Saturday, November 13, 2010

Classic Poetry (A Man's Requirements - Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

A Man's Requirements


Love me Sweet, with all thou art,
Feeling, thinking, seeing;
Love me in the lightest part,
Love me in full being.


Love me with thine open youth
In its frank surrender;
With the vowing of thy mouth,
With its silence tender.


Love me with thine azure eyes,
Made for earnest grantings;
Taking colour from the skies,
Can Heaven's truth be wanting?


Love me with their lids, that fall
Snow-like at first meeting;
Love me with thine heart, that all
Neighbours then see beating.


Love me with thine hand stretched out
Freely — open-minded:
Love me with thy loitering foot, —
Hearing one behind it.


Love me with thy voice, that turns
Sudden faint above me;
Love me with thy blush that burns
When I murmur 'Love me!'


Love me with thy thinking soul,
Break it to love-sighing;
Love me with thy thoughts that roll
On through living — dying.


Love me in thy gorgeous airs,
When the world has crowned thee;
Love me, kneeling at thy prayers,
With the angels round thee.


Love me pure, as muses do,
Up the woodlands shady:
Love me gaily, fast and true,
As a winsome lady.


Through all hopes that keep us brave,
Farther off or nigher,
Love me for the house and grave,
And for something higher.


Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear,
Woman's love no fable,
I will love thee — half a year —
As a man is able.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning 6 March 1806 - 29 June 1861)

Such wit and dare found in this poem.  Elizabeth is responsible for inspiring some of the greatest poets, Dickenson, Poe and many others. Do you like this poem? Please share any thoughts you have concerning this selection in the comments section below.  We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this poem.  Do you have another poem you like by Barrett Browning?  Please post a link to it in the comment section so we can read it to.

Poets United posts a classic poem once weekly. We want to do this to introduce classic poets and their poems to our members. It is also a way to display different styles, genres and approaches to poetry. Our intent is to further expand the world of poetry while educating ourselves.

If you have a classic poem or set of prose you are fond of please let us know by emailing it to us at


  1. Haha, stunning! Perhaps, oh, say Joan Jett is the reincarnation of EBB....

  2. Wonderful to read this poem. I hadnt come across it before. She is a witty soul, and brave, for the times! Cool choice! Thank you.

  3. Sublime. Poetry at it's best, written in the traditional four beat lines of the quatrain. Seemingly simple, this is the heartbeat of English poetry.

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture of her! I can't tell if it's a painting or a photograph. I swear she is looking right inside of me. The expression on her face is priceless. Gorgeous.

  5. She really is completely stunning and timeless in that photo/print. And I second the sentiment that she seems to be looking right through us. Very very cool in my book.


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