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.




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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

 Elizabeth  Barrett Browning

Biography

Among all women poets of the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century, none was held in higher critical esteem or was more admired for the independence and courage of her views than Elizabeth Barrett Browning. During the years of her marriage to Robert Browning, her literary reputation far surpassed that of her poet-husband; when visitors came to their home in Florence, she was invariably the greater attraction. Both in . . .

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Poem Categorization

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

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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