I Know I Love Thee.

A 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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