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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Jean Ingelow 1820–97

Sailing beyond Seas


METHOUGHT the stars were blinking bright,

And the old brig’s sails unfurl’d;

I said, “I will sail to my love this night

At the other side of the world.”

I stepp’d aboard,—we sail’d so fast,—

The sun shot up from the bourn;

But a dove that perch’d upon the mast

Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.

O fair dove! O fond dove!

And dove with the white breast,

Let me alone, the dream is my own,

And my heart is full of rest.

My true love fares on this great hill,

Feeding his sheep for aye;

I look’d in his hut, but all was still,

My love was gone away.

I went to gaze in the forest creek,

And the dove mourn’d on apace;

No flame did flash, nor fair blue reek

Rose up to show me his place.

O last love! O first love!

My love with the true heart,

To think I have come to this your home,

And yet—we are apart!

My love! He stood at my right hand,

His eyes were grave and sweet.

Methought he said, “In this far land,

O, is it thus we meet?

Ah, maid most dear, I am not here;

I have no place,—no part,—

No dwelling more by sea or shore,

But only in thy heart.”

O fair dove! O fond dove!

Till night rose over the bourn,

The dove on the mast, as we sail’d fast,

Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.