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Full text of "Complete poems. Edited by Clement Shorter, now for the first time collected, with a bibliographical introd. by C.W. Hatfield"

THE COMPLETE POEMS OF 
ANNE BRONTE 



T*he Complete "Poems of 

ANNE BRONTE, Edited 
by CLEMENT SHORTER, now for 
the first time collected, with a 
Bibliographical Introduction by 
C. W. HATFIELD r r r 



Ibo393 



31.3. 



Hodder and Stoughton 

Limited London 




A3.SS 



INTRODUCTION l 
BY CHARLOTTE BRONTE 

IN looking over my sister Anne's papers, I find 
mournful evidence that religious feeling had been 
to her but too much like what it was to Cowper ; 
I mean, of course, in a far milder form. Without 
rendering her a prey to those horrors that defy 
concealment, it subdued her mood and bearing 
to a perpetual pensiveness ; the pillar of a cloud 
glided constantly before her eyes ; she ever 
waited at the foot of a secret Sinai, listening in 
her heart to the voice of a trumpet sounding long 
and waxing louder. Some, perhaps, would re- 
joice over these tokens of sincere though sorrow- 
ing piety in a deceased relative : I own, to me 
they seem sad, as if her whole innocent life had 
been passed under the martyrdom of an uncon- 
fessed physical pain : their effect, indeed, would 
be too distressing, were it not combated by the 
certain knowledge that in her last moments this 
tyranny of a too tender conscience was overcome ; 
this pomp of terrors broke up, and, passing away, 

1 Prefixed to Selections from Poemt by Acton Bell, first published in 
the 1860 edition of Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. 

V 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

left her dying hour unclouded. Her belief in 
God did not then bring to her dread, as of a stern 
Judge but hope, as in a Creator and Saviour : 
and no faltering hope was it, but a sure and 
steadfast conviction, on which, in the rude 
passage from Time to Eternity, she threw the 
weight of her human weakness, and by which she 
was enabled to bear what was to be borne, 
patiently serenely victoriously. 



VI 



A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION 

IN this collection of the poems of Anne Bronte 
the whole of her published poems are brought 
together for the first time in a single volume. 

There are fifty-four poems altogether, and of 
these Anne Bronte published only twenty-four. 

To the first book published by the three 
sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte, 
Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, Anne 
contributed twenty-one poems. This was the 
little volume, published in 1846, of which only 
two copies were sold, and which is now so prized 
that an amount equal to the total cost of pro- 
duction of the whole first edition can be easily 
obtained for a single copy. 

One poem appears in Anne's novel, Agnes Grey, 
and another in that of her second and last novel, 
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall ; in which book (vol. 
ii. p. 41) appears also a single verse which may 
or may not have been composed by her. Here is 
the verse : 

' Stop, poor sinner, stop and think 

Before you further go ; 
No longer sport upon the brink 
Of everlasting woe.' 

vii 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

The last poem published by Anne Bronte was 
4 The Three Guides,' which appeared in the 
August, 1848, number of Eraser's Magazine. 

Mrs. Gaskell, in her Life of Charlotte Bronte, 
1857, vol. i. p. 343, records a short conversation 
between Anne Bronte and a friend, who 

* saw Anne with a number of Chambers' s Journal, and a 
gentle smile of pleasure stealing over her placid face as 
she read. 

" What is the matter ? " asked the friend. " Why 
do you smile ? " 

" Only because I see they have inserted one of my 
poems," was the quiet reply.' 

No poem by Anne Bronte has been found in 
Chambers's Journal. On p. 300 of the Haworth 
edition of The Life of Charlotte Bronte, 1900, there 
is a note by Mr. Clement Shorter, in which we are 
informed that the editor of Chambers^ Journal, 
Mr. C. E. S. Chambers, had endeavoured, without 
success, to identify Anne's poem ; and Mr. T. J. 
Wise, in his Bibliography of the Brontes, 1917, 
p. 215, informs us that 

4 A minute and careful search through the pages of 
the Journal has failed to discern a single poem which 
could by any possibility be attributed to Anne.' 

My own opinion is that, if the incident recorded 
by Mrs. Gaskell is true, the name Eraser's 
viii 



INTRODUCTION 

Magazine should be substituted for Chambers^ 
Journal ; although I can find no record of any 
meeting between Anne Bronte and Ellen Nussey 
(the friend mentioned by Mrs. Gaskell) about 
the time that 4 The Three Guides ' was printed. 

In the year 1850, a little more than twelve 
months after Anne Bronte died, nine poems by 
her, of which seven were unpublished, were 
selected by Charlotte Bronte for publication in 
a new edition of Wuthering Heights and Agnes 
Grey. 

The remaining twenty-three ' unpublished ' 
poems have been printed during the last twenty 
years. Most of them have appeared in limited 
editions only, and are now reprinted for the first 
time. 

In her novel, Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte says : 

4 When we are harassed by sorrows or anxieties, or 
long oppressed by any powerful feelings which we must 
keep to ourselves, for which we can obtain or seek no 
sympathy from any living creature, and which yet we 
cannot, or will not wholly crush, we often naturally seek 
relief in poetry . . . whether in the effusions of others, 
which seem to harmonise with our own existing case, or 
in our own attempts to give utterance to those thoughts 
and feelings in strains less musical, perchance, but more 
appropriate, and therefore more penetrating and sym- 
pathetic, and for the time more soothing, or more power- 
ful to rouse and to unburden the oppressed and swollen 

b ix 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

heart. ... I had sought relief twice or thrice at this 
secret source of consolation, and now I flew to it again 
with greater avidity than ever, because I seemed to 
need it more. . . . Lest the reader should be curious to 
see any of these effusions I will favour him with one 
short specimen : cold and languid as the lines may 
seem, it was almost a passion of grief to which they owed 
their being : 

" Oh, they have robbed me of the hope " 

[see p. 95]. 

* Yes, at least they could not deprive me of that : I 
could think of him day and night ; and I could feel that 
he was worthy to be thought of. Nobody knew him 
as I did ; nobody could appreciate him as I did ; nobody 

could love him as I could, if I might : but there 

was the evil. . . . Yet, if I found such deep delight in 
thinking of him, and if I kept those thoughts to myself, 
and troubled no one else with them, where was the 
harm of it ? . . .' 

In August 1839, a few years before the fore- 
going extract was written, there arrived in 
Ha worth 4 a lively, handsome young man, fresh 
from Durham University.' This was the Rev. 
William Weightman, whom Charlotte Bronte in 
one of her letters calls 'our bonny-faced friend 
the curate of Ha worth,' and in another writes 
of him as being 'as bonny, pleasant,, light- 
hearted, good-tempered, careless, fickle, and un- 
clerical as ever.' During the ensuing three years 
x 



INTRODUCTION 

the sombre atmosphere of Haworth Parsonage 
was dispelled by the constant visits of this gay 
young clergyman. The incumbent's daughters 
were kept in a continual flutter of excitement, 
and there is no doubt that he was more than 
ordinarily attentive to Anne. 

Charlotte says in one of her letters, c He sits 
opposite to Anne at church, sighing softly, and 
looking out of the corners of his eyes, and Anne 
is so quiet, her look so downcast, they are a 
picture.' 

But Anne was not allowed to remain long at 
home and enjoy such pleasant company. Early 
in the year 1841 she commenced her duties as a 
governess at Thorp Green, near York, and soon 
afterwards she wrote her pathetic little outcry, 
* Appeal ' ; and probably the verses included in 
Agnes Grey belong to this time, although in the 
chronological table the year assigned to them is 
that in which the novel was written. 

This one little romance of Anne's was soon 
ended. On the 6th September 1842 the Rev. 
William Weightman died after a very short ill- 
ness, and a few days afterwards was buried in 
the north aisle of Haworth Church. 

That Anne did not forget him as the years went 
by may be gathered from her poems, ' A Remi- 
niscence,' ' Night,' and ' Severed and gone ' ; and, 

xi 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

in permitting herself to dwell on the ' might- 
have-beens ' of life, he became the ' Rev. Edward 
Weston,' and she the ' Agnes Grey ' of her first 
novel. 

For the whole of the previously unpublished 
material which this book contains, such as dates 
of poems, variations in words and lines, and 
additional lines and stanzas, I am indebted to 
Mr. Clement Shorter, the owner of the copyright 
of the unpublished Bronte manuscripts, who 
with characteristic generosity sent me all his 
typewritten transcripts of Anne Bronte's poems 
copied from the author's original manuscripts. 

I must also acknowledge my indebtedness to 
Mr. T. J. Wise for the help which I have received 
from his wonderfully complete and accurate book, 
A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse 
of the Members of the Bronte Family, published 
in 1917. 

All the poems by Anne Bronte enumerated by 
Mr. Wise in the bibliography are included in 
this collection of her poems. My own search 
for others has proved fruitless ; and I am quite 
sure that if there had been any Mr. Wise would 
have found them. 

C. W. HATFIELD. 

June 26, 1920. 



Xll 



CONTENTS 



The letters in the first column refer to the books enumerated in 
the bibliographical list on pp. xviii-xxii, and indicate the publica- 
tions in which the poems by Anne Bronte were first printed. 

A.D. XT. 

1838 

g January 24 18 THE CAPTAIN'S DREAM. Me- 
thought I saw him, but I knew him 
not. 



g January 26 

g July 9 

g July 10 

g August 21 

1840 

a January 1 

g August 22 



g August 19 

a August 28 
e December 20 



THE NORTH WIND. That wind is 
from the North : I know it well 

THE PARTING. 1. The chestnut 
steed stood by the gate . 

THE PARTING. 2. The lady of 
Abyeruo's hall . ' . 

VERSES TO A CHILD. Oh, raise 
those eyes to me again . 

19 SELF-CONGRATULATION. 'Ellen, 

you were thoughtless once . 

20 THE BLUEBELL. A fine and subtle 

spirit dwells . . .. ', . 

AN ORPHAN'S LAMENT. She's 

gone ; and twice the summer's sun 

21 LINES WRITTEN AT THORP 

GREEN. That summer sun, whose 
genial glow ..... 

APPEAL. Oh, I am very weary 

DESPONDENCY. I have gone back- 



ward in the work 



11 

14 
17 
20 

23 

25 

26 



Xlll 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

A.D. JET. PAGE 

1842 

a November 10 22 TO COYVPER. Sweet are thy strains, 

Celestial Bard .... 28 

e November 10 IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY 
IN FEBRUARY. Blessed be Thou 
for all the joy .... 31 

a December 30 LINES COMPOSED IN A YVOOD 
ON A YVINDY DAY. My soul is 

awakened, my spirit is soaring . 34 
1843 

a May 28 23 A WORD TO THE ' ELECT.' You 

may rejoice to think yourselves 
secure ...... 35 

a September 10 THE DOUBTER'S PRAYER. Eternal 

Power, of earth and air ! . . 38 

a October 31 THE CAPTIVE DOVE. Poor rest- 
less dove, I pity thee ... 41 

a November? THE CONSOLATION. Though bleak 

these woods, and damp the ground 43 

a November 21 PAST DAYS. 'Tis strange to think 

there was a time .... 45 
1844 

a February- 24 THE STUDENT'S SERENADE. I 

have slept upon my couch . . 47 

a April A REMINISCENCE. Yes, thou art 

gone ! and never more ... 50 

a May 19 MEMORY. Brightly the sun of sum- 
mer shone 51 

a August 2 FLUCTUATIONS. What though the 

Sun had left my sky . . .54 

e October 13 A PRAYER. My God (oh, let me call 

Thee mine 56 

xiv 



CONTENTS 



A.D. .T. PAOK 

18-44 
i December 16 24 THE DUNGEON. Though not a 

breath can enter here . . . 57 

a c. 1844 HOME. How brightly glistening in 

the sun 59 

1845 

j January 24 25 CALL ME AWAY. Call me away, 

there's nothing here ... 61 

i March NIGHT. I love the silent hour of 

night . . . . . .65 

i Spring ,, DREAMS. While on my lonely couch 

I lie 66 

a May 20 IF THIS BE ALL. O God ! if this 

indeed be all 68 

e June 1 CONFIDENCE. Oppressed with sin 

and woe 70 

a June VIEWS OF LIFE. When sinks my 

heart in hopeless gloom ... 72 

g September 3 SONG. We know where deepest lies 

the snow 80 

g September 4 ,, SONG. Come to the banquet ; triumph 

in your songs ! .... 82 

a September 4 VANITAS VANITATUM, OMNIA 
VANITAS. In all we do, and hear, 
and sec 84 

a October 1 STANZAS. Oh, weep not, love ! each 

tear that springs .... 87 

a THE PENITENT. I mourn with thee, 

and yet rejoice .... 89 

XV 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

A.D. XT. PAGE 

a c. 1845 25 THE ARBOUR. I '11 rest me in this 

sheltered bower .... 90 

a c. 1845 MUSIC ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. 

Music 1 love but never strain . 92 

h c. 1845 There let thy bleeding branch atone . 94 

b c. 1846 ,, Oh, they have robbed me of the hope . 95 

1846 
e May 11 26 DOMESTIC PEACE. Why should 

such gloomy silence reign . . 96 

g July 15 MIRTH AND MOURNING. Oh ! cast 

away your sorrow .... 98 

g July 20 Weep not too much, my darling . 101 

j August 13 THE POWER OF LOVE. Love, 

indeed thy strength is mighty . 104 

i September 12 I DREAMT LAST NIGHT. I dreamt 

last night, and in that dream . . 107 

j October THE LOVER. Gloomily the clouds 

are sailing ... 114 

1847 
i April 27 SEVERED AND GONE. Severed and 

gone, so many years . . . 116 

d August 11 THE THREE GUIDES. Spirit of 

Earth ! thy hand is chill . . 119 

c c. 1847 Farewell to thee ! but not farewell . 129 

1848 
f April 17 28 SELF-COMMUNION. 'The mist is 

resting on the hill .... 131 

xvi 



CONTENTS 



A.D. .*T. PAGE 

1848 
e April 27 28 THE NARROW WAY. Believe not 

those who say . . . .145 



i January 26 29 FRAGMENT. Yes, I will take a cheer- 

ful tone ...... 147 

e January 28 ,, LAST LINES. I hoped, that with the 

brave and strong .... 148 



XV1J 



A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE COMPLETE 

POEMS OF ANNE BRONTE 

(ACTON BELL) 

Born at Thornton, near Bradford, Yorkshire, January 17,1 820. 
Died at Scarborough, Yorkshire, May 28, 1849. 

NOT*. The books, pamphlets, periodicals, etc., mentioned in the 
following list are thote in which the poems indicated were first printed. 

(a) 
Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bett. 

London : Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster 

Row. 1846. 
Poems by Acton Bett : 



FACE 



1 A REMINISCENCE. Yes, thou art gone ! and never more 

(p. 10) 50 

2 THE ARBOUR. I '11 rest me in this sheltered bower, (p. 26) . 90 

3 HOME. How brightly glistening in the sun (p. 27) 69 

4 VANITAS VANITATUM, OMNIA VANITAS. In all we do, and hear, 

and see, (pp. 33, 34) 84 

6 THE PENITENT. I mourn with thee, and yet rejoice (p. 44) 89 

6 Music ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. Music I love but never 

strain (p. 45) 92 

7 STANZAS. Oh, weep not, love ! each tear that springs (p. 59) 87 

8 IF THIS BE ALL. O God ! if this indeed be all (p. 80) . .68 

9 MEMORY. Brightly the sun of summer shone, (pp. 83-85) . 51 

10 To COWPER. Sweet are thy strains, Celestial Bard ; (pp. 92, 93) 28 

11 THE DOUBTER'S PRAYER. Eternal Power, of earth and air ! 

(pp. 97-99) 38 

12 A WORD TO THE ' ELECT.' You may rejoice to think your- 

telves secure, (pp. 104-106) 35 

13 PAST DAYS. 'Tis strange to think, there was a time (p. Ill) 45 

14 THE CONSOLATION. Though bleak those woods, and damp 

the ground (p. 120) . 43 

xviii 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

PAGE 

15 LINES COMPOSED IN A WOOD ON A WINDY DAY. My soul 

is awakened, my spirit is soaring (p. 125) . . .34 

16 VIEWS OP LIFE. When sinks my heart in hopeless gloom, 

(pp. 129-136) . . 72 

17 APPEAL. Oh, I am very weary, (p. 140) . . . .25 

18 THE STUDENT'S SERENADE. I have slept upon my couch, 

(pp. 143-144) 47 

19 THE CAPTIVE DOVE. Poor restless dove, I pity thee ; (pp. 

149-150) 41 

20 SELF-CONGRATULATION. 'Ellen, you were thoughtless once 

(pp. 155-156) 14 

21 FLUCTUATIONS. What though the Sun had left my sky ; (pp. 

164-165) 54 



(b) 

Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. In three 

volumes. 
London : Thomas Cautley Newby, Publisher, 

72, Mortimer St., Cavendish Sq. 1847. 
Volume III. Agnes Grey. By ACTON BELL. 

Chapter xvn. 

22 Oh, they have robbed me of the hope (p. 268) . . .95 

(c) 
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. In three volumes. 

By ACTON BELL. 
London: T. C. Newby, Publisher, 72, Mortimer 

Street, Cavendish Square. 1848. 
Volume I. 

23 Farewell to thee ! but not farewell (pp. 349-360) . . .129 

(d) 
Frasers Magazine. August 1848. 

24 THE THREE GUIDES. Spirit of Earth ! thy hand is chill : 

(pp. 193-195) H9 

xix 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. By ELLIS 
and ACTON BELL. A New Edition revised, 
with ... A Selection from their Literary 
Remains. 

London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 65, Cornhill. 
1850. 

Poems by Acton Bell : 

25 DESPONDENCY. I have gone backward in the work ; (p. 491) 26 

26 A PRAYER. My God, (oh, let me call Thee mine, (p. 492) 66 

27 IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY IN FEBRUARY. Blessed be 

Thou for all the joy (p. 492) ..... 31 

28 CONFIDENCE. Oppressed with sin and woe, (p. 494) . . 70 

29 THE NARROW WAY. Believe not those who say (p. 496) . 145 

30 DOMESTIC PEACE. Why should such gloomy silence reign, 

(p. 497) ......... 96 

31 I hoped, that with the brave and strong, (p. 503) . . . 148 

(0 

Self -Communion. A Poem by ANNE BRONTE. 
Edited by Thomas J. Wise. 
London : Privately printed. 1900. 
Edition limited to Thirty Copies. 

32 SELF-COMMUNION. The mist is resting on the hill ; (pp. 11-40) 131 

Or) 

Poems by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte. 

New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company. 

1902. Edition limited to 110 copies. 
Poems by Anne Bronte : 

33 THE CAPTAIN'S DREAM. Methought I saw him, but I knew 

him not, (pp. 185-186) ....... 1 

34 THE NORTH WIND. That wind is from the North, I know 

it well. (pp. 187-188) ....... 3 

XX 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



PAGE 



85 THE PARTING. 1. The chestnut steed stood by the gate, 

(pp. 189-191) 5 

36 THE PARTING. 2. The lady of Abyerno's hall, (pp. 192-194) 8 

37 VERSES TO A CHILD. O raise those eyes to me again, (pp. 

195-197) 11 

38 THE BLUEBEIJ,. A fine and subtle spirit dwells (pp. 198-200) 17 

39 AN ORPHAN'S LAMENT. She 'a gone and twice the summer's 

sun (pp. 201-203) .20 

40 LINES WRITTEN AT THORP GREEN. That summer sun whose 

genial glow, (pp. 204-205) 23 

41 SONG. We know where deepest lies the snow, (p. 206) . 80 

42 SONG. Come to the banquet ; triumph in your songs ! (pp. 

207-208) .82 

43 MIRTH AND MOURNING. Oh ! cast away your sorrow ; (pp. 

209-211) . . . . . .... .98 

44 Weep not too much, my darling ; (pp. 212-214) . . . 101 



00 

The Complete Poems of Emily Bronte. 

London : Hodder and Stoughton. 1910. 

Edition limited to 1000 copies. 
Poem by Anne Bronte (see note on p. 94) : 

45 There let thy bleeding branch atone (p. 251) . . .94 



(i) 
Bronte Poems. Edited by Arthur C. Benson. 

London : Smith, Elder & Co., 15, Waterloo 
Place. 1915. 

Poems by Anne Bronte : 

46 THE DUNGEON. Though not a breath can enter here, (pp. 

291-293) 57 

47 NIGHT. I love the silent hour of night, (p. 294) . . .65 

48 DREAMS. While on my lonely couch I lie, (pp. 295-296) . 66 

49 I dreamt last night, and in that dream (pp. 299-303) . . 107 

50 Severed and gone, so many years, (pp. 304-305) . . .116 

51 FRAGMENT. Yes, I will take a cheerful tone (p. 365) . . 147 

xxi 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

tiom 

(j) 
Dreams and Other Poems. By ANNE BKONTE. 

London : Printed for Thomas J. Wise, Hamp- 

stead, N.W. 1917. 
Edition limited to Thirty Copies. 

62 CALL MB AWAY. Call me away, there's nothing here (pp. 

9-12) 61 

53 THE POWER OF LOVE. Love, indeed thy strength is mighty, 

(pp. 1,3-15) 104 

54 THE LOVER. Gloomily the clouds are sailing (pp. 16-18) . 114 



XX11 



NOTE 

THE poems in this volume which bear fictitious signa- 
tures or initials in addition to the signature or initials 
of Anne Bronte, and several others which are unsigned, 
belong to the Gondal cycle. 

For several years Anne and Emily Bronte collaborated 
in writing about the Gondals, who appear to have been 
a princely race occupying a mountainous northern 
country : 

' Who that has breathed that heavenly air, 

To Northern climes would come, 
To Gondal's mists and moorlands drear, 
And sleet and frozen gloom ? ' 

(EMILY BRONTE) 

Of their writings, The Gondal Plays and The Gondal 
Chronicles, only the poems have survived, and those by 
Anne Bronte are included in this volume. 



xxin 



THE CAPTAIN'S DREAM 

METHOUGHT I saw him, but I knew him not, 
He was so changed from what he used to be ; 
There was no redness in his woe-worn cheeks, 
No sunny smile upon his ashy lips ; 
His hollow, wandering eyes looked wild and fierce, 
And grief was printed on his marble brow ; 
And, oh, I thought he clasped his wasted hands, 
And raised his haggard eyes to Heaven, and 

prayed 

That he might die. I had no power to speak ; 
I thought I was allowed to see him thus, 
And yet I might not speak one single word ; 
I might not even tell him that I lived, 
And that it might be possible, if search were 

made, 

To find out where I was, and set me free. 
Oh ! how I longed to clasp him to my heart, 
Or but to hold his trembling hand in mine, 
And speak one word of comfort to his mind. 
I struggled wildly, but it was in vain : 
I could not rise from my dark dungeon floor ; 
And the dear name I vainly strove to speak 
Died in a voiceless whisper on my tongue. 

A 1 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Then I awoke, and, lo ! it was a dream. 

A dream ? Alas ! it was reality ; 

For well I know, wherever he may be, 

He mourns me thus. Oh, Heaven ! I could 

bear 

My deadly fate with calmness if there were 
No kindred hearts to bleed and break for me. 

ALEXANDRINA ZENOBIA. ANNE BRONTE. 
Written January 24, 1838. 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE NORTH WIND 

THAT wind is from the North : I know it 

well; 

No other breeze could have so wild a swell. 
Now deep and loud it thunders round my cell, 

Then faintly dies, and softly sighs, 
And moans and murmurs mournfully. 
I know its language : thus it speaks to me : 

4 1 have passed over thy own mountains dear, 
Thy northern mountains, and they still 

are free ; 

Still lonely, wild, majestic, bleak, and drear, 
And stern, and lovely, as they used to be 

i 

4 When thou, a young enthusiast, 

As wild and free as they, 
O'er rocks, and glens, and snowy heights, 

Didst often love to stray. 

4 1 've blown the pure, untrodden snows 
In whirling eddies from their brows ; 

3 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And I have howled in caverns wild, 
Where thou, a joyous mountain-child, 

Didst dearly love to be. 
The sweet world is not changed, but thou 
Art pining in a dungeon now, 

Where thou must ever be. 

' No voice but mine can reach thy ear, 
And Heaven has kindly sent me here 

To mourn and sigh with thee, 
And tell thee of the cherished land 

Of thy nativity.' 

Blow on, wild wind ; thy solemn voice, 

However sad and drear, 
Is nothing to the gloomy silence 

I have had to bear. 

Hot tears are streaming from my eyes, 

But these are better far 
Than that dull, gnawing, tearless time, 

The stupor of despair. 

Confined and hopeless as I am, 

Oh, speak of liberty ! 
Oh, tell me of my mountain home, 

And I will welcome thee ! 

ALEXANDRINA ZENOBIA. 
ANNE BRONTE, January 26, 1838. 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE PARTING 



THE chestnut steed stood by the gate, 
His noble master's will to wait ; 
The wooded park, so green and bright, 
Was glowing in the morning light ; 
The young leaves of the aspen trees 
Were dancing in the morning breeze. 
The palace door was open wide, 

The lord was standing there, 
And his sweet lady by his side, 

With soft, dark eyes, and raven hair. 
He, smiling, took her ivory hand, 
And said, ' No longer here I stand ; 
My charger shakes his flowing mane, 

And calls me with impatient neigh. 
Adieu, then, till we meet again : 

Sweet love, I must no longer stay.' 

4 You must not go so soon,' she said, 

' I will not say " farewell " ; 
The sun has not dispelled the shade 

In yonder dewy dell. 

5 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Dark shadows of gigantic length 

Are sleeping on the lawn, 
And scarcely have the birds begun 

To hail the summer morn. 
Then stay with me a little while,' 
She said, with soft and sunny smile. 

He smiled again, and did not speak, 
But lightly kissed her rosy cheek, 
And fondly clasped her in his arms ; 

Then vaulted on his steed, 
And down the park's smooth, winding 
road, 

He urged its flying speed. 
Still by the door his lady stood 

And watched his rapid flight 
Until he reached a distant wood 

That hid him from her sight. 
But ere he vanished from her view 
He waved to her a last ' Adieu ! ' 
Then onward, hastily, he steered, 
And in the forest disappeared. 

The lady smiled a pensive smile, 

And heaved a gentle sigh ; 
But her cheek was all unbleached the 
while, 

And tearless was her eye. 
6 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

4 A thousand lovely flowers,' she said, 

' Are smiling on the plain, 
And, ere one half of them are dead, 

My lord will come again. 
The leaves are waving fresh and green 

On every stately tree, 
And, long before they die away, 

He will return to me ! ' 
Alas ! fair lady, say not so : 
Thou canst not tell the weight of woe 

That lies in store for thee ! 

Those flowers will fade, those leaves will fall, 

Winter will darken yonder hall, 

Sweet spring will smile o'er hill and plain, 

And trees and flowers will bloom again, 

And years will still keep rolling on ; 

But thy beloved lord is gone ! 

His absence thou shalt deeply mourn, 

And never smile on his return. 

July 9, 1838. 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE PARTING 

ii 

THE lady of Abyerno's hall 

Is waiting for her lord ; 
The blackbird's song, the cuckoo's call, 

No joy to her afford. 
She smiles not at the summer's sun, 

Nor at the winter's blast ; 
She mourns that she is still alone 

Though three long years have passed. 

I knew her when her eye was bright, 
I knew her when her step was light 
And blithesome as a mountain doe's, 
And when her cheek was like the rose, 
And when her voice was full and free, 
And when her smile was sweet to see. 

But now the lustre of her eye 
Is dimmed with many a tear ; 

Her footstep's elasticity 

Is timed with grief and fear. 

The rose has left her hollow cheeks ; 

In low and mournful tone shejspeaks, 

8 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And when she smiles, 'tis but a gleam 

Of sunshine on a winter's day 
That faintly beams through dreary clouds, 

And in a moment dies away. 
It does not warm, it does not cheer, 

It makes us sigh for summer days 
When fields are green and skies are clear, 

And when the sun has kinder rays. 

For three years she has waited there, 
Still hoping for her lord's return ; 

But vainly she may hope and fear, 

And vainly watch and weep and mourn. 

She may wait him till her hairs are grey, 

And she may wear her life away, 

But to his lady and his home 

Her noble lord will never come. 

' I wish I knew the worst,' she said, 

4 1 wish I could despair : 
These fruitless hopes, this constant dread, 

Are more than I can bear.' 

' Then do not hope, and do not weep : 

He loved thee faithfully, 
And nothing short of death could keep 

So true a heart from thee. 

B 9 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Eliza, he would never go 
And leave thee thus to mourn ; 

He must be dead, for death alone 
Could hinder his return.' 

'Twas thus I spoke, because I felt 

As if my heart would break 
To see her thus so slowly pine 

For Abyerno's sake. 
But more than that I would not tell, 
Though all the while I knew so well 
The time and nature of his death ; 
For when he drew his parting breath 
His head was pillowed on my knee, 
And his dark eyes were turned to me f 
With an agonised heart-breaking glance 

Until they saw me not. 
Oh ! the look of that dying man 

Can never be forgot ! 

ALEXANDRINA ZENOBIA, 1837. 
ANNE BRONTE, July 10, 1838. 



10 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



VERSES TO A CHILD 

OH, raise those eyes to me again, 

And smile again so joyously ; 
And fear not, love ; it was not pain 

Nor grief that drew those tears from me. 
Beloved child ! thou canst not tell 
The thoughts that in my bosom swell 

Whene'er I look on thee ! 

Thou knowest not that a glance of thine 
Can bring back long-departed years, 

And that thy blue eyes' magic shine 
Can overflow my own with tears, 

And that each feature, soft and fair, 

And every curl of thy golden hair, 
Some sweet remembrance bears. 

Just then thou didst recall to me 
A distant, long-forgotten scene ; 

One smile, and one sweet word from thee 
Dispelled the years that rolled between : 

I was a little child again, 

And every after joy and pain 
Seemed never to have been. 

11 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Tall forest trees waved over me 
To hide me from the heat of day, 

And by my side a child like thee 
Among the summer flowerets lay. 

He was thy own, thou merry child : 

Like thee he spoke, like thee he smiled, 
Like thee he used to play. 

Oh ! those were calm and happy days ; 

We loved each other fondly then ; 
But human love too soon decays, 

And ours can never bloom again. 
I never thought to see the day 
When Florian's friendship would decay 

Like that of colder men. 

Now, Flora, thou hast but begun 
To sail on life's deceitful sea ; 

Oh ! do not err as I have done, 
For I have trusted foolishly 

The faith of every friend I loved : 

I never doubted till I proved 
Their heart's inconstancy. 

'Tis mournful to look back upon 
Those long departed joys and cares, 

And I will weep since thou alone 
Art witness to my streaming tears. 

12 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

This lingering love will not depart : 
I cannot banish from my heart 
The friend of childhood's years. 

But, though thy father loves me not, 
Yet shall I still be loved by thee ; 

And, though I am by him forgot, 
Say, wilt not thou remember me ? 

I will not cause thy heart to ache ; 

For thy regretted father's sake 
I '11 love and cherish thee. 

ALEXANDRINA ZENOBIA. 
ANNE BRONTE, August 21, 1838. 



13 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



SELF-CONGRATULATION 

' ELLEN, you were thoughtless once 1 

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 ? 2 
And wherefore deck your youthful form 

With such unwearied care ? 

4 Tell us, and cease to tire our ears 

With that familiar strain ; 3 
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 : 

In the original MS. the following variations occur : 
1 Line 1. Maiden, thou wert thoughtless once 
8 Lines 5 and 6. Then whence this change ? and why so oft 

Dost smooth thy hazel hair ? 
8 Line 10. With yonder hackneyed strain ; 

14 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

4 And for these little simple airs 

I love to play them o'er 
So much I dare not promise, now, 

To play them nevermore.' 
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 ! 

15 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

There was no trembling in my voice, 

No blush upon my cheek, 
No lustrous sparkle in my eyes, 

Of hope, or joy, to speak ; 
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 ! 

OLIVIA VERNON. 

Written January 1, 1840. 

ANNE BRONTE. 



16 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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, 1 

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. 

1 Anne Bronte was a governess at Blake Hall, Mirfield, Yorkshire, 
from April 8, 1839, until January 1840. 

c 17 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Before me rose a lofty hill, 

Behind me lay the sea ; 
My heart was not so heavy 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 bluebells seemed like fairy gifts, 

A prize among the flowers. 
18 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Those sunny days of merriment 
When heart and soul were free, 

And when I dwelt with kindred hearts 
That loved and cared for me. 



I had not then mid heartless crowds 
To spend a thankless life, 

In seeking after others' weal 
With anxious toil and strife. 



4 Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times 

That never may return ! ' 
The lovely floweret seemed to say, 

And thus it made me mourn. 

ANNE BRONTE, 

August 22, 1840. 



19 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



AN ORPHAN'S LAMENT 

SHE 's gone ; and twice the summer's sun 

Has gilt Regina's towers, 
And melted wild Angora's snows, 

And warmed Epina's bowers. 

The flowerets twice on hill and dale 
Have bloomed and died away ; 

And twice the rustling forest leaves 
Have fallen to decay. 

And thrice stern winter's icy hand 

Has checked the rivers' flow, 
And three times o'er the mountains thrown 

His spotless robe of snow. 

Two summers, springs, and autumns sad, 

Three winters, cold and grey : 
And is it then so long ago 

That wild November day ? 
20 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

They say such tears as children weep 

Will soon be dried away ; 
That childhood's grief, however strong, 

Is only for a day ; 



And parted friends, how dear soe'er, 

Will soon forgotten be : 
It may be so with other hearts ; 

It is not so with me. 



My mother, thou wilt weep no more, 
For thou art gone above ; 

But, can I ever cease to mourn 
Thy fond and fervent love ? 



While that was mine the world to me 
Was sunshine bright and fair ; 

No feeling rose within my heart 
But thou couldst read it there. 



And thou couldst feel for all my joys, 

And all my childish cares, 
And never weary of my play 

Or scorn my foolish fears. 

21 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Beneath thy sweet maternal smile 

All pain and sorrow fled ; 
And even the very tears were sweet 

Upon thy bosom shed. 



Thy loss can never be repaired : 

I shall not know again, 
While life remains, the peaceful joy 

That filled my spirit then. 

Where shall I find a heart like thine 

While life remains to me ? 
And where shall I bestow the love 

I ever bore for thee ? 

January 1, 1841, A. Z. 
ANNE BRONTE. 



22 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



LINES WRITTEN AT THORP GREEN l 

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. 

And this soft, whispering breeze, that now 
So gently cools my fevered brow, 

This too, alas ! must turn 
To a wild blast, whose icy dart 
Pierces and chills me to the heart, 

Before I cease to mourn. 

And these bright flowers I love so well, 
Verbena, rose, and sweet bluebell, 

Must droop and die away ; 
Those thick, green leaves, with all their shade 
And rustling music, they must fade, 

And every one decay. 

1 Anne Bronte was governess to the two daughters of the Rev. 
Edmund Robinson of Thorp Green, in the parish of Little Ouseburn, 
Yorkshire, from early in the year 1841 until June 1845. 

23 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 ! 

A. B., August 19, 1841. 



24 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



APPEAL 1 

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 heavily, 
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 ! 

ANNE BRONTE, 
August 28, 1841. 

1 In the original MS. the title is, ' Lines written at Thorp Green.' 



25 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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 ; 



And prayed to have my sins forgiven, 

With such a fervent zeal, 
An earnest grief, a strong desire, 

As now I cannot feel. 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And vowed to trample on my sins, 
And called on Heaven to aid 

My spirit in her firm resolves 
And hear the vows I made. 

And I have felt so full of love, 

So strong in spirit then, 
As if my heart would never cool, 

Or wander back again. 

And yet, alas ! how many times 
My feet have gone astray ! 

How oft have I forgot my God ! 
How greatly fallen away ! 

My sins increase, my love grows cold, 
And Hope within me dies : 

Even Faith itself is wavering now ; 
Oh, how shall I arise ? 

I cannot weep, but I can pray, 

Then let me not despair ; 
Lord Jesus, save me, lest I die ; 

Christ, hear my humble prayer ! l 

December 20, 1841. 

1 Variation in the original MS. : 

And hear a wretch's prayer. 

27 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTfi 



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 tortured thee. 
28 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

But they are gone ; from earth at length 

Thy gentle soul is passed, 
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 ? 

29 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Are these the symptoms of a heart 

Of heavenly grace bereft 
For ever banished from its God, 

To Satan's fury left ? 

Yet, should thy darkest fears be true, 

If Heaven be so severe, 
That such a soul as thine is lost, 

Oh ! how shall / appear ? 

ANNE BRONTE, 
November 10, 1842. 



30 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 




BLESSED be Thou for all the joy 

My soul has felt to-day ! 
Oh, let its memory stay with me 

And never pass away ! 

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 raise my spirit so. 

Was it some feeling of delight, 

All vague and undefined ? 
No, 'twas a rapture deep and strong, 

Expanding in my mind ! 

81 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Was it a sanguine view of life 
And all its transient bliss 

A hope of bright prosperity ? 
Oh, no ! it was not this. 



It was a glimpse of truth divine 

Unto my spirit given, 
Illumined by a ray of light 

That shone direct from Heaven ! 

i 
I felt there was a God on high 

By whom all things were made ; 
I saw His wisdom and His power 
In all His works displayed. 

But most throughout the moral world 

I saw His glory shine ; 
I saw His wisdom infinite, 

His mercy all divine. 

Deep secrets of His providence 
In darkness long concealed, 

Unto the vision of my soul 
Were graciously revealed. 1 

1 Variation in the original MS. : 

Were brought to my delighted eyes 
And graciously revealed. 

32 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

But while I wondered and adored 

His Majesty divine, 
I did not tremble at His power : 

I felt that God was mine. 



I knew that my Redeemer lived ; 

I did not fear to die ; 
I felt that I should rise again 

To immortality. 

I longed to view that bliss divine 
Which eye hath never seen ; 

Like Moses, I would see His face 1 
Without the veil between. 

Begun in February finished 
November 10, 1842. 

1 Variation in the original MS. : 

To see the glories of His face 



E 33 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



LINES COMPOSED IN A WOOD ON 
A WINDY DAY 1 

MY soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring 
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze ; 

For above and around me the wild wind is 

roaring, 
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas. 

The long withered grass in the sunshine is 

glancing, 

The bare trees are tossing their branches on high ; 
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily 

dancing, 

The white clouds are scudding across the blue 
sky. 

I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing 

The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray ; 

I wish I could see how its proud waves are 

dashing, 
And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day 1 

A. BRONTE, 
December 30, 1842. 

1 'Composed in the Long Plantation on a wild, bright, windy day.' 

(Note by the author in one MS.) 

34 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



A WORD TO THE 4 ELECT ' l 

You may rejoice to think yourselves secure ; 
You may be grateful for the gift divine 
That grace unsought, which made your black 

hearts pure, 

And fits your earth-born souls in Heaven to 
shine. 



But is it sweet to look around, and view 
Thousands excluded from that happiness 

Which they deserve at least as much as you 
Their faults not greater, nor their virtues less ? 



And wherefore should you love your God the 
more, 

Because to you alone His smiles are given ; 
Because He chose to pass the many o'er, 

And only bring the favoured few to Heaven ? 

1 The title in the original MS. is 'A Word to the Calvinists.' 

35 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And wherefore should your hearts more grateful 
prove, 

Because for ALL the Saviour did not die ? 
Is yours the God of justice and of love ? 

And are your bosoms warm with charity ? 

Say, does your heart expand to all mankind ? 
And, would you ever to your neighbour do 

The weak, the strong, the enlightened, and the 

blind- 
As you would have your neighbour do to you ? 

And when you, looking on your fellow-men, 
Behold them doomed to endless misery, 

How can you talk of joy and rapture then ? 
May God withhold such cruel joy from me ! 

That none deserve eternal bliss I know ; 

Unmerited the grace in mercy given : 
But none shall sink to everlasting woe, 

That have not well deserved the wrath of 
Heaven. 

And, oh ! there lives within my heart 

A hope, long nursed by me ; 
(And should its cheering ray depart, 

How dark my soul would be !) 
36 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

That ' as in Adam all have died, 

In Christ shall all men live J ; 
And ever round His throne abide, 

Eternal praise to give. 

That even the wicked shall at last 

Be fitted for the skies ; 
And when their dreadful doom is past, 

To life and light arise. 

I ask not how remote the day, 

Nor what the sinners' woe, 
Before their dross is purged away ; 

Enough for me to know 

That when the cup of wrath is drained, 

The metal purified, 
They '11 cling to what they once disdained, 

And live by Him that died. 

ANNE BRONTE, 
May 28, 1843. 



37 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE DOUBTER'S PRAYER 

ETERNAL Power, of earth and air ! 

Unseen, yet seen in all around ; 
Remote, but dwelling everywhere ; 

Though silent, heard in every sound ; 

If e'er Thine ear in mercy bent, 

When wretched mortals cried to Thee, 

And if, indeed, Thy Son was sent, 
To save lost sinners such as me : 



Then hear me now, while kneeling here, 
I lift to Thee my heart and eye, 

And all my soul ascends in prayer, 
Oh, give me give me Faith I I cry. 

Without some glimmering in my heart, 
I could not raise this fervent prayer ; 

But, oh ! a stronger light impart, 
And in Thy mercy fix it there. 
88 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

While Faith is with me, I am blest ; 

It turns my darkest night to day ; 
But while I clasp it to my breast, 

I often feel it slide away. 



Then, cold and dark, my spirit sinks, 
To see my light of life depart ; 

And every fiend of Hell, methinks, 
Enjoys the anguish of my heart. 



What shall I do, if all my love, 
My hopes, my toil, are cast away, 

And if there be no God above, 
To hear and bless me when I pray ? 



If this be vain delusion all, 
If death be an eternal sleep, 

And none can hear my secret call, 
Or see the silent tears I weep ! 



Oh, help me, God ! For Thou alone 
Canst my distracted soul relieve ; 

Forsake it not, it is Thine own, 

Though weak, yet longing to believe. 

39 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Oh, drive these cruel doubts away ; 

And make me know that Thou art God ! 
A faith, that shines by night and day, 

Will lighten every earthly load. 

If I believe that Jesus died, 

And waking, rose to reign above ; 

Then surely Sorrow, Sin, and Pride 

Must yield to Peace, and Hope, and Love ; 

And all the blessed words He said 
Will strength and holy joy impart : 

A shield of safety o'er my head, 
A spring of comfort in my heart. 

A. BRONTE, 
September 10, 1843. 



40 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE CAPTIVE DOVE l 

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 ! 

1 Note by the author. Mostly written in the spring of 1842. 

F 41 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 mightst 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. 

A. BRONTE, 
October 81, 1843. 



42 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE CONSOLATION 

This poem was first printed in the 1846 volume of 
Poems. In 1850 it was included by Charlotte Bronte 
in her Selection from the Poems of Acton Bell, under 
the title of 'Lines Written from Home/ with the follow- 
ing 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 ' : 

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 ; 

43 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Though solitude, endured too long, 
Bids youthful joys too soon decay, 

Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue, 
And overclouds 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 ! 

ANNE BRONT, 

November 7, 1843. 

44 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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 : 

45 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

When night, the holy time of peace, 
Was dreaded as the parting hour ; 

When speech and mirth at once must cease, 1 
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. 

ANNE BRONTE, 
November 21, 1848. 

1 ' When friendly intercourse must cease/ is a variation in one MS. 



46 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 

While the grim preceptors laughed, 

And exulted in my woe, 
Till I felt my tingling frame 

With the fire of anger glow. 1 

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. 

1 The third verse has not been previously published. 

47 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 ! 



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 ; 
48 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Oh, 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. 

ANNE BRONTE, 
February 1844. 

This poem is signed 'Alexander Hy hernia ' in the original MS. 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTfi 



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. 

April 1844. 
50 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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, 
When 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. 

51 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Sweet Memory ! ever smile on me ; 
Nature's chief beauties spring from thee ; 

Oh, still thy tribute bring ! 
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 bluebell, 

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. 

Is childhood, then, so all divine ? 
Or, Memory, is the glory thine, 

That haloes thus the past ? 
Not all divine ; its pangs of grief 
(Although, perchance, their stay be brief) 

Are bitter while they last. 
52 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Nor is the glory all thine own, 
For on our earliest joys alone 

That holy light is cast. 
With such a ray, no spell of thine 
Can make our later pleasures shine, 

Though long ago they passed. 

ANNE BRONTE, 
May 19, 1844. 
48 lines. 



53 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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 ! 
54 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Thick vapours snatched her from my sight, 

And I was darkling left, 
All in the cold and 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 ! 

ANNE BRONTE, 

August 2, 1844. 
36 lines. 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 1 

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 ! 

October 13, 1844. 

1 ' I know my heart will fall away.' in original MS. 
This poem is included in the Baptist f Hymnal.' 

56 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 

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 ; 

H 57 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 1 

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, 

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 16, 1844. 



58 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 

59 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

For yonder garden, fair and wide, 

With groves of evergreen, 
Long winding 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 ! 

Undated, c. 1844. 
Published in 1846. 



60 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



CALL ME AWAY 

CALL me away, there 's nothing here 

That wins my soul to stay ; 
Then let me leave this prospect drear 

And hasten far away. 

To our beloved land I '11 flee, 
Our land of thought and soul, 

Where I have roved so oft with thee 
Beyond the world's control. 

I '11 sit and watch those ancient trees, 
Those Scotch firs dark and high, 

I '11 listen as the eerie breeze 
Tempts leaf and branch to sigh. 

The glorious moon shines far above, 

How soft her radiance falls 
On snowy heights, on rock, and grove, 

And yonder palace walls. 

Who stands beneath yon fir-trees high ? 

A youth so slight and fair, 
But whose keen and restless azure eye 

Proclaims him known to care. 

61 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Though white that brow it is not smooth : 
Dark lines spread 'neath the hair ; 

Though soft those features, yet in sooth 
Stern sorrow has been there. 



Now on the peaceful moon are fixed 
Those eyes so clear and bright, 

But trembling tear-drops hang betwixt, 
And dim the blessed sight. 

Though late the hour and keen the blast 

That whistles round him now, 
Those raven locks are backward cast 

To cool his burning brow. 

*His hands above his heaving breast 

Are clasped in agony ; 
4 O Father, Father, let me rest, 
And call my soul to Thee ! 

*' I know 'tis weakness thus to pray, 

But all this cankering care, 
This doubt, tormenting night and day, 
Is more than I can bear. 

* The verses and lines marked with an asterisk (*) are now printed 
for the first time. 

62 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

4 With none to comfort, none to guide, 

And none to strengthen me, 
Since thou, my only friend, hast died, 

I 've pined to follow thee. 
* Since thou hast died ! And did he live 
*What comfort would his counsel give 
*To one forlorn like me ? 



