Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Sonnet XLIII: How Do I Love Thee?


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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Ryan Walker (12/9/2011 11:43:00 PM)

    One of my personal favorites from Browning. 'I shall love thee better after death.' (Report) Reply

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