If thou must love me, let it be for naught
     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.



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 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.



Background:  "Her Eyes Are with Her Thoughts," by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema