Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
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 fixed heart from my love.
When, wearied with a world of woe,
  To thy safe bosom I retire,        10
Where love and peace and honour flow,
  May I contented there expire.
Lest once more wandering from that heaven,
  I fall on some base heart unblessed,
Faithless to thee, false, unforgiven,        15
  And lose my everlasting rest.

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