The Secret

I loved thee, though I told thee not,

Right earlily and long,

Thou wert my joy in every spot,

My theme in every song.

And when I saw a stranger face

Where beauty held the claim,

I gave it like a secret grace

the being of thy name.

And all the charms of face or voice

Which I in others see

Are but recollected choice

Of what I felt for thee.

John Clare 1793-1864

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