How Do I Love Thee

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Browning lived from 1806-1861.  This is her best-known poem, and maybe one of the most famous poems in the English language.

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