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Poem by Mary Robinson


Absence


WHEN from the craggy mountains pathless steep,
Whose flinty brow hangs oer the raging sea, 
My wandring eye beholds the foamy deep,
I mark the restless surgeand think of THEE. 
The curling waves, the passing breezes move, 
Changing and treachrous as the breath of LOVE; 
The sad similitude awakes my smart, 
And thy dear image twines about my heart. 

When at the sober hour of sinking day,
Exhausted Nature steals to soft repose, 
When the hushd linnet slumbers on the spray,
And scarce a ZEPHYR fans the drooping ROSE;
I glance oer scenes of bliss to friendship dear, 
And at the fond remembrance drop a tear; 
Nor can the balmy incense soothe my smart, 
Still cureless sorrow preys upon my heart. 

When the loud gambols of the village throng,
Drown the lorn murmurs of the ring-doves throat; 
I think I hear thy fascinating song,
Join the melodious minstrels tuneful note 
My listning ear soon tells me tis not THEE, 
Nor THY lovd songnor THY soft minstrelsy; 
In vain I turn away to hide my smart, 
Thy dulcet numbers vibrate in my heart. 

When with the Sylvan train I seek the grove,
Where MAYS soft breath diffuses incense round, 
Where VENUS smiles serene, and sportive LOVE
With thornless ROSES spreads the fairy ground; 
The voice of pleasure dies upon mine ear, 
My conscious bosom sighsTHOU ART NOT HERE ! 
Soft tears of fond regret reveal its smart, 
And sorrow, restless sorrow, chills my heart. 

When at my matin prayrs I prostrate kneel,
And Court RELIGIONs aid to soothe my woe, 
The meek-eyd saint who pities what I feel,
Forbids the sigh to heave, the tear to flow; 
For ah ! no vulgar passion fills my mind, 
Calm REASONs hand illumes the flame refind, 
ALL the pure feelings FRIENDSHIP can impart, 
Live in the centre of my aching heart. 

When at the still and solemn hour of night,
I press my lonely couch to find repose; 
Joyless I watch the pale moons chilling light,
Where thro the mouldring towr the north-wind blows; 
My fevrish lids no balmy slumbers own, 
Still my sad bosom beats for thee alone: 
Nor shall its aching fibres cease to smart, 
Till DEATHs cold SPELL is twind about my HEART.



Mary Robinson


Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. The Alien Boy
  2. The Deserted Cottage
  3. Sonnet to Amicus
  4. Sonnet 35. What Means the Mist
  5. To Cesario


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Matthew Arnold Absence ("IN THIS fair strangers eyes of grey")
  • Charlotte Mew Absence ("Sometimes I know the way")
  • Robert Bridges Absence ("When my love was away")
  • William Bowles Absence ("There is strange music in the stirring wind")
  • Amy Lowell Absence ("My cup is empty to-night")
  • Ella Wilcox Absence ("After you went away, our lovely room")
  • Claude McKay Absence ("Your words dropped into my heart like pebbles into a pool")

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