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Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

The Wood

 BUT two miles more, and then we rest ! 
Well, there is still an hour of day, 
And long the brightness of the West 
Will light us on our devious way; 
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood­ 
So total is the solitude, 
We safely may delay.
These massive roots afford a seat, Which seems for weary travellers made.
There rest.
The air is soft and sweet In this sequestered forest glade, And there are scents of flowers around, The evening dew draws from the ground; How soothingly they spread ! Yes; I was tired, but not at heart; No­that beats full of sweet content, For now I have my natural part Of action with adventure blent; Cast forth on the wide vorld with thee, And all my once waste energy To weighty purpose bent.
Yet­say'st thou, spies around us roam, Our aims are termed conspiracy ? Haply, no more our English home An anchorage for us may be ? That there is risk our mutual blood May redden in some lonely wood The knife of treachery ? Say'st thou­that where we lodge each night, In each lone farm, or lonelier hall Of Norman Peer­ere morning light Suspicion must as duly fall, As day returns­such vigilance Presides and watches over France, Such rigour governs all ? I fear not, William; dost thou fear ? So that the knife does not divide, It may be ever hovering near: I could not tremble at thy side, And strenuous love­like mine for thee­ Is buckler strong, 'gainst treachery, And turns its stab aside.
I am resolved that thou shalt learn To trust my strength as I trust thine; I am resolved our souls shall burn, With equal, steady, mingling shine; Part of the field is conquered now, Our lives in the same channel flow, Along the self-same line; And while no groaning storm is heard, Thou seem'st content it should be so, But soon as comes a warning word Of danger­straight thine anxious brow Bends over me a mournful shade, As doubting if my powers are made To ford the floods of woe.
Know, then it is my spirit swells, And drinks, with eager joy, the air Of freedom­where at last it dwells, Chartered, a common task to share With thee, and then it stirs alert, And pants to learn what menaced hurt Demands for thee its care.
Remember, I have crossed the deep, And stood with thee on deck, to gaze On waves that rose in threatening heap, While stagnant lay a heavy haze, Dimly confusing sea with sky, And baffling, even, the pilot's eye, Intent to thread the maze­ Of rocks, on Bretagne's dangerous coast, And find a way to steer our band To the one point obscure, which lost, Flung us, as victims, on the strand;­ All, elsewhere, gleamed the Gallic sword, And not a wherry could be moored Along the guarded land.
I feared not then­I fear not now; The interest of each stirring scene Wakes a new sense, a welcome glow, In every nerve and bounding vein; Alike on turbid Channel sea, Or in still wood of Normandy, I feel as born again.
The rain descended that wild morn When, anchoring in the cove at last, Our band, all weary and forlorn, Ashore, like wave-worn sailors, cast­ Sought for a sheltering roof in vain, And scarce could scanty food obtain To break their morning fast.
Thou didst thy crust with me divide, Thou didst thy cloak around me fold; And, sitting silent by thy side, I ate the bread in peace untold: Given kindly from thy hand, 'twas sweet As costly fare or princely treat On royal plate of gold.
Sharp blew the sleet upon my face, And, rising wild, the gusty wind Drove on those thundering waves apace, Our crew so late had left behind; But, spite of frozen shower and storm, So close to thee, my heart beat warm, And tranquil slept my mind.
So now­nor foot-sore nor opprest With walking all this August day, I taste a heaven in this brief rest, This gipsy-halt beside the way.
England's wild flowers are fair to view, Like balm is England's summer dew, Like gold her sunset ray.
But the white violets, growing here, Are sweeter than I yet have seen, And ne'er did dew so pure and clear Distil on forest mosses green, As now, called forth by summer heat, Perfumes our cool and fresh retreat­ These fragrant limes between.
That sunset ! Look beneath the boughs, Over the copse­beyond the hills; How soft, yet deep and warm it glows, And heaven with rich suffusion fills; With hues where still the opal's tint, Its gleam of poisoned fire is blent, Where flame through azure thrills ! Depart we now­for fast will fade That solemn splendour of decline, And deep must be the after-shade As stars alone to-night will shine; No moon is destined­pale­to gaze On such a day's vast Phoenix blaze, A day in fires decayed ! There­hand-in-hand we tread again The mazes of this varying wood, And soon, amid a cultured plain, Girt in with fertile solitude, We shall our resting-place descry, Marked by one roof-tree, towering high Above a farm-stead rude.
Refreshed, erelong, with rustic fare, We'll seek a couch of dreamless ease; Courage will guard thy heart from fear, And Love give mine divinest peace: To-morrow brings more dangerous toil, And through its conflict and turmoil We'll pass, as God shall please.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Mementos

 ARRANGING long-locked drawers and shelves 
Of cabinets, shut up for years, 
What a strange task we've set ourselves ! 
How still the lonely room appears ! 
How strange this mass of ancient treasures, 
Mementos of past pains and pleasures; 
These volumes, clasped with costly stone, 
With print all faded, gilding gone; 

