Sonnet 14

Topics: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Love, Sonnets from the Portuguese Pages: 4 (1135 words) Published: October 5, 2010
Sonnet 14
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes¹ brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

In lines I and 2 of "Sonnet 14", Elizabeth Barrett Browning says she wants only to be loved for "love's sake". The next four lines describe all the things she does not want to be loved for. She tells us in lines 7 through 9, that she does not want to be loved for these reasons because they are changeable and unreliable. In lines 10 through 12, she says she does not want to loved because he feels sorry for her because one day her tears will dry, and then what is left for him to love. She closes by restating her wish to be loved only for "love's sake" because that is the only love that lasts. 1. certainly

Sonnets "12", "13", and "14"are a few of the sonnets which best express Elizabeth Barrett Browning's initial reservations regarding her relationship with Browning and how he helps her to overcome them. In "Sonnet 12", she describes how before Robert Browning, she had no love to call her own. In "Sonnet 13" she tells Robert that she cannot wholly describe her feelings for him because she is still unsure. In "Sonnet 14", Browning describes the details of what she believes constitutes a real love and her expectations regarding Robert. -------------------------------------------------

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