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Full text of "Bronte Poems"

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BRONTE 

SELECTIONS FROM THE POETRY OF 

CHARLOTTE, EMILY, ANNE AND 
BRANWELL BRONTE 




CHARLOTTE BRONTE (1816-1855) 
EMILY JANE BRONTE (1818-1848) 
ANNE BRONTE (1820-1849) 

From the painting, by Patrick Branwell Bronte, about 1835 in the 
National Portrait Gallery. (The figures in the group are, reading from 
eft to right, Anne, Emily and Charlotte Bronte) 

This is the picture shown by Charlotte Bronte to Mrs Gaskell and cles- 
;ribecl by her in "The Life of Charlotte" Haworth Edition pages 135-130) 



BRONTE POEMS 

SELECTIONS FROM THE POETRY 

OF CHARIJOTTE, EMILY, ANNE 

ANU BRANWELL BRONTE 



EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BY 

ARTHUR C. BENSON 



WITH PORTRAITS AND FACSIMILES 



LONDON 

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 
1915 



Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co., 
At the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh 

All 



INTRODUCTION 



IT is a matter of something more than simple 
curiosity to trace, if possible, the physical descent of 
imaginative and technical qualities so marked and 
pronounced as those which flowered in the four 
Brontes. Mendelism that is to say the new scien- 
tific view of heredity has taught us to look confi- 
dently in the ancestry of any stock for the germs of 
outstanding faculties, even though it also indicates 
that such a variation implies a loss rather than a 
gain of balance, and that an outburst of intellectual 
or artistic force probably implies, not an added 
quality, but the abstracting of some other quality, 
the absence of which allows the mind to have freer 
play. 

But though Mrs. Gaskell traced the life and tem- 
perament of the sisters in a fine flowing outline, full 
of insight and charm, and though Mr. Clement 
Shorter, with infinite patience and exactness of inves- 
tigation, has accumulated an astonishing amount of 
v 



Introduction 



detailed evidence about the whole household, yet 
we cannot precisely discern the far-off approach of 
genius and capacity in their case. All that we know 
is that the mother, a Cornishwoman, had a taste 
for the elaborate, if somewhat prim, expression of 
emotions ; and that the father, that grim and even 
grotesque figure, who in later life tended to sub- 
merge his face into ever-increasing folds of a cam- 
bric choker, was a zealous and industrious poet. 
He published, as a young parson, a volume entitled 
* Cottage Poems,' and according to his own 
account 

c When relieved from Clerical avocations, he was 
occupied in writing the " Cottage Poems " from 
morning till noon, and from noon till night 5 his 
employment was full of indescribable pleasure, such 
as he could wish to taste as long as life lasts. His 
hours glided pleasantly and almost imperceptibly 
by, and when night drew on, and he retired to rest, 
ere his eyes closed in sleep with sweet calmness and 
serenity of mind, he often reflected that, though the 
delicate palate of criticism might be disgusted, the 
business of the day in the prosecution of this humble 
task was well-pleasing in the sight of God, and by 
His blessing might be rendered useful to some poor 
soul who cared little about critical niceties.* 

Here is a case of undoubted artistic absorption ; 
vi 



Introduction 



but the manner and matter of Mr Bronte's verse 
can be adequately gauged and summarily dismissed 
by giving two not t unfavourable specimens 

1 Should poverty, modest and clean, 

E'er please when presented to view, 
Should cabin on brown heath or green, 

Disclose aught engaging to you ; 
Should Erin's wild harp soothe the ear, 

When touched by such fingers as mine, 
Then kindly attentive draw near, 

And candidly ponder each line.' 

He further published a prose work called * The 
Cottage in the Wood, or the Art of becoming Rich 
and Happy,' which contains a poetical episode 
entitled 'The Nightly Revel,' from which it 
may be inferred that he was a diligent student 
of Pope. 

4 Without, within, above, beneath, around, 
Ungodly jests and deep-mouthed oaths resound ; 
Pale Reason, trembling, leaves her reeling throne, 
Truth, Honour, Virtue, Justice, all are flown; 
The sly, dark-glancing harlot's fatal breath 
Allures to sin and sorrow, shame and death. 
The gaming-table, too, that fatal snare, 
Beset with fiercest passions fell is there.' 



vn 



Introduction 



Mr. Bronte, however, though , indifferent to 
critical niceties, lived much in the company of his 
children, at least in early days, and discerned signs 
of rising talent which struck him as being unusual 
and original. He encouraged them to read, to 
write, to discuss politics and current affairs ; and 
on one occasion, having a mask in the house, 
encouraged them to reply to some curious questions 
which he asked them under cover of the mask, 
thinking that they would so speak with less 
timidity. The answers they made show extra- 
ordinary precocity. 

There is no evidence that the Brontes ever 
played games like ordinary children, or ever asso- 
ciated with any family but their own. They 
talked and argued, they established what they 
called c plays,' which seem to have been dramatic 
representations of interminable adventures. The 
plays were called 'Young Men/ * Our Fellows,' 
and * Islanders.' Besides these they had c secret ' 
plays, which were not enacted in common, but 
shared privately between two of them at a time. 
Thus Charlotte and Emily had plays of their own, 
and Emily and Anne had a play called ' The Gondals,' 
viii 



Introduction 



or later c The Gondal Chronicle,' which appears to 
have traced the adventures of a remote princely 
race, living in a piist-hung, rain-swept, northern 
land, under fierce feudal conditions of conquest, 
warfare, defeat, and imprisonment ; to this cycle 
several of Emily Bronte's poems obviously belong. 
The children also spun endless romances and tales 
about the family of their great idol the Duke of 
Wellington, making his sons, the Marquis of Douro 
and Lord Charles Wellesley, their heroes. Several 
of these compositions still exist in manuscript, 
written in a tiny species of printed script in small 
paper note-books, given them by Mr. Bronte, who 
on one occasion appended a direction on the front 
page that everything written in the volume was to 
be < in a good, plain, and legible hand.' 



We have here, however, to confine ourselves to 
the development of the poetical gift in the 
children. There is a letter written by Charlotte 
Bronte in 1834 to her friend Miss Ellen Nussey, 
which shows what the poetry they read had been. 
... * You ask me to recommend you some books 
for your perusal. I will do so in as few words as I 
ix a 2 



Introduction 



can. If you like poetry, let it be first-rate ; Milton, 
Shakespeare, Thomson, Goldsmith, Pope, (if you 
will, though I don't admire Jum), Scott, Byron, 
Campbell, Wordsworth, and Southey. Now don't 
be startled at the names of Shakespeare and Byron. 
Both these were great men, and their works are 
like hemselves. You will know how to choose 
the good, and to avoid the evil ; the finest passages 
are always the purest, the bad are invariably re- 
volting ; you will never wish to read them over 
twice. Omit the comedies of Shakespeare, and the 
" Don Juan," perhaps the " Cain," of Byron, 
though the latter is a magnificent poem and read 
the rest fearlessly ; that must indeed be a depraved 
mind which can gather evil from " Henry VIII," 
from Richard III," from "Macbeth," and 
"Hamlet," and "Julius Grsar." Scott's sweet, 
wild, romantic poetry can do you no harm. Nor 
can Wordsworth's, nor Campbell's, nor Southey 's 
the greatest part at least of his ; some is certainly 
objectionable.' ... If we add to these, from other 
sources of information, Coleridge, Crabbe, and 
Cowper, whose works they read and admired, 
it is clear enough what the literary models of 
the family circle were. 

It may frankly be confessed that the interest 
of the Poems is entirely centred on the work of 



Introduction 



Emily. If it had not been for the genius which 
her work unmistakably displays, the poetry of the 
other three would h^ve sunk into oblivion. 

The origin of the slender published volume of 
poems is given by Charlotte. She found a little 
MS. book in her sister Emily's handwriting, and 
was struck by the quality of the lyrics. Emily 
resented the discovery at first, and it took long to 
reconcile her to the idea of publication. Anne readily 
produced her own poems for Charlotte's inspection. 
Charlotte sent specimens of her own poetry cer- 
tainly to Southey, and probably to Coleridge. She 
received a kind letter from Southcy telling her to 
write poetry for its own sake * not in a spirit of 
emulation and not with a view to celebrity.' He 
also said, 'Literature cannot be the business of a 
woman's life, and it ought not to be.' 

However, the volume containing the poems of 
the three sisters was published at their own expense 
in 1846 ; and it is interesting to observe that here, 
as always, it was Charlotte who took the necessary 
practical measures for the accomplishment of the 
scheme. 

It is not quite clear why Branwell's poems were 

not included. He had sent specimens of his work 

to Wordsworth with an enthusiastic and rhetorical 

letter. He received a reply, but it is not preserved ; 

xi 



Introduction 



Wordsworth certainly considered Branwell's letter 
a remarkable one, and remembered it when Char- 
lotte Bronte became famous. 



Of Charlotte Bronte's poems there is little to be 
said. The technique of them is careful enough, 
but the effect is stiff and conventional. They 
afford a clear proof of how ineffective even high 
genius can be, when employed in an uncongenial 
medium. It is strange that Charlotte Bronte's 
exquisite gift for poetical prose, her power of im- 
aginative vision, her rich and flexible vocabulary, 
were all cramped and confined by metre and 
rhyme. Her actual management of rhythm and 
structure is more correct and accurate than Emily's, 
but there is little inspiration or originality. It is 
literary verse, and could not have been composed 
except in reliance upon standard models. 

With Emily it is very different. In prose her 
technique is as decidedly German in origin as 
Charlotte's was no less decidedly French ; the 
amazing novel ' Wuthering Heights' shows a deep 
dramatic power, a grasp of tragical character and 
situation, a force of lurid visualisation, which are 
different in kind from anything which Charlotte 
xii 



Introduction 



attempted. Emily must always remain a deep 
enigma. She moves about the scene, a silent, im- 
petuous, ardent figure, with passionate attachments 
to her own family, to the animals which shared 
their life, to the moors and hills beyond the bare 
Parsonage. Apart from these she could not exist ; 
whenever she left home, she pined in a fierce 
nostalgia. She was indifferent to all opinion, she 
made no friends, she suffered profoundly. When 
she came to die, she was torn reluctant, agonised, 
and yet uncomplaining, out of the life she loved. 
Charlotte, it may be said, though afraid of life in a 
sense, yet enjoyed the touch of it in her own way, 
and found support in fame and friendship. But 
Emily's was a solitary and defiant spirit. Yet 
we have Charlotte's own definite testimony that 
the brave, laughter-loving, half-indolent, half-fiery 
character of Shirley was drawn closely from what 
she believed that Emily might have been if her life 
had been richer in opportunities. In the rough but 
profoundly interesting painting by Branwell of his 
three sisters, now in the National Portrait Gallery, 
Charlotte is homely and commonplace, Anne is 
meek and pensive, but there is a charm about the 
upright figure and irregular features of Emily, 
something boy-like and fresh, which survives even 
Branwell's unskilled handling, 
xiii 



Introduction 



When we turn to Emily's poetry, the genius of 
it becomes instantly apparent. She was speaking 
her own natural language. H^er verse is often ob- 
scured by its plainness and directness, its apparent 
indifference to all artistic charm. It is full of 
weak and conventional rhymes, careless assonances, 
vague and broken rhythms. Very few of her 
poems are accurately constructed. But there is an 
immense feeling of reality and observation. The 
power of the Brontes lay in their capacity for 
multiplying the significance of what would seem 
to be small and trivial incidents and emotions ; and 
Emily seems to have turned upon nature and life 
an unflinching vision, and to have really seen for 
herself the things which familiarity is so apt 
to blur. 

Take the stanza describing the dewy morning 
with the view across the moorland 



4 The damp stands in the long, green grass, 

As thick as morning's tears ; 
And dreamy scents of fragrance pass 
That breathe of other years.' 



Or such lines as the following, which give with 
marvellous exactness the background of the quiet 
house, the little incidents of daily life 
xiv 



Introduction 



1 The curtains waved, the wakened flies 

Were murmuring round my room, 
Imprisoned there, till I should rise, 
And give them leave to roam.' 

Or this 

1 The old clock in the gloomy hall 

Ticks on, from hour to hour ; 
And every time its measured call 
Seems lingering slow and slower.' 

Or again 

4 The mute bird sitting on the stone, 

The dank moss dripping from the wall, 
The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o'ergrown, 
I love them how I love them all ! ' 

She had, too, a marvellous power at the beginning 
of a lyric of striking a mysterious note. She is 
describing a border raid 

4 Were they shepherds, who sat all day 

On that brown mountain's side ? 
But neither staff nor dog had they, 
Nor woolly flock to guide.' 

And she had the faculty of bringing a picture, 
by a single detail, in a wholly unadorned phrase 
before the mind. Who has not seen a little moor- 
land rivulet, running briskly beneath overhanging 
heather, eddying swiftly into a tiny basin, where 
the slender current revolves ? 
xv 



Introduction 



'Yet marked she not where Douglas lay, 

She only saw the well ; 
The tiny fountain, churning spray 
Within its mossy cell.' 

More notable still is the true lyrical power of 
touching into life a mood or a scene, only hinted 
and suggested, which yet gathers into itself, as if 
by some concealed analysis, a whole throng of 
faint echoes and dim presences 

' Harp of wild and dream-like strain, 

When I touch thy strings, 
Why dost thou repeat again 
Long- forgotten things?' 

Or again 

' The busy day has glided by, 

And hearts greet kindred hearts once more ; 
And ^wift the evening hour should fly, 
But what turns every gleaming eye 
So often to the unopened door ? ' 

Or this 

1 He conies with western winds, with evening's wander- 
ing airs, 
With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest 

stars. 

Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire, 
And visions rise, and change, that kill me with desire.' 

Indeed, in this last mysterious poem, 'The 
xvi 



Introduction 



Signal Light/ which depicts a rapture of spiritual 
intensity, there are lines which show that if Emily 
had gained certainty of touch and a power of equable 
finish, she woul^ have claimed a secure place among 
the most impassioned English lyrists. 

But it must be admitted that, in their incomplete 
form, many of Emily's poems are bound to appeal 
most vividly to those who have a technical under- 
standing of the craft of poetry. There is hardly 
a poem without a touch of high quality, but they 
are more like studies and sketches than finished 
pictures. This condition has its own charm and 
its own interest ; but it needs a knowledge of the 
methods and difficulties of poetical art to see the 
extraordinary power of many of the lyrics through 
their incomplete and often amateurish form ; yet 
even the very inequalities and broken outlines have 
a subtle suggestiveness of their own which cannot be 
gainsaid, while her command of melody and pro- 
portion in the too rare instances where she achieved 
a finished poem like c Remembrance,' or the c Song ' 
c The linnet in the rocky dells ' is a proof that 
the skill was there. 

A few of Anne's poems are included ; her mind 
was of a far more conventional order, and over- 
shadowed by a cramping kind of orthodox piety. 
But in some of her poems there comes a flash of the 
xvii a 3 



Introduction 



indomitable courage of the sisters, and a power of 
dealing with strong and unadorned phrases. 

It has been customary to oroit all mention of 
Branwell's work. The catastrophe, of his life was 
so deplorable, and the wreck of a charming and 
attractive nature, through self-indulgence and mor- 
bidity, so tragical, that he has been hurried out of 
sight. It must remain one of the enigmas of here- 
dity that the single brother of sisters whose concep- 
tion of duty and purity was so grimly passionate, 
and who, for all their sensitiveness and susceptibility, 
kept so unflinching a hold upon a high and fearless 
morality, should seem to have lacked any tough- 
ness or chivalry of fibre. Bran well, in his surviving 
letters, displays a pretentious secondrateness which 
is almost impressive for its typical commonness and 
vulgarity.. After he took to drink and opium, his 
statements became wholly unreliable. But still one 
can discern in him a touch of the charm and the 
enthusiasm which made him the admired and eager 
partner of his sisters' enterprises, and then betrayed 
him into a showy conviviality which ended in cor- 
ruption. Branwell had a passion for applause on 
any terms ; but his poems, infinitely morbid and 
macabre as they are, have in several places a touch of 
melody, while in * Percy Hall ' he shows a trace of 
Emily's power of observation, and c The End of All ' 
xviii 



Introduction 



gives a curious hint of what was to develop in the 
hands of the pre-Raphaelites as an artistic principle 
the bold handling *of common scenes and details 
with veracity and dignity. 



The real great difficulty in making a selection of 
the Bronte poems is the simple one, that the most 
fragmentary and faulty of Emily's poems, even if 
it is but a few inconsequent lines, is more interest- 
ing, to speak frankly, than the most polished and 
finished poem by either Charlotte or Anne. It 
was not that Emily's experience was more poignant 
or tragic, it was not either that her human affec- 
tions were deeper indeed her attachment to 
animals and places was so strong that she seems to 
have formed scarcely any human alliances, except 
with her sister Anne. But her attitude to life was 
somehow larger and bolder, and the scanty glimpses 
we gain of her spirit give the sense of a consuming 
fire. In the midst of the life, which she loved in 
every smallest detail, she was haunted, it seems, by 
a sense of rebellion at her limitations at the pain, 
the dreariness, the brevity of life. It is singular to 
note how many of her early poems employ the 
xix 



Introduction 



image of the prisoner, enslaved and immured. Yet 
this sense of the baffled incompleteness of it all led 
her into a profound and daring mysticism. She 
believed, if it is possible to speak Decisively, in an 
immortality which should incorporate her spirit 
with the Divine spirit ; she thought of death as a 
revealer of secrets, and as adding a vitality and a 
purity to the soul rather than in any way diminish- 
ing its energies. This fibre of mysticism, with a 
strong sense of symbolism, added a poetical quality 
to her visions which is entirely unlike anything 
to which Charlotte ever attained ; Charlotte's gift 
was rather the analysis and the expansion of emo- 
tion, while Emily's was the concentration of it ; 
and thus even in her least successful poems, in her 
imitative flights for there are several of her poems 
which are. wholly Wordsworth ian in construction 
and method there are lines which glow and 
sparkle like gems with hidden wells of lucent fire ; 
so that the very chips and leavings of her workshop 
have often a sense of art about them, a suggestive- 
ness of phrase, a range of vision, which the cautious 
craftsmanship of her sisters never achieved. Yet it 
is hardly fair to Emily's reputation to print the 
rough drafts of poems which fail to attain to any 
sense of form or connection. I have tried in my 
selection to preserve all that is salient and exquisite ; 
xx 



Introduction 



and yet a prolonged study of her poems has made 
me feel a sense of prcciousness and power about 
her lightest touches > 

There are few surviving fragments of Branwell's 
poetry ; yet, if I may speak frankly, T believe that 
he had a higher instinct for poetry than either 
Charlotte or Anne. His mental power was, how- 
ever, so much damaged by the life he led, and his 
application so languid, that it is impossible not to 
recognise the feebleness of much of his execution. 
I believe, however, that Branwell's attitude to life, 
in spite of his lapses, was more like Emily's out- 
look than that of either Charlotte or Anne. He 
had the same untamed, imprisoned sense that Emily 
had, the same passionate rebellion against the dis- 
cipline of life. And there is a real originality of 
phrase and even of thought about his best work, a 
relentless fidelity which is more akin to art than 
the deliberate and misapplied toil which character- 
ises the weaker work of Charlotte and Anne. 
Branwell's, like Emily's, was a thwarted spirit. 
Unlike Emily, he was deeply ambitious, and like 
Charlotte, he would have found success sustaining. 
But he alone of the four had no moral patience, no 
power of defiance. Emily achieved it by her lofty 
independence of spirit, Charlotte by courage and 
tenacious interest in life, Anne by a deep religious 
xxi 



Introduction 



faith. But I believe Branwell to have possessed 
the artistic vision, though an early corruption of 
temperament leading to a base^ gaiety was fatal to 
all clearness and energy of presentment. 



The final interest of the collection is this : that 
we have a glimpse of the poetical work of a group 
of four writers of solitary genius. The extreme 
seclusion in which the household lived, its lack of 
any width of experience, differentiates it from the 
work of most of the writers of the nineteenth 
century. The great poets of that era are char- 
acterised by a broad outlook upon life, a strong 
intellectual perception of the tendencies of the day, 
and a distinct purpose of interpreting the needs 
and aims of the time in poetry. The work of the 
Brontes on the other hand is wholly individualistic. 
They had no knowledge of social forces, no touch 
with intellectual movements. Their interests were 
homely, their circle was commonplace and demure. 
At the time when their poetical work was done, 
they had felt the touch of private tragedy and 
bereavement. But the very simplicity of the setting 
kept their minds firmly upon the large and intimate 
xxii 



Introduction 



realities of life ; and thus perhaps the appeal of their 
work is more vivid and personal, because of the 
fact that it was centred upon problems perceived 
and interpreted by lonely genius, and not disguised 
by complicated relations, or merged in any of the 
schemes which invite the co-operation of mankind. 

A. C. B. 



xxi n 



TEXTUAL NOTE 

THE chief difficulty about producing an absolutely correct 
text of the Bronte Poems lies in the fact that the script 
of the original MSS. is so minute as to be often hardly 
decipherable. A specimen of the original MS. is 
appended. Further, the punctuation and the indentation 
of the lines are very loose, while the spelling is often 
extremely incorrect. Moreover, both Charlotte and 
Emily Bronte often transferred stanzas from an un- 
finished poem into a completed poem on a similar subject. l 
Those of the poems that were edited and published by 
Charlotte Bronte herself are perfectly accurate, both in 
orthography and punctuation. But Emily Bronte's spell- 
ing leaves much to be desired. I have corrected this 
throughout. For instance, she spelt the word i watch ' 
in a variety of ways, but most commonly as c whach ' ; 
and I have not thought it advisable to leave these ob- 
vious errors. I have also introduced ordinary punctua- 
tion throughout, while I have made a few conjectural 
emendations. For instance, Emily Bronte describes the 

1 See Emily Bronte's poems 92 and 93, pp. 208-211. 
XXV 



"Textual Note 



wintry moorland as 'flowless? This is probably a mis- 
reading of tfow'rless ' (see page 103). The text has, 
as far as possible^ been restored from jhe original MSS., 
and I believe it to be now substantially correct. It must, 
however, be remembered that the volume is, after a//, 
only a selection ; and I have omitted a large number of 
imperfect and unfinished stanzas from the poems, which 
would certainly not have been published without re- 
vision and correction ; while I have tried to retain 
everything short of mere chaotic scraps and jottings: 



xxvi 



CONTENTS 

(Poems marked with an asterisk (*) arc now printed for 
the first time?} 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION v 

TEXTUAL NOTK xxv 

POEMS BY CHARLOTTE BRONTE 

I.* The Churchyard 3 

2. Home-sickness 4 

3. The Wounded Stag 6 

4. King Richard's Song 8 

5. Saul H 

6.* Look into thought 15 

7. Gods of the old mythology . . . . .16 

8. Reason 17 

9.* He saw my heart's woe 19 

10. Mementos Ji 

11. The Wood 25 

12. Frances ......... 30 

13. The Letter 34 

14. Presentiment ........ 38 

15. The Teacher's Monologue 42 

1 6. 'Tis not the air I wished to play .... 45 

17. Evening Solace 47 

1 8. Watching and Wishing 49 

19. When thou Sleepest 51 

xxvii 



Contents 



20. Parting . 54 

21. Winter Stores 56 

22.* Eventide . 58 

23.* It is not at an hour like this . * . . . 59 

24.* Speak of the North ! . . . . . .61 



POEMS BY EMILY BRONTE 

1. I know not how it falls on me 65 

2. Lady, watch Apollo's journey . .... 66 

3. The evening sun was sinking down .... 67 

4. Loud without the wind was roaring .... 68 

5. Redbreast, early in the morning . . . ,. 69 

6. It was just the time of eve 71 

7. I saw thee, child, one summer day ... 73 

8. Sleep not, dream not ; this bright day 75 

9. The sun has set 77 

10. Alone I sat ; the summer day ..... 78 

11. The organ swells, the trumpets sound ... 80 

12. Far away is the land of rest 81 

13. The old church tower and garden wall ... 82 

14. The night is darkening round me . . 83 

15. Sleep brings no joy to me 84 

16. Strong I stand 86 

17. To a Wreath of Snow 87 

1 8. I die, but when the grave shall press ... 89 

19. O mother, I am not regretting . . . 90 

20. Weaned from life and flown away .... 92 

21. O wander not so far away ! 93 

22. Song : This shall be thy lullaby .... 95 

23. Douglas* Ride 96 

24. Where were ye all ? and where wert thou ? 97 

25. The desert moor is dark 98 

26. O dream, where art thou now ? . . . . 101 

xxviii 



Contents 



PAGE 

27. There swept adown that dreary glen . . . 102 

28. How still, how happy ! These are words . .103 
29 How deep into the vilderness ..... 105 

30. May flowers are opening . . . .106 

31. The Absent One i8 

32. Song: King Julius left the south countiy .no 

33. Silent he sat. That stormy breast . . . .in 
34 To a Bluebell "3 

35. I am the only being whose doom . .114 

36. Claudia 116 

37. The busy day has hurried by 118 

38. Month after month, year after year . . . . 1 20 

39. Come hither, child 121 

40. MHd the mist upon the hill 123 

41. How long will you remain ? 124 

42. The starry night shall tidings bring . . . .126 

43. There was a time when my cheek burned . .128 

44. Song : O between distress and pleasure . . .129 

45. That wind, I used to hear it swelling . . ' 131 

46. I've been wandering in the greenwoods . . .132 

( Heaven's glory shone where he was laid \ 

47. -[ Upon her soothing breast |- 133 

I Go to the grave in youth's bare woe ! J 

48. Never 134 

49. Thy sun is near meridian height . 135 

50. He smiles and sings . . . 137 

51. It is too late to call thee now 138 

52. Tis moonlight, summer moonlight . . . -139 

53. If grief for grief can touch thee . .140 

54. Companions all day long we've stood . . .141 

55. Retirement 143 

56. The Caged Bird 144 

57. I see around me piteous tombstones grey . . . 146 

58. Geraldine 148 

59. What winter floods, what streams of spring . . 149 

xxix 



Contents 



60. O Innocence, that cannot live . . . . .150 

61. Death 151 

62. Grave in the Ocean . . *53 

63. I gazed upon the cloudless moon . . . .154 

64. I know our souls are all divine .* . . 155 

65. Twas yesterday at early dawn 157 

66. At Castle Wood 159 

67. This summer wind with thee and me . . .161 

68. A Day Dream 163 

69. Remembrance . . . .165 

70. A thousand sounds of happiness . . . .167 

71. The Philosopher 169 

72. Tell me, tell me, smiling child 172 

73. Come walk with me ; there's only thee . . . . 173 

74. It was night, and on the mountains . . . . 175 

75. A fresh wind waves . . .176 

76. Shall earth no more inspire thee . . . . 177 

77. Yes, holy be thy resting-place 179 

78. Last Words 180 

79. The Lady to her Guitar 182 

80. The Outcast Mother 183 

81. The Wanderer from the Fold 185 

82. Warning and Reply 187 

83. Encouragement 189 

84. Song : The linnet in the rocky dells . . .191 

85. A Death-scene 193 

86. Faith and Despondency 195 

87. Honour's Martyr 197 

88 ' The Two Children ....... 199 

89. Child of delight 201 

90. The Signal Light 

I. The Visionary 202 

91. 2. The Prisoner 204 

92.* It was the autumn of the year 208 

93.* Why ask to know what date, what clime? . . 210 

XXX 



Contents 







PAGE 


94- 


Oh, all the cares these noontide airs 


. 212 


95- 


There's something in this glorious hour . 


- 213 


96. 


The heart which cannot know another . 


. 216 


97- 


Ladybird ! ladybird ! fly away home 


. 217 


98. 


Sleep, mourner, sleep ! I cannot sleep 


. 218 


99- 


How Edenlike seem palace walls . 


. 22O 


100. 


Here am I standing lonely 


. 221 


101. 


It was a little budding rose 


. 222 


102. 


All her tresses backward strayed . 


. 223 


103. 


Start not ! upon the minster wall . 


. 226 


104 


Through the hours of yesternight . 


. 227 


105. 


Harp of wild and dream-like strain 


.228 


106. 


Here with my knee upon thy stone 


. 229 


107. 


In dungeons dark I cannot sing 


. 230 


108. 


When days of beauty deck the vale 


. 231 


109. 


Fall, leaves, fall ; die, flowers, away 


. 232 


no. 


All day I've toiled, but not with pain 


233 


III. 


That dreary lake, that moonlight sky, . 


. 234 


112. 


She dried her tears and they did smile . 


235 


"3- 


I'm happiest now when most away 


. 236 


114. 


All hushed and still within the house 


237 


115- 


My ancient ship upon my ancient sea 


2 3 8 


116. 


One pause upon the brink of life . 


. . 245 


117. 


Shed no tears o'er that tomb . 


. 246 


118. 


Stars 


. 248 


119. 


Anticipation ...... 


251 


1 20. 


Hope 


. 254 


121. 


To Imagination ..... 


. 256 


122. 




. 2^8 


123. 


Sympathy ...... 


. 259 


124. 


Plead for me ...... 


. 260 


125. 




. . 262 


**j 
126. 






127. 


My Comforter ..... 


. 266 


128. 


The Old Stoic 


. 268 




XXX i 





Contents 



129. A little while, a little while 269 

130. The Bluebell 271 

131. The Moors . . . . , . . . -273 

132. The Night-wind 276 

I 33* Ay there it is ! it wakes to-night .... 278 

134. Love and Friendship 280 

135. Often rebuked, yet always back returning . . 281 

136. No coward soul is mine ...... 283 



S BY ANNE BRONTE 

1. The Bluebell 287 

2. Lines written at Thorp Green .... 290 

3. The Dungeon 291 

4.* Night 294 

5.* Dreams 295 

6. Song : We know where deepest lies the snow . . 297 

7.* I dreamt last night, and in that dream . . . 299 

8.* Severed and gone, so many years .... 304 

9. Oh, they have robbed me of the hope . . 306 

10. The* Narrow Way 307 

11. Self-communion ....... 309 

12. Farewell to thee ! but not farewell .... 323 

13. A Reminiscence ....... 325 

14. The Arbour 326 

15. Home 328 

16. The Penitent 33 

17.' If This be All 33 1 

18. Memory 333 

19. To Cowper 335 

20. Past Days 33& 

21. Consolation 34 

22. Appeal 342 

23. The Student's Serenade 343 

XXX ii 



Contents 



PAGE 

24. The Captive Dove 345 

25. Self-congratulation 347 

26. Fluctuations 350 

27. Despondency 352 

28. A Prayer . 353 

29. In Memory of a I Tappy Day in February . . 354 

30. Confidence 356 

31. Domestic Peace . 358 

32. The Three Guides ...... 360 

33. There let thy bleeding branch atone . . . 364 
34.* Fragment: Yes I will take a cheeiful tone . 365 
35. Last Lines 366 



POEMS BY BRANWELL BEONTE 

1. So where He reigns in glory bright . . . .371 

2. Sonnet : On the Callousness produced by Care . 372 

3. Noah's Warning over Methusaleh's Grave . 373 

4. Our Lady of Grief .... . 375 

5. The End of All .376 

6. Percy Hall 381 

7. On Caroline . 384 

8. Caroline . ...... 389 



XXX111 



PORTRAITS 

(From photographs taken immediately after the canvases 
were discovered^ and before any restoration!) 

CHARLOTTE BRONTE (1816-1855). 
EMILY JANE BRONTE (1818-1848). 

ANNE BRONTE (18 20-1 8.19). 

From the painting, by PATRICK BRANWELL BRONTE, 
about 1835 in the National Portrait Gallery 
(the figures in the group are, reading from left to 
right, ANNE, EMILY, and CHARLOTTE BRONTE). 

Frontispiece 

KMILY JANE BRONTE (1818-1848). 

From the fragment of a portrait-group painted by her 
brother PATRICK BRANWKLL BRONTK about 
1845, now in tne National Portrait Gallery. 

To face page 64 

FACSIMILES 

Facsimile MS. of the poem * Remembrance ' by EMILY 

BRONTE, in her autograph . . . To face page 166 

Facsimile MS. of the lines ' Why ask to know what date, 
what clime' by EMILY BRONTE, in her autograph. 

To face page 210 

These Facsimile pages have been reproduced from the MS. 
volume of her poems, ' transcribed by EMILY JANE BRONTE 
February 1844,' in the possession of the late Mrs. George M. 
Smith. 

Xxxv 



POEMS BY 
CHARLOTTE BRONTE 



I 
THE CHURCHYARD* 

* * * 

ONE night, when silence reigned around, 

I heard sweet music rise, 
Whose harp-like and harmonious sound 

Came from the star-decked skies. 

And when had died each silver tone, 

Thy spirit passed away, 
And left me a sad mourner lone, 

On this dark earth to stay. 

My sister, may it ever be 

That from thy home on high 
A hymn of peace may check in me 

Each dark rebellious sigh. 

Then, sister, shall I truly know 

That mansions of the blest 
Wait, till from weariness below, 

My spirit enters rest ! 

* * * 

December 24, 1829 

* Poems marked with an asterisk (*) are now printed for the 
first time. 



To ems by Charlotte ISronte' 



2 

HOME-SICKNESS 

[This singular poem is the supposed complaint of an African 
boy who is being educated in England.] 

OF College I am tired. I wish to be at home. 
Far from the pompous tutor's voice and the hated 
schoolboys' groan. 

I wish that I had freedom to walk about at will, 
That I no more was troubled with my Greek and 
slate and quill. 

I wish to see my kitten, to hear my ape rejoice, 
To listen to my nightingale's and parrot's lovely 
voice. 

And England does not suit me ! it's cold and full 

of snow, 
So different from black Africa's warm sunny genial 

glow. 

I'm shivering in the daytime and shivering all the 
night, 

I'm called poor startled withered wretch and miser- 
able wight. 

4 



Home-sickness 



And O ! I miss my brother ! I miss his gentle smile, 
Which used so many long dark hours of sorrow to 
beguile. 

I miss my dearest mother ; I now no longer find 
Ought half so mild as she was, so careful and so 
kind. 

I have not my father's, rny noble father's, arms. 
To guard me from all wickedness, and keep me safe 

from harms. 

