197. That Time and Absence proves Rather helps than hurts to loves

John Donne. 1573-1631

ABSENCE, hear thou my protestation
    Against thy strength,
    Distance and length:
Do what thou canst for alteration,
    For hearts of truest mettle
    Absence doth join and Time doth settle.

Who loves a mistress of such quality,
    His mind hath found
    Affection's ground
Beyond time, place, and all mortality.
    To hearts that cannot vary
    Absence is present, Time doth tarry.

My senses want their outward motion
    Which now within
    Reason doth win,
Redoubled by her secret notion:
    Like rich men that take pleasure
    In hiding more than handling treasure.

By Absence this good means I gain,
    That I can catch her
    Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain:
    There I embrace and kiss her,
    And so enjoy her and none miss her.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition