Absence by Elizabeth Jennings

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Absence

I visited the place where we last met.

Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended,

The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet;

There was no sign that anything had ended

And nothing to instruct me to forget.

The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees,

Singing an ecstasy I could not share,

Played cunning in my thoughts. Surely in these

Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear

Or any discord shake the level breeze.

It was because the place was just the same

That made your absence seem a savage force,

For under all the gentleness there came

An earthquake tremor: Fountain, birds and grass

Were shaken by my thinking of your name.

Elizabeth Jennings

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