1 hear his voice no longer ; I see no more his eye 
Smile on me in my misery ; to whom now shall 

I fly? 

February, 1830 



'Poems by Charlotte ^Bronte 



3 
THE WOUNDED STAG 

PASSING amid the deepest shade 

Of the wood's sombre heart, 
Last night I saw a wounded deer 

Laid lonely and apart. 

Such light as pierced the crowded boughs 
Light scattered, scant, and dim 

Passed through the fern that formed his couch, 
And centred full on him. 

Pain trembled in his weary limbs, 

Pain filled his patient eye ; 
Pain-crushed amid the shadowy fern 

His branchy crown did lie. 

Where were his comrades ? where his mate ? 

All from his death-bed gone ! 
And he, thus struck and desolate, 

Suffered and bled alone. 
6 



The Wounded Stag 



Did he feel what a man might feel, 

Friendless and sore distrest ? 
Did Pain's keen dart, and Griefs sharp sting 

Strive in his* mangled breast ? 



Did longing for affection lost 

Barb every deadly dart ; 
Love unrepaid, and Faith betrayed, 

Did these torment his heart ? 

No ! leave to man his proper doom ! 

These are the pangs that rise 
Around the bed of state and gloom, 

Where Adam's offspring dies ! 

Circa 1833 



Teems by Charlotte Bronte 



4 
KING RICHARD'S SONG 

THRICE the great fadeless lights of heaven. 

The moon, and the eternal sun, 
As God's unchanging law was given, 

Have each their course appointed run. 
Three times the Earth her mighty way 

Hath measured o'er a shoreless sea, 
While hopeless still from day to day 

IVe sat in lone captivity, 
Listening the wind and river's moan, 
Wakening my wild harp's solemn tone, 
And longing to be free. 

Blondel ! My heart seems cold and dead, 

My soul has lost its ancient might. 
The sun of chivalry is fled, 

And dark despair's unholy night 
Above me closes still and deep. 

While wearily each lapsing day 
.Leads onward to the last long sleep ; 

The hour when all shall pass away, 
When King and Captive, Lord and Slave, 
Must rest unparted in the grave 
A mass of soulless clay. 



King c l(ichard ' s Song 

O long I've listened to the sound 

Of winter's blast and summer's breeze, 
As their sweet voices sung around 

Through echoing caves, and wind-waved trees. 
And long I've viewed from prison-bars 

Sunset and dawn, and night and noon ; 
Watched the uprising of the stars, 

Seen the calm advent of the moon. 
But blast and breeze, and stars and sun, 
All vainly swept, all vainly shone, 
I filled a living tomb. 

God of my fathers ! can it be ? 

Must I, the chosen of thy might, 
Whose name alone brought victory, 

Whose battle-cry was " God my Right ! " 
Closed in a tyrant's dungeon cell 

Wear out the remnant of my life ; 
And never hear again the swell 

Of high and hot and glorious strife, 
Where trumpets peal and bugles sing, 
And minstrels sweep the martial string, 
And wars, and fame are rife ? 

No Blondel ! thou wert sent by heaven 
Thy King, thy Lion-King, to free. 

To thee the high command was given, 
To rescue from captivity. 

9 A 2 



'Poems by Charlotte 



Haste from the Tyrant Austrian's hold, 

Cross rapidly the rolling sea ; 
And go, where dwell the brave, the bold, 

By stream and hill, and greenwood tree. 
Minstrel, let Merry England ring 
With tidings of her Lion-King, 
And bring back liberty. 

* * * 

December 27 //z, 1833 



10 



Saul 



5 
SAUL 

'NEATH the palms in Elah's valley 

Saul with all his thousands lay, 
Israel's mightiest nobles rally 

Round their own anointed stay. 

This has been a battle-day, 
And the host lie wearily 

On the field of conflict wide, 
Where their slaughtered foemen be, 

Spear and target thrown aside. 



Saul within his purple tent 

Seeks for rest, and seeks in vain, 

Still a voice of sad lament 

Mingles with the trumpet-strain, 
Sounding o'er that war-like plain. 

And the spirit of the King 
Darkens with a cloud of woe, 

Thicker, denser, gathering 
As the rapid moments flow. 
II 



Toems by Charlotte ^Bronte 

4 Abner,' thus the monarch said, 

4 God has left me desolate. 
All my heart is cold and dead 

Crushed amid my royal state ; 
Samuel bid me ever mourn, 

Crown and Kingdom from me rent ; 
Saul is not a man to turn, 

Israel's strength can ne'er repent. 

4 Abner, is it day's declining 

Brings this hour of darkness on ? 
As the evening sun is shining 

Then I feel most sad and lone. 
Lo ! its beams are almost gone, 

How their kindled glories burn 
All along our tented field ! 

Spear and helm their flash return, 
Back it beams from lance and shield. 



4 Palm and cedar catch the lustre 

Shining on them, bright and sheen, 
Where those groves of olives cluster, 

Night has lit their fadeless green. 
Those far hills are gem-like hued, 

Sparkling through the crimson'd air, 
All with roseate light imbued ; 

Abner ! never scene so fair 
Smiled on Monarch's solitude. 
12 



Saul 

* Once I could have smiled again, 

Full of hope, and young and free ; 
Now its beauty turns to bane, 

And my spirit wearily 
Shrinks that sight of bliss to see ; 

It hath no communion now 
With a fair and sunny sky, 

Nature's calm and stormless brow 
Wakes in me no sympathy. 



4 O, methinks, were heaven scowling, 
Were those green hills black and hoar, 

Were the winds and billows howling 
Dashed against a sunless shore, 
Dark and cheerless evermore ; 

I should feel less filled with woe, 
Filled with God-cursed misery. 

Than when breezes soft and low 
Whisper round me peacefully. 



4 Then when eve and twilight meet, 
Dawning star and setting sun, 

All that Earth has, calm and sweet, 
Resting her bright plains upon, 
Toil and strife and battle done. 
13 



'Poems by Charlotte TSronte 

Silent dews around me weeping. 
Gleaming on the warrior's brow, 

The weary warrior, hushed and sleeping 
By his conquered foe. 

4 Hush ! I'll cease this bootless sighing ; 

Bid the son of Jesse come, 
Let his music, soft and dying, 

Win my spirit from her gloom, 

Call her exiled sunshine home. 
He has many a sacred air, 

Many a song of holiness, 
That perchance may soothing bear, 

Even to me, one hour of bliss.' 

October *]th, 1834 



Look into thought 



6* 

LOOK into thought and say what dost thou see. 
Dive, be not fearful, how dark the waves flow. 

Sink through the surge, and bring pearls up to me, 
Deeper, ay, deeper ; the fairest lie low. 

I have dived, I have sought them, but none have I 

found, 
In the gloom that closed o'er me no form floated 

by, 
As I sunk through the void depths so black and 

profound 
How dim died the sun and how far hung the sky ! 

What had I given to hear the soft sweep 

Of a breeze bearing life through that vast realm ol 
death ! 

Thoughts were untroubled and dreams were asleep. 
The spirit lay dreadless and hopeless beneath. 

1836 



Toems by Charlotte ^Bronte 



GODS of the old mythology 

Arise in gloom and storm ; 
Adramalec, bow down thy head, 

Reveal, dark fiend, thy form, 
The giant sons of Anakim 

Bowed lowest at thy shrine, 
And thy temple rose in Argola, 

With its hallowed groves of vine ; 
And there was eastern incense burnt, 

And there were garments spread, 
With the fine gold decked and broidered, 

And tinged with radiant red, 
With the radiant red of furnace flames 

That through the shadows shone, 
As the full moon when on Sinai's top 

Her rising light is thrown. 



poem has been in some Collections attributed to 
Emilv Bronte. 



16 



eason 



REASON 

* * * 

MY life is cold, love's fire being dead, 
That fire self-kindled, self-consumed ; 

What living warmth erewhile it shed, 
Now to how drear extinction doomed ! 

Devoid of charm, how could I dream 
My unasked love would e'er return ? 

What fate, what influence, lit the flame 
I still feel inly, deeply, burn ? 

Alas ! there are who should not love, 
I to this dreary band belong ; 

This knowing, let me henceforth prove 
Too wise to list delusion's song. 

No, Siren ! Beauty is not mine, 

Affection's joys I ne'er shall know ; 

Lonely will be my life's decline, 
Even as my youth is lonely now. 



Toems by Charlotte "Bronte* 

Come Reason, Science, Learning, Thought, 

To you my heart I dedicate ; 
I have a faithful subject brought, 

Faithful because most desolate. 

Fear not a wandering, feeble mind ; 

Stern Sovereign, it is all your own 
To crush, to cheer, to loose, to bind ; 

Unclaimed, unshared, it seeks your throne. 

Soft may the breeze of summer blow, 
Sweetly its sun in valleys shine, 

All earth around with love may glow, 

No warmth shall reach this heart of mine. 



1843 



18 



He saw my heart's woe 



9* 

HE saw my heart's woe, discovered my soul's 
anguish, 

How in fever, in thirst, in atrophy it pined ; 
Knew he could heal, yet looked and let it languish, 

To its moans spirit-deaf, to its pangs spirit-blind. 

But once a year he heard a whisper low and dreary, 
Appealing for aid, entreating some reply ; 

Only when sick, soul-worn and torture-weary, 
Breathed I that prayer heaved I that sigh. 

He was mute as is the grave, he stood stirless as a 
tower ; 

At last I looked up, and saw I prayed to stone : 
I asked help of that which to help had no power, 

I sought love where love was utterly unknown. 

Idolater I kneeled to an idol cut in rock, 

I might have slashed my flesh and drawn my 
heart's best blood, 

The Granite God had felt no tenderness, no shock ; 
My Baal had not seen nor heard nor understood. 



Toems by Charlotte ^Bronte 

In dark remorse I rose. I rose in darker shame, 
Self-condemned I withdrew to an exile from my 
kind ; t 

A solitude I sought where mortal never came, 
Hoping in its wilds forgetfulness to find. 

Now, Heaven, heal the wound which I still deeply 

feel; 
Thy glorious hosts look not in scorn on our poor 

race ; 

Thy King eternal doth no iron judgment deal 
On suffering worms who seek forgiveness, com- 
fort, grace. 

He gave our hearts to love, he will not love despise, 
E'en if the gift be lost, as mine was long ago. 

He will forgive the fault, will bid the offender rise, 
Wash-out with dews of bliss the fiery brand of 
woe ; 

And give a sheltered place beneath the unsullied 

throne, 
Whence the soul redeemed may mark Time's 

fleeting course round earth ; 
And know its trial overpast, its sufferings gone, 
And feel the peril past of Death's immortal 
birth. 



20 



^Mementos 



IO 

MEMENTOS 



ALL in this house is mossing over ; 

All is unused, and dim, and damp ; 
Nor light nor warmth the rooms discover 

Bereft for years of fire and lamp. 

The sun, sometimes in summer, enters 
The casements with reviving ray ; 

But the long rains of many winters 
Moulder the very walls away. 

And outside all is ivy, clinging 
To chimney, lattice, gable grey ; 

Scarcely one little red rose springing 

Through the green moss can force its way. 

Unscared, the daw and starling nestle, 
Where the tall turret rises high, 

And winds alone come near to rustle 
The thick leaves where their cradles lie. 

21 



by Charlotte ^Bronte* 



I sometimes think, when late at even 

I climb the stair reluctantly, 
Some shape that should be wejl in heaven, 

Or ill elsewhere, will pass by me. 

I fear to see the very faces, 

Familiar thirty years ago } 
Even in the old accustomed places, 

Which look so cold and gloomy now. 

I've come to close the window hither, 
At twilight, when the sun was down, 

And fear my very soul would wither, 
Lest something should be dimly shown, 

Too much the buried form resembling, 

Of her who once was mistress here ; 
Lest doubtful shade, or moonbeam trembling, 

Might take her aspect, once so dear. 

* * * 

She bore in silence but when passion 

Surged in her soul with ceaseless foam, 
The storm at last brought desolation, 

And drove her exiled from her home ; 

And silent still, she straight assembled 

The wrecks of strength her soul retained ; 

For though the wasted body trembled, 

The unconquered mind to quail disdained. 
22 



^Mementos 



She crossed the sea now lone she wanders 
By Seine's, or Rhine's, or Arno's flow : 

Fain would I know if distance renders 
t 

Relief or comfort to her woe. 

Fain would I know if, henceforth, ever, 
These eyes shall read in hers again 

That light of love which faded never, 

Though dimmed so long with secret pain. 

She will return, but cold and altered, 
Like all whose hopes too soon depart ; 

Like all on whom have beat, unsheltered, 
The bitter blasts that blight the heart. 

No more shall I behold her lying 

Calm on a pillow, smoothed by me ; 

No more that spirit, worn with sighing. 
Will know the rest of infancy. 

If still the paths of lore she follow, 

'Twill be with tired and goaded will ; 

She'll only toil, the aching hollow, 
The joyless blank of life to fill. 

And oh ! full oft, quite spent and weary, 
Her hand will pause, her head decline ; 

That labour seems so hard and dreary, 
On which no ray of hope may shine. 
23 



Toems by Charlotte TSronte 

Thus the pale blight of time and sorrow 
Will shade with grey her soft, dark hair ; 

Then comes the day that knows no morrow, 
And death succeeds to long despair. 



The Wood 



II 

THE WOOD 

BUT two miles more, and then we rest ! 

Well, there is still an hour of day, 
And long the brightness of the West 

Will light us on our devious way ; 
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood 
So total is the solitude, 

We safely may delay. 

These massive roots afford a seat, 

Which seems for weary travellers made. 

There rest ! The air is soft and sweet 
In this sequestered forest glade, 

And there are scents of flowers around, 

The evening dew draws from the ground ; 
How soothingly they spread ! 

Yes ; I was tired, but not at heart ; 

No that beats full of sweet content, 
For now I have my natural part 

Of action with adventure blent ; 
25 



Toems by Charlotte ^Bronte 

Cast forth on the wide world with thee, 
And all my once waste energy 

To weighty purpose bent. 



I am resolved that thou shalt learn 

To trust my strength as I trust thine ; 

I am resolved our souls shall burn 
With equal, steady, mingling shine ; 

Part of the field is conquered now, 

Our lives in the same channel flow, 
Along the self-same line ; 

And while no groaning storm is heard, 
Thou seem'st content it should be so, 

But soon as comes a warning word 

Of danger straight thine anxious brow 

Bends over me a mournful shade, 

As doubting if my powers are made 
To ford the floods of woe. 

Know, then it is my spirit swells, 

And drinks, with eager joy, the air 
Of freedom where at last it dwells, 
Chartered, a common task to share 
With thee, and then it stirs alert, 
And pants to learn what menaced hurt 
Demands for thee its care. 
26 



The Wood 



Remember, I have crossed the deep, 

And stood with thee on deck, to gaze 
On waves that rose in threatening heap, 

While stagnant lay a heavy haze, 
Dimly confusing sea with sky, 
And baffling, even, the pilot's eye, 
Intent to thread the maze 

* * * 

Sharp blew the sleet upon my face, 

And, rising wild, the gusty wind 
Drove on those thundering waves apace, 

Our crew so late had left behind ; 
But, spite of frozen shower and storm, 
So close to thee, my heart beat warm, 
And tranquil slept my mind. 

So now -nor foot-sore nor opprest 
With walking all this August day, 

I taste a heaven in this brief rest, 
This gipsy-halt beside the way. 

England's wild flowers are fair to view, 

Like balm is England's summer dew, 
Like gold her sunset ray. 

But the white violets, growing here, 
Are sweeter than I yet have seen, 

And ne'er did dew so pure and clear 
Distil on forest mosses green, 
27 



'Poems by Charlotte 'Bronte 

As now, called forth by summer heat, 

Perfumes our cool and fresh retreat 

These fragrant limps between. 

That sunset ! Look beneath the boughs, 
Over the copse beyond the hills ; 

How soft, yet deep and warm, it glows, 
And heaven with rich suffusion fills ; 

With hues where still the opal's tint, 

Its gleam of prisoned fire, is blent, 

Where flame through azure thrills ! 

Depart we now for fast will fade 
That solemn splendour of decline, 

And deep must be the after-shade, 
As stars alone to-night will shine ; 

No moon is destined pale to gaze 

On such a day's vast phoenix blaze, 
A day in fires decayed ! 

There hand-in-hand we tread again 

The mazes of this varying wood 5 
And soon, amid a cultured plain, 

Girt in with fertile solitude, 
We shall our resting-place descry, 
Marked by one roof-tree, towering high 
Above a farmstead rude. 
28 



The Wood 



Refreshed, ere long, with rustic fare, 
We'll seek a couch of dreamless ease ; 

Courage will guard thy heart from fear, 
And Love give mine divinest peace : 

To-morrow brings more dangerous toil, 

And through its conflict and turmoil 

We'll pass, as God shall please. 

[Author's Note. The preceding composition refers, doubtless, 
to the scenes acted in France during the last year of the Con- 
sulate. C. B,] 



by Charlotte 'Bronte 



12 

FRANCES 

SHE will not sleep, for fear of dreams, 
But, rising, quits her restless bed, 

And walks where some beclouded beams 
Of moonlight through the hall are shed. 
# * # 

The close air of the grated tower 
Stifles a heart that scarce can beat, 

And, though so late and lone the hour, 
Forth pass her wandering, faltering feet ; 

And on the pavement spread before 
The long front of the mansion grey, 

Her steps imprint the night-frost hoar, 
Which pale on grass and granite lay. 

Not long she stayed where misty moon 
And shimmering stars could on her look, 

But through the garden archway soon 
Her strange and gloomy path she took. 



Frances 

Some firs, coeval with the tower, 

Their straight black boughs stretched o'er her 

head ; 
Unseen, beneath this sable bower, 

Rustled her dress and rapid tread. 

There was an alcove in that shade, 

Screening a rustic seat and stand ; 
Weary she sat her down, and laid 

Her hot brow on her burning hand. 

To solitude and to the night 

Some words she now, in murmurs, said ; 
And trickling through her fingers white, 

Some tears of misery she shed. 

c God help me in my grievous need, 

God help me in my inward pain ; 
Which cannot ask for pity's meed, 

Which has no licence to complain ; 

4 Which must be borne ; yet who can bear, 

Hours long, days long, a constant weight 
The yoke of absolute despair, 

A suffering wholly desolate ? ' 
* * t * 

She waited as for some reply ; 

The still and cloudy night gave none ; 
Ere long, with deep-drawn, trembling sigh, 

Her heavy plaint again begun. 

31 



*Poems by Charlotte 'Bronte 

' Unloved I love ; unwept I weep ; 

Grief I restrain, hope I repress : 
Vain is this anguish fixed and deep ; 

Vainer, desires and dreams of bliss : 

' My love awakes no love again, 
My tears collect, and fall unfelt ; 

My sorrow touches none with pain, 
My humble hopes to nothing melt. 

' For me the universe is dumb, 

Stone-deaf, and blank, and wholly blind ; 
Life I must bound, existence sum 

In the strait limits of one mind ; 

* That mind my own. O ! narrow cell ; 

Dark imageless a living tomb ! 
There must I sleep, there wake and dwell 
Content, with palsy, pain, and gloom/ 

Again she paused ; a moan of pain, 
A stifled sob, alone was heard ; 

Long silence followed then again 

Her voice the stagnant midnight stirred : 

* Must it be so ? Is this my fate ? 

Can I nor struggle, nor contend ? 
And am I doomed for years to wait, 

Watching death's lingering axe descend ? 
32 



Frances 

' I've heard of heaven I would believe ; 

For if this earth indeed be all, 
Who longest lives may deepest grieve ; 

Most blest, whom sorrows soonest call. 

' Oh ! leaving disappointment here, 
Will man find hope on yonder coast ? 

Hope, which, on earth, shines never clear, 
And oft in clouds is wholly lost. 

* * * 

4 Will he find bliss, which here he dreamed ? 

Rest, which was weariness on earth ? 
Knowledge, which, if o'er life it beamed, 

Served but to prove it void of worth ? 

* * * 

4 If so, endure, my weary frame ! 

And when thy anguish strikes too deep, 
And when all troubled burns life's flame, 

Think of the quiet, final sleep ; 

4 Think of the glorious waking-hour, 

Which will not dawn on grief and tears, 

But on a ransomed spirit's power, 
Certain and free from mortal fears. 

4 Seek now thy couch, and lie till morn, 
Then from thy chamber, calm, descend, 

With mind nor tossed, nor anguish-torn, 
But tranquil, fixed, to wait the end.' 

* # * 

33 B 



^P.oems by Charlotte ^Bronte 



13 
THE LETTER 

WHAT is she writing ? Watch her now, 

How fast her fingers move ! 
How eagerly her youthful brow 

Is bent in thought above ! 
Her long curls, drooping, shade the light. 

She puts them quick aside, 
Nor knows that band of crystals bright 

Her hasty touch untied. 
It slips adown her silken dress, 

Falls glittering at her feet ; 
Unmarked it falls, for she no less 

Pursues her labour sweet. 



The very loveliest hour that shines 

Is in that deep blue sky ; 
The golden sun of June declines, 

It has not caught her eye. 
The cheerful lawn, and unclosed gate, 

The white road far away, 
34 



"The Letter 



In vain for her light footsteps wait, 

She comes not forth to-day. 
There is an open door of glass 

Close by diat lady's chair, 
From thence, to slopes of mossy grass, 

Descends a marble stair. 

Tall plants of bright and spicy bloom 

Around the threshold grow ; 
Their leaves and blossoms shade the room 

From that sun's deepening glow. 
Why does she not a moment glance 

Between the clustering flowers, 
And mark in heaven the radiant dance 

Of evening's rosy hours ? 
Oh, look again ! Still fixed her eye, 

Unsmiling, earnest still, 
And fast her pen and fingers fly, 

Urged by her eager will. 

Her soul is in th' absorbing task ; 

To whom, then, doth she write ? 
Nay, watch her still more closely, ask 

Her own eyes' serious light ; 
Where do they turn, as now her pen 

Hangs o'er th' unfinished line ? 
Whence fell the tearful gleam that then 

Did in their dark spheres shine ? 
35 



^Poems by Charlotte ^Bronte 

The summer-parlour looks so dark. 
When from that sky you turn, 

And from th' expanse of that green park 
You scarce may aught discern. 



Yet o'er the piles of porcelain rare, 

O'er flower-stand, couch, and vase, 
Sloped, as if leaning on the air, 

One picture meets the gaze. 
'Tis there she turns ; you may not see, 

Distinct, what form defines 
The clouded mass of mystery 

Yon broad gold frame confines. 
But look again ; inured to shade 

Your eyes now faintly trace 
A stalwart form, a massive head, 

A firm, determined face. 



Black Spanish locks, a sunburnt cheek, 

A brow high, broad, and white, 
Where every furrow seems to speak 

Of mind and moral might. 
Is that her god ? I cannot tell ; 

Her eye a moment met 
Th' impending picture ; then it fell 

Darkened and dimmed and wet. 

36 



The Letter 



A moment more, her task is done, 

And sealed the letter lies ; 
And now, towards the setting sun 

She turns her tearful eyes. 

Those tears flow over, wonder not, 

For by the inscription see 
In what a strange and distant spot 

Her heart of hearts must be ! 
Three seas and many a league of land 

That letter must pass o'er, 
Ere read by him to whose loved hand 

'Tis sent from England's shore. 
Remote colonial wilds detain 

Her husband, loved though stern ; 
She, mid that smiling English scene, 

Weeps for his wished return. 



37 



'Poems by Charlotte TZrontS 



14 
PRESENTIMENT 

* SISTER, you've sat there all the day, 

Come to the hearth awhile ; 
The wind so wildly sweeps away, 

The clouds so darkly pile. 
That open book has lain, unread, 

For hours upon your knee ; 
You've never smiled nor turned your head ; 

What can you, sister, see ? ' 

* Come hither, Jane, look down the field ; 

How dense a mist creeps on ! 
The path, the hedge, are both concealed, 

Ev'n the white gate is gone 5 
No landscape through the fog I trace, 

No hill with pastures green ; 
All featureless is Nature's face, 

All masked in clouds her mien. 

' Scarce is the rustle of a leaf 

Heard in our garden now ; 
The year grows old, its days wax brief, 

The tresses leave its brow. 

38 



^Presentiment 



The rain drives fast before the wind, 

The sky is blank and grey ; 
O Jane, what sadness fills the mind 

On such a dreary day ! ' 

' You think too much, my sister dear ; 

You sit too long alone ; 
What though November days be drear, 

Full soon will they be gone. 
I've swept the hearth, and placed your chair, 

Come, Emma, sit by me ; 
Our own fireside is never drear, 
Though late and wintry wane the year, 

Though rough the night may be.' 

4 The peaceful glow of our fireside 

Imparts no peace to me : 
My thoughts would rather wander wide 

Than rest, dear Jane, with thee. 
I'm on a distant journey bound, 

And if, about my heart, 
Too closely kindred ties were wound, 

'T would break when forced to part. 

c " Soon will November days be o'er : " 

Well have you spoken, Jane ! 
My own forebodings tell me more 

39 



by Charlotte ^Bronte 

For me, I know by presage sure, 

They'll ne'er return again : 
Ere long, nor sun nor storm to me 

Will bring or joy or gloom ; 
They reach not that Eternity 

Which soon will be my home.' 

Eight months are gone, the summer sun 

Sets in a glorious sky ; 
A quiet field, all green and lone, 

Receives its rosy dye. 
Jane sits upon a shaded stile, 

Alone she sits there now ; 
Her head rests on her hand the while 

And thought o'ercasts her brow. 

She's thinking of one winter's day, 

A few short months ago, 
When Emma's bier was born away 

O'er wastes of frozen snow. 
She's thinking how that drifted snow 

Dissolved in spring's first gleam, 
And how her sister's memory now 

Fades, even as fades a dream. 

The snow will whiten earth again, 
But Emma comes no more ; 

40 



'Presentiment 



She left, mid winter's sleet and rain, 
This world for Heaven's far shore. 

On Beulah's hills she wanders now, 
On Eden^s tranquil plain ; 

To her shall Jane hereafter go, 
She ne'er shall come to Jane ! 



41 B 2 



^Poems by Charlotte 



15 
THE TEACHER'S MONOLOGUE 

THE room is quiet, thoughts alone 

People its mute tranquillity ; 
The yoke put off, the long task done, 

I am, as it is bliss to be, 
Still and untroubled. Now, I see, 

For the first time, how soft the day 
O'er waveless water, stirless tree. 

Silent and sunny, wings its way. 
Now, as I watch that distant hill, 

So faint, so blue, so far removed, 
Sweet dreams of home my heart may fill. 

That home where I am known and loved 
It lies beyond ; yon azure brow 

Parts me from all Earth holds for me ; 
And, morn and eve, my yearnings flow 

Thitherward tending, changelessly. 
My happiest hours, ay ! all the time, 

I love to keep in memory, 
Lapsed among moors, ere life's first prime 

Decayed to dark anxiety. 
42 



The Teacher s ^Monologue 

Sometimes, I think a narrow heart 

Makes me thus mourn those far away, 
And keeps my t love so far apart, 

From friends and friendships of to-day ; 
Sometimes, I think 'tis but a dream 

I treasure up so jealously, 
All the sweet thoughts I live on seem 

To vanish into vacancy : 
And then, this strange, coarse world around 

Seems all that's palpable and true ; 
And every sight and every sound 

Combine my spirit to subdue 
To aching grief; so void and lone 

Is Life, and Earth so worse than vain, 
The hopes that, in my own heart sown, 

And cherished by such sun and rain 
As Joy and transient Sorrow shed, 

Have ripened to a harvest there : 
Alas ! methinks I hear it said, 

c Thy golden sheaves are empty air.' 



All fades away ; my very home 

I think will soon be desolate ; 
I hear, at times, a warning come 

Of bitter partings at its gate ; 
And, if I should return and see 

The hearth-fire quenched, the vacant chair ; 

43 



^Poems by Charlotte ^Bronte 

And hear it whispered mournfully, 

That farewells have been spoken there, 
What shall I do, and whither turn ? 
Where look for peace ? When cease to 
mourn ? 



44 



not the air 



16 



'Tis not the air I wished to play, 

The strain I wished to sing ; 
My wilful spirit slipped away 

And struck another string. 
I neither wanted smile nor tear, 

Bright joy nor bitter woe, 
But just a song that sweet and clear, 

Though haply sad, might flow. 

A quiet song, to solace me 

When sleep refused to come ; 
A strain to chase despondency 

When sorrowful for home. 
In vain I try ; I cannot sing ; 

All feels so cold and dead ; 
No wild distress, no gushing spring 

Of tears in anguish shed ; 

But all the impatient gloom of one 

Who waits a distant day, 
When, some great task of suffering done, 

Repose shall toil repay. 
45 



by Charlotte 



For youth departs, and pleasure flies, 

And life consumes away, 
And youth's rejoicing ardqur dies 

Beneath this drear delay ; 

And Patience, weary with her yoke, 

Is yielding to despair, 
And Health's elastic spring is broke 

Beneath the strain of care. 
Life will be gone ere I have lived ; 

Where now is Life's first prime ? 
I've worked and studied, longed and grieved, 

Through all that rosy time. 

To toil, to think, to long, to grieve, 

Is such my future fate ? 
The morn was dreary ; must the eve 

Be also desolate ? 
Well, such a life at least makes Death 

A welcome, wished-for friend ; 
Then, aid me, Reason, Patience, Faith, 

To suffer to the end ! 



Evening Solace 



17 
EVENING SOLACE 

THE human heart has hidden treasures, 

In secret kept, in silence sealed ; 
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the 
pleasures, 

Whose charms were broken if revealed. 
And days may pass in gay confusion, 

And nights in rosy riot fly, 
While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion, 

The memory of the Past may die. 



But there are hours of lonely musing, 

Such as in evening silence come, 
When, soft as birds their pinions closing, 

The heart's best feelings gather home. 
Then in our souls there seems to languish 

A tender grief that is not woe ; 
And thoughts that once wrung groans of 
anguish, 

Now cause but some mild tears to flow. 

47 



'Poems by Charlotte TSronte 

And feelings, once as strong as passions. 

Float softly back a faded dream ; 
Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations. 

The tale of others' sufferings seem. 
Oh ! when the heart is freshly bleeding, 

How longs it for that time to be, 
When, through the mist of years receding, 

Its woes but live in reverie ! 



And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer, 

On evening shade and loneliness \ 
And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer, 

Feel no untold and strange distress 
Only a deeper impulse given, 

By lonely hour and darkened room, 
To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven 

Seeking a life and world to come. 



Watching and Whisking 



18 
WATCHING AND WISHING 1 

OH, would I were the golden light 

That shines around thee now, 
As slumber shades the spotless white 

Of that unclouded brow ! 
It watches through each changeful dream 

Thy features' varied play ; 
It meets thy waking eyes' soft gleam 

By dawn by opening day. 



Oh, would I were the crimson veil 

Above thy couch of snow, 
To dye that cheek so soft, so pale, 

With my reflected glow ! 
Oh, would I were the cord of gold 

Whose tassel set with pearls 
Just meets the silken cov'ring's fold, 

And rests upon thy curls, 

1 First published in the Cornhill Magazine, December, 1860. 

49 



^Poems by Charlotte ^Bronte 

Dishevell'd in thy rosy sleep, 

And shading soft thy dreams ; 
Across their bright and f raven sweep 

The golden tassel gleams ! 
I would be anything for thee, 

My love my radiant love 
A flower, a bird, for sympathy, 

A watchful star above. 



When thou Steepest 



19 
WHEN THOU SLEEPEST 

WHEN thou sleepest, lulled in night, 

Art thou lost in vacancy ? 
Does no silent inward light, 

Softly breaking, fall on thee ? 
Does no dream on quiet wing 

Float a moment 'mid that ray, 
Touch some answering mental string, 

Wake a note and pass away ? 

When thou watchest, as the hours 

Mute and blind are speeding on, 
O'er that rayless path, where lowers 

Muffled midnight, black and lone ; 
Comes there nothing hovering near, 

Thought or half reality, 
Whispering marvels in thine ear, 

Every word a mystery, 

Chanting low an ancient lay, 
Every plaintive note a spell, 

Clearing memory's clouds away, 

Showing scenes thy heart loves well ? 
51 



Toems by Charlotte TSronte 

Songs forgot, in childhood sung, 
Airs in youth beloved and known, 

Whispered by that airy tcyigue, 
Once again are made thine^ own. 

Be it dream in haunted sleep, 

Be it thought in vigil lone, 
Drink'st thou not a rapture deep 

From the feeling ? 'Tis thine own, 
All thine own ; thou need'st not tell 

What bright form thy slumber blest ;- 
All thine own ; remember well 

Night and shade were round thy rest. 

Nothing looked upon thy bed, 

Save the lonely watch-light's gleam ; 
Not a whisper, not a tread 

Scared thy spirit's glorious dream. 
Sometimes, when the midnight gale 

Breathed a moan and then was still, 
Seemed the spell of thought to fail, 

Checked by one ecstatic thrill ; 

Felt as all external things, 

Robed in moonlight, smote thine eye 
Then thy spirit's waiting wings 

Quivered, trembled, spread to fly ; 
52 



When thou Steepest 



Then th' aspirer wildly swelling 
Looked, where 'mid transcendency 

Star to star was mutely telling 

Heaven's resolve and fate's decree. 

Oh ! it longed for holier fire 

Than this spark in earthly shrine ; 
Oh ! it soared, and higher, higher, 

Sought to reach a home divine. 
Hopeless quest ! soon weak and weary 

Flagged the pinion, drooped the plume, 
And again in sadness dreary 

Came the baffled wanderer home. 

And again it turned for soothing 

To th' unfinished, broken dream ; 
While, the ruffled current smoothing, 

Thought rolled on her startled stream. 
I have felt this cherished feeling, 

Sweet and known to none but me ; 
Still I feel it nightly healing 

Each dark day's despondency. 



53 



'Poems by Charlotte 'Bronte 



20 

PARTING 

THERE'S no use in weeping, 

Though we are condemned to part : 
There's such a thing as keeping 

A remembrance in one's heart : 

There's such a thing as dwelling 

On the thought ourselves have nursed, 

And with scorn and courage telling 
The world to do its worst. 

We'll not let its follies grieve us, 
We'll just take them as they come ; 

And then every day will leave us 
A merry laugh for home. 

When we've left each friend and brother, 
\^hen we're parted wide and far, 

We will think of one another, 
As ev'n better than we are. 
54 



Parting 

Every glorious sight above us, 

Every pleasant sight beneath, 
We'll connect with those that love us, 

Whom we truly love till death ! 

In the evening, when we're sitting 

By the fire, perchance alone, 
Then shall heart with warm heart meeting, 

Give responsive tone for tone. 

We can burst the bonds which chain us, 
Which cold human hands have wrought, 

And where none shall dare restrain us 
We can meet again, in thought. 

So there's no use in weeping, 

Bear a cheerful spirit still ; 
Never doubt that Fate is keeping 

Future good for present ill ! 



55 



'Poems by Charlotte 



21 

WINTER STORES 

WE take from life one little share, 

And say that this shall be 
A space, redeemed from toil and care, 

From tears and sadness free. 

And, haply, Death unstrings his bow, 

And Sorrow stands apart. 
And, for a little while, we know 

The sunshine of the heart. 



But Time, though viewlessly it flies, 
And slowly, will not stay ; 

Alike, through clear and clouded skies, 
It cleaves its silent way. 

Alike the bitter cup of grief, 

Alike the draught of bliss, 
Its progress leaves but moment brief 

For baffled lips to kiss. 

56 



W r inter Stores 



The sparkling draught is dried away, 

The hour of rest is gone, 
And urgent voices, round us, say, 

* Ho, lingerer, hasten on ! ' 



57 



'Poems by Charlotte ^Bronte 



22 

EVENTIDE * 

# * * 

THE house was still, the room was still, 

'Twas eventide in June ; 
A caged canary to the sun 

Then setting, trilled a tune. 

A free bird on that lilac bush 

Outside the lattice heard, 
He listened long there came a hush, 

He dropped an answering word. 



It is not at an hour 



23* 

IT is not at an hour like this 

We would remember those we love, 
As the far hills commingling kiss 

That grey and sunless heaven above, 
All dim and chilled, a time of tears 
And dying hopes and gathering fears. 

But I am lone, and so art thou, 

And leagues of land between us lie, 

And though we moan expiring now, 
One could not watch the other die ; 

And till corruption's work was done, 

Neither could gaze his idol on. 

And well I know this cloudy close, 
Sealing a long dark day of gloom, 

Will bring o'er that soft brow's repose 
A token of untimely gloom ; 

And it will droop in heart-felt pain. 

As though it ne'er might rise again. 

59 



*Poems by Charlotte TSronte 

All pale that cheek ; no fevered glow 
Of longing, watching, waiting love, 

No swell of that white breast to show 
How pants in hope my suffering dove ; 

But one hand on the other laid, 

She sits and weeps in twilight's shade. 



60 



Speak of the North ! 



24* 
# # * 

SPEAK of the North ! A lonely moor 
Silent and dark and trackless swells, 
The waves of some wild streamlet pour 
Hurriedly through its ferny dells. 

Profoundly still the twilight air, 
Lifeless the landscape ; so we deem, 
Till like a phantom gliding near 
A stag bends down to drink the stream. 

And far away a mountain zone, 
A cold, white waste of snow-drifts lies, 
And one star, large and soft and lone, 
Silently lights the unclouded skies. 



61 



POEMS BY EMILY BRONTE 




EMILY JA^K BRONTE (1X18-1848) 

From the fragment of a portrait-^roup painted by her brother Patrick 
Bran well Bronte about 1845, now in the National Portrait Gallery 



/ know not how it falls on me 



I KNOW not how it falls on me, 

This summer evening, hushed and lone ; 
Yet the faint wind comes soothingly 

With something of an olden tone. 

Forgive me if IVe shunned so long 
Your gentle greeting, earth and air ! 

But sorrow withers e'en the strong, 
And who can fight against despair ? 

June 3, 1831 



Toems by Emily llrontg 



LADY, watch Apollo's journey ; 

Thus thy first hour's course shall be : 
If his beams through summer vapours 

Warm the earth all placidly, 

Her days shall pass like a pleasant dream in sweet 
tranquillity. 

If it darken, if a shadow 

Quench his rays and summon rain, 
Flowers may open, buds may blossom,, 

Bud and flower alike are vain ; 
Her days shall pass like a mournful story in care and 

tears and pain. 

If the wind be fresh and free, 

The wide skies clear and cloudless blue, 
The woods and fields and golden flowers 

Sparkling in sunshine and in dew, 
Her days shall pass in Glory's light the world's drear 

desert through. 

July 12, 1836 

66 



"The evening sun was sinking 



THE evening sun was sinking down 

On low green hills and clustered trees ; 
It was a scene as fair and lone 

As ever felt the soothing breeze 
That cools the grass when day is gone, 

And gives the waves a brighter blue, 
And marks the soft white clouds sail on, 

Like spirits of ethereal dew, 
Which all the morn had hovered o'er 

The azure flowers where they were nursed. 
And now return to Heaven once more, 

Where their bright glories shone at first. 

September 23, 1836 



67 



Toems by Emily 



LOUD without the wind was roaring 
Through the wan autumnal sky ; 

Drenching wet the cold rain pouring 
Spoke of stormy winter nigh. 

All, too like that dreary eve 
Sighed without repining grief, 
Sighed at first, but sighed not long ; 

Sweet, how softly sweet it came 
Wild words of an ancient song, 

Undefined, without a name. 



November 1836 



68 



) early in the morning 



REDBREAST, early in the morning 

Dark and cold and cloudy grey, 
Wildly tender is thy music, 

Chasing angry thought away. 

My heart is not enraptured now, 

My eyes are full of tears, 
And constant sorrow on my brow 

Has done the work of years. 

It was not hope that wrecked at once 

The spirit's calm in storm, 
But a long life of solitude, 
Hopes quenched, and rising thoughts subdued, 

A bleak November's calm. 



What woke it then ? A little child 
Strayed from its father's cottage door, 

And in the hour of moonlight wild 
Lay lonely on the desert moor. 

6 9 



by Emily T&ronte 



I heard it then, you heard it too, 
And seraph sweet it sang to you ; 
But like the shriek of rrisery 
That wild, wild music wailed to me ! 

February 18^7 



'Twas just the time of eve 



6 

* * * 

'TWAS just the time of eve 

When parted ghosts might come 
Above their prisoned dust to grieve, 
And wail their woeful doom. 

And truly at my side 

I saw a shadowy thing, 
Most dim, and yet its presence there 
Curdled my blood with ghastly fear 

And ghastlier wondering. 

* * * 

I fell down on the stone 

But could not turn away ; 
My words died in a voiceless moan, 
When I began to pray. 

And still it bent above, 

Its features full in view ; 
It seemed close by, and yet more far 
Than this world from the farthest star 
That tracks the boundless blue. 
71 



by Emily Bronte 



Indeed 'twas not the space 

Of earth or time between ; 
But the sea of deep eternity, 
The gulf o'er which mortality 
Has never never been. 



June IO, 1837 



/ saw tbee, child 



I SAW thee, child, one summer day. 
Suddenly leave thy cheerful play. 
And in the green grass lowly lying 
I listened to thy mournful sighing. 

I knew the wish that waked that wail, 

I knew the source whence sprung those tears ; 

You longed for fate to raise the veil 
That darkened over coming years. 

The anxious prayer was heard, and power 
Was given me, in that silent hour, 
To open to an infant's eye 
The portals of futurity. 

But, child of dust, the fragrant flowers, 
The bright blue flowers and velvet sod, 

Were strange conductors to the bowers 
Thy daring footsteps must have trod. 
* * * 

Those tiny hands in vain essay 
To brush the shadowy fiend away ; 
There is a horror on his brow, 
An anguish in his bosom now ; 

73 C2 



Teems by Emily ^Bronte 

A fearful anguish in his eyes, 

Fixed straineclly on the vacant air ; 

Hoarsely bursts in long-drawn sighs, 
His panting breath enchained by fear. 

Poor child ! if spirits such as I 
Could weep o'er human misery, 
A tear might flow, ay, many a tear, 
To see the dread that lies before, 
To see the sunshine disappear ; 

And hear the stormy waters roar, 
Breaking upon a desolate shore, 
Cut off from hope in early day, 
From earth and glory cut away. 

But he is doomed, and Morning's light 
Must image forth the scowl of night, 
And childhood's flower must waste its bloom 
Beneath the shadow of the tomb. 

July 1837 



74 



Sleep not^ dream not 



8 

SLEEP not, dream not ; this bright day 
Will not, cannot last for aye ; 
Bliss like thine is bought by years 
Dark with torment and with tears. 

Sweeter far than placid pleasure, 
Purer, higher beyond measure, 
Yet, alas ! the sooner turning 
Into hopeless, endless mourning. 

I love thee, boy, for all divine, 

All full of God thy features shine. 

Darling enthusiast, holy child, 

Too good for this world's warring wild ; 

Too heavenly now, but doomed to be, 

Hell-like in heart and misery. 

And what shall change that angel brow, 
And quench that spirit's glorious glow ? 
Relentless laws that disallow 
True virtue and true joy below. 

75 



Teems by Emily *Bronte* 

I too depart, I too decline, 
And make thy path no longer mine. 
'Tis thus that human mkids will turn, 
All doomed alike to sin and .mourn ; 
Yet all with long gaze fixed afar, 
Adoring virtue's distant star. 

fuly 26, 1837 



76 



The sun has set 



THE sun has set, and the long grass now 

Waves dreamily in the evening wind ; 

And the wild bird has flown from that old grey 

stone, 
In some warm nook a couch to find. 

In all the lonely landscape round 
I see no light and hear no sound, 
Except the wind that far away 
Comes sighing o'er the heathy sea. 

August 1837 



77 



Toems by Emily ^Bronte 



IO 

ALONE I sat ; the summer day 

Had died in smiling light away ; 

I saw it die, I watched it fade 

From the misty hill and breezeless glade. 

And thoughts within my soul were rushing, 
And my heart bowed beneath their power 
And tears within my eyes were gushing 
Because I could not speak the feeling, 
The solemn joy around me stealing, 
In that divine, untroubled hour. 

I asked myself, O why has Heaven 
Denied the precious gift to me, 

The glorious gift to many given, 
To speak their thoughts in poetry ? 

Dreams have encircled me, I said, 

From careless childhood's sunny time ; 

Visions by ardent fancy fed 

Since life was in its morning prime. 

78 



I sat 



But now, when I had hoped to sing, 
My fingers strike a tuneless string, 
And still the burden of the strain 
I strive no more, 'tis all in vain ! 



August 1837 



79 



Toems by Emily TSronte 



THE organ swells, the trumpets sound, 

The lamps in triumph glow, 
And none of all those thousand round 

Regard who sleeps below. 

Those haughty eyes that tears should fill 

Glance clearly, cloudlessly ; 
Those bounding breasts that grief should thrill 

From thought of grief are free. 

His subjects and his soldiers there 

They blessed his rising bloom, 
But none a single sigh can spare 

To breathe above his tomb. 

Comrades in arms, IVe looked to mark 

One shade of feeling swell, 
As your feet stood above the dark 

Recesses of his cell. 

* * * 

September 30, 1837 



80 



Far away is the land of rest 



12 

FAR away is the land of rest 

Thousand miles are stretched between, 

Many a mountain's stormy crest. 
Many a desert void of green. 

Wasted, worn is the traveller, 
Dark his heart and dim his eye ; 

Without hope or comforter, 

Faltering, faint, and ready to die. 

Often he looks to the ruthless sky, 
Often he looks o'er his dreary road, 

Often he wishes down to lie 

And render up life's tiresome load. 

But yet faint not, mournful man ; 

Leagues on leagues are left behind 
Since your aimless course began ; 

Then go on, to toil resigned. 

If you still despair, control, 

Hush its whispers in your breast ; 

You shall reach the final goal, 
You shall win the land of rest. 

October 1837 

ol 



Toems by Emily 



13 

THE old church tower and garden wall 
Are black with autumn rain, 

And dreary winds foreboding call 
The darkness down again. 

I watched how evening took the place 

Of glad and glorious day ; 
I watched a deeper gloom efface 

The evening's lingering ray. 

October 1837 



The night is darkening 



THE night is darkening round me, 
The wild winds coldly blow ; 

But a tyrant spell has bound me, 
And I cannot, cannot go. 

The giant trees are bending 

Their bare boughs weighed with snow, 
The storm is fast descending, 

And yet I cannot go. 

Clouds beyond clouds above me, 
Wastes beyond wastes below ; 

But nothing dread can move me 
I will not, cannot go. 

November 1837 



T^oems by Emily TSrontS 



SLEEP brings no joy to me, 

Remembrance never dies, 
My soul is given to mystery, 
And lives in sighs. 

Sleep brings no rest to me ; 
The shadows of the dead 
My wakening eyes may never see 
Surround my bed. 

Sleep brings no hope to me, 

In soundest sleep they come, 
And with their doleful imag'ry 
Deepen the gloom. 

Sleep brings no strength to me, 
No power renewed to brave ; 
I only sail a wilder sea, 
A darker wave. 

Sleep brings no friend to me 

To soothe and aid to bear ; 
They all gaze on, how scornfully, 
And I despair. 



Sleep brings no joy to me 

Sleep brings no wish to fret 
My harassed heart beneath ; 

My only wish is to forget 
In endless sleep of death. 



November 1837 



Toems by Emily TSront'e 



16 

STRONG I stand, though I have borne 
Anger, hate, and bitter scorn ; 
Strong I stand, and laugh to see 
How mankind have fought with me. 

Shade of history, I condemn 
All the puny ways of men ; 
Free my heart, my spirit free, 
Beckon, and I'll follow thee. 

False and foolish mortal, know, 
If you scorn the world's disdain, 
Your mean soul is far below 
Other worms, however vain. 

Thing of Dust, with boundless pride, 
Dare you ask me for a guide ? 
With the humble I will be ; 
Haughty men are naught to me. 

November 1837 

86 



To a breath of Snow 



TO A WREATH OF SNOW 

O TRANSIENT voyager of heaven ! 

O silent sign of winter skies ! 
What adverse wind thy sail has driven 

To dungeons where a prisoner lies ? 

Methinks the hands that shut the sun 
So sternly from this mourning brow 

Might still their rebel task have done, 
And checked a thing so frail as thou. 

They would have done it, had they known 
The talisman that dwelt in thee, 

For all the suns that ever shone 
Have never been so kind to me ! 

For many a week and many a day 

My heart was weighed with sinking gloom, 
When morning rose in mourning grey 

And faintly lit my prison room. 

87 



c Poems by Emi/y *Bronte 

But angel like, when I awoke, 

Thy silvery form, so soft and fair, 

Shining through darkness^ sweetly spoke 
Of cloudy skies and mountains bare, 

The dearest to a mountaineer 

Who all life long has loved the snow 

That crowned his native summits drear, 
Better than greenest plains below. 

And, voiceless soulless messenger, 
Thy presence wakes a thrilling tone 

That comforts me while thou art here, 
And will sustain when thou art gone. 

December 1837 



Idie^butwhen the grave shall press 



18 



I DIE, but when the grave shall press 
The heart so long endeared to thee, 

When earthly cares no more distress, 
And earthly joys are nought to me, 

Weep not, but think that I have passed 
Before thee o'er a sea of gloom, 

Have anchored safe, and rest at last, 

Where tears and mourning cannot come. 

'Tis I should weep to leave thee here 
On that dark ocean sailing drear, 
With storms around and fears before, 
And no kind light to point the shore. 
* * * 

December 1837 



8 9 



by Emily ISronte* 



MOTHER, I am not regretting 

To leave this wretched world below, 
If there be nothing but forgetting 
In that dark land to which I go. 
* * * 

Twice twelve short years, and all is over ; 

And day and night to rise no more, 
And never more to be a rover 

Along the fields, the woods, the shore. 

And never more at early dawning 

To watch the stars of midnight wane, 

To breathe the breath of summer morning, 
And see its sunshine ne'er again. 

1 hear the abbey bells are ringing, 

Methinks their chime sounds faint and drear, 
Or else the wind is adverse winging, 
And wafts their music from my ear. 

The wind, the winter night is speaking 

Of thoughts and things that should not stay ; 

Mother, come near ! my heart is breaking, 
I cannot bear to go away. 
90 



mother, I am not regretting 

And I must go whence no returning 
To soothe your grief or calm your care. 

Nay, do not weep ; that bitter mourning 
Tortures my soul with wild despair. 



* * * 

December 14, 1837 



'Poems by Emily ^Bronte 



20 

WEANED from life and flown away 
In the morning of thy day, 
Bound in everlasting gloom, 
Buried in a hapless tomb. 

Yet upon thy bended knee 

Thank the power that banished thee ; 

Chain and bar and dungeon wall 

Saved thee from a deadlier thrall. 

Thank the power that made thee part 

Ere that parting broke thy heart. 

Wildly rushed the mountain spring 

From its source of fern and ling ; 

How invincible its roar, 

Had its waters worn the shore ! 



February 1838 



wander not so far away ! 



21 

O WANDER not so far away ! 

love, forgive this selfish tear ; 
It may be sad for thee to stay, 

But how can I live lonely here ? 

The still May morn is warm and bright, 
Sweet flowers are fresh, and grass is green, 

And in the haze of glorious light 
Our long low hills are scarcely seen. 

Our woods e'en now their young leaves hide 
The blackbird and the throstle well ; 

And high in heaven so blue and wide 
A thousand strains of Music swell. 

He looks on all with eyes that speak 

So deep, so drear a woe to me ! 
There is a faint red on his cheek 

Not like the bloom I used to see. 

Can Death yes, Death he is thine own ! 

The grave shall close those limbs around, 
And hush, for ever hush the tone, 

1 loved above all earthly sound. 

93 



^Poems by Emily 



Well ! pass away with the other flowers ; 

Too dark for them, too dark for thee 
Are the hours to come, the joyless hours, 

That time is treasuring up for me. 

If thou hast sinned in this world of care, 
'Twas but the dust of thy drear abode ; 

Thy soul was pure when it entered here, 
And pure will it go again to God. 

February 20, 1838 



94 



Song 



22 

SONG 

THIS shall be thy lullaby, 

Rocking on the stormy sea ; 

Though it roar in thunder wild, 

Sleep, stilly sleep, thou dark-haired child ! 

When our shuddering boat was crossing 
Eldern's lake so rudely tossing, 
Then 'twas first my nursling smiled ; 
Sleep, softly sleep, my fair-browed child ! 

Waves above thy cradle break, 
Foamy tears are on thy cheek, 
Yet the ocean's self grows mild 
When it bears my slumbering child. 



May 1838 



95 



'Poems by Emily 'Bronte' 



23 
DOUGLAS' RIDE 

WE'LL narrower draw the circle round, 
And hush that music's solemn sound, 
And quench the lamp and stir the fire, 
To rouse its flickering radiance higher ; 
Loop up the window's velvet veil. 
That we may hear the night-wind wail, 
For wild those gusts, and well those chimes 
Blend with a song of troubled times. 

July n, 1838 



96 



Where were ye all? 



24 

WHERE were ye all ? and where wert thou ? 
I saw an eye that shone like thine. 
But dark curls waved around his brow, 
And his star-glance was strange to mine. 

And yet a dreamlike comfort came 
Into my heart and anxious eye, 
And trembling yet to hear his name, 
I bent to listen watchfully. 



October 1838 



97 



To ems by Emily ^Bronte 



25 

* * * 

THE desert moor is dark, there is tempest in the air ; 
I have breathed my only wish in one last, one 

burning prayer, 
A prayer that would come forth altho' it lingered 

long ; 
That set on fire my heart, but froze upon my 

tongue. 

And now, it shall be done before the morning rise ; 
I will not watch the sun ascend in yonder skies. 
One task alone remains thy pictured face to view, 
And then I go to prove if God, at least, be true ! 

Do I not see thee now ? Thy black resplendent 

hair ; 
The glory-beaming brow, and smile how heavenly 

. fair ! 
Thine eyes are turned away those eyes I would 

not see ; 
Their dark, their deadly ray would more than 

madden me. 

* * * 



The desert moor is dark 

Oh ! could I see thy lids weighed down in cheer- 
less woe ; 

Too full to hide thejr tears, too stern to overflow ; 

Oh ! could I know thy soul with equal grief was 
torn, 

This fate might be endured this anguish might 
be borne. 

How gloomy grows the night ! 'Tis Gondal's 

wind that blows ; 

I shall not tread again the deep glens where it rose. 
I feel it on my face Where, wild blast ! dost 

thou roam ? 
What do we, wanderer, here, so far away from 

home ? 

I do not need thy breath to cool my death-cold 

brow ; 

But go to that far land, where she is shining now ; 
Tell her my latest wish, tell her my dreary 

doom ; 
Say that my pangs are past, but hers are yet to 

come. 

Vain words, vain, frenzied thoughts ! No ear can 

hear me call. 

Lost in the desert air my frantic curses fall. 
99 



'Poems by Emily ^Bronte 

And could she see me now, perchance her lip 

would smile, 
Would smile in careless pridr and utter scorn the 

while ! 

And yet for all her hate, each parting glance would 

tell 
A stronger passion breathed, burned in this last 

farewell 
Unconquered in my soul the Tyrant rules me 

still : 
Life bows to my control, but Love I cannot kill ! 

November I, 1838 



100 



dream , where art thou now? 



26 

O DREAM, where art thou now ? 
Long years have passed away 
Since last from off thine angel brow 
I saw the light decay. 

Alas ! alas for me ! 

Thou wert so bright and fair, 
I could not think thy memory 

Would yield me nought but care ! 

The moonbeam and the storm, 

The summer eve divine, 
The silent night of solemn calm, 

The full moon's cloudless shine, 

Were once entwined with thee, 

But now with weary pain 
Lost vision ! 'tis enough for me 
Thou canst not shine again. 

November 3, 1838 



101 



To ems by Emily T$ront8 



27 

THERE swept adown that dreary glen 
A wilder sound than mountain wind 

The thrilling shouts of righting men, 
With something sadder far behind. 

The thrilling shouts they died away 
Before the night came greyly down, 

But closed not with the closing day 
The choking sob, the tortured moan. 

Down in a hollow sunk in shade, 

Where dark forms waved in secret gloom, 
A ruined, bleeding form was laid, 

Waiting the death that was to come. 

November 1838 



102 



How still) how happy ! 



28 

How still, how happy ! These are words 
That once would scarce agree together ; 

I loved the splashing of the surge, 

The changing heaven, the breezy weather, 

More than smooth seas and cloudless skies, 
And solemn, soothing, softened airs 

That in the forest woke no sighs, 

And from the green spray shook no tears. 

How still, how happy ! now I feel 
Where silence dwells is sweeter far 

Than laughing mirth with joyous swell, 
However pure its raptures are. 

Come, sit down on this sunny stone ; 

'Tis wintry light o'er flow'rless moors ; 
But sit, for we are all alone, 

And clear expand heaven's breathless shores. 

I would that in the withered grass 

Spring's budding wreaths we might discern, 
The violet's eye might shyly flash, 

And young leaves shoot among the fern. 
103 



*Poems by Emily T$ront8 

It is but thought full many a night 
The snow shall clothe these hills afar ; 

And storms shall add a drearier blight, 
And winds shall wage a wilder war, 

Before the lark may herald in 

Fresh foliage, twined with blossoms fair, 
And summer days again begin 

Their glory-haloed crown to wear. 

Yet my heart loves December's smile 
As much as July's golden gleam ! 

Then let me sit, and watch the while 
The blue ice curdling on the stream. 

December 7, 1838 



104 



How deep into the wilderness 



29 

* * * 

How deep into the wilderness 

My horse had strayed, I cannot say ; 

But neither morsel nor caress 

Would urge him farther on the way. 

So loosening from his neck the rein, 

I set my worn companion free, 
And billowy hill and boundless plain 

Full soon divided him from me. 

* * * 

It was about the middle night 
And under such a starless dome, 

When gliding from the mountain's height, 
I saw a shadowy spirit come. 

Her wavy hair on her shoulders bare, 

It shone like soft clouds round the moon ; 

Her noiseless feet, like melting sleet, 

Gleamed white a moment, then were gone. 



January 12, 1839 

105 D 2 



^Poems by Emily 



30 

MAY flowers are opening, 
And leaves unfolding free ; 

There are bees in every blossom, 
And birds on every tree. 

The sun is gladly shining, 
The stream sings merrily ; 

But lonely I am pining, 
And all is dark to me. 

cold, cold is my heart ! 
It will not, cannot rise ; 

It feels no sympathy 

With those refulgent skies. 

Dead, dead is my joy, 
I long to be at rest ; 

1 wish the damp earth covered 

This desolated breast. 

If I were quite alone, 
It might not be so drear, 

When all my hope was gone ; 
At least I could not fear. 
106 



3VLay flowers are opening 

But the glad eyes around me 
Must weep as mine have done, 

And I must se the final gloom 
Eclipse jheir morning sun. 

If heaven would rain on me 
That future storm of care, 

So their fond hearts were free, 
I'd be content to bear. 

Alas ! as lightning withers 
The young and aged tree, 

Both they and I shall fall beneath 
The fate we cannot flee. 

January 25, 1839 



107 



'Poems by Emily 'BrontS 



31 
THE ABSENT ONE 

FROM our evening fireside now 
Merry laugh and cheerful tone, 

Smiling eye and cloudless brow, 
Mirth and music all are flown. 

Yet the grass before the door 
Grows as green in April rain, 

And as blithely as before 

Larks have poured their day-long strain, 

* * * 

One is absent, and for one, 
Cheerless, chill is our hearthstone. 
One is absent, and for him 
Cheeks are pale and eyes are dim. 

* * # 

Just as once, through sun and mist 
I have climbed the mountain's breast, 
Still my gun with certain aim 
Brought to earth the fluttering game : 
108 



The ^Absent One 



But the very dogs repined ; 

Though I called with whistle shrill, 
Listlessly they 1 lagged behind, 

Looking backward o'er the hill. 



Sorrow was not vocal there ; 
Mute their pain and my despair ; 
But the joy of life was flown 
He was gone, and we were lone. 

So it is by morn and eve ; 

So it is in field and hall ; 
For the absent one we grieve ; 

One being absent, saddens all. 

April 19, 1839 

1 * Tay (or Tray) and Carlo ' is a variation in one MS. 



109 



^Poems by Emily TSrontS 



32 
SONG 

KING JULIUS left the south country, 
His banners all bravely flying ; 

His followers went out with Jubilee, 
But they shall return with sighing. 

Loud arose the triumphal hymn, 
The drums were loudly rolling ; 

Yet you might have heard in distant din 
How a passing bell was tolling. 



April 20, 1839 



HO 



Silent he sat 



33 



SILENT he sat. That stormy breast 
At length, I said, has dergned to rest ; 
At length above that spirit flows 
The waveless ocean of repose. 

Let me draw near ; 'twill soothe to view 
His dark eyes dimmed with holy dew ; 
Remorse even now may wake within, 
And half unchain his soul from sin. 

Perhaps this is the destined hour 
When Hell shall lose its fatal power, 
And Heaven itself shall bend above 
To hail the soul redeemed by love. 

Unmarked I gazed ; my idle thought 
Passed with the ray whose shine it caught ; 
One glance revealed how little care 
He felt for all the beauty there. 
in 



^Poems by Emily 



Oh ! crime can make the heart grow old 
Sooner than years of wearing woe, 

Can turn the warmest bo,som cold 
As winter wind or polar snow. 

April 28, 1839 



112 



To a "Bluebell 



34 
TO A BLUEBELL 

SACRED watcher, wave thy bells ! 

Fair hill-flower and woodland child, 
Dear to me in deep green dells, 

Dearest on the mountains wild. 

Bluebell, even as all divine 
I have seen my darling shine ; 
Bluebell, even as fair and frail 
I have seen my darling fail. 
Lift thy head and speak to me, 
Soothing thoughts are breathed by thee. 
Thus they whisper, * Summer's sun 
Lights me till my life is done ; 
Would I rather choose to die 
Under winter's stormy sky ? 

* Glad I bloom, and calm I fade, 
Dews of heaven are round me stayed ; x 
Mourner, mourner, dry thy tears, 
Sorrow comes with lengthened years.' 

May 7, 1839 
1 ' Weeping twilights dew my head,' is another reading. 

"3 



Toems by Emily 



35 

I AM the only being 1 whose doom 

No tongue would ask, no eye would mourn ; 
I've never caused a thought of gloom, 

A smile of joy, since I was born. 

In secret pleasure, secret tears, 

This changeful life has slipped away, 

As friendless after eighteen years, 
As lone as on my natal day. 

There have been times, I cannot hide, 

There have been times when this was drear, 

When my sad soul forgot its pride 
And longed for one to love me here. 

But those were in the early glow 

Of feelings long subdued by care, 
And they have died so long ago, 

I hardly now believe they were. 

1 Here, as elsewhere, Emily Bronte uses being as a mono- 
syllable. 

114 



/ am the only being 

First melted off the hope of youth, 

Then fancy's rainbow fast withdrew ; 
And then experience told me truth 

In mortal bosoms never grew. 



'Twas grief enough to think mankind 
All hollow, servile, insincere ; 

But worse to turn to rny own mind, 
And find the same corruption there. 

May 17, 1839 



'Poems by Emily 



36 
CLAUDIA 

I DID not sleep ; 'twas noon of day ; 

I saw the burning sunshine fall, 
The long grass bending where I lay, 

The blue sky brooding over all. 

I heard the mellow hum of bees, 
And singing birds and sighing trees, 
And far away in woody dell 
The music of the Sabbath bell. 

I did not dream remembrance still 
Clasped round my heart its fetters chill ; 
But I am sure the soul is free 

To leave its clay a little while, 
Or how, in exile's misery, 

Could I have seen my country smile ? 

In English fields my limbs were laid, 
With English turf beneath my head ; 
My spirit wandered o'er that shore 
Where nought but it may wander more. 
116 



Claudia 



Yet if the soul can thus return, 
I need not, and I will not mourn ; 
And vainly did you drive me far 

With leagues of ocean stretched between 
My mortal flesh you might debar, 

But not the eternal fire within. 

My monarch died, to rule for ever 
A heart that can forget him never, 
And dear to me, ay, doubly dear, 

Though shut within the silent tomb, 
His name shall be for whoso bear 

This long-sustained and hopeless doom. 

And brighter in the hour of woe 
Than in the blaze of victory's pride, 

That glory-shedding star shall glow 

For which we fought and bled and died. 

May 28, 1839 



117 



Toems by Emily TSrontS 



37 

THE busy day has hurried by. 

And hearts greet kindred hearts once more ; 
And swift the evening hours should fly, 
But what turns every gleaming eye 

So often to the door ? 

And then so quick away ? And why 
Does sudden silence chill the room ? 

And laughter sink into a sigh, 

And merry words to whispers die, 
And gladness change to gloom ? 

Oh, we are listening for a sound 

We know shall ne'er be heard again ; 
Sweet voices in the halls resound, 
Fair forms, fond faces gather round, 
But all in vain, in vain. 

Their feet shall never waken more 
The echoes in these galleries wide, 

Nor dare the snow on mountain's brow, 

Nor skim the river's frozen flow, 
Nor wander down its side. 

* # # 

118 



"The busy day has hurried by 

They, they are gone ! Not for a while, 

As golden suns at night decline, 
And e'en in death our grief beguile, 
Foretelling t with a rose-red smile 
How bright the morn will shine. 

No ; these dark towers are lone and lorn ; 

This very crowd is vacancy ; 
And we must watch and wait and mourn, 
And half look out for their return ; 

And think their forms we see. 

And fancy music in our ear, 

Such as their lips could only pour, 
And think we feel their presence near, 
And start to find they are not here ; 
And never shall be more ! 

June 14, 1839 



119 



'Poems by Emily 'Bronte' 



38 

MONTH after month, year after year, 
My harp has poured a dreary strain ; 

At length a livelier note shall cheer, 
And pleasure tune its chords again. 

What though the stars and fair moonlight 
Are quenched in morning dull and grey ? 

They are but tokens of the night, 
And this, my soul, is day. 

June 1 8, 1839 



120 



Come hither^ child 



39 

COME hither, child ; who gifted thee 

With power to touch that string so well ? 

How daredst thou wake thoughts in me, 
Thoughts that I would, but cannot quell ! 

Nay, chide not, lady ; long ago 
I heard those notes in Elbe Hall, 

And had I known they'd waken woe, 
I'd weep their music to recall. 

But thus it was one festal night, 
When I was hardly six years old, 

I stole away from crowds and light, 
And sought a chamber dark and cold. 

I had no one to love me there, 

I knew no comrade and no friend, 

And so I went to sorrow where 

Heaven, only heaven, could me defend. 

Loud blew the wind. 'Twas sad to stay 
From all that splendour round away. 
I imaged in the lonely room 
A thousand forms, a fearful gloom ; 

121 



'Poems by Emily TSrontS 

And with my wet eyes raised on high, 
I prayed to God that I might die. 
Suddenly in the silence drear 
A sound of music reached my ear : 

And then a voice I hear it yet 
So full of soul, so deeply sweet ; 
I thought that Gabriel's self had come 
To take me to my father's home. 

Three times it rose, that solemn strain, 
Then died away, nor came again ; 
And still the words and still the tone 
Dwell in their might when all alone. 

July 19, 1839 



122 



the mist upon the hill 



40 

MILD the mist upon the hill, 

Telling not of storms to-morrow ; 

No, the day has wept its fill, 
Spent its store of silent sorrow. 

Oh, I'm gone back to the days of youth, 

I am a child once more, 
And 'neath my father's sheltering roof, 

And near the old hall door, 

I watch this cloudy evening fall, 

After a day of rain ; 
Blue mists, sweet mists of summer pall 

The horizon's mountain chain. 

The damp stands in the long, green grass 
As thick as morning's tears ; 

And dreamy scents of fragrance pass 
That breathe of other years, 

July 27, 1839 



123 



by Emily 



41 

* How long will you remain ? The midnight hour 
Has tolled its last stroke from the minster tower. 
Come, come ; the fire is dead, the lamp burns low ; 
Your eyelids droop, a weight is on your brow ; 
Your cold hands hardly hold the weary pen : 
Come ; morn will give recovered strength again.' 

No ; let me linger ; leave me, let me be 
A little longer in this reverie : 
I'm happy now ; and would you tear away 
My blissful thought that never comes with day ? 
A vision dear, though false, for well my mind 
Knows what a bitter waking waits behind.' 

' Can there be pleasure in this shadowy room, 
With windows yawning on intenser gloom, 
And such a dreary wind so bleakly sweeping 
Round walls where only you are vigil keeping ? 
Besides, your face has not a sign of joy, 
And more than tearful sorrow fills your eye. 
Look on those woods, look on that mountain lorn, 
And think how changed they'll be to-morrow 
morn : 

124 



How long will you remain ? 

The doors of heaven expanding bright and blue ; 
The leaves, the green grass, sprinkled with the 

dew ; % 

And white mists rising on the river's breast, 
And wild birds bursting from their songless nest, 
And your own children's merry voices chasing 
The phantom ghost that pleasure has been raising/ 

* Ay, speak of these ! but can you tell me why 
Day breathes such beauty over earth and sky, 
And waking sounds revive, restored again 
To hearts that all night long have throbbed with 

pain ? 

Is it not that the sunshine and the wind 
Lure from itself the woeful woe-worn mind, 
And all the joyous music breathing by. 
And all the splendours of that cloudless sky, 
Re-give him shadowy gleams of infancy 
And draw his tired gaze from futurity ? "* 

August 12, 1839 



125 



T^oems by Emi/y 



42 

THE starry night shall tidings bring ; 

Go out upon the breezy moor, 
Watch for a bird with sable wing, 

And beak and talons dropping gore. 

Look not around, look not beneath, 

But mutely trace its airy way, 
Mark where it lights upon the heath ; 

Then, wanderer, kneel thee down, and pray. 

What fortune may await thee there, 

I will not, and I dare not tell ; 
But Heaven is moved by fervent prayer, 

And God is mercy fare thee well ! 
* * * 

It is not pride, it is not shame, 

That makes her leave the gorgeous hall ; 
And though neglect her heart might tame, 

She mourns not for her sudden fall. 

'Tis true she stands among the crowd, 
An unmarked and an unloved child. 

While each young comrade, blithe and proud, 

Glides through the maze of pleasure wild. 

126 



The starry night 



And all do homage to their will, 

And all seem glad their voice to hear ; 

She heeds not tljat, but hardly still 
Her eye can hold the quivering tear. 

What made her weep, what made her glide 
Out to the park this dreary day, 

And cast her jewelled chains aside. 
And seek a rough and lonely way ; 

And down beneath a cedar's shade, 
On the wet grass regardless lie, 

With nothing but its gloomy head 
Between her and the showering sky ? 

I saw her stand in the gallery long, 
Watching those little children there, 

As they were playing * the pillars 'mong, 
And bounding down the marble stair. 

August 13, 1839 

1 A monosyllable. Emily Bronte so pronounced, it is plain, 
words like ' being,' ' doing,' ' going.' 



127 



Toems by Emily 



43 

THERE was a time when my cheek burned 
To give such scornful words the lie, 

Ungoverned nature madly spurned 
The law that bade it not defy. 

Oh, in the days of ardent youth 

I would have given my life for truth. 

For truth, for right, for liberty, 
I would have gladly, freely died ; 

And now I calmly bear, and see 

The vain man smile 3 the fool deride, 

Though not because my heart is tame, 

Though not for fear, though not for shame ! 

My soul still chokes at every tone 
Of selfish and self-clouded error ; 

My breast still braves the world alone, 
Steeled as it ever was to terror. 

Only I know, howe'er I frown, 

The same world will go rolling on. 

October 1839 

128 



Soni 



44 
SONG 

BETWEEN distress and pleasure 
Fond affection cannot be ! 

Wretched hearts in vain would treasure 
Friendship's joys when others flee. 

Well I know thine eye would never 
Smile, when mine grieved, willingly ; 

Yet I know thine eye for ever 
Could not weep in sympathy. 

Let us part ; the time is over 

When I thought and felt like thee ; 

1 will be an ocean rover, 

I will sail the desert sea. 

Isles there are beyond its billow, 

Lands where woe may wander free ; 

And, beloved, thy midnight pillow 
Will be soft unwatched by me. 

129 ' E 



Teems by Emily 



Not on each returning morrow, 
When thy heart bounds ardently, 

Needst thou then dissemble sorrow, 
Marking my despondency. 

Day by day some dreary token 
Will forsake thy memory, 

Till at last, all old links broken, 
I shall be a dream to thee. 

October 15, 1839 



130 



That wind, I used to hear it 



45 

THAT wind, I used to hear it swelling 
With joy divinely deep ; 
You might have seen my hot tears welling, 
But rapture made me weep. 

I used to love on winter nights 
To lie, and dream alone 
Of all the rare and real delights 
My lonely years had known. 

And oh ! above the best of those 

That coming time should bear, 

Like heaven's own glorious stars they rose, 

Still beaming bright and fair. 

November 28, 1839 



Toems by Emily 'Bronte' 



4 6 

I'VE been wandering in the greenwoods, 
And 'mid flowery, smiling plains ; 

I've been listening to the dark floods, 
To the thrush's thrilling strains. 

I have gathered the pale primrose, 
And the purple violet sweet ; 

I've been where the asphodel grows, 
And where lives the red deer fleet. 

I've been to the distant mountain, 

To the silver singing rill, 
By the crystal murm'ring fountain, 

And the shady, verdant hill. 

I've been where the poplar is springing 
From the fair enamelled ground, 

While the nightingale is singing 
With a solemn, plaintive sound. 

December 14, 1839 



132 



Heaven s glory shone 



47 

HEAVEN'S glory shone where he was laid 

In life's decline ! 
I turned me from that young saint's bed 

To gaze on thine. 

It was a summer day that saw 

His spirit's flight ; 
Thine parted in a time of awe, 

A winter's night. 



Upon her soothing breast 

She lulled her little child, 
A winter sunset in the west 

A heav'nly glory smiled. 
I gazed within thine earnest eyes 

And read the sorrow brooding there ; 
I heard thy young breast torn with sighs, 

And envied such despair. 



Go to the grave in youth's bare woe ! 
That dream was written long ago. 

December 19, 1839 

133 



by Emily TSrontS 



4 8 
NEVER 

NOT many years, but long enough to see 
No ten can deal such deadly misery 

As the dear friend untimely called away ; 
And still the more beloved, the greater still 
Must be the aching void, the withering chill 

Of each dark night and dim beclouded day. 

December 23 [1839] 



134 



"Thy sun is near meridian 



49 

THY sun is near meridian height, 
And my sun sinks in endless night ; 
But if that night bring only sleep, 
Then I shall rest, while thou wilt weep. 

And say not that my early tomb 
Will give me to a darker doom ; 
Shall these long agonising years 
Be punished by eternal tears ? 

No ! that I feel can never be ; 
A God of hate could hardly bear 
To watch through all eternity. 
His own creation's dread despair ! 

The pangs that wring my mortal breast, 
Must claim from Justice lasting rest ; 
Enough, that this departing breath 
Will pass in anguish worse than death. 
* * * 

135 



"Poems by Emily <Bronte 

Then come again ; thou wilt not shrink- 
I know thy soul is free from fear 

The last full cup of triumph drink, 
Before the blank of death be there. 



January 6, 1840 



136 



He smiles and sings 



50 

HE smiles and sings, though every air 
Betrays the faith of yesterday ; 

His soul is glad to cast for her 

Virtue and faith and Heaven away. 

Well, thou hast paid me back my love ! 
But, if there be a God above, 
Whose arm is strong, Whose word is true, 
This hell shall wring thy spirit too ! 



January 6, 1840 



137 E 2 



'Poems by Emily ^Bronte 



IT is too late to call thee now, 

I will not nurse that dream again ; 

For every joy that lit my brow 

Would bring its after-storm of pain. 

Besides, the mist is half withdrawn, 
The barren mountain-side lies bare, 

And sunshine and awaking morn 
Paint no more golden visions there. 

Yet ever in my grateful breast 

Thy darling shade shall cherished be ; 

For God alone doth know how blessed 
My early years have been in thee ! 

April 1840 



138 



'7/lr moonlight 



52 

'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight, 
All soft, and still, and fair ; 

The silent time of midnight 
Shines sweetly everywhere. 

But most where trees are sending 
Their breezy boughs on high, 

Or stooping low are lending 
A shelter from the sky. 

And there in those wild bowers 

A lovely form is laid, 
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers 

Wave gently round her head. 



May 13, 1840 



139 



Teems by Emily 



53 

IF grief for grief can touch thee, 

If answering woe for woe, 
If any truth can melt thee, 
Come to me now ! 

I cannot be more lonely. 

More drear I cannot be ! 
My worn heart throbs so wildly 
'Twill break for thee. 

And when the world despises, 

When heaven repels my prayer, 
Will not mine angel comfort ? 
Mine idol hear ? 

Yes, by the tears I've poured thee, 

By all my hours of pain, 
O I shall surely win thee, 
Beloved, again. 



May 1 8, 1840 



140 



Companions all day long 



54 

COMPANIONS all day long we've stood, 
The wild winds restless blowing, 

All day we've watched the darkened flood 
Around our vessel flowing. 

Sunshine has never smiled since morn, 
And clouds have gathered drear, 

And heavier hearts would feel forlorn, 
And weaker minds would fear. 

But look in each young shipmate's eyes 

Lit by the evening flame, 
And see how little stormy skies 

Our joyous blood can tame. 

No face the same expression wears, 

No lip the same soft smile ; 
Yet kindness warms and courage cheers, 

Nerves every breast the while. 

It is the hour of dreaming now, 

The red fire brightly gleams, 
And sweetest in such fires' glow 

The hour of dreaming seems. 
141 



^Poems by Emily 



I may not trace my thoughts of all, 

But some I read as well 
As I can hear the ocean 'si fall 

And sullen surging swell. 

The swifter soul is gone before, 

It treads a forest wide, 
Where bowers are bending to the shore, 

And gazing on the tide. 

* * * 

September 17, 1840 

[NOTE. The six concluding verses are practically unde 
cipherable in the MS.] 



142 



l^etirement 



55 
RETIREMENT 

O LET me be alone awhile ! 

No human form is nigh ; 
And I may sing and muse aloud, 

No mortal ear is by. 

Away, ye dreams of earthly bliss, 

Ye earthly cares begone ! 
Depart, ye restless, wandering thoughts, 

And let me be alone ! 

One hour, my spirit, stretch thy wings 

And quit this joyless sod ; 
Bask in the sunshine of the sky, 

And be alone with God ! 

Sunday, December 13, 1840 



143 



'Poems by Emily TSrontS 



56 
THE CAGED BIRD 

AND like myself lone, wholly lone, 
It sees the day's long sunshine glow ; 

And like myself it makes its moan 
In unexhausted woe. 

Give we the hills our equal prayer, 

Earth's breezy hills and heaven's blue sea ; 

I ask for nothing further here 
But my own heart and liberty. 

Ah ! could my hand unlock its chain, 
How gladly would I with it soar ; 

And ne'er regret, and ne'er complain 
To see its shining eyes no more. 

But let me think that if to-day 

It pines in cold captivity, 
To-morrow both shall soar away, 

Eternally, entirely free. 

144 



The Caged 'Bird 



Methinks this heart should rest awhile, 

So stilly round the evening falls ; 
The veiled sun shc^ws no parting smile, 

Nor mirth, nor music wakes my halls. 

I have sat lonely all the day, 

Watching the drizzling mist descend, 

And first conceal the hills in grey, 
And then along the valleys wend. 

And I have sat and watched the trees, 

And the sad flowers, how drear they blow ! 

Those flowers were formed to reel the breeze, 
Wave their light heads in summer's glow. 

Yet their lives passed in gloomy woe, 
And hopeless comes its dark decline, 

And I lament, because I know 

That cold departure pictures mine. 

February 27, 1841 



To ems by Emily 



57 

I SEE around me piteous tombstones grey 
Stretching their shadows far away. 
Beneath the turf my footsteps tread 
Lie low and lone the silent dead, 
Beneath the turf, beneath the mould, 
For ever dark, for ever cold ; 
And my eyes cannot hold the tears 
That memory hoards for vanished years. 
For time and death and mortal pain 
Give wounds that will not heal again. 
Let me remember half the woe 
I've seen and heard and felt below, 
And heaven itself, so pure and blest. 
Could never give my spirit rest. 
Sweet land of light ! Thy children fair 
Know nought akin to our despair ; 
Nor have they felt, nor can they tell 
What tenants haunt each mortal cell, 
What gloomy guests we hold within, 
Torments and madness, fear and sin ! 
Well, may they live in ecstasy 
Their long eternity of joy ! 
At least we would not bring them down 
146 



/ see around me 



With us to weep, with us to groan. 

No ! Earth would wish no other sphere 

To taste her cup of suffering drear ; 

She turns from heaven a tearless eye, 

And only mourns that we must die ! 

Ah mother, what shall comfort thee 

In all this boundless misery ? 

To cheer our eager eyes awhile 

We see thee smile, how fondly smile ! 

But who reads not through the tender glow 

Thy deep, unutterable woe ? 

Indeed no darling land above 

Can cheat thee of thy children's love. 

We all in life's departing shine, 

Our last dear longings blend with thine, 

And struggle still and strive to trace 

With clouded gaze thy darling face. 

We would not leave our native home 

For any world beyond the tomb. 

No, mother, on thy kindly breast 

Let us be laid in lasting rest, 

Or waken but to share with thee 

A mutual immortality. 

July 1841 



Toems by Emily 



58 
GERALDINE 

'TwAS night ; her comrades gathered all 
Within their city's rocky wall ; 
When flowers were closed, and day was o'er, 
Their joyous hearts awoke the more. 

But lonely in her distant cave 
She heard the river's restless wave 
Chafing its banks with dreamy flow, 
Music for mirth and wail for woe. 

* * * 

Yet I could hear my lady sing ; 

I knew she did not mourn ; 
For never yet from sorrow's spring 

Such witching notes were born. 

* * * 

The dwellers in the city slept, 

My lady in her woodland bed ; 
I watching o'er her slumber wept, 

As one who mourns the dead. 

August 17, 1841 

148 



What winter floods 



59 

WHAT winter floods, what streams of spring 
Have drenched the grass by night and day, 

And yet beneath that speeding ring 
Unmoved and undiscovered lay. 

The mute remembrancer of crime, 
Long lost, concealed, forgot for years, 

It comes at last to cancel time, 
And waken unavailing tears. 

March 27, 1842 



149 



Toems by Emily *BrontS 



60 
* * * 

O INNOCENCE, that cannot live 
With heart-wrung anguish long, 

Dear childhood's innocence, forgive, 
For I have done thee wrong ! 

The bright rosebuds, those hawthorn shrouds 

Within their perfumed bower, 
Have never closed beneath a cloud, 

Nor bent beneath a shower. 

Had darkness once obscured their sun, 

Or kind dew turned to rain, 
No storm-cleared sky that ever shone 

Could win such bliss again. 

May 17, 1842 



150 



Death 



61 
DEATH 

DEATH ! that struck when I was most confiding 

In my certain faith of joy to be 
Strike again, Time's withered branch dividing 

From the fresh root of Eternity ! 

Leaves upon Time's branch were growing 
brightly, 

Full of sap, and full of silver dew ; 
Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly ; 

Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew. 

Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom ; 

Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride ; 
But, within its parent's kindly bosom, 

Flowed for ever Life's restoring tide. 

Little mourned I for the parted gladness, 
For the vacant nest and silent song 

Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness ; 
Whispering, ' Winter will not linger long ! ' 



'Poems by Emily TSrontS 

And, behold ! with tenfold increase blessing, 
Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray ; 

Wind and rain and fervent he^t, caressing, 
Lavished glory on that second May ! 



Cruel Death ! The young leaves droop and 
languish ; 

Evening's gentle air may still restore 
No ! the morning sunshine mocks my anguish 

Time, for me, must never blossom more! 

Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish 
Where that perished sapling used to be ; 

Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish 
That from which it sprung Eternity. 

1843 



152 



Grave in the Ocean 



62 

GRAVE IN THE OCEAN 

* * * 

WHERE can the weary lay his head, 

And lay it safe the while ; 
In a grave that never shuts its dead 

From heaven's benignant smile ? 

He * * 

But if to weep above her grave 

Be such a priceless boon, 
Go, shed thy tears in Ocean's wave 

And they will reach it soon. 

* * * 

With thy mind's vision pierce the deep, 

Look how she rests below, 
And tell me why such blessed sleep 

Should cause such bitter woe ? 



May i, 1843 



153 



To ems by Emily TSronte 



I GAZED upon the cloudless moon 
And loved her all the night, 

Till morning came and radiant noon, 
And I forgot her light. 

No, not forgot eternally 
Beneath its mighty glare : 

But could the day seem dark to me 
Because the night was fair ? 



July 26, 1843 



154 



/ know our souls are all divine 



6 4 

* * * 

I KNOW our souls are all divine, 

I know that when we die 
What seems the vilest, even like thine 
A part of God himself shall shine 

In perfect purity. 

But coldly breaks November's day ; 

Its changes, charmless all, 
Unmarked, unloved, they pass away : 
We do not wish one hour to stay, 

Nor sigh at evening's fall. 

And glorious is the gladsome rise 

Of June's rejoicing morn ; 
And who with unregretful eyes 
Can watch the lustre leave its skies 
To twilight's shade forlorn ? 

* * * 

155 



^Poems by Emily ^Bronte 

O could it thus for ever be, 

That I might so adore ; 
I'd ask for all eternitr, 
To make a paradise for me, 
My love and nothing more. 



fuly 28, 1843 



156 



'Twas yesterday at early dawn 



65 

'TwAS yesterday at early dawn 
I watched the falling snow ; 

A drearier scene on winter morn 
Was never stretched below. 



I could not see the mountains round, 
But I knew by the wind's wild roar, 

How every drift in their glens profound 
Was deepening ever more. 



And then I thought of Elbe's bowers, 

Beyond the southern sea, 
Her tropic prairies bright with flowers, 

And rivers wandering free. 



Who, that has breathed that heavenly air, 
To northern climes would come, 

To Gondal's mists and moorlands drear, 
And sleet and frozen gloom ? 

157 



Toems by Emily *BrontS 

Spring brings the swallow and the lark, 

But what will winter bring ? 
Its twilight hours and evenings dark 
To match the gift of spring ? 



Oh ! how the hearts of voyagers beat 

To feel the frost-wind blow ! 
What flower in Elbe's garden sweet 

Is worth one flake of snow ? 

The blast which almost rends their sail 

Is welcome as a friend ; 
It brings them home, that thundering gale, 

Home to their journey's end. 

* * # 

December 19, 1843 



158 



<At Castle Wood 



66 
AT CASTLE WOOD 

THE day is done, the winter sun 

Is setting in its sullen sky. 
And drear the course that has been run, 

And dim the hearts that slowly die. 

No star will light my coming night, 
No morn of hope for me will shine ; 

I mourn not Heaven would blast my sight, 
And I ne'er longed for joys divine. 

Through life's hard task I did not ask 

Celestial aid, celestial cheer ; 
I saw my fate without its mask, 

And met it too without a tear. 

The grief that prest my aching breast 
Was heavier far than earth can be ; 

And who would dread eternal rest 
When labour's hour was agony ? 

159 



Toems by Emily 



Dark falls the fear of this despair 
On spirits born of happiness ; 

But I was bred the male of care, 
The foster child of sore distress. 

No sighs for me, no sympathy, 
No wish to keep my soul below ; 

The heart is dead in infancy, 
Unwept-for let the body go. 

February 2, 1844 



1 60 



This summer wind with thee 



67 

THIS summer wind with thee and me 

Roams in the dawn of day ; 
But thou must be, where it shall be 

Ere evening far away. 

The farewell's echo from thy soul 

Should not depart before 
Hills rise and distant rivers roll 

Between us evermore. 

I know that I have done thee wrong, 
Have wronged both thee and Heaven 5 

And I may mourn my lifetime long, 
Yet may not be forgiven. 

Repentant tears will vainly fall 

To cover deeds untrue. 
But for no grief can I recall 

The dreary word Adieu ! 

Yet thou a future peace shalt win, 

Because thy soul is clear ; 
And I who had the heart to sin 

Will find a heart to bear. 

161 F 



'Poems by Emily 'Bronte 

Till far beyond earth's frenzied strife, 
That makes destruction joy, 

Thy perished faith shall spring to life, 
And my remorse shall die. 

March 2, 1844 



l62 



Day Dream 



A DAY DREAM 

ON a sunny brae alone I lay 
One summer afternoon ; 

It was the marriage-time of May, 
With her young lover, June. 



A thousand thousand gleaming fires 

Seemed kindling in the air ; 
A thousand thousand silvery lyres 

Resounded far and near : 

Methought the very breath I breathed 

Was full of sparks divine, 
And all my heather-couch was wreathed 

By that celestial shine ! 

And, while the wide earth echoing rung 

To that strange minstrelsy, 
The little glittering spirits sung, 

Or seemed to sing, to me. 

163 



'Poems by Emily ^Bronte 

4 O mortal ! mortal ! let them die ; 

Let time and tears destroy, 
That we may overflow the sky 

With universal joy ! 

( Let grief distract the sufferer's breast, 
And night obscure his way ; 

They hasten him to endless rest, 
And everlasting day. 

4 To thee the world is like a tomb, 

A desert's naked shore ; 
To us, in unimagined bloom, 

It brightens more and more ! 

4 And, could we lift the veil, and give 
One brief glimpse to thine eye, 

Thou wouldst rejoice for those that live, 
Because they live to die,' 



March 5, 1844 



164 



c f(emembrance 



6 9 
REMEMBRANCE 

COLD in the earth and the deep snow piled above 

thee, 

Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave ! 
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee, 
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave ? 

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer 

hover 

Over the mountains, on that northern shore, 
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves 

cover 
Thy noble heart for ever, ever more ? 

Cold in the earth and fifteen wild Decembers, 
From those brown hills, have melted into spring : 
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers 
After such years of change and suffering ! 

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee, 
While the world's tide is bearing me along ; 
Other desires and other hopes beset me, 
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong ! 

165 



Toems by Emily 'Bronte* 

No later light has lightened up my heaven, 
No second moon has ever shone for me ; 
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given, 
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee. 

But, when the days of golden dreams had perished, 
And ev'n Despair was powerless to destroy ; 
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished, 
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy. 

Then did I check the tears of useless passion 
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine ; 
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten 
Down to that tomb already more than mine. 

And, even yet, I dare not let it languish, 
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain ; 
Once drinking deep of that divinest 1 anguish, 
How could I seek the empty world again ? 

March $rd, 1845 

1 In the original draft the word is 'delighted,' afterwards 
corrected to * divinest.' 

The MS. version of this poem, in the autograph of Emily 
Bronte, differs slightly from the printed text, which was revised 
by Emily Bronte for publication in 1846. 



166 



thousand sounds of happiness 



70 

A THOUSAND sounds of happiness 
And only one of real distress, 

One hardly uttered groan ; 
But that has crushed all vocal joy, 
Eclipsed the glory of the sky, 
And made me think that misery 

Rules in our world alone ! 

About his face the sunshine glows, 
And in his hair the south wind blows, 
And violet and wild woodrose 

Are sweetly breathing near ; 
Nothing without suggests dismay, 
If he could force his mind away 
From tracking farther day by day, 

The desert of despair. 

Too truly agonised to weep, 
His eyes are motionless as sleep ; 
His frequent sighs, long-drawn and deep. 
Are anguish to my ear. 



Toems by Emily 



And I would soothe but can I call 
The cold corpse from its funeral pall, 
And cause a gleam of hope to fall 
With my consoling tear ? 

O Death ! So many spirits driven 
Through this false world, their all had given 
To win the everlasting haven 

To sufferers so divine : 
Why didst thou smite the loved, the blest, 
The ardent and the happy breast, 
That full of hope desired not rest, 

And shrank appalled from thine r 

At least, since thou wilt not restore, 
In mercy launch one arrow more ; 
Life's conscious death it wearies sore, 

It tortures worse than thee. 
Enough if storms have bowed his head, 
Grant him at last a quiet bed 
Beside his early stricken dead ; 

Even where he yearns to be ! 

April 22, 1845 



168 



The Philosopher 



7 1 
THE PHILOSOPHER 

ENOUGH of thought, philosopher ! 

Too long hast thou been dreaming 
Unlightened, in this chamber drear, 

While summer's sun is beaming ! 
Space-sweeping soul, what sad refrain 
Concludes thy musing once again ? 

( Oh, for the time when I shall sleep 

Without identity. 
And never care how rain may steep, 

Or snow may cover me ! 
No promised heaven, these wild desires 

Could all, or half fulfil ; 
No threatened hell, with quenchless fires, 

Subdue this quenchless will ! ' 

4 So said I, and still say the same ; 

Still, to my death, will say 
Three gods, within this little frame, 

Are warring night and day ; 

169 F 2 



^Poems by Emily TSrontS 

Heaven could not hold them all, and yet 

They all are held in me ; 
And must be mine till I forget 

My present entity ! 
Oh, for the time, when in my breast 

Their struggles will be o'er ! 
Oh, for the day, when I shall rest, 

And never suffer more ! ' 

4 1 saw a spirit standing, man, 

Where thou dost stand an hour ago, 
And round his feet three rivers ran, 

Of equal depth, and equal flow 
A golden stream and one like blood, 

And one like sapphire seemed to be ; 
But, where they joined their triple flood, 

It tumbled in an inky sea. 
The spirit sent his dazzling gaze 

Down through that ocean's gloomy night ; 
Then, kindling all, with sudden blaze, 

The glad deep sparkled wide and bright- 
White as the sun, far, far more fair 
Than its divided sources were ! ' 

c And even for that spirit, seer, 

I've watched and sought my lifetime long ; 
Sought him in heaven, hell, earth, and air, 

An endless search, and always wrong. 
170 



The "Philosopher 



Had I but seen his glorious eye 

Once light the clouds that 'wilder me, 
I ne'er had raised this coward cry 

To cease .to think, and cease to be ; 
I ne'er had called oblivion blest, 

Nor stretching eager hands to death, 
Implored to change for senseless rest 

This sentient soul, this living breath. 
Oh, let me die that power and will 

Their cruel strife may close ; 
And conquered good and conquering ill 

Be lost in one repose ! ' 

October 1845 



171 



T^oems by Emily 'Bronte* 



72 

TELL me, tell me, smiling child, 

What the past is like to thee ? 
An Autumn evening, soft and mild, 

With a wind that sighs mournfully ? 

Tell me what is the present hour ? 

A green and flowery spray, 
Where a young bird sits gathering its power 

To mount and fly away ? 

And what is the future, happy one ? 
A sea beneath a cloudless sun ; 
A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea, 
Stretching into infinity ? 



172 



Come walk with me 



73 

COME walk with me ; there's only thee, 

To bless my spirit now. 
We used to love on winter nights 

To wander through the snow. 
Can we not woo back old delights ? 

The clouds rush dark and wild ; 
They fleck with shade our mountain bright 

The same as long ago. 
And on the horizon rest at last 

In looming masses piled ; 
While moonbeams flash and fly so fast 

We scarce can say they smiled. 



Come walk with me, come walk with me, 

We were not once so few ; 
But death has stol'n our company, 

As sunshine steals the dew. 
He took them one by one, and we 

Are left, the only two ; 
So closer would rny feelings twine 
Because they have no stay but thine. 
173 



'Poems by Emily 'Bronte 

4 Nay, call not me ; it may not be ; 

Is human love so true ? 
Can friendship's flower droop on for years, 

And then revive anew ? 
No ; though the soil be wet with tears, 

How fair soe'er it grew ; 
The vital sap once perished 

Will never flow again. 
And surer than that dwelling dread, 
The narrow dungeon of the dead, 

Time parts the hearts of men.' 



It was night 



74 

IT was night, and on the mountains 
Fathoms deep the snowdrifts lay ; 

Streams and waterfalls and fountains 
Down the darkness stole away. 

Long ago the hopeless peasant 
Left his sheep all buried there, 

Sheep that through the summer pleasant 
He had watched with tend'rest care. 

Now no more a cheerful ranger, 

Following pathways known of yore, 

Sad he stood, a wild-eyed stranger, 
On his own unbounded moor. 



175 



*Poems by Emily TSrontS 



75 

* * * 

A FRESH wind waves the clustering roses, 
And through the open window sighs 

Around the couch where she reposes, 
The lady with the dovelike eyes ; 

With dovelike eyes and shining hair, 
And velvet cheek so sweetly moulded ; 

And hands so white and soft and fair 
Above her snowy bosom folded. 

* * * 

Her sister's and her brother's feet 
Are brushing off the scented dew, 

And she springs up in haste to greet 
The grass and flowers and sunshine too. 



176 



Shall earth no more inspire thee 



76 

SHALL earth no more inspire thee, 
Thou lonely dreamer now ? 

Since passion may not fire thee, 
Shall nature cease to bow ? 

Thy mind is ever moving, 
In regions dark to thee ; 

Recall its useless roving, 

Come back, and dwell with me. 

I know my mountain breezes 
Enchant and soothe thee still, 

I know my sunshine pleases, 
Despite thy wayward will. 

When day with evening blending, 
Sinks from the summer sky, 

I've seen thy spirit bending 
In fond idolatry. 

I've watched thee every hour ; 

I know my mighty sway : 
I know my magic power 

To drive thy griefs away. 

177 



Teems by Emily 



Few hearts to mortals given, 

On earth so wildly pine ; 
Yet few would ask a heaven 

More like this earth than thine. 

Then let my winds caress thee ; 

Thy comrade let me be : 
Since nought beside can bless thee, 

Return and dwell with me. 

[Note by Charlotte Bronte, prefixed to this poem in the 
edition of 1850 : 

"The following little piece has no title ; but in it the Genius 
of a solitary region seems to address his wandering and way- 
ward votary, and to recall within his influence the proud mind 
which rebelled at times even against what it most loved. "J 



178 



Yes, holy be thy resting-place 



77 

YES, holy be thy resting-place 

Wherever thou mayst lie ; 
The sweetest winds breathe on thy face 

The softest of the sky. 

And will not guardian angels send 
Kind dreams and thoughts of love, 

Though I no more may watchful bend 
Thy loved repose above ? 

And will not heaven itself bestow 

A beam of glory there, 
That summer's grass more green may grow, 

And summer's flowers more fair ? 

Farewell, farewell ; 'tis hard to part, 

Yet, loved one, it must be : 
I would not rend another heart, 

Not even with blessing thee. 

Go ! we must break affection's chain, 

Forget the hopes of years : 
Nay, grieve not wouldest thou remain 

To waken wilder tears ? 

* * * 

179 



Toems by Emily 



78 
LAST WORDS 

I KNEW not 'twas so dire a crime 
To say the word, c Adieu ' ; 

But this shall be the only time 
My lips or heart shall sue. 

The wild hillside, the winter morn, 
The gnarled and ancient tree, 

If in your breast they waken scorn, 
Shall wake the same in me. 

I can forget black eyes and brows, 

And lips of falsest charm, 
If you forget the sacred vows 

Those faithless lips could form. 

If hard commands can tame your love, 
Or strongest walls can hold, 

I would not wish to grieve above 
A thing so false and cold. 
1 80 



Last Words 



And there are bosoms bound to mine 
With links both tried and strong ; 

And there are eyes whose lightning shine 
Has warmed and blest me long : 

Those eyes shall make my only day, 

Shall set my spirit free, 
And chase the foolish thoughts away 

That mourn your memory. 



181 



Toems by Emily TSrontS 



79 
THE LADY TO HER GUITAR 

FOR him who struck thy foreign string, 
I ween this heart has ceased to care ; 

Then why dost thou such feelings bring 
To my sad spirit old Guitar ? 

It is as if the warm sunlight 

In some deep glen should lingering stay, 
When clouds of storm, or shades of night, 

Have wrapt the parent orb away. 

It is as if the glassy brook 

Should image still its willows fair, 

Though years ago the woodman's stroke 
Laid low in dust their Dryad-hair. 

Even so, Guitar, thy magic tone 

Hath moved the tear and waked the sigh ; 
Hath bid the ancient torrent moan 

Although its very source is dry. 
182 



The Outcast ZM other 



80 
THE OUTCAST MOTHER 

I'VE seen this dell in July's shine, 
As lovely as an angel's dream ; 
Above, Heaven's depth of blue divine, 

Around, the evening's golden beam. 

t 

I've seen the purple heather-bell 

Look out by many a storm-worn stone ; 

And, oh ! I've known such music swell, 
Such wild notes wake these passes lone, 

So soft, yet so intensely felt ; 

So low, yet so distinctly heard ; 
My breath would pause, my eyes would melt, 

And tears would dew the green heath-sward. 

I'd linger here a summer day, 

Nor care how fast the hours flew by, 

Nor mark the sun's departing ray 
Smile sadly from the dark'ning sky. 

183 



Toems by Emily TSronte 

Then, then, I might have laid me down, 
And dreamed my sleep would gentle be ; 

I might have left thee, darling one, 

And thought thy God was guarding thee ! 

But now there is no wand'ring glow, 
No gleam to say that God is nigh ; 

And coldly spreads the couch of snow, 
And harshly sounds thy lullaby. 

Forests of heather, dark and long, 

Wave their brown branching arms above ; 
And they must soothe thee with their song, 

And they must shield my child of love. 

Alas ! the flakes are heavily falling, 
They cover fast each guardian crest ; 

And chilly white their shroud is palling 
Thy frozen limbs and freezing breast. 

Wakes up the storm more madly wild, 
The mountain drifts are tossed on high ; 

Farpwell, unbless'd, unfriended child, 
I cannot bear to watch thee die ! 



