Fun fact! This poem is actually by Mary Carolyn Davies. It was misattributed to the pseudonym “Roy Croft” in a 1936 anthology entitled Best Loved Poems of American People edited by a Hazel Felleman. She corrected the mistake in her column for the New York Times Book Review, “Queries and Answers,” in 1943, where she noted that “Davies is a resident of New York City and is the author of ‘Love,’ a poem that has been erroneously attributed to Roy Croft.”
I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me.
I love you, for the part of me that you bring out.
I love you, for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out, into the light, all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you, because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a temple. Out of the works of my every day, not a reproach, but a song.
I love you, because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.