"Death." by Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)
First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 128-129.
DEATH ! that struck when I was most confiding
In my certain faith of joy to be–
Strike again, Time's withered branch dividing
From the fresh root of Eternity !
Leaves, upon Time's branch, were growing brightly,
Full of sap, and full of silver dew;
Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly;
Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew.
Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom;
Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride;
But, within its parent's kindly bosom,
Flowed for ever Life's restoring-tide.
Little mourned I for the parted gladness,
For the vacant nest and silent song–
Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness;
Whispering, " Winter will not linger long !"
And, behold ! with tenfold increase blessing,
Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray;
Wind and rain and fervent heat, caressing,
Lavished glory on that second May !
High it rose–no winged grief could sweep it;
Sin was scared to distance with its shine;
[Page 129]Love, and its own life, had power to keep it
Cruel Death ! The young leaves droop and languish;
Evening's gentle air may still restore–
No ! the morning sunshine mocks my anguish–
Time, for me, must never blossom more !
Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish
Where that perished sapling used to be;
Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish
That from which it sprung–Eternity.