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How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


"How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways" is one of the most referenced love poems in history. It's almost as if we all know the first few lines by heart around the time we are six-years old. This poem speaks about her love and how it is pure, free, and above all else. This poem is also known as "Sonnet XLIII".

"How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways" is a Petrachan sonnet that consists of fourteen lines with the rhyme scheme ABBAABBACDCDCD. Let me ask you, how much do you love me?


How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

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.

Published in Sonnets From the Portuguese in .

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Literary Movement
Victorian, 19th Century

Sonnet, Love, Death