A Celebration of Women Writers

" Plead for Me." by Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)

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

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 118]

PLEAD FOR ME.

OH, thy bright eyes must answer now,
When Reason, with a scornful brow,
Is mocking at my overthrow !
Oh, thy sweet tongue must plead for me
And tell, why I have chosen thee !

Stern Reason is to judgment come,
Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
Wilt thou, my advocate, be dumb ?
No, radiant angel, speak and say,
Why I did cast the world away.

Why I have persevered to shun
The common paths that others run,
And on a strange road journeyed on,
Heedless, alike, of wealth and power
Of glory's wreath and pleasure's flower.

These, once, indeed, seemed Beings Divine;
And they, perchance, heard vows of mine,
And saw my offerings on their shrine;
But, careless gifts are seldom prized,
And mine were worthily despised.

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So, with a ready heart I swore
To seek their altar-stone no more;
And gave my spirit to adore
Thee, ever-present, phantom thing;
My slave, my comrade, and my king,

A slave, because I rule thee still;
Incline thee to my changeful will,
And make thy influence good or ill:
A comrade, for by day and night
Thou art my intimate delight,

My darling pain that wounds and sears
And wrings a blessing out from tears
By deadening me to earthly cares;
And yet, a king, though Prudence well
Have taught thy subject to rebel.

And am I wrong to worship, where
Faith cannot doubt, nor hope despair,
Since my own soul can grant my prayer ?
Speak, God of visions, plead for me,
And tell why I have chosen thee !

ELLIS.

[Page 120]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom