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Absence

Happy that am'rous youth whose mistress hears
His swelling sighs, and sees his falling tears.
What savage maid her pity can deny
A breaking heart and a still streaming eye?
Absent, alas! he spends them all in vain,
While the dear cause is ign'rant of his pain.
Yet wretched as he is, he might be blest,
Could he himself contribute to his rest;
Would he resolve to struggle through the net,
And but a while endeavour to forget.
But his mad thoughts run ev'ry passage o'er,
And anxious mem'ry makes his passion more;
Perplexing mem'ry, that renews the scene
Of his past cares, and keeps him still in pain;
Keeps a poor wretch perpetually oppress'd,
And never lets unhappy lovers rest;
Lets them no pangs, no cruel suffrings lose,
But heaps their past upon their present woes.
Such was Leander's mem'ry when remov'd,
And sunder'd by the seas from all he lov'd.
The gather'd winds had wrought the tempest high,
Toss'd up the ocean, and obscur'd the sky;
And at this time, with an impetuous sway,
Pour'd forth their forces and possess'd the sea.
When the bold youth stood raging on the beach,
To view the much-lov'd coast he could not reach
His restless eyes ran all the distance o'er,
And from afar discern'd his Hero's tow'r.
Thrice, naked, in the waves his skill he tried,
And strove, as he was us'd, to stem the tide;
But tumbling billows threaten'd present wreck,
And rising up against him, dashed him back.
Then like a gallant soldier, forc'd to go,
Full of brave wrath, from a prevailing foe,
Again to town he makes his sad resort,
To see what ships would loosen from the port;
Finding but one durst launch into the seas,
He writes a letter fill'd with words like these.-

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