Emily Brontë
  • Emily Brontë
  • 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.
  • 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?

Emily Brontë was born in Yorkshire, England, on July 30, 1818. Her mother died when she was three and her father, a former schoolteacher and tutor who had become an Anglican minister, moved the family to Haworth in 1824. Two of her sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, died during childhood. Emily and her two other sisters, Charlotte and Anne, along with their brother Patrick Branwell, became devoted to writing stories and poems in their adolescent years. In 1846 the three sisters published a collection of their poetry in a single volume as Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, a collection that went unnoticed at the time. A year later, Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights, now recognized as one of the greatest novels in the English language. Her sister Charlotte is the author of another masterpiece of English literature, Jane Eyre. Emily became sick during her brother’s funeral in September 1848 and her condition worsened steadily. She rejected medical help and died of tuberculosis on December 19, 1848, at the age of 30.

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