Feb 5, 2014


"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) was married to another prominent poet Robert Browning who published the rest of her works after her death. This beautiful sonnet is the 43rd of her collection of love poems called Sonnets from the Portuguese published in 1850.

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