A Celebration of Women Writers

"My Comforter." by Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)

First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 153-155.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


WELL hast thou spoken, and yet, not taught
  A feeling strange or new;
Thou hast but roused a latent thought,
A cloud-closed beam of sunshine, brought
  To gleam in open view.

Deep down, concealed within my soul,
  That light lies hid from men;
Yet, glows unquenchedthough shadows roll,
Its gentle ray cannot control,
  About the sullen den.

[Page 154]

Was I not vexed, in these gloomy ways
  To walk alone so long ?
Around me, wretches uttering praise,
Or howling o'er their hopeless days,
  And each with Frenzy's tongue;

A brotherhood of misery,
  Their smiles as sad as sighs;
Whose madness daily maddened me,
Distorting into agony
  The bliss before my eyes !

So stood I, in Heaven's glorious sun,
  And in the glare of Hell;
My spirit drank a mingled tone,
Of seraph's song, and demon's moan;
What my soul bore, my soul alone
  Within itself may tell !

Like a soft air, above a sea,
  Tossed by the tempest's stir;
A thaw-wind, melting quietly
The snow-drift, on some wintry lea;
No: what sweet thing resembles thee,
  My thoughtful Comforter ?

And yet a little longer speak,
  Calm this resentful mood;

[Page 155]

And while the savage heart grows meek,
For other token do not seek,
But let the tear upon my cheek
  Evince my gratitude !



Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom