Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
from Sonnets from the Portuguese
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 everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men might 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
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.
Who do you think "thee" in here? When i was a student in Poetry 1 up to 4, i always felt so warm and tingle every time i read it since i was thinking it was purely a love poem. But now i rethink it over, esp if we read her bio, the way she devoted her life in literature, religion and her family. Go check on the link http://www.potw.org/archive/potw218.html there you can find what i mean here. So different is our mind when we were still young and when we are getting older is. It might be wrong what i think now....she is the one who knows well what is it....100%.