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Short poem

Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)


              1COLD in the earth -- and the deep snow piled above thee,
              2    Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave !
              3Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
              4    Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave ?

              5Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
              6    Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
              7Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
              8    Thy noble heart for ever, ever more ?

              9Cold in the earth -- and fifteen wild Decembers
            10    From those brown hills, have melted into spring :
            11Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
            12    After such years of change and suffering !

            13Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
            14    While the world's tide is bearing me along ;
            15Other desires and other hopes beset me,
            16    Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong !

            17No later light has lightened up my heaven,
            18    No second morn has ever shone for me ;
            19All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
            20    All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.

            21But when the days of golden dreams had perished,
            22    And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
            23Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
            24    Strengthened, and fed, without the aid of joy.

            25Then did I check the tears of useless passion --
            26    Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine ;
            27Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
            28    Down to that tomb already more than mine.

            29And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
            30    Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain ;
            31Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
            32    How could I seek the empty world again ?

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): 7-8. PR 4172 A1 1923 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1846
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/23

Composition date: March 1845
Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Emily Jane Brontë