These fans of leaves, from Indian trees­ 
These crimson shells, from Indian seas­ 
These tiny portraits, set in rings­ 
Once, doubtless, deemed such precious things; 
Keepsakes bestowed by Love on Faith, 
And worn till the receiver's death, 
Now stored with cameos, china, shells, 
In this old closet's dusty cells.
I scarcely think, for ten long years, A hand has touched these relics old; And, coating each, slow-formed, appears, The growth of green and antique mould.
All in this house is mossing over; All is unused, and dim, and damp; Nor light, nor warmth, the rooms discover­ Bereft for years of fire and lamp.
The sun, sometimes in summer, enters The casements, with reviving ray; But the long rains of many winters Moulder the very walls away.
And outside all is ivy, clinging To chimney, lattice, gable grey; Scarcely one little red rose springing Through the green moss can force its way.
Unscared, the daw, and starling nestle, Where the tall turret rises high, And winds alone come near to rustle The thick leaves where their cradles lie.
I sometimes think, when late at even I climb the stair reluctantly, Some shape that should be well in heaven, Or ill elsewhere, will pass by me.
I fear to see the very faces, Familiar thirty years ago, Even in the old accustomed places Which look so cold and gloomy now.
I've come, to close the window, hither, At twilight, when the sun was down, And Fear, my very soul would wither, Lest something should be dimly shown.
Too much the buried form resembling, Of her who once was mistress here; Lest doubtful shade, or moonbeam trembling, Might take her aspect, once so dear.
Hers was this chamber; in her time It seemed to me a pleasant room, For then no cloud of grief or crime Had cursed it with a settled gloom; I had not seen death's image laid In shroud and sheet, on yonder bed.
Before she married, she was blest­ Blest in her youth, blest in her worth; Her mind was calm, its sunny rest Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth.
And when attired in rich array, Light, lustrous hair about her brow, She yonder sat­a kind of day Lit up­what seems so gloomy now.
These grim oak walls, even then were grim; That old carved chair, was then antique; But what around looked dusk and dim Served as a foil to her fresh cheek; Her neck, and arms, of hue so fair, Eyes of unclouded, smiling, light; Her soft, and curled, and floating hair, Gems and attire, as rainbow bright.
Reclined in yonder deep recess, Ofttimes she would, at evening, lie Watching the sun; she seemed to bless With happy glance the glorious sky.
She loved such scenes, and as she gazed, Her face evinced her spirit's mood; Beauty or grandeur ever raised In her, a deep-felt gratitude.
But of all lovely things, she loved A cloudless moon, on summer night; Full oft have I impatience proved To see how long, her still delight Would find a theme in reverie.
Out on the lawn, or where the trees Let in the lustre fitfully, As their boughs parted momently, To the soft, languid, summer breeze.
Alas ! that she should e'er have flung Those pure, though lonely joys away­ Deceived by false and guileful tongue, She gave her hand, then suffered wrong; Oppressed, ill-used, she faded young, And died of grief by slow decay.
Open that casket­look how bright Those jewels flash upon the sight; The brilliants have not lost a ray Of lustre, since her wedding day.
But see­upon that pearly chain­ How dim lies time's discolouring stain ! I've seen that by her daughter worn: For, e'er she died, a child was born; A child that ne'er its mother knew, That lone, and almost friendless grew; For, ever, when its step drew nigh, Averted was the father's eye; And then, a life impure and wild Made him a stranger to his child; Absorbed in vice, he little cared On what she did, or how she fared.
The love withheld, she never sought, She grew uncherished­learnt untaught; To her the inward life of thought Full soon was open laid.
I know not if her friendlessness Did sometimes on her spirit press, But plaint she never made.
The book-shelves were her darling treasure, She rarely seemed the time to measure While she could read alone.
And she too loved the twilight wood, And often, in her mother's mood, Away to yonder hill would hie, Like her, to watch the setting sun, Or see the stars born, one by one, Out of the darkening sky.
Nor would she leave that hill till night Trembled from pole to pole with light; Even then, upon her homeward way, Long­long her wandering steps delayed To quit the sombre forest shade, Through which her eerie pathway lay.
You ask if she had beauty's grace ? I know not­but a nobler face My eyes have seldom seen; A keen and fine intelligence, And, better still, the truest sense Were in her speaking mien.
But bloom or lustre was there none, Only at moments, fitful shone An ardour in her eye, That kindled on her cheek a flush, Warm as a red sky's passing blush And quick with energy.
Her speech, too, was not common speech, No wish to shine, or aim to teach, Was in her words displayed: She still began with quiet sense, But oft the force of eloquence Came to her lips in aid; Language and voice unconscious changed, And thoughts, in other words arranged, Her fervid soul transfused Into the hearts of those who heard, And transient strength and ardour stirred, In minds to strength unused.
Yet in gay crowd or festal glare, Grave and retiring was her air; 'Twas seldom, save with me alone, That fire of feeling freely shone; She loved not awe's nor wonder's gaze, Nor even exaggerated praise, Nor even notice, if too keen The curious gazer searched her mien.
Nature's own green expanse revealed The world, the pleasures, she could prize; On free hill-side, in sunny field, In quiet spots by woods concealed, Grew wild and fresh her chosen joys, Yet Nature's feelings deeply lay In that endowed and youthful frame; Shrined in her heart and hid from day, They burned unseen with silent flame; In youth's first search for mental light, She lived but to reflect and learn, But soon her mind's maturer might For stronger task did pant and yearn; And stronger task did fate assign, Task that a giant's strength might strain; To suffer long and ne'er repine, Be calm in frenzy, smile at pain.
Pale with the secret war of feeling, Sustained with courage, mute, yet high; The wounds at which she bled, revealing Only by altered cheek and eye; She bore in silence­but when passion Surged in her soul with ceaseless foam, The storm at last brought desolation, And drove her exiled from her home.
And silent still, she straight assembled The wrecks of strength her soul retained; For though the wasted body trembled, The unconquered mind, to quail, disdained.
She crossed the sea­now lone she wanders By Seine's, or Rhine's, or Arno's flow; Fain would I know if distance renders Relief or comfort to her woe.
Fain would I know if, henceforth, ever, These eyes shall read in hers again, That light of love which faded never, Though dimmed so long with secret pain.
She will return, but cold and altered, Like all whose hopes too soon depart; Like all on whom have beat, unsheltered, The bitter blasts that blight the heart.
No more shall I behold her lying Calm on a pillow, smoothed by me; No more that spirit, worn with sighing, Will know the rest of infancy.
If still the paths of lore she follow, 'Twill be with tired and goaded will; She'll only toil, the aching hollow, The joyless blank of life to fill.
And oh ! full oft, quite spent and weary, Her hand will pause, her head decline; That labour seems so hard and dreary, On which no ray of hope may shine.
Thus the pale blight of time and sorrow Will shade with grey her soft, dark hair Then comes the day that knows no morrow, And death succeeds to long despair.
So speaks experience, sage and hoary; I see it plainly, know it well, Like one who, having read a story, Each incident therein can tell.
Touch not that ring, 'twas his, the sire Of that forsaken child; And nought his relics can inspire Save memories, sin-defiled.
I, who sat by his wife's death-bed, I, who his daughter loved, Could almost curse the guilty dead, For woes, the guiltless proved.
And heaven did curse­they found him laid, When crime for wrath was rife, Cold­with the suicidal blade Clutched in his desperate gripe.
'Twas near that long deserted hut, Which in the wood decays, Death's axe, self-wielded, struck his root, And lopped his desperate days.
You know the spot, where three black trees, Lift up their branches fell, And moaning, ceaseless as the seas, Still seem, in every passing breeze, The deed of blood to tell.
They named him mad, and laid his bones Where holier ashes lie; Yet doubt not that his spirit groans, In hell's eternity.
But, lo ! night, closing o'er the earth, Infects our thoughts with gloom; Come, let us strive to rally mirth, Where glows a clear and tranquil hearth In some more cheerful room.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Life

