Song (“How Many Times…”)

How many times do I love thee, dear?
   Tell me how many thoughts there be
         In the atmosphere
         Of a new-fall’n year,
Whose white and sable hours appear
   The latest flake of Eternity:—
So many times do I love thee, dear.

How many times do I love again?
   Tell me how many beads there are
         In a silver chain
         Of evening rain,
Unravelled from the tumbling main,
   And threading the eye of a yellow star:—
So many times do I love again.

[Kelsall, 1851]