Adam Lindsay Gordon

(19 October 1833 – 24 June 1870 / Azores)

An Exile's Farewell - Poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon

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 to 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 see 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!

Adam Lindsay Gordon


Comments about An Exile's Farewell by Adam Lindsay Gordon

  • John S John S (11/25/2015 11:18:00 PM)

    This poem flows so well because of the iambic pentameter metric structure, and the repetition of 8 syllable followed by 6 syllables line. Read this poem aloud to get the feel of the alternating stressed/unstressed pattern. A beautiful poem indeed.
    I wonder if this is about a real person who was exiled or if this is fictional? (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rajnish Manga Rajnish Manga (11/25/2015 11:00:00 PM)

    One vicariously enjoys the voyage aboard a ship with the poet and his emotional vibes. Great poem. I would like to quote: The restless waters seem to say / In smothered tones to me / How many thousand miles away / My native land must be! (Report) Reply

  • Douglas Scotney (11/25/2015 8:00:00 PM)

    tight, but 'woman's nature' raises hackles (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (11/25/2015 12:45:00 PM)

    This poem took the reader for a ride on a ship across the ocean and we could smell the salty brine and hear the creaking of the masts and feel the emotions of the traveler. Utterly fantastic! (Report) Reply

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (11/25/2015 7:22:00 AM)

    Fantastic poem with wonderful description of sea, climate on the sea and the psychology of the person undertaking sea voyage for the first time in life, that too as an employee of the vessel. Enjoyed the write. Thanls for sharing.10+ (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (11/25/2015 5:40:00 AM)

    Against the bulwarks on the poop
    I lean, and watch the sun
    Behind the red horizon stoop —
    His race is nearly run.........Nice poem. (Report) Reply

  • Shah Surja Shah Surja (11/25/2015 5:18:00 AM)

    Beautiful......... poem (Report) Reply

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (11/25/2015 2:47:00 AM)

    A marvelous creation of poem about nature here I enjoyed.Great (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: ocean, home, sea, sister, autumn, sky, grief, dance, woman, nature, rose, farewell, red, sun, light, women, flower, water, running



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



[Hata Bildir]