To Mary

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I sleep with thee and wake with thee
And yet thou art not there;
I fill my arms with thoughts of thee
And press the common air.

Thy eyes are gazing upon mine
When thou art out of sight;
My lips are always touching thine
At morning, noon, and night.

I think and speak of other things
To keep my mind at rest
But still to thee my memory clings
Like love in woman's breast.

I hide it from the world's wide eye
And think and speak contrary,
But soft the wind comes from the sky
And whispers tales of Mary.

The night wind whispers in my ear,
The moon shines on my face;
The burden still of chilling fear
I find in every place.

The breeze is whispering in the bush,
The leaves fall from the tree;
All sighing on and will not hush,
Some pleasant tales of thee.

by John Clare.

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