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.
This poem is featured in our selection of 100 Great Poems.