‘You’ll love me yet’ is a short, direct poem in which the poet uses metaphors and easily understood language in order to talk about his speaker’s love. The poem also uses some clear images of nature, including seeds, flowers, and the seasons in order to get the poet’s ideas across. ‘You’ll love me yet’ presents readers with a good example of an extended metaphor.
Explore You'll love me yet
In the first lines of the poem, the speaker starts talking to the woman he loves, telling her that he’s going to do everything he can to gain her affections. He uses the metaphor of seeds planted in April and blooming in June to get his point across. He’ll work hard now to make her like him and hope that that like turns into love later. In the final stanza, he makes it clear that he doesn’t care how long it takes or how long it hurts. He’s willing to face anything if it might mean she comes to love him.
Browning engages with themes of love and dedication in ‘You’ll love me yet.’ From the beginning to the end of the poem, the speaker is concerned with one thing, making the listener love him. If one takes him at his word, it’s his all-consuming passion. The poem reads as though this person is spending every waking hour thinking and acting in various ways he thinks will make the woman he loves to love him in return.
Structure and Form
‘You’ll love me yet’ by Robert Browning is a three-stanza poem that is separated into sets of four lines, known as quatrains. These quatrains follow a simple rhyme scheme of ABAB, changing end sounds from stanza to stanza. The lines do not conform to a specific rhyme scheme, but most are around the same length, between seven and ten syllables per line, although there are a few, such as line two of the third stanza, that are shorter.
Browning makes use of several literary devices in ‘You’ll love me yet.’ These include but are not limited to caesura, enjambment, and alliteration. The latter is a type of repetition that occurs when the poet uses the same consonant sound at the beginning of multiple words. For example, “some seed” in line one of the second stanza and “pays” and “pains” in line three of the third stanza.
Caesurae are pauses in the middle of the lines. They are created either through punctuation or through natural pauses in the meter. The first line of the poem is a good example. It reads: “You’ll love me yet!-and I can tarry.” Another example is in the first line of the second stanza. It reads: “I plant a heartful now: some seed.”
Enjambment is a common formal device that occurs when the poet cuts off a line before its natural stopping point. For example, the transition between lines one and two of the first stanza as well as lines one and two of the second stanza.
Analysis, Stanza by Stanza
You’ll love me yet!-and I can tarry
Your love’s protracted growing:
June reared that bunch of flowers you carry
From seeds of April’s sowing.
In the first stanza of ‘You’ll love me yet,’ the speaker begins with the phrase that later came to be used as the title of the poem. He directs his words to the object of his affection, a woman that he wants to love him but who does not yet feel that way. He’s determined that he’s going to convince her to change her emotions towards him. He’s also willing to wait for as long as he needs to for this person to come around. Her love might be “protracted” in its growth, but that doesn’t bother him. The use of the word “growing” is the first part of an extended metaphor that takes up most of the poem.
The speaker uses seeds and flowers to describe what their love is going to be like. She’ll eventually hold love for him as June holds the flowers planted in April. He’s going to plant the seeds of love now and wait for them to grow.
I plant a heartful now: some seed
At least is sure to strike,
And yield-what you’ll not pluck indeed,
Not love, but, may be, like!
In the second stanza, he makes it clear exactly what he’s thinking. He’s going to plant a “heartful” of seeds now, and surely something he does or says is going to make an impact on her. Surely if he works hard enough, he can convince her to love him.
He also knows there’s a possibility that things don’t turn out his way immediately. He might end up with “like” rather than with “love.” He’s okay with that for now. At least that’ll be progress.
You’ll look at least on love’s remains,
A grave’s one violet:
Your look?-that pays a thousand pains.
What’s death?-You’ll love me yet!
Even if she doesn’t come around to loving him, she’ll “look at least on love’s remains, / A grave’s one violet.” He presents this image of death in order to solidify his dedication to this person. She might cause him pain, but he doesn’t care. He’d rather face death than give up on the chance that they can be together. Readers should also note the use of two caesurae in the third and fourth lines of this stanza.
Readers who enjoyed ‘You’ll love me yet’ should also consider reading some of Robert Browning’s other best-known poems. For example:
- ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’ – This poem describes a speaker’s longing to return home. It may have been inspired by Browning’s own time spent aboard.
- ‘Love in a Life‘ – This poem tells of a speaker’s seemingly endless quest to find his lover within the numerous rooms of their shared home.
- ‘A Woman’s Last Word’ – This poem depicts an imagined woman’s request to her husband that they go to bed without arguing.