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Nightingale .......... 381
Nobility ............................. 382
Obituary ............. 385
LIKE as the culver on the bared bough, Sits mourning for the absence of her mate, And in her songs sends many a wishful vow For his return that seems to linger late; So I, alone now left, disconsolate, Mourn to myself the absence of my love; And wandering here and there all desolate, Seek, with my plaints, to match that mournful dove. Edmund Spenser. Though absent, present in desires they be ; Our souls much further than our eyes can sec. Michael Drayton. Our two souls, therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion; Like gold to airy thinness beat. If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two; The soul, the fixt foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if th' other do. And though it in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like th' other foot, obliquely run: Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
Dr. John Donne.
It is as if a night should shade noon-day,
Or that the sun was here, but forced away;
And we were left, under that hemisphere,
Where we must feel it dark for half a year.
Short absence hurt him more,
And made his wound far greater than before;
Absence not long enough to root out quite
All love, increases love at second sight.
Thomas May's Henry II.
I do not doubt his love, but I could wish
His presence might confirm it: when I see
A fire well fed, shoot up its wanton flame,
And dart itself into the face of heaven;
I grant that fire, without a fresh supply,
May for a while be still a fire; but yet
How doth its lustre languish, and itself
Grow dark, if it too long want the embrace
Of its loved pyle! how straight it buried lies
In its own ruins!
Robert Mead's Comfort of Love and Friendship
If she be gone, the world, in my esteem,
Is all bare walls; nothing remains in it
But dust and feathers.
No happier task these faded eyes pursue;
To read and weep is all they now can do.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
Unequal task! a passion to resign,
For hearts so touch'd, so pierced, so lost as mine!
Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state,
How often must it love, how often hate,
How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
Conceal, disdain-do all things but forget!
There's not an hour
Of day or dreaming night but I am with thee:
There's not a wind but whispers of thy name,
And not a flower that sleeps beneath the moon
But in its hues or fragrance tells a tale
Bertram, Bertram !
How sweet it is to tell the list'ning night
Pope's Eloisa. The name beloved. It is a spell of power
To wake the buried slumberers of the heart,
Where memory lingers o'er the grave of passion
Watching its tranced sleep.
The thoughts of other days are rushing on me,
The loved,-the lost,-the distant, and the dead,
Are with me now, and I will mingle with them
Till my sense fails, and my raised heart is wrapt
In secret suspension of mortality.
O tell him I have sat these three long hours,
Counting the weary beatings of the clock,
Which slowly portion'd out the promis'd time
That brought him not to bless me with his sight.
Joanna Baillie's Rayner
Methinks I see thee straying on the beach,
And asking of the surge that bathes thy foot
If ever it has wash'd our distant shore.
The limner's art may trace the absent feature,
And give the eye of distant weeping faith
To view the form of its idolatry;
But oh! the scenes 'mid which they met and
Not to understand a treasure's worth
Till time has stol'n away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the world the wilderness it is.
Her fancy follow'd him through foaming waves
To distant shores, and she would sit and weep
At what a sailor suffers. Fancy, too,
Delusive most where warmest wishes are,
Would oft anticipate his glad return,
And dream of transports she was not to know.
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravel'd, fondly turns to thee:
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
The thoughts-the recollections sweet and bitter,
Th' Elysian dreams of lovers, when they loved,
Who shall restore them?
Less lovely are the fugitive clouds of eve,
And not more vanishing.
Long did his wife,
Suckling her babe, her only one, look out
The way he went at parting,—but he came not!
There as she sought repose, her sorrowing heart
Recall'd her absent love with bitter sighs;
Regret had deeply fix'd the poison'd dart,
Cowper's Task. Which ever rankling in her bosom lies:
In vain she seeks to close her weary eyes,
Those eyes still swim incessantly in tears,
Hope in her cheerless bosom fading dies,
Distracted by a thousand cruel fears,
While banish'd from his love for ever she appears.
Mrs. Tighe's Psyche.
As slow our ship her foamy track
Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look'd back
To that dear isle 't was leaving.
So loath we part from all we love,
From all the links that bind us;
So turn our hearts, where'er we rove,
To those we've left behind us.
Oh! couldst thou but know Goldsmith's Traveller. With what a deep devotedness of woe
ABSENTEES - ABSTINENCE -ACCIDENT-ACCLAMATIONS.
I wept thy absence, o'er and o'er again
Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain,
And memory, like a drop that night and day
Falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away!
Moore's Lalla Rookh.
A boat at midnight sent alone
To drift upon the moonless sea,
A lute, whose leading chord is gone,
A wounded bird, that hath but one
Imperfect wing to soar upon,
Are like what I am, without thee!
Moore's Loves of the Angels. Against diseases here the strongest fence
Is the defensive virtue abstinence.
Two hours since ye departed: two long hours
To me, but only hours upon the sun.
Byron's Cain. Wives, in their husbands' absence, grow subtler, And daughters sometimes run off with the butler. Byron's Don Juan.
Absent many a year
Far o'er the sea, his sweetest dreams were still
Of that dear voice that soothed his infancy.
We must part awhile:
A few short months-though short, they must be
Without thy dear society; but yet
We must endure it, and our love will be
The fonder after parting-it will grow
Intenser in our absence, and again
Burn with a tender glow when I return.
When from land and home receding,
And from hearts that ache to bleeding,
Think of those behind, who love thee,
While the sun is bright above thee!
Then, as down the ocean glancing,
With the waves his rays are dancing,
Think how long the night will be
To the eyes that weep for thee.
Call thou me home! from thee apart
Faintly and low my pulses beat,
As if the life-blood of my heart
Within thine own heart holds its seat,
And floweth only where thou art:
Oh! call me home.
The honours of the turf as all our own.
Go then, well worthy of the praise ye seek,
And show the shame ye might conceal at home,
In foreign eyes!-be grooms and win the plate,
Where once your nobler fathers won a crown.
We yet retain
Some small pre-eminence; we justly boast
At least superior jockeyship, and claim
Mrs. E. Oakes Smith. His speech was answered with a general noise
Of acclamation, doubtless signs of joys
Which soldiers uttered as they forward went,
The sure forerunner of a fair event.
It is a note
Of upstart greatness to observe and watch
For those poor trifles, which the noble mind
Neglects and scorns.
Sir John Beaumont When all thy mountains clap their hands in joy, And all thy cataracts thunder--" That's the boy!" O. W. Holmes