Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday Poem: How do I love thee? (Sonnet 43, 1845) Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861

Another poem from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, campaigner for human rights - including the abolition of slavery and improving child labour laws. The first poem I posted of hers is The Cry of the Children, a truly remarkable piece showing the horror of the conditions many children faced at the time, while retaining a lyricism and beauty around the core of unease.

On the other hand this is a love poem, with an inner core of strength, and a sense of the inevitable, possibly obtained from having battled illness most of her life.


How do I love thee? (Sonnet 43, 1845)  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 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 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.

For more great poetry, check out the Tuesday poem hub here.
For a free ebook of Wizard's Guide to Wellington go here Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th Dec 2014

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