4 Would he my idol's form adore : 
Her soul, her glance, her tone, 
And say, " Forget for evermore 
Her kindred, and thine own. 
*Let dreams of her thy peace destroy, 
*Leave every other hope of joy, 
*And live for her alone " ? ' 



He starts, he smiles, and dries the tears 
Still glistening on his cheek : 

The lady of his soul appears, 
And, hark ! I hear her speak. 



4 Aye, dry thy tears ! thou wilt not weep 

While I am by thy side ; 
Our foes their ceaseless watch may keep, 

But cannot thus divide 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

4 Such hearts as ours, and we to-night 

Their malice will deride, 
And in the pale moon's silver light 

Together will abide. 



4 No fear our present bliss shall blast, 

And sorrow we '11 defy ; 
Do thou forget the dreary past, 

The dreadful future, /.' 

4 Forget it ? Yes, while thou art by 

I think of nought but thee ; 
'Tis only when thou art not nigh 

Remembrance tortures me. 

4 But such a lofty soul to find, 

And such a heart as thine, 
In such a glorious form enshrined, 

*And still to call thee mine, 
*Would be for earth too great a bliss 
*Without a taint of woe like this, 
Then why should I repine ? ' 

January 24, 1845. 



64 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 



65 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



DREAMS 

WHILE on my lonely couch I lie, 

I seldom feel my self 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 ! 

To feel my hand so kindly prest, 
To know myself beloved at last ; 

To think my heart has found a rest, 
My life of solitude is past ! 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 



heart whence warm affections flow, 
Creator, Thou hast given to me ; 
And am I only thus to know 

How sweet the joys of love would be ? 

Spring 1845. 

1 The last verse of this poem was first printed by Mr. T. J. Wise 
in Dreams and Other Poems, 1917. 



67 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



IF THIS BE ALL 

O GOD 1 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 ; 

Grieving to look on vice and sin, 

Yet powerless to quell 
The silent current from within, 

The outward torrent's swell ; 
68 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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. 

ANNE BRONTE, 
May 20, 1845. 



69 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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 ; 
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. 

I need not fear my foes, 

I need not yield to care, 
I need not sink beneath my woes ; 

For Thou wilt answer prayer. 
70 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

In my Redeemer's name 

I give myself to thee ; 
And all unworthy as I am, 

My God will cherish me. 

Oh, make me wholly Thine ! 

Thy love to me impart, 
And let Thy holy Spirit shine 

For ever on my heart ! 

June 1, 1845. 

This poem is included in Dr. Hunter's 'Glasgow Hymnal' 
and others. 



71 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



VIEWS OF LIFE 

WHEN sinks my heart in hopeless gloom, 
And life can show no joy for me ; 

And I behold a yawning tomb, 

Where bowers l and palaces should be ; 

In vain you talk of morbid dreams ; 

In vain you gaily smiling say, 
That what to me so dreary seems, 

The healthy mind deems bright and gay. 

I too have smiled, and thought like you, 

But madly smiled, and falsely deemed : 
2 Truth led me to the present view, 

I 'm waking now 'twas then I dreamed. 

I lately saw a sunset sky, 

And stood enraptured to behold 

Its varied hues of glorious dye : 
First, fleecy clouds of shining gold ; 

Variations in MS. : 

1 towers. 

2 My present thoughts I know are true. 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

These blushing took a rosy hue ; 

Beneath them shone a flood of green ; 
Nor less divine, the glorious blue 

That smiled above them and between. 

I cannot name each lovely shade ; 

I cannot say how bright they shone ; 
But one by one, I saw them fade ; 

And what remained when they were gone ? 

1 Dull clouds remained, of sombre hue, 

And when their borrowed charm was o'er, 
The azure sky had faded too, 

That smiled so softly bright before. 

So, gilded by the glow of youth, 
Our varied life looks fair and gay ; 

And so remains the naked truth, 
When that false light is past away. 

Why blame ye, then, my keener sight, 
That clearly sees a world of woes 

Through all the haze of golden light 

That flattering Falsehood round it throws ? 

1 Alternative verse in MS. : 

Grey clouds remained of gloomy hue, 

Their glory now was o'er ; 
The sky grew dull and charmless too, 
And cold and dim the very blue, 

That smiled so softly bright before. 

K 73 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

When the young mother smiles above 
The first-born darling of her heart, 

Her bosom glows with earnest love, 
While tears of silent transport start. 

Fond dreamer ! little does she know 
The anxious toil, the suffering, 

The blasted hopes, the burning woe, 
The object of her joy will bring. 

Her blinded eyes behold not now 

When, soon or late, must be his doom ; 

The anguish that will cloud his brow, 
The bed of death, the dreary tomb. 

As little know the youthful pair, 
In mutual love supremely blest, 

What weariness, and cold despair, 
Ere long, will seize the aching breast. 

And even should Love and Faith remain, 
(The greatest blessings life can show), 

Amid adversity and pain, 

To shine throughout with cheering glow ; 

They do not see how cruel Death 

Comes on, their loving hearts to part : 

One feels not now the gasping breath, 
The rending of the earth-bound heart, 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

The soul's and body's agony, 
Ere she may sink to her repose : 

The sad survivor cannot see 

The grave above his darling close ; 

Nor how, despairing and alone, 
He then must wear his life away ; 

And linger, feebly toiling on, 
And fainting, sink into decay. 

Oh, Youth may listen patiently, 
While sad Experience tells her tale, 

But doubt sits smiling in his eye, 
For ardent Hope will still prevail. 

He hears how feeble Pleasure dies, 

By guilt destroyed, and pain and woe ; 

He turns to Hope and she replies, 
4 Believe it not it is not so ! ' 

4 Oh, heed her not ! ' Experience says ; 

4 For thus she whispered once to me ; 
She told me, in my youthful days, 

How glorious manhood's prime would be. 

4 When, in the time of early Spring, 

Too chill the winds that o'er me passed, 

She said, each coming day would bring 
A fairer heaven, a gentler blast. 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

' And when the sun too seldom beamed, 
The sky, o'ercast, too darkly frowned, 

The soaking rain too constant streamed, 
And mists too dreary gathered round ; 

4 She told me, Summer's glorious ray 
Would chase those vapours all away, 

And scatter glories round ; 
With sweetest music fill the trees, 
Load with rich scent the gentle breeze, 

And strew with flowers the ground. 

4 But when, beneath that scorching ray, 
I languished, weary through the day, 

While birds refused to sing, 
Verdure decayed from field and tree, 
And panting Nature mourned with me 

The freshness of the Spring, 

4 " Wait but a little while," she said, 
" Till Summer's burning days are fled ; 

And Autumn shall restore, 
With golden riches of her own. 
And Summer's glories mellowed down, 

The freshness you deplore." 

4 And long I waited, but in vain : 
That freshness never came again, 
Though Summer passed away, 
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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Though Autumn's mists hung cold and chill, 
And drooping Nature languished still, 
And sank into decay. 

' Till wintry blasts foreboding blew 
Through leafless trees and then I knew 

That Hope was all a dream. 
But thus, fond youth, she cheated me ; 
And she will prove as false to thee, 

Though sweet her words may seem.' 

Stern prophet ! Cease thy bodings dire 
Thou canst not quench the ardent fire 

That warms the breast of youth. 
Oh, let it cheer him while it may, 
And gently, gently die away 

Chilled by the damps of truth ! 

Tell him, that earth is not our rest ; 
Its joys are empty frail at best ; 

And point beyond the sky. 
But gleams of light may reach us here ; 
And Hope the roughest path can cheer ; 

Then do not bid it fly ! 

Though hope may promise joys, that still 
Unkindly time will ne'er fulfil ; 
Or, if they come at all, 

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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

We never find them unalloyed, 
Hurtful perchance, or soon destroyed, 
They vanish or they pall ; 

Yet hope itself a brightness throws 
O'er all our labours and our woes ; 

While dark foreboding Care 
A thousand ills will oft portend, 
That Providence may ne'er intend 

The trembling heart to bear. 

Or if they come, it oft appears, 
Our woes are lighter than our fears, 

And far more bravely borne. 
Then let us not enhance our doom ; 
But e'en in midnight's blackest gloom 

Expect the rising morn. 

Because the road is rough and long, 
Shall we despise the skylark's song, 

That cheers the wanderer's way ? 
Or trample down, with reckless feet, 
The smiling flowerets, bright and sweet, 

Because they soon decay ? 

Pass pleasant scenes unnoticed by, 
Because the next is bleak and drear ; 

Or not enjoy a smiling sky, 

Because a tempest may be near ? 

78 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

No ! while we journey on our way, 
We '11 smile on l every lovely thing ; 

And ever, as they pass away, 

To memory and hope we '11 cling. 

And though that awful river flows 
Before us, when the journey 's past, 

Perchance of all the pilgrim's woes 

Most dreadful shrink not 'tis the last ! 

Though icy cold, and dark, and deep ; 

Beyond it smiles that blessed shore, 
Where none shall suffer, none shall weep, 

And bliss shall reign for evermore ! 

ANNE BRONTE, 
June 1845. 



Note by the author. Wrote the first few verses in February or 
March, 1844. 

Variation in MS. : 
1 notice. 



79 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 



1 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. 

1 Extract from Anne Bronte's diary, Thursday, 31st July 1845 : 
( We have not yet finished our Gondal Chronicles that we began three 
and a half years ago. . . . The Gondals are at present in a sad state. 
The Republicans are uppermost, but the Royalists are not quite over- 
come.' 

80 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

But I would rather be the hare 
That, crouching in its sheltered lair, 

Must start at every sound ; 
That, forced from cornfields waving wide, 
Is driven to seek the bare hillside, 
Or in the tangled copse- wood hide, 

Than be the hunter's hound ! 

September 3, 1845. 



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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



SONG 

COME to the banquet ; triumph in your songs ! 

Strike up the chords, and sing of ' Victory 1 ' 
The oppressed have risen to redress their wrongs, 

The Tyrants are o'erthrown, the Land is free ! 
The Land is free ! Aye, shout it forth once 

more ; 
Is she not red with her oppressors' gore ? 

We are her champions ; shall we not rejoice ? 

Are not the tyrants' broad domains our own ? 
Then wherefore triumph with a faltering voice ? 

And talk of freedom in a doubtful tone ? 
Have we not longed through life the reign to see 
Of Justice, linked with Glorious Liberty ? 

Shout you that will, and you that can rejoice 

To revel in the riches of your foes. 
In praise of deadly vengeance lift your voice ; 
Gloat o'er your tyrants' blood, your victims' 

woes. 

/ 9 d rather listen to the skylark's songs, 
And think on Gondal's and my father's wrongs. 
82 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

It may be pleasant to recall the death 

Of those beneath whose sheltering roof you lie ; 

But I would rather press the mountain-heath 
With nought to shield me from the starry sky. 

And dream of yet untasted Victory ; 

A distant hope ; and feel that I am free ! 

Oh, happy life ! To rove l the mountains wild, 
The waving woods, or ocean's heaving breast, 

With limbs unfettered, conscience undefiled, 
And choosing where to wander, where to rest ! 

Hunted, opposed, but ever strong to cope 

With toils and perils ; ever full of hope ! 

4 Our flower is budding.' When that word was 

heard 

On desert shore, or breezy mountain's brow ; 
Wherever said, what glorious thoughts it stirred ! 
'Twas budding then ; say, ' Has it blossomed 

now?' 

Is this the end we struggled to obtain ? 
Oh, for the wandering Outlaw's life again ! 

A. B., September 4, 1845. 

1 ' range ' in original manuscript. 



