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