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Written After Swimming From Sestos To Abydos

Lord Byron

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Swimming the Hellespont
Added by: Maddy
The Hellespont is a narrow stretch of sea in the Strait of Dardanelles, separating western FROM eastern Turkey. Legend has it that the beautiful maiden Hero was on one side of the strait and her lover, Leander on the other. Leander swam across to her one dark and stormy night and was drowned.

Lord Byron prided himself on his physical fitness. He walked with a limp and had been spoken of slightingly by a girl that he fancied in his youth as "that limping lad". Ever after he was out to prove himself as the equal of any man in any arena of physical competition, but particularly sexual. Aside FROM this, he was an excellent boxer and fencer, played cricket for his school and unlike most Englishmen of his date, was a very strong swimmer.

His romantic notion of swimming the Hellespont like Leander resulted in a fever- the ague that he refers to in the last line.

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