A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Penitent." by Anne Brontë (1820-1849)

First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. p. 44.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


I MOURN with thee, and yet rejoice
  That thou shouldst sorrow so;
With angel choirs I join my voice
  To bless the sinner's woe.

Though friends and kindred turn away,
  And laugh thy grief to scorn;
I hear the great Redeemer say,
  "Blessed are ye that mourn."

Hold on thy course, nor deem it strange
  That earthly cords are riven:
Man may lament the wondrous change,
  But "there is joy in heaven!"


[Page 45]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


In its manuscript form, this poem is identified simply as "Fragment". There are minor differences in punctuation and capitalization. It is believed to have been written about September 1845. The religious references suggest that it may be a personal poem: some people believe that the sinner referred to is Anne's brother Branwell.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom