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 candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a 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.
This poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning has always stuck in my head since I studied it at secondary school. I remember admiring the passion in her sentiments but I couldn’t relate to it having never felt such intense love before.
Now as I read the poem I feel it has newfound poignancy – I can’t totally relate to it because it describes how I feel about my fiancé.
He’s so special and precious to me. He’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.
This is not a cheesy first flushes of love statement. It’s the real deal after almost three years of being together, living together and evolving together throughout all the ups and downs that life has thrown at us.
Here’s to the future!