John Oldham

The Parting

TOO happy had I been indeed, if fate
Had made it lasting, as she made it great;
But 'twas the plot of unkind destiny,
To lift me to, then snatch me from my joy:
She raised my hopes, and brought them just in view,
And then, in spite, the charming scene withdrew.
So he of old the promised land surveyed,
Which he might only see, but never tread:
So heaven was by that damned caitiff seen,
He saw't, but with a mighty gulf between,
He saw't, to be more wretched and despair again.
Not souls of dying sinners, when they go,
Assured of endless miseries below,
Their bodies more unwillingly desert,
Than I from you, and all my joys did part.
As some young merchant, whom his sire unkind
Resigns to every faithless wave and wind,
If the kind mistress of his vows appear,
And come to bless his voyage with a prayer,
Such sighs he vents as may the gale increase,
Such floods of tears as may the billows raise;
And when at length the launching vessel flies,
And severs first his lips, and then his eyes,
Long he looks back to see what he adores,
And, while he may, views the belovèd shores.
Such just concern I at your parting had,
With such sad eyes your turning face surveyed:
Reviewing, they pursued you out of sight,
Then sought to trace you by left tracks of light;
And when they could not looks to you convey,
Towards the loved place they took delight to stray,
And aimed uncertain glances still that way. 

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