How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) by 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.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (née Moulton-Barrett) was born in Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England, on March 6, 1806, the eldest of 12 children. Poetry was her life from the age of 11. She was to become a renowned English poet of the Romantic Movement.
I invite you to visit Poetry.org for Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s bio and collection of her poetry.