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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 14: If Thou


              1If thou must love me, let it be for nought
              2Except for love's sake only. Do not say
              3`I love her for her smile ... her look ... her way
              4Of speaking gently, ... for a trick of thought
              5That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
              6A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'--
              7For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
              8Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,
              9May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
            10Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,--
            11A creature might forget to weep, who bore
            12Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
            13But love me for love's sake, that evermore
            14Thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Poems. 4th edn. 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1856. PR 4180 E44a ROBA
First publication date: 1850
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP.II.343.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/6

Composition date: 1845 - 1846
Form: sonnet


Other poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning