John's Poem for Marlena

John recited "How Do I Love Thee" by Browning to Marlena in Hawaii on 7/8/99

John: Marlena Evans Black, 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.

Marlena: I love thee to the level of everydays
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

John: I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

Marlena: I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grieves, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,

John and Marlena together: I shall but love thee better after death.


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