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Sonnets from the Portuguese, XIV

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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 brings
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 may love on, through love's eternity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 
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