Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DEPARTURE, by HENRY DAVID THOREAU

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE DEPARTURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In this roadstead I have ridden
Last Line: Sighed plaintively.
Subject(s): Farewell; Travel; Parting; Journeys; Trips

In this roadstead I have ridden
In this covert I have hidden
Friendly thoughts were cliffs to me
And I hid beneath their lea.

This true people took the stranger
And warm hearted housed the ranger
They received their roving guest,
And have fed him with the best

Whatsoe'er the land afforded
To the stranger's wish accorded,
Shook the olive, stripped the vine,
And expressed the strengthening wine.

And at night they did spread o'er him
What by day they spread before him,
That good-will which was repast
Was his covering at last.

The stranger moored him to their pier
Without anxiety or fear;
By day he walked the sloping land,
By night the gentle heavens he scanned.

When first his bark stood inland
To the coast of this far Finland,
Sweet-watered brooks came tumbling to the shore
The weary mariner to restore.

And still he stayed from day to day
If he their kindness might repay
But more and more
The sullen waves came rolling to the shore.

And still the more the stranger waited
The less his argosy was freighted,
And still the more he stayed
The less his debt was paid.

So He unfurled his mast
To receive the fragrant blast,
And that same refreshing gale
Which had woo'd him to remain
Again and again --
It was that filled his sail
And drove him to the main.

All day the low hung clouds
Dropt tears into the sea
And the wind amid the shrouds
Sighed plaintively.

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