Home  »  The Book of Elizabethan Verse  »  Sir John Suckling (1609–1642)

William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

When, Dearest, I but Think of Thee

Sir John Suckling (1609–1642)

WHEN, dearest, I but think of thee,

Methinks all things that lovely be

Are present and my soul delighted:

For beauties that from worth arise

Are like the grace of deities,

Still present with us, tho’ unsighted.

Thus while I sit and sigh the day

With all his borrowed lights away,

Till night’s black wings do overtake me,

Thinking on thee, thy beauties then,

As sudden lights do sleepy men,

So they by their bright rays awake me.

Thus absence dies, and dying proves

No absence can subsist with loves

That do partake of fair perfection:

Since in the darkest night they may

By love’s quick motion find a way

To see each other by reflection.

The waving sea can with each flood

Bathe some high promont that hath stood

Far from the main up in the river:

O think not then but love can do

As much! for that’s an ocean too,

Which flows not every day, but ever!