184 



The Wanderer from the Fold 



81 
THE WANDERER FROM THE FOLD 

How few, of all the hearts that loved, 

Are grieving for thee now ; 
And why should mine to-night be moved 

With such a sense of woe ? 

Too often thus, when left alone. 
Where none my thoughts can see, 

Comes back a word, a passing tone 
From thy strange history. 

Sometimes I seem to see thee rise, 

A glorious child again ; 
All virtues beaming from thine eyes 

That ever honoured men : 

Courage and truth, a generous breast 

Where sinless sunshine lay : 
A being whose very presence blest 

Like gladsome summer day. 

185 



^Poems by Emily TSrontS 

O, fairly spread thy early sail ; 

And fresh, and pure, and free, 
Was the first impulse of fhe gale 

Which urged life's wave f9r thee ! 

Why did the pilot, too confiding, 
Dream o'er that ocean's foam, 

And trust in Pleasure's careless guiding 
To bring his vessel home ? 

For well he knew what dangers frowned, 
What mists would gather dim ; 

What rocks and shelves and sands lay round 
Between his port and him. 

The very brightness of the sun, 

The splendour of the main, 
The wind which bore him wildly on 

Should not have warned in vain. 

An anxious gazer from the shore 

I marked the whitening wave, 
And wept above thy fate the more 

Because I could not save. 

It recks not now, when all is over : 

But yet my heart will be 
A mourner still, though friend and lover 

Have both forgotten thee ! 
186 



Warning and 



82 
WARNING AND REPLY 

IN the earth, the earth, thou shalt be laid, 
A grey stone standing over thee ; 

Black mould beneath thee spread, 
And black mould to cover thee. 

4 Well, there is rest there, 

So fast come thy prophecy ; 
The time when my sunny hair 

Shall with grass roots entwined be.' 

But cold, cold is that resting-place, 
Shut out from joy and liberty, 

And all who loved thy living face 
Will shrink from it shudderingly. 

c Not so ! Here the world is chill, 
And sworn friends fall from me : 

But there they will own me still, 
And prize my memory.' 

187 



by Emily 



Farewell, then, all that love, 
All that deep sympathy : 

Sleep on ; Heaven laughs above, 
Earth never misses thee. 

Turf-sod and tombstone drear 

Part human company ; 
One heart breaks only here, 

But that heart was worthy thee ! 



188 



Encouragement 



83 
ENCOURAGEMENT 

I DO not weep ; I would not weep ; 

Our mother needs no tears : 
Dry thine eyes, too ; 'tis vain to keep 

This causeless grief for years. 

What though her brow be changed and cold. 

Her sweet eyes closed for ever ? 
What though the stone, the darksome mould, 

Our mortal bodies sever ? 

What though her hand smoothe ne'er again 

Those silken locks of thine ? 
Nor, through long hours of future pain, 

Her kind face o'er thee shine ? 

Remember still, she is not dead ; 

She sees us, sister, now ; 
Laid, where her angel spirit fled, 

'Mid heath and frozen snow. 
180 



Teems by Emily TSrontS 

And from that world of heavenly light 

Will she not always bend 
To guide us in our lifetime'^ night, 

And guard us to the end ? 

Thou know'st she will ; and thou mayst mourn 

That we are left below : 
But not that she can ne'er return 

To share our earthly woe. 



190 



Song 



8 4 
SONG 

THE linnet in the rocky dells, 

The moor-lark in the air, 
The bee among the heather bells 

That hide my lady fair : 

The wild deer browse above her breast ; 

The wild birds raise their brood ; 
And they, her smiles of love caressed, 

Have left her solitude ! 

I ween, that when the grave's dark wall 

Did first her form retain, 
They thought their hearts could ne'er recal 

The light of joy again. 

They thought the tide of grief would flow 
Unchecked through future years ; 

But where is all their anguish now, 
And where are all their tears ? 
191 



Toems by Emily 



Well, let them fight for honour's breath, 
Or pleasure's shade pursue 

The dweller in the land 6f death 
Is changed and careless too. 

And, if their eyes should watch and weep 
Till sorrow's source were dry, 

She would not, in her tranquil sleep, 
Return a single sigh ! 

Blow, west-wind, by the lonely mound, 
And murmur, summer-streams 

There is no need of other sound 
To soothe my lady's dreams. 



192 



Death-scene 



85 
A DEATH-SCENE 

c O DAY ! he cannot die 
When thou so fair art shining ! 
O Sun, in such a glorious sky. 
So tranquilly declining ; 

c He cannot leave thee now, 
While fresh west winds are blowing, 
And all around his youthful brow 
Thy cheerful light is glowing ! 

* Edward, awake, awake- 
The golden evening gleams 
Warm and bright on Arden's lake 
Arouse thee from thy dreams ! 

4 Beside thee, on my knee, 
My dearest friend, I pray 
That thou, to cross the eternal sea, 
Wouldst yet one hour delay : 

193 G 



Toems by Emily TSronte 

* I hear its billows roar 
I see them foaming high ; 

But no glimpse of a further shore 
Has blest my straining eye. 

* Believe not what they urge 
Of Eden isles beyond ; 

Turn back, from that tempestuous surge, 
To thine own native land. 

' It is not death, but pain 
That struggles in thy breast 
Nay, rally, Edward, rouse again \ 
I cannot let thee rest ! ' 



194 



Faith and Despondency 



86 
FAITH AND DESPONDENCY 

* THE winter wind is loud and wild, 
Come close to me, my darling child ; 
Forsake thy books, and mateless play ; 
And, while the night is gathering grey, 
We'll talk its pensive hours away ; 

< lerne, round our sheltered hall 
November's gusts unheeded call ; 
Not one faint breath can enter here 
Enough to wave my daughter's hair, 
And I am glad to watch the blaze 
Glance from her eyes, with mimic rays, 
To feel her cheek, so softly pressed, 
In happy quiet on my breast. 

4 But yet even this tranquillity 
Brings bitter, restless thoughts to me ; 
And, in the red fire's cheerful glow, 
I think of deep glens, blocked with snow ; 
I dream of moor, and misty hill, 
Where evening closes dark and chill ; 
195 



Toems by Emily T$ront8 

For lone among the mountains cold, 
Lie those that I have loved of old. 
And my heart aches, in hopeless pain, 
Exhausted with repinings vain, 
That I shall greet them ne'er again ! ' 

< Father, in early infancy, 
When you were far beyond the sea, 
Such thoughts were tyrants over me ! 
I often sat, for hours together, 
Through the long nights of angry weather, 
Raised on my pillow, to descry 
The dim moon struggling in the sky ; 
Or, with strained ear, to catch the shock 
Of rock with wave, and wave with rock ; 
So would I fearful vigil keep, 
And, all for listening, never sleep. 
But this world's life has much to dread ; 
Not so, my father, with the dead.' 



196 



Honour s ^Martyr 



87 
HONOUR'S MARTYR 

THE moon is full this winter night ; 

The stars are clear though few ; 
And every window glistens bright 

With leaves of frozen dew. 

The sweet moon through your lattice gleams, 

And lights your room like day ; 
And there you pass, in happy dreams, 

The peaceful hours away ! 

* * * 

The old clock in the gloomy hall 

Ticks on, from hour to hour ; 
And every time its measured call 

Seems lingering slow and slower : 

And, oh, how slow that keen-eyed star 

Has tracked the chilly grey ! 
What, watching yet ! how very far 

The morning lies away ! 
197 



TPoems by Emily TSrontS 

Without your chamber door I stand ; 

Love, are you slumbering still ? 
My cold heart, underneath my hand, 

Has almost ceased to thril). 

Bleak, bleak the east wind sobs and sighs, 

And drowns the turret bell, 
Whose sad note, undistinguished, dies 

Unheard, like my farewell ! 



Oh, I would give my heart to death, 
To keep my honour fair ; 

Yet, I'll not give my inward faith 
My honour's name to spare ! 
* * * 

So foes pursue, and cold allies 

Mistrust me, every one : 
Let me be false in others' eyes, 

If faithful in my own. 



198 



Heavy hangs the rain- drop 



HEAVY hangs the rain-drop 
From the burdened spray ; 

Heavy broods the damp mist 
On uplands far away. 

Heavy looms the dull sky, 

Heavy rolls the sea ; 
And heavy throbs the young heart 

Beneath that lonely tree. 

Never has a blue streak 

Cleft the clouds since morn ; 

Never has his grim fate 
Smiled since he was born. 

Frowning on the infant, 
Shadowing childhood's joy, 

Guardian-angel knows not 
That melancholy boy. 

Day is passing swiftly 

Its sad and sombre prime ; 

Boyhood sad is merging 
In sadder manhood's time : 
199 



^Poems by Emily Bronte 

All the flowers are praying 
For sun, before they close, 

And he prays too, unconscious, 
That sunless human rose. 

Blossom, that the west-wind 
Has never wooed to blow, 

Scentless are thy petals, 
Thy dew is cold as snow ! 

Soul, where kindred kindness, 
No early promise woke, 

Barren is thy beauty, 
As weed upon a rock. 

Wither, soul and blossom ! 

You both were vainly given : 
Earth reserves no blessing 

For the un blest of heaven ! 



200 



Child of delight 



CHILD of delight, with sun-bright hair, 
And sea-blue, sea-deep eyes ! 

Spirit of bliss ! what brings thee here, 
Beneath these sullen skies ? 

Thou shouldst live in eternal spring, 
Where endless day is never dim ; 

Why, Seraph, has thine erring wing 
Wafted thee down to weep with him ? 



201 G 2 



'Poems by Emily ^Bronte 



90 
THE SIGNAL LIGHT 1 

i. THE VISIONARY 

SILENT is the house : all are laid asleep : 
One alone looks out o'er the snow-wreaths deep, 
Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze 
That whirls the 'wildering drift, and bends the 
groaning trees. 

Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor ; 

Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or 

door ; 
The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong 

and far : 
I trim it well, to be the wanderer's guiding-star. 

Frown, my haughty sire ! chide, my angry dame ; 
Set your slaves to spy ; threaten me with shame ! 

1 * The Signal Light ' was Emily Bronte's original title. 
202 



The Signal Light 

<S o 



But neither sire nor dame, nor prying serf shall 

know 
What angel nighfly tracks that waste of frozen 

snow. 

What I love shall come like visitant of air, 
Safe in secret power from lurking human snare ; 
What loves me, no word of mine shall e'er betray, 
Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit 
pay. 

Burn, then, little lamp ; glimmer straight and 

clear 

Hush ! a rustling wing stirs, methinks, the air : 
He for whom I wait, thus ever comes to me ; 
Strange Power ! I trust thy might ; trust thou my 

constancy ! 



203 



Toems by Emily TSronte 



9 1 
THE SIGNAL LIGHT 

2. THE PRISONER 

IN the dungeon-crypts idly did I stray, 
Reckless of the lives wasting there away ; 

< Draw the ponderous bars ! open, Warder stern ! ' 
He dared not say me nay the hinges harshly turn. 

< Our guests are darkly lodged,' I whisper'd, gazing 

through 
The vault, whose grated eye showed heaven more 

grey than blue ; 
This was when glad Spring laughed in awakening 

pride ; 
* Ay, darkly lodged enough ! * returned my sullen 

guide. 

# * * 

The captive raised her face ; it was as soft and mild 
As sculptured marble saint, or slumbering un- 

wean'd child ; 

It was so soft and mild, it was so sweet and fair, 
Pain could not trace a line, nor grief a shadow there ! 
204 



The Signal Light 



The captive raised her hand and pressed it to her 

brow ; 
c I have been struck,' she said, and I am suffering 

now ; 
Yet these are little worth, your bolts and irons 

strong ; 
And, were they forged in steel, they could not 

hold me long. 

* * * 

c Still let my tyrants know, I am not doomed to wear 
Year after year in gloom and desolate despair ; 
A messenger of Hope comes every night to me, 
And offers for short life, eternal liberty. 

4 He comes with western winds, with evening's 

wandering airs, 
With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the 

thickest stars. 

Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire, 
And visions rise, and change, that kill me with 

desire. 

< Desire for nothing known in my maturer years, 
When joy grew mad with awe, at counting future 

tears. 

When, if my spirit's sky was full of flashes warm, 
I knew not whence they came, from sun or 

thunderstorm. 

205 



^Poems by Emily TSrontS 

4 But, first, a hush of peace a soundless calm 
descends ; 

The struggle of distress and * fierce impatience 
ends ; 

Mute music soothes my breast unuttered har- 
mony, 

That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to 
me. 

* Then dawns the Invisible ; the Unseen its truth 

reveals ; 

My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels : 
Its wings are almost free its home, its harbour 

found, 
Measuring the gulf, it stoops and dares the final 

bound. 

' Oh ! dreadful is the check, intense the agony, 
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins 

to see ; 
When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think 

again ; 
The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the 

chain. 

* Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture 

less ; 
The more that anguish racks, the earlier it will 

bless ; 

206 



"The Signal Light 



And robed in fires of hell, or bright with 

heavenly shine, 
If it but herald de*ath, the vision is divine ! ' 

She ceased to speak, and we, unanswering, turned 

to go 
We had no further power to work the captive 

woe : 
Her cheek, her gleaming eye, declared that man 

had given 
A sentence, unapproved, and overruled by Heaven. 

* Then like a tender child whose hand did just 

enfold 

Safe in its eager grasp a bird it wept to hold, 
When pierced with one wild glance from the 

troubled hazel eye, 
It gushes into tears and lets its treasure fly. 

* Thus ruth and selfish love, together striving, tore 
The heart all newly taught to pity and adore ; 
If I should break the chain, I felt my bird would go ; 
Yet I must break the chain, or seal the prisoner's 

woe. 



207 



Poems by Emily 



92* 



IT was the autumn of the year ; 
The time to labouring peasants dear : 
Week after week, from noon to noon, 
September shone as bright as June ; 
Still, never hand a sickle held ; 
The crops were garnered in the field, 
Trod out, and ground by horses' feet, 
While every ear was milky sweet ; 
And kneaded on the threshing floor 
With mire of tears and human gore. 
Some said they thought that heaven's pure rain 
Would hardly bless those fields again. 
Not so the all-benignant skies 
Rebuked that fear of famished eyes 
July passed on with showers and dew, 
And August glowed in showerless blue ; 
No harvest time could be more fair 
Had harvest fruits but ripened there. 
* * * 

Strange proofs I've seen, how hearts could hide 
Their secret with a life-long pride, 
208 



// was the autumn of the year 

And then reveal it as they died. 

Strange courage, and strange weakness too. 

In that last hour when most are true, 

And timid natures strangely nerved 

To deeds from which the desperate swerved ! 

These I may tell, but leave them now. 

Go with me where my thoughts would go ; 

Now all to-day, and all last night 

I've had one scene before my sight 

Wood-shadowed dales ; a harvest moon 

Unclouded in its glorious noon ; 

A solemn landscape, wide and still, 

A red fire on a distant hill ; 

A line of fire, and deep below. 

Another dusker, drearier glow ; 

Charred beams, and lime, and blackened stones 

Self-piled in cairns o'er burning bones ; 

And lurid flames that licked the wood, 

Then quenched their glare in pools of blood. 

September 14, 1846 



209 



'Poems by Emily 



93* 

WHY ask to know what date, what clime ? 

There dwelt our own humanity, 
Power-worshippers from earliest time, 
Feet-kissers of triumphant crime, 

Crushers of helpless misery, 
Crushing down Justice, honouring wrong, 
If that be feeble, this be strong. 

Shedders of blood, shedders of tears, 
Fell creatures avid of distress ; 

Yet mocking heaven with senseless prayers 
For mercy on the merciless. 

It was the autumn of the year 
When grain grows yellow in the ear ; 
Day after day, from noon to noon. 
That August's sun blazed bright as June. 

But we with unregarding eyes 
Saw panting earth and glowing skies. 
No hand the reaper's sickle held, 
Nor bound the bright sheaves in the field. 
210 



Why ask to know 



Our corn was garnered months before, 
Threshed out and harvested with gore ; 
Ground when the ears were milky sweet 
With furious foil of hoofs and feet ; 
I, doubly cursed, on foreign sod, 
Fought neither for my home nor God. 

May 13, 1843 



211 



Toems by Emily TSronte 



94 

OH, all the cares these noontide airs 

Might seem to drive away. 
So glad and bright each sight appears, 

Each sound so soft and gay ! 
And through the shade of yonder glade, 

Where thick the leaves are dancing, 
While jewels rare and flow'rets fair 

In hundred plumes are glancing. 
For there the palace portals rise 

Beyond its myrtle grove, 
Catching the whitest, brightest dyes 

From the deep blue dome above. 
But here this little lonely spot, 

Retires among its trees, 
By all unknown, and noticed not, 

Save sunshine and the breeze ? 



212 



There* s something 



95 

THERE'S something in this glorious hour 

That fills the soul with heavenly power, 

And dims our eyes with sudden tears 

That centre all the joys of years. 

For we feel at once that there lingers still, 

Like evening sunshine o'er a hill, 

A glory round life's pinnacle ; 

And we know, though we be yet below, 

That we may not always linger so, 

For still Ambition beckons on, 

Is this a height that may be won ? 

And Hope still whispers in our ear, 

c Others have been thou mayst be there/ 

Land of the west ! Thy glorious skies, 

Their dreamy depths of azure blue, 
Their sunset isles of paradise, 

That float in golden glory through. 
These depths of azure o'er my sight 

This musing moment seem to expand, 
Revealing all their radiance bright 

In cloud and gorgeous land. 

213 



Toems by Emily "Bronte 

Land of the west ! Thine evening sun 

Brings thousand voiceless thoughts to mind, 
Of what I've said and seen and done 

In years by time long left behind ; 
And forms and faces lost for ever 

Seem arising round me now, 
As if to bid farewell for ever 

Before my spirit go. 
Oh ! How they gush upon my heart 

And overflow my eyes ! 
I must not keep, I cannot part 

With such wild sympathies. 



So 'ware her hour approaching fast, 

Upon her dying bed ; 
Are her wild dreams of western skies, 
The shattered wrecks of memories 

That glitter through the gloom 
Cast o'er them in the cold decay 
Which signs the sickening soul away 

To meet its early tomb. 
What pleasant airs upon her face 

With freshening coolness play, 
As they would kiss each transient grace 

Before it fades away ! 
214 



There's something 



And backward rolled each deep red fold, 
Begirt with tasselled cords of gold, 

The open arch displays. 
O'er towers and trees that orb divine, 
His own unclouded light, decline 

Before her glistening gaze. 



215 



'Poems by JLmily 'BrontS 



9 6 

THE heart which cannot know another, 
Which will not learn to sympathise. 

In whom the voice of friend, or brother. 
Unheard, unechoed, sleeps or dies ; 

Between whom, and the world around, 
Can stretch no life-uniting ties. 



216 



Ladybird! ladybird! 



97 

LADYBIRD ! ladybird ! fly away home, 
Night is approaching, and sunset is come ; 
The herons are flown to their trees by the Hall; 
Felt, but unseen, the damp dewdrops fall. 
This is the close of a still summer day ; 
Ladybird ! ladybird ! haste ! fly away ! 



217 



Toems by Emily ^Bronte 



SLEEP, mourner, sleep ! c I cannot sleep, 
My weary mind still wanders on ; ' 

Then silent weep ! c I cannot weep, 

For eyes and tears seem turned to stone.* 

Oh might my footsteps find a rest ! 

Oh might my eyes with tears run o'er ! 
Oh could the wound but leave my breast 

To lapse in days that are no more ! 

And if I could in silence mourn, 

Apart from lying sympathy 
And man's remarks or sighs or scorn, 

I should be where I wish to be. 
* * * 

For I've been consecrate to grief 
I should not be if that were gone 

And all my prospect of relief 

On earth would be to grieve alone ! 

To live in sunshine would be now 
To live in Lethe ; every thought 
218 



mourner , sleep 






Of what I have seen and been below 
Must first be utterly forgot. 

* * . * 

And voices tuned to music's thrill, 
And laughter light as marriage strain, 

Will only wake a ghostly chill, 
As if the buried spoke again. 

All all is over ; friend or lover 
Cannot awaken gladness here ; 

Though sweep the strings their music over, 
No sound will rouse the stirless air. 



219 



Toems by Emily 'BrontS 



99 

How Edenlike seem palace walls 
When youth and beauty join 

To waken up their lighted Halls 
With looks and smiles divine ! 

How free from care the perfumed air 

About them seems to play ! 
How glad and bright appears each sight, 

Each sound how soft and gay ! 

'Tis like the heaven which parting days 

In summer's pride imbue 
With beams of such impartial blaze, 

And yet so tender too ! 

Oh, memory brings a scene to mind 

Beneath whose noble dome 
Rank, beauty, wealth, and power combine 

To light their lordly home. 

Yet parting day, however bright, 

It still is parting day 
The herald of approaching night, 

The trappings of decay. 
220 



Here am I standing lonely 



IOO 



HERE am I standing lonely 'neath 

The shade of quiet trees, 
That scarce can catch a single breath 

Of this sweet evening breeze. 
And nothing in the twilight sky 
Except its veil of clouds on high, 

All sleeping calm and grey ; 
And nothing on the summer gale 
But the sweet trumpet's solemn wail 

Slow sounding far away. 

That and the strange, uncertain sound 
Scarce heard, yet heard by all ; 

A trembling through the summer ground, 
A murmuring round the wall. 



221 



Toems by Emily 



IOI 



IT was a little budding rose, 

Round like a fairy globe, 
And shyly did its leaves unclose 

Hid in their mossy robe, 
But sweet was the slight and spicy smell 
It breathed from its heart invisible. 
* # * 

The rose is blasted, withered, blighted, 

Its root has felt a worm, 
And like a heart beloved and slighted, 

Failed, faded, shrunk its form. 
Bud of beauty, bonnie flower, 
I stole thee from thy natal bower, 

I was the worm that withered thee, 
Thy tears of dew all fell for me ; 
Leaf and stalk and rose are gone, 
Exile earth they died upon. 
Yes, that last breath of balmy scent 
With alien breezes sadly blent ! 
222 



her tresses backward strayed 



IO2 
* * * 

ALL her tresses backward strayed 

Look golden in the gleam, 
But her wan lips and sunken cheek 
And full eyes eloquently speak 

Of sorrows gathering near, 
Till those dark orbs o'erflowing fast 
Are shadowed by her hand at last 

To hide the streaming tear. 

Oh ! say not that her vivid dreams 

Are but the shattered glass 
Which but because more broken, gleams 

More brightly in the grass. 
Her spirit is the unfathomed lake 
Whose face the sudden tempests break 

To one tormented roar ; 
But as the wild winds sink in peace, 
All those disturbed waves decrease, 
Till each far-down reflection is 

As lifelike as before. 
223 



*Poems by Emi/y TSrontS 

She thought when that confession crossed 

Upon her dying mind, 
'Twas sense and soul and memory lost, 

Though feeling burned behind. 
But that bright heaven has touched a chord 
And that wide west has waked a word 

Can still the spirit's storm ; 
Till all the griefs that brought her here, 
Each gushing with a bitterer tear, 
Round her returning sight appear 

In more tremendous form ; 



In glimpses of a spirit shore 

The strength of eyesight to restore 

Which coming death denied ; 
That while the world was lost to her 
Her soul might rove a wanderer 

Through visional wonders wide. 



And strange it is how oft in death, 
When reason leaves the brain, 

What sudden power the fancy hath 
To seize the falling rein. 

It cannot hold a firm control, 

But it can guide the parting soul, 
Half leading and half led, 
224 



her tresses backward strayed 



Through dreams where startling imagery 
Hide with their feigned reality 
The tossed and fevered bed. 


It seems as to the bleeding heart 

With dying torments riven 
A quickened life in every part 

By fancy's force was given. 
And all these dim, disjointed dreams, 
Wherewith the failing memory beams, 

Are but the bright reflection 
Flashed upward from the scattered glass 
Of mirror broken on the grass, 
Which shapeless figures on each piece 

Reveals without connection. 



225 



Toems by Emily T&rontV 



103 

START not ! upon the minster wall 
Sunshine is shed in holy calm, 

And lonely though thy footsteps fall, 
The saints shall shelter thee from harm. 

Shrink not if it be summer noon, 

This shadow should night's welcome be 

These stairs are steep, but landed soon 
We'll rest us long and quietly. 

What though our path be o'er the dead, 
They slumber soundly in the tomb ; 

And why should mortals fear to tread 
The pathway to their future home r 



226 



'Through the hours of yesternight 



104 

THROUGH the hours of yesternight 
Hall and gallery blazed with light, 
Every lamp its lustre showered 
On the adorer and the adored. 
None were sad that entered there, 
All were loved and all were fair ; 
Some were dazzling like the sun 
Shining down at summer noon. 
Some were sweet as amber even, 
Living in the depth of Heaven ; 
Some were soft, and kind, and gay, 

Morning's face not more divine ; 
Some were like Diana's day, 

Midnight moonlight's holy shrine. 



227 



*Poems by Emily Bronte 



105 

HARP of wild and dream-like strain, 
When I touch thy strings, 

Why dost thou repeat again 
Long-forgotten things ? 

Harp, in other earlier days 

I could sing to thee, 
And not one of all my lays 

Vexed my memory. 

But now if I awake a note 
That gave me joy before, 

Sounds of sorrow from thee float, 
Changing evermore. 

Yet still steeped in memory's dyes 

They come sailing on, 
Darkening all my summer skies, 

Shutting out my sun. 



228 



Here with my knee upon thy stone 



106 



HERE with my knee upon thy stone 
I bid adieu to feelings gone ; 
I leave with thee my tears and pain, 
And rush into the world again. 

O come again ! what chains withhold 
The steps that used so fleet to be ? 

Come leave thy dwelling dark and cold, 
Once more to visit me. 



229 



by Emily *Bronte 



107 

IN dungeons dark I cannot sing, 

In sorrow's thrall 'tjs hard to smile ; 

What bird can soar with broken wing ? 
What heart can bleed and joy the while ? 



230 



When days of beauty 



08 

WHEN days of beauty deck the vale, 
Or stormy nights descend, 

How well my spirit knows the path 
On which it ought to wend. 

It seeks the consecrated spot 
Beloved in childhood's years ; 

The space between is all forgot, 
Its sufferings and its tears. 



231 



by Emily 



109 

FALL, leaves, fall ; die, flowers, away ; 
Lengthen night and shorten day ! 
Every leaf speaks bliss to me, 
Fluttering from the autumn tree. 
I shall smile when wreaths of snow 
Blossom where the rose should grow ; 
I shall sing when night's decay 
Ushers in a drearier day. 



232 



day I've toiled 



no 

ALL day I've toiled, but not with pain, 

In learning's golden mine ; 
And now at eventide again 

The moonbeams softly shine. 

There is no snow upon the ground, 

No frost on wind or wave ; 
The south wind blew with gentlest sound 

And broke their icy grave. 

'Tis sweet to wander here at night, 

To watch the winter die, 
With heart as summer sunshine light, 

And warm as summer sky. 

O may I never lose the peace 

That lulls me gently now, 
Though time should change my youthful face, 

And years should shade my brow ! 

True to myself, and true to all, 

May I be healthful still, 
And turn away from passion's call, 

And curb my own wild will. 

233 H2 



*Poems by Emily ^Bronte 



THAT dreary lake, that moonlight sky. 

That wan moon struggling through the clouc 

That sullen murmur whispering by, 
As if it dared not speak aloud, 

Fall on my heart so sadly now, 

Whither my joys so lonely flow. 

Touch them not, they bloom and smile, 

But their roots are withering all the while. 



234 



She dried her tears 



112 

SHE dried her tears and they did smile 
To see her cheek's returning glow ; 

Nor did discern how all the while 
That full heart throbbed to overflow. 

With that sweet look and lively tone, 
And bright eye shining all the day, 

They could not guess at midnight lone 
How she would weep the time away. 



235 



Toems by Emily 



I'M happiest now when most away 
I can tear my soul from its mould of clay, 
On a windy night when the moon is bright, 
And my eye can wander through worlds of light. 

When I am not, and none beside, 
Nor earth, nor sea, nor cloudless sky, 

But only spirit wandering wide 
Through infinite immensity. 



236 



hushed and still 



114 

ALL hushed and still within the house ; 

Without, all wind and driving rain ; 
But something whispers to my mind, 
Wrought up in rain and wailing wind : 
Never again ? Why not again ? Never again ! 

Memory has power as well as wind ! 



237 



Toems by Emily "Bronte 



115 



MY ancient ship upon my ancient sea 

Begins another voyage nay, thou'rt ne > 

But whither wending ? who is gone with tnee 
Since parted from thee I am left alone, 

Unknowing what my river's fate may be, 
Into its native world of tempests thrown. 

Lost like a speck from my diverted eye, 

Which wilder, mightier visions must survey ; 

Lost and unnoticed far away the roar 
Of southern waters breaking to the wind, 

With restless thunder rolling on before 
As the wild gale sweeps wilder on behind, 

And every vision of old Afric's shore 

As much forgot and vanished out of mind 

As the wild track thou marked'st so long ago 

From those eternal waves which surge below, 



Gone ! 'tis a word which through life's 

waste 

Seems always coming, and the only one 
Which can be called the present. Hope is P as *> 
And hate and strife, and love and peace are 
238 



ancient ship 



Before we think them, for their rapid haste 

Scarce gives us time for one short smile or groan, 
Ere that thought dies, and new ones come between 
It and our heart with some as fleeting scene. 

And yet there is or seems at least to be 
A general haze of thought that colours all ; 

So though each one be different, all agree 
In the same melancholy shade-like pall ; 

Even as the shadows look the same to me, 

Though cast, I know, from many a varying 
wall 

In this vast city hut and temple sharing 

In the same light, and the same darkness wearing. 

Not that I deem all life a course of shade, 

Nor all the world a waste of streets like these : 

From youth to age a mighty change is made 
As from this city to the southern seas. 

For years through youthful hope our course is laid, 
For years in sloth, a sea without a breeze, 

For years amid the stir of civil jar, 

For years within, some silent, sleepless care, 

Changing, and still the same, yet swiftly passing. 

'Tis here, 'tis there, 'tis nowhere oh ! my soul, 
Is there no rest from such a fruitless chasing 

Of the wild dreams that ever round thee roll ? 

239 



Toems by Emily 'Bronte 

Each as it comes the parting thought defacing, 

Yet all still hurrying to the self-same goal. 
Gone ! Can I catch them ? but their path alone 
Stretching afar toward one for ever gone ! 

What have I written ? Nothing, for 'tis over, 
And seems as nothing in the single cloud 

That shadows it, and long has seemed to hover 
O'er all the crossing thoughts that overflowed 

In this wrecked spirit ; oh ! my ocean, 

Well may'st thou plough the deep so free and 
proud : 

Thou bear'st the uniting tie of ceaseless dreams, 

The fount, the confluence of a thousand streams. 

ii 

I DO not see myself again 
A wanderer o'er the Atlantic main ; 
I do not backward turn my eye 
Toward sleepless sea and stormy sky. 
Oh no ; these vanished visions rest 
In far-off woodlands of the west ; 
And there let Hesperus arise 
To watch my treasure where it lies. 

The present scenes, the present clime, 
Forbid the dreams of olden time ; 
The present thoughts, the present hour, 
Are rife with deeds of sterner power : 
240 



ancient ship 



And who shall be my leading star 
Amid the howling storm of war ? 

Hark ! listen to the distant gun 
From the battlefield of Edwardston 1 ; 
It breaks upon the awful roar 

Which stuns my ears around, 
And on their shout of victory 

Strikes with a hollow sound. 
My struggles all are crowned with power, 
And Fortune gives a glorious hour. 
Men who hate me kneel before me, 
Men who kneel are forced to adore me ; 
My name is on a million tongues, 
The million babble on my wrongs ; 
And twenty years of tyrant pride 
Which swore this modern God to hide, 
At last have vanished in the rays 
Of his unquenched, unclouded blaze. 
Oh ! is not Jesus come again 
Over His thousand saints to reign ? 
To free the world from terror's chain, 
While sin and Satan vainly spit 
Their venomed fury, as they sit. 
Their reign is past, their power is gone, 
For fallen is mighty Babylon. 

1 Edwardston is one of the * Gondal ' names. 
241 



Teems by Emily 



Through the hoarse howling of the storm 

I saw, but did I truly see 
One glimpse of that unearthly form 

Whose very name is Victory ? 
'Twas but a glance, and all seems past, 

For cares like clouds again return, 
And I'll forget him, till the blast 

For ever from my soul has borne 
That vision of a mighty man 
Crushed into Dust ! 

Forget him ! In the cannon's smoke 
How dense it thickens, till on high, 
By the wild storm-blasts roughly broke, 
It parts in volumes through the sky 
That heavily are drifting by, 
'Till the dread burst breaks forth once more 
With whitening clouds which seem to fly 
Affrighted from that ceaseless roar. 
And there it lightens ! Dashed with gore 
The thick of battle rends in twain, 
While their rough ranks of bristling steel 
Flashing afar, while armed men 
In mighty masses long and vast, 
Like the wild waters of the main 
Lashed into foam. When, there again 
Behold him ! ... 

242 



ancient ship 



YET o'er his face a solemn light 
Comes smiling from the sky, 

And shows to sight the lustre bright 
Of his uplifted eye ; 



The aimless, heedless carelessness 

Of happy infancy 
O'er such a solemn fearfulness 

Commingling with his glee, 



The parted lips, the golden hair 

That backward from his brow, 
Without a single shade of care, 
All hushed amid that moonlight air ; 
Oh who so blest as thou ! 



Memory ! how thy magic fingers, 
With a wild and passing thrill, 

Wakes the chord whose spirit lingers, 
Sleeping silently and still, 

243 



Toems by Emily Bronte* 

Fast asleep and almost dying, 

Through my days of changeless pain, 

Till I dream these strings* are lying, 
Never to be waked again. 

Winds have blown, but all unknown ; 

Nothing could arouse a tone 

In that heart which like a stone 
Senselessly has lain. 

All seemed over friend and lover 
Strove to waken music there ; 

Flew the strings their fingers over, 
Still in silence slept the air. 

