Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Because I feel like it…


From ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’


Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If thou must love me, let it be for nought

Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,

‘I love her for her smile- her look – her way

Of speaking gently- for a trick of thought

That falls in well with mine, and certes brought

A sense of pleasant ease on such a day!’

For these things in themselves, Beloved, may

Be changed, or change for thee and love, so wrought,

May be unwrought so. Neither love me for

Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry-

A creature might forget to weep, who bore

Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!

But love me for love’s sake, that evermore

Thou may’st love on, through love’s eternity.

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 candlelight,

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.

It’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday – it’s also half - term, we have family coming (yay!) and I expect to be preoccupied for about a week. But I’m here so don’t go away.


kenju said...

I have loved that one since high school, when my then current boyfriend recited it to me, along with some Annabel Lee - trying to pass them off as his own creations!! LOL

Eryl Shields said...

You've made me feel quite romantic!

Kim Ayres said...

It's also my daughter's birthday on Valentine's Day :)

PI said...

Judy: I had that too. Men!

Eryl: then my work on earth is done:)

Kim: In case I don't make it over on Saturday please give Meg a big hug from me and Many Happy Returns and don't eat too much (Chocolate?) cake.

Eryl Shields said...

No, no, it's not, I can assure you!

PI said...

Eryl: OK - I'll stick around then.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Such a BEAUTIFUL Poem....One that stays with you forever...!
Enjoy all of your time with The Family Pat, and a Very Happy Valentines Day, to you and yours!