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Canto LII

I cannot love thee as I ought,    For love reflects the thing beloved;    My words are only words, and moved Upon the topmost froth of thought.

"Yet blame not thou thy plaintive song,"    The Spirit of true love replied;    "Thou canst not move me from thy side, Nor human frailty do me wrong.

"What keeps a spirit wholly true    To that ideal which he bears?    What record? not the sinless years That breathed beneath the Syrian blue:

"So fret not, like an idle girl,    That life is dash'd with flecks of sin.    Abide: thy wealth is gather'd in, When Time hath sunder'd shell from pearl."

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A. H. H., Canto LII

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