If thou must love me…

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August 14, 2014 by NS

Based on the sonnet If thou must love me… by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I struggled with this a little bit as I was not sure whether I should preserve the sonnet’s meter and rhyme. In the end I decided to keep it, which constrained me considerably in what changes I could make. Maybe eventually I will become ambitious enough to significantly alter the flow or structure of the original poem.

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,
“I love her for her fur—her look—her way
Of meowing gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”—
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own pity’s filling my food bowl high:
A creature might forget to meow, 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.

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