A Man’s Requirements – Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Love me Sweet, with all thou art, 

Feeling, thinking, seeing; 

Love me in the lightest part, 

Love me in full being. 
II 
Love me with thine open youth 

In its frank surrender; 

With the vowing of thy mouth, 

With its silence tender. 
III 
Love me with thine azure eyes, 

Made for earnest grantings; 

Taking colour from the skies, 

Can Heaven’s truth be wanting? 
IV 
Love me with their lids, that fall 

Snow-like at first meeting; 

Love me with thine heart, that all 

Neighbours then see beating. 

Love me with thine hand stretched out 

Freely — open-minded: 

Love me with thy loitering foot, — 

Hearing one behind it. 
VI 
Love me with thy voice, that turns 

Sudden faint above me; 

Love me with thy blush that burns 

When I murmur ‘Love me!’ 
VII 
Love me with thy thinking soul, 

Break it to love-sighing; 

Love me with thy thoughts that roll 

On through living — dying. 
VIII 
Love me in thy gorgeous airs, 

When the world has crowned thee; 

Love me, kneeling at thy prayers, 

With the angels round thee. 
IX 
Love me pure, as muses do, 

Up the woodlands shady: 

Love me gaily, fast and true, 

As a winsome lady. 

Through all hopes that keep us brave, 

Farther off or nigher, 

Love me for the house and grave, 

And for something higher. 
XI 
Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear, 

Woman’s love no fable, 

I will love thee — half a year — 

As a man is able.

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