I love poetry. I love love poetry too. See, outwardly, I’m not a very affectionate person. I don’t show love very flamboyantly. I’m not a huge fan of cheesiness, and I get kind of embarrassed when I feel sappy. I do try to embrace my cheesy side, but it doesn’t always work. Except when I read good poetry. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of those poets. Her Sonnets from the Portuguese are some of the most beautiful love poems I’ve ever read. Here is one of my favorites.
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, Belovèd, 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.