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Contents > Author > Elizabeth Barrett Browning > If thou must love me, let it be for nought 1806- 1861
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
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Sonnets from the Portuguese XIV

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, Belov?d, 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'st love on, through love's eternity.
 

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