Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. 1647–1680
413. Return
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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