 I leave the office, take the stairs,
in time to mail a letter
before 3 in the afternoon--the last dispatch.
The red, white and blue air mail falls past the slot for foreign mail and hits bottom with a sound that tells me my letter is alone.
They will have to bring in a plane from a place of coastline and beaches, from a climate of fresh figs and apricot, to cradle my one letter.
Up in the air it will leave behind some of its ugly nuance, its unpleasant habit of humanity which wants to smear itself over others: the spot in which it wasn't clear, perhaps, how to take my words, which were suggestive, the paragraph in which the names of flowers, ostensibly to indicate travel, make a bed for lovers, the parts that contain spit and phlegm, the words only a wet tongue can manage, hissing sounds and letters of the alphabet which can only be formed by biting down on the bottom lip.
In the next-to-last paragraph, some hair came off in the comb.
Then clothes were gathered from everywhere in the room in one sentence, and the sun rose while a door closed with sincerity.
No doubt such sincerity will be judged, but first the investigation of the postmark.
Am I where I was expected? Did I have at hand the right denominations of stamps, or did I make a childish quilt of ones and sevens? Ah yes, they will have to cancel me twice.
Once to make my words worthless.
Once more to stop me from writing.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

The Missionary

 Lough, vessel, plough the British main,
Seek the free ocean's wider plain; 
Leave English scenes and English skies,
Unbind, dissever English ties; 
Bear me to climes remote and strange, 
Where altered life, fast-following change,
Hot action, never-ceasing toil, 
Shall stir, turn, dig, the spirit's soil; 
Fresh roots shall plant, fresh seed shall sow, 
Till a new garden there shall grow, 
Cleared of the weeds that fill it now,­ 
Mere human love, mere selfish yearning, 
Which, cherished, would arrest me yet.
I grasp the plough, there's no returning, Let me, then, struggle to forget.
But England's shores are yet in view, And England's skies of tender blue Are arched above her guardian sea.
I cannot yet Remembrance flee; I must again, then, firmly face That task of anguish, to retrace.
Wedded to home­I home forsake, Fearful of change­I changes make; Too fond of ease­I plunge in toil; Lover of calm­I seek turmoil: Nature and hostile Destiny Stir in my heart a conflict wild; And long and fierce the war will be Ere duty both has reconciled.
What other tie yet holds me fast To the divorced, abandoned past? Smouldering, on my heart's altar lies The fire of some great sacrifice, Not yet half quenched.
The sacred steel But lately struck my carnal will, My life-long hope, first joy and last, What I loved well, and clung to fast; What I wished wildly to retain, What I renounced with soul-felt pain; What­when I saw it, axe-struck, perish­ Left me no joy on earth to cherish; A man bereft­yet sternly now I do confirm that Jephtha vow: Shall I retract, or fear, or flee ? Did Christ, when rose the fatal tree Before him, on Mount Calvary ? 'Twas a long fight, hard fought, but won, And what I did was justly done.
Yet, Helen ! from thy love I turned, When my heart most for thy heart burned; I dared thy tears, I dared thy scorn­ Easier the death-pang had been borne.
Helen ! thou mightst not go with me, I could not­dared not stay for thee ! I heard, afar, in bonds complain The savage from beyond the main; And that wild sound rose o'er the cry Wrung out by passion's agony; And even when, with the bitterest tear I ever shed, mine eyes were dim, Still, with the spirit's vision clear, I saw Hell's empire, vast and grim, Spread on each Indian river's shore, Each realm of Asia covering o'er.
There the weak, trampled by the strong, Live but to suffer­hopeless die; There pagan-priests, whose creed is Wrong, Extortion, Lust, and Cruelty, Crush our lost race­and brimming fill The bitter cup of human ill; And I­who have the healing creed, The faith benign of Mary's Son; Shall I behold my brother's need And selfishly to aid him shun ? I­who upon my mother's knees, In childhood, read Christ's written word, Received his legacy of peace, His holy rule of action heard; I­in whose heart the sacred sense Of Jesus' love was early felt; Of his pure full benevolence, His pitying tenderness for guilt; His shepherd-care for wandering sheep, For all weak, sorrowing, trembling things, His mercy vast, his passion deep Of anguish for man's sufferings; I­schooled from childhood in such lore­ Dared I draw back or hesitate, When called to heal the sickness sore Of those far off and desolate ? Dark, in the realm and shades of Death, Nations and tribes and empires lie, But even to them the light of Faith Is breaking on their sombre sky: And be it mine to bid them raise Their drooped heads to the kindling scene, And know and hail the sunrise blaze Which heralds Christ the Nazarene.
I know how Hell the veil will spread Over their brows and filmy eyes, And earthward crush the lifted head That would look up and seek the skies; I know what war the fiend will wage Against that soldier of the cross, Who comes to dare his demon-rage, And work his kingdom shame and loss.
Yes, hard and terrible the toil Of him who steps on foreign soil, Resolved to plant the gospel vine, Where tyrants rule and slaves repine; Eager to lift Religion's light Where thickest shades of mental night Screen the false god and fiendish rite; Reckless that missionary blood, Shed in wild wilderness and wood, Has left, upon the unblest air, The man's deep moan­the martyr's prayer.
I know my lot­I only ask Power to fulfil the glorious task; Willing the spirit, may the flesh Strength for the day receive afresh.
May burning sun or deadly wind Prevail not o'er an earnest mind; May torments strange or direst death Nor trample truth, nor baffle faith.
Though such blood-drops should fall from me As fell in old Gethsemane, Welcome the anguish, so it gave More strength to work­more skill to save.
And, oh ! if brief must be my time, If hostile hand or fatal clime Cut short my course­still o'er my grave, Lord, may thy harvest whitening wave.
So I the culture may begin, Let others thrust the sickle in; If but the seed will faster grow, May my blood water what I sow ! What ! have I ever trembling stood, And feared to give to God that blood ? What ! has the coward love of life Made me shrink from the righteous strife ? Have human passions, human fears Severed me from those Pioneers, Whose task is to march first, and trace Paths for the progress of our race ? It has been so; but grant me, Lord, Now to stand steadfast by thy word ! Protected by salvation's helm, Shielded by faith­with truth begirt, To smile when trials seek to whelm And stand 'mid testing fires unhurt ! Hurling hell's strongest bulwarks down, Even when the last pang thrills my breast, When Death bestows the Martyr's crown, And calls me into Jesus' rest.
Then for my ultimate reward­ Then for the world-rejoicing word­ The voice from Father­Spirit­Son: " Servant of God, well hast thou done !"
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

The Wood

 But two miles more, and then we rest ! 
Well, there is still an hour of day, 
And long the brightness of the West 
Will light us on our devious way; 
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood­ 
So total is the solitude, 
We safely may delay.
These massive roots afford a seat, Which seems for weary travellers made.
There rest.
The air is soft and sweet In this sequestered forest glade, And there are scents of flowers around, The evening dew draws from the ground; How soothingly they spread ! Yes; I was tired, but not at heart; No­that beats full of sweet content, For now I have my natural part Of action with adventure blent; Cast forth on the wide vorld with thee, And all my once waste energy To weighty purpose bent.
Yet­say'st thou, spies around us roam, Our aims are termed conspiracy ? Haply, no more our English home An anchorage for us may be ? That there is risk our mutual blood May redden in some lonely wood The knife of treachery ? Say'st thou­that where we lodge each night, In each lone farm, or lonelier hall Of Norman Peer­ere morning light Suspicion must as duly fall, As day returns­such vigilance Presides and watches over France, Such rigour governs all ? I fear not, William; dost thou fear ? So that the knife does not divide, It may be ever hovering near: I could not tremble at thy side, And strenuous love­like mine for thee­ Is buckler strong, 'gainst treachery, And turns its stab aside.
I am resolved that thou shalt learn To trust my strength as I trust thine; I am resolved our souls shall burn, With equal, steady, mingling shine; Part of the field is conquered now, Our lives in the same channel flow, Along the self-same line; And while no groaning storm is heard, Thou seem'st content it should be so, But soon as comes a warning word Of danger­straight thine anxious brow Bends over me a mournful shade, As doubting if my powers are made To ford the floods of woe.
Know, then it is my spirit swells, And drinks, with eager joy, the air Of freedom­where at last it dwells, Chartered, a common task to share With thee, and then it stirs alert, And pants to learn what menaced hurt Demands for thee its care.
Remember, I have crossed the deep, And stood with thee on deck, to gaze On waves that rose in threatening heap, While stagnant lay a heavy haze, Dimly confusing sea with sky, And baffling, even, the pilot's eye, Intent to thread the maze­ Of rocks, on Bretagne's dangerous coast, And find a way to steer our band To the one point obscure, which lost, Flung us, as victims, on the strand;­ All, elsewhere, gleamed the Gallic sword, And not a wherry could be moored Along the guarded land.
I feared not then­I fear not now; The interest of each stirring scene Wakes a new sense, a welcome glow, In every nerve and bounding vein; Alike on turbid Channel sea, Or in still wood of Normandy, I feel as born again.
The rain descended that wild morn When, anchoring in the cove at last, Our band, all weary and forlorn, Ashore, like wave-worn sailors, cast­ Sought for a sheltering roof in vain, And scarce could scanty food obtain To break their morning fast.
Thou didst thy crust with me divide, Thou didst thy cloak around me fold; And, sitting silent by thy side, I ate the bread in peace untold: Given kindly from thy hand, 'twas sweet As costly fare or princely treat On royal plate of gold.
Sharp blew the sleet upon my face, And, rising wild, the gusty wind Drove on those thundering waves apace, Our crew so late had left behind; But, spite of frozen shower and storm, So close to thee, my heart beat warm, And tranquil slept my mind.
So now­nor foot-sore nor opprest With walking all this August day, I taste a heaven in this brief rest, This gipsy-halt beside the way.
England's wild flowers are fair to view, Like balm is England's summer dew, Like gold her sunset ray.
But the white violets, growing here, Are sweeter than I yet have seen, And ne'er did dew so pure and clear Distil on forest mosses green, As now, called forth by summer heat, Perfumes our cool and fresh retreat­ These fragrant limes between.
That sunset ! Look beneath the boughs, Over the copse­beyond the hills; How soft, yet deep and warm it glows, And heaven with rich suffusion fills; With hues where still the opal's tint, Its gleam of poisoned fire is blent, Where flame through azure thrills ! Depart we now­for fast will fade That solemn splendour of decline, And deep must be the after-shade As stars alone to-night will shine; No moon is destined­pale­to gaze On such a day's vast Phoenix blaze, A day in fires decayed ! There­hand-in-hand we tread again The mazes of this varying wood, And soon, amid a cultured plain, Girt in with fertile solitude, We shall our resting-place descry, Marked by one roof-tree, towering high Above a farm-stead rude.
Refreshed, erelong, with rustic fare, We'll seek a couch of dreamless ease; Courage will guard thy heart from fear, And Love give mine divinest peace: To-morrow brings more dangerous toil, And through its conflict and turmoil We'll pass, as God shall please.
[The preceding composition refers, doubtless, to the scenes acted in France during the last year of the Consulate.
]
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Frances

 SHE will not sleep, for fear of dreams, 
But, rising, quits her restless bed, 
And walks where some beclouded beams 
Of moonlight through the hall are shed.
Obedient to the goad of grief, Her steps, now fast, now lingering slow, In varying motion seek relief From the Eumenides of woe.
Wringing her hands, at intervals­ But long as mute as phantom dim­ She glides along the dusky walls, Under the black oak rafters, grim.
The close air of the grated tower Stifles a heart that scarce can beat, And, though so late and lone the hour, Forth pass her wandering, faltering feet; And on the pavement, spread before The long front of the mansion grey, Her steps imprint the night-frost hoar, Which pale on grass and granite lay.
Not long she stayed where misty moon And shimmering stars could on her look, But through the garden arch-way, soon Her strange and gloomy path she took.
Some firs, coeval with the tower, Their straight black boughs stretched o'er her head, Unseen, beneath this sable bower, Rustled her dress and rapid tread.
There was an alcove in that shade, Screening a rustic-seat and stand; Weary she sat her down and laid Her hot brow on her burning hand.
To solitude and to the night, Some words she now, in murmurs, said; And, trickling through her fingers white, Some tears of misery she shed.
' God help me, in my grievous need, God help me, in my inward pain; Which cannot ask for pity's meed, Which has no license to complain; Which must be borne, yet who can bear, Hours long, days long, a constant weight­ The yoke of absolute despair, A suffering wholly desolate ? Who can for ever crush the heart, Restrain its throbbing, curb its life ? Dissemble truth with ceaseless art, With outward calm, mask inward strife ?' She waited­as for some reply; The still and cloudy night gave none; Erelong, with deep-drawn, trembling sigh, Her heavy plaint again begun.
' Unloved­I love; unwept­I weep; Grief I restrain­hope I repress: Vain is this anguish­fixed and deep; Vainer, desires and dreams of bliss.
My love awakes no love again, My tears collect, and fall unfelt; My sorrow touches none with pain, My humble hopes to nothing melt.
For me the universe is dumb, Stone-deaf, and blank, and wholly blind; Life I must bound, existence sum In the strait limits of one mind; That mind my own.
Oh ! narrow cell; Dark­imageless­a living tomb ! There must I sleep, there wake and dwell Content, with palsy, pain, and gloom.
' Again she paused; a moan of pain, A stifled sob, alone was heard; Long silence followed­then again, Her voice the stagnant midnight stirred.
' Must it be so ? Is this my fate ? Can I nor struggle, nor contend ? And am I doomed for years to wait, Watching death's lingering axe descend ? And when it falls, and when I die, What follows ? Vacant nothingness ? The blank of lost identity ? Erasure both of pain and bliss ? I've heard of heaven­I would believe; For if this earth indeed be all, Who longest lives may deepest grieve, Most blest, whom sorrows soonest call.
Oh ! leaving disappointment here, Will man find hope on yonder coast ? Hope, which, on earth, shines never clear, And oft in clouds is wholly lost.
Will he hope's source of light behold, Fruition's spring, where doubts expire, And drink, in waves of living gold, Contentment, full, for long desire ? Will he find bliss, which here he dreamed ? Rest, which was weariness on earth ? Knowledge, which, if o'er life it beamed, Served but to prove it void of worth ? Will he find love without lust's leaven, Love fearless, tearless, perfect, pure, To all with equal bounty given, In all, unfeigned, unfailing, sure ? Will he, from penal sufferings free, Released from shroud and wormy clod, All calm and glorious, rise and see Creation's Sire­Existence' God ? Then, glancing back on Time's brief woes, Will he behold them, fading, fly; Swept from Eternity's repose, Like sullying cloud, from pure blue sky ? If so­endure, my weary frame; And when thy anguish strikes too deep, And when all troubled burns life's flame, Think of the quiet, final sleep; Think of the glorious waking-hour, Which will not dawn on grief and tears, But on a ransomed spirit's power, Certain, and free from mortal fears.
Seek now thy couch, and lie till morn, Then from thy chamber, calm, descend, With mind nor tossed, nor anguish-torn, But tranquil, fixed, to wait the end.
And when thy opening eyes shall see Mementos, on the chamber wall, Of one who has forgotten thee, Shed not the tear of acrid gall.
The tear which, welling from the heart, Burns where its drop corrosive falls, And makes each nerve, in torture, start, At feelings it too well recalls: When the sweet hope of being loved, Threw Eden sunshine on life's way; When every sense and feeling proved Expectancy of brightest day.
When the hand trembled to receive A thrilling clasp, which seemed so near, And the heart ventured to believe, Another heart esteemed it dear.
When words, half love, all tenderness, Were hourly heard, as hourly spoken, When the long, sunny days of bliss, Only by moonlight nights were broken.
Till drop by drop, the cup of joy Filled full, with purple light, was glowing, And Faith, which watched it, sparkling high, Still never dreamt the overflowing.
It fell not with a sudden crashing, It poured not out like open sluice; No, sparkling still, and redly flashing, Drained, drop by drop, the generous juice.
I saw it sink, and strove to taste it, My eager lips approached the brim; The movement only seemed to waste it, It sank to dregs, all harsh and dim.
These I have drank, and they for ever Have poisoned life and love for me; A draught from Sodom's lake could never More fiery, salt, and bitter, be.
Oh ! Love was all a thin illusion; Joy, but the desert's flying stream; And, glancing back on long delusion, My memory grasps a hollow dream.
Yet, whence that wondrous change of feeling, I never knew, and cannot learn, Nor why my lover's eye, congealing, Grew cold, and clouded, proud, and stern.
Nor wherefore, friendship's forms forgetting, He careless left, and cool withdrew; Nor spoke of grief, nor fond regretting, Nor even one glance of comfort threw.
And neither word nor token sending, Of kindness, since the parting day, His course, for distant regions bending, Went, self-contained and calm, away.
Oh, bitter, blighting, keen sensation, Which will not weaken, cannot die, Hasten thy work of desolation, And let my tortured spirit fly ! Vain as the passing gale, my crying; Though lightning-struck, I must live on; I know, at heart, there is no dying Of love, and ruined hope, alone.
Still strong, and young, and warm with vigour, Though scathed, I long shall greenly grow, And many a storm of wildest rigour Shall yet break o'er my shivered bough.
Rebellious now to blank inertion, My unused strength demands a task; Travel, and toil, and full exertion, Are the last, only boon I ask.
Whence, then, this vain and barren dreaming Of death, and dubious life to come ? I see a nearer beacon gleaming Over dejection's sea of gloom.
The very wildness of my sorrow Tells me I yet have innate force; My track of life has been too narrow, Effort shall trace a broader course.
The world is not in yonder tower, Earth is not prisoned in that room, 'Mid whose dark pannels, hour by hour, I've sat, the slave and prey of gloom.
One feeling­turned to utter anguish, Is not my being's only aim; When, lorn and loveless, life will languish, But courage can revive the flame.
He, when he left me, went a roving To sunny climes, beyond the sea; And I, the weight of woe removing, Am free and fetterless as he.
New scenes, new language, skies less clouded, May once more wake the wish to live; Strange, foreign towns, astir, and crowded, New pictures to the mind may give.
New forms and faces, passing ever, May hide the one I still retain, Defined, and fixed, and fading never, Stamped deep on vision, heart, and brain.
And we might meet­time may have changed him; Chance may reveal the mystery, The secret influence which estranged him; Love may restore him yet to me.
False thought­false hope­in scorn be banished ! I am not loved­nor loved have been; Recall not, then, the dreams scarce vanished, Traitors ! mislead me not again ! To words like yours I bid defiance, 'Tis such my mental wreck have made; Of God alone, and self-reliance, I ask for solace­hope for aid.
Morn comes­and ere meridian glory O'er these, my natal woods, shall smile, Both lonely wood and mansion hoary I'll leave behind, full many a mile.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Life

 LIFE, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom, But these are transient all; If the shower will make the roses bloom, O why lament its fall ? Rapidly, merrily, Life's sunny hours flit by, Gratefully, cheerily, Enjoy them as they fly ! What though Death at times steps in And calls our Best away ? What though sorrow seems to win, O'er hope, a heavy sway ? Yet hope again elastic springs, Unconquered, though she fell; Still buoyant are her golden wings, Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly, The day of trial bear, For gloriously, victoriously, Can courage quell despair !
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

The Teachers Monologue

 The room is quiet, thoughts alone 
People its mute tranquillity; 
The yoke put on, the long task done,­ 
I am, as it is bliss to be, 
Still and untroubled.
Now, I see, For the first time, how soft the day O'er waveless water, stirless tree, Silent and sunny, wings its way.
Now, as I watch that distant hill, So faint, so blue, so far removed, Sweet dreams of home my heart may fill, That home where I am known and loved: It lies beyond; yon azure brow Parts me from all Earth holds for me; And, morn and eve, my yearnings flow Thitherward tending, changelessly.
My happiest hours, aye ! all the time, I love to keep in memory, Lapsed among moors, ere life's first prime Decayed to dark anxiety.
Sometimes, I think a narrow heart Makes me thus mourn those far away, And keeps my love so far apart From friends and friendships of to-day; Sometimes, I think 'tis but a dream I measure up so jealously, All the sweet thoughts I live on seem To vanish into vacancy: And then, this strange, coarse world around Seems all that's palpable and true; And every sight, and every sound, Combines my spirit to subdue To aching grief, so void and lone Is Life and Earth­so worse than vain, The hopes that, in my own heart sown, And cherished by such sun and rain As Joy and transient Sorrow shed, Have ripened to a harvest there: Alas ! methinks I hear it said, "Thy golden sheaves are empty air.
" All fades away; my very home I think will soon be desolate; I hear, at times, a warning come Of bitter partings at its gate; And, if I should return and see The hearth-fire quenched, the vacant chair; And hear it whispered mournfully, That farewells have been spoken there, What shall I do, and whither turn ? Where look for peace ? When cease to mourn ? 'Tis not the air I wished to play, The strain I wished to sing; My wilful spirit slipped away And struck another string.
I neither wanted smile nor tear, Bright joy nor bitter woe, But just a song that sweet and clear, Though haply sad, might flow.
A quiet song, to solace me When sleep refused to come; A strain to chase despondency, When sorrowful for home.
In vain I try; I cannot sing; All feels so cold and dead; No wild distress, no gushing spring Of tears in anguish shed; But all the impatient gloom of one Who waits a distant day, When, some great task of suffering done, Repose shall toil repay.
For youth departs, and pleasure flies, And life consumes away, And youth's rejoicing ardour dies Beneath this drear delay; And Patience, weary with her yoke, Is yielding to despair, And Health's elastic spring is broke Beneath the strain of care.
Life will be gone ere I have lived; Where now is Life's first prime ? I've worked and studied, longed and grieved, Through all that rosy time.
To toil, to think, to long, to grieve,­ Is such my future fate ? The morn was dreary, must the eve Be also desolate ? Well, such a life at least makes Death A welcome, wished-for friend; Then, aid me, Reason, Patience, Faith, To suffer to the end !
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

The Letter

 What is she writing? Watch her now, 
How fast her fingers move !
How eagerly her youthful brow 
Is bent in thought above !
Her long curls, drooping, shade the light, 
She puts them quick aside,
Nor knows, that band of crystals bright, 
Her hasty touch untied.
It slips adown her silken dress, Falls glittering at her feet; Unmarked it falls, for she no less Pursues her labour sweet.
The very loveliest hour that shines, Is in that deep blue sky; The golden sun of June declines, It has not caught her eye.
The cheerful lawn, and unclosed gate, The white road, far away, In vain for her light footsteps wait, She comes not forth to-day.
There is an open door of glass Close by that lady's chair, From thence, to slopes of mossy grass, Descends a marble stair.
Tall plants of bright and spicy bloom Around the threshold grow; Their leaves and blossoms shade the room, From that sun's deepening glow.
Why does she not a moment glance Between the clustering flowers, And mark in heaven the radiant dance Of evening's rosy hours ? O look again ! Still fixed her eye, Unsmiling, earnest, still, And fast her pen and fingers fly, Urged by her eager will.
Her soul is in th' absorbing task; To whom, then, doth she write ? Nay, watch her still more closely, ask Her own eyes' serious light; Where do they turn, as now her pen Hangs o'er th' unfinished line ? Whence fell the tearful gleam that then Did in their dark spheres shine ? The summer-parlour looks so dark, When from that sky you turn, And from th' expanse of that green park, You scarce may aught discern.
Yet o'er the piles of porcelain rare, O'er flower-stand, couch, and vase, Sloped, as if leaning on the air, One picture meets the gaze.
'Tis there she turns; you may not see Distinct, what form defines The clouded mass of mystery Yon broad gold frame confines.
But look again; inured to shade Your eyes now faintly trace A stalwart form, a massive head, A firm, determined face.
Black Spanish locks, a sunburnt cheek, A brow high, broad, and white, Where every furrow seems to speak Of mind and moral might.
Is that her god ? I cannot tell; Her eye a moment met Th' impending picture, then it fell Darkened and dimmed and wet.
A moment more, her task is done, And sealed the letter lies; And now, towards the setting sun She turns her tearful eyes.
Those tears flow over, wonder not, For by the inscription, see In what a strange and distant spot Her heart of hearts must be ! Three seas and many a league of land That letter must pass o'er, E'er read by him to whose loved hand 'Tis sent from England's shore.
Remote colonial wilds detain Her husband, loved though stern; She, 'mid that smiling English scene, Weeps for his wished return.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Pilates Wifes Dream

 I've quenched my lamp, I struck it in that start
Which every limb convulsed, I heard it fall­
The crash blent with my sleep, I saw depart
Its light, even as I woke, on yonder wall;
Over against my bed, there shone a gleam
Strange, faint, and mingling also with my dream.
It sunk, and I am wrapt in utter gloom; How far is night advanced, and when will day Retinge the dusk and livid air with bloom, And fill this void with warm, creative ray ? Would I could sleep again till, clear and red, Morning shall on the mountain-tops be spread! I'd call my women, but to break their sleep, Because my own is broken, were unjust; They've wrought all day, and well-earned slumbers steep Their labours in forgetfulness, I trust; Let me my feverish watch with patience bear, Thankful that none with me its sufferings share.
Yet, Oh, for light ! one ray would tranquilise My nerves, my pulses, more than effort can; I'll draw my curtain and consult the skies: These trembling stars at dead of night look wan, Wild, restless, strange, yet cannot be more drear Than this my couch, shared by a nameless fear.
All black­one great cloud, drawn from east to west, Conceals the heavens, but there are lights below; Torches burn in Jerusalem, and cast On yonder stony mount a lurid glow.
I see men stationed there, and gleaming spears; A sound, too, from afar, invades my ears.
Dull, measured, strokes of axe and hammer ring From street to street, not loud, but through the night Distinctly heard­and some strange spectral thing Is now upreared­and, fixed against the light Of the pale lamps; defined upon that sky, It stands up like a column, straight and high.
I see it all­I know the dusky sign­ A cross on Calvary, which Jews uprear While Romans watch; and when the dawn shall shine Pilate, to judge the victim will appear, Pass sentence­yield him up to crucify; And on that cross the spotless Christ must die.
Dreams, then, are true­for thus my vision ran; Surely some oracle has been with me, The gods have chosen me to reveal their plan, To warn an unjust judge of destiny: I, slumbering, heard and saw; awake I know, Christ's coming death, and Pilate's life of woe.
I do not weep for Pilate­who could prove Regret for him whose cold and crushing sway No prayer can soften, no appeal can move; Who tramples hearts as others trample clay, Yet with a faltering, an uncertain tread, That might stir up reprisal in the dead.
Forced to sit by his side and see his deeds; Forced to behold that visage, hour by hour, In whose gaunt lines, the abhorrent gazer reads A triple lust of gold, and blood, and power; A soul whom motives, fierce, yet abject, urge Rome's servile slave, and Judah's tyrant scourge.
How can I love, or mourn, or pity him ? I, who so long my fettered hands have wrung; I, who for grief have wept my eye-sight dim; Because, while life for me was bright and young, He robbed my youth­he quenched my life's fair ray­ He crushed my mind, and did my freedom slay.
And at this hour­although I be his wife­ He has no more of tenderness from me Than any other wretch of guilty life; Less, for I know his household privacy­ I see him as he is­without a screen; And, by the gods, my soul abhors his mien ! Has he not sought my presence, dyed in blood­ Innocent, righteous blood, shed shamelessly ? And have I not his red salute withstood ? Aye,­when, as erst, he plunged all Galilee In dark bereavement­in affliction sore, Mingling their very offerings with their gore.
Then came he­in his eyes a serpent-smile, Upon his lips some false, endearing word, And, through the streets of Salem, clanged the while, His slaughtering, hacking, sacrilegious sword­ And I, to see a man cause men such woe, Trembled with ire­I did not fear to show.
And now, the envious Jewish priests have brought Jesus­whom they in mockery call their king­ To have, by this grim power, their vengeance wrought; By this mean reptile, innocence to sting.
Oh ! could I but the purposed doom avert, And shield the blameless head from cruel hurt! Accessible is Pilate's heart to fear, Omens will shake his soul, like autumn leaf; Could he this night's appalling vision hear, This just man's bonds were loosed, his life were safe, Unless that bitter priesthood should prevail, And make even terror to their malice quail.
Yet if I tell the dream­but let me pause.
What dream ? Erewhile the characters were clear, Graved on my brain­at once some unknown cause Has dimmed and rased the thoughts, which now appear, Like a vague remnant of some by-past scene;­ Not what will be, but what, long since, has been.
I suffered many things, I heard foretold A dreadful doom for Pilate,­lingering woes, In far, barbarian climes, where mountains cold Built up a solitude of trackless snows, There, he and grisly wolves prowled side by side, There he lived famished­there methought he died; But not of hunger, nor by malady; I saw the snow around him, stained with gore; I said I had no tears for such as he, And, lo ! my cheek is wet­mine eyes run o'er; I weep for mortal suffering, mortal guilt, I weep the impious deed­the blood self-spilt.
More I recall not, yet the vision spread Into a world remote, an age to come­ And still the illumined name of Jesus shed A light, a clearness, through the enfolding gloom­ And still I saw that sign, which now I see, That cross on yonder brow of Calvary.
What is this Hebrew Christ ? To me unknown, His lineage­doctrine­mission­yet how clear, Is God-like goodness, in his actions shewn ! How straight and stainless is his life's career ! The ray of Deity that rests on him, In my eyes makes Olympian glory dim.
The world advances, Greek, or Roman rite Suffices not the inquiring mind to stay; The searching soul demands a purer light To guide it on its upward, onward way; Ashamed of sculptured gods­Religion turns To where the unseen Jehovah's altar burns.
Our faith is rotten­all our rites defiled, Our temples sullied, and methinks, this man, With his new ordinance, so wise and mild, Is come, even as he says, the chaff to fan And sever from the wheat; but will his faith Survive the terrors of to-morrow's death ? * * * * * I feel a firmer trust­a higher hope Rise in my soul­it dawns with dawning day; Lo ! on the Temple's roof­on Moriah's slope Appears at length that clear, and crimson ray, Which I so wished for when shut in by night; Oh, opening skies, I hail, I bless your light ! Part, clouds and shadows ! glorious Sun appear ! Part, mental gloom ! Come insight from on high ! Dusk dawn in heaven still strives with daylight clear, The longing soul, doth still uncertain sigh.
Oh ! to behold the truth­that sun divine, How doth my bosom pant, my spirit pine ! This day, time travails with a mighty birth, This day, Truth stoops from heaven and visits earth, Ere night descends, I shall more surely know What guide to follow, in what path to go; I wait in hope­I wait in solemn fear, The oracle of God­the sole­true God­to hear.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Life

