"Written After Swimming from Sestos to Abydos"
by George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824)


1   If , in the month of dark December, 
2      Leander, who was nightly wont 
3   (What maid will not the tale remember?) 
4      To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont! 


5   If, when the wintry tempest roared, 
6      He sped to Hero, nothing loth, 
7   And thus of old thy current poured, 
8      Fair Venus! how I pity both! 


9   For me , degenerate modern wretch, 
10      Though in the genial month of May, 
11   My dripping limbs I faintly stretch, 
12      And think I've done a feat to-day. 


13   But since he crossed the rapid tide, 
14      According to the doubtful story, 
15   To woo,---and---Lord knows what beside, 
16      And swam for Love, as I for Glory; 


17   'Twere hard to say who fared the best: 
18      Sad mortals! thus the Gods still plague you! 
19   He lost his labour, I my jest: 
20      For he was drowned, and I've the ague. 
					May 9, 1810.