Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Parting
By William Caldwell Roscoe (1823–1859)
 
THRICE with her lips she touch’d my lips,
  Thrice with her hand my hand,
And three times thrice look’d t’wards the sea,
  But never to the land:
Then ‘Sweet,’ she said, ‘no more delay,        5
For Heaven forbids a longer stay.’
 
I, with my passion in my heart,
  Could find no words to waste;
But, striving often to depart,
  I strain’d her to my breast:        10
Her wet tears wash’d my weary cheek;
I could have died, but could not speak.
 
The anchor swings, the sheet flies loose,
  And, bending to the breeze,
The tall ship never to return        15
  Flies thro’ the foaming seas.
Cheerily ho! the sailors cry—
My sweet love lessening in my eye.
 
O Love, turn towards the land thy sight!
  No more peruse the sea:        20
Our God, who severs thus our hearts,
  Shall surely care for thee:
For me, let waste-wide Ocean swing,
I too lie safe beneath his wing.
 
 
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