I Loved You, Once

A poem by George Parsons Lathrop

And did you think my heart
Could keep its love unchanging,
Fresh as the buds that start
In spring, nor know estranging?
Listen! The buds depart:
I loved you once, but now -
I love you more than ever.

'T is not the early love;
With day and night it alters,
And onward still must move
Like earth, that never falters
For storm or star above.
I loved you once; but now -
I love you more than ever.

With gifts in those glad days
How eagerly I sought you!
Youth, shining hope, and praise:
These were the gifts I brought you.
In this world little stays:
I loved you once, but now -
I love you more than ever.

A child with glorious eyes
Here in our arms half sleeping -
So passion wakeful lies;
Then grows to manhood, keeping
Its wistful, young surprise:
I loved you once, but now -
I love you more than ever.

When age's pinching air
Strips summer's rich possession,
And leaves the branches bare,
My secret in confession
Still thus with you I'll share:
I loved you once, but now -
I love you more than ever.

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