I loved you first

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"I loved you first: but afterwards your love"

I loved you first: but afterwards your love

    Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song

As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.

    Which owes the other most? my love was long,

    And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;

I loved and guessed at you, you construed me

And loved me for what might or might not be –

    Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.

For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’

    With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,

         For one is both and both are one in love:

Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’

         Both have the strength and both the length thereof,

Both of us, of the love which makes us one.


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