“And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy.” What does the expression ‘dark secret love’ mean? What does the poet mean by this?

In Blake’s poem ‘The Sick Rose’, the expression ‘dark secret love’ refers to the illicit love of the worm. It destroys the rose’s life. The worm corrupts the rose at night. So, this love is dark. On the other hand, this love maintains secrecy. So the expression ‘dark secret love’ means love that corrupts the rose insidiously in the darkness of night.
The dark secret love of the worm destroys the life of the rose. It has a deeper meaning. It suggests that beauty and purity are corrupted by the evil forces represented by the worm. The poet wants to expound that the state of innocence is destroyed by the experience. He shows how two contrary states of human souls are inevitable.

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