold with straining mast|
And swelling sail, behold her steaming fast;
With one new sun to see her voyage o’er,
With morning light to touch her native shore.
Come back, come back.
Come back, come back, while westward labouring by,
Come back, come back, across the flying foam,
Come back, come back; and whither back or why?
Come back, come back; and whither and for what?
Come back, come back; yea back, indeed, do go
Come back, come back, more eager than the breeze,
Come back, come back!
SOME future day when what is now is not,|
When all old faults and follies are forgot,
And thoughts of difference passed like dreams away,
We’ll meet again, upon some future day.
When all that hindered, all that vexed our love,
When we have proved, each on his course alone,
With happier mood, and feelings born anew,
Some day, which oft our hearts shall yearn to see,
WHERE lies the land to which the ship would go?|
Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
And where the land she travels from? Away,
Far, far behind, is all that they can say.
On sunny noons upon the deck’s smooth face,
On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave,
Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
THE MIGHTY ocean rolls and raves,|
To part us with its angry waves;
But arch on arch from shore to shore,
In a vast fabric reaching o’er,
With careful labours daily wrought
There fond anticipations fly
There, happy fancies day by day,
While the pure purpose of the soul,
Then when the waters war between,
Our sundered spirits come and go.
With motions of a glad surprise,
Each dawning day my eyelids see
THAT out of sight is out of mind|
Is true of most we leave behind;
It is not sure, nor can be true,
My own and only love, of you.
They were my friends, ’twas sad to part;
For men, that will not idlers be,
I blame it not; I think that when
I knew it when we parted, well,
That friends, however friends they were,
But love, the poets say, is blind;
WERE you with me, or I with you,|
There’s nought, methinks, I might not do;
Could venture here, and venture there,
And never fear, nor ever care.
To things before, and things behind,
Secure, when all was o’er, to find
AM I with you, or you with me?|
Or in some blessed place above,
Where neither lands divide nor sea,
Are we united in our love?
Oft while in longing here I lie,
Somewhere—but where I cannot guess—
It seems not either here nor there,
WERE I with you, or you with me,|
My love, how happy should we be;
Day after day it is sad cheer
To have you there, while I am here.
My darling’s face I cannot see,
In a strange land, to her unknown,
Yet still the happy thought recurs
The mere assurance that she lives
WERE you with me, or I with you,|
There’s nought methinks I could not do;
And nothing that, for your dear sake,
I might not dare to undertake.
With thousands standing by as fit,
O for one’s miserable self
It was not worth it! a first time
My own! with nothing sordid, base,
Some misconstruction would sustain;
Apply for service; day by day
Secure in safety to return,
O SHIP, ship, ship,|
That travellest over the sea,
What are the tidings, I pray thee,
Thou bearest hither to me?
Are they tidings of comfort and joy,
Or are they of trouble and grief,
O ship, ship, ship,
|1. These songs were composed either during the writer’s voyage across the Atlantic in 1852, or during his residence in America [back]|