Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
A Song: ‘Absent from thee I languish still’
By John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647–1680)
ABSENT from thee I languish still,
  Then ask me not, When I return?
The straying fool ’twill plainly kill
  To wish all day, all night to mourn.
Dear, from thine arms then let me fly,        5
  That my fantastic mind may prove
The torments it deserves to try,
  That tears my fix’d heart from my love.
When, wearied with a world of woe,
  To thy safe bosom I retire,        10
Where love, and peace, and truth does flow,
  May I, contented, there expire.
Lest once more wandering from that heaven,
  I fall on some base heart unblest,
Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven,        15
  And lose my everlasting rest.

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