692. I do not love Thee

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton. 1808-1876

I DO not love thee!--no! I do not love thee!
And yet when thou art absent I am sad;
  And envy even the bright blue sky above thee,
Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.

  I do not love thee!--yet, I know not why,
Whate'er thou dost seems still well done, to me:
  And often in my solitude I sigh
That those I do love are not more like thee!

  I do not love thee!--yet, when thou art gone,
I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear)
  Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.

  I do not love thee!--yet thy speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue,
  Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.

  I know I do not love thee! yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
  And oft I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where thou art.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition