POEMS

by CURRER, ELLIS, AND ACTON BELL (Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë) A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication

Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë) is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University. This Portable Document file is furnished free and without any charge of any kind. Any person using this document file, for any purpose, and in any way does so at his or her own risk. Neither the Pennsylvania State University nor Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, nor anyone associated with the Pennsylvania State University assumes any responsibility for the material contained within the document or for the file as an electronic transmission, in any way. Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë), the Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classics Series, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 182021291 is a Portable Document File produced as part of an ongoing student publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English, to free and easy access of those wishing to make use of them. Cover Design: Jim Manis Copyright © 2003 The Pennsylvania State University

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Contents
POEMS BY CURRER BELL ........................................................................7
PILATE’S WIFE’S DREAM ........................................................................................................................................ 7 MEMENTOS .............................................................................................................................................................. 11 THE WIFE’S WILL..................................................................................................................................................... 16 THE WOOD ................................................................................................................................................................ 18 FRANCES .................................................................................................................................................................... 21 GILBERT..................................................................................................................................................................... 27 LIFE ............................................................................................................................................................................. 36 THE LETTER .............................................................................................................................................................. 36 REGRET ...................................................................................................................................................................... 38 PRESENTIMENT ....................................................................................................................................................... 39 THE TEACHER’S MONOLOGUE ........................................................................................................................... 41 PASSION ..................................................................................................................................................................... 43 PREFERENCE ............................................................................................................................................................ 45 EVENING SOLACE ................................................................................................................................................... 46 STANZAS ..................................................................................................................................................................... 47 PARTING ..................................................................................................................................................................... 48 APOSTASY .................................................................................................................................................................. 49 WINTER STORES ..................................................................................................................................................... 51 THE MISSIONARY.................................................................................................................................................... 53

POEMS BY ELLIS BELL ...........................................................................56
FAITH AND DESPONDENCY ................................................................................................................................. 56

.............................................................................. 83 THE PENITENT . 63 ANTICIPATION .................................................................................................................................................... 70 HOW CLEAR SHE SHINES .................................................................... 68 A DAY DREAM .................................................................................................................................. 72 PLEAD FOR ME ......................................................................... 74 DEATH .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 80 THE ARBOUR ........... 71 SYMPATHY ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 68 TO IMAGINATION. 84 .................... 73 SELF-INTEROGATION .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................80 A REMINISCENCE.................................................. 66 HOPE ......................................................................................................................... 59 REMEMBRANCE ........................................................................... 64 THE PRISONER ...................... 78 MY COMFORTER .......................................................................... 77 STANZAS ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 76 HONOUR’S MARTYR ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 82 VANITAS VANITATUM.....................STARS .. 61 A DEATH-SCENE ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 62 SONG ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. OMNIA VANITAS..... 75 STANZAS TO —— ............................................................................. 58 THE PHILOSOPHER ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 79 THE OLD STOIC ..................................................................................................................................... 80 POEMS BY ACTON BELL ................... ............................... 81 HOME .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................................... 104 SELECTIONS FROM POEMS BY ELLIS BELL ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 100 THE STUDENT’S SERENADE ...................... 95 LINES COMPOSED IN A WOOD ON A WINDY DAY ............................................. 96 APPEAL ................................................................................................................................................ 92 PAST DAYS ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 88 TO COWPER ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 87 MEMORY ............................................................................................................................ .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................MUSIC ON CHRISTMAS MORNING .................................................................. 96 VIEWS OF LIFE ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 116 WARNING AND REPLY ..... ............................................................. 113 LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP .......................................................................................................................................................................... 91 A WORD TO THE “ELECT” ............................................................................................ 94 THE CONSOLATION .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. THE BLUEBELL................................ 110 THE NIGHT-WIND .............................................................................................................................. 118 THE LADY TO HER GUITAR .. 109 III..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 86 IF THIS BE ALL ...................................................................................................................... 89 THE DOUBTER’S PRAYER... 105 I.. 117 LAST WORDS ............................................................................................................... 115 THE ELDER’S REBUKE ............................... 102 SELF-CONGRATULATION ................................. 119 .............................. 115 THE WANDERER FROM THE FOLD ....................................................................................................................................................... 107 II................................................................................................................. 101 THE CAPTIVE DOVE ......................................................................................................... ....................................................................... 85 STANZAS .......................................................................................................................................................... 103 FLUCTUATIONS .......................................................................................................

................................................................................................................138 ................................................................................................................................................................................. 124 DESPONDENCY ......................................................................... 121 ENCOURAGEMENT .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 129 THE NARROW WAY ............ 126 CONFIDENCE ........................................ 125 A PRAYER ...................................................................................................................... 130 DOMESTIC PEACE ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 131 THE THREE GUIDES .. 120 THE VISIONARY .......................... 128 LINES WRITTEN FROM HOME ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 123 SELECTIONS FROM POEMS BY ACTON BELL .......................................................................................THE TWO CHILDREN .............................................. 126 IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY IN FEBRUARY ................. 132 Index of First Lines......................................................................... 122 STANZAS .........................

creative ray? Would I could sleep again till. from afar. Emily and Anne Brontë POEMS by It sank. for light! one ray would tranquillize My nerves. restless. Wild. there shone a gleam Strange. I struck it in that start Which every limb convulsed. They’ve wrought all day. drawn from east to west. clear and red. I trust. I saw depart Its light. and mingling also with my dream.Poems by Charlotte. I see men station’d there. Morning shall on the mountain-tops be spread! I’d call my women. but to break their sleep. Conceals the heavens. faint. Thankful that none with me its sufferings share. and well-earn’d slumbers steep Their labours in forgetfulness. invades my ears. Emily and Anne Brontë) POEMS BY CURRER BELL PILATE’S WIFE’S DREAM I’ve quench’d my lamp. on yonder wall. How far is night advanced. . Torches burn in Jerusalem. more than effort can. strange. AND ACTON BELL (Charlotte. Because my own is broken. and I am wrapt in utter gloom. shared by a nameless fear. even as I woke. and when will day Retinge the dusk and livid air with bloom. Yet. I’ll draw my curtain and consult the skies: These trembling stars at dead of night look wan. yet cannot be more drear Than this my couch. too. ELLIS. I heard it fall— The crash blent with my sleep. Let me my feverish watch with patience bear. my pulses. and cast On yonder stony mount a lurid glow. And fill this void with warm. A sound. oh. were unjust. Over against my bed. but there are lights below. and gleaming spears. All black—one great cloud. 7 CURRER.

measured strokes of axe and hammer ring From street to street. 8 Forced to sit by his side and see his deeds. Yet with a faltering. while life for me was bright and young. or pity him? I. Surely some oracle has been with me. And. dyed in blood— Innocent. to judge the victim. which Jews uprear While Romans watch. I see it all—I know the dusky sign— A cross on Calvary.Poems by Charlotte. when. slumbering. and did my freedom slay. and blood. urge— Rome’s servile slave. who so long my fetter’d hands have wrung. who for grief have wept my eyesight dim . are true—for thus my vision ran. will appear— Pass sentence-yield Him up to crucify. I do not weep for Pilate—who could prove Regret for him whose cold and crushing sway No prayer can soften. then. and Pilate’s life of woe. heard and saw. I. defined upon that sky. as erst. straight and high. my soul abhors his mien! Has he not sought my presence. He robb’d my youth—he quench’d my life’s fair ray— He crush’d my mind. A soul whom motives fierce. not loud. hour by hour. The gods have chosen me to reveal their plan. he plunged all Galilee . Dull. but through the night Distinctly heard—and some strange spectral thing Is now uprear’d—and. Because. Emily and Anne Brontë That might stir up reprisal in the dead. an uncertain tread. and Judah’s tyrant scourge. Dreams. Less. And on that cross the spotless Christ must die. righteous blood. and power. To warn an unjust judge of destiny: I. shed shamelessly? And have I not his red salute withstood? Ay. by the gods. fix’d against the light Of the pale lamps. yet abject. no appeal can move: Who tramples hearts as others trample clay. awake I know. It stands up like a column. How can I love. for I know his household privacy— I see him as he is—without a screen. Forced to behold that visage. And at this hour-although I be his wife— He has no more of tenderness from me Than any other wretch of guilty life . and when the dawn shall shine Pilate. Christ’s coming death. In whose gaunt lines the abhorrent gazer reads A triple lust of gold. or mourn.

By this mean reptile. he died. methought. a clearness. Oh! could I but the purposed doom avert. which now I see. an age to come— And still the illumined name of Jesus shed A light. Could he this night’s appalling vision hear. And now. Unless that bitter priesthood should prevail. And shield the blameless head from cruel hurt! Accessible is Pilate’s heart to fear. through the unfolding gloom— And still I saw that sign. That cross on yonder brow of Calvary. Graved on my brain—at once some unknown cause 9 Has dimm’d and razed the thoughts. lo! my cheek is wet—mine eyes run o’er. Then came he—in his eyes a serpent-smile.—lingering woes. Mingling their very offerings with their gore. the envious Jewish priests have brought Jesus—whom they in mock’ry call their king— To have. Trembled with ire—I did not fear to show. sacrilegious sword— And I. has been. their vengeance wrought. yet the vision spread Into a world remote. Like a vague remnant of some by-past scene. And. stain’d with gore. hacking. his life were safe. Emily and Anne Brontë In dark bereavement—in affliction sore. mortal guilt. yet how clear . There he and grisly wolves prowl’d side by side. nor by malady. by this grim power. Upon his lips some false. barbarian climes. to see a man cause men such woe. There he lived famish’d—there. long since.Poems by Charlotte. like autumn leaf. innocence to sting. where mountains cold Built up a solitude of trackless snows. the blood self-spilt. but what. What dream? Erewhile the characters were clear. I weep the impious deed. This just man’s bonds were loosed. More I recall not. I said I had no tears for such as he. And through the streets of Salem clang’d the while His slaughtering. But not of hunger. endearing word. I suffer’d many things—I heard foretold A dreadful doom for Pilate.— Not what will be. What is this Hebrew Christ?-to me unknown His lineage—doctrine—mission. Omens will shake his soul. which now appear. I weep for mortal suffering. I saw the snow around him. Yet if I tell the dream—but let me pause. In far. And make even terror to their malice quail.

I feel a firmer trust—a higher hope Rise in my soul—it dawns with dawning day. all our rites defiled. so wise and mild. opening skies. How straight and stainless is his life’s career! The ray of Deity that rests on him. I wait in hope—I wait in solemn fear. How doth my bosom pant. this man. Truth stoops from heaven and visits earth. Our faith is rotten. Time travails with a mighty birth. I hail. clouds and shadows! Glorious Sun appear! Part. and. methinks. The world advances. The oracle of God—the sole—true God—to hear. but will his faith Survive the terrors of to-morrow’s death ? * * * Part. Our temples sullied. the chaff to fan And sever from the wheat. my spirit pine! This day. I bless pour light! 10 . Is come. Greek or Roman rite Suffices not the inquiring mind to stay. mental gloom! Come insight from on high! Dusk dawn in heaven still strives with daylight clear The longing soul doth still uncertain sigh. With his new ordinance. onward way. This day.Poems by Charlotte. Ere night descends I shall more surely know What guide to follow. Ashamed of sculptured gods. The searching soul demands a purer light To guide it on its upward. even as He says. Oh! to behold the truth—that sun divine. In my eyes makes Olympian glory dim. Emily and Anne Brontë Is God-like goodness in his actions shown. in what path to go. Religion turns To where the unseen Jehovah’s altar burns. Lo! on the Temple’s roof—on Moriah’s slope Appears at length that clear and crimson ray Which I so wished for when shut in by night. Oh.

gilding gone. In this old closet’s dusty cells. Scarcely one little red rose springing Through the green moss can force its way. . And worn till the receiver’s death. china. shells. Now stored with cameos. the daw and starling nestle. Even in the old accustomed places Which look so cold and gloomy now. Familiar thirty years ago. and damp. for ten long years. All is unused. and dim. enters The casements. Emily and Anne Brontë MEMENTOS Arranging long-locked drawers and shelves Of cabinets. These fans of leaves from Indian trees— These crimson shells. gable grey. 11 Nor light. I sometimes think. appears The growth of green and antique mould. with reviving ray. What a strange task we’ve set ourselves! How still the lonely room appears! How strange this mass of ancient treasures. The sun. These volumes. when late at even I climb the stair reluctantly. slow-formed. deemed such precious things. lattice. will pass by me. And outside all is ivy. Some shape that should be well in heaven. doubtless. Keepsakes bestowed by Love on Faith. nor warmth.Poems by Charlotte. I fear to see the very faces. coating each. the rooms discover— Bereft for years of fire and lamp. Where the tall turret rises high. I scarcely think. Or ill elsewhere. But the long rains of many winters Moulder the very walls away. from Indian seas— These tiny portraits. With print all faded. And winds alone come near to rustle The thick leaves where their cradles lie. set in rings— Once. All in this house is mossing over. clinging To chimney. A hand has touched these relics old. Mementos of past pains and pleasures. clasped with costly stone. And. Unscared. shut up for years. sometimes in summer.

as rainbow bright. Her mind was calm. on yonder bed. on summer night. At twilight. summer breeze. she was blest— Blest in her youth. or where the trees Let in the lustre fitfully. languid. Alas! that she should e’er have flung . And when attired in rich array. and as she gazed. Might take her aspect. in her time It seemed to me a pleasant room. She yonder sat. Light. She loved such scenes. For then no cloud of grief or crime Had cursed it with a settled gloom. its sunny rest Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth. when the sun was down.Poems by Charlotte. And Fear my very soul would wither. to close the window. Her soft. Full oft have I impatience proved To see how long her still delight Would find a theme in reverie. Before she married. Beauty or grandeur ever raised In her. smiling light. blest in her worth. lie Watching the sun. Her face evinced her spirit’s mood. Lest something should be dimly shown. Emily and Anne Brontë I’ve come. hither. she loved A cloudless moon. But of all lovely things. That old carved chair was then antique. and curled. To the soft. once so dear. and floating hair. of hue so fair. she seemed to bless With happy glance the glorious sky. Of her who once was mistress here. As their boughs parted momently. Eyes of unclouded. Reclined in yonder deep recess. a kind of day Lit up what seems so gloomy now. 12 These grim oak walls even then were grim. But what around looked dusk and dim Served as a foil to her fresh cheek. Her neck and arms. Too much the buried form resembling. at evening. Gems and attire. Lest doubtful shade. or moonbeam trembling. Out on the lawn. Hers was this chamber. Ofttimes she would. a deep-felt gratitude. lustrous hair about her brow. I had not seen death’s image laid In shroud and sheet.

But bloom or lustre was there none. And then. better still. Even then. And she too loved the twilight wood And often. upon her homeward way. Or see the stars born. That lone. She rarely seemed the time to measure While she could read alone. ill-used. And died of grief by slow decay. Long—long her wandering steps delayed To quit the sombre forest shade.— A child that ne’er its mother knew. though lonely joys away— Deceived by false and guileful tongue. But plaint she never made. I know not if her friendlessness 13 Did sometimes on her spirit press. the truest sense Were in her speaking mien. or how she fared. You ask if she had beauty’s grace? I know not—but a nobler face My eyes have seldom seen. ere she died.Poems by Charlotte. And. A keen and fine intelligence. Emily and Anne Brontë Those pure. She grew uncherished—learnt untaught. he little cared On what she did. since her wedding day. The book-shelves were her darling treasure. one by one. then suffered wrong. to watch the setting sun. Averted was the father’s eye. she faded young. But see—upon that pearly chain— How dim lies Time’s discolouring stain! I’ve seen that by her daughter worn: For. Away to yonder hill would hie. She gave her hand. Only at moments. and almost friendless grew. Nor would she leave that hill till night Trembled from pole to pole with light. Open that casket-look how bright Those jewels flash upon the sight. fitful shone An ardour in her eye. . a life impure and wild Made him a stranger to his child: Absorbed in vice. a child was born. That kindled on her cheek a flush. To her the inward life of thought Full soon was open laid. Like her. For. Oppressed. in her mother’s mood. The brilliants have not lost a ray Of lustre. ever. Out of the darkening sky. Through which her eerie pathway lay. The love withheld she never sought. when its step drew nigh.

In minds to strength unused. Grew wild and fresh her chosen joys. save with me alone. She lived but to reflect and learn. And stronger task did fate assign. or aim to teach. in other words arranged. In youth’s first search for mental light. smile at pain. if too keen The curious gazer searched her mien. The storm at last brought desolation. Shrined in her heart and hid from day. Emily and Anne Brontë Warm as a red sky’s passing blush And quick with energy. yet high. The wounds at which she bled. Grave and retiring was her air. Task that a giant’s strength might strain. And transient strength and ardour stirred. To suffer long and ne’er repine. Be calm in frenzy. to quail. Pale with the secret war of feeling. She bore in silence—but when passion Surged in her soul with ceaseless foam. The unconquered mind. the pleasures. she straight assembled The wrecks of strength her soul retained. she could prize. Language and voice unconscious changed. For though the wasted body trembled. And drove her exiled from her home. That fire of feeling freely shone. Nor even notice. ’Twas seldom. Was in her words displayed: She still began with quiet sense. But soon her mind’s maturer might For stronger task did pant and yearn. On free hill-side. Yet in gay crowd or festal glare. No wish to shine. mute. They burned unseen with silent flame. Her fervid soul transfused Into the hearts of those who heard. She loved not awe’s nor wonder’s gaze. But oft the force of eloquence Came to her lips in aid.Poems by Charlotte. Sustained with courage. was not common speech. disdained. 14 Yet Nature’s feelings deeply lay In that endowed and youthful frame. And thoughts. Her speech. Nature’s own green expanse revealed The world. in sunny field. . too. revealing Only by altered cheek and eye. In quiet spots by woods concealed. And silent still. Nor even exaggerated praise.

Fain would I know if distance renders Relief or comfort to her woe. quite spent and weary. but cold and altered. And nought his relics can inspire Save memories. henceforth. unsheltered. And oh! full oft. or Arno’s flow. I. When crime for wrath was rife. sage and hoary. That labour seems so hard and dreary. The bitter blasts that blight the heart. And death succeeds to long despair. sin-defiled. or Rhine’s. She’ll only toil. No more shall I behold her lying Calm on a pillow. Like all on whom have beat. Then comes the day that knows no morrow. ever. the sire Of that forsaken child. Touch not that ring. Like all whose hopes too soon depart. I. Like one who. Will know the rest of infancy. who sat by his wife’s death-bed. On which no ray of hope may shine. For woes the guiltless proved. ‘Twill be with tired and goaded will. know it well. Though dimmed so long with secret pain. Cold—with the suicidal blade . She will return. the aching hollow. These eyes shall read in hers again. Emily and Anne Brontë She crossed the sea—now lone she wanders By Seine’s. smoothed by me. who his daughter loved. And heaven did curse—they found him laid. Could almost curse the guilty dead. Thus the pale blight of time and sorrow Will shade with grey her soft. having read a story. 15 Her hand will pause. If still the paths of lore she follow. ’twas his. So speaks experience.Poems by Charlotte. worn with sighing. her head decline. Fain would I know if. Each incident therein can tell. I see it plainly. dark hair. No more that spirit. That light of love which faded never. The joyless blank of life to fill.

close beside thee let me kneel— Give me thy hand. ceaseless as the seas. In hours of grief. ’Tis thy own hearth thou sitt’st beside. Still seem. Infects our thoughts with gloom. But.Poems by Charlotte. Which in the wood decays. Ten thousand might mine eyes recall. Lift up their branches fell. self-wielded. more than life itself to me! Yes. closing o’er the earth. And lopped his desperate days. Death’s axe. where three black trees.—well that single tear may fall. Come. Yet doubt not that his spirit groans In hell’s eternity. O leave me not! for ever be Thus. After long absence—wandering wide. and laid his bones Where holier ashes lie. in every passing breeze. yet scarcely past. let us strive to rally mirth Where glows a clear and tranquil hearth In some more cheerful room. And moaning. that I may feel The friend so true—so tried—so dear. You know the spot. struck his root. 16 . ’Twas near that long deserted hut. My heart’s own chosen—indeed is near. The deed of blood to tell. And check me not—this hour divine Belongs to me—is fully mine. the deep. lo! night. the full repose. THE WIFE’S WILL Sit still—a word—a breath may break (As light airs stir a sleeping lake) The glassy calm that soothes my woes— The sweet. They named him mad. For faith and true love light the rays Which shine responsive to her gaze. Ay. Which from their lids ran blinding fast. Emily and Anne Brontë Clutched in his desperate gripe. ’Tis thy own wife reads in thine eyes A promise clear of stormless skies.

This evening now shall sweetly flow. Lit by our clear fire’s happy glow. “Duty commands!” ’Tis true—’tis just. and toil by day?” Oh. Nor by request. Whence. Pure. Thy slightest word I wholly trust. oh! most truly—I love thee! Yet smile—for we are happy now. In bliss or bale—to go with thee! . Entered my soul unmingled bliss. And parting’s peace-embittering fear.” didst thou say? “Danger by night. thy perils shall be mine. I will not pine. Ere long.Poems by Charlotte. thanks! thy love has joy. Such risk as thou must meet and dare. Thanks. undefiled with base alloy. I feel. Passive. hear my solemn vow— Hear and confirm!—with thee I go. at home. Is warned our hearts to come not near. Emily and Anne Brontë Well mayst thou speak of love to me. Worthy. For. But. William. then. Thy toils. Inspires. Grant this—and be hereafter paid 17 By a warm heart’s devoted aid: ’Tis granted—with that yielding kiss. art thou to be Loved with my perfect energy. “Distance and suffering. be severed by the main!” I knew not this—I deemed no more Thy step would err from Britain’s shore. Would I to turn thy purpose try. absorbs my mind. nor faintest sigh. enchains. Hear me! I cross with thee the seas. that sadness on thy brow? What sayst thou? “We muse once again. I—thy true wife—will duly share. idle words and vain are these. false and blind. For fate admits my soul’s decree. ’Tis not a passion. William.

And there are scents of flowers around. and then we rest! Well. No—that beats full of sweet content. We safely may delay. that where we lodge each night. The air is soft and sweet In this sequestered forest glade. steady. there is still an hour of day. I was tired. And all my once waste energy To weighty purpose bent. There rest. Such rigour governs all? I fear not. And long the brightness of the West Will light us on our devious way.Poems by Charlotte. How soothingly they spread! Yes. And strenuous love—like mine for thee— Is buckler strong ‘gainst treachery. These massive roots afford a seat. The evening dew draws from the ground. I am resolved that thou shalt learn To trust my strength as I trust thine. Sit then. As day returns—such vigilance Presides and watches over France. Yet—sayst thou. Which seems for weary travellers made. And turns its stab aside. but not at heart. It may be ever hovering near: I could not tremble at thy side. I am resolved our souls shall burn With equal. For now I have my natural part Of action with adventure blent. no more our English home An anchorage for us may be? That there is risk our mutual blood May redden in some lonely wood The knife of treachery? Sayst thou. mingling shine. spies around us roam. awhile. dost thou fear? So that the knife does not divide. Emily and Anne Brontë THE WOOD But two miles more. . or lonelier hall Of Norman Peer—ere morning light Suspicion must as duly fall. Cast forth on the wide world with thee. In each lone farm. William. here in this wood— So total is the solitude. 18 Our aims are termed conspiracy? Haply.

Intent to thread the maze— 19 Of rocks. the pilot’s eye. Emily and Anne Brontë Part of the field is conquered now. And find a way to steer our band To the one point obscure. on the strand. even.— All. And not a wherry could be moored Along the guarded land. I feel as born again. the air Of freedom—where at last it dwells. Thou seem’st content it should be so. . cast— Sought for a sheltering roof in vain. But soon as comes a warning word Of danger—straight thine anxious brow Bends over me a mournful shade. with eager joy. And scarce could scanty food obtain To break their morning fast. elsewhere. Remember. a common task to share With thee. And while no groaning storm is heard. In every nerve and bounding vein . The rain descended that wild morn When. a welcome glow. Alike on turbid Channel sea. anchoring in the cove at last. Our lives in the same channel flow. to gaze On waves that rose in threatening heap. Our band. Along the self-same line. then it is my spirit swells. I feared not then—I fear not now. Know. like wave-worn sailors. Dimly confusing sea with sky. As doubting if my powers are made To ford the floods of woe. which lost. as victims. all weary and forlorn Ashore. And drinks. Thou didst thy cloak around me fold. Or in still wood of Normandy. Chartered. While stagnant lay a heavy haze.Poems by Charlotte. on Bretagne’s dangerous coast. I have crossed the deep. The interest of each stirring scene Wakes a new sense. And baffling. gleamed the Gallic sword. Flung us. Thou didst thy crust with me divide. And stood with thee on deck. and then it stirs alert. And pants to learn what menaced hurt Demands for thee its care.

amid a cultured plain. 20 Perfumes our cool and fresh retreat— These fragrant limes between. No moon is destined—pale—to gaze On such a day’s vast Phoenix blaze. I ate the bread in peace untold: Given kindly from thy hand. And soon. Girt in with fertile solitude. I taste a heaven in this brief rest. And ne’er did dew so pure and clear Distil on forest mosses green. As now. So close to thee. With hues where still the opal’s tint. Emily and Anne Brontë And. growing here. This gipsy-halt beside the way. Marked by one roof-tree. Are sweeter than I yet have seen. Its gleam of prisoned fire is blent. And heaven with rich suffusion fills. We shall our resting-place descry. Our crew so late had left behind. rising wild. So now—nor foot-sore nor opprest With walking all this August day. That sunset! Look beneath the boughs. A day in fires decayed! There—hand-in-hand we tread again The mazes of this varying wood. Like balm is England’s summer dew Like gold her sunset ray. And tranquil slept my mind. towering high Above a farmstead rude. called forth by summer heat. And deep must be the after-shade As stars alone to-night will shine. sitting silent by thy side. ’twas sweet As costly fare or princely treat On royal plate of gold. And. Sharp blew the sleet upon my face. yet deep and warm it glows. How soft. England’s wild flowers are fair to view. Where flame through azure thrills! Depart we now—for fast will fade That solemn splendour of decline. spite of frozen shower and storm. my heart beat warm. the gusty wind Drove on those thundering waves apace. . Over the copse—beyond the hills.Poems by Charlotte. But. But the white violets.

And on the pavement spread before The long front of the mansion grey. Under the black oak rafters grim.] FRANCES She will not sleep. 21 . Wringing her hands. We’ll seek a couch of dreamless ease. [The preceding composition refers. And. as God shall please. Forth pass her wandering. though so late and lone the hour. doubtless. now fast. Her steps imprint the night-frost hoar. Her steps. faltering feet. Courage will guard thy heart from fear. at intervals— But long as mute as phantom dim— She glides along the dusky walls. The close air of the grated tower Stifles a heart that scarce can beat. Emily and Anne Brontë Refreshed.Poems by Charlotte. Which pale on grass and granite lay. And walks where some beclouded beams Of moonlight through the hall are shed. And through its conflict and turmoil We’ll pass. erelong. quits her restless bed. to the scenes acted in France during the last year of the Consulate. But. with rustic fare. for fear of dreams. rising. In varying motion seek relief From the Eumenides of woe. Obedient to the goad of grief. now lingering slow. And Love give mine divinest peace: To-morrow brings more dangerous toil.

Ere long. Hours long. yet who can bear. desires and dreams of bliss. Unseen. days long. existence sum In the strait limits of one mind. Restrain its throbbing. Rustled her dress and rapid tread. unwept—I weep. Screening a rustic seat and stand. “Unloved—I love. Grief I restrain—hope I repress: Vain is this anguish—fixed and deep. and laid Her hot brow on her burning hand. My sorrow touches none with pain. “God help me in my grievous need. But through the garden archway soon Her strange and gloomy path she took. “My love awakes no love again. in murmurs. Which cannot ask for pity’s meed. and blank. With outward calm mask inward strife?” She waited—as for some reply. My humble hopes to nothing melt. Her heavy plaint again begun. curb its life? Dissemble truth with ceaseless art. Emily and Anne Brontë Not long she stayed where misty moon And shimmering stars could on her look. “For me the universe is dumb. “Which must be borne. And trickling through her fingers white. coeval with the tower. Their straight black boughs stretched o’er her head. a constant weight— 22 The yoke of absolute despair. with deep-drawn. There was an alcove in that shade. and fall unfelt. and wholly blind. Life I must bound. God help me in my inward pain.Poems by Charlotte. . A suffering wholly desolate? “Who can for ever crush the heart. trembling sigh. My tears collect. Some words she now. Stone-deaf. Some firs. beneath this sable bower. The still and cloudy night gave none. Vainer. To solitude and to the night. Weary she sat her down. Some tears of misery she shed. said. Which has no licence to complain.

pain. there wake and dwell Content. where doubts expire. Love fearless. with palsy. To all with equal bounty given. unfeigned. Who longest lives may deepest grieve. if o’er life it beamed. which was weariness on earth? Knowledge. Most blest. unfailing. “Must it be so? Is this my fate? Can I nor struggle. which. Dark—imageless—a living tomb! There must I sleep. sure? “Will he. perfect. alone was heard. and gloom. And oft in clouds is wholly lost. full. “Oh! leaving disappointment here. Contentment. Swept from Eternity’s repose.Poems by Charlotte. rise and see Creation’s Sire—Existence’ God? “Then. and when I die. 23 Will man find hope on yonder coast? Hope. And drink. fading. fly. tearless. Fruition’s spring. Emily and Anne Brontë “That mind my own. For if this earth indeed be all. Released from shroud and wormy clod. “Will he hope’s source of light behold. a moan of pain. which here he dreamed? Rest. . pure. Long silence followed—then again Her voice the stagnant midnight stirred. shines never clear. What follows? Vacant nothingness? The blank of lost identity? Erasure both of pain and bliss? “I’ve heard of heaven—I would believe. All calm and glorious. Served but to prove it void of worth? “Will he find love without lust’s leaven. from penal sufferings free. Watching death’s lingering axe descend? “And when it falls. whom sorrows soonest call. which. for long desire? “Will he find bliss. glancing back on Time’s brief woes. nor contend? And am I doomed for years to wait. on earth. A stifled sob. In all. Will he behold them. in waves of living gold.” Again she paused. Oh! narrow cell.

sparkling high Still never dreamt the overflowing. Were hourly heard. to wait the end. It poured not out like open sluice. sparkling still. “When words. endure. which seemed so near. and redly flashing. sunny days of bliss Only by moonlight nights were broken. and lie till morn. my weary frame. drop by drop. But on a ransomed spirit’s power. fixed. welling from the heart. Which will not dawn on grief and tears. which watched it. Think of the quiet. start. descend. . With mind nor tossed. “The tear which. “Till. My eager lips approached the brim. And when thy anguish strikes too deep. And makes each nerve. Drained. “When the hand trembled to receive A thrilling clasp. No. final sleep. And when all troubled burns life’s flame. “Think of the glorious waking-hour. in torture. Of one who has forgotten thee. And the heart ventured to believe Another heart esteemed it dear. and free from mortal fears. “Seek now thy couch. and strove to taste it. the generous juice. “And when thy opening eyes shall see Mementos. Emily and Anne Brontë Like sullying cloud from pure blue sky? “If so. “I saw it sink. Then from thy chamber.Poems by Charlotte. At feelings it too well recalls: 24 “When the sweet hope of being loved Threw Eden sunshine on life’s way: When every sense and feeling proved Expectancy of brightest day. on the chamber wall. nor anguish-torn. And Faith. drop by drop. as hourly spoken. calm. with purple light was glowing. the cup of joy Filled full. Certain. But tranquil. When the long. Burns where its drop corrosive falls. “It fell not with a sudden crashing. half love. all tenderness. Shed not the tear of acrid gall.

then. there is no dying Of love. away. my crying. friendship’s forms forgetting. Nor spoke of grief. keen sensation. and they for ever Have poisoned life and love for me. Though lightning-struck. alone. and full exertion. “And neither word nor token sending. bitter. “The very wildness of my sorrow . for distant regions bending. I never knew. and dubious life to come? I see a nearer beacon gleaming Over dejection’s sea of gloom. and cool withdrew. “Oh! Love was all a thin illusion Joy. at heart. salt. but the desert’s flying stream. His course. blighting. “Nor wherefore. A draught from Sodom’s lake could never More fiery. nor fond regretting. cannot die. self-contained and calm. He careless left. I know. I must live on. “Still strong and young. Hasten thy work of desolation. “Rebellious now to blank inertion. be. And glancing back on long delusion. Travel. and ruined hope. Which will not weaken. 25 “Oh. I long shall greenly grow. And many a storm of wildest rigour Shall yet break o’er my shivered bough. Went. Are the last. Grew cold and clouded. Nor ev’n one glance of comfort threw. only boon I ask. “Yet whence that wondrous change of feeling. and bitter. Nor why my lover’s eye. Emily and Anne Brontë The movement only seemed to waste it. My memory grasps a hollow dream. and warm with vigour. Of kindness. and cannot learn. and toil. “These I have drunk. Though scathed. “Whence. this vain and barren dreaming Of death. proud and stern.Poems by Charlotte. And let my tortured spirit fly! “Vain as the passing gale. congealing. It sank to dregs. all harsh and dim. My unused strength demands a task. since the parting day.

May hide the one I still retain. life will languish. Is not my being’s only aim. beyond the sea. passing ever. “He. my natal woods. Love may restore him yet to me. Both lonely wood and mansion hoary I’ll leave behind. Earth is not prisoned in that room. May once more wake the wish to live. Traitors! mislead me not again! “To words like yours I bid defiance. “False thought—false hope—in scorn be banished! I am not loved—nor loved have been. the weight of woe removing. ’Tis such my mental wreck have made. and fixed. lorn and loveless. and crowded. skies less clouded. ‘Mid whose dark panels. heart. Recall not. the slave and prey of gloom. “The world is not in yonder tower. and brain. Am free and fetterless as he. “One feeling—turned to utter anguish. But courage can revive the flame. then. The secret influence which estranged him. full many a mile. and self-reliance. New pictures to the mind may give. shall smile. 26 Stamped deep on vision. “New forms and faces. when he left me. new language. I’ve sat. “Morn comes—and ere meridian glory O’er these. went a roving To sunny climes. When. My track of life has been too narrow.” . “And we might meet—time may have changed him. Effort shall trace a broader course. Strange. And I. Of God alone. hour by hour. Chance may reveal the mystery. Emily and Anne Brontë Tells me I yet have innate force. Defined.Poems by Charlotte. astir. and fading never. the dreams scarce vanished. I ask for solace—hope for aid. foreign towns. “New scenes.

To linger o’er the past.Poems by Charlotte. Where ladies. Those thoughts recur to early love. THE GARDEN Above the city hung the moon. Gilbert has paced the single walk An hour. The city’s many-mingled sounds 27 Rose like the hum of ocean. Such theme not oft his mind absorbs. in a city-heart. That moonlight falls on Memory. yet is not weary. And shows her fading scroll. And. And Fancy’s fervour warms the thoughts Now in his bosom glowing. doubtless. But now the evening’s deep repose Has glided to his soul. And. Though many-windowed mansion fronts Were round it. Lay still as houseless wild. And too much for the present lives. Right o’er a plot of ground Where flowers and orchard-trees were fenced With lofty walls around: ’Twas Gilbert’s garden—there to-night Awhile he walked alone. One name appears in every line . tired with sedentary toil. though it be a winter night He feels nor cold nor dreary. And sends his blood fast flowing. closely piled. The prime of life is in his veins. Though haply Gilbert’s secret deeds Might other title claim. Or what he love would name. This garden. They rather lulled the heart than roused Its pulse to faster motion. Mused where the moonlight shone. He to the world clings fast. But thick their walls. Like wafting of an angel’s wing. Time’s flight by them was heard. Emily and Anne Brontë GILBERT I. Some soft piano-notes alone Were sweet as faintly given. and those within Lived lives by noise unstirred . cheered the hearth With song that winter-even.

Bright was the lustre of her eyes. I went my tranquil way. The fond and flattering pain Of passion’s anguish to create In her young breast again. calm in conscience. ’Twas these with Godhead sanctified My sensual frame of flesh. To gaze on trembling eagerness And sit myself unmoved. The triumph of a selfish heart Speaks coldly there alone. sometimes. no cry of hers Could win my awful ear. like a god did I descend At last. In bondage. Her powers new-born and fresh. 28 Nor. Yet. And still he smiles and still repeats That one name—Elinor. I knew her blinded constancy Would ne’er my deeds betray. to meet her love. I knew myself no perfect man. And truly it was sweet To see so fair a woman kneel. as she deemed.Poems by Charlotte. “There was a sort of quiet bliss To be so deeply loved. To feel the fever of that hand My fingers deigned to press. “And never more could she invoke My presence to her sphere. No prayer. He says: “She loved me more than life. And. like a god. And. “Her youth. the while. no plaint. whole in heart. I still feel a wish. at my feet. Emily and Anne Brontë The gentle rays shine o’er. “’Twas sweet to see her strive to hide What every glance revealed. There is no sorrow in his smile. No kindness in his tone. divine. with despot-might Her destiny to wield. Endowed. . I knew that I was glorious—but By her reflected shine. And when it pleased my pride to grant At last some rare caress. “Yet. I then withdrew To my own heaven above. her native energy.

in gathering gold. Books. Serene the lamp’s soft light. transfixed. I fear. But busied. The boughs. red and clear. As I am busied now.Poems by Charlotte. his soul?— A nervous thought. And all. appalled. II. “Nor could I give to fatal risk The fame I ever prized. In strangely sudden haste. And calm close smoothly o’er. he lifts the latchet. I’ve heard she long my absence pined. The heavy door slips from his fingers— It shuts. If I had power—this very hour. I have no clue to know. varied. Some method to unloose a knot. the moonlight. THE PARLOUR Warm is the parlour atmosphere. Steps o’er the threshold stone. Three children o’er them bend. And hide him like a screen He starts—the tree shakes with his tremor. The turning leaf attend. eager eye. To weep a broken vow. then. He. What touched. intercept. He hurries up the garden alley. I could not turn from such pursuit. And left her home in woe.” An inward trouble dims his eye. and he is gone. With shaking hand. pensive. Picture and tale alternately Their simple hearts delight. leans against a tree. Emily and Anne Brontë When they caught fire from mine. . or how she lives. with curious. that precious fame Is too much compromised. Some riddle he would solve. A leafy evergreen. “But where she is. 29 Yet nothing near him pass’d. The vivid embers. on the table lie. Proclaim a frosty night. no more. Again I’d light their shine. Even now. ‘Twill sink like stone in placid pool. His anxious thoughts revolve.

unfaded. The fire glows on her silken dress. The carpets bear the peaceful print Of comfort’s velvet tread. Sunk in a cushion’s swell And smiles seem native to the eyes Of those sweet children. Her sullen shade has crossed the floor. In every nook are shed. She lays her hand upon his heart. Emily and Anne Brontë And interest deep. The beauty that in youth he wooed. Beholds his children fair. Behold that pleasant scene. The parents. from their fireside place. And seldom Toil or Tears. Why could she not so calm a home A little longer miss? But she is now within the door. Her steps advancing glide. And golden gleams. The very silken spaniel seems Of quiet ease to tell. As near its mistress’ feet it dreams. kindly smiling. with pleased and peaceful eye. near. And warmly tints each hazel tress. As Gilbert sees his blooming wife. Abides the guest of years. Prosperity. The brow of ever placid mood No churlish grief has shaded. His wife. The voice of happy infancy Lisps sweetly in his ear. It bounds with agony. . And joy is on the mother’s face. And know not misery. Sits. Alas! that Misery should come In such an hour as this.Poems by Charlotte. And shows its ample grace. They have but looked on tranquil skies. She stands at Gilbert’s side. and tempered glee. three. Pride in the father’s mien. Or past. Curled soft around her face. Is beauty still. though piercing fear. 30 There Want or Discord never come. Illume their aspects bright. from plenty sent. No thought has he of transient strife. in Gilbert’s home.

Sustain’d and strong. And still the undulating gloom Mocks sight with formless motion: Was such sensation Jonah’s doom. Resistance checks his breath. He nothing knows—nor clearly sees. ‘Twixt him and his an unknown life And unknown feelings rush. The high. the nameless vision. Cold horror chills his blood. dense overcast. 31 No shape is in those shadows grim. ceaseless breeze Blows on him cold as death. . The children. and darkness dim. His wife towards the children looks. He sits in solitude. For words oft give but echo faint Of thoughts the mind conceives. His terror have not seen. flows. She does not mark his mien. impetuous. Noise. The present prospect flies. He sees—but scarce can language paint The tissue fancy weaves. rushing. bending o’er their books. Emily and Anne Brontë His fireside chair shakes with the start That shook the garden tree. And circled round with light and mirth. His mind would hold with desperate clutch The scene that round him lies. In his own home. Each moment denser grows. No voice in that wild riot. Fast-driven. and what its mission? How will its terrors close? Long-sweeping. its furious race Sinks to its solemn gliding.Poems by Charlotte. Oh! whence its source. tumult strange. And still the dark. More slow it rolls. vast and void. by his own hearth. devouring tide A typhoon tempest follows. No—changed. Gulphed in the depths of ocean? Streaking the air. a wondrous blast Above and round him blows. deep-sounding. The universe it swallows. Efface both light and quiet. as by some wizard’s touch. A greenish gloom. A tumult vague—a viewless strife His futile struggles crush.

Bore wave and passive carcase past. billows. A feeble light. the pale corpse lay. now first discerned. 32 So near. Deep in her isle-conceiving womb. He saw the ocean-shadow. Her pale dead face. A woman drowned—sunk in the deep. by slow degrees.Poems by Charlotte. And soon. And then the roar of raving seas. tempest. And all was gone—gone like a mist. The hollow anguish of the face Had moved a fiend to sorrow. It seemed the ocean thundered. a form The shapeless chaos varies. Seems as in sleep reposing. arrested there. retreated. far. Rolled—throbbed—but did not vanish. Fast. by realms of rushing gloom. Upborne by air or billow. . Corse. and faint. A beam of light defeated. That hovering wave. Then sea-weed. he could have touched the spray That churned around its pillow. No effort from the haunted air The ghastly scene could banish. Emily and Anne Brontë The stunning roar. the wind’s wild chase. On a long wave reclining. And. a strong returning blast. To stillness are subsiding. While Gilbert yet was gazing. If Gilbert upward turned his gaze. in the turbid rack Uptorn. Before the eye it tarries. The features well disclosing. And straight before. Not death’s fixed calm could rase the trace Of suffering’s deep-worn furrow. All moved. to Gilbert turned. Poised in the eddy to the storm. On following surges riding. The mass of waters raising. The horrid shade. Like glass. the endless seas Lay green as summer meadow. her shape enshrining. The circling waters’ crystal sweep. slowly borne along. If he looked down. Then swept some timbers from a wreck. went slowly gliding. Were seer and phantom sundered. wreck.

abridge the time Of anguish. deep. is great. She nought of Gilbert’s vision knows. Bent for some moments low. great has been his crime: Thy mercy. pitying God.” Thus musingly he says. now his fate! Though. from all the world. then. Give her a secret grave! She sleeps in peace. And nought of his despair. at length. haply. He pitied not that shadowy thing.Poems by Charlotte. The mother with her offspring goes To hear their evening prayer. His features well his heart can mask. And kissed their father’s cheek. With smiles and smoothness bland. Shall greet my spotless name. Good night! good night! the prattlers said. Gilbert has reasoned with his mind— He says ’twas all a dream. “And if that dream has spoken truth. “Conceal her. Yet.” . 33 He strives his inward sight to blind Against truth’s inward beam. Ere shame had forced a fast retreat. ’Twas now the hour their quiet bed And placid rest to seek. uplifts his head. No longer terror’s slave: And homage still. Since surges break and waves are curled Above its threatened shame. Dishonour brought me low. Emily and Anne Brontë Three children close to Gilbert prest And clung around his neck. in sooth. For well can he his feelings task. too. And well his looks command. “If Elinor be dead. Nor now can pity’s balmy spring Refresh his arid mood. and I am free. Gilbert. Such chance the shock repays: A net was woven round my feet. When it was flesh and blood. I scarce could further go. And there is neither grief nor dread Upon his subtle brow. silent sea.

Gilbert. hurrying fast. and the last His summons now they hear. Is heard approaching near. The clocks are hushed—there’s not a light In any window nigh.— His second knock peals loud. There’s sand and sea-weed on her robe. Gilbert. impatient. a footstep. the clanking chain Falls to the floor of stone. beholds A woman. Emily and Anne Brontë III. Ten years have passed above his head. The street is still and desolate. Which is his journey’s goal. And Gilbert. Some clouds are boding rain. on the step. To-night comes home again. THE WELCOME HOME Above the city hangs the moon.Poems by Charlotte. His prosperous life has smoothly sped. holds A candle to his sight. And. The moon hid by a cloud. Without or tear or stain. And Gilbert to his heart will strain His wife and children soon. And not a single planet bright Looks from the clouded sky. His cloak the traveller scarce defends— 34 Will not the door unclose? He knocks the third time. She holds the candle high. A bitter north-wind blows. motionless in form and limb. From every dark and clinging tress The drops incessant pour. The hand that lifts the latchet. erewhile on journey gone. No pulse in such a frame can throb. . As Gilbert at the portal knocks. clad in white. Her hollow eyes are blind. Each year has brought him gain . ’Tis somewhat late—the city clocks Twelve deep vibrations toll. There’s none but her to welcome him. The bolt is drawn. The air is raw. the rain descends. Stands cold and silent nigh. Lo! water from her dripping dress Runs on the streaming floor. Within. will not wait.

A wise and worldly man. It would not flinch nor quail: Then first did Gilbert’s strength abate. Up the hall-staircase rushed. He sank upon his knees and prayed The shape stood rigid there.Poems by Charlotte. . it faced him straight. Entered his chamber—near the bed Sheathed steel and fire-arms hung— Impelled by maniac purpose dread 35 He chose those stores among. Who never drew but selfish breath Since first his life began. His stony firmness quail. By the pale spectre pushed. An accent strange did thus repeat Heaven’s stern but just decree: “The measure thou to her didst mete. He spurred his strength and master-will To pass the figure by. And. moving slow. He called aloud for human aid. Across his throat a keen-edged knife With vigorous hand he drew. by a shameful death. but still His lips vouchsafed no cry. Gilbert turned ashy-white. The wound was wide—his outraged life Rushed rash and redly through. And thus died. To thee shall measured be!” Gilbert sprang from his bended knees. Emily and Anne Brontë No life is there defined. No human aid was near.— But. wild as one whom demons seize.

Unmarked it falls. fearlessly. Emily and Anne Brontë LIFE Life. Still buoyant are her golden wings. Is in that deep blue sky. She puts them quick aside. In vain for her light footsteps wait. Life’s sunny hours flit by. for she no less Pursues her labour sweet. Oft a little morning rain Foretells a pleasant day. How fast her fingers move! How eagerly her youthful brow Is bent in thought above! Her long curls. O why lament its fall? Rapidly. From thence. to slopes of messy grass. She comes not forth to-day. shade the light. Can courage quell despair! 36 THE LETTER What is she writing? Watch her now. Unconquered. And calls our Best away? What though sorrow seems to win. Her hasty touch untied. far away. . and unclosed gate. It has not caught her eye. drooping. though she fell. merrily. The day of trial bear. The white road. For gloriously. a heavy sway? Yet Hope again elastic springs. cheerily Enjoy them as they fly! What though Death at times steps in. believe. O’er hope. Gratefully. Manfully.Poems by Charlotte. victoriously. The very loveliest hour that shines. The golden sun of June declines. If the shower will make the roses bloom. It slips adown her silken dress. But these are transient all. Falls glittering at her feet. Still strong to bear us well. Descends a marble stair. The cheerful lawn. Sometimes there are clouds of gloom. Nor knows that band of crystals bright. is not a dream So dark as sages say. There is an open door of glass Close by that lady’s chair.

Her soul is in th’absorbing task. ask Her own eyes’ serious light. Their leaves and blossoms shade the room From that sun’s deepening glow. what form defines The clouded mass of mystery Yon broad gold frame confines. towards the setting sun She turns her tearful eyes. her task is done. watch her still more closely. Black Spanish locks. You scarce may aught discern. And from th’expanse of that green park. Emily and Anne Brontë Tall plants of bright and spicy bloom Around the threshold grow. ’Tis there she turns. then. couch.Poems by Charlotte. a sunburnt cheek A brow high. A moment more. When from that sky you turn. Where every furrow seems to speak Of mind and moral might. But look again. And now. Her eye a moment met Th’impending picture. Why does she not a moment glance Between the clustering flowers. and vase. then it fell Darkened and dimmed and wet. broad. you may not see Distinct. as if leaning on the air. And fast her pen and fingers fly. O’er flower-stand. Sloped. as now her pen Hangs o’er th’unfinished line? Whence fell the tearful gleam that then Did in their dark spheres shine? The summer-parlour looks so dark. inured to shade Your eyes now faintly trace A stalwart form. still. 37 Yet. Unsmiling. To whom. a massive head. A firm. . o’er the piles of porcelain rare. And sealed the letter lies. doth she write? Nay. Urged by her eager will. earnest. Where do they turn. One picture meets the gaze. determined face. and white. And mark in heaven the radiant dance Of evening’s rosy hours? O look again! Still fixed her eye. Is that her god? I cannot tell.

wonder not. in unclouded sweep. vexed main. Ere read by him to whose loved hand ’Tis sent from England’s shore. Thou glorious realm before! Yet. One loved voice. REGRET Long ago I wished to leave “The house where I was born.” Long ago I used to grieve. My bark is homeward bound. Now. For by the inscription see In what a strange and distant spot Her heart of hearts must be! Three seas and many a league of land That letter must pass o’er. Weeps for his wished return. through surge and blast 38 . foreign shore! Open. of life I no blest isle have found. Emily and Anne Brontë Those tears flow over. Now.Poems by Charlotte. At last. My home seemed so forlorn. Remote colonial wilds detain Her husband. though I had safely pass’d That weary. how utterly is flown Every ray of light! ‘Mid the unknown sea. dark and rolling deep! Farewell. Life and marriage I have known. through all its wild wave’s strife. ‘mid that smiling English scene. Things once deemed so bright. Farewell. In other years. loved though stern. their very memory comes O’ercharged with tender tears. its silent rooms Were filled with haunting fears. She.

You’ve never smiled nor turned your head. unread. The tresses leave its brow. The wind so wildly sweeps away. The year grows old. For hours upon your knee. the hedge. see?” “Come hither. O Jane. you’ve sat there all the day. How dense a mist creeps on! The path. Ev’n the white gate is gone No landscape through the fog I trace. Come to the hearth awhile. invoked by thee! Storm nor surge should e’er arrest My soul. are both concealed. “Scarce is the rustle of a leaf Heard in our garden now. exalting then: All my heaven was once thy breast. The sky is blank and grey. its days wax brief. sister.Poems by Charlotte. All masked in clouds her mien. The rain drives fast before the wind. What can you. what sadness fills the mind 39 . No hill with pastures green. That open book has lain. All featureless is Nature’s face. William! even from Heaven’s repose I’d turn. Emily and Anne Brontë Could call me back again. Would it were mine again! PRESENTIMENT “Sister. The clouds so darkly pile. Though the soul’s bright morning rose O’er Paradise for me. Jane. look down the field.

A few short months ago. This world for Heaven’s far shore. even as fades a dream. . She’s thinking of one winter’s day. Though late and wintry wane the year.. ‘mid winter’s sleet and rain.” Eight months are gone. What though November days be drear? Full soon will they be gone. Come. She’s thinking how that drifted snow Dissolved in spring’s first gleam. I know by presage sure. Receives its rosy dye. You sit too long alone. Though rough the night may be. Emily and Anne Brontë On such a dreary day!” “You think too much. But Emma comes no more.Poems by Charlotte. Her head rests on her hand the while. I’m on a distant journey bound. and placed your chair. the summer sun Sets in a glorious sky. Our own fireside is never drear. Ere long. I’ve swept the hearth. They reach not that Eternity Which soon will be my home. Alone she sits there now. A quiet field. sit by me. And thought o’ercasts her brow. ’Twould break when forced to part. They’ll ne’er return again. about my heart. dear Jane.” “The peaceful glow of our fireside Imparts no peace to me: My thoughts would rather wander wide Than rest. She left. Jane sits upon a shaded stile. “‘Soon will November days be o’er:’ Well have you spoken. Too closely kindred ties were bound. my sister dear. And how her sister’s memory now Fades. And if. Then Emma’s bier was borne away O’er wastes of frozen snow. all green and lone. Jane: My own forebodings tell me more— For me. The snow will whiten earth again. nor sun nor storm to me 40 Will bring or joy or gloom. with thee. On Beulah’s hills she wanders now. Emma.

Now. Sweet dreams of home my heart may fill. That home where I am known and loved: It lies beyond. as it is bliss to be. as I watch that distant hill. Lapsed among moors. Sometimes. thoughts alone People its mute tranquillity. To her shall Jane hereafter go. I love to keep in memory. I think a narrow heart Makes me thus mourn those far away. wings its way. how soft the day O’er waveless water. so blue. For the first time. 41 . My happiest hours. yon azure brow Parts me from all Earth holds for me. Emily and Anne Brontë On Eden’s tranquil plain. my yearnings flow Thitherward tending. so far removed. Silent and sunny. aye! all the time. stirless tree. So faint. the long task done. She ne’er shall come to Jane! THE TEACHER’S MONOLOGUE The room is quiet. And keeps my love so far apart From friends and friendships of to-day. morn and eve. changelessly. I see. The yoke put off.— I am. ere life’s first prime Decayed to dark anxiety. And. Still and untroubled. Now.Poems by Charlotte.

For youth departs. coarse world around Seems all that’s palpable and true. But all the impatient gloom of one Who waits a distant day. no gushing spring Of tears in anguish shed. Bright joy nor bitter woe. to solace me When sleep refused to come. In vain I try. When. . and every sound. “Thy golden sheaves are empty air. A quiet song. I hear. I think ’tis but a dream I treasure up so jealously. But just a song that sweet and clear. and pleasure flies. All feels so cold and dead. Emily and Anne Brontë Sometimes. Though haply sad. And hear it whispered mournfully. The strain I wished to sing. Combines my spirit to subdue To aching grief. And. That farewells have been spoken there. What shall I do. this strange. And life consumes away. and whither turn? Where look for peace? When cease to mourn? 42 * ’Tis not the air I wished to play. some great task of suffering done. My wilful spirit slipped away And struck another string. at times. Repose shall toil repay. my very home I think will soon be desolate.” All fades away. No wild distress. the vacant chair. I neither wanted smile nor tear. When sorrowful for home. in my own heart sown. The hopes that. Have ripened to a harvest there: Alas! methinks I hear it said. A strain to chase despondency. if I should return and see The hearth-fire quenched. a warning come Of bitter partings at its gate.Poems by Charlotte. so void and lone Is Life and Earth—so worse than vain. And cherished by such sun and rain As Joy and transient Sorrow shed. And every sight. might flow. I cannot sing. All the sweet thoughts I live on seem To vanish into vacancy: And then.

On Indian Sutlej’s flow. Could the battle-struggle earn One kind glance from thine eye. To suffer to the end! PASSION Some have won a wild delight. And days of carnage cold. And Health’s elastic spring is broke Beneath the strain of care. How this withering heart would burn. Emily and Anne Brontë And youth’s rejoicing ardour dies Beneath this drear delay. such a life at least makes Death A welcome. By daring wilder sorrow. if with wandering bands I roam full far away. must the eve Be also desolate? Well. Bid me—bid me go Where Seik and Briton meet in war. to grieve.Poems by Charlotte. Faith. And Patience. Where now is Life’s first prime? I’ve worked and studied. 43 . Through all that rosy time. longed and grieved. a trumpet sounds afar. Could I gain thy love to-night. wished-for friend. I’d hazard death to-morrow. Then. Reason. aid me. The heady fight to try! Welcome nights of broken sleep. long. Life will be gone ere I have lived. to think. Patience.— Is such my future fate? The morn was dreary. Wilt thou to those distant lands In spirit ever stray? Wild. Tell me. Could I deem that thou wouldst weep To hear my perils told. Is yielding to despair. To toil. to long. weary with her yoke.

so high and free.Poems by Charlotte. I’ll read my triumph in thine eyes. The bright wine sparkling high. command me go! Though rank and high the holocaust Of nations steams to heaven. my noble prize. hot from war. and maddening pride? No—my will shall yet control Thy will. And love shall tame that haughty soul— Yes—tenderest love for me. Nor wait till in the exhausted cup Life’s dull dregs only lie. Once more in arms to range. Were but the mandate given. and prove the change. Hope blest with fulness large. Its ardour stir my life. If. Indus’ borders yawn with graves. I’d die when all the foam is up. Emily and Anne Brontë Blood has dyed the Sutlej’s waves With scarlet stain. I seek thy love. I’d mount the saddle. Till human force to that dread charm Should yield and sink in wild alarm. perchance. Glad I’d join the death-doomed host. Passion’s strength should nerve my arm. draw the sword. Then leave. I know. Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward. Behold. Darest thou turn aside? Darest thou then my fire reprove. Like trees to tempest-strife. And perish in the charge! 44 . Yet. By scorn.

then.Poems by Charlotte. by thine own confession. then. with daring boldness. With an equal energy. In that glade. Wert thou prince. feverish streak? Am I marble? What! no woman Could so calm before thee stand? Nothing living. I could not love thee. even. with impassive coldness Have I ever met thy gaze. Nay-be calm. are thine oaths of passion? This. Why that smile? Thou now art deeming This my coldness all untrue. a mother: My good-will is sisterly: Dream not. Fury cannot change my mind. deeply—truly— Warmly—fondly—but not thee. thou wouldst leave me! Thus I read thee long ago. Could so coldly take thy hand? Yes—a sister might. Thou art steeped in perfidy. I but deem the feeling rootless Which so whirls in passion’s wind. Look where yon thick branches chasten Noon. Rave not. Wouldst thou see thy rival? Hasten.— But a mask of frozen seeming. Hiding secret fires from view. thoughtful bending O’er a stand with papers spread— . thy tenderness for me? Judged. Draw that curtain soft aside. with shades of eventide. But. Touch my hand. and I a slave. And my love is answered duly. thou self-deceiver. Emily and Anne Brontë PREFERENCE Not in scorn do I reprove thee. Thou thine eyes to mine didst raise. Therefore. sentient. Therefore. Even with friendship’s gentle show. I strive to smother Fires that inly burn for thee. full oft. for I am so: Does it burn? Does my lip quiver? Has mine eye a troubled glow? Canst thou call a moment’s colour 45 To my forehead—to my cheek? Canst thou tinge their tranquil pallor With one flattering. rage not. wrath is fruitless. human. Having vanquished. dared I not deceive thee. These. believe. where foliage blending Forms a green arch overhead. Not in pride thy vows I waive. Though. Can I love? Oh. Sits thy rival.

cease to sue. When. And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish Now cause but some mild tears to flow. and wait securely For the atoning hour to come. Honour’s shield. the hopes. Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations. Such as in evening silence come. While God reigns in earth and heaven. thinker. There he sits—the first of men! Man of conscience—man of reason. and virtue’s trust! Worker. but ever just. lost in Fame’s or Wealth’s illusion. Soul of iron—proof to slander.— The thoughts. Fame he seeks not—but full surely She will seek him. When. Stern. Oh! when the heart is freshly bleeding. Rock where founders tyranny. Then in our souls there seems to languish A tender grief that is not woe. Therefore. How longs it for that time to be.Poems by Charlotte. While. the dreams. in silence sealed. and treason. In secret kept. perchance. soft as birds their pinions closing. I to him will still be true! EVENING SOLACE The human heart has hidden treasures. his fingers plying That untired. once as strong as passions. And feelings. To that man my faith is given. The memory of the Past may die. This I know. 46 . the pleasures. But there are hours of lonely musing. Emily and Anne Brontë Motionless. in his home. Time and tide unnoticed flying. The heart’s best feelings gather home. Whose charms were broken if revealed. And days may pass in gay confusion. through the mist of years receding. Float softly back—a faded dream. Foe to falsehood. The tale of others’ sufferings seem. firm defender Of Heaven’s truth—man’s liberty. wrong. unresting pen. And nights in rosy riot fly. soldier.

a voice. A step. And. STANZAS If thou be in a lonely place. Hark! for a sound upon the wind. Watch the last bird’s belated flight. how blest That twilight hour would seem. 47 . Emily and Anne Brontë Its woes but live in reverie! And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer. Feel no untold and strange distress— Only a deeper impulse given By lonely hour and darkened room. As Evening bends her placid face O’er this sweet day’s decline. To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven Seeking a life and world to come. On evening shade and loneliness. Unchecked. When. it will be still: Pause near the elm. ’Tis dusk. Look at that soft and golden light. One moment—think of me! Pause. If all be still. If thy love were like mine. back from the regretted Past. As it flits silent by. a sigh. then yield thy mind. a sacred gloom Its breezeless boughs will fill. As o’er them shuts the summer even. while the sky grows dim and dimmer. If one hour’s calm be thine. in the lane. If all the earth and all the heaven Now look serene to thee.Poems by Charlotte. to memory. returning home. High in the unclouded sky.

and sweet. This heart must throb for thine. Every pleasant sight beneath. how wild Thy longings. Beneath the churchyard tree. Thou wert my god divine. still true to me. We’ll just take them as they come. Every glorious sight above us. And well my dying hour were blest. And sound my sleep would be. As even better than we are. Though we are condemned to part: There’s such a thing as keeping A remembrance in one’s heart: There’s such a thing as dwelling On the thought ourselves have nursed. even to pain. could I deem that thou Such anguish ever knew. If sometimes in thy heart should beat One pulse. And with scorn and courage telling The world to do its worst. I’ve seen thy dark eyes shine. Whom we truly love till death! . It beats so strong and true. If life’s expiring breath Should pass. We’ll connect with those that love us. Till checked by death’s congealing power. And deeply felt their changeful ray Spoke other love than mine. My love is almost anguish now. To bring that hour again! But oft. We will think of one another. I have been but thy transient flower. Emily and Anne Brontë Returned our early dream! If thy love were like mine. as thy lips gently prest My forehead cold in death. and moonlight mild. when in thine arms I lay. When we’re parted wide and far. For sunset soft. And then every day will leave us A merry laugh for home.Poems by Charlotte. When we’ve left each friend and brother. 48 PARTING There’s no use in weeping. We’ll not let its follies grieve us. ‘Twere rapture.

perchance alone. I sold my early truth. And prayed to what in marble smiled Cold. I did. ’Twas not a grey. bare head. Point not to thy Madonna. mute. 49 . “That land and God and Faith are mine. my eyes are dim. Then shall heart with warm heart meeting. though upon my bed of death. But well I hear thee say. Thou. for Love’s vow and Wedlock’s ring. Wring one repentant moan. lifeless. Bent o’er me. We can burst the bonds which chain us. Bear a cheerful spirit still. in thought. solemn Priest. She cannot. And. But listen! Children spring Full soon to riper youth. And where none shall dare restrain us We can meet again. Emily and Anne Brontë In the evening. And. from this burning breast. Never doubt that Fate is keeping Future good for present ill! APOSTASY This last denial of my faith. on me.Poems by Charlotte. Priest. when we’re sitting By the fire. hast heard. Thou say’st. So there’s no use in weeping. when I said. For which thy fathers bled. like thine. Which cold human hands have wrought. Give responsive tone for tone. I duly bent the knee. I call not back a word.— Thy sightless saint of stone.” I see thee not. that when a sinless child.

My heart fails in my breast. Tell not thy beads for me. can distance dim The memory of my lord? I said before. nor Priestcraft break My rock-like constancy! Now go. Give me but back my Walter’s love. As I have seen night’s terrors shun The conquering steps of day. Both rite and prayer are vainly spent. thou shouldst tell What mighty barriers rise To part me from that dungeon-cell. He calls—I come—my pulse scarce beats. Because. as burning bright. Where my loved Walter lies? And. As some red planet’s gleam. Not Death shall shake. Rave not of Hell’s alarms.Poems by Charlotte. Emily and Anne Brontë “O daughter cease to think of him Who led thy soul astray. Over my eyeballs. The lids fell down like stone. I saw not thee. Again that voice—how far away. Back to the Church’s pale. ’Tis my religion thus to love. an hour agone. Speak not one word of Heaven above. can tears. Let leagues and years prevail To turn thee from the path of crime. as clear. “Between you lies both space and time. How dreary sounds that tone! . But still my spirit’s inward sight Beholds his image beam 50 As fixed. did I need that. As dews upon the sea. did I need that thou shouldst taunt My dying hour at last. Talk not of thy Last Sacrament. By bidding this worn spirit pant No more for what is past? Priest—MUST I cease to think of him? How hollow rings that word! Can time. Restore me to his arms! Then will the bliss of Heaven be won. for at the door there waits Another stranger guest. Then will Hell shrink away.” And. heavily. My creed thus fixed to be.

I fain would rest a little while: Where can I find a stay. It cleaves its silent way. Our free. And. for a little while. Emily and Anne Brontë And I. And slowly. “’Twas Walter’s voice I heard!” Then up she sprang—but fell back. And say that this shall be A space. will not stay. His name her latest word. But Time. A moment. haply. WINTER STORES We take from life one little share. Alike. Death unstrings his bow. Warm. soft. Existence seems a summer eve. 51 .Poems by Charlotte. And show some trodden way? “I come! I come!” in haste she said. And. then. it takes the power To call up thoughts that throw Around that charmed and hallowed hour. This life’s divinest glow. Till dawn upon the hills shall smile. am gone astray In trackless wastes and lone. methinks. unfettered feelings give The soul its full release. we know The sunshine of the heart. though viewlessly it flies. through clear and clouded skies. redeemed from toil and care. And Sorrow stands apart. dead. From tears and sadness free. and full of peace.

Toiled quiet Memory. with hoarded sweets replenished. in summer. The hour of rest is gone.— An unseen work within was plying. ’Tis she that from each transient pleasure Extracts a lasting good. Its progress leaves but moment brief For baffled lips to kiss The sparkling draught is dried away. Alike the draught of bliss. And when Youth’s summer day is vanished. And urgent voices. .— Thoughtful for Winter’s future sorrow.— While many a bud of joy before us Unclosed its petals sweet. Life’s evening hours will bless. 52 Prescient to-day. Her stores. hasten on!” And has the soul. lingerer. “Ho. A moment’s rest. flying. unwearied.Poems by Charlotte. say. Emily and Anne Brontë Alike the bitter cup of grief. Laboured one faculty. of want to-morrow. One hurried glimpse of peace? No. while the sun shone kindly o’er us. round us. only gained. From flower to flower. From this brief time of ease. Like honey-seeking bee. treasure To serve for winter’s food. And Age brings Winter’s stress. Its gloom and scarcity. ’Tis she that finds. then. And flowers bloomed round our feet. when overstrained.

vessel. Cleared of the weeds that fill it now. when rose the fatal tree Before him.— Mere human love. Seek the free ocean’s wider plain. dissever English ties. Leave English scenes and English skies. then. Emily and Anne Brontë THE MISSIONARY Plough. Hot action. I cannot yet Remembrance flee. abandoned past? Smouldering. to retrace. Where altered life. axe-struck. plough the British main. Bear me to climes remote and strange. What—when I saw it. What I renounced with soul-felt pain. The sacred steel But lately struck my carnal will. Shall stir. I must again. What I wished wildly to retain. and clung to fast. What I loved well. But England’s shores are yet in view. . mere selfish yearning. fast-following change. Unbind. Wedded to home—I home forsake. I grasp the plough. A man bereft—yet sternly now I do confirm that Jephtha vow: Shall I retract. struggle to forget. or flee? Did Christ. there’s no returning. Till a new garden there shall grow. fresh seed shall sow. never-ceasing toil. the spirit’s soil. would arrest me yet. What other tie yet holds me fast To the divorced.Poems by Charlotte. Which. And England’s skies of tender blue Are arched above her guardian sea. but won. firmly face That task of anguish. Fearful of change—I changes make. cherished. on Mount Calvary? ’Twas a long fight. perish— Left me no joy on earth to cherish. Not yet half quenched. turn. on my heart’s altar lies The fire of some great sacrifice. Too fond of ease—I plunge in toil. or fear. dig. Let me. hard fought. And what I did was justly done. 53 Lover of calm—I seek turmoil: Nature and hostile Destiny Stir in my heart a conflict wild. My life-long hope. And long and fierce the war will be Ere duty both has reconciled. first joy and last. Fresh roots shall plant. then.

trampled by the strong. I—schooled from childhood in such lore— Dared I draw back or hesitate. And that wild sound rose o’er the cry Wrung out by passion’s agony. And. The faith benign of Mary’s Son. his passion deep Of anguish for man’s sufferings. trembling things. Still. Received his legacy of peace. His mercy vast. I dared thy tears. And even when. 54 In childhood. and tribes. I saw Hell’s empire. Each realm of Asia covering o’er. Spread on each Indian river’s shore. thou mightst not go with me. But even to them the light of Faith Is breaking on their sombre sky: And be it mine to bid them raise Their drooped heads to the kindling scene. When my heart most for thy heart burned. There pagan-priests. vast and grim. the weak. And I—who have the healing creed. afar. with the spirit’s vision clear. For all weak. Shall I behold my brother’s need. whose creed is Wrong. I could not—dared not stay for thee! I heard. Extortion. There. When called to heal the sickness sore Of those far off and desolate? Dark. read Christ’s written word. mine eyes were dim.Poems by Charlotte. with the bitterest tear I ever shed. Nations. Helen! from thy love I turned. full benevolence. in bonds complain The savage from beyond the main. Helen. His pitying tenderness for guilt. And know and hail the sunrise blaze Which heralds Christ the Nazarene. Live but to suffer—hopeless die. selfishly. His holy rule of action heard. His shepherd-care for wandering sheep. sorrowing. I—in whose heart the sacred sense Of Jesus’ love was early felt. I know how Hell the veil will spread Over their brows and filmy eyes. in the realm and shades of Death. and Cruelty. Crush our lost race—and brimming fill The bitter cup of human ill. to aid him shun? I—who upon my mother’s knees. Emily and Anne Brontë Yet. And earthward crush the lifted head That would look up and seek the skies. Of his pure. I dared thy scorn— Easier the death-pang had been borne. and empires lie. . Lust.

Who comes to dare his demon rage. The man’s deep moan—the martyr’s prayer. Where tyrants rule and slaves repine. . I know my lot—I only ask Power to fulfil the glorious task. May burning sun or deadly wind Prevail not o’er an earnest mind. nor baffle faith.Poems by Charlotte. 55 And. And feared to give to God that blood? What! has the coward love of life Made me shrink from the righteous strife? Have human passions. Shielded by faith. and trace Paths for the progress of our race? It has been so. Reckless that missionary blood. Let others thrust the sickle in. May torments strange or direst death Nor trample truth. Lord. Emily and Anne Brontë I know what war the fiend will wage Against that soldier of the Cross. oh! if brief must be my time. Willing the spirit. And work his kingdom shame and loss. If but the seed will faster grow. Yes. so it gave More strength to work—more skill to save. Eager to lift Religion’s light Where thickest shades of mental night Screen the false god and fiendish rite. but grant me. Lord. And calls me into Jesus’ rest. So I the culture may begin. If hostile hand or fatal clime Cut short my course—still o’er my grave. may thy harvest whitening wave. upon the unblest air. Resolved to plant the gospel vine. Though such blood-drops should fall from me As fell in old Gethsemane. May my blood water what I sow! What! have I ever trembling stood. When death bestows the martyr’s crown. Even when the last pang thrills my breast. Welcome the anguish. To smile when trials seek to whelm And stand mid testing fires unhurt! Hurling hell’s strongest bulwarks down. Now to stand steadfast by Thy word! Protected by salvation’s helm. with truth begirt. Has left. may the flesh Strength for the day receive afresh. Shed in wild wilderness and wood. hard and terrible the toil Of him who steps on foreign soil. human fears Severed me from those Pioneers Whose task is to march first.

“But. round our sheltered hall November’s gusts unheeded call. Forsake thy books. and misty hill. And. while the night is gathering gray. To feel her cheek. I dream of moor.Poems by Charlotte. even this tranquillity Brings bitter. I think of deep glens. Emily and Anne Brontë Then for my ultimate reward— Then for the world-rejoicing word— The voice from Father—Spirit—Son: “Servant of God. well hast thou done!” POEMS BY ELLIS BELL FAITH AND DESPONDENCY “The winter wind is loud and wild. 56 . We’ll talk its pensive hours away. And I am glad to watch the blaze Glance from her eyes. Not one faint breath can enter here Enough to wave my daughter’s hair. blocked with snow. so softly pressed. Come close to me. And. in the red fire’s cheerful glow. and mateless play.— “Ierne. yet. my darling child. restless thoughts to me. with mimic rays. In happy quiet on my breast. Where evening closes dark and chill.

Where we were born. 57 How useless would such sorrow be. where you and I Shall meet our dearest. And murmur that your friends must die. The grave is drear. Not so. To reach. So would I fearful vigil keep.Poems by Charlotte. Raised on my pillow. Such thoughts were tyrants over me! I often sat. And sprang up to a glorious birth— Struck deep its root. Because it fell in fertile earth. Emily and Anne Brontë For. And my heart aches. among the mountains cold. the eternal home. The steadfast. with strained ear. And. Exhausted with repinings vain. “But. sweet. Restored into the Deity. all for listening. I weary for that land divine. should we despair. never sleep. Or. through storm and foam. Opening its ports for me and mine. to descry The dim moon struggling in the sky. I will not weep For those whose bodies rest in sleep. for hours together. But this world’s life has much to dread. tell me why? For. From suffering and corruption free. but they are not there. in hopeless pain. Through the long nights of angry weather. at last. And worldly tempests. changeless shore!” . I’ll not fear. and yet you sigh. to catch the shock. and wave with rock. raging wild. Their dust is mingled with the sod. Of rock with wave. my Father. and lifted high Its green boughs in the breezy sky.— I know there is a blessed shore. to mourn the seed which grew Unnoticed on its parent tree. when we die.” “Well hast thou spoken. in early infancy. gazing Time’s wide waters o’er. Shall strengthen thy desire— Thy fervent hope. Their happy souls are gone to God! You told me this. Through wind and ocean’s roar. Ah! my dear father. Lie those that I have loved of old. And. lone. with the dead. “Oh! not for them. As wise. trustful child! And wiser than thy sire. When you were far beyond the sea. That I shall greet them ne’er again!” “Father. if your former words were true.

Poems by Charlotte. near and far. Oh. the wakened flies Were murmuring round my room. I was at peace. Where your cool radiance fell? 58 Blood-red. and dreams. and. star followed star. And give them leave to roam. and me! It would not do—the pillow glowed. Have you departed. But mine sank sad and low! My lids closed down. And. your glorious eyes Were gazing down in mine. on. And revelled in my changeful dreams. And steep in gold the misty dale. he rose. To call back night. every one. Oh. Throb with my heart. till I should rise. And birds sang loudly in the wood. and drank your beams As they were life to me. Emily and Anne Brontë STARS Ah! why. return! . still. blazing. And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek. again. because the dazzling sun Restored our Earth to joy. so pure. Through boundless regions. with a full heart’s thankful sighs. While one sweet influence. arrow-straight. yet through their veil I saw him. a spell. The soul of nature sprang. elate. and proved us one! Why did the morning dawn to break So great. Thought followed thought. Imprisoned there. His fierce beams struck my brow. The curtains waved. and gentle night. And flash upon the hill. I blessed that watch divine. Like petrel on the sea. And left a desert sky? All through the night. And fresh winds shook the door. And glowed both roof and floor. I turned me to the pillow. night and stars. Thrilled through. then. stars. and see Your worlds of solemn light.

and yet They all are held in me. Still. and still say the same. Subdue this quenchless will!” “So said I. Let me sleep through his blinding reign. No threatened hell. but burn. or half fulfil. Drinks tears. when in my breast 59 . Heaven could not hold them all. these wild desires Could all.Poems by Charlotte. And never care how rain may steep. for the time. Or snow may cover me! No promised heaven. And only wake with you! THE PHILOSOPHER Enough of thought. within this little frame. in this chamber drear. Are warring night. and day. what sad refrain Concludes thy musings once again? “Oh. While summer’s sun is beaming! Space-sweeping soul. And must be mine till I forget My present entity! Oh. philosopher! Too long hast thou been dreaming Unlightened. Emily and Anne Brontë And hide me from the hostile light That does not warm. will say— Three gods. to my death. That drains the blood of suffering men. for the time when I shall sleep Without identity. with quenchless fires. instead of dew.

Sought him in heaven. Nor stretching eager hands to death. 60 I ne’er had called oblivion blest. and conquering ill Be lost in one repose!” . where they joined their triple flood It tumbled in an inky sea The spirit sent his dazzling gaze Down through that ocean’s gloomy night. kindling all. And one like sapphire seemed to be. and air. man. with sudden blaze. Implored to change for senseless rest This sentient soul. standing. I ne’er had raised this coward cry To cease to think. far more fair Than its divided sources were!” “And even for that spirit. seer. Had I but seen his glorious eye ONCE light the clouds that wilder me. earth. let me die—that power and will Their cruel strife may close. An endless search. and always wrong. The glad deep sparkled wide and bright— White as the sun. when I shall rest. and equal flow— A golden stream—and one like blood. and cease to be. Of equal depth. And conquered good. Where thou dost stand—an hour ago. And never suffer more!” “I saw a spirit. far. And round his feet three rivers ran. hell. I’ve watched and sought my life-time long. for the day.Poems by Charlotte. Then. Emily and Anne Brontë Their struggles will be o’er! Oh. But. this living breath— Oh.

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë

REMEMBRANCE
Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee, Far, far, removed, cold in the dreary grave! Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee, Severed at last by Time’s all-severing wave? Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover Over the mountains, on that northern shore, Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover Thy noble heart for ever, ever more? Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers, From those brown hills, have melted into spring: Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers After such years of change and suffering! Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee, While the world’s tide is bearing me along; Other desires and other hopes beset me, Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong! No later light has lightened up my heaven, No second morn has ever shone for me; All my life’s bliss from thy dear life was given, All my life’s bliss is in the grave with thee. 61

But, when the days of golden dreams had perished, And even Despair was powerless to destroy; Then did I learn how existence could be cherished, Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy. Then did I check the tears of useless passion— Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine; Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten Down to that tomb already more than mine. And, even yet, I dare not let it languish, Dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain; Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish, How could I seek the empty world again?

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë

A DEATH-SCENE
“O day! he cannot die When thou so fair art shining! O Sun, in such a glorious sky, So tranquilly declining; He cannot leave thee now, While fresh west winds are blowing, And all around his youthful brow Thy cheerful light is glowing! Edward, awake, awake— The golden evening gleams Warm and bright on Arden’s lake— Arouse thee from thy dreams! Beside thee, on my knee, My dearest friend, I pray That thou, to cross the eternal sea, Wouldst yet one hour delay: I hear its billows roar— I see them foaming high; But no glimpse of a further shore Has blest my straining eye. 62

Believe not what they urge Of Eden isles beyond; Turn back, from that tempestuous surge, To thy own native land. It is not death, but pain That struggles in thy breast— Nay, rally, Edward, rouse again; I cannot let thee rest!” One long look, that sore reproved me For the woe I could not bear— One mute look of suffering moved me To repent my useless prayer: And, with sudden check, the heaving Of distraction passed away; Not a sign of further grieving Stirred my soul that awful day. Paled, at length, the sweet sun setting; Sunk to peace the twilight breeze: Summer dews fell softly, wetting Glen, and glade, and silent trees. Then his eyes began to weary, Weighed beneath a mortal sleep;

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë And their orbs grew strangely dreary, Clouded, even as they would weep. But they wept not, but they changed not, Never moved, and never closed; Troubled still, and still they ranged not— Wandered not, nor yet reposed! So I knew that he was dying— Stooped, and raised his languid head; Felt no breath, and heard no sighing, So I knew that he was dead.

SONG
The linnet in the rocky dells, The moor-lark in the air, The bee among the heather bells That hide my lady fair: The wild deer browse above her breast; The wild birds raise their brood; And they, her smiles of love caressed, Have left her solitude! I ween, that when the grave’s dark wall Did first her form retain, They thought their hearts could ne’er recall The light of joy again. They thought the tide of grief would flow Unchecked through future years; But where is all their anguish now, And where are all their tears? Well, let them fight for honour’s breath, Or pleasure’s shade pursue— The dweller in the land of death Is changed and careless too. 63

And thou art near thy prime? When those who were thy own compeers. west-wind. I waited bliss—and cherished rest. subdued by passions strong.Poems by Charlotte. Before their hearts went wandering wrong. Return a single sigh! Blow. 64 . Or unreal phantoms of distress! How spring can bring thee glory. Blest. yet. Of youth’s delight. And by fulfilment. She would not. smileless day. summer-streams— There is no need of other sound To soothe my lady’s dreams. had they died untried and young. by the lonely mound. hope destroyed. ANTICIPATION How beautiful the earth is still. Have seen their morning melt in tears. when youth is past. if their eyes should watch and weep Till sorrow’s source were dry.— Poor slaves. Equals in fortune and in years. I hoped while they enjoyed. A thoughtful spirit taught me soon. To clouded. And murmur. in her tranquil sleep. As children hope. A weak and helpless prey! ‘Because. And summer win thee to forget December’s sullen time! Why dost thou hold the treasure fast. To thee—how full of happiness? How little fraught with real ill. with trustful breast. Emily and Anne Brontë And.

Held backward from that tempting race. The more my spirit swells elate. But. with firm foot and tranquil face. The fearful and the fair— Hope soothes me in the griefs I know. To the enduring seas— There cast my anchor of desire Deep in unknown eternity. and always cloy: ‘This I foresaw—and would not chase The fleeting treacheries. That every phase of earthly joy Must always fade. Nor ever let my spirit tire. She lulls my pain for others’ woe. my guide. smile to hear Death’s billows rave— 65 Sustained. Emily and Anne Brontë That we must long till life be done. With looking for what is to be! “It is hope’s spell that glorifies. Strong. Glad comforter! will I not brave. the darkness of the grave? Nay. Unawed. to anticipate Rewarding destiny! . by thee? The more unjust seems present fate. Gazed o’er the sands the waves efface. to my maturer eyes. in thy strength. Like youth.Poems by Charlotte. All Nature’s million mysteries. And makes me strong to undergo What I am born to bear.

God forgive my youth. “My friend. his aspect bland and kind. “He comes with western winds.) “Ay. that kill me with desire.” she said. 66 And. it was as soft and mild As sculptured marble saint. your bolts and irons strong. That we must bind thee down and clench thy fetters here?” The captive raised her face. “you have not heard me mourn. And I am rough and rude. whose grated eye showed heaven more gray than blue. Dost think. A messenger of Hope comes every night to me. before! “Still. It was so soft and mild. “My master’s voice is low. Winds take a pensive tone. “and I am suffering now. can restore. better still. . let my tyrants know. And offers for short life.” I whisper’d. and change. With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars. darkly lodged enough!” returned my sullen guide. they could not hold me long.” Hoarse laughed the jailor grim: “Shall I be won to hear. wilt melt my master’s heart with groans? Ah! sooner might the sun thaw down these granite stones. I scoffed. gazing through The vault. yet not more rough to see Than is the hidden ghost that has its home in me.” About her lips there played a smile of almost scorn. with evening’s wandering airs. Emily and Anne Brontë THE PRISONER A FRAGMENT In the dungeon-crypts idly did I stray. And visions rise. that I shall grant thy prayer? Or.Poems by Charlotte.—but never. and stars a tender fire. Then may I weep and sue. Yet these are little worth. “Draw the ponderous bars! open. Warder stern!” He dared not say me nay—the hinges harshly turn. Pain could not trace a line. (This was when glad Spring laughed in awaking pride. Then. “I have been struck. I am not doomed to wear Year after year in gloom. or slumbering unwean’d child. forgive my careless tongue. MY lost life.” she gently said. eternal liberty. When you my kindred’s lives. friend. Reckless of the lives wasting there away. nor grief a shadow there! The captive raised her hand and pressed it to her brow. were they forged in steel. fond. it was so sweet and fair. and desolate despair. But hard as hardest flint the soul that lurks behind. art thou so much to fear. dreaming wretch. “Our guests are darkly lodged. as the chill chains on the damp flagstones rung: “Confined in triple walls.

and the eye begins to see. “Oh I dreadful is the check—intense the agony— When the ear begins to hear. . and we. if my spirit’s sky was full of flashes warm. a hush of peace—a soundless calm descends. and the flesh to feel the chain. at counting future tears. When Joy grew mad with awe. first. my inward essence feels: Its wings are almost free—its home. “But. would wish no torture less. If it but herald death. And robed in fires of hell. her gleaming eye.Poems by Charlotte. till Earth was lost to me. turned to go— We had no further power to work the captive woe: 67 Her cheek. My outward sense is gone. “Yet I would lose no sting. it stoops and dares the final bound. and fierce impatience ends. Mute music soothes my breast—unuttered harmony. declared that man had given A sentence. When. I knew not whence they came. The soul to feel the flesh. the vision is divine!” She ceased to speak. from sun or thunder-storm. or bright with heavenly shine. and overruled by Heaven. When the pulse begins to throb. The more that anguish racks. the brain to think again. The struggle of distress. the Unseen its truth reveals. unanswering. its harbour found. unapproved. That I could never dream. Measuring the gulph. “Then dawns the Invisible. Emily and Anne Brontë “Desire for nothing known in my maturer years. the earlier it will bless.

Asked. I did not know Why I had brought a clouded eye To greet the general glow. Through the bars one dreary day. From her mother’s heart seemed loath to part That queen of bridal charms. False she was. She would sing while I was weeping. Was only sullen there! There was not one. In sooth. Still. The trees did wave their plumy crests. With her young lover. Went. and soared to heaven. and unrelenting. false watch keeping. Emily and Anne Brontë HOPE Hope Was but a timid friend. She was cruel in her fear.Poems by Charlotte. . And she turned her face away! Like a false guard. in strife. but wished to shun My aspect void of cheer. she whispered peace. and ne’er returned again! 68 A DAY DREAM On a sunny brae alone I lay One summer afternoon. looking on. If I listened. of all the wedding guests. Stretched her wings. June. repenting. Even as selfish-hearted men. I looked out to see her there. Watching how my fate would tend. The very gray rocks. It was the marriage-time of May. When my last joys strewed the ground. And I. But her father smiled on the fairest child He ever held in his arms. Those sad relics scattered round. she would cease. “What do you here?” And I could utter no reply. She sat without the grated den. Hope. whose whisper would have given Balm to all my frenzied pain. The glad birds carolled clear. Even Sorrow saw.

69 A thousand thousand silvery lyres Resounded far and near: Methought. Let time and tears destroy. whether it were really so. Where will these bright things be? All vanished. Emily and Anne Brontë So. like a vision vain.Poems by Charlotte. the very breath I breathed Was full of sparks divine. We thought. To us. Before a token of its fall Is on the surface seen!” Now. “When winter comes again. In famished troops will fly. Through deserts. while the wide earth echoing rung To that strange minstrelsy The little glittering spirits sung. And we together sadly sank Into a reverie. frozen dry. I stretched me on the moor. to me: “O mortal! mortal! let them die. And all my heather-couch was wreathed By that celestial shine! And. “To thee the world is like a tomb. It brightens more and more! . Or seemed to sing. But as in fit of peevish woe. A desert’s naked shore. An unreal mockery! “The birds that now so blithely sing. And night obscure his way. resting on a heathy bank. And everlasting day. A thousand thousand gleaming fires Seemed kindling in the air. Poor spectres of the perished spring. I never could be sure. I took my heart to me. in unimagined bloom. That we may overflow the sky With universal joy! “Let grief distract the sufferer’s breast. They hasten him to endless rest. “And why should we be glad at all? The leaf is hardly green.

untroubled sky. Because they live to die. still. While then canst speak with such a tone! So hopeless is the world without. What matters it. will sometimes deem Her fond creation true. But Fancy. that all around Danger. Where thou. Warm with ten thousand mingled rays Of suns that know no winter days? Reason. And tell the suffering heart how vain Its cherished dreams must always be. 70 . And earthly change from pain to pain. Emily and Anne Brontë TO IMAGINATION “And. withdrew. and I. and hate. indeed. the noonday dream. and darkness lie. and ready to despair. Have undisputed sovereignty. where guile. and give One brief glimpse to thine eye. may oft complain For Nature’s sad reality.” The music ceased. And lost. my true friend! I am not lone. The world within I doubly prize. and Liberty. could we lift the veil. When weary with the long day’s care. Thy world. Like dream of night.Poems by Charlotte. If but within our bosom’s bound We hold a bright. and doubt. and guilt. And cold suspicion never rise. Thou wouldst rejoice for those that live. Thy kind voice calls me back again: Oh.

” Yes. when hope despairs! HOW CLEAR SHE SHINES How clear she shines! How quietly I lie beneath her guardian light. While heaven and earth are whispering me. Yet. Emily and Anne Brontë And Truth may rudely trample down The flowers of Fancy. but dream to-night.Poems by Charlotte. in evening’s quiet hour. conceal thee till the day. and breathe New glories o’er the blighted spring. newly-blown: But thou art ever there. But. And bend my lonely couch above. The heart thou canst not all subdue Must still resist. I welcome thee. with a voice divine. And call a lovelier Life from Death. Benignant Power. and bring me bliss. my Fairy love! These throbbing temples softly kiss. wake. And sweeter hope. I trust not to thy phantom bliss. The world is going. Sure solacer of human cares. I long to hope that all the woe Creation knows. Of real worlds. “To morrow. will not share. And bring me rest. With never-failing thankfulness. oh. still. adieu! Grim world. is held in thee! And this shall be my dream to-night. dark world. I’ll think the heaven of glorious spheres 71 . if thou delay! Thy love I will not. come. as bright as thine. Thy griefs may wound—thy wrongs may tear. thy lies shall ne’er beguile! While gazing on the stars that glow Above me. to bring The hovering vision back. And whisper. in that stormless sea. Thy hatred only wakes a smile. Fancy.

And Peace. Winds sigh as you are sighing. these revive. writhing ‘neath the strokes of Fate. it must be so. and Treachery strong. The mangled wretch was forced to smile. And Truth is weak. Far as these straining eyes can see. Where Wisdom ever laughed at Love. Where Pleasure still will lead to wrong. void and brief. And Death. While evening pours its silent dew.Poems by Charlotte. And Joy the surest path to Pain. if not elate. His heart rebellious all the while. NEVER broken-hearted! 72 . a phantom of the soul. And helpless Reason warn in vain. there’s not one world above. you weep. There should be no despair—though tears May flow down like a river: Are not the best beloved of years Around your heart for ever? They weep. journey on. the lethargy of Grief. Still. and from their fate Your fate cannot be parted: Then. a labour. the despot of the whole! SYMPATHY There should be no despair for you While nightly stars are burning. Or Virtue crouched to Infamy. And sunshine gilds the morning. Emily and Anne Brontë Is rolling on its course of light In endless bliss. Where. And Hope. And winter sheds its grief in snow Where Autumn’s leaves are lying: Yet. I’ll think. through endless years. And life. To match his patience ‘gainst her hate.

God of visions. phantom thing— My slave. And they.— My darling pain that wounds and sears. Why I have persevered to shun The common paths that others run. Arrayed in all her forms of gloom: Wilt thou. These. indeed. with a scornful brow. And mine were worthily despised. A slave. And tell why I have chosen thee! 73 . And gave my spirit to adore Thee. So. Why I did cast the world away. radiant angel. alike of wealth and power— Of glory’s wreath and pleasure’s flower. with a ready heart.Poems by Charlotte. thy sweet tongue must plead for me And tell why I have chosen thee! Stern Reason is to judgment come. though Prudence well Have taught thy subject to rebel And am I wrong to worship where Faith cannot doubt. Heedless. And wrings a blessing out from tears By deadening me to earthly cares. seemed Beings Divine. my advocate. Since my own soul can grant my prayer? Speak. and my king. once. thy bright eyes must answer now. nor hope despair. And yet. But careless gifts are seldom prized. plead for me. perchance. Incline thee to my changeful will. ever-present. And on a strange road journeyed on. And saw my offerings on their shrine. When Reason. my comrade. Is mocking at my overthrow! Oh. be dumb? No. because I rule thee still. I swore To seek their altar-stone no more. Emily and Anne Brontë PLEAD FOR ME Oh. heard vows of mine. speak and say. And make thy influence good or ill: A comrade. a king. for by day and night Thou art my intimate delight.

thou hast fought for many a year. when laurelled fame Will crown the soldier’s crest. and freely given. ’Tis almost time to rest. Hast fought thy whole life through. And anchor all thy weary woes In calm Eternity? 74 “Nothing regrets to see thee go— Not one voice sobs’ farewell. Emily and Anne Brontë SELF-INTEROGATION “The evening passes fast away. with a tarnished name. What is there left to do? “’Tis true. What feelings in thy breast? “The vanished day? It leaves a sense Of labour hardly done.Poems by Charlotte. Upbraiding bitterly And Conscience. And would not pass away! “And rest is sweet. Much have I done. What thoughts has left the vanished day. sad Repentance clouds my eyes. . with exhaustless breath. And makes me yield to them! “Then art thou glad to seek repose? Art glad to leave the sea. Has dared what few would dare. But little learnt to bear! “Look on the grave where thou must sleep Thy last. The loving spirit lingers long. But a brave heart. “Well.’ And where thy heart has suffered so. Hast humbled Falsehood. trampled Fear. Would rather fight than rest. Canst thou desire to dwell?” “Alas! the countless links are strong That bind us to our clay. Of little gained with vast expense— A sense of grief alone? “Time stands before the door of Death. Still. this arm has hotly striven. and strongest foe. Pours black reproach on me: “And though I’ve said that Conscience lies And Time should Fate condemn.

And break in glorious morn!” DEATH Death! that struck when I was most confiding. Time’s withered branch dividing From the fresh root of Eternity! Leaves. “The long war closing in defeat— Defeat serenely borne. Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride But. Wind and rain and fervent heat. Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew. Emily and Anne Brontë It is endurance not to weep. Little mourned I for the parted gladness.Poems by Charlotte. Flowed for ever Life’s restoring tide. Sorrow passed. and laughed me out of sadness. were growing brightly. For the vacant nest and silent song— Hope was there. Whispering. “Winter will not linger long!” And.— Thy midnight rest may still be sweet. Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly. Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray. If that repose seem woe. caressing. Full of sap. within its parent’s kindly bosom. upon Time’s branch. behold! with tenfold increase blessing. Lavished glory on that second May! 75 . In my certain faith of joy to be— Strike again. and plucked the golden blossom. and full of silver dew.

kind Heaven. its mouldering corpse will nourish That from which it sprung—Eternity. and some may scorn. and Pain— My heart has nought akin to thine. and its own life. Thy soul is powerless over mine. And lit my altered eye with sneers. grant that spirit rest!” 76 . And. Pride. Even weeping o’er that wretch’s woe. lie lightly on that breast. Sin was scared to distance with its shine. One word turned back my gushing tears. at least. would I mock the wolf ’s death-howl. Say. that other boughs may flourish Where that perished sapling used to be. Unwise. and untrue: Do I despise the timid deer. and weak as vain.” I said. Evening’s gentle air may still restore— No! the morning sunshine mocks my anguishTime. But my sad heart must ever mourn Thy ruined hopes. for me. STANZAS TO —— Well. Then “Bless the friendly dust. Emily and Anne Brontë High it rose—no winged grief could sweep it. “Earth. some may hate. And some may quite forget thy name. Because his form is gaunt and foul? Or. Because it cannot bravely die? No! Then above his memory Let Pity’s heart as tender be. unholy. Because his limbs are fleet with fear? Or. Thus. The slave of Falsehood. had power to keep it From all wrong—from every blight but thine! Cruel Death! The young leaves droop and languish. hear with joy the leveret’s cry. Love.” But these were thoughts that vanished too. an hour ago. “That hides thy unlamented head! Vain as thou wert. must never blossom more! Strike it down. thy blighted fame! ’Twas thus I thought.Poems by Charlotte.

though few. And every window glistens bright With leaves of frozen dew. with effort hardly quelling The anguish in my breast. Will load me with a coward’s shame— A traitor’s perjury. The dark deeds of my outlawed race Will then like virtues shine. For. Has almost ceased to thrill. underneath my hand. And drowns the turret bell. The sweet moon through your lattice gleams. in happy dreams. The old clock in the gloomy hall Ticks on. how slow that keen-eyed star Has tracked the chilly gray! What.Poems by Charlotte. Whose sad note. And there you pass. Scorn will blight my name. are you slumbering still? My cold heart. from hour to hour. who forgives the accursed crime Of dastard treachery? . undistinguished. And every time its measured call Seems lingering slow and slower: And. like my farewell! To-morrow. And men will pardon their disgrace. Emily and Anne Brontë HONOUR’S MARTYR The moon is full this winter night. And Hate will trample me. Bleak. Love. And cannot think of rest. False friends will launch their covert sneers. And I shall cause the bitterest tears That you have ever shed. Wander about the silent dwelling. The stars are clear. bleak the east wind sobs and sighs. Beside the guilt of mine. oh. True friends will wish me dead. And lights your room like day. The peaceful hours away! While I. watching yet! how very far The morning lies away! 77 Without your chamber door I stand. dies Unheard.

If faithful in my own. To keep my honour fair. Beloved. Dare I. because the summer’s glory Must always end in gloom. Emily and Anne Brontë Rebellion. every one: Let me be false in others’ eyes. Weary to watch the spirit languish Through years of dead despair. Then. only then. It may be just to slay. So foes pursue. in its chosen time. And doubly will the dark world grieve me. May Freedom’s champion be. traitor. It is but that my soul is sighing.—from THAT word All true breasts shrink away! Oh. if a tear. And.Poems by Charlotte. . To go and rest with thee. While thy heart suffers there. believe! I know the path I ought to go I follow fearlessly. and cold allies Mistrust me. Revenge may stain a righteous sword. when thou art dying. So. Yet. This treason should the future prove. I’ll not give my inward faith My honour’s NAME to spare! Not even to keep your priceless love. Should haply fall from me. follow out the happiest story— It closes with a tomb! And I am weary of the anguish Increasing winters bear. 78 STANZAS I’ll not weep that thou art going to leave me. deceive. I’ll not weep. Inquiring not what deeper woe Stern duty stores for me. But. There’s nothing lovely here. traitor. I would give my heart to death.

Tossed by the tempest’s stir. Or howling o’er their hopeless days. That light lies hid from men. What my soul bore. And while the savage heart grows meek. Whose madness daily maddened me. Their smiles as sad as sighs. Of seraph’s song. my soul alone Within itself may tell! Like a soft. For other token do not seek. Was I not vexed. My thoughtful Comforter? And yet a little longer speak. air above a sea.Poems by Charlotte. A thaw-wind. But let the tear upon my cheek Evince my gratitude! 79 . wretches uttering praise. in Heaven’s glorious sun. Thou hast but roused a latent thought. My spirit drank a mingled tone.A brotherhood of misery. And each with Frenzy’s tongue. No: what sweet thing resembles thee. and yet not taught A feeling strange or new. A cloud-closed beam of sunshine brought To gleam in open view. concealed within my soul. Emily and Anne Brontë MY COMFORTER Well hast thou spoken. Deep down. Yet glows unquenched—though shadows roll. Its gentle ray cannot control— About the sullen den. Calm this resentful mood. And in the glare of Hell. and demon’s moan. melting quietly The snow-drift on some wintry lea. in these gloomy ways To walk alone so long? Around me. Distorting into agony The bliss before my eyes! So stood I.

To think a soul so near divine. Emily and Anne Brontë THE OLD STOIC Riches I hold in light esteem.Poems by Charlotte. And give me liberty!” Yes. Within a form so angel fair. thou art gone! and never more Thy sunny smile shall gladden me. Yes. lies below The lightest heart that I have known. though I cannot see thee more. And though thy transient life is o’er. The kindest I shall ever know. damp stone. And pace the floor that covers thee. ’Tis sweet to think that thou hast been. With courage to endure. United to a heart like thine. 80 . And Love I laugh to scorn. as my swift days near their goal: ’Tis all that I implore . May stand upon the cold. And think that. ’Tis still a comfort to have seen. Yet. But I may pass the old church door. And lust of fame was but a dream. frozen. “Leave the heart that now I bear. Has gladdened once our humble sphere. In life and death a chainless soul. POEMS BY ACTON BELL A REMINISCENCE. That vanished with the morn: And if I pray. the only prayer That moves my lips for me Is.

Reviewing lone departed years As one mild. My winged soul shall fly away. All basking in the summer’s sun. So softly whispering through the air. And gives the sky that lovely blue. All glistening in the sunshine fair. They’re smiling in a winter’s sun. beaming. Which stand so thick clustering by. And winter’s chill is on my heart— How can I dream of future bliss? How can my spirit soar away. Those evergreens of sombre hue. And view their green and glossy leaves. Confined by such a chain as this? . Emily and Anne Brontë THE ARBOUR I’ll rest me in this sheltered bower. autumn day.Poems by Charlotte. And while my ear drinks in the sound. Oh. Like hills and woods. 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? 81 ’Tis but the frost that clears the air. and dimly seen. and valleys green. And list the rustling of their boughs. But distant still. And soaring on to future scenes. And look upon the clear blue sky That smiles upon me through the trees.

With gray walls compassed round. And though its halls are fair within— Oh. Though all around this mansion high Invites the foot to roam. With groves of evergreen.Poems by Charlotte. give me back my home! . And velvet lawns between. and borders trim. Where scarce the scattered. For yonder garden. Where knotted grass neglected lies. Emily and Anne Brontë HOME How brightly glistening in the sun The woodland ivy plays! While yonder beeches from their barks Reflect his silver rays. fair and wide. stunted trees Can yield an answering swell. But give me back my barren hills Where colder breezes rise. And weeds usurp the ground. That sun surveys a lovely scene From softly smiling skies. And now in distance dies. it thunders o’er my head. But where a wilderness of heath Returns the sound as well. 82 Restore to me that little spot. Long winding walks. And wildly through unnumbered trees The wind of winter sighs: Now loud.

Nor riches half our wants supply. the East. Assist his friends. Now from the South. And as they rise. Another in its place shall rise. and hear. remains for wretched man? To use life’s comforts while he can. Others succeed. but not to rest: Returning to the eastern skies. gushing from the hills. through good and ill. Is restless Toil and Vanity. THAT. Supply the ever-running rills. and see. And bear it rolling to the shore. like wave on wave. And hastening onward to the West. forgive his foes. To snatch the untasted cup away. He nightly sinks. . our Life employ. Light cannot fill the craving eye. 83 The thirsty rivers drink their store. Again to light us. OMNIA VANITAS In all we do. Upright and firm. Now blowing keenly from the North. the West. The sun arises every day. Laughter is mad. And joy brings sorrow in her train. But still the ocean craves for more. then. ’Tis endless labour everywhere! Sound cannot satisfy the ear. ne’er at rest. For ever changing. While yet the rolling earth abides. For which we toiled so many a day. Enjoy the blessings Heaven bestows. Emily and Anne Brontë VANITAS VANITATUM. Death comes. he must rise. The fountains.Poems by Charlotte. Trust God. and keep His statutes still. or Fame. Men come and go like ocean tides. they pass away. Pleasure but doubles future pain. and reckless mirth— What does she in this weary earth? Should Wealth. What. our labour to destroy. And ere one generation dies. sinking soon into the grave. And still the restless wind comes forth.

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë Thankful for all that God has given, Fixing his firmest hopes on Heaven; Knowing that earthly joys decay, But hoping through the darkest day.

THE PENITENT
I mourn with thee, and yet rejoice That thou shouldst sorrow so; With angel choirs I join my voice To bless the sinner’s woe. Though friends and kindred turn away, And laugh thy grief to scorn; I hear the great Redeemer say, “Blessed are ye that mourn.” Hold on thy course, nor deem it strange That earthly cords are riven: Man may lament the wondrous change, But “there is joy in heaven!”

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Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë

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; I seem to hear those songs again Resounding through the open sky, 85

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 right 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.

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë

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. 86

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 not me— Believe that Death alone can tear This faithful heart from thee.

Poems by Charlotte. Are driven backward to my heart. If Life must be so full of care. The feelings I would share. Yet powerless to quell The silent current from within. If with no brighter light than this The lamp of hope may glow. The slave of others’ will. If friendship’s solace must decay. And love must keep so far away. . Or give me strength enough to bear My load of misery. And turned to wormwood there. If on my aching brow may fall No freshening dew from Thee. Emily and Anne Brontë IF THIS BE ALL O God! if this indeed be all That Life can show to me.— Wandering and toiling without gain. The outward torrent’s swell 87 While all the good I would impart. While I go wandering on. and frequent pain. With constant care. Grieving to look on vice and sin. Then call me soon to thee. And I may only dream of bliss. And wake to weary woe. Ere Summer is begun. When other joys are gone. forgotten still. If clouds must ever keep from sight The glories of the Sun. And I must suffer Winter’s blight. Despised.

its pangs of grief (Although. and air. The buttercup’s bright goblet fill With all thy former power. Above. And called my willing soul away. And do not pass away From sparkling frost.Poems by Charlotte. An opening primrose seemed to me A source of strange delight. bright flowers of loveliest hue. is the glory thine. Emily and Anne Brontë MEMORY Brightly the sun of summer shone Green fields and waving woods upon. Smile on the little daisy still. My childhood’s darling flower. so all divine? Or Memory. And whisper when the wild winds blow. From earth. As in the days of infancy. Is childhood. their stay be brief ) Are bitter while they last. Sweet Memory! ever smile on me. Still in the wallflower’s fragrance dwell. Around. perchance. Oh. Just opening into sight. . and sky. That I might simply fancy there One little flower—a primrose fair. But what were all these charms to me. And hover round the slight bluebell. still thy tribute bring Still make the golden crocus shine 88 Among the flowers the most divine. For ever hang thy dreamy spell Round mountain star and heather bell. Allured the gazer’s eye. Nor is the glory all thine own. then. a sky of purest blue. Nature’s chief beauties spring from thee. And soft winds wandered by. or wreathed snow. When one sweet breath of memory Came gently wafting by? I closed my eyes against the day. For on our earliest joys alone That holy light is cast. The glory of the spring. That haloes thus the past? Not all divine. Or rippling waters play.

The long. The language of my inmost heart I traced in every line. Were there-and only mine. celestial Bard. no spell of thine Can make our later pleasures shine. hopes. MY sorrows. The tear of anguish start. 89 . I little knew what wilder woe Had filled the Poet’s heart. TO COWPER Sweet are thy strains. But they are gone. All for myself the sigh would swell. MY sins. in childhood’s years. That crushed and tortured thee. And in the bosom of its God Has found its home at last.Poems by Charlotte. And oft. I’ve read them o’er and o’er again. Emily and Anne Brontë With such a ray. I did not know the nights of gloom. long years of dark despair. and fears. The days of misery. from earth at length Thy gentle soul is pass’d. Though long ago they passed. With floods of silent tears.

Then surely thou shalt dwell on high. How else. Is He the source of every good.Poems by Charlotte. That hatred of all sinful ways— That gentle charity? Are these the symptoms of a heart Of heavenly grace bereft— For ever banished from its God. Of things that God alone could teach? And whence that purity. if God is love. If Heaven be so severe. when every hope was fled. The spring of purity? Then in thine hours of deepest woe. Emily and Anne Brontë It must be so. 90 That such a soul as thine is lost. Thy God was still with thee. Couldst thou so fondly cling To holy things and help men? And how so sweetly sing.— Oh! how shall I appear? . To Satan’s fury left? Yet. And answers fervent prayer. And I may meet thee there. should thy darkest fears be true.

are cast away. rose to reign above. If I believe that Jesus died. but dwelling everywhere. . my toil.Poems by Charlotte. If e’er thine ear in mercy bent. To see my light of life depart. And if there be no God above. I lift to thee my heart and eye. Oh. When wretched mortals cried to Thee. But. Or see the silent tears I weep! Oh. And all my soul ascends in prayer. heard in every sound. It turns my darkest night to day. of earth and air! Unseen. While Faith is with me. oh! a stronger light impart. Enjoys the anguish of my heart. yet seen in all around. Thy Son was sent. Though weak. yet longing to believe. And if. And none can hear my secret call. To save lost sinners such as me: Then hear me now. And in Thy mercy fix it there. methinks. To hear and bless me when I pray? If this be vain delusion all. cold and dark. Remote. drive these cruel doubts away. that shines by night and day. Without some glimmering in my heart. If death be an eternal sleep. Though silent. What shall I do. Will lighten every earthly load. Forsake it not: it is thine own. My hopes. And waking. my spirit sinks. while kneeling here. indeed. But while I clasp it to my breast. I often feel it slide away. And every fiend of Hell. And make me know. God! For thou alone Canst my distracted soul relieve. that Thou art God! A faith. Emily and Anne Brontë THE DOUBTER’S PRAYER Eternal Power. Oh. if all my love. give me—give me faith! I cry. I am blest. I could not raise this fervent prayer. help me. 91 Then.

does your heart expand to all mankind? And. A WORD TO THE “ELECT” You may rejoice to think yourselves secure. the enlightened. Emily and Anne Brontë Then surely Sorrow. wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove. and Pride. which made your black hearts pure. And only bring the favoured few to Heaven? And. You may be grateful for the gift divine— That grace unsought. and Love. Because to you alone his smiles are given. would you ever to your neighbour do— The weak. at least. and Hope. 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. And all the blessed words He said Will strength and holy joy impart: A shield of safety o’er my head.Poems by Charlotte. the strong. A spring of comfort in my heart. And fits your earth-born souls in Heaven to shine. But. is it sweet to look around.— Their faults not greater. Because He chose to pass the many o’er. Must yield to Peace. nor their virtues less? And wherefore should you love your God the more. Sin. and view Thousands excluded from that happiness Which they deserved. as much as you. and the blind— As you would have your neighbour do to you? 92 .

. That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven. And ever round his throne abide. That even the wicked shall at last Be fitted for the skies. oh! there lives within my heart A hope. long nursed by me. The metal purified. Unmerited the grace in mercy given: But. And live by Him that died. Emily and Anne Brontë And when you. looking on your fellow-men. Behold them doomed to endless misery. Nor what the sinners’ woe. none shall sink to everlasting woe. how remote the day. I ask not.Poems by Charlotte. They’ll cling to what they once disdained. Enough for me to know— That when the clip of wrath is drained. Eternal praise to give. How can you talk of joy and rapture then?— May God withhold such cruel joy from me! That none deserve eternal bliss I know. And. How dark my soul would be!) That as in Adam all have died. In Christ shall all men live. To life and light arise. 93 Before their dross is purged away. And when their dreadful doom is past. (And should its cheering ray depart.

And silence. Emily and Anne Brontë PAST DAYS ’Tis strange to think there was a time When mirth was not an empty name. We woke. When speech and mirth at once must cease. To joyless labour did we rise. And frequent smiles unbidden came. And friendship like a river flowed. And summer days were far too short For all the pleasures crowded there. and rest. And heart to kindred heart was bare. uncourted then— And all the joy one spirit showed. solitude. Constant and strong its silent course. And silence must resume her power. When speech expressed the inward thought. . When laughter really cheered the heart. Now welcome to the weary breast— Were all unprized. But full of hope. Was dreaded as the parting hour. the holy time of peace.Poems by Charlotte. And when the blessed dawn again Brought daylight to the blushing skies. She only brought us calm repose. For nought withstood its gentle force: When night. 94 Though ever free from pains and woes. and not reluctant then. And tears of grief would only flow In sympathy for others’ woe. We welcomed the returning day. and glad and gay. The other deeply felt again.

Cold stranger-glances meet my eye. where’er I go. Flow back discouraged to my breast. Though. everywhere. Though solitude. and truth. Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue. The joys of youth. clasped in mine. While such a home remains to me. that. and friendship shine In smiling lip and earnest eye. endured too long. A home where heart and soul may rest. The ice that gathers round my heart May there be thawed. The warmer heart will not belie.Poems by Charlotte. Might shield me from the wintry blast. though still. My heart shall never know despair! . And cold the wind that wanders round With wild and melancholy moan. that now depart. then. my comfort. whose ruddy glow Will cheer me for my wanderings past. Bids youthful joys too soon decay. There is a fire. 95 Warm hands are there. though far away. Though far I roam. Will come to cheer my soul again. that thought shall be My hope. I know there is. There IS a friendly roof. And overclouds my noon of day. When kindly thoughts that would have way. I know. when my spirit sinks in woe. While mirth. And so. and damp the ground With fallen leaves so thickly strown. Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh. Emily and Anne Brontë THE CONSOLATION Though bleak these woods. and sweetly.

and falsely deemed: Truth led me to the present view. These blushing took a rosy hue. And life can show no joy for me. my spirit is soaring And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze. And I behold a yawning tomb.— I’m waking now—’twas then I dreamed. In vain you gaily smiling say. But madly smiled. In vain you talk of morbid dreams.Poems by Charlotte. 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. Where bowers and palaces should be. The healthy mind deems bright and gay. fleecy clouds of shining gold. The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing. and thought like you. I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing. Beneath them shone a flood of green. Emily and Anne Brontë LINES COMPOSED IN A WOOD ON A WINDY DAY My soul is awakened. The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing. I lately saw a sunset sky. And stood enraptured to behold Its varied hues of glorious dye: First. That what to me so dreary seems. And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day! VIEWS OF LIFE When sinks my heart in hopeless gloom. For above and around me the wild wind is roaring. Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas. I too have smiled. 96 . Nor less divine. the glorious blue That smiled above them and between. The bare trees are tossing their branches on high.

To shine throughout with cheering glow. Why blame ye. and cold despair. Our varied life looks fair and gay. And what remained when they were gone? Dull clouds remained. Ere she may sink to her repose. the burning woe.Poems by Charlotte. That smiled so softly bright before. of sombre hue. their loving hearts to part: One feels not now the gasping breath. (The greatest blessings life can show. soon or late. While tears of silent transport start. . will seize the aching breast. Ere long. Emily and Anne Brontë I cannot name each lovely shade. my keener sight. The anguish that will cloud his brow. must be his doom. The rending of the earth-bound heart. In mutual love supremely blest.— The soul’s and body’s agony. The sad survivor cannot see The grave above his darling close. Her blinded eyes behold not now What. Her bosom glows with earnest love. What weariness. So. The object of her joy will bring. gilded by the glow of youth. And so remains the naked truth. the suffering. then. 97 The blasted hopes. And when their borrowed charm was o’er. I saw them fade. And even should Love and Faith remain. The bed of death. They do not see how cruel Death Comes on. the dreary tomb. Fond dreamer! little does she know The anxious toil. As little know the youthful pair.) Amid adversity and pain. But one by one. I cannot say how bright they shone. When that false light is past away. The azure sky had faded too. That clearly sees a world of woes Through all the haze of golden light That flattering Falsehood round it throws? When the young mother smiles above The first-born darling of her heart.

For ardent Hope will still prevail! He hears how feeble Pleasure dies. With sweetest music fill the trees. Emily and Anne Brontë Nor how. While sad Experience tells her tale. And strew with flowers the ground “But when. And linger. Too chill the winds that o’er me pass’d.Poems by Charlotte. a gentler blast. heed her not!” Experience says. beneath that scorching ray. And Summer’s glories mellowed down. feebly toiling on. and pain and woe. She said. Youth may listen patiently. in my youthful days. despairing and alone. weary through the day. The soaking rain too constant streamed.’ she said. With golden riches of her own. And scatter glories round. “‘Wait but a little while. too darkly frowned. And Autumn shall restore. The sky. By guilt destroyed. .’ 98 Oh. The freshness you deplore. And fainting. And panting Nature mourned with me The freshness of the Spring. And mists too dreary gathered round. “For thus she whispered once to me. ‘Till Summer’s burning days are fled. * * * “And when the sun too seldom beamed. Verdure decayed from field and tree. Summer’s glorious ray Would chase those vapours all away. Load with rich scent the gentle breeze. How glorious manhood’s prime would be. sink into decay. “She told me. He turns to Hope—and she replies. He then must wear his life away. I languished. But Doubt sits smiling in his eye. each coming day would bring a fairer heaven. She told me. “Believe it not-it is not so!” “Oh. While birds refused to sing. “When. in the time of early Spring. o’ercast.

The smiling flowerets. Emily and Anne Brontë And long I waited. gently die away— Chilled by the damps of truth! Tell him. Or. Though Autumn’s mists hung cold and chill. But thus. that earth is not our rest.— Hurtful perchance. bright and sweet. that still Unkindly time will ne’er fulfil. Because the road is rough and long. That Providence may ne’er intend The trembling heart to bear. but in vain: That freshness never came again. Though sweet her words may seem. And drooping nature languished still. she cheated me. Shall we despise the skylark’s song. let it cheer him while it may. And sank into decay.Poems by Charlotte. Its joys are empty—frail at best. “Till wintry blasts foreboding blew Through leafless trees—and then I knew That Hope was all a dream. That cheers the wanderer’s way? Or trample down. Yet hope itself a brightness throws O’er all our labours and our woes. And gently. Or if they come. Then let us not enhance our doom But e’en in midnight’s blackest gloom Expect the rising morn. if they come at all. Because they soon decay? . And hope the roughest path can cheer: Then do not bid it fly! 99 Though hope may promise joys. with reckless feet. Oh. And far more bravely borne. And she will prove as false to thee. They vanish or they pall. it oft appears. And point beyond the sky. fond youth. While dark foreboding Care A thousand ills will oft portend. Though Summer passed away. We never find them unalloyed. Stern prophet! Cease thy bodings dire— Thou canst not quench the ardent fire That warms the breast of youth. But gleams of light may reach us here. Our woes are lighter than our fears. or soon destroyed.

Poems by Charlotte. Where none shall suffer. My life is very lonely My days pass heavily. none shall weep. Emily and Anne Brontë Pass pleasant scenes unnoticed by. didst thou know my longings For thee. Perchance of all the pilgrim’s woes Most dreadful—shrink not—’tis the last! Though icy cold. Or not enjoy a smiling sky. from day to day. We’ll smile on every lovely thing. And bliss shall reign for evermore! APPEAL Oh. And ever. as they pass away. To memory and hope we’ll cling. so often blighted. I am very weary. and dark. I’m weary of repining. My eyes are tired of weeping. Because a tempest may be near? No! while we journey on our way. Because the next is bleak and drear. Wilt thou not come to me? Oh. My heart is sick of woe. And though that awful river flows Before us. Though tears no longer flow. when the journey’s past. Beyond it smiles that blessed shore. and deep. My hopes. Thou wouldst not thus delay! 100 .

Emily and Anne Brontë THE STUDENT’S SERENADE I have slept upon my couch. Thou wouldst joy to wander free. And it will not please thee less. to wander with me there. But my spirit did not rest. wake! For. In their snowy garb arrayed. awake! Maria. if thou couldst only know How the quiet moonlight sleeps On this wilderness of snow.Poems by Charlotte. 101 . Though that bliss be shared with me. come to say That the snow was on the ground. Then I knew that there was rest On the mountain’s bosom free. For the labours of the day Yet my weary soul opprest. And I could not turn away. So I left my fevered couch. And I could not close their leaves. Thou wouldst break thy sweetest sleep To behold a scene so fair. And I heard a muffled sound. And the groves of ancient trees. And before my dreaming eyes Still the learned volumes lay. Then. ’Twas the night-breeze. I know thou wouldst rejoice To inhale this bracing air. O’er these wintry wilds. And I flew to waken thee! I have flown to waken thee— For. But I oped my eyes at last. And this waste of virgin snow To my sight will not be fair. if thou wilt not arise. alone. Then my soul can drink no peace From these holy moonlight skies. Till they stretch into the gloom Of the distant valley’s shade. Unless thou wilt smiling come. Love.

at will to rove! Yet. In vain—in vain! Thou canst not rise: Thy prison roof confines thee there.Poems by Charlotte. And quench thy longings with despair. Must make. And gaze into the distant sky. And when I hear thy plaintive moan. Emily and Anne Brontë THE CAPTIVE DOVE Poor restless dove. Yes. hadst thou but one gentle mate Thy little drooping heart to cheer. And flap those useless wings of thine. I mourn for thy captivity. thy joyless moan. Would melt a harder heart than mine. neglected. The heart that Nature formed to love Must pine. Thou couldst be happy even there. thou wert made to wander free In sunny mead and shady grove. poor solitary dove. While gazing on her full bright eye. and alone. Oh. unheard. And share with thee thy captive state. 102 . One faithful dear companion stood. To see thee stand prepared to fly. And in thy woes forget mine own. Its slender wires delude thine eyes. listening by. In distant climes. I pity thee. if. even there. And far beyond the rolling sea. Thou mightst forget thy native wood But thou.

without. as we sat round the fire Conversing merrily. to speak. and cease to tire our ears With that familiar strain. the changing lip. Emily and Anne Brontë SELF-CONGRATULATION Ellen. They turned them to depart. now. To play them never more. Upon whose changeful face The inmost workings of the soul The gazer well might trace. Their different feelings speak. The smiling. Nor see my throbbing heart. I can but say That childhood’s thoughts are gone. or beclouded brow. The speaking eye. oh! my spirit burned within. Last night. We heard. Why will you play those simple tunes So often o’er again? “Indeed. approaching steps Of one well known to me! There was no trembling in my voice. And years move swiftly on: “And for these little simple airs— I love to play them o’er So much—I dare not promise. Of hope. But. No lustrous sparkle in my eyes. My heart beat full and fast! He came not nigh—he went away— And then my joy was past. I’ve noticed many a youthful form. and never know The secret changes of my soul From joy to keenest woe. The ready blushing cheek. They could not read my secret thoughts.” I answered—and it was enough. Careless of form and face. thank God! you might gaze on mine For hours. or joy. dear friends. you were thoughtless once Of beauty or of grace. 103 .Poems by Charlotte. Then whence this change? and wherefore now So often smoothe your hair? And wherefore deck your youthful form With such unwearied care? Tell us. But. Simple and homely in attire. Each year its own new feelings brings. No blush upon my cheek.

And they will never know The aching anguish of my heart. To save me from despair The blessed Moon arose on high. They little knew my hidden thoughts. Emily and Anne Brontë FLUCTUATIONS And yet my comrades marked it not: My voice was still the same. And shone serenely there. The bitter burning woe! What though the Sun had left my sky. All in the cold and gloomy night. Of light and hope bereft: 104 . Rise slowly o’er the hill. and o’er my face No signs of sadness came. I watched her. and brighter shone. They saw me smile. I felt her light upon my soul. with a tearful gaze. But now—that light is gone! Thick vapours snatched her from my sight. And I was darkling left. 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. While through the dim horizon’s haze Her light gleamed faint and chill. as above that mist’s control She rose.Poems by Charlotte.

in making the selection. necessarily regulated the selection. Emily and Anne Brontë Until. I have. then. a little star Shone forth with trembling ray. an earthly meteor blazed The gloomy darkness through. The whole makes but a tiny nosegay. culled from the mass only a little poem here and there. I smiled. But this was impossible: an influence. drearier fell the night Upon my spirit then. passed away.— But what is that faint struggling light? Is it the Moon again? Kind Heaven! increase that silvery gleam And bid these clouds depart. To cheer me with its light afar— But that. stronger than could be exercised by any motive of expediency. Anon. dismissed from my consideration the scruples and the wishes of those whose written thoughts these papers held.Poems by Charlotte. methought. had I. It has been already said that my sisters wrote much in childhood and girlhood. and the colour and perfume of the flowers are not such as fit them for festal uses. too. it seems a sort of injustice to 105 . Usually. And let her soft celestial beam Restore my fainting heart! SELECTIONS FROM THE LITERARY REMAINS OF ELLIS AND ACTON BELL BY CURRER BELL SELECTIONS FROM POEMS BY ELLIS BELL It would not have been difficult to compile a volume out of the papers left by my sisters. yet trembled while I gazed— But that soon vanished too! And darker.

Long low moors. Her nature proved here too strong for her fortitude. If she demand beauty to inspire her. written in her sixteenth year. she must be a solitude-loving raven—no gentle dove. because they illustrate a point in her character. or the rare sunset-smile of June. Mills and scattered cottages chase romance from these valleys. where a stream waters. it is only higher up. a fringe of stunted copse. the drear prospect of a Yorkshire moor will be found as barren of poetic as of agricultural interest: where the love of wild nature is strong. but unrestricted and inartificial mode of life. Every morning when she woke. here and there. because from the hill-lover’s self comes half its charm. with the exception of a single half-year. She found in the bleak solitude many and dear delights. Emily and Anne Brontë expose in print the crude thoughts of the unripe mind. without it. amongst the hills bordering Yorkshire and Lancashire. Flowers brighter than the rose bloomed in the blackest of the heath for her. was what she failed in enduring. out of a sullen hollow in a livid hill-side her mind could make an Eden. she perished. My sister Emily loved the moors. the locality will perhaps be clung to with the more passionate constancy. Unless that light and freshness are innate and self-sustained. out of his heart must well the freshness. shut in little valleys.” intense enough to perpetuate the brief flower-flush of August on the heather. The change from her own home to a school.Poems by Charlotte. the vision of home and 106 . Her previous life. that in latter spring and early summer brightens the bracken. The eye of the gazer must itself brim with a “purple light. the rude efforts of the unpractised hand. The scenery of these hills is not grand—it is not romantic it is scarcely striking. dark with heath. to one of disciplined routine (though under the kindliest auspices). deep in amongst the ridges of the moors. and from her own very noiseless. had been passed in the absolute retirement of a village parsonage. and not the least and best loved was—liberty. that Imagination can find rest for the sole of her foot: and even if she finds it there. very secluded. Liberty was the breath of Emily’s nostrils. yet I venture to give three little poems of my sister Emily’s. nurtures the moss. and cherishes the starry flowers that spangle for a few weeks the pasture of the moor-sheep. At that period she was sent to school. she must bring it inborn: these moors are too stern to yield any product so delicate.

In this struggle her health was quickly broken: her white face. when the leisure of the evening play-hour brought back in full tide the thoughts of home. while I have holiday. Once more she seemed sinking. and she looked her last on those hills. and darkened and saddened the day that lay before her. a little while. After the age of twenty. or near or far apart. and breathed her last in that house. And I can sing and I can smile. A very few years more. Alike. and guarded her dying bed with kindred love and congenial constancy. threatened rapid decline. but this time she rallied through the mere force of resolution: with inward remorse and shame she looked back on her former failure. what scene invites thee now What spot. and with this conviction obtained her recall.Poems by Charlotte. and it was some years before the experiment of sending her from home was again ventured on. I felt in my heart she would die. Where wilt thou go. A little while. I. my weary brow? There is a spot. Emily and Anne Brontë the moors rushed on her. She was never happy till she carried her hard-won knowledge back to the remote English village. heretic and English spirit from the gentle Jesuitry of the foreign and Romish system. and resolved to conquer in this second ordeal. my harassed heart— What thought. in the school-room. The weary task is put away. and under the aisle of that obscure village church found her last lowly resting-place. She did conquer: but the victory cost her dear. Merciful was the decree that spared her when she was a stranger in a strange land. She had only been three months at school. The following pieces were composed at twilight. heightened by the strong recoil of her upright. the old parsonage-house. and failing strength. Where winter howls. attenuated form. 107 . if she did not go home. But. Has rest for thee. if the dreary tempest chills. ‘mid barren hills. she went with me to an establishment on the Continent: the same suffering and conflict ensued. and driving rain. Nobody knew what ailed her but me—I knew only too well. and desolate Yorkshire hills. having meantime studied alone with diligence and perseverance.

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë There is a light that warms again. The house is old, the trees are bare, Moonless above bends twilight’s dome; But what on earth is half so dear— So longed for—as the hearth of home? The mute bird sitting on the stone, The dank moss dripping from the wall, The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o’ergrown, I love them—how I love them all! Still, as I mused, the naked room, The alien firelight died away; And from the midst of cheerless gloom, I passed to bright, unclouded day. A little and a lone green lane That opened on a common wide; A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain Of mountains circling every side. A heaven so clear, an earth so calm, So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air; And, deepening still the dream-like charm, Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere. 108 That was the scene, I knew it well; I knew the turfy pathway’s sweep, That, winding o’er each billowy swell, Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep. Could I have lingered but an hour, It well had paid a week of toil; But Truth has banished Fancy’s power: Restraint and heavy task recoil. Even as I stood with raptured eye, Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear, My hour of rest had fleeted by, And back came labour, bondage, care.

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë II. THE BLUEBELL. The Bluebell is the sweetest flower That waves in summer air: Its blossoms have the mightiest power To soothe my spirit’s care. There is a spell in purple heath Too wildly, sadly dear; The violet has a fragrant breath, But fragrance will not cheer, The trees are bare, the sun is cold, And seldom, seldom seen; The heavens have lost their zone of gold, And earth her robe of green. And ice upon the glancing stream Has cast its sombre shade; And distant hills and valleys seem In frozen mist arrayed. The Bluebell cannot charm me now, The heath has lost its bloom; The violets in the glen below, They yield no sweet perfume. 109 But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell, ’Tis better far away; I know how fast my tears would swell To see it smile to-day. For, oh! when chill the sunbeams fall Adown that dreary sky, And gild yon dank and darkened wall With transient brilliancy; How do I weep, how do I pine For the time of flowers to come, And turn me from that fading shine, To mourn the fields of home!

Poems by Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë III. Loud without the wind was roaring Through th’autumnal sky; Drenching wet, the cold rain pouring, Spoke of winter nigh. All too like that dreary eve, Did my exiled spirit grieve. Grieved at first, but grieved not long, Sweet—how softly sweet!—it came; Wild words of an ancient song, Undefined, without a name. “It was spring, and the skylark was singing:” Those words they awakened a spell; They unlocked a deep fountain, whose springing, Nor absence, nor distance can quell. In the gloom of a cloudy November They uttered the music of May ; They kindled the perishing ember Into fervour that could not decay. Awaken, o’er all my dear moorland, West-wind, in thy glory and pride! Oh! call me from valley and lowland, To walk by the hill-torrent’s side! It is swelled with the first snowy weather; The rocks they are icy and hoar, And sullenly waves the long heather, And the fern leaves are sunny no more. There are no yellow stars on the mountain The bluebells have long died away From the brink of the moss-bedded fountain— From the side of the wintry brae. But lovelier than corn-fields all waving In emerald, and vermeil, and gold, Are the heights where the north-wind is raving, And the crags where I wandered of old. It was morning: the bright sun was beaming; How sweetly it brought back to me The time when nor labour nor dreaming Broke the sleep of the happy and free! But blithely we rose as the dawn-heaven Was melting to amber and blue, And swift were the wings to our feet given, As we traversed the meadows of dew.

110

Well—well.Poems by Charlotte. Has a spell more adored and heartbreaking Than. How it longed—how it burned to be free! 111 If I could have wept in that hour. The spirit which bent ‘neath its power. where the linnet was trilling Its song on the old granite stone. where each high pass Rose sunny against the clear sky! For the moors. Where the lark. Though loaded with trouble and pain. the sad minutes are moving. was filling Every breast with delight like its own! What language can utter the feeling Which rose. I have bloomed in my last summer’s sun. Those tears had been heaven to me. in that blighted heath lay. “The grim walls enfold me. when in exile afar. I saw the brown heath growing there? It was scattered and stunted.” But not the loved music. And some time the loved and the loving Shall meet on the mountains again! . whose waking Makes the soul of the Swiss die away. and told me That soon even that would be gone: It whispered. for me. where the short grass Like velvet beneath us should lie! For the moors! For the moors. Emily and Anne Brontë For the moors! For the moors. the wild sky-lark. On the brow of a lonely hill kneeling.

Shall earth no more inspire thee. Recall its useless roving. I know my mighty sway: I know my magic power To drive thy griefs away. Despite thy wayward will. 112 . I’ve watched thee every hour. In regions dark to thee. Come back. Sinks from the summer sky. but in it the Genius of a solitary region seems to address his wandering and wayward votary. Thou lonely dreamer now? Since passion may not fire thee. Emily and Anne Brontë The following little piece has no title. On earth so wildly pine. I know my sunshine pleases.Poems by Charlotte. and dwell with me. Return—and dwell with me. When day with evening blending. I know my mountain breezes Enchant and soothe thee still. and to recall within his influence the proud mind which rebelled at times even against what it most loved. Yet few would ask a heaven More like this earth than thine. Shall nature cease to bow? Thy mind is ever moving. I’ve seen thy spirit bending In fond idolatry. Few hearts to mortals given. Then let my winds caress thee Thy comrade let me be: Since nought beside can bless thee.

Poems by Charlotte. But still it whispered lowly. “Go. I needed not its breathing To bring such thoughts to me. gentle singer.” breathing through an open window. And sleeping earth was fair. Emily and Anne Brontë Here again is the same mind in converse with a like abstraction. “Play with the scented flower. The soft wind waved my hair. has visited an ear which discerned language in its whispers. Its kiss grew warmer still.” 113 THE NIGHT-WIND In summer’s mellow midnight. the solemn night. I sat in silent musing. And rose-trees wet with dew. “The Night-Wind. How dark the woods will be! “The thick leaves in my murmur Are rustling like a dream. “O come!” it sighed so sweetly. And thou for being alone. “I’ll win thee ‘gainst thy will. Thy wooing voice is kind: But do not think its music Has power to reach my mind. It told me heaven was glorious. “And when thy heart is resting Beneath the church-aisle stone. I shall have time for mourning. A cloudless moon shone through Our open parlour window.” The wanderer would not heed me. The young tree’s supple bough. “Were we not friends from childhood? Have I not loved thee long? As long as thou. Instinct with spirit seem. Whose silence wakes my song. And leave my human feelings In their own course to flow. And all their myriad voices .” I said.

Thy prisoned soul shall rise. The whisper of its fall: “An universal influence. “Thus truly. Mortal! though soon life’s tale is told. The dungeon mingle with the mould— The captive with the skies. never dies!” Ay—there it is! it wakes to-night Deep feelings I thought dead. A principle of life—intense— Lost to mortality. And by the words thou scarce dost speak. How wildly fancy plays. Has dashed its memory from thy mind Like foam-bells from the tide: “And thou art now a spirit pouring Thy presence into all: The thunder of the tempest’s roaring. And by thine eyes’ full gaze. Emily and Anne Brontë In these stanzas a louder gale has roused the sleeper on her pillow: the wakened soul struggles to blend with the storm by which it is swayed:— From thine own influence free. “Now I can tell by thine altered cheek. Strong in the blast—quick gathering light— The heart’s flame kindles red. 114 . “Yes—I could swear that glorious wind Has swept the world aside. Who once lives. Her spirit all thy spirit fold. Her breath absorb thy sighs. when that breast is cold. Nature’s deep being. thine shall hold.Poems by Charlotte.

Poems by Charlotte. Friendship like the holly-tree. He still may leave thy garland green. And the words that now fall dead On your ear. young man. Then shall penance sore be paid For those hours so wildly squandered. when December blights thy brow. Yet wait till winter comes again. And deck thee with the holly’s sheen. That. Treacherous all the lures of Beauty. Thorny bud and poisonous flower! “Mirth is but a mad beguiling Of the golden-gifted time. with dimmer shine. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms. Watch life’s bubbles float away: When you. have borne like me The weary weight of sixty-three. Emily and Anne Brontë LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP Love is like the wild rose-briar. 115 . When your eyes. scorn the silly rose-wreath now. wiling Heedless feet to gulfs of crime. like mine. be deeply pondered— Pondered and approved at last: But their virtue will be past! “Glorious is the prize of Duty. Though she be ‘a serious power’. Its summer blossoms scent the air. And who will call the wild-briar fair? Then. Takes a tint of silver gray. Love—a demon-meteor. But which will bloom most constantly? The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring. THE ELDER’S REBUKE “Listen! When your hair.

Are grieving for thee now. Turned to the call of a sweet lute’s measure.” Thus spake the ice-blooded elder gray. a passing tone From thy strange history. And why should mine to-night be moved With such a sense of woe? Too often thus. Virtue bids them evil-speed! “Vainly may their hearts repenting. A glorious child again. Seek for aid in future years. knows no relenting. And fresh.Poems by Charlotte. a generous breast Where sinless sunshine lay: A being whose very presence blest Like gladsome summer-day. Was the first impulse of the gale Which urged life’s wave for thee! 116 . Wisdom hides from them her treasure. Virtue is not won by fears. Heavenly knowledge will not lead. Woe had been wrought by that pitiless preacher. and pure. O. THE WANDERER FROM THE FOLD How few. Wisdom. Sometimes I seem to see thee rise. The young man scoffed as he turned away. of all the hearts that loved. Where none my thoughts can see. Emily and Anne Brontë “Those who follow earthly pleasure. scorned. All virtues beaming from thine eyes That ever honoured men: Courage and truth. and free. when left alone. fairly spread thy early sail. Comes back a word. Waked by the lightsome touch of pleasure: Had he ne’er met a gentler teacher.

Emily and Anne Brontë Why did the pilot. Shut out from joy and liberty.” But cold—cold is that resting-place. “Not so. and sands lay round Between his port and him. All that deep sympathy: Sleep on: Heaven laughs above. And sworn friends fall from me: But there—they will own me still. Here the world is chill. 117 . It recks not now. “Well—there is rest there. The wind which bore him wildly on Should not have warned in vain.” Farewell. And wept above thy fate the more Because—I could not save. And trust in Pleasure’s careless guiding To bring his vessel home? For well he knew what dangers frowned.Poems by Charlotte. then. So fast come thy prophecy. And prize my memory. though friend and lover Have both forgotten thee! WARNING AND REPLY In the earth—the earth—thou shalt be laid. Black mould beneath thee spread. Earth never misses thee. A grey stone standing over thee. And black mould to cover thee. when all is over: But yet my heart will be A mourner still. dim. Dream o’er that ocean’s foam. The time when my sunny hair Shall with grass roots entwined be. An anxious gazer from the shore— I marked the whitening wave. What rocks and shelves. And all who loved thy living face Will shrink from it shudderingly. all that love. The very brightness of the sun The splendour of the main. too confiding. What mists would gather.

Or strongest walls can hold. the winter morn. And there are bosoms bound to mine With links both tried and strong: And there are eyes whose lightning shine Has warmed and blest me long: 118 . If you forget the sacred vows Those faithless lips could form. The gnarled and ancient tree.Poems by Charlotte. “Adieu. I can forget black eyes and brows. Shall wake the same in me.” But this shall be the only time My lips or heart shall sue. If in your breast they waken scorn. I would not wish to grieve above A thing so false and cold. That wild hill-side. Emily and Anne Brontë Turf-sod and tombstone drear Part human company. But that heart was worthy thee! LAST WORDS I knew not ’twas so dire a crime To say the word. If hard commands can tame your love. And lips of falsest charm. One heart breaks only—here.

Shall set my spirit free. THE LADY TO HER GUITAR For him who struck thy foreign string.Poems by Charlotte. Then why dost thou such feelings bring To my sad spirit—old Guitar? It is as if the warm sunlight In some deep glen should lingering stay. Even so. thy magic tone Hath moved the tear and waked the sigh: Hath bid the ancient torrent moan. I ween this heart has ceased to care. Though years ago the woodman’s stroke Laid low in dust their Dryad-hair. Emily and Anne Brontë Those eyes shall make my only day. It is as if the glassy brook Should image still its willows fair. 119 . When clouds of storm. Although its very source is dry. Have wrapt the parent orb away. And chase the foolish thoughts away That mourn your memory. Guitar. or shades of night.

Where endless day is never dim. No early promise woke. As weed upon a rock. Heavy rolls the sea. 120 . Never has his grim fate Smiled since he was born. Heavy broods the damp mist On uplands far away. Earth reserves no blessing For the unblest of heaven! Child of delight. Day is passing swiftly Its sad and sombre prime. Shadowing childhood’s joy Guardian-angel knows not That melancholy boy. Thy dew is cold as snow! Soul—where kindred kindness. Blossom—that the west-wind Has never wooed to blow. Frowning on the infant. And sea-blue. Emily and Anne Brontë THE TWO CHILDREN Heavy hangs the rain-drop From the burdened spray. Heavy looms the dull sky.Poems by Charlotte. Barren is thy beauty. Scentless are thy petals. Never has a blue streak Cleft the clouds since morn. before they close. with sun-bright hair. And he prays too—unconscious— That sunless human rose. Boyhood sad is merging In sadder manhood’s time: All the flowers are praying For sun. And heavy throbs the young heart Beneath that lonely tree. sea-deep eyes! Spirit of bliss! What brings thee here Beneath these sullen skies? Thou shouldst live in eternal spring. Wither—soul and blossom! You both were vainly given.

Frown.Poems by Charlotte. And. though with shadows blended. Emily and Anne Brontë Why. and bends the groaning trees. little lamp. sweet are youthful years. the air: He for whom I wait.” THE VISIONARY Silent is the house: all are laid asleep: One alone looks out o’er the snow-wreaths deep. And better for all who watch like me— “Watch in love by a fevered pillow. has thine erring wing Wafted thee down to weep with him? “Ah! not from heaven am I descended. but love is stronger. threaten me with shame: But neither sire nor dame. to be the wanderer’s guiding-star. Heavy and dark may its biding be: Better for all from grief reposing. thus ever comes to me. my angry dame! Set your slaves to spy. though clouded. Evil fortune he need not fear: Fate is strong. Watching every cloud. What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow. And I vowed—if need were—to share his sadness. glimmer straight and clear— Hush! a rustling wing stirs. Cheerful is the hearth. Safe in mine own soul’s golden calm! “Guardian-angel he lacks no longer. But sweet is day. trust thou my constancy. And give to him my sunny joy. Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit pay Burn. nor prying serf shall know. Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door. The little lamp burns straight. “I—the image of light and gladness— Saw and pitied that mournful boy. my haughty sire! chide. Strange Power! I trust thy might. And MY love is truer than angel-care. soft the matted floor. 121 . then. Nor do I come to mingle tears. “Heavy and dark the night is closing. dreading every breeze That whirls the wildering drift. Cooling the fever with pity’s balm Safe as the petrel on tossing billow. What I love shall come like visitant of air. methinks. its rays shoot strong and far: I trim it well. What loves me. Seraph. no word of mine shall e’er betray. Safe in secret power from lurking human snare.

and thou mayst mourn That WE are left below: But not that she can ne’er return To share our earthly woe. Emily and Anne Brontë ENCOURAGEMENT I do not weep. What though her brow be changed and cold. And guard us to the end? 122 Thou knowest she will. ’tis vain to keep This causeless grief for years. now. ‘Mid heath and frozen snow. Her kind face o’er thee shine? Remember still. through long hours of future pain. Our mother needs no tears: Dry thine eyes. where her angel spirit fled. sister. And from that world of heavenly light Will she not always bend To guide us in our lifetime’s night. she is not dead. Her sweet eyes closed for ever? What though the stone—the darksome mould Our mortal bodies sever? What though her hand smooth ne’er again Those silken locks of thine? Nor. I would not weep. She sees us.Poems by Charlotte. Laid. too. .

