"Passion." by Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 112-114.
SOME have won a wild delight,
By daring wilder sorrow;
Could I gain thy love to-night,
I'd hazard death to-morrow.
[Page 113]Could the battle-struggle earn
Welcome nights of broken sleep,
And days of carnage cold,
Could I deem that thou wouldst weep
To hear my perils told.
Tell me, if with wandering bands
I roam full far away,
Wilt thou, to those distant lands,
In spirit ever stray ?
Wild, long, a trumpet sounds afar;
Bid me–bid me go
Where Seik and Briton meet in war,
On Indian Sutlej's flow.
Blood has dyed the Sutlej's waves
With scarlet stain, I know;
Indus' borders yawn with graves,
Yet, command me go !
Though rank and high the holocaust
Of nations, steams to heaven,
Glad I'd join the death-doomed host,
Were but the mandate given.
[Page 114]Passion's strength should nerve my arm,
If, hot from war, I seek thy love,
Darest thou turn aside ?
Darest thou, then, my fire reprove,
By scorn, and maddening pride ?
No–my will shall yet control
Thy will, so high and free,
And love shall tame that haughty soul–
Yes–tenderest love for me.
I'll read my triumph in thine eyes,
Behold, and prove the change;
Then leave, perchance, my noble prize,
Once more in arms to range.
I'd die when all the foam is up,
The bright wine sparkling high;
Nor wait till in the exhausted cup
Life's dull dregs only lie.
Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward,
Hope blest with fulness large,
I'd mount the saddle, draw the sword,
And perish in the charge !