How Do I Love Thee?

by


How Do I Love Thee? is one of her most recognized poems, published in Barrett's collection of 44 love poems titled Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850).
An illustration for the story How Do I Love Thee? by the author Elizabeth Barrett Browning
An illustration for the story How Do I Love Thee? by the author Elizabeth Barrett Browning
An illustration for the story How Do I Love Thee? by the author 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 with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


This poem is featured in our selection of 100 Great Poems.


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Return to the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Human Life’'s Mystery

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