Arthur Symons, <i>Poems</i>, 2 vols. (London: William Heinemann, 1912): 209.
1he flesh is sad, alas! and all the books are read.
2Flight, only flight! I feel that birds are wild to tread
3The floor of unknown foam, and to attain the skies!
4Nought, neither ancient gardens mirrored in the eyes,
5Shall hold this heart that bathes in waters its delight,
6O nights! nor yet my waking lamp, whose lonely light
7Shadows the vacant paper, whiteness profits best,
8Nor the young wife who rocks her baby on her breast.
9I will depart! O steamer, swaying rope and spar,
10Lift anchor for exotic lands that lie afar!
11A weariness, outworn by cruel hopes, still clings
12To the last farewell handkerchief's last beckonings!
13And are not these, the masts inviting storms, not these
14That an awakening wind bends over wrecking seas,
15Lost, not a sail, a sail, a flowering isle, ere long?
16But, O my heart, hear thou, hear thou the sailors' song!
RPO poem Editors:
Data entry: Sharine Leung