Absent from Thee
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester | 1647
- 1680 | England
Suggested by: Fiona Shaw
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,
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
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,
And lose my everlasting rest.
IMAGE: © National Portrait Gallery, London
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1665-1670
50 in. x 39 in. (1270 mm x 991 mm)