If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say,
“I love her for her smile…her look…her way
Of speaking gently,…for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (March 6, 1806 - June 29, 1861) was an English poet of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime. If Thou Must Love Me is Sonnet 14 in "Sonnets from the Portuguese", a collection of 44 love poems by Elizabeth Barrett composed for her future husband Robert Browning. She believed that if her lover loved her for her qualities, someday his love would vanish if her superficial qualities faded away. What do you think about love?
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