if thou must love me, let it be for naught,
except for love’s sake only. do not say,
“i love her for her smile-her looks-her way
of speaking gently-for a trick of thought
that falls well with me, and certes 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 may’st love on, through love’s eternity.
— elizabeth barrett browning