Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
XI. “Absence from thee is something worse than death”
By George Henry Boker (1823–1890)
ABSENCE from thee is something worse than death;
  For to the heart that slumbers in the shroud,
  What are the mourners’ tears and clamors loud,
  The open grave, the dismal cypress wreath?
The quiet body misses not its breath;        5
  The pain that shivers through the weeping crowd
  Is idle homage to the visage proud
  That changeth not for all Affliction saith.
But to be thus, from thee so far away,
  Is as though I, in seeming death, might be        10
  Conscious of all that passed about my clay;
As though I saw my doleful obsequy,
  Mourned my own loss, rebelled against decay,
  And felt thy tear-drops trickling over me.

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