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How Do I Love Thee?

(Sonnet 43)
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 every days
Most uiet need, by sun and candle!light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for "ight.
I love thee purely, as they turn from #raise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhoods faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
$ith my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
%miles, tears, of all my life& and, if 'od choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
SONNET 2
!illia" Sha#e$%eare
$hen in disgrace with fortune and men(s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
)nd trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
)nd loo* upon myself, and curse my fate,
$ishing me li*e to one more rich in hope,
Featur(d li*e him, li*e him with friends possess(d,
+esiring this man(s art and that man(s scope,
$ith what I most en,oy contented least&
-et in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I thin* on thee, and then my state,
Li*e to the lar* at brea* of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven(s gate&
For thy sweet love remember(d such wealth brings
.hat then I scorn to change my state with *ings.
Eleg& !ritten in a 'o(ntr& 'h(r)h&ar*
Tho"a$ +ra&
.he curfew tolls the *nell of parting day,
.he lowing herd wind slowly o(er the lea,
.he plowman homeward plods his weary way,
)nd leaves the world to dar*ness and to me.
/ow fades the glimm(ring landscape on the sight,
)nd all the air a solemn stillness holds,
%ave where the beetle wheels his droning 0ight,
)nd drowsy tin*lings lull the distant folds&
%ave that from yonder ivy!mantled tow(r
.he moping owl does to the moon complain
1f such, as wand(ring near her secret bow(r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
2eneath those rugged elms, that yew!tree(s shade,
$here heaves the turf in many a mould(ring heap,
3ach in his narrow cell for ever laid,
.he rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
.he bree4y call of incense!breathing Morn,
.he swallow twitt(ring from the straw!built shed,
.he coc*(s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
/o more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the bla4ing hearth shall burn,
1r busy housewife ply her evening care5
/o children run to lisp their sire(s return,
1r climb his *nees the envied *iss to share.
1ft did the harvest to their sic*le yield,
.heir furrow oft the stubborn glebe has bro*e&
How ,ocund did they drive their team a6eld7
How bow(d the woods beneath their sturdy stro*e7
Let not )mbition moc* their useful toil,
.heir homely ,oys, and destiny obscure&
/or 'randeur hear with a disdainful smile
.he short and simple annals of the poor.
.he boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow(r,
)nd all that beauty, all that wealth e(er gave,
)waits ali*e th( inevitable hour.
.he paths of glory lead but to the grave.
/or you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Mem(ry o(er their tomb no trophies raise,
$here thro( the long!drawn aisle and fretted vault
.he pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
8an storied urn or animated bust
2ac* to its mansion call the 0eeting breath?
8an Honour(s voice provo*e the silent dust,
1r Flatt(ry soothe the dull cold ear of +eath?
#erhaps in this neglected spot is laid
%ome heart once pregnant with celestial 6re&
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway(d,
1r wa*(d to ecstasy the living lyre.
2ut 9nowledge to their eyes her ample page
"ich with the spoils of time did ne(er unroll&
8hill #enury repress(d their noble rage,
)nd fro4e the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
.he dar* unfathom(d caves of ocean bear5
Full many a 0ow(r is born to blush unseen
)nd waste its sweetness on the desert air.
%ome village!Hampden, that with dauntless breast
.he little tyrant of his 6elds withstood&
%ome mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
%ome 8romwell guiltless of his country(s blood.
.h( applause of list(ning senates to command,
.he threats of pain and ruin to despise,
.o scatter plenty o(er a smiling land,
)nd read their hist(ry in a nation(s eyes,
.heir lot forbade5 nor circumscrib(d alone
.heir growing virtues, but their crimes con6n(d&
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
)nd shut the gates of mercy on man*ind,
.he struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
.o uench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
1r heap the shrine of Lu:ury and #ride
$ith incense *indled at the Muse(s 0ame.
Far from the madding crowd(s ignoble strife,
.heir sober wishes never learn(d to stray&
)long the cool seuester(d vale of life
.hey *ept the noiseless tenor of their way.
-et ev(n these bones from insult to protect,
%ome frail memorial still erected nigh,
$ith uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture dec*(d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
.heir name, their years, spelt by th( unletter(d muse,
.he place of fame and elegy supply5
)nd many a holy te:t around she strews,
.hat teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
.his pleasing an:ious being e(er resign(d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
/or cast one longing, ling(ring loo* behind?
1n some fond breast the parting soul relies,
%ome pious drops the closing eye reuires&
3v(n from the tomb the voice of /ature cries,
3v(n in our ashes live their wonted 6res.
For thee, who mindful of th( unhonour(d +ead
+ost in these lines their artless tale relate&
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
%ome *indred spirit shall inuire thy fate,
Haply some hoary!headed swain may say,
;1ft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
2rushing with hasty steps the dews away
.o meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
;.here at the foot of yonder nodding beech
.hat wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
)nd pore upon the broo* that babbles by.
;Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt(ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
/ow drooping, woeful wan, li*e one forlorn,
1r cra4(d with care, or cross(d in hopeless love.
;1ne morn I miss(d him on the custom(d hill,
)long the heath and near his fav(rite tree&
)nother came& nor yet beside the rill,
/or up the lawn, nor at the wood was he&
;.he ne:t with dirges due in sad array
%low thro( the church!way path we saw him borne.
)pproach and read <for thou canst read= the lay,
'rav(d on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.;
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE
John Keats
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provenal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fy to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what fowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of fies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain
To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:Do I wake or sleep?
ODE ON , +-E'I,N .-N
/ohn 0eat$
.hou still unravish(d bride of uietness,
.hou foster!child of silence and slow time,
%ylvan historian, who canst thus e:press
) 0owery tale more sweetly than our rhyme5
$hat leaf!fring(d legend haunts about thy shape
1f deities or mortals, or of both,
In .empe or the dales of )rcady?
$hat men or gods are these? $hat maidens loth?
$hat mad pursuit? $hat struggle to escape?
$hat pipes and timbrels? $hat wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
)re sweeter& therefore, ye soft pipes, play on&
/ot to the sensual ear, but, more endear(d,
#ipe to the spirit ditties of no tone5
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
.hy song, nor ever can those trees be bare&
2old Lover, never, never canst thou *iss,
.hough winning near the goal yet, do not grieve&
%he cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair7
)h, happy, happy boughs7 that cannot shed
-our leaves, nor ever bid the %pring adieu&
)nd, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new&
More happy love7 more happy, happy love7
For ever warm and still to be en,oy(d,
For ever panting, and for ever young&
)ll breathing human passion far above,
.hat leaves a heart high!sorrowful and cloy(d,
) burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
$ho are these coming to the sacri6ce?
.o what green altar, 1 mysterious priest,
Lead(st thou that heifer lowing at the s*ies,
)nd all her sil*en 0an*s with garlands drest?
$hat little town by river or sea shore,
1r mountain!built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this fol*, this pious morn?
)nd, little town, thy streets for evermore
$ill silent be& and not a soul to tell
$hy thou art desolate, can e(er return.
1 )ttic shape7 Fair attitude7 with brede
1f marble men and maidens overwrought,
$ith forest branches and the trodden weed&
.hou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
)s doth eternity5 8old #astoral7
$hen old age shall this generation waste,
.hou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
.han ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say(st,
;2eauty is truth, truth beauty,>that is all
-e *now on earth, and all ye need to *now.;
1$al" 23
, %$al" o2 Davi*3
.he Lord is my shepherd, I lac* nothing
He ma*es me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside uiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his names sa*e.
3ven though I wal*
through the dar*est valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me&
your rod and your sta?,
they comfort me.
-ou prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
-ou anoint my head with oil&
my cup over0ows.
%urely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.
Psalm 21
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
You have granted him his hearts desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him
length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.
Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
your right hand will seize your foes.
When you appear for battle,
you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
and his fre will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.
Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
You will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.
Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
we will sing and praise your might.

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