A Man's Requirements

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I
Love me Sweet, with all thou art,
   Feeling, thinking, seeing;
Love me in the lightest part,
   Love me in full being.

II
Love me with thine open youth
   In its frank surrender;
With the vowing of thy mouth,
   With its silence tender.

III
Love me with thine azure eyes,
   Made for earnest granting;
Taking colour from the skies,
   Can Heaven’s truth be wanting?

IV
Love me with their lids, that fall
   Snow-like at first meeting;
Love me with thine heart, that all
   Neighbours then see beating.

V
Love me with thine hand stretched out
   Freely—open-minded:
Love me with thy loitering foot,—
   Hearing one behind it.

VI
Love me with thy voice, that turns
   Sudden faint above me;
Love me with thy blush that burns
   When I murmur Love me!

VII
Love me with thy thinking soul,
   Break it to love-sighing;
Love me with thy thoughts roll
   On through living—dying.

VIII
Love me when in thy gorgeous airs,
   When the world has crowned thee;
Love me, kneeling at thy prayers,
   With the angels round thee.

IX
Love me pure, as musers do,
   Up the woodlands shady:
Love me gaily, fast and true
   As a winsome lady.

X
Through all hopes that keep us brave,
   Farther off or nigher,
Love me for the house and grave,
   And for something higher.

XI
Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear,
   Woman’s love no fable.
I will love thee—half a year—
   As a man is able.



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Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated

 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 Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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