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Short poem

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I Love thee?

              1How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
              2I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
              3My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
              4For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
              5I love thee to the level of everyday's
              6Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
              7I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
              8I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
              9I love thee with the passion put to use
            10In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
            11I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
            12With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
            13Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
            14I shall but love thee better after death.

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.344.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/6

Composition date: 1845 - 1846
Form: sonnet

Other poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning