A Celebration of Women Writers

"Dreams" by Anne Brontë (1820-1849)

First Publication: Brontë Poems A.C. Benson, Ed. London: Smith, Elder, 1915. pp. 290-291.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


WHILE on my lonely couch I lie,
I seldom feel myself alone,
For fancy fills my dreaming eye
With scenes and pleasures of its own.

Then I may cherish at my breast
An infant's form beloved and fair,
May smile and soothe it into rest
With all a Mother's fondest care.

How sweet to feel its helpless form
Depending thus on me alone!
And while I hold it safe and warm
What bliss to think it is my own!

And glances then may meet my eyes
That daylight never showed to me;
What raptures in my bosom rise,
Those earnest looks of love to see,

To feel my hand so kindly prest,
To know myself beloved at last,
To think my heart has found a rest,
My life of solitude is past!

But then to wake and find it flown,
The dream of happiness destroyed,
To find myself unloved, alone,
What tongue can speak the dreary void?

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


The manuscript version of the poem dates to "Spring 1845". There are minor differences in punctuation and spelling. The original manuscript contains an additional final verse, given below. In the manuscript it is crossed through. It is not known if the marking was Anne's.

  A heart whence warm affections flow,
  Creator, thou hast given to me,
  And am I only thus to know
  How sweet the joys of love would be?

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom