How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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.

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God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace,

Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it,
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will,
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Amen.

– Reinhold Niebuhr