Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Sir John Suckling. 1609–1642
  
328. When, Dearest, I but think of Thee
  
WHEN, dearest, I but think of thee, 
Methinks all things that lovely be 
  Are present, and my soul delighted: 
For beauties that from worth arise 
Are like the grace of deities,         5
  Still present with us, tho' unsighted. 
 
Thus while I sit and sigh the day 
With all his borrow'd lights away, 
  Till night's black wings do overtake me, 
Thinking on thee, thy beauties then,  10
As sudden lights do sleepy men, 
   So they by their bright rays awake me. 
 
Thus absence dies, and dying proves 
No absence can subsist with loves 
  That do partake of fair perfection:  15
Since in the darkest night they may 
By love's quick motion find a way 
  To see each other by reflection. 
 
The waving sea can with each flood 
Bathe some high promont that hath stood  20
  Far from the main up in the river: 
O think not then but love can do 
As much! for that 's an ocean too, 
   Which flows not every day, but ever! 
 
 
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