Henry Vaughan

(1621 - 23 April 1695 / Brecknockshire, Wales)

Etesia Absent Poem by Henry Vaughan


Love, the world's life! What a sad death
Thy absence is to lose our breath
At once and die, is but to live
Enlarged, without the scant reprieve
Of pulse and air: whose dull returns
And narrow circles the soul mourns.
But to be dead alive, and still
To wish, but never have our will:
To be possessed, and yet to miss;
To wed a true but absent bliss:
Are lingering tortures, and their smart
Dissects and racks and grinds the heart!
As soul and body in that state
Which unto us seems separate,
Cannot be said to live, until
Reunion; which days fulfil
And slow-paced seasons: so in vain
Through hours and minutes (Time's long train,)
I look for thee, and from thy sight,
As from my soul, for life and light.
For till thine eyes shine so on me,
Mine are fast-closed and will not see.

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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