The Secret

I loved thee, though I told thee not,

Right early 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 my name.

And all the charms of face or voice

Which I in others see

Are but a recollected choice

Of what I felt for thee.

John Clare, The Secret