"Remembrance." by Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)
First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 31-32.
Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
Thy noble heart for ever, ever more?
Cold in the earth–and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills, have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!
[Page 32]Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.
But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion–
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?
The original manuscript is entitled "R. Alcona to J. Brenzaida". The names are those of Gondal characters: Rosina Alcona and Julius Brenzaida. The manuscript is dated March 3, 1845. There are several changes in wording, including the substitution of /northern shore/ for /Angora's shore/ in line 6, to hide the Gondal origin.