Absence

A poem by James Russell Lowell

Sleep is Death's image,--poets tell us so;
But Absence is the bitter self of Death,
And, you away, Life's lips their red forego,
Parched in an air unfreshened by your breath.

Light of those eyes that made the light of mine,
Where shine you? On what happier fields and flowers?
Heaven's lamps renew their lustre less divine,
But only serve to count my darkened hours.

If with your presence went your image too,
That brain-born ghost my path would never cross
Which meets me now where'er I once met you,
Then vanishes, to multiply my loss.

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