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- 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 today.
- 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;
- 'Twere 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.
- Gorge Gordon, Lord Byron
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