 As late I journey'd o'er the extensive plain
Where native Otter sports his scanty stream,
Musing in torpid woe a Sister's pain,
The glorious prospect woke me from the dream.
At every step it widen'd to my sight - Wood, Meadow, verdant Hill, and dreary Steep, Following in quick succession of delight, - Till all - at once - did my eye ravish'd sweep! May this (I cried) my course through Life portray! New scenes of Wisdom may each step display, And Knowledge open as my days advance! Till what time Death shall pour the undarken'd ray, My eye shall dart thro' infinite expanse, And thought suspended lie in Rapture's blissful trance.
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Evening Solace

 THE human heart has hidden treasures, 
In secret kept, in silence sealed;­
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, 
Whose charms were broken if revealed.
And days may pass in gay confusion, And nights in rosy riot fly, While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion, The memory of the Past may die.
But, there are hours of lonely musing, Such as in evening silence come, When, soft as birds their pinions closing, The heart's best feelings gather home.
Then in our souls there seems to languish A tender grief that is not woe; And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish, Now cause but some mild tears to flow.
And feelings, once as strong as passions, Float softly back­a faded dream; Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations, The tale of others' sufferings seem.
Oh ! when the heart is freshly bleeding, How longs it for that time to be, When, through the mist of years receding, Its woes but live in reverie ! And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer, On evening shade and loneliness; And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer, Feel no untold and strange distress­ Only a deeper impulse given By lonely hour and darkened room, To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven, Seeking a life and world to come
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Passion

 SOME have won a wild delight,
By daring wilder sorrow;
Could I gain thy love to-night,
I'd hazard death to-morrow.
Could the battle-struggle earn One kind glance from thine eye, How this withering heart would burn, The heady fight to try ! Welcome nights of broken sleep, And days of carnage cold, Could I deem that thou wouldst weep To hear my perils told.
Tell me, if with wandering bands I roam full far away, Wilt thou, to those distant lands, In spirit ever stray ? Wild, long, a trumpet sounds afar; Bid me­bid me go Where Seik and Briton meet in war, On Indian Sutlej's flow.
Blood has dyed the Sutlej's waves With scarlet stain, I know; Indus' borders yawn with graves, Yet, command me go ! Though rank and high the holocaust Of nations, steams to heaven, Glad I'd join the death-doomed host, Were but the mandate given.
Passion's strength should nerve my arm, Its ardour stir my life, Till human force to that dread charm Should yield and sink in wild alarm, Like trees to tempest-strife.
If, hot from war, I seek thy love, Darest thou turn aside ? Darest thou, then, my fire reprove, By scorn, and maddening pride ? No­my will shall yet control Thy will, so high and free, And love shall tame that haughty soul­ Yes­tenderest love for me.
I'll read my triumph in thine eyes, Behold, and prove the change; Then leave, perchance, my noble prize, Once more in arms to range.
I'd die when all the foam is up, The bright wine sparkling high; Nor wait till in the exhausted cup Life's dull dregs only lie.
Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward, Hope blest with fulness large, I'd mount the saddle, draw the sword, And perish in the charge!
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Presentiment

 ' SISTER, you've sat there all the day,
Come to the hearth awhile;
The wind so wildly sweeps away,
The clouds so darkly pile.
That open book has lain, unread, For hours upon your knee; You've never smiled nor turned your head What can you, sister, see ? ' ' Come hither, Jane, look down the field; How dense a mist creeps on ! The path, the hedge, are both concealed, Ev'n the white gate is gone; No landscape through the fog I trace, No hill with pastures green; All featureless is nature's face, All masked in clouds her mien.
' Scarce is the rustle of a leaf Heard in our garden now; The year grows old, its days wax brief, The tresses leave its brow.
The rain drives fast before the wind, The sky is blank and grey; O Jane, what sadness fills the mind On such a dreary day ! ' ' You think too much, my sister dear; You sit too long alone; What though November days be drear ? Full soon will they be gone.
I've swept the hearth, and placed your chair, Come, Emma, sit by me; Our own fireside is never drear, Though late and wintry wane the year, Though rough the night may be.
' ' The peaceful glow of our fireside Imparts no peace to me: My thoughts would rather wander wide Than rest, dear Jane, with thee.
I'm on a distant journey bound, And if, about my heart, Too closely kindred ties were bound, 'T would break when forced to part.
' ' Soon will November days be o'er: ' Well have you spoken, Jane: My own forebodings tell me more, For me, I know by presage sure, They'll ne'er return again.
Ere long, nor sun nor storm to me Will bring or joy or gloom; They reach not that Eternity Which soon will be my home.
' Eight months are gone, the summer sun Sets in a glorious sky; A quiet field, all green and lone, Receives its rosy dye.
Jane sits upon a shaded stile, Alone she sits there now; Her head rests on her hand the while, And thought o'ercasts her brow.
She's thinking of one winter's day, A few short months ago, When Emma's bier was borne away O'er wastes of frozen snow.
She's thinking how that drifted snow Dissolved in spring's first gleam, And how her sister's memory now Fades, even as fades a dream.
The snow will whiten earth again, But Emma comes no more; She left, 'mid winter's sleet and rain, This world for Heaven's far shore.
On Beulah's hills she wanders now, On Eden's tranquil plain; To her shall Jane hereafter go, She ne'er shall come to Jane !
Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem

Pleasure

 A Short Poem or Else Not Say I

True pleasure breathes not city air, 
Nor in Art's temples dwells, 
In palaces and towers where 
The voice of Grandeur dwells.
No! Seek it where high Nature holds Her court 'mid stately groves, Where she her majesty unfolds, And in fresh beauty moves; Where thousand birds of sweetest song, The wildly rushing storm And hundred streams which glide along, Her mighty concert form! Go where the woods in beauty sleep Bathed in pale Luna's light, Or where among their branches sweep The hollow sounds of night.
Go where the warbling nightingale In gushes rich doth sing, Till all the lonely, quiet vale With melody doth ring.
Go, sit upon a mountain steep, And view the prospect round; The hills and vales, the valley's sweep, The far horizon bound.
Then view the wide sky overhead, The still, deep vault of blue, The sun which golden light doth shed, The clouds of pearly hue.
And as you gaze on this vast scene Your thoughts will journey far, Though hundred years should roll between On Time's swift-passing car.
To ages when the earth was yound, When patriarchs, grey and old, The praises of their god oft sung, And oft his mercies told.
You see them with their beards of snow, Their robes of ample form, Their lives whose peaceful, gentle flow, Felt seldom passion's storm.
Then a calm, solemn pleasure steals Into your inmost mind; A quiet aura your spirit feels, A softened stillness kind.