The Brontes, The Poetry Of

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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.

Poems of Emily Brontë

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. For the moors! For the moors, where the short grass Like velvet beneath us should lie! For the moors, where each high pass Rose sunny against the clear sky!

For the moors, where the linnet was trilling Its song on the old granite stone; Where the lark, the wild sky-lark, was filling Every breast with delight like its own! What language can utter the feeling Which rose, when in exile afar, On the brow of a lonely hill kneeling, I saw the brown heath growing there? It was scattered and stunted, and told me That soon even that would be gone: It whispered, "The grim walls enfold me, I have bloomed in my last summer's sun.

The spirit which bent 'neath its power, How it longed--how it burned to be free!

Anne Bronte - The Poetry - An Introduction

If I could have wept in that hour, Those tears had been heaven to me. Well--well; the sad minutes are moving, Though loaded with trouble and pain; And some time the loved and the loving Shall meet on the mountains again! Emily Bronte The following little piece has no title; but in it the Genius of a solitary region seems to address his wandering and wayward votary, and to recall within his influence the proud mind which rebelled at times even against what it most loved.


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Since passion may not fire thee, Shall nature cease to bow? Thy mind is ever moving, In regions dark to thee; Recall its useless roving, Come back, and dwell with me. I know my mountain breezes Enchant and soothe thee still, I know my sunshine pleases, Despite thy wayward will. When day with evening blending, Sinks from the summer sky, I've seen thy spirit bending In fond idolatry. I've watched thee every hour; I know my mighty sway: I know my magic power To drive thy griefs away. Few hearts to mortals given, On earth so wildly pine; Yet few would ask a heaven More like this earth than thine.

Then let my winds caress thee Thy comrade let me be: Since nought beside can bless thee, Return--and dwell with me.

Charlotte Brontë

Emily Bronte Here again is the same mind in converse with a like abstraction. I N summer's mellow midnight, A cloudless moon shone through Our open parlour window, And rose-trees wet with dew. I sat in silent musing; The soft wind waved my hair; It told me heaven was glorious, And sleeping earth was fair. I needed not its breathing To bring such thoughts to me; But still it whispered lowly, How dark the woods will be!

Have I not loved thee long? As long as thou, the solemn night, Whose silence wakes my song. A Y--there it is! Nature's deep being, thine shall hold, Her spirit all thy spirit fold, Her breath absorb thy sighs. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, But which will bloom most constantly? The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring, Its summer blossoms scent the air; Yet wait till winter comes again, And who will call the wild-briar fair? Then, scorn the silly rose-wreath now, And deck thee with the holly's sheen, That, when December blights thy brow, He still may leave thy garland green. When your hair, like mine, Takes a tint of silver gray; When your eyes, with dimmer shine, Watch life's bubbles float away: When you, young man, have borne like me The weary weight of sixty-three, Then shall penance sore be paid For those hours so wildly squandered; And the words that now fall dead On your ear, be deeply pondered-- Pondered and approved at last: But their virtue will be past!

Seek for aid in future years; Wisdom, scorned, knows no relenting; Virtue is not won by fears. Too often thus, when left alone, Where none my thoughts can see, Comes back a word, a passing tone From thy strange history.

Charlotte Brontë Poems > My poetic side

Sometimes I seem to see thee rise, A glorious child again; All virtues beaming from thine eyes That ever honoured men: Courage and truth, a generous breast Where sinless sunshine lay: A being whose very presence blest Like gladsome summer-day. O, fairly spread thy early sail, And fresh, and pure, and free, Was the first impulse of the gale Which urged life's wave for thee!

Why did the pilot, too confiding, Dream o'er that ocean's foam, And trust in Pleasure's careless guiding To bring his vessel home? For well he knew what dangers frowned, What mists would gather, dim; What rocks and shelves, and sands lay round Between his port and him. The very brightness of the sun The splendour of the main, The wind which bore him wildly on Should not have warned in vain. An anxious gazer from the shore-- I marked the whitening wave, And wept above thy fate the more Because--I could not save.

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Charlotte Brontë

It recks not now, when all is over: But yet my heart will be A mourner still, though friend and lover Have both forgotten thee! Here the world is chill, And sworn friends fall from me: But there --they will own me still, And prize my memory. Turf-sod and tombstone drear Part human company; One heart breaks only--here, But that heart was worthy thee!

That wild hill-side, the winter morn, The gnarled and ancient tree, If in your breast they waken scorn, Shall wake the same in me. I can forget black eyes and brows, And lips of falsest charm, If you forget the sacred vows Those faithless lips could form. Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor; Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door; The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far: I trim it well, to be the wanderer's guiding-star.

Emily Bronte’s Life

Frown, my haughty sire! Set your slaves to spy; threaten me with shame: But neither sire nor dame, nor prying serf shall know, What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow. What I love shall come like visitant of air, Safe in secret power from lurking human snare; What loves me, no word of mine shall e'er betray, Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit pay.

Burn, then, little lamp; glimmer straight and clear— Hush! I trust thy might; trust thou my constancy. Often rebuked, yet always back returning To those first feelings that were born with me, And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning For idle dreams of things which cannot be:. To-day, I will seek not the shadowy region; Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear; And visions rising, legion after legion, Bring the unreal world too strangely near.

I'll walk, but not in old heroic traces, And not in paths of high morality, And not among the half-distinguished faces, The clouded forms of long-past history. I'll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide: Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding; Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.

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. A little while, a little while, The weary task is put away, And I can sing and I can smile, Alike, while I have holiday.


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  5. Where wilt thou go, my harassed heart— What thought, what scene invites thee now What spot, or near or far apart, Has rest for thee, my weary brow? There is a spot, 'mid barren hills, Where winter howls, and driving rain; But, if the dreary tempest chills, There is a light that warms again. The house is old, the trees are bare, Moonless above bends twilight's dome; But what on earth is half so dear— So longed for—as the hearth of home?

    The mute bird sitting on the stone, The dank moss dripping from the wall, The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o'ergrown, I love them—how I love them all! Still, as I mused, the naked room, The alien firelight died away; And from the midst of cheerless gloom, I passed to bright, unclouded day.

    A little and a lone green lane That opened on a common wide; A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain Of mountains circling every side. A heaven so clear, an earth so calm, So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air; And, deepening still the dream-like charm, Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere. That was the scene, I knew it well; I knew the turfy pathway's sweep, That, winding o'er each billowy swell, Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep. Emily saw the human condition as 'the brotherhood of misery' and many of her lyric poems reflect the dark themes of her only novel, Wuthering Heights.

    She longs to escape from the room, even from her mortal body, and dreads the coming morning. In 'The Night Wind', again there is an open window at night, but this time a cloudless moon and a gentle night wind. The wind is a seducer almost too powerful to resist; the poem conveys Bronte's longing for release at war with her fear of losing her sense of self, only resolved in the last verse when her heart is resting beneath the churchyard stone.

    It is a marvellously direct recreation of her all too human unease. It describes a personal visionary moment and is a cry of triumphant belief in the god within her breast. This is no conventional deity, but an assertion of her own uniqueness and the heroic power of her will, spirit and imagination. Refusing to take medicine or to rest in bed, Emily died of consumption at the age of thirty.