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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of the most memorable love sonnets of all time comes from the pen of the famous English Victorian poetess, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, born in 1806 and dying in 1861. Her sonnets record the stages of her love for her husband, Robert Browning, a poetic rival of Tennyson, and are contained in a presentation under the guise of "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 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.

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