"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...," by Elizabeth Barrett


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XLIII. "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
*by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)*

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.

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Page last updated: 15 October 1998
©1998-1999, Richard J. Yanco

Source: www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco/literature/elizabethbarrettbrowning/poems/sonnetsfromtheportuguese/howdoilovetheeletmecounttheways.html

how do i love thee

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