John Hartley

(1839-1917 / England)

I Know I Love Thee - Poem by John Hartley

I shall never forget the day, Annie,
When I bid thee a fond adieu;
With a careless good bye I left thee,
For my cares and my fears were few.
True that thine eyes seemed brightest;--
True that none had so fair a brow,--
I _thought_ that I loved thee then, Annie,
But I _knew_ that I love thee now.

I had neither wealth nor beauty,
Whilst thou owned of both a share,
I bad only a honest purpose
And the courage the Fates to dare.
To all others my heart preferred thee,
And 'twas hard to part I know;
For I _thought_ that I loved thee then, Annie,
But I _know_ that I love thee now.

Oh! what would I give to-night, love,
Could I clasp thee once again,
To my heart that is aching with loving,--
To my heart where my love does reign.
Could I hear thy voice making music,
So gentle, so sweet and so low,
I _thought_ that I loved thee then, Annie,
But I _know_ that I love thee now.

I have won me wealth and honour,--
I have earned a worldly regard,
But alas they afford me no pleasure,
Nor lighten my lot so hard.
Oh come for my bosom yearneth,
All its burden of love to bestow,--
Once I _thought_ that I really loved thee,
But I _know_ that I love thee now.

Canst thou ever forgive me the folly,
Of failing to capture the prize,
Of thy maiden heart, trustful and loving,
That shone thro' thy tear bedimmed eyes.
But I knew not until we had parted,
How fiercely love's embers could glow;
Or how _truly_ I loved thee then, Annie,
Or how _madly_ I'd love thee now.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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