An Exile’s Farewall

THE ocean heaves around us still

With long and measured swell,

The autumn gales our canvas fill,

Our ship rides smooth and well.

The broad Atlantic’s bed of foam

Still breaks against our prow ;

I shed no tears at quitting home,

Nor will I shed them now !


Against the bulwarks on the poop

I lean, and watch the sun

Behind the red horizon stoop—

His race is nearly run.

Those waves will never quench his light,

O’er which they seem close,

To-morrow he will rise as bright

As he this morning rose.


How brightly gleams the orb of day

Across the trackless sea !

How lightly dance the waves that play

Like dolphins in our lee !

The restless waters seem to say,

In smothered tones to me,

How many thousand miles away

My native land must be !


Speak, Ocean ! is my Home the same,

Now all is new to me ?—

The tropic sky’s resplendent flame,

The vast expanse of sea ?

Does all around her, yet unchanged,

The well-known aspect wear ?

Oh ! can the leagues that I have ranged

Have made no difference there ?


How vivid Recollection’s hand

Recalls the scene once more !

I seem the same tall poplars stand

Beside the garden door ;

I see the bird-cage hanging still ;

And where my sister set

The flowers in the window-sill—

Can they be living yet ?


Let woman’s nature cherish grief,

I rarely heave a sigh

Before emotion takes relief

In listless apathy ;

While from my pipe the vapours curl

Towards the evening sky,

And ‘neath my feet the billows whirl

In dull monotony !


The sky still wears the crimson streak

Of Sol’s departing ray,

Some briny drops are on my cheek,

‘Tis but the salt sea spray !

Then let our barque the ocean roam,

Our keel the billows plough ;

I shed no tears at quitting home,

Nor will I shed them now !