Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born 6 March 1806, and died 29 June 1861
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
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.
- I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
- You’re something between a dream and a miracle.
- What we call Life is a condition of the soul. And the soul must improve in happiness and wisdom, except by its own fault. These tears in our eyes, these faintings of the flesh, will not hinder such improvement.
- At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.
- Who so loves believes the impossible.
- You may write twenty lines one day–or even three like Euripides in three days–and a hundred lines in one more day–and yet on the hundred, may have been expended as much good work, as on the twenty and the three.
- Since when was genius found respectable?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband, Robert Browning, shortly after her death. Her poems are available in The Collected Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
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