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John Freeman

(1880-1929 / England)

Absence


Distance no grace can lend you, but for me
Distance yet magnifies your mystery.
With you, and soon content, I ask how should
In your two eyes be hid my heaven of good?
How should your own mere voice the strange words speak
That tease me with the sense of what's to seek
In all the world beside? How your brown hair,
That simply and neglectfully you wear,
Bind my wild thoughts in its abundant snare?
With you, I wonder how you're stranger than
Another woman to another man;
But parted--and you're as a ship unknown
That to poor castaways at dawn is shown
As strange as dawn, so strange they fear a trick
Of eyes long-vexed and hope with falseness sick.
Parted, and like the riddle of a dream,
Dark with rich promise, does your beauty seem.
I wonder at your patience, stirless peace,
Your subtle pride, mute pity's quick release.
Then are you strange to me and sweet as light
Or dew; as strange and dark as starless night.
Then let this restless parting be forgiven:
I go from you to find in you strange heaven.

Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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