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Full Online Book HomePoemsTo The Boston Frigate, On Leaving Halifax For England
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To The Boston Frigate, On Leaving Halifax For England Post by :crispycorn Category :Poems Author :Thomas Moore Date :July 2011 Read :1165

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To The Boston Frigate, On Leaving Halifax For England

To the Boston Frigate, On Leaving Halifax for England,(1)

October, 1804.


With triumph, this morning, oh Boston! I hail
The stir of thy deck and the spread of thy sail,
For they tell me I soon shall be wafted, in thee,
To the flourishing isle of the brave and the free,
And that chill Nova-Scotia's unpromising strand
Is the last I shall tread of American land.
Well--peace to the land! may her sons know, at length,
That in high-minded honor lies liberty's strength,
That though man be as free as the fetterless wind,
As the wantonest air that the north can unbind,
Yet, if health do not temper and sweeten the blast,
If no harvest of mind ever sprung where it past,
Then unblest is such freedom, and baleful its might,--
Free only to ruin, and strong but to blight!

Farewell to the few I have left with regret:
May they sometimes recall, what I cannot forget;
The delight of those evenings,--too brief a delight!
When in converse and song we have stolen on the night;
When they've asked me the manners, the mind, or the mien,
Of some bard I had known or some chief I had seen,
Whose glory, though distant, they long had adored,
Whose name had oft hallowed the wine-cup they poured;
And still as, with sympathy humble but true,
I have told of each bright son of fame all I knew,
They have listened, and sighed that the powerful stream
Of America's empire should pass like a dream,
Without leaving one relic of genius, to say,
How sublime was the tide which had vanished away!
Farewell to the few--though we never may meet
On this planet again, it is soothing and sweet
To think that, whenever my song or my name
Shall recur to their ear, they'll recall me the same
I have been to them now, young, unthoughtful, and blest,
Ere hope had deceived me or sorrow deprest.

But, Douglas! while thus I recall to my mind
The elect of the land we shall soon leave behind,
I can read in the weather-wise glance of thine eye
As it follows the rack flitting over the sky,
That the faint coming breeze would be fair for our flight,
And shall steal us away, ere the falling of night.
Dear Douglas! thou knowest, with thee by my side,
With thy friendship to soothe me, thy courage to guide,
There is not a bleak isle in those summerless seas,
Where the day comes in darkness, or shines but to freeze,
Not a tract of the line, not a barbarous shore,
That I could not with patience, with pleasure explore!
Oh think then how gladly I follow thee now,
When Hope smooths the billowy path of our prow,
And each prosperous sigh of the west-springing wind
Takes me nearer the home where my heart is inshrined;
Where the smile of a father shall meet me again,
And the tears of a mother turn bliss into pain;
Where the kind voice of sisters shall steal to my heart,
And ask it, in sighs, how we ever could part?--

But see!--the bent top sails are ready to swell--
To the boat--I am with thee--Columbia, farewell!


NOTE:
(1) Commanded by Captain J. E. Douglas, with whom I returned to England, and to whom I am indebted for many, many kindnesses.


(The end)
Thomas Moore's poem: To The Boston Frigate, On Leaving Halifax For England

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