Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861 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 every day’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 the 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.




Poetry Out Loud Note: In the print anthology, this poem is titled simply "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." The student may give either title during their recitation.

RELATED CONTENT

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Living, Love, Relationships, Marriage & Companionship, Romantic Love, Classic Love

Occasions Engagement, Anniversary, Weddings

Holidays Valentine's Day

Poetic Terms Sonnet