The last six lines compare the feelings she has at the moment to those emotions of love she experienced as a child. Concluding the poem, she hopes that she will go on to love her husband even more in the future if God permits. If not, then there is always Heaven!
At the beginning of the poem Elizabeth Barrett Browning discusses her own personal experience of love in terms of its intensity. She loves Robert Browning of her own free will in a very pure way expecting nothing more of it than the joy of love itself, comparing it to suffering – perhaps similar to that of Christ on the cross. She is reminded of the childlike love she had for Christian saints in her girlhood – although she does describe these as ‘griefs.’ Passion she says, is much better put to use in love than grief.
She uses repetition to reinforce the strength of her love (I love thee) and for its alliterative powers (th)
The poet aligns her love with life itself and its laughters and sorrows and breathing and concludes on a metaphysical note, believing their love as a couple will cross through the grave to the other side – to heaven.
Sonnet 55 is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works and a noticeable deviation from other sonnets in which he appears insecure about his relationships and his own self-worth. Here we find an impassioned burst of confidence as the poet claims to have the power to keep his friend’s memory alive evermore.
Some critics argue that Shakespeare’s sudden swell of pride in his poetry was strictly artificial – a blatant attempt to mimic the style of the classical poets. “It is difficult on any other hypothesis to reconcile the inflated egotism of such a one as 55 with the unassuming dedications to the Venus and Lucrece, 1593 and 1594, or with the expressions of humility found in the sonnets themselves, e.g. 32 and 38” (Halliwell-Phillipps, 304).
However, many believe that such an analysis ignores Shakespeare’s paramount desire to immortalize his friend in verse, and not himself (as was the motive of most classical poets). “The Romans say: Because of my poem I will never die. Shakespeare says: Because of my poem you will never die….What distinguishes Shakespeare is that he values the identity of the beloved; he recognizes that the beloved has his own personal immortality, in no way dependent on poetry” (Martin, 158).