88 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



VANITAS VANITATUM, OMNIA VANITAS 

IN all we do, and hear, and see, 
Is restless Toil and Vanity. 
While yet the rolling earth abides, 
Men come and go like ocean tides ; 

And ere one generation dies, 

Another in its place shall rise ; 

% * 

That, sinking soon into the grave, 
Others succeed, like wave on wave ; 

And as they rise, they pass away. 
The sun arises every day, 
And hastening onward to the West, 
He nightly sinks, but not to rest : 

Returning to the eastern skies, 
Again to light us, he must rise. 
And still the restless wind comes forth, 
Now blowing keenly from the North ; 

Now from the South, the East, the West, 
For ever changing, ne'er at rest. 
The fountains, gushing from the hills, 
Supply the ever-running rills ; 
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POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

The thirsty rivers drink their store, 
And bear it rolling to the shore, 
But still the ocean craves for more. 
'Tis endless labour everywhere ! 
Sound cannot satisfy the ear, 

Light cannot fill the craving eye, 
Nor riches half our wants supply, 1 
Pleasure but doubles future pain, 
And joy brings sorrow in her train ; 

Laughter is mad, and reckless mirth 
What does she in this weary earth ? 
Should Wealth, or Fame, our Life employ, 
Death comes, our labour to destroy ; 

To snatch the untasted cup away, 
For which we toiled so many a day. 
What, then, remains for wretched man ? 
To use life's comforts while he can ; 

Enjoy the blessings Heaven bestows ; 
Assist his friends, forgive his foes ; 
Trust God, and keep His statutes still, 
Upright and firm, through good and ill ; 

1 ' Nor riches happiness supply/ in one MS. 

85 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Thankful for all that God has given, 
Fixing his firmest hopes on Heaven ; 
Knowing that earthly joys decay, 
But hoping through the darkest day. 

ANNE BRONTE, 

September 4, 1845. 



86 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



STANZAS 

OH, weep not, love ! each tear that springs 

In those dear eyes of thine, 
To me a keener suffering brings 

Than if they flowed from mine. 

And do not droop ! however drear 

The fate awaiting thee ; 
For my sake combat pain and care, 

And cherish life for me ! 

I do not fear thy love will fail ; 

Thy faith is true, I know ; 
But, oh, my love ! thy strength is frail 

For such a life of woe. 

Were 't not for this, I well could trace 
(Though banished long from thee) 

Life's rugged path, and boldly face 
The storms that threaten me. 

Fear not for me I 've steeled my mind 

Sorrow and strife to greet ; 
Joy with my love I leave behind, 

Care with my friends I meet. 

87 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

A mother's sad, reproachful eye, 

A father's scowling brow 
But he may frown and she may sigh : 

I will not break my vow ! 

I love my mother, I revere 

My sire, but fear l not me 
Believe that Death alone can tear 

This faithful heart from thee. 

ZERONA. 
A. BRONTE. 

October 1, 1845. 

1 'doubt' in one MS., in which the title of the poem is ' Parting 
address from Z. L. to A. E./ and the name ' Zerona' is given at the 
end of the poem. 



88 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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, 
4 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 * there is joy in Heaven ! ' 

1845. 

In the original MS. this poem has no title, but is headed 
Fragment, 1846.' 



M 89 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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. 

Oh, list ! 'tis summer's very breath 
That gently shakes the rustling trees 

But look ! the snow is on the ground 
How can I think of scenes like these ? 

90 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

'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 ? 

Undated, c. 1845. 
Published in 1846. 



9X 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



MUSIC ON CHRISTMAS MORNING 

Music I love but never strain 
Could kindle raptures so divine, 

So grief assuage, so conquer pain, 
And rouse this pensive heart of mine 

As that we hear on Christmas morn 

Upon the wintry breezes borne. 

Though Darkness still her empire keep, 
And hours must pass, ere morning break ; 

From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep, 
That music kindly bids us wake : 

It calls us, with an angel's voice, 

To wake, and worship, and rejoice ; 

To greet with joy the glorious morn, 
Which angels welcomed long ago, 

When our redeeming Lord was born, 
To bring the light of Heaven below ; 

The Powers of Darkness to dispel, 

And rescue Earth from Death and Hell. 

While listening to that sacred strain, 
My raptured spirit soars on high ; 
92 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

I seem to hear those songs again 

Resounding through the open sky, 
That kindled such divine delight, 
In those who watched their flocks by night. 

With them I celebrate His birth 

Glory to God in highest Heaven, 
Good- will to men, and peace on earth, 

To us a Saviour-king is given ; 
Our God is come to claim His own, 
And Satan's power is overthrown ! 

A sinless God, for sinful men, 

Descends to suffer and to bleed ; 
Hell must renounce its empire then ; 

The price is paid, the world is freed, 
And Satan's self must now confess 
That Christ has earned a Eight to bless : 

Now holy Peace may smile from Heaven, 
And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring ; 

The captive's galling bonds are riven, 
For our Redeemer is our King ; 

And He that gave His blood for men 

Will lead us home to God again. 

Undated, c. 1845. 
Published in 1846. 



93 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THERE LET THY BLEEDING BRANCH 
ATONE 

THERE let thy bleeding branch atone 

For every torturing tear. 
Shall my young sins, my sins alone, 

Be everlasting here ? 

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 Vildering maze 

Of mad hours left behind 
I once forgot the early days 

That thou wouldst call to mind. 

Undated, c. 1845. 



The MS. of the above poem was found amongst some MSS. of un- 
published poems by Emily Bronte. It is unsigned and in the minute 
characters resembling Emily Bronte's microscopic writing, and was 
first published as a poem by her. In Bronte Poems, 1915, it was first 
printed as a poem by Anne Bronte. 



94 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 




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. 

Undated, c. 1845. 



95 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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, has 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. 

96 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

The fire is burning in the grate 

As redly as it used to burn ; 
But still the hearth is desolate, 

Till mirth, and love, with 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 ! 

Monday night, 
May 11, 1846. 



Written during the time that the brother of the Bronte sisters, 
Patrick Branwell Bronte, was disturbing the home at Haworth Par- 
sonage by his intemperance, and ' frantic folly,' i.e. his declarations of 
love for the wife of his former employer. 



N 97 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



MIRTH AND MOURNING 

OH ! cast away your sorrow ; 

A while, at least, be gay I 
If grief must come to-morrow, 

At least be glad to-day ! 

How can you still be sighing 
When smiles are everywhere ? 

The little birds are flying 
So blithely through the air ; 

The sunshine glows so brightly 
O'er all the blooming earth ; 

And every heart beats lightly ; 
Each face is full of mirth. 

' I always feel the deepest gloom 
When day most brightly shines : 

When Nature shows the fairest bloom 
My spirit most repines ; 

4 For in the brightest noon-tide glow 
The dungeon's light is dim ; 

Though freshest winds around us blow, 

No breath can visit him. 
98 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

' If he must sit in twilight gloom, 

Can I enjoy the sight 
Of mountains clad in purple bloom, 

And rocks in sunshine bright ? 

4 My heart may well be desolate, 

These tears may well arise, 
While prison- wall and iron-grate 

Oppress his weary eyes.' 

But think of him to-morrow, 
And join your comrades now ; 

That constant cloud of sorrow 
111 suits so young a brow. 

Hark how their merry voices 

Are sounding far and near ! 
While all the world rejoices, 

Can you sit moping here ? 

4 When others' hearts most lightly bound, 
Mine feels the most oppressed ; 

When smiling faces greet me round, 
My sorrow will not rest. 

' I think of him whose faintest smile 

Was sunshine to my heart ; 
Whose lightest word could care beguile, 

And blissful thoughts impart. 

99 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

4 1 think how he would bless that sun 

And love this glorious scene ; 
I think of all that has been done, 

And all that might have been. 

4 Those sparkling eyes that blessed me so 

Are dim with weeping now ; 
And blighted hope and burning woe 

Have ploughed that marble brow. 

4 What waste of youth, what hopes destroyed, 

What days of pining care, 
What weary nights of comfort void, 

Art thou condemned to bear 1 

' Oh ! if my love must suffer so, 

And wholly for my sake, 
What marvel that my tears should flow, 

Or that my heart should break ? ' 

ZERONA. 
ANNE BRONTE. 
July 15, 1846. 



100 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



WEEP NOT TOO MUCH, MY DARLING 

WEEP not too much, my darling ; 

Sigh not too oft for me ; 
Say not the face of Nature 

Has lost its charms for thee. 
I have enough of anguish 

In my own breast alone ; 
Thou canst not ease the burden, love, 

By adding still thy own. 

I know the faith and fervour 

Of that true heart of thine ; 
But I would have it hopeful 

As thou wouldst render mine. 
At night when I lie waking, 

More soothing it will be 
To say, ' She slumbers calmly now,' 

Than say, 4 She weeps for me.' 

When through the prison-grating 
The holy moon-beams shine, 

And I am wildly longing 
To see the orb divine ; 

101 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Not crossed, deformed, and sullied, 

By those relentless bars 
That will not show the crescent moon, 

And scarce the twinkling stars, 

It is my only comfort 

To think, that unto thee 
The sight is not forbidden, 

The face of Heaven is free. 
If I could think Zerona 

Is gazing upward now ; 
Is gazing with a tearless eye, 

A calm, unruffled brow ; 

That moon upon her spirit 

Sheds sweet, celestial balm, 
The thought, like Angel's whisper, 

My misery would calm. 
And when, at early morning, 

A faint flush comes to me 
Reflected from those glowing skies 

I almost weep to see ; 

Or when I catch the murmur 

Of gently swaying trees, 
Or hear the louder swelling 

Of the soul-inspiring breeze, 
102 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And pant to feel its freshness 

Upon my burning brow, 
Or sigh to see the twinkling leaf, 

And watch the waving bough ; 



If from those fruitless yearnings 

Thou wouldst deliver me, 
Say that the charms of Nature 

Are lovely still to thee. 
While I am thus repining, 

Oh ! let me but believe, 
' These pleasures are not lost to her,' 

And I will cease to grieve. 

Oh ! scorn not Nature's bounties : 

My soul partakes with thee ! 
Drink bliss from all her fountains : 

Drink for thyself and me ! 
Say not,' My soul is buried 

In dungeon gloom with thine ' ; 
But say, ' His heart is here with me, 

His spirit drinks with mine ! ' 

ANNE BRONTE. 
July 20, 1846. 



103 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE POWER OF LOVE 

LOVE, indeed thy strength is mighty, 
Thus alone such strife to bear ; 

Three 'gainst one, and never ceasing 
Death, and Madness, and Despair. 

'Tis not my own strength has saved me ; 

Health, and hope, and fortitude, 
But for love, had long since failed me ; 

Heart and soul had sunk subdued. 

Often in my wild impatience 
I have lost my trust in Heaven, 

And my soul has tossed and struggled 
Like a vessel tempest driven. 

But the voice of my beloved 
In my ear has seemed to say 

1 Be thou patient, if thou lov'st me,' 
And the storm has passed away. 

When, outworn with weary thinking, 
Sight and thought were waxing dim, 

And my mind began to wander, 
And my brain began to swim, 

104 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Then those hands outstretched to save me 
Seemed to call me back again ; 

Those dark eyes did so implore me 
To once more let reason reign, 

That I could not but remember 
How his hopes were fixed on me, 

And, with one determined effort, 
Rose, and shook my spirit free. 

When hope leaves my weary spirit 

And all power to hold it gone, 
That loved voice so loudly prays me, 

' For my sake, keep hoping on,' 

That, at once my strength renewing, 
Though Despair had crushed me down, 

I can burst his bonds asunder, 
And defy his deadliest frown. 

When, from nights of restless tossing, 
Days of gloom and pining care, 

Pain and weakness still increasing 
Seem to whisper, ' Death is near.' 

And I almost bid him welcome 
Knowing he would bring release, 

Weary of this restless struggle, 
Longing to repose in peace 

O 105 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Then a glance of fond approval 
Bids such selfish longings flee, 

And a voice of matchless music 
Murmurs, 4 Cherish life for me.' 

Roused to new-born strength and courage, 

Pain and grief I cast away ; 
Health and life I keenly follow, 

Mighty Death is held at bay. 

Yes, my Love, I will be patient ! 

Firm and bold my heart shall be ; 
Fear not, though this life is dreary, 

I can bear it well for thee. 

1 Let our foes still rain upon me 

Cruel wrongs and taunting scorn ; 
Tis for thee their hate pursues me, 
And, for thee, it shall be borne ! 

A. E. ANNE BRONTE. 
August 13, 1846. 

1 The last verse is now printed for the first time. 



106 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



I DREAMT LAST NIGHT 

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 if this was then forgot, 
My present heart and soul were not ; 

107 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

All the rough lessons life has taught, 
That are become a part of me, 

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 summer 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 the free and open sky 
Better than books and tutors grim ; 
108 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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. 

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 truth-like 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. 

109 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 that strife at length, 
Ashamed of my superior strength, 
The rather that I marked his eye 
Kindle as if a change were nigh. 

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. 

110 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 I 
Wept like a woman o'er the deed 

I had been proud to do ; 
As I had made his 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. 

Ill 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Repentance now were worse than vain : 
Time's current cannot backward run ; 

And, be the action wrong or right, 
It is for ever done. 



*Then reap the fruits I Ve said his death 

Should be my Country's gain : 
If not then I have spent my breath 
And spilt his blood in vain ! 

And I have laboured hard and long, 

But little good obtained ; 
My foes are many yet, and strong ; 

Not half the battle 's gained ; 

For, still, the greater deeds I Ve done, 

The more I have to do ; 
The faster I can journey on, 

The farther I must go. 

If Fortune favoured for a while, 
I could not rest beneath her smile, 

Nor triumph in success ; 
When I have gained one river's shore 
A wilder torrent, stretched before, 
Defies me with its deafening roar, 

And onward I must press. 

112 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And much I doubt this work of strife 
In blood and death begun, 

Will call for many a victim more 
Before the cause is won. 



Well ! my own life 1 5 d freely give 
Ere I would fail in my design ; 

The cause must prosper if I live, 
And I will die if it decline. 

Advanced thus far I '11 not recede, 

Whether to vanquish or to bleed ; 

Onward, unchecked, I must proceed, 
Be Death, or Victory, mine ! 

September 12, 1846. 
150 lines. 
E. Z. 

* The last 31 lines are now printed for the first time. The remainder 
of the poem first appeared in Bronte Poems, 1915. 



113 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE LOVER 

GLOOMILY the clouds are sailing 

O'er the dimly moonlit sky ; 
Dolefully the wind is wailing, 

Not another sound is nigh. 

Only I can hear it sweeping 

Heath-clad hill and woodland dale ; 

And at times the night's sad weeping 
Sounds above its dying wail. 

Now the struggling moonbeams glimmer, 
Now the shadows deeper fall, 

Till the dim light waxing dimmer 
Scarce reveals yon stately hall. 

All beneath its roof are sleeping ; 

Such a silence reigns around, 
I can hear the cold rain steeping 

Dripping roof and plashy ground. 

No ! not all are wrapped in slumber : 
At yon chamber window stands 

One whose years are few in number, 
Sorrow marks his clasped hands. 

114 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

From the open casement bending 

He surveys the murky skies ; 
Dreary sighs his bosom rending, 

Hot tears gushing from his eyes. 

4 Now that Autumn's charms are dying, 
Summer's glories long since gone, 

Faded leaves on damp earth lying, 
Hoary Winter striding on 

4 'Tis no marvel skies are lowering, 
Winds are moaning thus around, 

And cold rain with ceaseless pouring 

Swells the stream and swamps the ground.' 

But such wild, such bitter, grieving 
Fits not slender boys like thee ; 

Those deep sighs should not be heaving 
Breasts so young as thine must be. 

Life with thee is only springing, 

Summer in thy pathway lies ; 
Every day is nearer bringing 

June's bright flowers and glowing skies. 

Ah, he sees no brighter morrow ! 

He is not too young to prove 
All the pain and all the sorrow 
That attend the steps of love. 

October 1846. 
115 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



SEVERED AND GONE 

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. 

*I know the corner where it lies 
Is but a dreary place of rest : 
The charnel moisture never dries 

From the dark flagstone o'er its breast. 

*For there the sunbeams never shine, 

Nor ever breathes the freshening air : 
But not for this do I repine, 
For my beloved is not there. 

*Ah, no ! I do not think of thee 
As festering there in slow decay : 

'Tis this sole thought oppresses me, 
That thou art gone so far away. 

116 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

For ever gone. And 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, 
Expectant that a kindling blaze 

Would strike my raptured vision there, 

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 ! 

*Had I one treasured lock of thine, 

How it would bless these longing eyes ! 
Or if thy pictured form were mine, 

What gold should rob me of the prize ? 

117 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 ? 

Ah, no ! thy spirit lingers still 

Where'er thy sunny smile was seen ; 

There 's less of darkness, less of chill 
On earth, than if thou hadst not been. 

*Thou breathest in my bosom yet, 

And dwellest in my beating heart ; 
And while I cannot quite forget, 

Thou, darling, canst not quite depart. 

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 hast done. 

April 1847. 

Note. The five verses marked with an asterisk (*) were first printed 
by Mr. T. J. Wise in Dreams and Other Poems, 1917. 



118 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



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 ! 

' Wisdom is mine,' I Ve heard thee say : 

4 Beneath my searching eye 
All mist and darkness melt away, 

Phantoms and fables fly. 
Before me truth can stand alone, 

The naked, solid truth ; 
And man matured my worth will own, 

If I am shunned by youth. 

c Firm is my tread, and sure though slow ; 

My footsteps never slide ; 
And he that follows me shall know 

I am the surest guide.' 

119 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Thy boast is vain ; but were it true 
That thou couldst safely steer 

Life's rough and devious pathway through, 
Such guidance I should fear. 

How could I bear to walk for aye, 

With eyes to earthward prone, 
O'er trampled weeds and miry clay, 

And sand and flinty stone ; 
Never the glorious view to greet 

Of hill and dale and sky ; 
To see that Nature's charms are sweet, 

Or feel that Heaven is nigh ? 

If in my heart arose a spring, 

A gush of thought divine, 
At once stagnation thou wouldst bring 

With that cold touch of thine. 
If, glancing up, I sought to snatch 

But one glimpse of the sky, 
My baffled gaze would only catch 

Thy heartless, cold grey eye. 

If to the breezes wandering near 

I listened eagerly, 
And- deemed an angel's tongue to hear 

That whispered hope to me, 
120 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

That heavenly music would be drowned 

In thy harsh, droning voice ; 
Nor inward thought, nor sight, nor sound 

Might my sad soul rejoice. 



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. 

Striving to make thy way by force, 

Toil-spent and bramble-torn, 
Thou 'It 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. 

Right through the flinty rock thou 'It try 

Thy toilsome way to bore, 
Regardless of the pathway nigh 

That would conduct thee o'er. 

Q 121 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Not only art thou, then, unkind, 

And freezing cold to me, 
But unbelieving, deaf, and blind : 

I will not walk with thee ! 



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 ! 

4 Coward and fool ! ' thou may'st reply, 

4 Walk on the common sod ; 
Go, trace with timid foot and eye 

The steps by others trod. 
'Tis best the beaten path to keep, 

The ancient faith to hold ; 
To pasture with thy fellow-sheep, 
And lie within the fold. 

4 Cling to the earth, poor grovelling worm ; 

'Tis not for thee to soar 
Against the fury of the storm, 

Amid the thunder's roar ! 
122 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

There 's glory in that daring strife 
Unknown, undreamt by thee ; 

There 's speechless rapture in the life 
Of those who follow me.' 



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. 

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 ! 

But I have seen them helpless, dashed 

Down to a bloody grave, 
And still thy ruthless eye has flashed, 

Thy strong hand did not save ; 

123 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

I 've seen some o'er the mountain's brow 

Sustained awhile by thee, 
O'er rocks of ice, and hills of snow, 

Bound fearless, wild, and free. 

Bold and exultant was their mien, 

While thou didst cheer them on ; 
But evening fell, and then, I ween, 

Their faithless guide was gone. 
Alas ! how fared thy favourites then 

Lone, helpless, weary, cold ? 
Did ever wanderer find again 

The path he left of old ? 

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 ? 

Spirit of Pride ! it needs not this 

To make me shun thy wiles, 
Renounce thy triumph and thy bliss, 

Thy honours and thy smiles ! 

124 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Bright as thou art, and bold, and strong, 
That fierce glance wins not me ; 

And I abhor thy scoffing tongue ; 
I will not follow thee ! 



Spirit of Faith ! be thou my guide, 

Oh, clasp my hand in thine, 
And let me never quit thy side ; 

Thy comforts are divine ! 
Earth calls thee blind, misguided one, 

But who can show like thee 
Forgotten things that have been done, 

And things that are to be ? 

Secrets concealed from Nature's ken, 

Who like thee can declare ? 
Or who like thee to erring men 

God's holy will can bear ? 
Pride scorns thee for thy lowly mien 

But who like thee can rise 
Above this toilsome, sordid scene, 

Beyond the holy skies ? 

Meek is thine eye and soft thy voice, 

But wondrous is thy might, 
To make the wretched soul rejoice, 

To give the simple light ! 

125 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

And still to all that seek thy way 

This magic power is given, 
E'en while their footsteps press the clay, 

Their souls ascend to Heaven. 

Danger surrounds them, pain and woe 

Their portion here must be, 
But only they that trust thee know 

What comfort dwells with thee ; 
Strength to sustain their drooping powers, 

And vigour to defend, 
Thou pole-star of my darkest hours, 

Affliction's firmest friend ! 

Day does not always mark our way, 

Night's shadows 1 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. 

Narrow the path by which we go, 

And oft it turns aside 
From pleasant meads where roses blow, 

And peaceful 2 waters glide ; 

Variations in MS. : 

1 terrors. * murmuring. 

126 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Where flowery turf lies green and soft, 

And gentle gales are sweet, 
To where dark mountains frown aloft, 

Hard rocks distress the feet, 

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 ! ' 

Even above the tempest's swell 

I hear thy voice of love, 
Of hope and peace, I hear thee tell, 

And that blest home above ; 
Through pain and death I can rejoice, 

If but thy strength be mine, 
Earth hath no music like thy voice, 

Life owns no joy like thine ! 

Spirit of Faith, I '11 go with thee ! 

Thou, if I hold thee fast, 
Wilt guide, defend, and strengthen me, 

And bear 2 me home at last ; 

Variations in MS. : 

1 fail. 2 bring. 

127 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

By thy help all things I can do, 
In thy strength all things bear, 

Teach me, for thou art just and true ; 
Smile on me, thou art fair ! 

ANNE BRONTE. 

August 11, 1847. 

Dr. James Martineau and Dr. Hunter extracted twenty-four lines 
from ' The Three Guides ' to make a hymn, commencing : 

' Spirit of Faith ! be thou my guide,' 



128 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



FAREWELL TO THEE ! BUT NOT 
FAREWELL 

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 
Could wake an echo in my breast, 

Creating feelings that, alone, 

Can make my tranced spirit blest. 

B 129 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam 
My memory would not cherish less ; 

And oh, that smile ! whose joyous gleam 
No mortal language can express. 

Adieu ! but let me cherish still 

The hope with which I cannot part. 

Contempt may wound, and 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. 

Undated, c. 1847. 
Published in 1848. 



130 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



SELF-COMMUNION 

4 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.' 

4 1 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. 1 
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. 

Cancelled reading : 

So keenly strikes the vacant ear. 

131 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 1 

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, 

Simple and easily beguiled 
To credit all it hears. 

1 Cancelled reading : 

And every passing night and day 

132 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

More timid than the wild wood-dove, 

Yet trusting 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, v 
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 ! 

1 Cancelled reading : 

What shall it do with all that trust 

133 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

That tender love so warm and deep, 
How can it flourish here below ? 

What bitter floods of tears must steep 
The stony soil where it would grow ! 

earth ! a rocky breast is thine 
A hard soil and a cruel clime, 

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 ? ' 

4 Look back again What dost thou see ? ' 

4 1 see one kneeling on the sod, 

With infant hands upraised to Heaven, 1 

1 Cancelled reading : 

With infant hands upheld to Heaven, 

134 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

A young heart feeling after God, 

Oft baffled, never backward driven. 
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. 1 
'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 was 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, 

1 Cancelled reading : 

To none on earth is known. 

135 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Leaning on Heaven the while : 
Night's shades departing one by one, 
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.' 

4 So it was, 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 ; 

136 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

That at the frequent sight of woe 
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 ? ' 

' 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, 

S 137 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

To see those yearnings of the breast, 
Pining to bless and to be blest, 
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 ; 1 
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, 2 
Were slighted, questioned, or despised ; 

This pained me more than aught. 
And as my love the warmer glowed 

The deeper would that anguish sink, 

Cancelled readings : 

1 When angry passions rose between ; 

- For things I worshipped, sought, and prized, 

138 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

That this dark stream between us flowed, 

Though both stood bending o'er its brink ; 
Until, at last, I learned to bear 

A colder heart within my breast ; 
To share such thoughts as I could share, 

And calmly 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. 
Oh, 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, 

139 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

For in their inmost hearts they know 

It is not vainly nourished there. 
They know that in a kindred breast 

Their long desires have found a home, 
Where heart and soul may kindly rest, 1 
Weary and lorn no more to roam. 

Their dreams of bliss were not in vain, 2 
As they love they are loved again, 
And they can bless as they are blessed. 

' Oh, 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 

Cancelled readings : 

1 Where heart may bask and spirit rest, 

2 They have not lived nor hoped in vain, 

140 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

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 ; 
And if the lower clouds were grey, 

The mists above more brightly beamed. 
But not for long ; at length behold, 

Those tints less warm, less radiant grew ; 
Till but one speck 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, 1 

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. 

1 Alternative reading : 

So lying hopes false hopes shall chase, 

141 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Oh, weak of heart ! why thus deplore 

That Truth will Fancy's dreams destroy ? 
Did I not tell thee, years before, 1 

Life was for labour, not for joy ? 
Cease, selfish spirit, to repine ; 

O'er thine own ills no longer grieve ; 
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 2 

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. 3 

1 Alternative reading : 

Did I not tell thee, long before, 

2 Cancelled reading : 

This bitter cup that binding chain 

3 Alternative reading : 

The cruel bonds to break. 

142 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Oh, strive ! and if thy strength be small, 
Strive yet the more, and spend it all l 

For Love and Wisdom's sake ! ' 
4 Oh, I have striven both hard and long, 2 
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 ; 
And it is hard to toil for aye, 
Through sultry noon and twilight grey 

To toil and never rest.' 

i 
' 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.' 

4 Show me that rest I ask no more. 
Oh, drive these misty doubts away ; 3 
And let me see that sunny shore, 
However far away ! 

Cancelled readings : 

1 Oh, toil ! and if thy strength be small, 

Toil yet the more, and spend it all 

2 Oh, I have toiled both hard and long, 
3 Alternative reading : 

Oh, drive these gloomy mists away ; 

143 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

However wide this rolling sea, 
However wild my passage be, 1 
Howe'er my bark be tempest-tossed, 

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 '11 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. 2 
Could I but hear my Saviour say, 

" I know thy patience and thy love ; 
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 ! ' 

' Press forward, then, without complaint ; 
Labour and love and such shall be thy 
meed.' 

April 17, 1848. 
Cancelled readings : 

1 However bleak my passage be, 

2 Nay, welcome labour, grief, and pain 
While God's approval I can gain. 

Note by the author. Begun in November 1847. 

144 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



THE NARROW WAY 

BELIEVE not those who say 
The upward path is smooth, 1 

Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way, 
And faint before the truth. 

It is the only road 

Unto the realms of joy ; 2 
But he who seeks that blest abode 

Must all his powers employ. 

Bright hopes and pure delights 
Upon his course may beam, 

And there, amid the sternest 3 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. 

Cancelled readings : 

1 The Heavenward path is smooth, 

2 That leads to perfect joy ; 

But they who seek that blest abode 
Must all their powers employ. 

8 Variation in MS. : wildest. 

T 145 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Arm arm thee for the fight ! 

Cast useless loads away ; 
Watch through the darkest hours of night, 

Toil through the hottest 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 thy honour here ; 

Waive pleasure 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, 1 thy chief delight ; 

What matter who should whisper blame, 
Or who should scorn or slight ? 

1 Variation in MS. : prayer. 
146 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

What matter, if thy God approve, 

And if, within thy breast, 
Thou feel the comfort of His love, 
The earnest of His rest ? 

A. B. 

April 27, 1848. 
40 lines. 



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 26, 1849. 



147 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 



LAST LINES 

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. 

1 A dreadful darkness closes in 

On my bewildered mind ; 

Oh, let me suffer and not sin, 

Be tortured, yet resigned. 

1 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 These two verses were first printed in Bronte Poemt, edited by 
A. C. Benson, 1915. 

This poem, slightly altered, may be found in some of the hymnals 
of the churches. 

148 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Thou, God, hast taken our delight, 1 

Our treasured hope away ; 
Thou bidst us now 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. 

2 Weak and weary though I lie, 

Crushed with sorrow, worn with pain, 
I may lift to Heaven mine eye, 
And strive to labour not in vain ; 

2 That inward strife against the sins 

That ever wait on suffering 
To strike whatever first begins : 

Each ill that would corruption bring ; 

That 3 secret labour to sustain 

With 4 humble patience every blow ; 

To gather fortitude from pain, 
And hope and holiness from woe. 

1 Emily Jane Bronte, who had died on December 19, 1848, a few 
weeks before this poem was written. 

2 These two verses are now printed for the first time. 

3 ' With,' * ' In/ appear in all previously printed versions of this 
poem. The complete poem of twelve verses is now printed for the 
first time as it appears in the original MS. 

149 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

Thus let me serve Thee from my heart, 
Whatever 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. 

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 ! 

Finished, January 28, 1849. 



' These lines written, the desk was closed, the pen laid aside for 
ever.' Note by Charlotte Bronte. 



150 



INDEX TO TITLES OF POEMS 

PACK 

A Prayer . . . . . . . * 56 

A Reminiscence . . . . ... . 60 

A Word to the 'Elect' . * . . . . .36 

An Orphan's Lament . . . . . . 20 

Appeal . . . . . . . .26 

Arbour, The . . . . . .90 

Bluebell, The . . . . . . . 17 

Call me away . . * . ... 61 

Captain's Dream, The . -. i . . .1 

Captive Dove, The . . . . t 41 

Confidence . ., . . .70 

Consolation, The . . . . . .43 

Cowper, To . . . . . . .28 

Despondency . ... . . . . 26 

Domestic Peace . . . . . . . .96 

Doubter's Prayer, The . . . ' . . .38 

Dreams . . . . . .., . . .66 

Dungeon, The . . . . ' . ". .57 

Fluctuations . . . .' . . .64 

Fragment . . !n ' . . . 147 

Home ...... . . 59 

I dreamt last night ...... 107 

If this be all . . . . . . .68 

In Memory of a Happy Day in February . . . .31 

Last Lines . . . . . . v . 148 

Lines composed in a Wood on a Windy Day i . 34 

Lines written at Thorp Green . . . v .23 

Lover, The . . . ., . .114 

Memory ... .... 61 

151 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

PAGE 

Mirth and Mourning . . . . . .98 

Music on Christinas Morning . . ... .92 

Narrow Way, The 146 

Night ........ 65 

North Wind, The 3 

Orphan's Lament, An . . . . . .20 

Parting, The . . .. . . .6 

Past Days . . . . . . .45 

Penitent, The ....... 89 

Power of Love, The . . ... .104 

Prayer, A . . . . . . . .56 

Reminiscence, A . . . . . . .60 

Self-Communion ....... 131 

Self-Congratulation . . . . . .14 

Severed and gone . . . . . . .116 

Song : Come to the banquet ; triumph in your songs ! . .82 

Song : We know where deepest lies the snow . . .80 

Stanzas : Oh, weep not, love ! each tear that springs . . 87 

Student's Serenade, The . . . . . .47 

The Arbour . . . . . . . .90 

The Bluebell ....... 17 

The Captain's Dream ...... 1 

The Captive Dove . . . . . .41 

The Consolation . . . . . . .43 

The Doubter's Prayer ...... 38 

The Dungeon . . . . . . .57 

The Lover. . . . . . . .114 

The Narrow Way . . . . . . .145 

The North Wind ....... 3 

The Parting ....... 5 

The Penitent ....... 89 

The Power of Love . . . . . .104 

The Student's Serenade . . . . . .47 

The Three Guides . . . . . .119 

To Cowper ....... 28 

Vanitas Vanitatum, Omnia Vanitas . . . . 84 

Verses to a Child ....... 11 

Views of Life ....... 72 

Word to the ' Elect,' A . . . . . .36 

152 



INDEX TO FIRST LINES 



PAGE 



A fine and subtle spirit dwells . < . . . . 17 

Believe not those who say < : . . 145 

Blessed be Thou for all the joy . . . . .31 

Brightly the sun of summer shone . . , .51 

Call me away, there 's nothing here . . . .61 

Come to the banquet ; triumph in your songs ! . . .82 

' Ellen, you were thoughtless once . 7 . .14 

Eternal Power, of earth and air ! .... 38 

Farewell to thee ! but not farewell .... 129 

Gloomily the clouds are sailing . . . .114 

How brightly glistening in the sun . . . . .59 

I dreamt last night, and in that dream . . . . 107 

I have gone backward in the work . . . .26 

I have slept upon my couch . . . . .47 
I hoped, that with the brave and strong .... 148 

I love the silent hour of night . . . .65 

I mourn with thee, and yet rejoice . . . .89 

I '11 rest me in this sheltered bower . . .. .90 

In all we do, and hear, and see . . . . .84 

Love, indeed thy strength is mighty .... 104 

Methought I saw him, but I knew him not . . .1 

Music I love but never strain . . . . .92 

My God (oh, let me call Thee mine . . . .66 

My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring . . .34 

O God ! if this indeed be all . . .68 

Oh ! cast away your sorrow . . ... .98 

Oh, 1 am very weary . . . . . .25 

u 153 



POEMS BY ANNE BRONTE 

FACE 

Oh, raise those eyes to me again . * . . .11 

Oh, they have robbed me of the hope . . . .95 

Oh, weep not, love ! each tear that springs '. . 87 

Oppressed with sin and woe . . . . .70 

Poor restless dove, I pity thee ' . . . .41 

Severed and gone, so many years .... 116 

She 'a gone ; and twice the summer's sun . . .20 

Spirit of Earth ! thy hand is chill . , . . .119 

Sweet are thy strains, Celestial Bard . . . .28 

That summer sun, whose genial glow . . . .23 

That wind is from the North : I know it well . . .3 

The chestnut steed stood by the gate . . . .6 

The lady of Abyerno's hall . . . . .8 
' The mist is resting on the hill ..... 131 

There let thy bleeding branch atone . . . .94 

Though bleak these woods, and damp the ground . . 43 

Though not a breath can enter here . . . .57 

'Tis strange to think there was a time . . . .46 

Weep not too much, my darling ..... 101 
We know where deepest lies the snow . . . .80 

What though the Sun had left my sky . . . .64 

When sinks my heart in hopeless gloom . . .72 

While on my lonely couch I lie . . . . .66 

Why should such gloomy silence reign . . . .96 

Yes, I will take a cheerful tone ..... 147 
Yes, thou art gone ! and never more . . . .60 

You may rejoice to think yourselves secure . . .35 



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PR Bronte, Anne 
4-162 Complete poems 
A2S5 
1920