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Poem by John Oldham
Complaining of Absence
TEN days (if I forget not) wasted are (A year in any lover's calendar) Since I was forced to part, and bid adieu To all my joy and happiness in you: And still by the same hindrance am detained, Which me at first from your loved sight constrained: Oft I resolve to meet my bliss, and then My tether stops, and pulls me back again: So when our raisèd thoughts to heaven aspire, Earth stifles them, and chokes the good desire. Curse on that man whom business first designed, And by't enthralled a freedom lover's mind! A curse on fate who thus subjected me, And made me slave to any thing but thee! Lovers should be as unconfined as air, Free as its wild inhabitants from care: So free those happy lovers are above. Exempt from all concerns but those of love: But I, poor lover militant below, The cares and troubles of dull life must know; Must toil for that which does on others wait, And undergo the drudgery of fate. Yet I'll no more to her a vassal be, Thou now shalt make and rule my destiny: Hence troublesome fatigues! all business hence! This very hour my freedom shall commence: Too long that jilt has thy proud rival been, And made me by neglectful absence sin; But I'll no more obey its tyranny, Nor that, nor fate itself shall hinder me, Henceforth from seeing and enjoying thee.
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