How Clear She Shines How clear she shines! How quietly I lie beneath her guardian light; While heaven and earth are whispering me, "To morrow, wake, but dream to-night. These throbbing temples softly kiss; And bend my lonely couch above, And bring me rest, and bring me bliss. The world is going; dark world, adieu! Grim world, conceal thee till the day; The heart thou canst not all subdue Must still resist, if thou delay!
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Thy love I will not, will not share; Thy hatred only wakes a smile; Thy griefs may wound--thy wrongs may tear, But, oh, thy lies shall ne'er beguile! While gazing on the stars that glow Above me, in that stormless sea, I long to hope that all the woe Creation knows, is held in thee! And this shall be my dream to-night; I'll think the heaven of glorious spheres Is rolling on its course of light In endless bliss, through endless years; I'll think, there's not one world above, Far as these straining eyes can see, Where Wisdom ever laughed at Love, Or Virtue crouched to Infamy; Where, writhing 'neath the strokes of Fate, The mangled wretch was forced to smile; To match his patience 'gainst her hate, His heart rebellious all the while.
Sympathy There should be no despair for you While nightly stars are burning; While evening pours its silent dew, And sunshine gilds the morning. There should be no despair--though tears May flow down like a river: Are not the best beloved of years Around your heart for ever?
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They weep, you weep, it must be so; Winds sigh as you are sighing, And winter sheds its grief in snow Where Autumn's leaves are lying: Yet, these revive, and from their fate Your fate cannot be parted: Then, journey on, if not elate, Still, NEVER broken-hearted! Plead for Me Oh, thy bright eyes must answer now, When Reason, with a scornful brow, Is mocking at my overthrow! Oh, thy sweet tongue must plead for me And tell why I have chosen thee! Stern Reason is to judgment come, Arrayed in all her forms of gloom: Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb?
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No, radiant angel, speak and say, Why I did cast the world away. Why I have persevered to shun The common paths that others run; And on a strange road journeyed on, Heedless, alike of wealth and power-- Of glory's wreath and pleasure's flower.
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These, once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine; And they, perchance, heard vows of mine, And saw my offerings on their shrine; But careless gifts are seldom prized, And MINE were worthily despised. So, with a ready heart, I swore To seek their altar-stone no more; And gave my spirit to adore Thee, ever-present, phantom thing-- My slave, my comrade, and my king. A slave, because I rule thee still; Incline thee to my changeful will, And make thy influence good or ill: A comrade, for by day and night Thou art my intimate delight,-- My darling pain that wounds and sears, And wrings a blessing out from tears By deadening me to earthly cares; And yet, a king, though Prudence well Have taught thy subject to rebel And am I wrong to worship where Faith cannot doubt, nor hope despair, Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
Speak, God of visions, plead for me, And tell why I have chosen thee! Self-Interrogation "The evening passes fast away. It leaves a sense Of labour hardly done; Of little gained with vast expense-- A sense of grief alone? Art glad to leave the sea, And anchor all thy weary woes In calm Eternity? In my certain faith of joy to be-- Strike again, Time's withered branch dividing From the fresh root of Eternity! Leaves, upon Time's branch, were growing brightly, Full of sap, and full of silver dew; Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly; Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew. Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom; Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride But, within its parent's kindly bosom, Flowed for ever Life's restoring tide.
Little mourned I for the parted gladness, For the vacant nest and silent song-- Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness; Whispering, "Winter will not linger long! High it rose--no winged grief could sweep it; Sin was scared to distance with its shine; Love, and its own life, had power to keep it From all wrong--from every blight but thine! Cruel Death! The young leaves droop and languish; Evening's gentle air may still restore-- No! Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish Where that perished sapling used to be; Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish That from which it sprung--Eternity.
Stanzas to Well, some may hate, and some may scorn, And some may quite forget thy name; But my sad heart must ever mourn Thy ruined hopes, thy blighted fame! Then "Bless the friendly dust," I said, "That hides thy unlamented head! Vain as thou wert, and weak as vain, The slave of Falsehood, Pride, and Pain-- My heart has nought akin to thine; Thy soul is powerless over mine.
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Or, would I mock the wolf's death-howl, Because his form is gaunt and foul? Or, hear with joy the leveret's cry, Because it cannot bravely die?
Then above his memory Let Pity's heart as tender be; Say, "Earth, lie lightly on that breast, And, kind Heaven, grant that spirit rest! The sweet moon through your lattice gleams, And lights your room like day; And there you pass, in happy dreams, The peaceful hours away! While I, with effort hardly quelling The anguish in my breast, Wander about the silent dwelling, And cannot think of rest. The old clock in the gloomy hall Ticks on, from hour to hour; And every time its measured call Seems lingering slow and slower: And, oh, how slow that keen-eyed star Has tracked the chilly gray!
What, watching yet! Without your chamber door I stand; Love, are you slumbering still? My cold heart, underneath my hand, Has almost ceased to thrill. Bleak, bleak the east wind sobs and sighs, And drowns the turret bell, Whose sad note, undistinguished, dies Unheard, like my farewell!
To-morrow, Scorn will blight my name, And Hate will trample me, Will load me with a coward's shame-- A traitor's perjury. False friends will launch their covert sneers; True friends will wish me dead; And I shall cause the bitterest tears That you have ever shed. The dark deeds of my outlawed race Will then like virtues shine; And men will pardon their disgrace, Beside the guilt of mine. For, who forgives the accursed crime Of dastard treachery? Rebellion, in its chosen time, May Freedom's champion be; Revenge may stain a righteous sword, It may be just to slay; But, traitor, traitor,--from THAT word All true breasts shrink away!
Not even to keep your priceless love, Dare I, Beloved, deceive; This treason should the future prove, Then, only then, believe! I know the path I ought to go I follow fearlessly, Inquiring not what deeper woe Stern duty stores for me. So foes pursue, and cold allies Mistrust me, every one: Let me be false in others' eyes, If faithful in my own. Stanzas I'll not weep that thou art going to leave me, There's nothing lovely here; And doubly will the dark world grieve me, While thy heart suffers there.
I'll not weep, because the summer's glory Must always end in gloom; And, follow out the happiest story-- It closes with a tomb! And I am weary of the anguish Increasing winters bear; Weary to watch the spirit languish Through years of dead despair. So, if a tear, when thou art dying, Should haply fall from me, It is but that my soul is sighing, To go and rest with thee. My Comforter Well hast thou spoken, and yet not taught A feeling strange or new; Thou hast but roused a latent thought, A cloud-closed beam of sunshine brought To gleam in open view.
Deep down, concealed within my soul, That light lies hid from men; Yet glows unquenched--though shadows roll, Its gentle ray cannot control-- About the sullen den. Was I not vexed, in these gloomy ways To walk alone so long? Around me, wretches uttering praise, Or howling o'er their hopeless days, And each with Frenzy's tongue;- A brotherhood of misery, Their smiles as sad as sighs; Whose madness daily maddened me, Distorting into agony The bliss before my eyes!
So stood I, in Heaven's glorious sun, And in the glare of Hell; My spirit drank a mingled tone, Of seraph's song, and demon's moan; What my soul bore, my soul alone Within itself may tell! Like a soft, air above a sea, Tossed by the tempest's stir; A thaw-wind, melting quietly The snow-drift on some wintry lea; No: what sweet thing resembles thee, My thoughtful Comforter? And yet a little longer speak, Calm this resentful mood; And while the savage heart grows meek, For other token do not seek, But let the tear upon my cheek Evince my gratitude! Introduced by Charlotte Bronte It would not have been difficult to compile a volume out of the papers left by my sisters, had I, in making the selection, dismissed from my consideration the scruples and the wishes of those whose written thoughts these papers held.
But this was impossible: an influence, stronger than could be exercised by any motive of expediency, necessarily regulated the selection.
The Emily Bronte mystery
I have, then, culled from the mass only a little poem here and there. The whole makes but a tiny nosegay, and the colour and perfume of the flowers are not such as fit them for festal uses. It has been already said that my sisters wrote much in childhood and girlhood. Usually, it seems a sort of injustice to expose in print the crude thoughts of the unripe mind, the rude efforts of the unpractised hand; yet I venture to give three little poems of my sister Emily's, written in her sixteenth year, because they illustrate a point in her character.
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At that period she was sent to school. Her previous life, with the exception of a single half-year, had been passed in the absolute retirement of a village parsonage, amongst the hills bordering Yorkshire and Lancashire. The scenery of these hills is not grand--it is not romantic it is scarcely striking. Long low moors, dark with heath, shut in little valleys, where a stream waters, here and there, a fringe of stunted copse. Mills and scattered cottages chase romance from these valleys; it is only higher up, deep in amongst the ridges of the moors, that Imagination can find rest for the sole of her foot: and even if she finds it there, she must be a solitude-loving raven--no gentle dove.
If she demand beauty to inspire her, she must bring it inborn: these moors are too stern to yield any product so delicate.