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John Clare

(13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864 / Northamptonshire / England)

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 the recollected choice
Of what I felt for thee.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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