Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
III. The Seasons
Swimming
Lord Byron (1788–1824)
 
From “The Two Foscari”

                HOW many a time have I
Cloven, with arm still lustier, breast more daring,
The wave all roughened; with a swimmer’s stroke
Flinging the billows back from my drenched hair,
And laughing from my lips the audacious brine,        5
Which kissed it like a wine-cup, rising o’er
The waves as they arose, and prouder still
The loftier they uplifted me; and oft,
In wantonness of spirit, plunging down
Into their green and glassy gulfs, and making        10
My way to shells and sea-weed, all unseen
By those above, till they waxed fearful; then
Returning with my grasp full of such tokens
As showed that I had searched the deep; exulting,
With a far-dashing stroke, and drawing deep        15
The long-suspended breath, again I spurned
The foam which broke around me, and pursued
My track like a sea-bird.—I was a boy then.
 
 
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