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In Absence

Edward Shanks 1892 (London) – 1953



My lovely one, be near to me to-night.
For now I need you most, since I have gone
Through the sparse woodland in the fading light,
Where in time past we two have walked alone,
Heard the loud nightjar spin his pleasant note,
And seen the wild rose folded up for sleep,
And whispered, though the soft word choked my throat,
Your dear name out across the valley deep.
Be near to me, for now I need you most.
To-night I saw an unsubstantial flame
Flickering along those shadowy paths, a ghost
That turned to me and answered to your name,
Mocking me with a wraith of far delight.
... My lovely one, be near to me to-night.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Edward Shanks

Edward Richard Buxton Shanks was an English writer, known as a war poet of World War I, then as an academic and journalist, and literary critic and biographer. He also wrote some science fiction. He was born in London, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He passed his B.A. in History in 1913. He was editor of Granta from 1912-13. He served in World War I with the British Army in France, but was invalided out in 1915, and did administrative work until war's end. He was later a literary reviewer, working for the London Mercury and for a short while a lecturer at the University of Liverpool. He was the chief leader-writer for the Evening Standard from 1928 to 1935. The People of the Ruins was a science-fiction novel in which a man wakes after being put into suspended animation, to discover a devastated Britain. more…

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