Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ABSENCE, by FRANCIS THOMPSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ABSENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When music's fading's faded
Last Line: Ah, is she bliss or pain?

WHEN music's fading's faded,
And the rose's death is dead,
And my heart is fain of tears, because
Mine eyes have none to shed;
I said,
Whence shall faith be fed?

Canst thou be what thou hast been?
No, no more what thou hast!
Lo, all last things that I have known,
And all that shall be last,
Went past
With the thing thou wast!

If the petal of this Spring be
As of the Spring that's flown,
If the thought that now is sweet is
As the sweet thought overblown;
Canst thou be thy self gone.

To yester-rose a richer
The rose-spray may bear;
Thrice thousand fairer you may be, --
But tears for the fair
You were
When you first were fair!

Know you where they have laid her,
Maiden May that died --
With the loves that lived not
Strowing her soft side?
I cried,
Where Has-been may hide?

To him that waiteth, all things!
Even death, if thou wait!
And they that part too early
May meet again too late: --
Ah, fate
If meeting be too late!

And when the year new-launched
Shall from its wake extend
The blossomy foam of Summer,
What shall I attend,
My friend!
Flower of thee, my friend?

Sweet shall have its sorrow,
The rainbow its rain,
Loving have its leaving,
And bliss is of pain
So fain,
Ah, is she bliss or pain?

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