This has been my favorite poem since I was a young girl. Strangely enough I first heard it in that old children's holiday special Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. Humble poetry beginnings to be sure, but I loved it nonetheless. The words sounded like music to me, even as spoken by Linus. :)
In high school I memorized it, in college I dissected it, and recently it inspired the name of my blog:
Sonnets From the Portuguese, # 43
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men might strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,–I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
(Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, between 1845 and 1846)