This is a well known poem. The first line has probably been quoted thousands of times. Yet most people have never read the whole poem. It’s short and sappy. It’s a cliché to love this poem, but I do. There were not many female poets in her times and this lady really made a difference. The words are simple, yet powerful. Till this day, I think this poem very aptly describes a person in love.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
by Elizabeth Barett 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 thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.