HOW DO I LOVE THEE
(From Sonnets from the Portuguese)

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways

I love you 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 candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love you purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love you with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with a 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

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