A Celebration of Women Writers

"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.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 128]


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 roseno 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
From all wrongfrom every blight but thine !

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 sprungEternity.



Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom