The Bard v. Browning

April 16, 2008

I can never decide which one I like better. One so distinctly masculine in it’s expression and the other so sweetly feminine.

So, here are both, for your literary amusement. I will say that I read the Browning poem to my dear husband whilst we were still dating and he smiled, ever so lovingly, and looked deep into my eyes while I read. He held me and kissed me and told me he loved me.

6 years later he informed me that he despises poetry because it never makes any sense. Oh, the difference a ring can make…. Now I read line by line and explain every concept and we manage. He still looks at me and smiles. But I think it’s mostly because he sees how much I enjoy it. Such a man…

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
	Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
	Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
	That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
	Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
	Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
	But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
	I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
			 William Shakespeare

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 candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive
for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn
from Praise.
I love thee with a 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.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning