Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


If thou must love me... (Sonnet 14)

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.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Born in 1806 at Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a celebrated English poet of the Romantic Movement.

Date Published: 1850-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/if-thou-must-love-me-sonnet-14