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The Oceanides, Edited by Judith Pascoe

 

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By Mrs. Fletcher.

THE HAVEN GAINED.

Inscribed to Captain C. Biden, Commander of the ship Victory.

And we are parting, glorious Sea!
    And thou art anchored, gallant ship!
Strange, that the hour which makes me free,
    Should be the one that tempts to weep;
Strange, strange that through my heart should flow
Regrets, I never dreamed to know.

How often, in a wayward mood,
    Upon our thronged and sultry deck,
I've sat and longed for solitude
    And silence—fondly tracing back
The fresh and stilly evening air,
All that made England dear and fair.

How often have I looked with scorn
    On what I deemed my prison home;
Sick of the vastness daily born
    In ocean's circle, heaven's high dome,—
Turned from the sun with evil eye,
Nay, greeted moonlight with a sigh!

But this is over: long relieved,
    I have rejoiced in Night and Day;
Loved our sea-life, and only grieved
    That Time, like waters, lapsed away;
Not lately, Discontent, old Sea,
Hath bent a wrinkled brow on thee.

My cabin, that I thought a tomb,
    Despite its neat and bright array,
Seems now a smiling summer room
    Where only Peace hath leave to stay;
And Occupation's Eden-state,
Light, mirthful, earnest, and elate.

And I have learned to read the face
    Of many a rude yet kindly tar;
So loves the human eye to trace
    The lines of brotherhood afar;
So longs the human heart to love
Something, beneath, around, above.

But hark, that sound!—the boat is lowered,
    I never thought 'twould vex mine ear;
I thought not when I came on board
    To leave at last with sigh and tear;—
But then, I did not dream to find
Such friendship as I leave behind.

 March 2nd, 1833.


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Published @ RC

November 2003