This poem has long resonated with me. I remember clearly falling in love for the first time: deeply. It was spring. I analyzed it. I wanted to count the ways. Susi, in love, counted.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
(I counted. I needed to to tell how.)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 did reach....all the further when my love was new, and newly requited. It was as far as I had reached to know God's Grace and understand His Infinity. This New Love, it smacked God-born. I must chart how.)
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
(hands....always touching hands. Dinner waiting on the table every night.... I so worship.)
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
(for I must.)
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
(for I shouldn't)
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs,
(childish grief: being the last picked; put to bed early in the summer. Now is that passion put to use.)
and with my childhood’s faith.
(wherein I planned my own wedding with blind, blind faith, when I was six.)
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,
(my fast-running heros....no longer living, yet sacred in loss. I love, I lose, and I must love for the loss)
— I love thee with the breath, (each)
Smiles, (you are in every)
tears, (the deepest wells bear your name)
of all my life!
— and, if God choose, (these three remain)
I shall but love thee better after death. (The crowning glory of all my Love .......is Christ. Between us, in us, through us. "as in a mirror" now......then...................clearly.)
....and now I shall click "publish" before I change my mind. It is, after all, a love letter. :) But it is, after all, Valentine's Day.