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WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING
FROM SESTOS TO ABYDOS

by
Lord Byron
May 9, 1810


&/\&/\&

If, in the month of dark December,

Leander, who was nightly wont

( What maid will not the tale remember? )

To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont !
 

If, when the wintry tempest roar'd,

He sped to Hero, nothing loth,

And thus of old thy current pour'd,

Fair Venus! how I pity both !
 

For me, degenerate modern wretch,

Though in the genial month of May,

My dripping limbs I faintly stretch,

And think I've done a feat to-day.
 

But since he cross'd the rapid tide,

According to the doubtful story,

To woo, --- and --- Lord knows what beside,

And swam for Love, as I for Glory;
 

'T were hard to say who fared the best:

Sad mortals !   thus the gods still plague you !

He lost his labour, I my jest;

For he was drown'd, and I've the ague.
 

&/\&/\&


 
 
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