A Celebration of Women Writers

"Stars." by Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848)

First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 21- 23.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


AH ! why, because the dazzling sun
  Restored our Earth to joy,
Have you departed, every one,
  And left a desert sky ?

All through the night, your glorious eyes
  Were gazing down in mine,
And, with a full heart's thankful sighs,
  I blessed that watch divine.

[Page 22]

I was at peace, and drank your beams
  As they were life to me;
And revelled in my changeful dreams,
  Like petrel on the sea.

Thought followed thought, star followed star,
  Through boundless regions, on;
While one sweet influence, near and far,
  Thrilled through, and proved us one !

Why did the morning dawn to break
  So great, so pure, a spell;
And scorch with fire, the tranquil cheek,
  Where your cool radiance fell ?

Blood-red, he rose, and, arrow-straight,
  His fierce beams struck my brow;
The soul of nature, sprang, elate,
  But mine sank sad and low !

My lids closed down, yet through their veil,
  I saw him, blazing, still,
And steep in gold the misty dale,
  And flash upon the hill.

I turned me to the pillow, then,
  To call back night, and see
Your worlds of solemn light, again,
  Throb with my heart, and me !

[Page 23]

It would not dothe pillow glowed,
  And glowed both roof and floor;
And birds sang loudly in the wood,
  And fresh winds shook the door;

The curtains waved, the wakened flies
  Were murmuring round my room,
Imprisoned there, till I should rise,
  And give them leave to roam.

Oh, stars, and dreams, and gentle night;
  Oh, night and stars return !
And hide me from the hostile light,
  That does not warm, but burn;

That drains the blood of suffering men;
  Drinks tears, instead of dew;
Let me sleep through his blinding reign,
  And only wake with you !



Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom