Saturday, October 20, 2012

Classic Poetry ~ "Sonnets from the Portuguese - XIV" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861

"How do I love thee..." are the words most of us conjure when thinking of Elizabeth Barrett Browning; but the prolific prodigy, who had four books to her credit by age twelve, wrote hundreds of love poems. Suffering from a chronic lung disease that descended upon her in her fourteenth year, as well as a spinal injury from a riding accident when she was fifteen, Elizabeth lived a life of pain and reliance upon morphine. Despite these challenges, she wrote passionately, enthusiastically and romantically, personifying the artist who must express. 

Sonnets from the Portuguese ~ XIV

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, Belov├Ęd, 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 mayst love on, through love’s eternity.


  1. A fine poem. New to me. Thanks for introducing it.

  2. This is beautiful Kim. Thanks for posting it. I haven't read much of her work, but after reading this I'm going to look up more of her poems.

  3. Oh yes.......when I was a girl I so adored their love story. Thanks for the remembering. I hadnt thought of her for a while. They should make a movie about her and her poet husband.

  4. This is wonderful~
    I didn't know this!
    Thank you Kim for sharing!
    Pain does bring out creativity.
    It helps one cope!
    Thank you for sharing!


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