Absence from whom we love is worse than death,
And frustrate hope severer than despair.

William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet
“Hope, like the short-lived ray that gleams awhile”

Added on 1-Aug-17 | Last updated 5-Sep-17
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3 thoughts on ““Hope, like the short-lived ray that gleams awhile””

  1. Hugh Hyatt

    From what I can find, “Hope” is the name of a rather long poem from Cowper’s Poems, by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. (1798) [http://bit.ly/2u8ehP6], while these are the last two lines of a much shorter untitled poem of Cowper’s, with the first line “Hope, like the short-lived ray that gleams awhile,” published in The Poetical Works of William Cowper (1785) [http://bit.ly/2feUwCP (p 476)], which is the earliest published version I could find. I was unable to find any information about when either of these poems was written.

  2. Hugh Hyatt

    Oh, and every version of “Hope, like the short-lived ray…” that I looked at had the word “frustrate” rather than “frustrates”, although in context the latter seems to me to be in agreement with the subject, “absence”.

  3. Fixed on the title and source link.

    I wonder if frustrate isn’t a verb for absence, but an adjective of hope, an archaic form similar to prostrate, obligate, oblate, etc. I suspect that’s so, so I’ve fixed the text (if not the image).

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