Absence

'Tis not the loss of love's assurance,
It is not doubting what thou art,
But 'tis the too, too long endurance
Of absence that afflicts my heart.

The fondest thoughts two hearts can cherish,
When each is lonely doomed to weep,
Are fruits on desert isles that perish,
Or riches buried in the deep.

What though, untouched by jealous madness,
Our bosom's peace may fall to wreck?
The undoubting heart, that breaks with sadness,
Is but more slowly doomed to break.

Absence! is not the soul torn by it
From more than light, or life, or breath?
'Tis Lethe's gloom, but not its quiet,—
The pain without the peace of death!

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