Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)
Plead for me
1OH, thy bright eyes must answer now,
2When Reason, with a scornful brow,
3Is mocking at my overthrow !
4Oh, thy sweet tongue must plead for me
5And tell why I have chosen thee !
6Stern Reason is to judgment come,
7Arrayed in all her forms of gloom :
8Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb ?
9No, radiant angel, speak and say
10Why I did cast the world away,--
11Why I have persevered to shun
12The common paths that others run ;
13And on a strange road journeyed on,
14Heedless, alike of wealth and power --
15Of glory's wreath and pleasure's flower.
16These, once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine ;
17And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
18And saw my offerings on their shrine ;
19But careless gifts are seldom prized,
20And mine were worthily despised.
21So, with a ready heart, I swore
22To seek their altar-stone no more ;
23And gave my spirit to adore
24Thee, ever-present, phantom thing--
25My slave, my comrade, and my king.
26A slave, because I rule thee still ;
27Incline thee to my changeful will,
28And make thy influence good or ill :
29A comrade, for by day and night
30Thou art my intimate delight,--
31My darling pain that wounds and sears,
32And wrings a blessing out from tears
33By deadening me to earthly cares ;
34And yet, a king, though Prudence well
35Have taught thy subject to rebel.
36And am I wrong to worship where
37Faith cannot doubt, nor hope despair,
38Since my own soul can grant my prayer ?
39Speak, God of visions, plead for me,
40And tell why I have chosen thee !
Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Emily Brontë, The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë, ed. Clement Shorter, collected by C. W. Hatfield (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923): 23-24. PR 4172 A1 1923 Robarts Library
First publication date:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/23
Other poems by Emily Jane Brontë