A Celebration of Women Writers

"Stanzas." by Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

First Publication: Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell London: Aylott and Jones, 8, Paternoster Row, 1846. pp. 126-127.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 126]


IF thou be in a lonely place,
  If one hour's calm be thine,
As Evening bends her placid face
  O'er this sweet day's decline;
If all the earth and all the heaven
  Now look serene to thee,
As o'er them shuts the summer even,
  One momentthink of me !

Pause, in the lane, returning home;
  'Tis dusk, it will be still:
Pause near the elm, a sacred gloom
  Its breezeless boughs will fill.
Look at that soft and golden light,
  High in the unclouded sky;
Watch the last bird's belated flight,
  As it flits silent by.

Hark ! for a sound upon the wind,
  A step, a voice, a sigh;
If all be still, then yield thy mind,
  Unchecked, to memory.
If thy love were like mine, how blest
  That twilight hour would seem,
When, back from the regretted Past,
  Returned our early dream !

[Page 127]

If thy love were like mine, how wild
  Thy longings, even to pain,
For sunset soft, and moonlight mild,
  To bring that hour again !
But oft, when in thine arms I lay,
  I've seen thy dark eyes shine,
And deeply felt, their changeful ray
  Spoke other love than mine.

My love is almost anguish now,
  It beats so strong and true;
'Twere rapture, could I deem that thou
  Such anguish ever knew.
I have been but thy transient flower,
  Thou wert my god divine;
Till, checked by death's congealing power,
  This heart must throb for thine.

And well my dying hour were blest,
  If life's expiring breath
Should pass, as thy lips gently prest
  My forehead, cold in death;
And sound my sleep would be, and sweet,
  Beneath the churchyard tree,
If sometimes in thy heart should beat
  One pulse, still true to me.


[Page 128]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom