Sonnets from the Portuguese. XLIII

The second poem I ever posted on this page was a sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It’s been two years since, so I figured it was about high time I gave her some more credit. This one is for my mom, who I have cared for the past month (that’s why you didn’t find a new poem here last week – sorry about that). Mom, you kept saying that it must have been a burden to me. Let this poem be my final answer to that.

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

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