"A Death-Scene." by Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)
First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 40-42.
[Page 41]He cannot leave thee now,
Edward, awake, awake–
The golden evening gleams
Warm and bright on Arden's lake–
Arouse thee from thy dreams !
Beside thee, on my knee,
My dearest friend ! I pray
That thou, to cross the eternal sea,
Wouldst yet one hour delay:
I hear its billows roar–
I see them foaming high;
But no glimpse of a further shore
Has blest my straining eye.
Believe not what they urge
Of Eden isles beyond;
Turn back, from that tempestuous surge,
To thy own native land.
It is not death, but pain
That struggles in thy breast–
Nay, rally, Edward, rouse again;
I cannot let thee rest !"
[Page 42]One long look, that sore reproved me
And, with sudden check, the heaving
Of distraction passed away;
Not a sign of further grieving
Stirred my soul that awful day.
Paled, at length, the sweet sun setting;
Sunk to peace the twilight breeze:
Summer dews fell softly, wetting
Glen, and glade, and silent trees.
Then his eyes began to weary,
Weighed beneath a mortal sleep;
And their orbs grew strangely dreary,
Clouded, even as they would weep.
But they wept not, but they changed not,
Never moved, and never closed;
Troubled still, and still they ranged not–
Wandered not, nor yet reposed !
So I knew that he was dying–
Stooped, and raised his languid head;
Felt no breath, and heard no sighing,
So I knew that he was dead.