Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PARTING SONG, by                    
First Line: The moon elves dance upon the lake
Last Line: Across the sea!
Subject(s): Farewell; Longing; Love; Sailing & Sailors; Parting

The moon elves dance upon the lake;
The laughing wave crests lilt in play;
A balmy zephyr blows to take
My love away!
My love, who sails across the tide
In search of gold and gear for me—
My love, and all my world beside—
Across the sea!

The night is spangled bright with dust
Of worldshine in a silver shower.
O gleaming stars, I put my trust
In you this hour!
By you my true love steers his bark;
By you he pledged his troth to me.
Oh, guide him truly to his mark
Across the sea.

A wild bird flickers through the night
With intermittent mournful cry,
And my sad spirit mocks its flight
With many a sigh.

Perhaps the wild bird is my heart,
For, oh! I know 't is gone from me—
'T is gone to take my true love's part
Across the sea.

Dear zephyr, blow with tenderness,
And kiss my dear love's bonny brow;
Dear stars, give him the long caress
I waft you now.
O nights, be brief, and brief the days
That keep my love away from me,
And heart, be near him while he strays
Across the sea!

Come back, my love, my sailor lad,
For gold and gear are worthless dust.
My long, long solitude is sad -
Come back you must.
Come back, sweetheart, on lightning wings,
Though bringing but a kiss for me.
Your smile is more than wealth of kings
Across the sea!

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