I HAVE not yet I could have loved thee, sweet;
by Augusta Davies Webster
Nor know I wherefore, thou being all thou art,
The engrafted thought in me throve incomplete,
And grew to summer strength in every part
Of root and leaf, but hath not borne the flower.
Love hath refrained his fullness from my heart.
I know no better beauty, none with power
To hold mine eyes through change and change as thine,
Like southern skies that alter with each hour,
And yet are changeless, and their calm divine
From light to light hath motionlessly passed,
With only different loveliness for sign.
I know no fairer nature, nor where, cast
On the clear mirror of thine own young truth,
The imaged things of Heaven lie plainer glassed;
Nor where more fit alike show tender ruth,
And anger for the right, and hopes aglow,
And joy and sighs of April-hearted youth.
But some day I, so wont to praise thee so
With unabashed warm words for all to hear,
Shall scarcely name another, speaking low.
Some day, methinks, and who can tell how near?
I may, to thee unchanged, be praising thee
With one not worthier but a world more dear;
With one I know not yet, who shall, maybe,
Be not so fair, be not in aught thy peer;
Who shall be all that thou art not to me.