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

  1. Hugh Hyatt says:

    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 says:

    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. Dave says:

    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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