by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647-1680)
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.