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XIV. "If thou must love me, let it be for nought..."
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
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.

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