Expansive Poetry & Music Online Classic Reprint

Two by Emily Bronte

One doesn't ordinarily think of Emily Bronte as a poet. As one of the most affecting novelists of the 19th century, Bronte has been and probably always will be known worldwide, not only for that one great novel itself, but for its many adaptations to film and television. And yet here and there a poem of hers pops out to touch the ear with pleasure and the mind with thought, as in "Last Words" and "To Imagination."

To Imagination


When weary with the long day's care And earthly change from pain to pain, And lost, and ready to despair, Thy kind voice calls me back again. Oh, my true friend! I am not lone, While thou canst speak with such a tone! So hopeless is the world without, The world within I doubly prize; Thy world, where guile and hate and doubt And cold suspicion never rise; Where thou and I and Liberty Have undisputed sovereignty. What matters it, that all around Danger and guilt and darkness lie, If but within our bosom's bound We hold a bright, untroubled sky, Warm with ten thousand mingled rays Of suns that know no winter days? Reason, indeed, may oft complain For nature's sad reality, And tell the suffering heart how vain Its cherished dreams must always be; And truth may rudely trample down The flowers of Fancy, newly blown. But thou art ever there, to bring The hovering vision back, and breathe New glories o'er the blighted spring, And call a lovelier Life from Death, And whisper, with a voice divine, Of real worlds, as bright as thine. I trust not to thy phantom bliss, Yet, still, in evening's quiet hour, With never-failing thankfulness, I welcome thee, Benignant Power, Sure solacer of human cares, And sweeter hope, when hope despairs.< Emily Bronte

Last Lines


No coward soul is mine, No trembler in the world's storm - troubled sphere: I see Heaven's glories shine, And faith shines equal, arming me from fear. O God within my breast, Almighty, ever - present Deity! Life - that in me has rest, As I - undying Life - have power in Thee! Vain are the thousand creeds That move men's hearts: unutterably vain; Worthless as wither'd weeds, Or idlest froth amid the boundless main, To waken doubt in one Holding so fast by Thine infinity; So surely anchor'd on The steadfast rock of immortality. With wide - embracing love Thy Spirit animates eternal years, Pervades and broods above, Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears. Though earth and man were gone, And suns and universes cease to be, And Thou were left alone, Every existence would exist in Thee. There is not room for Death, Nor atom that his might could render void: Thou - Thou art Being and Breath, And what Thou art may never be destroyed Emily Bronte

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