by Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918)

How do I love thee?
Language: English 
I cannot woo thee as the lion his mate,
With proud parade and fierce prestige of presence;
Nor thy fleet fancy may I captivate
With pastoral attitudes in flowery pleasance;
Nor will I kneeling court thee with sedate
And comfortable plans of husbandhood;
Nor file before thee as a candidate...
I cannot woo thee as a lover would.

To wrest thy hand from rivals, iron-gloved,
Or cheat them by craft, I am not clever.
But I do love thee even as Shakespeare loved,
Most gently wild, and desperately for ever,
Full-hearted, grave, and manfully in vain,
With thought, high pain, and ever vaster pain.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2008-08-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:51
Line count: 14
Word count: 104