And visions rising. Or idlest froth amid the boundless main. O God within my breast. legion after legion. And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning For idle dreams of things which cannot be: To-day. I will seek not the shadowy region. ever-present Deity! Life—that in me has rest.Poems by Charlotte. creates. Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear. So surely anchored on The stedfast rock of immortality. Pervades and broods above. As I—undying Life—have power in thee! Vain are the thousand creeds That move men’s hearts: unutterably vain. arming me from fear. Emily and Anne Brontë STANZAS Often rebuked. The clouded forms of long-past history. sustains. Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side. And not among the half-distinguished faces. And faith shines equal. No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere: I see Heaven’s glories shine. Worthless as withered weeds. Changes. With wide-embracing love Thy spirit animates eternal years. dissolves. I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide: Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding. but not in old heroic traces. To waken doubt in one Holding so fast by thine infinity. And not in paths of high morality. I’ll walk. Bring the unreal world too strangely near. yet always back returning To those first feelings that were born with me. 123 . and rears. What have those lonely mountains worth revealing? More glory and more grief than I can tell: The earth that wakes one human heart to feeling Can centre both the worlds of Heaven and Hell. The following are the last lines my sister Emily ever wrote:— No coward soul is mine. Almighty.

perhaps. Emily and Anne Brontë SELECTIONS FROM POEMS BY ACTON BELL Though earth and man were gone. and passing away. it subdued her mood and bearing to a perpetual pensiveness. Without rendering her a prey to those horrors that defy concealment. she ever waited at the foot of a secret Sinai. of course. And what thou art may never be destroyed. Nor atom that his might could render void: Thou—thou art Being and Breath. in the rude passage from Time to Eternity. would be too distressing. And Thou were left alone.—but hope. listening in her heart to the voice of a trumpet sounding long and waxing louder. Her belief in God did not then bring to her dread. this pomp of terrors broke up. as of a stern Judge. Every existence would exist in Thee. would rejoice over these tokens of sincere though sorrowing piety in a deceased relative: I own. Some. I mean. on which. I find mournful evidence that religious feeling had been to her but too much like what it was to Cowper. the pillar of a cloud glided constantly before her eyes. 124 . as in a Creator and Saviour: and no faltering hope was it. as if her whole innocent life had been passed under the martyrdom of an unconfessed physical pain: their effect. to me they seem sad. indeed. In looking over my sister Anne’s papers. but a sure and stedfast conviction.Poems by Charlotte. And suns and universes ceased to be. were it not combated by the certain knowledge that in her last moments this tyranny of a too tender conscience was overcome. left her dying hour unclouded. in a far milder form. There is not room for Death.

patiently— serenely—victoriously. how shall I arise? I cannot weep. And raised my suppliant hands on high. Heavy and dull as lead. hear my humble prayer! DESPONDENCY I have gone backward in the work. save me. While tears fell thick and fast.Poems by Charlotte. An earnest grief. Or wander back again. Drowsy and dark my spirit lies. As if my heart would never cool. but I can pray. And yet. lest I die! Christ. and by which she was enabled to bear what was to be borne. Emily and Anne Brontë she threw the weight of her human weakness. Oh. 125 . And prayed to have my sins forgiven. So strong in spirit then. a strong desire As now I cannot feel. The labour has not sped. 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. With such a fervent zeal. Then let me not despair: Lord Jesus. 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 I have felt so full of love. And Hope within me dies: Even Faith itself is wavering now.

Was it the smile of early spring That made my bosom glow? ’Twas sweet. I dare not hope my love is great. Oh. Expanding in the mind. 126 . And MAKE me to Thy glory live. ’twas a rapture deep and strong. My trembling soul would fain be Thine. let its memory stay with me. for those I loved Were far away from me. And never pass away! I was alone. Oh. The sun shone on the withered grass. The Future fills me with dismay. IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY IN FEBRUARY Blessed be Thou for all the joy My soul has felt to-day! Oh. wretched sinner though I be). But strength and love to Thee belong. no! it was not this. Was it a sanguine view of life. Weak. Thy suppliant is a castaway. but neither sun nor wind Could cheer my spirit so. Unless Thou hasten to relieve. The wind blew fresh and free. let me call Thee mine. TAKE the heart I cannot give! Do Thou my strength—my Saviour be. do not leave me desolate! I know I owe my all to Thee. And all its transient bliss. A hope of bright prosperity? Oh. Emily and Anne Brontë A PRAYER My God (oh. Not only for the Past I grieve. I cannot say my faith is strong.Poems by Charlotte. Was it some feeling of delight All vague and undefined? No. My feeble faith still clings to Thee.

I would see His face Without the veil between. Emily and Anne Brontë It was a glimpse of truth divine Unto my spirit given. Deep secrets of His providence. 127 Full sure that I should rise again To immortality. Illumined by a ray of light That shone direct from heaven. I saw His wisdom infinite. But most throughout the moral world. Like Moses. . I did not fear to die. By whom all things were made. I knew that my Redeemer lived.Poems by Charlotte. Unto the vision of my soul Were graciously revealed. I saw His wisdom and His power In all his works displayed. His mercy all divine. I saw his glory shine. I longed to view that bliss divine. But while I wondered and adored His Majesty divine. Which eye hath never seen. In darkness long concealed. I did not tremble at His power: I felt that God was mine. I felt there was a God on high.

I need not fear my foes. With this polluted heart. Far as this earth may be From yonder starry skies. I deed not yield to care. I feel that I am weak. I dare to come to Thee. For Thou wilt pardon me. But Thou who giv’st to those who seek.Poems by Charlotte. I need not sink beneath my woes. Remoter still am I from Thee: Yet Thou wilt not despise. My God will cherish me. all unworthy as I am. Wilt give me strength within. A burdened heart I bear. For Thou wilt answer prayer. 128 In my Redeemer’s name. Holy and mighty as Thou art. . But I will not despair. Opposed by many a mighty foe. And. Emily and Anne Brontë CONFIDENCE Oppressed with sin and woe. And prone to every sin. I give myself to Thee.

While mirth and truth. Bids youthful joys too soon decay. 129 . when my spirit sinks in woe. that thought shall be My hope. Emily and Anne Brontë My sister Anne had to taste the cup of life as it is mixed for the class termed “Governesses. my comfort everywhere. though far away. Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue. LINES WRITTEN FROM HOME Though bleak these woods. and sweetly. The warmer heart will not belie. And so. There is a friendly roof I know. to my breast. discouraged. endured too long. and damp the ground. Will come to cheer my soul again. A home where heart and soul may rest. that now depart. While such a home remains to me.Poems by Charlotte. Though far I roam. that. then. When kindly thoughts that would have way Flow back. My heart shall never know despair. clasped in mine. I know there is. Might shield me from the wintry blast. And cold the wind that wanders round With wild and melancholy moan. There is a fire whose ruddy glow Will cheer me for my wanderings past. With fallen leaves so thickly strewn. though still where’er I go Cold stranger glances meet my eye. The joys of youth.” The following are some of the thoughts that now and then solace a governess:— And overclouds my noon of day. Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh. and friendship shine In smiling lip and earnest eye. The ice that gathers round my heart May there be thawed. Though. Though solitude. Warm hands are there.

amid the sternest heights. Waive pleasure and renown. What matter who should whisper blame Or who should scorn or slight? What matter. To pardon and endure. Be this thy constant aim. within thy breast. Arm—arm thee for the fight! Cast useless loads away. And face its deadliest frown. if thy God approve. But he that dares not gasp the thorn Should never crave the rose. Crush pride into the dust. And keep thy conscience pure. Or thou must needs be slack. And trample down rebellious lust. But he who seeks that blest abode Must all his powers employ. thy chief delight. It is the only road Unto the realms of joy. Watch through the darkest hours of night. Toil through the hottest day. To lift thy heart to God above. Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way. On all her breezes borne. The sweetest flowerets gleam. Thy hope. And there. The earnest of His rest? 130 . To labour and to love. The world’s dread scoff undaunted bear. And if. Bright hopes and pure delight Upon his course may beam.Poems by Charlotte. Or it will hold thee back. Thou feel the comfort of His love. And faint before the truth. Earth yields no scents like those. Seek not thy honour here. Emily and Anne Brontë THE NARROW WAY Believe not those who say The upward path is smooth.

Is shining as that night she shone. Emily and Anne Brontë DOMESTIC PEACE Why should such gloomy silence reign. pain. Return—oh. But now.Poems by Charlotte. have entered here? We are as many as we were That other night. With looks and smiles that spoke of heaven. Till mirth. When shall we all thy value learn? White angel. The fire is burning in the grate As redly as it used to burn. And gave us language to impart The blissful thoughts itself had given. sickness. to us. Domestic peace! best joy of earth. to our sorrowing hearth. When neither danger. Yet is there something gone away. The moon without. Each feels the bliss of all destroyed. graciously return! . and peace return. 131 ’Twas PEACE that flowed from heart to heart. as pure and calm. she brings no balm. Something whose absence leaves a void— A cheerless want in every heart. and free from care. and love. when all were gay And full of hope. nor want. And why is all the house so drear. But still the hearth is desolate. Nor death. For something from our hearts is gone. And mourns the change—but each apart.

How could I bear to walk for aye.Poems by Charlotte. That heavenly music would be drowned 132 . Before me truth can stand alone. I remember still That stony-hearted grasp. glancing up. And he that follows me shall know I am the surest guide. At once stagnation thou wouldst bring With that cold touch of thine.” Thy boast is vain. I listened eagerly. I sought to snatch But one glimpse of the sky. but were it true That thou couldst safely steer Life’s rough and devious pathway through. With eyes to earthward prone. If. Phantoms and fables fly. Such guidance I should fear. If I am shunned by youth. and sky. If to the breezes wandering near. shuddering. Or feel that Heaven is nigh? If in my heart arose a spring.] Spirit of Earth! thy hand is chill: I’ve felt its icy clasp. And sand and flinty stone. My footsteps never slide. The naked. And man matured by worth will own. solid truth. My baffled gaze would only catch Thy heartless. “Firm is my tread. Emily and Anne Brontë THE THREE GUIDES [First published in Fraser’s Magazine. A gush of thought divine. Never the glorious view to greet Of hill and dale. Thine eye bids love and joy depart: Oh. To see that Nature’s charms are sweet. O’er trampled weeds and miry clay. And. And deemed an angel’s tongue to hear That whispered hope to me. I will not walk with thee! “Wisdom is mine. cold grey eye.” I’ve heard thee say: “Beneath my searching eye All mist and darkness melt away. turn its gaze from me! It presses down my shrinking heart. and sure though slow.

Toil-spent and bramble-torn. destructive blaze Within those eyes I see. Poor reasoner! thou wilt deem. ’Tis best the beaten path to keep. unheard by thee The still. Turn hence their fascinating gaze. And lie within the fold. And burst through brier and thorn: And. The ancient faith to hold. Emily and Anne Brontë In thy harsh. Regardless of the pathway nigh That would conduct thee o’er Not only art thou. I will not follow thee. nor sound.Poems by Charlotte. then. There is a bridge o’er every flood Which thou canst not perceive. Nor inward thought. unkind. Thou’lt fell the tree that checks thy course. By casting pebbles in its tide. Right through the flinty rock thou’lt try Thy toilsome way to bore. nor sight. droning voice. Thine eyes are dim and cannot see The helps that God has given. small voice of Heaven. To pasture with thy fellow-sheep. poor grovelling worm. Walk on the common sod. and blind: I will not walk with thee! Spirit of Pride! thy wings are strong. “Cling to the earth. Ecstatic joys to thee belong. And freezing cold to me. ’Tis not for thee to soar Against the fury of the storm. But thou wilt not believe. Thine eyes like lightning shine. deaf. Go. And powers almost divine. Might my sad soul rejoice. “Coward and fool!” thou mayst reply. Dull is thine ear. But ’tis a false. Amid the thunder’s roar! There’s glory in that daring strife 133 . But unbelieving. pausing by the river’s side. A path through every tangled wood. Striving to make thy way by force. To cross the swelling stream. trace with timid foot and eye The steps by others trod.

There’s speechless rapture in the life Of those who follow me.—and then. Upheld by thee their guide. Bold and exultant was their mien. I ween. dash’d Down to a bloody grave. 134 . Emily and Anne Brontë Unknown. wild. Above their toils and cares. helpless. Oh. The wide expanse of earth beneath. and bold. it needs not this To make me shun thy wiles. Their faithless guide was gone. Renounce thy triumph and thy bliss. And gazing from below. What transport must be theirs! So far above their fellow-men. Thy honours and thy smiles! Bright as thou art. undreamt by thee. Alas! how fared thy favourites then. I have seen thy votaries oft. and strong. When angry storms arise? Who now will lead them to the track Thou taught’st them to despise? Spirit of Pride. But evening fell. weary. Yes. 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. and free. O’er rocks of ice and hills of snow Bound fearless. While thou didst cheer them on. I’ve seen them stand against the sky. Beheld thy lightning in their eye Thy triumph on their brow. In strength and courage mount aloft The steepy mountain-side. I have felt what glory then. And still thy ruthless eye has flash’d. cold? Did ever wanderer find again The path he left of old? Where is their glory. Thy strong hand did not save. Heaven’s glories overhead! But I have seen them helpless.Poems by Charlotte. I’ve seen some o’er the mountain’s brow Sustain’d awhile by thee. Inhaling Nature’s purest breath.— Lone. Her riches round them spread.

Emily and Anne Brontë That fierce glance wins not me. and I cannot stray. But only they that trust thee know What comfort dwells with thee. How rough soe’er may be My upward road. sordid scene.— But who like thee can rise Above this toilsome. And oft it turns aside From pleasant meads where roses blow. I shall never faint.— Thou pole-star of my darkest hours Affliction’s firmest friend! Day does not always mark our way. But wondrous is thy might. O clasp my hand in thine.— E’en while their footsteps press the clay. 135 .Poems by Charlotte. Their souls ascend to heaven. But lead me. 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. Where flowery turf lies green and soft. Beyond the holy skies? Meek is thine eye and soft thy voice. Danger surrounds them. Thy comforts are divine! Earth calls thee blind. nor plaint Shall mar my trust in thee. I shall not fall. To make the wretched soul rejoice.—nor moan.— But who can shew like thee Forgotten things that have been done. misguided one. Narrow the path by which we go. Sustain me. And I abhor thy scoffing tongue— I will not follow thee! Spirit of Faith! be thou my guide. Strength to sustain their drooping pow’rs. And let me never quit thy side. And peaceful waters glide.—pain and woe Their portion here must be. And things that are to be? Secrets conceal’d from Nature’s ken. And vigour to defend.— Hold me. Night’s shadows oft appal. To give the simple light! And still to all that seek thy way This magic power is given.

“Press forward and prevail!” Even above the tempest’s swell I hear thy voice of love. I have no wish to turn away.— Teach me. And that blest home above. thou art fair! . I know.Poems by Charlotte. if I hold thee fast. But if thy hand conducts me there.— Of hope and peace. Hard rocks distress the feet. Through pain and death I can rejoice. I hear thee tell. for thou art just and true. The way is right. To where dark mountains frown aloft. Smile on me.— How can it while I hear thee say. Wilt guide. And bear me home at last.— Deserts beyond lie bleak and bare. My spirit does not quail. I’ll go with thee! Thou. And keen winds round us blow. Life owns no joy like thine! Spirit of Faith. Emily and Anne Brontë And gentle gales are sweet.— Earth hath no music like thy voice. If but thy strength be mine. and strengthen me. defend. 136 In thy strength all things bear. By thy help all things I can do.

Our treasured hope away: Thou bid’st us now weep through the night And sorrow through the day. Thus let me serve Thee from my heart. But God has fixed another part. Lord! whatever be my fate. With secret labour to sustain In humble patience every blow. the pen laid aside— for ever. Thus should I keep my vow: But. I hoped.Poems by Charlotte. More humbled I should be. Thou. the desk was closed. hast taken our delight. Or yet a while to wait. that with the brave and strong. These weary hours will not be lost. When first the anguish fell. And hope and holiness from woe. I said so with my bleeding heart. My portioned task might lie. These days of misery. Should death be standing at the gate. Can I but turn to Thee. If Thou shouldst bring me back to life. And He has fixed it well. Oh. Emily and Anne Brontë I have given the last memento of my sister Emily. These nights of darkness. let me serve Thee now! These lines written. Whate’er may be my written fate: Whether thus early to depart. 137 . With purpose pure and high. this is the last of my sister Anne:— To gather fortitude from pain. anguish-tost. To toil amid the busy throng. God. More wise—more strengthened for the strife— More apt to lean on Thee.

119 H Heavy hangs the rain-drop 120 Hope Was but a timid friend. 81 In all we do. 137 I knew not ’twas so dire a crime 118 I mourn with thee. 47 I’ll not weep that thou art going to leave me.Poems by Charlotte. 107 Above the city hung the moon. philosopher! 59 Eternal Power. of all the hearts that loved. 122 I have gone backward in the work. like mine. 64 How brightly glistening in the sun 82 How clear she shines! How quietly 71 How few. that with the brave and strong. 101 I hoped. and hear. I would not weep. 83 In summer’s mellow midnight. 115 138 . believe. and yet rejoice 84 If thou be in a lonely place. of earth and air! 91 L Life. Emily and Anne Brontë Index of First Lines A A little while. and then we rest! 18 I I do not weep. 125 I have slept upon my couch. 113 In the dungeon-crypts idly did I stray. I struck it in that start 7 C Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above th 61 D Death! that struck when I was most confiding. 75 E Ellen. 27 Ah! why. is not a dream 36 “Listen! When your hair. because the dazzling sun 58 Arranging long-locked drawers and shelves 11 Ay—there it is! it wakes to-night 114 F For him who struck thy foreign string. 116 B Believe not those who say 130 Blessed be Thou for all the joy 126 Brightly the sun of summer shone 88 But two miles more. a little while. and see. 68 How beautiful the earth is still. you were thoughtless once 103 Enough of thought. 66 In the earth—the earth—thou shalt be laid. 78 I’ll rest me in this sheltered bower. 117 I’ve quench’d my lamp.

thoughts alone 41 “The winter wind is loud and wild. yet always back returning 123 Oh. 74 The human heart has hidden treasures. 129 ’Tis strange to think there was a time 94 N No coward soul is mine. 126 My soul is awakened. love! each tear that springs 86 On a sunny brae alone I lay 68 Oppressed with sin and woe. 56 There should be no despair for you 72 There’s no use in weeping. 21 139 . 89 M Music I love—but never strain 85 My God (oh. 45 O “O day! he cannot die 62 O God! if this indeed be all 87 Often rebuked. some may hate. for fear of dreams. let me call Thee mine. weep not. 51 Well hast thou spoken. and yet not taught 79 Well. 70 Why should such gloomy silence reign. 102 S Shall earth no more inspire thee. you’ve sat there all the day. 131 P Plough. 115 Silent is the house: all are laid asleep: 121 “Sister. 104 When sinks my heart in hopeless gloom. plough the British main. Emily and Anne Brontë Long ago I wished to leave 38 Loud without the wind was roaring 110 Love is like the wild rose-briar. I am very weary. and damp the ground. 36 What though the Sun had left my sky. 48 This last denial of my faith. 73 Oh. 112 She will not sleep. 53 Poor restless dove.Poems by Charlotte. I pity thee. 46 The linnet in the rocky dells. 76 What is she writing? Watch her now. 96 When weary with the long day’s care. vessel. 43 Spirit of Earth! thy hand is chill: 132 Sweet are thy strains. and damp the ground 95 Though bleak these woods. thy bright eyes must answer now. and some may scorn. 100 Oh. my spirit is soaring 96 T The Bluebell is the sweetest flower 109 “The evening passes fast away. celestial Bard. 77 The room is quiet. 63 The moon is full this winter night. 123 Not in scorn do I reprove thee. 39 Sit still—a word—a breath may break 16 Some have won a wild delight. 49 Though bleak these woods. 128 W We take from life one little share.

htm 140 .psu.htm To return to the Bronte page.psu.edu/ faculty/jmanis/bronte.Poems by Charlotte.hn. thou art gone! and never more 80 You may rejoice to think yourselves secure.hn. go to http://www. go to http://www. 92 To return to the Electronic Classics Series.edu/ faculty/jmanis/jimspdf. Emily and Anne Brontë Y Yes.

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