Memory ! Memory comes at last, 
Memory of feelings past, 
And with an j9olian blast 
Strikes the strings resistlessly. 

July 1836 

Certain of the lines included in the above poem appear in 
a manuscript of Emily Bronte's in the form of three unfinished 
stanzas, at the side of which she has scribbled the following 
words : * 

' I am more terrifically and infernally and idiotically and 
brutally STUPID than ever I was in the whole course of my 
incarnate existence. The above precious lines are the fruits of 
one hour's most agonising labour between J past 6 and J past 7 
in the evening of Wednesday July 1836.' 

244 



One pause upon the brink 



116 

* * * 

ONE pause upon the brink of life, 
Before it breaks, in headlong strife, 

Upon its downward road ; 
One insight through the waters clear, 
Before their pictures disappear 

In the fierce foaming flood. 



245 



by Emily TSrontS 



117 

SHED no tears o'er that tomb, 
For there are angels weeping ; 

Mourn not him whose doom 
Heaven itself is mourning. 

Look how in sable gloom 

The clouds are earthward yearning ; 
And earth receives them home, 

Even darker clouds returning. 

Is it when good men die 

That sorrow wakes above ? 
Grieve saints when other spirits fly 
To swell their choir of love ? 

Ah ! no : with louder sound 

The golden harp strings quiver, 
When good men gain the happy ground 
Where they must dwell for ever. 

But he who slumbers there, 

His bark will strive no more 
Across the waters of despair 

To reach that glorious shore. 
246 



Shed no tears o'er that tomb 

The time of grace is past, 

And mercy, scorned and tried, 
Forsakes to utter wrath at last 

The squl so steeled by pride. 

That wrath will never spare, 

Will never pity know ; 
Will mock its victim's maddened prayer, 
Will triumph in his woe. 

Shut from his Maker's smile 

The accursed man shall be ; 
For mercy reigns a little while, 
But hate eternally. 1 

July 26, 1839 

1 An alternative in the author's manuscript runs : 

' Compassion smiles a little while, 
Revenge eternally.' 



247 



'Poems by Emily TSrontS 



118 
STARS 

AH ! why, because the dazzling sun 

Restored our Earth to joy, 
Have you departed, every one, 

And left a desert sky ? 

All through the night, your glorious eyes 

Were gazing down in mine, 
And, with a full heart's thankful sighs, 

I blessed that watch divine. 

I was at peace, and drank your beams 

As they were life to me ; 
And revelled in my changeful dreams, 

Like petrel on the sea. 

Thought followed thought, star followed star 
Through boundless regions on ; 

While one sweet influence, near and far, 
Thrilled through, and proved us one ! 
248 



Stars 

Why did the morning dawn to break 

So great, so pure, a spell ; 
And scorch with* fire the tranquil cheek, 

Where you/ cool radiance fell ? 

Blood-red, he rose, and, arrow-straight, 
His fierce beams struck my brow ; 

The soul of nature sprang, elate, 
But mine sank sad and low ! 

My lids closed down, yet through their veil 

I saw him, blazing still, 
And steep in gold the misty dale, 

And flash upon the hill. 

I turned me to the pillow, then, 

To call back night, and see 
Your worlds of solemn light again 

Throb with my heart, and me ! 

It would not do the pillow glowed, 
And glowed both roof and floor ; 

And birds sang loudly in the wood, 
And fresh winds shook the door ; 

The curtains waved, the wakened flies 
Were murmuring round my room, 

Imprisoned there, till I should rise, 
And give them leave to roam. 
249 



^Poems by Emily 



Oh, stars, and dreams, and gentle night ; 

Oh, night and stars, return ! 
And hide me from the Hostile light 

That does not warm, but, burn ; 

That drains the blood of suffering men, 
Drinks tears, instead of dew ; 

Let me sleep through his blinding reign, 
And only wake with you ! 



250 



^Anticipation 



ANTICIPATION 

How beautiful the earth is still, 

To thee how full of happiness ! 
How little fraught with real ill, 

Or unreal phantoms of distress ! 
How spring can bring thee glory, yet, 
And summer win thee to forget 

December's sullen time ! 
Why dost thou hold the treasure fast, 
Of youth's delight, when youth is past, 

And thou art near thy prime ? 

When those who were thy own compeers, 

Equals in fortune and in years, 

Have seen their morning melt in tears, 

To clouded, smileless day ; 
Blest, had they died untried and young, 
Before their hearts went wandering wrong,- 
Poor slaves, subdued by passions strong, 

A weak and helpless prey! 
251 



^Poems by Emily 'Bronte 

4 Because I hoped while they enjoyed, 
And by fulfilment, hope destroyed ; 
As children hope, with trustful breast, 
I waited bliss, and cherished .rest. 
A thoughtful spirit taught me soon. 
That we must long till life be done ; 
That every phase of earthly joy 
Must always fade, and always cloy. 

' This I foresaw and would not chase 

The fleeting treacheries ; 
But, with firm foot and tranquil face, 
Held backward from that tempting race, 
Gazed o'er the sands the waves efface 

To the enduring seas. 
There cast my anchor of desire 

Deep in unknown eternity ; 
Nor ever let my spirit tire, 

With looking for what is to be ! 

'It is hope's spell that glorifies, 
Like youth, to my maturer eyes, 
All Nature's million mysteries, 

The fearful and the fair 
Hope soothes me in the griefs I know ; 
She lulls my pain for others' woe, 
And makes me strong to undergo 

What I am born to bear. 
252 



^Anticipation 



4 Glad comforter ! will I not brave, 
Unawed, the darkness of the grave ? 
Nay, smile to hoar Death's billows rave- 
Sustained, my guide, by thee ? 
The more unjust seems present fate, 
The more my spirit swells elate, 
Strong, in thy strength, to anticipate 
Rewarding destiny ! ' 



253 



^Poems by Emily TSronte 



I2C 

HOPE 

HOPE was but a timid friend ; 

She sat without the grated den, 
Watching how my fate would tend, 

Even as selfish-hearted men. 

She was cruel in her fear ; 

Through the bars, one dreary day, 
I looked out to see her there, 

And she turned her face away ! 

Like a false guard, false watch keeping, 
Still, in strife, she whispered peace ; 

She would sing while I was weeping ; 
If I listened, she would cease. 

False she was, and unrelenting ; 

When my last joys strewed the ground, 
Even Sorrow saw, repenting, 

Those sad relics scattered round ; 
254 



Hope 



Hope, whose whisper would have given 

Balm to all my frenzied pain, 
Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven, 

Went, and ne'er returned again ! 



255 



Toems by Emily 



121 

TO IMAGINATION 

WHEN weary with the long day's care, 
And earthly change from pain to pain, 

And lost, and ready to despair, 

Thy kind voice calls me back again, 

Oh, my true friend ! I am not lone, 

While thou canst speak with such a tone ! 

So hopeless is the world without, 
The world within I doubly prize ; 

Thy world, where guile and hate and doubt 
And cold suspicion never rise ; 

Where thou and I and Liberty 

Have undisputed sovereignty. 

What matters it, that all around 
Danger and guilt and darkness lie, 

If but within our bosom's bound 
We hold a bright, untroubled sky, 

Warm with ten thousand mingled rays 

Of suns that know no winter days ? 
256 



To Imagination 



Reason, indeed, may oft complain 

For Nature's sad reality. 
And tell the suFering heart how vain 

Its cherished dreams must always be ; 
And Truth may rudely trample down 
The flowers of Fancy, newly-blown : 

But thou art ever there, to bring 

The hovering vision back, and breathe 

New glories o'er the blighted spring, 
And call a lovelier Life from Death, 

And whisper, with a voice divine, 

Of real worlds, as bright as thine. 

I trust not to thy phantom bliss, 
Yet, still, in evening's quiet hour, 

With never-failing thankfulness, 
I welcome thee, Benignant Power, 

Sure solacer of human cares, 

And sweeter hope, when hope despairs ! 



257 



Toems by Emily 'BrontS 



122 

HOW CLEAR SHE SHINES! 

How clear she shines ! How quietly 
I lie beneath her guardian light ; 

While heaven and earth are whispering me, 
4 To-morrow wake, but dream to-night/ 
* * * 

The world is going ; dark world, adieu ! 

Grim world, conceal thee till the day , 
The heart thou canst not all subdue 

Must still resist, if thou delay ! 

Thy love I will not, will not share ; 

Thy hatred only wakes a smile ; 
Thy griefs may wound thy wrongs may tear, 

But, oh, thy lies shall ne'er beguile ! 

While gazing on the stars that glow 
Above me, in that stormless sea, 

I long to hope that all the woe 
Creation knows, is held in thee ! 

* * * 

258 



Sympathy 



123 
SYMPATHY 

THERE should be no despair for you 

While nightly stars are burning, 
While evening pours its silent dew, 

And sunshine gilds the morning. 
There should be no despair, though tears 

May flow down like a river : 
Are not the best beloved of years 

Around your heart for ever ? 

They weep, you weep, it must be so ; 

Winds sigh as you are sighing, 
And winter sheds its grief in snow 

Where Autumn's leaves are lying : 
Yet, these revive, and from their fate 

Your fate cannot be parted : 
Then, journey on, if not elate, 

Still never broken-hearted ! 



259 



'Poems by Emily 'Bronfe' 



124 
PLEAD FOR ME 

OH, thy bright eyes must answer now, 
When Reason, with a scornful brow, 
Is mocking at my overthrow ! 

Oh, thy sweet tongue must plead for me 
And tell why I have chosen thee ! 

Stern Reason is to judgment come, 

Arrayed in all her forms of gloom : 

Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb ? 

No, radiant angel, speak and say 

Why I did cast the world away. 

Why I have persevered to shun 
The common paths that others run ; 
And on a strange road journeyed on, 
Heedless, alike of wealth and power 
Of glory's wreath and pleasure's flower. 

These, once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine 
And they, perchance, heard vows of mine, 
And saw my offerings on their shrine ; 
260 



'Plead for me 



But careless gifts are seldom prized, 
And mine were worthily despised. 

So, with a ready heart, I swore 
To seek their altar-stone no more ; 
And gave my spirit to adore 

Thee, ever-present, phantom thing 
My slave, my comrade, and my king. 

A slave, because I rule thee still ; 
Incline thee to my changeful will, 
And make thy influence good or ill : 
A comrade, for by day and night 
Thou art my intimate delight ; 

My darling pain that wounds and sears, 
And wrings a blessing out from tears 
By deadening me to earthly cares ; 

And yet, a king, though Prudence well 
Hath taught thy subject to rebel. 

And am I wrong to worship, where 
Faith cannot doubt, nor hope despair, 
Since my own soul can grant my prayer ? 
Speak, God of visions, plead for me, 
And tell why I have chosen thee! 



261 



by Emily 'BrontS 



125 
SELF-INTERROGATION 



4 ALAS ! the countless links are strong 

That bind us to our clay ; 
The loving spirit lingers long, 

And would not pass away ! 

c And rest is sweet, when laurelled fame 
Will crown the soldier's crest ; 

But a brave heart, with a tarnished name, 
Would rather fight than rest.' 

c Well, thou hast fought for many a year, 
Hast fought thy whole life through, 

Hast humbled Falsehood, trampled Fear ; 
What is there left to do ? ' 

4 'Tis true, this arm has hotly striven, 
Has dared what few would dare ; 

Much have I done, and freely given, 
But little learnt to bear ! ' 
262 



Self- interrogation 



c Look on the grave where thou must sleep,- 

Thy last, and strongest foe ; 
It is endurance nof to weep, 

If that repose seem woe. 

4 The long war closing in defeat 

Defeat serenely borne, 
Thy midnight rest may still be sweet, 

And break in glorious morn ! ' 



263 



Toems by Emily TSronte 



126 
STANZAS TO 



WELL, some may hate, and some may scorn, 
And some may quite forget thy name ; 

But my sad heart must ever mourn 
Thy ruined hopes, thy blighted fame ! 

'Twas thus I thought, an hour ago, 

Even weeping o'er that wretch's woe ; 

One word turned back my gushing tears, 

And lit my altered eye with sneers. 

Then, * Bless the friendly dust/ I said, 

That hides thy unlamented head ! 

Vain as thou wert, and weak as vain, 

The slave of Falsehood, Pride, and Pain 

My heart has nought akin to thine ; 

Thy soul is powerless over mine.' 

But these were thoughts that vanished too ; 

Unwise, unholy, and untrue : 

Do I despise the timid deer, 

Because his limbs are fleet with fear ? 

1 There is little doubt that the poem refers to Branvvell 
Bronte. 

264 



Stanzas to 



Or, would I mock the wolfs death-howl, 
Because his form is gaunt and foul ? 
Or, hear with jey the leveret's cry, 
Because it cannot bravely die ? 
No ! Then* above his memory 
Let Pity's heart as tender be ; 
Say, ' Earth, lie lightly on that breast, 
And, kind Heaven, grant that spirit rest ! 



265 i 2 



'Poems by Emily 'BrontS 



127 
MY COMFORTER 

WELL hast thou spok'n, and yet not taught 

A feeling strange or new ; 
Thou hast but roused a latent thought, 
A cloud-closed beam of sunshine brought 

To gleam in open view. 

Deep down, concealed within my soul, 

That light lies hid from men ; 
Yet glows unquenched, though shadows roll 
Its gentle ray cannot control, 

About the sullen den. 

Was I not vexed, these gloomy ways 

To walk alone so long ? 
Around me, wretches uttering praise, 
Or howling o'er their hopeless days, 

And each with Frenzy's tongue ; 

A brotherhood of misery, 
Their smiles as sad as sighs ; 
266 



Comforter 



Whose madness daily maddened me, 
Distorting into agony 

The bliss before my eyes ! 

So stood I, in Heaven's glorious sun, 

And in the glare of Hell ; 
My spirit drank a mingled tone, 
Of seraph's song, and demon's moan ; 
What my soul bore, my soul alone 

Within itself may tell ! 

Like a soft air above a sea, 
Tossed by the tempest's stir ; 

A thaw-wind, melting quietly 

The snow-drift on some wintry lea ; 

No ! what sweet thing resembles thee, 
My thoughtful Comforter ? 

And yet a little longer speak, 

Calm this resentful mood ; 
And while the savage heart grows meek. 
For other token do not seek, 
But let the tear upon my cheek 

Evince my gratitude ! 



267 



by Emily 'Bronte' 



128 
THE OLD STOIC 

RICHES I hold in light esteem, 
And Love I laugh to scorn ; 

And lust of fame was but a dream, 
That vanished with the morn : 

And if I pray, the only prayer 
That moves my lips for me 

Is, * Leave the heart that now I bear, 
And give me liberty ! ' 

Yes, as my swift days near their goal, 

'Tis all that I implore ; 
In life and death a chainless soul, 

With courage to endure. 



268 



little while^ a little while 



129 

A LITTLE while, a little while, 

The weary task is put away, 
And I can sing and I can smile, 

Alike, while I have holiday. 

Where wilt thou go, my harassed heart 
What thought, what scene invites thee now ? 

What spot, or near or far apart, 
Has rest for thee, my weary brow ? 

There is a spot, 'mid barren hills, 

Where winter howls, and driving rain ; 

But, if the dreary tempest chills, 
There is a light that warms again. 

The house is old, the trees are bare, 
Moonless above bends twilight's dome ; 

But what on earth is half so dear, 
So longed for, as the hearth of home ? 

The mute bird sitting on the stone, 
The dank moss dripping from the wall, 

The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o'ergrown, 
I love them how I love them all ! 
269 



Toems by Emily 



Still, as I mused, the naked room, 

The alien firelight died away ; 
And from the midst of cheerless gloom, 

I passed to bright, unclouded day. 

A little and a lone green lane 

That opened on a common wide ; 

A distant dreamy dim blue chain 
Of mountains circling every side. 

A heaven so clear, an earth so calm, 
So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air ; 

And, deepening still the dream-like charm, 
Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere. 

That was the scene, I knew it well ; 

I knew the turfy pathway's sweep, 
That, winding o'er each billowy swell, 

Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep. 

Could I have lingered but an hour, 
It well had paid a week of toil ; 

But Truth has banished Fancy's power ; 
Restraint and heavy task recoil. 

Even as I stood with raptured eye, 
Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear, 

My hour of rest had fleeted by, 

And back came labour, bondage, care. 
270 



The (Bluebell 



130 
THE BLUEBELL 

THE Bluebell is the sweetest flower 

That waves in summer air : 
Its blossoms have the mightiest power 

To soothe rny spirit's care. 

There is a spell in purple heath 

Too wildly, sadly dear ; 
The violet has a fragrant breath, 

But fragrance will not cheer. 

The trees are bare, the sun is cold, 

And seldom, seldom seen ; 
The heavens have lost their zone of gold, 

And earth her robe of green. 

And ice upon the glancing stream 

Has cast its sombre shade ; 
And distant hills and valleys seem 

In frozen mist arrayed. 

271 



Toems by Emily 



The Bluebell cannot charm me now, 
The heath has lost its bloom ; 

The violets in the glen below, 
They yield no sweet perfume. 

But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell, 

'Tis better far away ; 
I know how fast my tears would swell 

To see it smile to-day. 

For, oh ! when chill the sunbeams fall 

Adown that dreary sky, 
And gild yon dank and darkened wall 

With transient brilliancy, 

How do I weep, how do I pine 
For the time of flowers to come, 

And turn me from that fading shine, 
To mourn the fields of home ! 



272 



"The Moors 



THE MOORS 

AWAKEN, o'er all my dear moorland, 
West wind, in thy glory and pride ! 

Oh ! call me from valley and lowland, 
To walk by the hill-torrent's side ! 

It is swelled with the first snowy weather ; 

The rocks they are icy and hoar, 
And sullenly waves the long heather, 

And the fern leaves are sunny no more. 

There are no yellow stars on the mountain ; 

The bluebells have long died away 
From the brink of the moss-bedded fountain. 

From the side of the wintry brae. 

But lovelier than corn-fields all waving 
In emerald, and vermeil, and gold, 

Are the heights where the north wind is raving, 
And the crags where I wandered of old. 
273 



Toems by Emily 



It was morning : the bright sun was beaming ; 

How sweetly it brought back to me 
The time when nor labour nor dreaming 

Broke the sleep of the happy ami free ! 

But blithely we rose as the dawn-heaven 

Was melting to amber and blue, 
And swift were the wings to our feet given, 

As we traversed the meadows of dew. 

For the moors ! For the moors, where the short 

grass 

Like velvet beneath us should lie ! 
For the moors ! For the moors, where each high 

pass 
Rose sunny against the clear sky ! 

For the moors, where the linnet was trilling 

Its song on the old granite stone ; 
Where the lark, the wild skylark, was filling 

Every breast with delight like its own ! 

What language can utter the feeling 

Which rose, when in exile afar, 
On the brow of a lonely hill kneeling, 

I saw the brown heath growing there ? 
274 



The Moors 



It was scattered and stunted, and told me 
That soon even that would be gone : 

It whispered, < The grim walls enfold me, 
I have bloosned in my last summer's sun. 

* * * 

Well well ; the sad minutes are moving 
Though loaded with trouble and pain ; 

And some time the loved and the loving 
Shall meet on the mountains again ! 



275 



'Poems by Emily 



132 
THE NIGHT-WIND 

IN summer's mellow midnight, 
A cloudless moon shone through 

Our open parlour window, 
And rose-trees wet with dew. 

I sat in silent musing ; 

The soft wind waved my hair ; 
It told me heaven was glorious, 

And sleeping earth was fair. 

I needed not its breathing 

To bring such thoughts to me ; 

But still it whispered lowly, 

* How dark the woods will be ! ' 

' The thick leaves in my arbour 
Are rustling like a dream, 

And all their myriad voices 
Instinct with spirit seem.' 
276 



The Night-wind 



I said, ' Go, gentle singer, 

Thy wooing voice is kind : 
But do not think its music 

Has power to reach my mind. 

1 Play with the scented flower, 
The young tree's supple bough, 

And leave my human feelings 
In their own course to flow/ 

The wanderer would not heed me ; 

Its kiss grew warmer still. 
c O come ! ' it sighed so sweetly ; 

'I'll win thee 'gainst thy will. 

' Were we not friends from childhood r 

Have I not loved thee long ? 
As long as thou the solemn night, 

Whose silence wakes my song. 

4 And when thy heart is resting 
Beneath the church-aisle stone, 

I shall have time for mourning, 
And thou for being alone.' 

[Note by Charlotte Bronte prefixed to this poem in the edition 
of 1850: 

'"The Night-wind" breathing through an open window, 
has visited an ear which discerned language in its whispers.'] 

277 



^Poems by Emily TSrontS 



133 

AY there it is ! it wakes to-night 
Deep feelings I thought dead ; 

Strong in the blast quick gathering light, 
The heart's flame kindles red. 

4 Now I can tell by thine altered cheek, 

And by thine eyes' full gaze, 
And by the words thou scarce dost speak, 

How wildly fancy plays. 

4 Yes I could swear that glorious wind 

Has swept the world aside, 
Has dashed its memory from thy mind 

Like foam-bells from the tide : 

4 And thou art now a spirit pouring 

Thy presence into all : 
The thunder of the tempest's roaring, 

The whisper of its fall : 

4 An universal influence, 

From thine own influence free ; 

A principle of life, intense. 
Lost to mortality. 

278 



there it is! it wakes to-night 

c Thus truly, when that breast is cold, 

Thy prisoned soul shall rise ; 
The dungeon viingle with the mould 

The captive with the skies. 

( Nature's deep being thine shall hold, 
Her spirit all thy spirit fold, 

Her breath absorb thy sighs. 
Mortal ! though soon life's tale is told ; 

Who once lives, never dies ! ' 

[Note by Charlotte Bronte prefixed to this poem in the edition 
of 1850 : 

* In these stanzas a louder gale has roused the sleeper on her 
pillow ; the wakened soul struggles to blend with the storm by 
which it is swayed.'] 



279 



'Poems by Emily TSrontS 



134 
LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 

LOVE is like the wild rose-briar ; 

Friendship like the holly-tree. 
The holly is dark when the rose- briar blooms, 

But which will bloom most constantly ? 

The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring, 
Its summer blossoms scent the air ; 

Yet wait till winter comes again, 

And who will call the wild-briar fair ! 

Then, scorn the silly rose-wreath now, 
And deck thee with the holly's sheen, 

That, when December blights thy brow, 
He still may leave thy garland green. 



280 



Often rebuked 



135 

OFTEN rebuked, yet always back returning 

To those first feelings that were born with me, 

And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning 
For idle dreams of things which cannot be : 

To-day, I will seek not the shadowy region ; 

Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear ; 
And visions rising, legion after legion, 

Bring the unreal world too strangely near. 

I'll walk, but not in old heroic traces, 

And not in paths of high morality, 
And not among the half-distinguished faces, 

The clouded forms of long-past history. 

I'll walk where my own nature would be lead- 
ing : 

It vexes me to choose another guide : 
Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding ; 
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain- 
side. 

281 



Toems by Emily T&rontS 

What have those lonely mountains worth reveal- 
ing ? 

More glory and more grief than I can tell : 
The earth that wakes one human heart to feeling 

Can centre both the worlds of Heaven and Hell. 



282 



coward soul is mine 



136 1 

No coward soul is mine, 
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere : 

I see Heaven's glories shine, 
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear. 

O God within my breast, 
Almighty, ever-present Deity \ 

Life that in me has rest, 
As I undying Life have power in Thee \ 

Vain are the thousand creeds 
That move men's hearts, unutterably vain, 

Worthless as withered weeds, 
Or idle froth amid the boundless main, 

To waken doubt in one 
Holding so fast by Thine infinity ; 

So surely anchored on 
The steadfast rock of immortality. 

1 The following are the last lines my sister Emily ever 
wrote, C. B. 

283 



^Poems by Emily TSrontS 

With wide-embracing love 
Thy spirit animates eternal years, 

Pervades and broods 'bove, 
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears. 

Though earth and man were gone, 
And suns and universes ceased to be, 

And Thou were left alone, 
Every existence would exist in Thee. 

There is not room for Death, 
Nor atom that his might could render void : 

Thou THOU art Being and Breath, 
And what THOU art may never be destroyed. 



284 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



The bluebell 



I 

THE BLUEBELL 

A FINE and subtle spirit dwells 

In every little flower, 

Each one its own sweet feeling breathes 

With more or less of power. 

There is a silent eloquence, 

In every wild bluebell, 

That fills my softened heart with bliss 

That words could never tell. 

Yet I recall not long ago, 
A bright and sunny day. 
'Twas when I led a toilsome life 
So many leagues away ; 

That day along a sunny road 

All carelessly I strayed, 

Between two banks where smiling flowers 

Their varied hues displayed. 

287 



Toems by <Anne 



Before me rose a lofty hill, 
Behind me lay the sea ; 
My heart was not so hea\*y then 
As it was wont to be. 

Less harassed than at other times 

I saw the scene was fair, 

And spoke and laughed to those around, 

As if I knew no care. 

But as I looked upon the bank, 
My wandering glances fell 
Upon a little trembling flower, 
A single sweet bluebell. 

Whence came that rising in my throat, 
That dimness in my eyes ? 
Why did those burning drops distil, 
Those bitter feelings rise ? 

Oh, that lone flower recalled to me 
My happy childhood's hours, 
When blue bells seemed like fairy gifts, 
A prize among the flowers. 

Those sunny days of merriment 
When heart and soul were free, 
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts 
That loved and cared for me. 
288 



The (Bluebell 



I had not then mid heartless crowds 
'To spend a thankless life, 
In seeking aftei other's weal 
With anxious toil and strife. 

c Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times 
That never may return ! ' 
The lovely floweret seemed to say, 
And thus it made me mourn. 

August 22, 1840 



289 



'Poems by <Anne TSrontS 



LINES WRITTEN AT THORP 
GREEN 1 

THAT summer sun, whose genial glow 
Now cheers my drooping spirit so, 

Must cold and silent be, 
And only light our northern clime 
With feeble ray, before the time 

I long so much to see. 

* * * 

But if the sunny Summer time 

And woods and meadows in their prime 

Are sweet to them that roam, 
Far sweeter is the Winter bare 
With long dark nights and landscape drear 

To them that are at Home ! 

August iqth 1841 

1 A house where Anne Bronte was governess, her brother 
Branwell being at the same time tutor there. 



90 



The Dungeon 



3 
THE DUNGEON 

THOUGH not a breath can enter here, 
I know the wind blows fresh and free ; 
I know the sun is shining clear 
Though not a gleam can visit me. 

They thought while I in darkness lay 
'Twere pity that I should not know 
How all the earth is smiling gay, 
How fresh the vernal breezes blow. 

They knew such tidings to impart 
Would pierce my weary spirit through ; 
And could they better read my heart, 
They'd tell me she was smiling too. 

They need not, for I know it well, 
Methinks I see her even now, 
No sigh disturbs her bosom's swell, 
No shade o'ercasts her angel brow. 
291 



^Poems by *Anne ^Bronte* 

Unmarred by grief her matchless voice, 
Whence sparkling wit, and wisdom flow 
And others in its sound rejoice, 
And taste the joys I must not know ; 



Drink rapture from her soft dark eye, 
And sunshine from her heavenly smile ; 
On wings of bliss their moments fly 
And I am pining here the while ! 



Oh ! tell me, does she never give 
To my distress a single sigh ? 
She smiles on them, but does she grieve 
One moment, when they are not by ? 



When she beholds the sunny skies, 
And feels the wind of heaven blow ; 
Has she no tear for him that lies 
In dungeon gloom so far below ? 



While others gladly round her press, 
And at her side their hours beguile, 
Has she no sigh for his distress, 
Who cannot see a single smile, 
292 



'The Dungeon 



Nor hear one word, nor read a line 
That her beloved hand might write ; 
Who banished 'from her face must pine, 
Each day a. long a lonely night ? 

December i6th 1844 



293 



'Poems by *Anne 



4 
NIGHT * 

I LOVE the silent hour of night, 
For blissful dreams may then arise, 
Revealing to my charmed sight, 
What may not bless my waking eyes. 

And then a voice may meet my ear, 
That death has silenced long ago ; 
And hope and rapture may appear 
Instead of solitude and woe. 

Cold in the grave for years has lain 
The form it was my bliss to see ; 
And only dreams can bring again, 
The darling of my heart to me. 

Written early in 1845 



294 



Dreams 



5 
DREAMS * 

WHILE on my lonely couch I lie, 

I seldom feel myself alone, 
For fancy fills my dreaming eye 

With scenes and pleasures of its own. 

Then I may cherish at my breast 
An infant's form beloved and fair, 

May smile and soothe it into rest 
With all a Mother's fondest care. 

How sweet to feel its helpless form 
Depending thus on me alone ! 

And while I hold it safe and warm 
What bliss to think it is my own ! 

And glances then may meet my eyes 
That daylight never showed to me ; 

What raptures in my bosom rise, 
Those earnest looks of love to see, 
295 



Toems by *Anne 



To feel my hand so kindly prest, 
To know myself beloved at last, 

To think my heart has fodnd a rest 
My life of solitude is past ! 

But then to wake, and find it flown, 
The dream of happiness destroyed, 

To find myself unloved, alone, 

What tongue can speak the dreary void ? 

Spring 1845 



296 



Song 



6 
SONG 

WE know where deepest lies the snow, 
And where the frost-winds keenest blow, 

On every mountain brow. 
We long have known and learnt to bear, 
The wandering outlaw's toil and care, 
But where we late were hunted, there 

Our foes are hunted now. 

We have their princely homes, and they, 
To our wild haunts are chased away, 

Dark woods, and desert caves ; 
And we can range from hill to hill, 
And chase our vanquished victors still, 
Small respite will they find, until 

They slumber in their graves. 

But I would rather be the hare, 
That crouching in its sheltered lair, 
Must start at every sound ; 

297 K 2 



Toems by *Anne TSrontS 

That forced from cornfields waving wide, 
Is driven to seek the bare hillside, 
Or in the tangled copsewood hide, 
Than be the hunter's hound ! 

September $rd 1845 



298 



/ dreamt last night 



7* 

I DREAMT last night, and in that dream 
My boyhood's heart was mine again, 
These latter years did nothing seem 

With all their mingled joy and pain ; 
Their thousand deeds of good and ill, 
Their hopes which time did not fulfil, 
Their glorious moments of success, 
Their love that closed in bitterness, 
Their hate that grew with growing strength, 
Their darling projects dropped at length, 
And higher aims that still prevail ; 
For I must perish ere they fail, 
That crowning object of my life, 
The end of all my toil and strife, 
Source of my virtues and my crimes, 
For which I've toiled and striven in vain, 
But if I fail a thousand times, 
Still I will toil and strive again. 
Yet even this was then forgot, 
My present heart and soul were not ; 
All the rough lessons life has taught. 
That are become a part of me, 
299 



^Poems by *Anne TSrontS 

A moment's sleep to nothing brought 

And made me what I used to be ; 
And I was roaming light ^and gay, 
Upon a breezy sunny day, . 

A bold and careless youth, 
No guilty stain was on my mind, 
And, if not over soft or kind, 

My heart was full of truth. 
It was a well-known mountain scene, 
Wild steeps, with rugged glens between, 
I should have thirsted to explore, 
Had I not trod them oft before ; 
A younger boy was with me there, 

His hand upon my shoulder leant. 
His heart, like mine, was free from care, 

His breath with sportive toil was spent ; 
For my rough pastimes he would share, 
And equal dangers loved to dare, 

Though seldom I would care to vie, 
In learning's keen pursuit with him. 

I loved free air and open sky 
Better than books and tutors grim, 
And we had wandered far that day 
O'er that forbidden ground away, 
Ground, to our rebel feet how dear, 
Danger and freedom both were there ! 
Had climbed the steep and coursed the dale, 
Until his strength began to fail. 
300 



/ dreamt last night 



He bade me pause and breathe awhile, 
But spoke it with a happy smile, 
His lips were parted to inhale 
The breeze that swept the ferny dale, 
And chased the clouds across the sky 
And waved his locks in passing by, 
And fanned my cheek so real did seem 
This strange, untrue, but truthlike dream 
And as we stood, I laughed to see 
His fair young cheek so brightly glow, 
He turned his sparkling eyes to me 
With looks no painter's art could show, 
Nor words portray, but earnest mirth, 

And truthful love I there descried, 
And, while I thought upon his worth, 

My bosom glowed with joy and pride. 
I could have kissed his forehead fair, 

I could have clasped him to my heart, 
But tenderness with me was rare, 

And I must take a rougher part ; 
I seized him in my boisterous mirth, 
I bore him struggling to the earth, 
And grappling, strength for strength, we strove, 
He half in wrath, I all for love, 
But I gave o'er the strife at length, 
Ashamed of my superior strength, 
The rather that I marked his eye, 
Kindle as if a change were nigh. 
301 



by <Anne 'Bronte 



We paused to breathe a little space, 

Reclining on the heather brae, 
But still I gazed upon his face, 

To watch the shadow pass away. 
I grasped his hand, and it had fled, 
A smile, a laugh, and all was well ; 
Upon my breast he leant his head, 
And into graver talk we fell, 
More serious, yet so blest, did seem 

That calm communion then, 
That, when I found it but a dream, 

I longed to sleep again. 
At first remembrance slowly woke, 

Surprise, regret, successive rose, 
That Love's strong cords should thus be broke, 

And dearest friends turn deadliest foes. 
Then, like a cold, o'erwhelming flood 
Upon my soul it burst ; 
This heart had thirsted for his blood, 
This hand allayed that thirst ! 
These eyes had watched without a tear, 

His dying agony ; 

These ears, unmoved, had heard his prayer, 
This tongue had cursed him suffering there, 

And mocked him bitterly ! 

Unwonted weakness o'er me crept ; 
I sighed nay, weaker still I wept ! 
302 



/ dreamt last night 



Wept, like a woman o'er the deed 

I had been proud to do ; 
As I had made hi bosom bleed, 

My own was bleeding too. 

