A Man’s Requirements
Love me Sweet, with all thou art,
Feeling, thinking, seeing;
Love me in the lightest part,
Love me in full being.
Love me with thine open youth
In its frank surrender;
With the vowing of thy mouth,
With its silence tender.
Love me with thine azure eyes,
Made for earnest granting;
Taking colour from the skies,
Can Heaven’s truth be wanting?
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
Love me with thy loitering foot,—
Hearing one behind it.
Love me with thy voice, that turns
Sudden faint above me;
Love me with thy blush that burns
When I murmur Love me!
Love me with thy thinking soul,
Break it to love-sighing;
Love me with thy thoughts that roll
On through living—dying.
Love me when in thy gorgeous airs,
When the world has crowned thee;
Love me, kneeling at thy prayers,
With the angels round thee.
Love me pure, as musers 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.
Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear,
Woman’s love no fable.
I will love thee—half a year—
As a man is able
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Born: 6 March 1806, County Durham, England
Died: 29 June 1861, Florence, Italy
Barret Browning, also known as Mrs Browning, was a Victorian poet who became popular within her lifetime both in the UK and America. She began writing poetry from the age of 11 and her mother’s collection of her poems is amongst the largest extant collections of poetry written in youth of any poet or writer.