We have now reached the second most requested poem on the BBC’s Poetry Please programme and it is Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. A visit to The Glass Key bookshop in Montmorillon would give you a chance to catch more of her poetry and that of her husband, Robert Browning – a chance not to be missed.
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.