Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Outward Bound

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Outward Bound

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

I LEAVE behind me the elm-shadowed square

And carven portals of the silent street,

And wander on with listless, vagrant feet

Through seaward-leading alleys, till the air

Smells of the sea, and straightway then the care

Slips from my heart, and life once more is sweet.

At the lane’s ending lie the white-winged fleet.

O restless Fancy, whither wouldst thou fare?

Here are brave pinions that shall take thee far—

Gaunt hulks of Norway; ships of red Ceylon;

Slim-masted lovers of the blue Azores!

’Tis but an instant hence to Zanzibar,

Or to the regions of the Midnight Sun:

Ionian isles are thine, and all the fairy shores!