Back foolish tears ! the man I slew 

Was not the boy I cherished so ; 
And that young arm that clasped the friend 
Was not the same that stabbed the foe ; 
By time and adverse thoughts estranged, 
And wrongs and vengeance, both were changed. 
Repentance now were worse than vain, 
Time's current cannot backward run, 
And, be the action wrong or right, 

It is for ever done. 



September I2tk 1846 



303 



Toems by *Anne ^Bronte 



8* 

SEVERED and gone, so many years, 
And art thou still so dear to me, 
That throbbing heart and burning tears, 
Can witness how I clung to thee ? 

I know that in the narrow tomb 
The form I loved was buried deep, 
And left in silence, and in gloom, 
To slumber out its dreamless sleep. 
* * * 

For ever gone ! for I, by night 
Have prayed, within my silent room 
That Heaven would grant a burst of light 
Its cheerless darkness to illume, 

And give thee to my longing eyes, 
A moment, as thou shinest now, 
Fresh from thy mansion in the skies. 
With all its glory on thy brow. 

Wild was the wish, intense the gaze, 
I fixed upon the murky air. 
Expecting, half, a kindling blaze 
Would strike my raptured vision there, 

34 



Severed and gone 



A shape these human nerves would thrill, 
A majesty that might appal, 
Did not thy earthly likeness still 
Gleam softly, gladly through it all. 

False hope ! vain prayer ! It might not be 
That thou shouldst visit earth again ; 
I called on heaven I called on thee 
And watched, and waited, all in vain ! 

* * * 

A few cold words on yonder stone, 

A corpse as cold as they can be, 

Vain words and mouldering dust, alone, 

Can this be all that's left of thee ? 

Oh, no ! thy spirit lingers still 
Where'er thy sunny smile was seen, 
There's less of darkness, less of chili 
On earth, than if thou hadst not been. 

* * * 

Life seems more sweet that thou didst live, 
And men more true that thou wert one ; 
Nothing is lost that thou didst give, 
Nothing destroyed that thou hadst done. 

* # * 

April 1847 

305 



Toems by *Anne 



OH, they have robbed me of the hope 

My spirit held so dear ; 
They will not let me hear that voice 

My soul delights to hear. 

They will not let me see that face 

I so delight to see ; 
And they have taken all thy smiles, 

And all thy love from me. 

Well, let them seize on all they can ; 
One treasure still is mine, 

A heart that loves to think on thee, 
And feels the worth of thine. 



306 



"The Narrow 



10 

THE NARROW WAY 

BELIEVE not those who say 

The upward path is smooth, 
Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way, 
And faint before the truth. 

It is the only road 

Unto the realms of joy ; 
But he who seeks that blest abode 
Must all his powers employ. 

Bright hopes and pure delight 
Upon his course may beam, 
And there, amid the sternest heights, 
The sweetest flowerets gleam. 

On all her breezes borne, 

Earth yields no scents like those ; 
But he that dares not grasp the thorn 
Should never crave the rose. 

307 



Toems by *Anne 



Arm arm thee for the fight ! 

Cast useless loads away ; 
Watch through the darkest hours of night, 
Toil through the hottes^ day. 

Crush pride into the dust, 

Or thou must needs be slack ; 
And trample down rebellious lust, 
Or it will hold thee back. 

Seek not thine honour here ; 

Waive pleasures and renown ; 
The world's dread scoff undaunted bear, 
And face its deadliest frown. 

To labour and to love, 

To pardon and endure, 
To lift thy heart to God above, 

And keep thy conscience pure ; 

Be this thy constant aim, 

Thy hope, thy chief delight ; 
What matter who should whisper blame, 
Or who should scorn or slight ? 

What matter, if thy God approve, 

And if, within thy breast, 
Thou feel the comfort of His love, 
The earnest of His rest ? 
308 



Self-communion 



SELF-COMMUNION 

t THE mist is resting on the hill ; 

The smoke is hanging in the air ; 
The very clouds are standing still : 

A breathless calm broods everywhere. 
Thou pilgrim through this vale of tears, 

Thou, too, a little moment cease 
Thy anxious toil and fluttering fears, 

And rest thee, for a while, in peace.' 

c I would, but Time keeps working still 
And moving on for good or ill : 

He will not rest nor stay. 
In pain or ease, in smiles or tears, 
He still keeps adding to my years 

And stealing life away. 
His footsteps in the ceaseless sound 

Of yonder clock I seem to hear, 
That through this stillness so profound 

Distinctly strikes the vacant ear. 

309 



Teems by *Anne 



For ever striding on and on, 

He pauses not by night or day ; 
And all my life will soon be gone 

As these past years have slipped away. 
He took my childhood long ago, 
And then my early youth ; and lo, 

He steals away my prime ! 
I cannot see how fast it goes, 
But well my inward spirit knows 

The wasting power of time.' 

< Time steals thy moments, drinks thy breath, 

Changes and wastes thy mortal frame ; 
But though he gives the clay to death, 

He cannot touch the inward flame. 
Nay, though he steals thy years away, 

Their memory is left thee still, 
And every month and every day 

Leaves some effect of good or ill. 
The wise will find in Memory's store 
A help for that which lies before 

To guide their course aright ; 
Then, hush thy plaints and calm thy fears ; 
Look back on these departed years, 

And, say, what meets thy sight ? ' 

* I see, far back, a helpless child, 
Feeble and full of causeless fears, 
310 



Self-communion 



Simple and easily beguiled 

To credit all it hears. 
More timid than the wild wood-dove, 

Yet trussing to another's care, 
And finding in protecting love 

Its only refuge from despair, 
Its only balm for every woe, 
The only bliss its soul can know ; 

Still hiding in its breast. 
A tender heart too prone to weep, 
A love so earnest, strong, and deep 

It could not be exprest. 
Poor helpless thing ! what can it do 

Life's stormy cares and toils among ; 
How tread this weary desert through 

That awes the brave and tires the strong ? 
Where shall it centre so much trust 

Where truth maintains so little sway, 
Where seeming fruit is bitter dust, 

And kisses oft to death betray ? 
How oft must sin and falsehood grieve 
A heart so ready to believe, 

And willing to admire ! 
With strength so feeble, fears so strong, 
Amid this selfish bustling throng. 

How will it faint and tire ! 
That tender love so warm and deep, 

How can it flourish here below ? 

3" 



'Poems by *Anne ^Bronte 

What bitter floods of tears must steep 

The stony soil where it would grow ! 
O earth ! a rocky breast is thine 

A hard soil and a cruel dime, 
Where tender plants must droop and pine, 

Or alter with transforming time. 
That soul, that clings to sympathy, 
As ivy clasps the forest tree, 

How can it stand alone ? 
That heart so prone to overflow 
E'en at the thought of other's woe, 

How will it bear its own ? 
How, if a sparrow's death can wring 

Such bitter tear-floods from the eye, 
Will it behold the suffering 

Of struggling, lost humanity ? 
The torturing pain, the pining grief, 

The sin-degraded misery, 
The anguish that defies relief? ' 



< Look back again What dost thou see ? ' 



' I see one kneeling on the sod, 

With infant hands upraised to Heaven, 
A young heart feeling after God, 

Oft baffled, never backward driven. 
312 



Self-comm union 



Mistaken oft, and oft astray. 

It strives to find the narrow way, 

But gropes and toils alone : 
That inner life of strife and tears, 
Of kindling hopes and lowering fears 

To none but God is known. 
'Tis better thus ; for man would scorn 

Those childish prayers, those artless cries, 
That darkling spirit tossed and torn, 

But God will not despise ! 



We may regret such waste of tears 

Such darkly toiling misery, 
Such 'wildering doubts and harrowing fears, 

Where joy and thankfulness should be ; 
But wait, and Heaven will send relief. 

Let patience have her perfect work : 
Lo, strength and wisdom spring from grief, 

And joys behind afflictions lurk ! 
It asked for light, and it is heard ; 

God grants that struggling soul repose 
And, guided by His holy word, 

It wiser than its teachers grows. 
It gains the upward path at length, 
And passes on from strength to strength, 

Leaning on Heaven the while : 
Night's shades departing one by one, 

313 



Toems by *Anne Itronte' 

It sees at last the rising sun, 

And feels his cheering smile. 
In all its darkness and distress 

For light it sought, to God 'it cried ; 
And through the pathless wilderness, 

He was its comfort and its guide.' 

' So was it, and so will it be : 

Thy God will guide and strengthen thee ; 

His goodness cannot fail. 
The sun that on thy morning rose 
Will light thee to the evening's close, 

Whatever storms assail/ 

' God alters not ; but Time on me 

A wide and wondrous change has wrought : 
And in these parted years I see 

Cause for grave care and saddening thought. 
I see that time, and toil, and truth, 

An inward hardness can impart, 
Can freeze the generous blood of youth, 

And steel full fast the tender heart.' 

* Bless God for that divine decree ! 
That hardness comes with misery, 

And suffering deadens pain ; 
That at the frequent sight of woe 

3H 



Self-communion 



E'en Pity's tears forget to flow, 

If reason still remain ! 
Reason, with conscience by her side, 

But gathers strength from toil and truth ; 
And she will prove a surer guide 

Than those sweet instincts of our youth. 
Thou that hast known such anguish sore 

In weeping where thou couldst not bless, 
Canst thou that softness so deplore 

That suffering, shrinking tenderness? 
Thou that hast felt what cankering care 
A loving heart is doomed to bear, 

Say, how canst thou regret 
That fires unfed must fall away, 
Long droughts can dry the softest clay. 

And cold will cold beget ? ' 

4 Nay, but 'tis hard to feel that chill 

Come creeping o'er the shuddering heart. 
Love may be full of pain, but still, 

'Tis sad to see it so depart, 
To watch that fire whose genial glow 

Was formed to comfort and to cheer, 
For want of fuel, fading so, 

Sinking to embers dull and drear, 
To see the soft soil turned to stone 

For lack of kindly showers, 
To see those yearnings of the breast, 

315 



TPoems by *Anne TSrontS 

Pining to bless and to be blessed, 
Drop withered, frozen one by one, 
Till, centred in itself alone, 
It wastes its blighted powers. 



Oh, I have known a wondrous joy 

In early friendship's pure delight, 
A genial bliss that could not cloy 

My sun by day, my moon by night. 
Absence, indeed, was sore distress, 

And thought of death was anguish keen, 
And there was cruel bitterness 

When jarring discords rose between ; 
And sometimes it was grief to know 

My fondness was but half returned. 
But this was nothing to the woe 

With which another truth was learned : 
That I must check, or nurse apart, 
Full many an impulse of the heart 

And many a darling thought : 
What my soul worshipped, sought, and prized, 
Were slighted, questioned, or despised ; 

This pained me more than aught. 
And as my love the warmer glowed 

The deeper would that anguish sink, 
That this dark stream between us flowed, 

Though both stood bending o'er its brink ; 

316 



Self-communion 



Until, at last, I learned to bear 

A colder heart within my breast ; 
To share such thoughts as I could share, 

And calrnly keep the rest. 
I saw that they were sundered now, 

The trees that at the root were one : 
They yet might mingle leaf and bough, 

But still the stems must stand alone. 
O love is sweet of every kind ! 

'Tis sweet the helpless to befriend, 
To watch the young unfolding mind, 

To guide, to shelter, and defend : 
To lavish tender toil and care, 

And ask for nothing back again, 
But that our smiles a blessing bear 

And all our toil be not in vain. 
And sweeter far than words can tell 
Their love whose ardent bosoms swell 

With thoughts they need not hide ; 
Where fortune frowns not on their joy, 
And Prudence seeks not to destroy, 

Nor Reason to deride. 



Whose love may freely gush and flow, 
Unchecked, unchilled by doubt or fear, 

For in their inmost hearts they know 
It is not vainly nourished there. 

317 



'Poems by *Anne 



They know that in a kindred breast 
Their long desires have found a home, 

Where heart and soul may kindly rest, 
Weary and lorn no more to roam. 

Their dreams of bliss were not in vain, 

As they love they are loved again, 

And they can bless as they are blessed. 

O vainly might I seek to show 
The joys from happy love that flow ! 
The warmest words are all too cold 
The secret transports to unfold 
Of simplest word or softest sigh, 
Or from the glancing of an eye 

To say what rapture beams ; 
One look that bids our fears depart, 
And well assures the trusting heart. 
It beats not in the world alone 
Such speechless rapture I have known, 

But only in my dreams. 

My life has been a morning sky 

Where Hope her rainbow glories cast 

O'er kindling vapours far and nigh : 
And, if the colours faded fast, 

Ere one bright hue had died away 
Another o'er its ashes gleamed ; 

318 



Self-communion 



And if the lower clouds were grey, 

The mists above more brightly beamed. 
But not for long ;-r-at length behold, 

Those tints less warm, less radiant grew ; 
Till but one streak of paly gold 

Glimmered through clouds of saddening 

hue. 
And I am calmly waiting, now, 

To see that also pass away, 
And leave, above the dark hill's brow, 

A rayless arch of sombre grey.' 

* So must it fare with all thy race 

Who seek in earthly things their joy : 
So fading hopes lost hopes shall chase, 

Till Disappointment all destroy. 
But they that fix their hopes on high 
Shall, in the blue-refulgent sky, 

The sun's transcendent light, 
Behold a purer, deeper glow 
Than these uncertain gleams can show, 

However fair or bright. 
O weak of heart ! why thus deplore 

That Truth will Fancy's dreams destroy ? 
Did I not tell thee, years before, 

Life was for labour, not for joy ? 
Cease, selfish spirit, to repine ; 

O'er thine own ills no longer grieve ; 

319 



Toems by *Anne ^Bronte 

Lo, there are sufferings worse than thine, 

Which thou mayst labour to relieve. 
If Time indeed too swiftly flies, 
Gird on thine armour, haste, arise, 

For thou hast much to do ; 
To lighten woe, to trample sin, 
And foes without and foes within 

To combat and subdue. 
Earth hath too much of sin and pain : 
The bitter cup the binding chain 

Dost thou indeed lament ? 
Let not thy weary spirit sink ; 
But strive not by one drop or link 

The evil to augment. 
Strive rather thou, by peace and joy, 
The bitter poison to destroy, 

The tyrant chain to break. 
O strive ! and if thy strength be small, 
Strive yet the more, and spend it all 

For Love and Wisdom's sake ! ' 



' O I have striven both hard and long 
But many are my foes and strong. 
My gains are light my progress slow ; 
For hard's the way I have to go, 
And my worst enemies, I know, 
Are these within my breast ; 
320 



Self-communion 



And it is hard to toil for aye, 
Through sultry noon and twilight grey 
To toil and never rest. 1 



* There is a rest beyond the grave, 

A lasting rest from pain and sin, 
Where dwell the faithful and the brave ; 
But they must strive who seek to win.' 

* Show me that rest I ask no more. 
Oh, drive these misty doubts away ; 
And let me see that sunny shore, 

However far away ! 
However wide this rolling sea, 
However wild my passage be, 
Howe'er my bark be tempest-tost, 

May it but reach that haven fair, 
May I but land and wander there, 

With those that I have loved and lost ; 
With such a glorious hope in view, 
I'll gladly toil and suffer too. 
Rest without toil I would not ask ; 
I would not shun the hardest task : 
Toil is my glory Grief my gain, 
If God's approval they obtain. 
Could I but hear my Saviour say, 

" I know thy patience and thy love ; 
321 L 



Toems by *Anne 



How thou hast held the narrow way, 
For my sake laboured night and day, 

And watched, and striven with them that 

strove ; 
And still hast borne, and didst not faint," 

Oh, this would be reward indeed ! ' 

4 Press forward, then, without complaint ; 
Labour and love and such shall be thy meed.' 

April \ith 1848 



322 



Farewell to thee ! 



12 

FAREWELL to thee ! but not farewell 
To all my fondest thoughts of thee : 

Within my heart they still shall dwell ; 
And they shall cheer and comfort me. 

beautiful, and full of grace ! 

If thou hadst never met mine eye, 

1 had not dreamed a living face 

Could fancied charms so far outvie. 

If I may ne'er behold again 

That form and face so dear to me, 

Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain 
Preserve for aye their memory. 

That voice, the magic of whose tone 
Can wake an echo in my breast, 

Creating feelings that, alone, 

Can make my tranced spirit blest. 

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam 
My memory would not cherish less ; 

And oh, that smile ! whose joyous gleam 
No mortal language can express. 

323 



^Poems by *Anne TSrontt* 

Adieu ! but let me cherish still 

The hope with which I cannot part. 

Contempt may wound, ari'd coldness chill, 
But still it lingers in my heart. 

And who can tell but Heaven, at last, 
May answer all my thousand prayers. 

And bid the future pay the past 

With joy for anguish, smiles for tears. 



3 2 4 



^R 



emnscence 



13 
A REMINISCENCE 

YES, thou art gone ! and never more 
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me ; 

But I may pass the old church door, 
And pace the floor that covers thee, 

May stand upon the cold, damp stone, 
And think that, frozen, lies below 

The lightest heart that I have known, 
The kindest I shall ever know. 

Yet, though I cannot see thee more, 
'Tis still a comfort to have seen ; 

And though thy transient life is o'er, 
'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been ; 

To think a soul so near divine, 

Within a form so angel fair, 
United to a heart like thine. 

Has gladdened once our humble sphere. 



325 



Toems by *Anne ^Bronte 



14 
THE ARBOUR 

I'LL rest me in this sheltered bower, 
And look upon the clear blue sky 

That smiles upon me through the trees, 
Which stand so thickly clustering by ; 

And view their green and glossy leaves, 
All glistening in the sunshine fair ; 

And list the rustling of their boughs, 
So softly whispering through the air. 

And while my ear drinks in the sound, 
My winged soul shall fly away ; 

Reviewing long departed years 

As one mild, beaming, autumn day ; 

And soaring on to future scenes, 

Like hills and woods, and valleys green 

All basking in the summer's sun, 
But distant still, and dimly seen. 
326 



The *Arbour 



Oh, list ! 'tis summer's very breath 

That gently shakes the rustling trees 

But look 1 the now is on the ground 
How can I think of scenes like these ? 

'Tis but the frost that clears the air, 
And gives the sky that lovely blue ; 

They're smiling in a winter's sun, 
Those evergreens of sombre hue. 

And winter's chill is on my heart 
How can I dream of future bliss ? 

How can my spirit soar away, 
Confined by such a chain as this ? 



Toems by <Anne 



15 
HOME 

How brightly glistening in the sun 

The woodland ivy plays ! 
While yonder beeches from their barks 

Reflect his silver rays. 

That sun surveys a lovely scene 

From softly smiling skies ; 
And wildly through unnumbered trees 

The wind of winter sighs : 

Now loud, it thunders o'er my head, 

And now in distance dies. 
But give me back my barren hills, 

Where colder breezes rise ; 

Where scarce the scattered, stunted trees 
Can yield an answering swell, 

But where a wilderness of heath 
Returns the sound as well. 
328 



Home 

For yonder garden, fair and wide, 

With groves of evergreen, 
Long windirfg walks, and borders trim, 

And velvet lawns between 

Restore to me that little spot, 

With grey walls compassed round, 

Where knotted grass neglected lies, 
And weeds usurp the ground. 

Though all around this mansion high 

Invites the foot to roam, 
And though its halls are fair within 

Oh, give me back my HOME ! 



329 L 2 



Teems by <Anne 



16 
THE PENITENT 

I MOURN with thee, and yet rejoice 
That thou shouldst sorrow so ; 

With angel choirs I join my voice 
To bless the sinner's woe. 

Though friends and kindred turn away, 
And laugh thy grief to scorn ; 

I hear the great Redeemer say, 
* Blessed are ye that mourn.' 

Hold on thy course, nor deem it strange 
That earthly cords are riven : 

Man may lament the wondrous change, 
But c there is joy in heaven ! ' 



330 



If This be <All 



17 
IF THIS BE ALL 

O GOD ! if this indeed be all 
That Life can show to me ; 

If on my aching brow may fall 
No freshening dew from Thee ; 

If with no brighter light than this 
The lamp of hope may glow, 

And I may only dream of bliss, 
And wake to weary woe ; 

If friendship's solace must decay, 
When other joys are gone, 

And love must keep so far away, 
While I go wandering on, 

Wandering and toiling without gain, 

The slave of others' will, 
With constant care and frequent pain, 

Despised, forgotten still ; 

331 



by *Anne ^Bronte 



Grieving to look on vice and sin, 

Yet powerless to quell 
The silent current from within, 

The outward torrent's swell ; 

While all the good I would impart, 
The feelings I would share, 

Are driven backward to my heart, 
And turned to wormwood there ; 

If clouds must ever keep from sight 

The glories of the Sun, 
And I must suffer Winter's blight, 

Ere Summer is begun : 

If Life must be so full of care 
Then call me soon to thee ; 

Or give me strength enough to bear 
My load of misery ! 



332 



^Memory 



18 
MEMORY 

BRIGHTLY the sun of summer shone 
Green fields and waving woods upon, 

And soft winds wandered by ; 
Above a sky of purest blue, 
Around, bright flowers of loveliest hue, 

Allured the gazer's eye. 

But what were all these charms to me, 
W hen one sweet breath of memory 

Came gently wafting by ? 
I closed my eyes against the day, 
And called my willing soul away, 

From earth, and air, and sky ; 

That I might simply fancy there 
One little flower a primrose fair, 

Just opening into sight ; 
As in the days of infancy, 
An opening primrose seemed to me 

A source of strange delight. 

333 



by *Anne TSrontS 



Sweet Memory ! ever smile on me ; 
Nature's chief beauties spring from thee 

Oh, still thy tribute bfing ! 
Still make the golden crocus^shine 
Among the flowers the most divine, 

The glory of the spring. 

Still in the wallflower's fragrance dwell ; 
And hover round the slight blue-bell, 

My childhood's darling flower. 
Smile on the little daisy still, 
The buttercup's bright goblet fill 

With all thy former power. 

For ever hang thy dreamy spell 
Round mountain star and heather bell, 

And do not pass away 
From sparkling frost, or wreathed snow, 
And whisper when the wild winds blow 

Or rippling waters play. 



334 



To Cow per 



TO COWPER 

SWEET are thy strains, Celestial Bard ; 

And oft, in childhood's years, 
I've read them o'er and o'er again, 

With floods of silent tears. 

The language of my inmost heart 

I traced in every line ; 
My sins, my sorrows, hopes, and fears, 

Were there and only mine. 

All for myself the sigh would swell, 
The tear of anguish start ; 

I little knew what wilder woe 
Had filled the Poet's heart. 

I did not know the nights of gloom, 

The days of misery : 
The long, long years of dark despair, 

That crushed and toitured thee. 

335 



*Poems by <Anne TSrontS 

But they are gone ; from earth at length 

Thy gentle soul is pass'd, 
And in the bosom of its God 

Has found its home at last. 

It must be so, if God is love, 
And answers fervent prayer ; 

Then surely thou shalt dwell on high, 
And I may meet thee there. 

Is He the source of every good, 

The spring of purity ? 
Then in thine hours of deepest woe. 

Thy God was still with thee. 

How else, when every hope was fled, 

Couldst thou so fondly cling 
To holy things and holy men ? 

And how so sweetly sing 

Of things that God alone could teach ? 

And whence that purity, 
That hatred of all sinful ways 

That gentle charity ? 

Are these the symptoms of a heart 

Of heavenly grace bereft 
For ever banished from its God, 

To Satan's fury left ? 
336 



To Cowper 



Yet, should thy darkest fears be true, 

If Heaven be so severe, 
That such a soul as thine is lost, 

Oh ! how shall I appear ? 



337 



Toems by *Anne 



20 
PAST DAYS 

'Tis strange to think there was a time 
When mirth was not an empty name, 

When laughter really cheered the heart, 
And frequent smiles unbidden came. 

And tears of grief would only flow 

In sympathy for others' woe ; 

When speech expressed the inward thought, 
And heart to kindred heart was bare, 

And summer days were far too short 
For all the pleasures crowded there ; 

And silence, solitude, and rest, 

Now welcome to the weary breast 

Were all unprized, uncourted then ; 

And all the joy one spirit showed, 
The other deeply felt again ; 

And friendship like a river flowed, 
Constant and strong its silent course, 
For nought withstood its gentle force : 

338 



Days 



When night, the holy time of peace, 
Was dreaded as the parting hour ; 

When speech and mirth at once must cease, 
And silence must resume her power ; 

Though ever free from pains and woes, 

She only brought us calm repose. 

And when the blessed dawn again 

Brought daylight to the blushing skies, 

We woke, and not reluctant then, 
To joyless labour did we rise ; 

But full of hope, and glad and gay, 

We welcomed the returning day. 



339 



Toems by *Anne "Bronte 



21 

CONSOLATION x 

THOUGH bleak these woods, and damp the ground 
With fallen leaves so thickly strown, 

And cold the wind that wanders round 
With wild and melancholy moan ; 

There is a friendly roof, I know, 

Might shield me from the wintry blast ; 

There is a fire, whose ruddy glow 

Will cheer me for my wanderings past. 

And so, though still, where'er I go, 
Cold stranger-glances meet my eye ; 

Though, when my spirit sinks in woe, 
Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh ; 

1 This poem, like most of its predecessors, was first printed 
in the volume of poems published in 1846. It was afterwards 
included by Charlotte Bronte in her * Selection from the Poems 
of Acton Bell/ under the title of 'Lines Written from Home,' 
with this note : 

My sister Anne had to taste the cup of life as it is mixed for the 

class termed "Governesses." 
The following are some of the thoughts that now and then solace 

a governess/ 

340 



Consolation 



Though solitude, endured too long, 
Bids youthful joys too soon decay, 

Makes mirth a stronger to my tongue, 
And overclquds my noon of day ; 

When kindly thoughts that would have way, 
Flow back discouraged to my breast ; 

I know there is, though far away, 

A home where heart and soul may rest. 

Warm hands are there, that, clasped in mine, 
The warmer heart will not belie ; 

While mirth, and truth, and friendship shine 
In smiling lip and earnest eye. 

The ice that gathers round my heart 

May there be thawed ; and sweetly, then, 

The joys of youth, that now depart, 
Will come to cheer my soul again. 

Though far I roam, that thought shall be 
My hope, my comfort, everywhere ; 

While such a home remains to me, 
My heart shall never know despair ! 



341 



Toems by *Anne UrontS 



22 

APPEAL 

OH, I am very weary, 

Though tears no longer flow ; 
My eyes are tired of weeping, 

My heart is sick of woe ; 

My life is very lonely, 

My days pass rjeavily, 
I'm weary of repining ; 

Wilt thou not come to me ? 

Oh, didst thou know my longings 
For thee, from day to day, 

My hopes, so often blighted, 
Thou wouldst not thus delay ! 



342 



The Studenfs Serenade 



23 
THE STUDENT'S SERENADE 

I HAVE slept upon my couch, 
But my spirit did not rest, 

For the labours of the day 
Yet my weary soul opprest ; 

And before my dreaming eyes 
Still the learned volumes lay, 

And I could not close their leaves, 
And I could not turn away. 

But I oped my eyes at last, 
And I heard a muffled sound ; 

'Twas the night- breeze, come to say 
That the snow was on the ground. 

Then I knew that there was rest 
On the mountain's bosom free ; 

So I left my fevered couch, 
And I flew to waken thee ! 
343 



Toems by <Anne 



I have flown to waken thee 

For, if thou wilt not arise, 
Then my soul can drink no peace 

From these holy moonlight skies. 

And this waste of virgin snow 
To my sight will not be fair, 

Unless thou wilt smiling come, 
Love, to wander with me there. 

Then, awake ! Maria, wake ! 

For, if thou couldst only know 
How the quiet moonlight sleeps 

On this wilderness of snow, 

And the groves of ancient trees, 
In their snowy garb arrayed, 

Till they stretch into the gloom 
Of the distant valley's shade ; 

I know thou wouldst rejoice 

To inhale this bracing air ; 
Thou wouldst break thy sweetest sleep 

To behold a scene so fair. 

O'er these wintry wilds, alone, 
Thou wouldst joy to wander free ; 

And it will not please thee less, 

Though that bliss be shared with me. 
344 



'The Captive Dove 



24 
THE CAPTIVE DOVE 

POOR restless dove, I pity thee ; 

And when I hear thy plaintive moan, 
I mourn for thy captivity, 

And in thy woes forget mine own. 

To see thee stand prepared to fly, 

And flap those useless wings of thine, 

And gaze into the distant sky, 

Would melt a harder heart than mine. 

In vain in vain ! Thou canst not rise : 
Thy prison roof confines thee there ; 

Its slender wires delude thine eyes, 

And quench thy longings with despair. 

Oh, thou wert made to wander free 
In sunny mead and shady grove, 

And. far beyond the rolling sea, 
In distant climes, at will to rove ! 
345 



Toems by *Anne 



Yet, hadst thou but one gentle mate 
Thy little drooping heart to cheer, 

And share with thee thy captive state, 
Thou couldst be happy even there. 

Yes, even there, if, listening by, 
One faithful dear companion stood, 

While gazing on her full bright eye, 
Thou might'st forget thy native wood. 

But thou, poor solitary dove, 

Must make, unheard, thy joyless moan ; 
The heart that Nature formed to love 

Must pine, neglected, and alone. 



346 



Self-congrat ulation 



25 
SELF-CONGRATULATION 

* ELLEN, you were thoughtless once 

Of beauty or of grace, 
Simple and homely in attire, 

Careless of form and face. 
Then whence this change ? and wherefore now 

So often smooth your hair ? 
And wherefore deck your youthful form 

With such unwearied care ? 

' Tell us, and cease to tire our ears 

With that familiar strain ; 
Why will you play those simple tunes 

So often o'er again ? ' 
' Indeed, dear friends, I can but say 

That childhood's thoughts are gone ; 
Each year its own new feelings brings, 

And years move swiftly on : 

c And for these little simple airs 

I love to play them o'er 
So much I dare not promise, now, 

To play them never more.' 

347 



^Poems by *Anne TSronte 

I answered and it was enough ; 

They turned them to depart ; 
They could not read my* secret thoughts, 

Nor see my throbbing heart. 

I've noticed many a youthful form, 

Upon whose changeful face 
The inmost workings of the soul 

The gazer well might trace ; 
The speaking eye, the changing lip. 

The ready blushing cheek, 
The smiling, or beclouded brow, 

Their different feelings speak. 

But, thank God ! you might gaze on mine 

For hours, and never know 
The secret changes of my soul 

From joy to keenest woe. 
Last night, as we sat round the fire, 

Conversing merrily, 
We heard, without, approaching steps 

Of one well known to me ! 

There was no trembling in my voice, 

No blush upon my cheek, 
No lustrous sparkle in my eyes, 

Of hope, or joy, to speak ; 
348 



Self-congratulation 



But, oh ! my spirit burned within, 
My heart beat full and fast ! 

He came not nigh he went away 
And then ,my joy was past. 

And yet my comrades marked it not : 

My voice was still the same ; 
They saw me smile, and o'er my face 

No signs of sadness came. 
They little knew my hidden thoughts ; 

And they will never know 
The aching anguish of my heart, 

The bitter burning woe ! 



349 



^Poems by *Anne 



26 
FLUCTUATIONS 

WHAT though the Sun had left my sky ; 

To save me from despair 
The blessed moon arose on high, 

And shone serenely there. 

I watched her, with a tearful gaze, 

Rise slowly o'er the hill, 
While through the dim horizon's haze 

Her light gleamed faint and chill. 

I thought such wan and lifeless beams 

Could ne'er my heart repay 
For the bright sun's most transient gleams 

That cheered me through the day : 

But, as above that mist's control 

She rose, and brighter shone, 
I felt her light upon my soul ; 

But now that light is gone ! 
350 



Fluctuations 



Thick vapours snatched her from my sight, 

And I was darkling left, 
All in the cold aftd gloomy night, 

Of light and hope bereft : 

Until, methought, a little star 
Shone forth with trembling ray, 

To cheer me with its light afar 
But that, too, passed away. 

Anon, an earthly meteor blazed 
The gloomy darkness through ; 

I smiled, yet trembled while I gazed 
But that soon vanished too! 

And darker, drearier fell the night 

Upon my spirit then ; 
But what is that faint struggling light ? 

Is it the Moon again ? 

Kind Heaven ! increase that silvery gleam, 

And bid these clouds depart, 
And let her soft celestial beam 

Restore my fainting heart ! 



351 



Toems by <Anne 



27 
DESPONDENCY 

I HAVE gone backward in the work ; 

The labour has not sped ; 
Drowsy and dark my spirit lies, 

Heavy and dull as lead. 

How can I rouse my sinking soul 

From such a lethargy ? 
How can I break these iron chains 

And set my spirit free ? 

There have been times when I have mourned 

In anguish o'er the past, 
And raised my suppliant hands on high, 

While tears fell thick and fast 5 

And prayed to have my sins forgiven, 

With such a fervent zeal, 
An earnest grief, a strong desire, 

As now I cannot feel. 

* * * 

352 



^Prayer 



28 
A PRAYER 

My God, oh, let me call Thee mine, 
Weak, wretched sinner though I be, 

My trembling soul would fain be Thine ; 
My feeble faith still clings to Thee. 

Not only for the Past I grieve, 
The Future fills me with dismay ; 

Unless Thou hasten to relieve, 
Thy suppliant is a castaway. 

I cannot say my faith is strong, 
I dare not hope my love is great ; 

But strength and love to Thee belong ; 
Oh, do not leave me desolate ! 

I know I owe my all to Thee ; 

Oh, take the heart I cannot give ! 
Do Thou my strength my Saviour be, 

And make me to Thy glory live. 



353 



Toems by *Anne 'Bronte 



29 

IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY 
IN FEBRUARY 



I WAS alone, for those I loved 

Were far away from me ; 
The sun shone on the withered grass, 

The wind blew fresh and free. 

Was it the smile of early spring 
That made my bosom glow ? 

'Twas sweet ; but neither sun nor wind 
Could cheer my spirit so. 

Was it some feeling of delight, 

All vague and undefined ? 
No ; 'twas a rapture deep and strong, 

Expanding in the mind. 

Was it a sanguine view of life, 

And all its transient bliss, 
A hope of bright prosperity ? 

