The poem this is attributed to, by Roy Croft, is nearly identical to a German-language poem by Eric Fried titled "Ich liebe dich" ("I Love You"). Little is known about either poem, so it is difficult to say if Croft actually wrote this poem or if he translated Fried's poem and ended up with the credit. Often the quote is attributed to "Anonymous" or Elizabeth Browning, as well,
The character Jubal Harshaw says this line in Stranger. Interestingly, in the "Uncut" version of the book, the character does not speak this line. Many argue that Harshaw is the true main character of the book, as he consistently proffers the philosophies another character must deal with.