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Rhythmically, "The Secret" is very predictable in following a pattern that could be described as 'secundaus paeon biameter,' meaning that there are two feet in each line with each foot having one unaccented syllable, one accented syllable, and two more unstressed syllables.
I loved thee, though I told thee not, Right ear-i-ly and long, Thou wert my joy in ev-ery spot, My theme in ev-ery song.
While the poem is presented without separation into stanzas, the pattern of rhyming words divides the poem into three groups of four lines with the first and third lines rhyming and the second and fourth lines rhyming.
In a rather elaborate simile, Clare compares physical beauty observed in others "like a secret grace" with the appearance of his unnamed and admired-from-a-distance lady love.
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