Oh, no ! it was not this. 
354 



In ^Memory of a Happy Day 

It was a glimpse of truth divine 

Unto my spirit given, 
Illumined by a ray of light 

That shone direct from heaven. 



355 



^Poems by *Anne TSronte 



30 
CONFIDENCE 

OPPRESSED with sin and woe, 

A burdened heart I bear, 
Opposed by many a mighty foe ; 
But I will not despair. 

With this polluted heart, 

I dare to come to Thee, 
Holy and mighty as Thou art, 
For Thou wilt pardon me. 

I feel that I am weak, 

And prone to every sin 5 
But Thou who giv'st to those who seek, 
Wilt give me strength within. 

Far as this earth may be 

From yonder starry skies ; 
Remoter still am I from Thee : 
Yet Thou wilt not despise. 

356 



Confidence 



I need not fear my foes, 

I need not yield to care ; 
I need not sink beneath my woes. 
For* Thou wilt answer prayer. 

In my Redeemer's name, 
I give myself to Thee ; 
And, all unworthy as I am, 
My God will cherish me. 



357 



'Poems by *Anne ^Bronte 



31 
DOMESTIC PEACE 

WHY should such gloomy silence reign, 
And why is all the house so drear, 

When neither danger, sickness, pain, 

Nor death, nor want, have entered here ? 

We are as many as we were 

That other night, when all were gay 
And full of hope, and free from care ; 

Yet is there something gone away. 

The moon without, as pure and calm, 
Is shining as that night she shone ; 

But now, to us, she brings no balm, 
For something from our hearts is gone. 

Something whose absence leaves a void 
A cheerless want in every heart ; 

Each feels the bliss of all destroyed, 
And mourns the change but each apart. 

358 



Domestic T^eace 



The fire is burning in the grate 

As redly as it used to burn ; 
But still the heart is desolate, 

Till mirth, and love, and peace return. 

'Twas peace that flowed from heart to heart, 
With looks and smiles that spoke of heaven, 

And gave us language to impart 

The blissful thoughts itself had given. 

Domestic peace ! best joy of earth, 
When shall we all thy value learn ? 

White angel, to our sorrowing hearth, 
Return oh, graciously return ! 



359 



Toems by *Anne *Bront8 



32 
THE THREE GUIDES 

SPIRIT of Earth ! thy hand is chill : 

I've felt its icy clasp ; 
And, shuddering, I remember still 

That stony-hearted grasp. 
Thine eye bids love and joy depart : 

Oh, turn its gaze from me ! 
It presses down my shrinking heart ; 

I will not walk with thee ! 



Dull is thine ear, unheard by thee 

The still, small voice of Heaven ; 
Thine eyes are dim and cannot see 

The helps that God has given. 
There is a bridge o'er every flood 

Which thou canst not perceive ; 
A path through every tangled wood, 

But thou wilt not believe. 
360 



The Three Guides 



Striving to make thy way by force, 

Toil-spent and bramble-torn, 
Thou'lt fell the tree that checks thy course, 

And burst^ through brier and thorn : 
And, pausing by the river's side, 

Poor reasoner ! thou wilt deem, 
By casting pebbles in its tide, 

To cross the swelling stream. 



Spirit of Pride ! thy wings are strong, 

Thine eyes like lightning shine ; 
Ecstatic joys to thee belong, 

And powers almost divine. 
But 'tis a false, destructive blaze 

Within those eyes I see ; 
Turn hence their fascinating gaze ; 

I will not follow thee. 



Yes, I have seen thy votaries oft, 

Upheld by thee their guide, 
In strength and courage mount aloft 

The steepy mountain-side ; 
I've seen them stand against the sky, 

And gazing from below, 
Beheld thy lightning in their eye, 

Thy triumph on their brow. 

361 M 



^Poems by *Anne TSrontS 

Oh, I have felt what glory then, 

What transport must be theirs ! 
So far above their fellow-men, 

Above their toils and cares ; 
Inhaling Nature's purest breath, 

Her riches round them spread, 
The wide expanse of earth beneath 

Heaven's glories overhead ! 

* * * 
Where is their glory, where the pride 

That swelled their hearts before ? 
Where now the courage that defied 

The mightiest tempest's roar ? 
What shall they do when night grows black, 

When angry storms arise ? 
Who now will lead them to the track 

Thou taught'st them to despise ? 

* * * 
Day does not always mark our way, 

Night's shadows oft appal, 
But lead me, and I cannot stray, 

Hold me, I shall not fall ; 
Sustain me, I shall never faint, 

How rough soe'er may be 
My upward road, nor moan, nor plaint 

Shall mar my trust in thee. 

* * * 

362 



"The "Three Guides 



Deserts beyond lie bleak and bare, 

And keen winds round us blow ; 
But if thy hand conducts me there, 

The way is right, I know. 
I have no wish to turn away ; 

My spirit does not quail, 
How can it while I hear thee say, 

4 Press forward and prevail ! ' 



363 



Teems by *Anne 'Bronte* 



33 

THERE let thy bleeding branch atone 

For every torturing tear. 
Shall my young sins, my sins alone, 

Be everlasting here f 

Who bade thee keep that carved name 

A pledge for memory ? 
As if oblivion ever came 

To breathe its bliss on me ; 

As if through all the 'wildering maze 

Of mad hours left behind 
I once forgot the early days 

That thou wouldst call to mind ! 



Fragment 



34 
FRAGMENT * 

YES I will take a cheerful tone 
And feign to share their heartless glee ; 
But I would rather weep alone 
Than laugh amid their revelry. 

January 26fh 1849 



365 



^Poems by *Anne ^Bronte 



35 
LAST LINES 1 

I HOPED, that with the brave and strong, 

My portioned task might lie ; 
To toil amid the busy throng, 

With purpose pure and high. 

But God has fixed another part, 

And He has fixed it well ; 
I said so with my bleeding heart, 

When first the anguish fell. 

* A dreadful darkness closes in 

On my bewildered mind ; 
O let me suffer and not sin, 
Be tortured yet resigned. 

* Shall I with joy thy blessings share 

And not endure their loss. 
Or hope the martyr's crown to wear 
And cast away the cross ? 

1 * I have given the last memento of my sister Emily ; this is 
the last of my sister Anne. C. B.' 

366 



Last Lines 



Thou, God, hast taken our delight, 

Our treasured hope away : 
Thou bidst us how weep through the night 

And sorrow through the day. 

These weary hours will not be lost. 

These days of misery, 
These nights of darkness, anguish-tost, 

Can I but turn to Thee : 



With secret labour to sustain 
In humble patience every blow ; 

To gather fortitude from pain, 
And hope and holiness from woe. 

Thus let me serve Thee from rny heart, 
Whate'er may be my written fate : 

Whether thus early to depart, 
Or yet a while to wait. 

If Thou shouldst bring me back to life, 

More humbled I should be ; 
More wise, more strengthened for the 
strife, 

More apt to lean on Thee. 

367 



'Poems by <Anne Itronte' 

Should death be standing at the gate, 
Thus should I keep my vow : 

But, Lord ! whatever be my fate, 
Oh, let me serve Thee now ! 

* These lines written, the desk was closed, the pen laid aside 
for ever. C. B.' 



368 



POEMS BY 
BRANWELL BRONTE 



So where He reigns 



So where He reigns in glory bright, 
Above those starry skies of night, 
Amid His Paradise of light, 
Oh, why may I not be ? 

Oft when awake on Christmas morn, 
In sleepless twilight laid forlorn, 
Strange thoughts have o'er my mind been borne, 
How He has died for*me ; 

And oft, within my chamber lying, 
Have I awaked myself with crying 
From dreams, where I beheld Him dying 
Upon the accursed Tree ; 

And often has my mother said, 
While on her lap I laid my head, 
She feared for Time I was not made, 
But for Eternity. 



371 



Toems by TSranwell TSronte 



SONNET 

ON THE CALLOUSNESS PRODUCED BY CARE 

WHY hold young eyes the fullest fount of tears ? 

And why do youthful hearts the oftenest sigh, 

When fancied friends forsake, or lovers fly, 
Or fancied woes and dangers wake their fears ? 
Ah ! he who asks has known but spring-tide years, 

Or Time's rough voice had long since told him 
why ! 

Increase of days increases misery ; 
And misery brings selfishness, which sears 

The heart's first feelings : 'mid the battle's roar, 
In Death's dread grasp, the soldier's eyes are blind 

To comrades dying, and he whose hopes are o'er 
Turns coldest from the sufferings of mankind ; 

A bleeding spirit oft delights in gore : 
A tortured heart oft makes a tyrant mind. 

Circa 1842 



372 



NoaKs framing 



NOAH'S WARNING OVER METHU- 
SALEH'S GRAVE 

BROTHERS and men ! one moment stay 
Beside your latest patriarch's grave, 

While God's just vengeance yet delay, 
While God's blest mercy yet can save. 

Will you compel my tongue to say, 
That underneath this nameless sod 

Your hands, with mine, have laid to-day 
The last on earth who walked with God f 
* * * 

He's gone ! my Father full of days, 
From life which left no joy for him 5 

Born in creation's earliest blaze ; 
Dying himself, its latest beam. 

But he is gone ! and, oh, behold, 

Shown in his death, God's latest sign ! 

Than which more plainly never told 
An Angel's presence His design. 

373 



Toems by ^Eranwell ^Bronte 

By it, the evening beam withdrawn 
Before a starless night descend ; 

By it, the last blest spirit born 
From this beginning of an end ; 

By all the strife of civil war 

That beams within yon fated town ; 
By all the heart's, worst passions there, 
That call so loud for vengeance down ; 

By that vast wall of cloudy gloom, 
Piled boding round the firmament ; 

By all its presages of doom, 

Children of men Repent ! Repent ! 



1842 



374 



Our Lady of Grief 



4 
OUR LADY OF GRIEF 

WHEN all our cheerful hours seem gone for ever, 
All lost that caused the body or the mind 
To nourish love or friendship for our kind, 

And Charon's boat, prepared, o'er Lethe's river 

Our souls to waft, and all our thoughts to sever 
From what was once life's Light ; still there 

may be 
Some well-loved bosom to whose pillow we 

Could heartily our utter self deliver ; 

And if, towards her grave Death's dreary road 
Our Darling's feet should tread, each step by her 

Would draw our own steps to the same abode, 
And make a festival of sepulture ; 

For what gave joy, and joy to us had owed, 

Should death affright us from, when he would her 
restore ? 

1846 



375 



'Poems by 'Branivett ItrontS 



5 
THE END OF ALL 

IN that unpitying Winter's night, 

When my own wife my Mary died, 

I, by my fire's declining light, 
Sat comfortless, and silent sighed, 
While burst unchecked grief's bitter tide, 

As I, methought, when she was gone, 
Not hours, but years, like this must bide, 

And wake, and weep, and watch alone. 

All earthly hope had passed away. 

And each clock-stroke brought Death more nigh 
To the still chamber where she lay, 

With soul and body calmed to die ; 

But mine was not her heavenward eye 
When hot tears scorched me, as her doom 

Made my sick heart throb heavily 
To give impatient anguish room. 

4 Oh now,' methought, c a little while, 
And this great house will hold no more 

Her whose fond love the gloom could while 
Of many a long night gone before ! ' 
Oh ! all those happy hours were o'er 

376 



The End of .All 



When, seated by our own fireside, 

I'd smile to hear the wild winds roar, 
And turn to clasp my beauteous bride. 

I could not bear the thoughts which rose 

Of what had been, and what must be, 
And still the dark night would disclose 

Its sorrow-pictured prophecy ; 

Still saw I miserable me 
Long, long nights else, in lonely gloom, 

With time-bleached locks and trembling knee- 
Walk aidless, hopeless, to my tomb, 

Still, still that tomb's eternal shade 

Oppressed my heart with sickening fear, 
When I could see its shadow spread 

Over each dreary future year. 

Whose vale of tears woke such despair 
That, with the sweat-drops on my brow, 

I wildly raised my hands in prayer 
That Death would come and take me now ; 

Then stopped to hear an answer given 
So much had madness warped my mind 

When, sudden, through the midnight heaven, 
With long howl woke the Winter's wind ; 
And roused in me, though undefined, 

377 



*Poems by TSranwell 



A rushing thought of tumbling seas, 

Whose wild waves wandered unconfined, 
And, far-off surging, whispered, * Peace.' 

I cannot speak the feeling strange, 

Which showed that vast December sea, 
Nor tell whence came that sudden change 

From aidless, hopeless misery ; 

But somehow it revealed to me 
A life when things I loved were gone 

Whose solitary liberty 
Might suit me wandering tombward on. 

'Twas not that I forgot my love, 

That night departing evermore ; 
'Twas hopeless grief for her that drove 

My soul from all it prized before ; 

That misery called me to explore 
A new-born life, whose stony joy 

Might calm the pangs of sorrow o'er, 
Might shrine their memory, not destroy. 

I rose, and drew the curtains back 
To gaze upon the starless waste, 

And image on that midnight wrack 
The path on which I longed to haste, 
From storm to storm continual cast, 

378 



The End of <All 



And not one moment given to view ; 

O'er mind's wild winds the memories passed 
Of hearts I loved *of scenes I knew. 

My mind anticipated all 

The things my eyes have seen since then ; 
I heard the trumpet's battle-call, 

I rode o'er ranks of bleeding men, 

I swept the waves of Norway's main, 
I tracked the sands of Syria's shore, 

I felt that such strange strife and pain 
Might me from living death restore. 

Ambition I would make my bride, 

And joy to see her robed in red, 
For none through blood so wildly ride 

As those whose hearts before have bled ; 

Yes, even though thou should'st long have laid, 
Pressed coldly down by churchyard clay, 

And though I knew thee thus decayed, 
I might smile grimly when away ; 

Might give an opiate to my breast, 

Might dream : but oh ! that heart-wrung groan 
Forced from me with the thought confessed 

That all would go if she were gone ; 

I turned, and wept, and wandered on 

379 



c Poems by *Branwell ^Bronte 

All restlessly from room to room 
To that still chamber, where alone 
A sick-light glimmered through the gloom. 

The all-unnoticed time flew o'er me, 

While my breast bent above her bed, 
And that drear life which loomed before me 

Choked up my voice bowed down my head. 

Sweet holy words to me she said, 
Of that bright heaven which shone so near, 

And oft and fervently she prayed 
That I might some time meet her there ; 

But, soon enough, all words were over, 

When this world passed, and Paradise, 
Through deadly darkness, seemed to hover 

O'er her half-dull, half-brightening eyes ; 
One last dear glance she gives her lover, 

One last embrace before she dies ; 
And then, while he seems bowed above her, 

His Mary sees him from the skies. 

1847 



380 



Tercy Hall 



PERCY HALL 



THE westering sunbeams smiled on Percy Hall, 
And green leaves glittered o'er the ancient wall 
Where Mary sat, to feel the summer breeze, 
And hear its music mingling 'mid the trees. 
There she had rested in her quiet bower 
Through June's long afternoon, while hour on hour 
Stole, sweetly shining past her, till the shades, 
Scarce noticed, lengthened o'er the grassy glades ; 
But yet she sat, as if she knew not how 
Her time wore on, with Heaven-directed brow, 
And eyes that only seemed awake, whene'er 
Her face was fanned by summer evening's air. 
All day her limbs a weariness would feel, 
As if a slumber o'er her frame would steal ; 
Nor could she wake her drowsy thoughts to care 
For day, or hour, or what she was, or where : 
Thus lost in dreams, although debarred from 

sleep, 
While through her limbs a feverish heat would 

creep, 



'Poems by 'Branwe// c Bront8 

A weariness, a listlessness that hung 

About her vigour, and Life's powers unstrung 

She did not feel the iron grip of, pain, 

But thought felt irksome to her heated brain \ 

Sometimes the stately woods would' float before her, 

Commingled with the cloud-piles brightening o'er 

her, 

Then change to scenes for ever lost to view, 
Or mock with phantoms which she never knew : 
Sometimes her soul seemed brooding on to-day, 
And then it wildly wandered far away, 
Snatching short glimpses of her infancy, 
Or lost in day-dreams of what yet might be. 

Yet through the labyrinth - like course of 

thought 

Whate'er might be remembered or forgot, 
Howe'er diseased the dream might be, or dim, 
Still seemed the Future through each change to 

swim, 

All indefinable, but pointing on 
To what should welcome her when Life 'was 

gone ; 

She felt as if to all she knew so well 
Its voice was whispering her to say * farewell ;' 
Was bidding her forget her happy home ; 
Was farther fleeting still still beckoning her to 

come. 

382 



Percy Hall 

She felt as one might feel who, laid at rest, 
With cold hands folded on a panting breast, 
Has just received a husband's last embrace, 
Has kissed a child, and turned a pallid face 
From this world with its feelings all laid by 
To one unknown, yet hovering oh ! how nigh ! 



383 



'Poems by 'Branwell 



7 
ON CAROLINE 

THE light of thy ancestral hall, 

Thy Caroline, no longer smiles : 
She has changed her palace for a pall, 

Her garden walks for minster aisles : 
Eternal sleep has stilled her breast 

Where peace and pleasure made their shrine ; 
Her golden head has sunk to rest 

Oh, would that rest made calmer mine ! 

To thee, while watching o'er the bed 

Where, mute and motionless, she lay, 
How slow the midnight moments sped ! 

How void of sunlight woke the day ! 
Nor oped her eyes to morning's beam, 

Though all around thee woke to her 5 
Nor broke thy raven-pinioned dream 

Of coffin, shroud, and sepulchre. 

Why beats thy heart when hers is still ? 

Why linger'st thou when she is gone ? 
Hop'st thou to light on good or ill ? 

To find companionship alone ? 

384 



On Caroline 



Perhaps thou think'st the churchyard stone 

Can hide past smiles and bury sighs : 
That Memory,* with her soul, has flown ; 

That thou canst leave her where she lies ? 



No ! joy itself is but a shade, 

So well may its remembrance die ; 
But cares, life's conquerors, never fade, 

So. strong is their reality ! 
Thou may'st forget the day which gave 

That child of beauty to thy side, 
But not the moment when the grave 

Took back again thy borrowed bride ! 



385 



by 'Branwell ( Bront8 



8 
CAROLINE 

I STOOPED to pluck a rose that grew 

Beside this window, waving then ; 
But back my little hand withdrew, 

From some reproof of inward pain ; 
For she who loved it was not there 

To check me with her dove-like eye, 
And something bid my heart forbear 

Her favourite rosebud to destroy. 
Was it that bell that funeral bell, 

Sullenly sounding on the wind ? 
Was it that melancholy knell 

Which first to sorrow woke my mind ? 
I looked upon my mourning dress, 

Till my heart beat with childish fear, 
And frightened at my loneliness, 

I watched, some well-known sound to hear. 
But all without lay silent in 

The sunny hush of afternoon, 
And only muffled steps within 

Passed slowly and sedately on. 
* * * 

386 



Caroline 



There lay she then, as now she lies 

For not a limb has moved since then 
In dreamless slumber closed, those eyes 

That never more might wake again. 
She lay, as I had seen her lie 

On many a happy night before, 
When I was humbly kneeling by 

Whom she was teaching to adore : 
Oh, just as when by her I prayed, 

And she to heaven sent up my prayer, 
She lay with flowers about her head 

Though formal grave-clothes hid her hair ! 
Still did her lips the smile retain 

Which parted them when hope was high, 
Still seemed her brow as smoothed from pain 

As when all thought she could not die. 
And, though her bed looked cramped and strange, 

Her too bright cheek all faded now, 
My young eyes scarcely saw a change 

From hours when moonlight paled her brow. 
And yet I felt and scarce could speak 

A chilly face, a faltering breath, 
When my hand touched the marble cheek 

Which lay so passively beneath. 



And thus it brought me back the hours 
When we, at rest together, 

387 



^Poems by 'Branwell ^Bronte 

Used to lie listening to the showers 

Of wild December weather ; 
Which, when, as oft, they, woke in her 

The chords of inward thought, 
Would fill with pictures that wild air, 

From far-off memories brought ; 
So, while I lay, I heard again 

Her silver-sounding tongue, 
Rehearsing some remembered strain 

Of old times long agone ! 
And, flashed across my spirit's sight, 

What she had often told me 
When, laid awake on Christmas night, 

Her sheltering arms would fold me 
About that midnight-seeming day, 

Whose gloom o'er Calvary thrown, 
Showed trembling Nature's deep dismay 

At what her sons had done. 



388 



INDEX TO TITLES OF POEMS 



PAGE 

A DAY-DREAM 163 

A Death-scene 193 

A Prayer 353 

A Reminiscence . . . . . . . .325 

Absent One, The 108 

Anticipation 251 

Appeal 342 

Arbour, The .... ..... 326 

At Castle Wood 159 

BLUEBELL, The (by Emily Bronte) 271 

Bluebell, The (by Anne Bronte) . . . .287 

Bluebell, To a (by Emily Bronte) 113 

CAGED Bird, The 144 

Captive Dove, The 345 

Caroline 386 

Caroline, On 384 

Churchyard, The 3 

Claudia 116 

Confidence 356 

Consolation ......... 340 

Cowper, To . 335 

DAY-DREAM, A 163 

Death 151 

Death-scene, A 193 

Despondency 352 

Domestic Peace 358 

389 



Index to Titles of Toems 



.PAGE 

Douglas' Ride 96 

Dreams .......... 295 

Dungeon, The c . . . 291 

ENCOURAGEMENT 189 

End of All, The 376 

Evening Solace ........ 47 

Eventide 58 

FAITH and Despondency . . . . . . 195 

Fluctuations . . . . . . . . . 350 

Fragment 365 

Frances .......... 30 

GERALDINE 148 

Grave in the Ocean 153 

HOME 328 

Home-sickness ........ 4 

Honour's Martyr . 197 

Hope 254 

How clear she shines ! 258 

IF This be All 331 

Imagination, To 256 

In Memory of a Happy Day in February . . . 354 



KING Richard's Song 



LADY to her Guitar, The 182 

Last Lines 366 

Last Words 180 

Letter, The 34 

390 



Index to Titles of 'Poems 



PAGE 

Lines written at Thorp Green ...... 290 

Lines written from Home 340 n. 

Love and Friendship * 280 

MEMENTOS * 21 

Memory .......... 333 

Moors, The . 273 

My Comforter ......... 266 

NARROW Way, The 307 

Never 134 

Night 294 

Night-wind, The 276 

Noah's Warning over Methusaleh's Grave . . . 373 

OLD Stoic, The 268 

On Caroline 384 

On the Callousness Produced by Care (Sonnet) . . 372 

Our Lady of Grief 375 

Outcast Mother, The 183 

PARTING 54 

Past Days 338 

Penitent, The 330 

Percy Hall 381 

Philosopher, The 169 

Plead for me 260 

Prayer, A 353 

Presentiment 38 

Prisoner, The 204 

REASON 17 

Remembrance . . . . . . .165 

Reminiscence, A 325 

Retirement 143 

391 



Index to Titles of 'Poems 



SAUL ii 

Self-communion .... .... 309 

Self-congratulation ' ... 347 

Self-interrogation ........ 262 

Signal Light, The ' . . .202 

Song : King Julius left the south country . no 

Song, King Richard's ....... 8 

Song : O between distress and pleasure . . . .129 

Song: The linnet in the rocky dells . . . .191 

Song : This shall be thy lullaby .... 95 

Song : We know where deepest lies the snow . . . 297 
Sonnet : On the Callousness produced by Care . . 372 

Stanzas to ........ 264 

Stars 248 

Student's Serenade, The ....... 343 

Sympathy 259 

TEACHER'S Monologue, The .... .42 

The Absent One 108 

The Arbour . .326 

The Bluebell (by Emily Bronte) 271 

The Bluebell (by Anne Bronte) 287 

The Caged Bird 144 

The Captive Dove .... .... 345 

The Churchyard ........ 3 

The Dungeon 291 

The End of All 376 

The Lady to her Guitar 182 

The Letter 34 

The Moors 273 

The Narrow Way ........ 307 

The Night-wind . . . . . . . .276 

The Old Stoic 268 

The Outcast Mother 183 

The Penitent 330 

392 



Index to Titles of "Poems 

PAGE 

The Philosopher 169 

The Prisoner . 204 

The Signal Light 202 

The Student's Serenade 343 

The Teacher's Monologue ...... 42 

The Three Guides 360 

The Visionary 202 

The Wanderer from the Fold 185 

The Wood 25 

The Wounded Stag 6 

Three Guides, The 360 

To a Bluebell 113 

To a Wreath of Snow 87 

To Cowper 335 

To Imagination 256 

VISIONARY, The 202 

WANDERER from the Fold, The 185 

Warning and Reply . . . . . . .187 

Watching and Wishing 49 

When thou sleepest 51 

Winter Stores 56 

Wood, The 25 

Wounded Stag, The . ... 6 



393 



INDEX TO FIRST LINES 
OF POEMS 

PAGE 

A FINE and subtle spirit dwells 287 

A fresh wind waves the clustering roses . . . .176 

A little while, a little while 269 

A thousand sounds of happiness 167 

Ah ! why, because the dazzling sun .... 248 

Alas ! the countless links are strong .... 262 

All day I've toiled, but not with pain .... 233 

All her tresses backward strayed 223 

All hushed and still within the house .... 237 
All in this house is mossing over . . . . .21 

Alone I sat ; the summer day ..... 78 

And like myself lone, wholly lone 144 

Awaken, o'er all my dear moorland .... 273 

Ay there it is 1 it wakes to-night 273 

BELIEVE not those who say 307 

Brightly the sun of summer shone ..... 333 
Brothers and men ! one moment stay ... . . 373 
But two miles more, and then we rest ! . . . -25 

CHILD of delight, with sun-bright hair .... 201 
Cold in the earth and the deep snow piled above thee . 165 
Come hither, child ; who gifted thee . . . .121 
Come walk with me ; there's only thee, . . . 173 

Companions all day long we've stood . . . .141 

DEATH ! that struck when I was most confiding . 151 

394 



Index to First Lines of 



PAGE 

ELLEN, you were thoughtless once 347 

Enough of thought, philosopher ! ..... 169 

FALL, leaves, fall ; die, flowers, away .... 232 

Far away is the land of rest 81 

Farewell to thee ! but not farewell . . -323 

For him who struck thy foreign string . . . .182 
From our evening fireside now ..... 108 

Go to the grave in youth's bare woe ! . . . 133 
Gods of the old mythology 16 

HARP of wild and dream -like strain .... 228 
He saw my heart's woe, discovered my soul's anguish . 19 
He smiles and sings, though every air . . 137 

Heaven's glory shone where he was laid . . . 133 

Heavy hangs the rain-drop 199 

Here I am standing lonely 'neath 221 

Here with my knee upon thy stone . . . .229 

Hope was but a timid friend 254 

How beautiful the earth is still 251 

How brightly glistening in the sun .... 328 

How clear she shines ! How quietly . . . -258 

How deep into the wilderness 105 

How Edenlike seem palace walls 220 

How few, of all the hearts that loved . . . .185 
How long will you remain ? The midnight honr . .124 
How still, how happy 1 These are words . . . 103 

I AM the only being whose doom 114 

I did not sleep ; 'twas noon of day 1 16 

I die, but when the grave shall press .... 89 

I do not see myself again 240 

I do not weep; I would not weep . . . .189 

I dreamt last night, and in that dream .... 299 

395 



Index to First Lines of 



PAGE 

I gazed upon the cloudless moon 154 

I have gone backward in the work . . . . 352 

I have slept upon my couch ...... 343 

I hoped, that with the brave and strong . , . . .366 
I knew not 'twas so dire a crime . . . . .180 

I know not how it falls on me ..... 65 

I know our souls are all divine . .. . . 155 

I love the silent hour of night ..... 294 

I mourn with thee, and yet rejoice ..... 330 

I saw thee, child, one summer day . . . -73 

I see around me piteous tombstones grey. . .146 

I stooped to pluck a rose that grew 386 

I was alone, for those I loved 354 

If grief for grief can touch thee . . . . .140 

I'll rest me in this sheltered bower 326 

I'm happiest now when most away ..... 236 

In dungeons dark I cannot sing 230 

In summer's mellow midnight ..... 276 

In that unpitying Winter's night 376 

In the dungeon -crypts idly did I stray . . . 204 

In the earth, the earth, thou shalt be laid . . .187 
It is not at an hour like this ...... 59 

[t is too late to call thee now 138 

It was a little budding rose ...... 222 

It was night, and on the mountains . . . . 175 

[t was the autumn of the year 208 

I've been wandering in the greenwoods .... 132 
['ve seen this dell in July's shine 183 

KING Julius left the south country no 

L.ADY, watch Apollo's journey 66 

Ladybird ! ladybird ! fly away home . . . .217 
-ook into thought and say what dost thou see . . . 15 

396 



Index to First Lines of Toems 



PAGE 

Loud without the wind was roaring .... 68 
Love is like the wild rose-briar . . . . .280 

MAY flowers are opening ...... 106 

Mild the mist upon the hill . . . . . .123 

Month after month, year after year . . . . .120 

My ancient ship upon my ancient sea .... 238 

My God, oh, let me call Thee mine . . . -353 
My life is cold, love's fire being dead . . . 17 

'NEATH the palms in Elah's valley 11 

No coward soul is mine 283 

Not many years, but long enough to see . . . -134 

O BETWEEN distress and pleasure . . . . .129 
O Day ! he cannot die ....... 193 

O dream, where art thou now? 101 

O God ! if this indeed be all . . 331 

O Innocence, that cannot live 150 

O let me be alone awhile ! 143 

O mother, I am not regretting 90 

O transient voyager of heaven !..... 87 
O wander not so far away ! . . . . . -93 
Of College I am tired. I wish to be at home ... 4 
Often rebuked, yet always back returning . . .281 
Oh, all the cares these noontide airs . . . .212 

Oh, I am very weary 342 

Oh, they have robbed me of the hope '. 306 

Oh, thy bright eyes must answer now .... 260 

Oh, would I were the golden light 49 

On a sunny brae alone I lay 163 

One night, when silence reigned around .... 3 

One pause upon the brink of life 245 

Oppressed with sin and woe ...... 356 

397 



Index to First Lines of ^Poems 



PAGE 

PASSING amid the deepest shade 6 

Poor restless dove, I pity thee 345 

i 

REDBREAST, early in the morning 69 

Riches I hold in light esteem . . . ' . . . 268 

SACRED watcher, wave thy' bells ! 113 

Severed and gone, so many years 304 

Shall earth no more inspire thee 177 

She dried her tears and they did smile . . . 235 

She will not sleep, for fear of dreams, .... 30 

Shed no tears o'er that tomb 246 

Silent he sat. That stormy breast 1 1 1 

Silent is the house : all are laid asleep .... 202 

Sister, you've sat there all the day, 38 

Sleep brings no joy to me ; 84 

Sleep, mourner, sleep ! ' I cannot sleep . . . 218 
Sleep not, dream not ; this bright day . . . -75 
So where He reigns in glory bright . . . . 371 

Speak of the North ! A lonely moor . . . .61 

Spirit of Earth ! thy hand is chill 360 

Start not ! upon the minster wall 226 

Strong I stand, though I have borne .... 86 
Sweet are thy strains, Celestial Bard . . . -335 

ThLL me, tell me, smiling child 172 

That dreary lake, that moonlight sky .... 234 
That summer sun, whose genial glow .... 290 
That wind, I used to hear it swelling . . . -131 

The bluebell is the sweetest flower 271 

The busy day has hurried by 118 

The day is done, the winter sun 159 

The desert moor is dark, there is tempest in the air . 98 

The evening sun was sinking down 67 

The heart which cannot know another . . . .216 

398 



Index to First Lines of To ems 



The house was still, the room was still .... 58 
The human heart has hidden treasures .... 47 

The light of thy ancestral hall 384 

The linnet in the rocky dells 191 

The mist is resting on the hill 309 

The moon is full this winter night . . . . .197 
The night is darkening round me ..... 83 
The old church tower and garden wall .... 82 
The organ swells, the trumpets sound .... 80 

The room is quiet, thoughts alone 42 

The starry night shall tidings bring . . . .126 

The sun has set, and the long grass now ... 77 
The westering sunbeams smiled on Percy Hall . . ^81 

The winter wind is loud and wild 195 

There let thy bleeding branch atone .... 364 
There should be no despair for you .... 259 
There swept adown that dreary glen . . . .102 
There was a time when my cheek burned . . .128 

There's no use in weeping 54 

There's something in this glorious hour . . . -213 

This shall be thy lullaby 95 

This summer wind with thee and me . . . .161 
Though bleak these woods, and damp the ground . . 340 
Though not a breath can enter here . . . .291 
Thrice the great fadeless lights of heaven ... 8 

Through the hours of yesternight 227 

Thy sun is near meridian height . . . . 135 

3 Tis moonlight, summer moonlight 139 

Tis not the air I wished to play, .... 45 

'Tis strange to think there was a time . . . .338 

Twas just the time of eve 71 

'Twas night, her comrades gathered all . . . .148 
'Twas yesterday at early dawn 157 

UPON her soothing breast 133 

399 



Index to First Lines of ^Poems 



PAGE 

WE know where deepest lies the snow .... 297 

We take from life one little share 56 

Weaned from life and flown away ..... 9 2 
Well hast thou spok'n, and yet not taught . . . 266 
Well, some may hate, and some may scorn - . . . 264 
We'll narrower draw the circle round . . . ' . 96 
What is she writing ? Watch her now, .... 34 
What though the sun had left my sky .... 350 
What winter floods, what streams of spring . . f . 149 
When all our cheerful hours seem gone for ever . . 375 
When days of beauty deck the vale . . . .231 

When thou sleepest, lulled in night . . . 51 
When weary with the long day's care .... 256 

Where can the weary lay his head 153 

Where were ye all ? and where wert thou ? . -97 

While on my lonely couch I lie . . . . . 295 
Why ask to know what date, what clime? . . .210 
Why hold young eyes the fullest fount of tears ? . -372 
Why should such gloomy silence reign . . . . 358 

YES, holy be thy resting-place 179 

Yes I will take a cheerful tone 365 

Yes, thou art gone ! and never more . . . . 325 

Yet o'er his face a solemn light 243 



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