The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë

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The Complete Poems of Emily Brontë  (1908) 
by Emily Brontë

THE

COMPLETE WORKS OF

EMILY BRONTË

IN TWO VOLUMES





Vol. I.

POETRY


This edition is limited to 1000 copies in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its Colonies and Dependencies, and the United States of America


THE


COMPLETE POEMS


OF


EMILY BRONTË


EDITED BY


CLEMENT SHORTER



WITH INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

BY

W. ROBERTSON NICOLL



HODDER AND STOUGHTON

NEW YORK AND LONDON


A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The admirer of Emily Brontë and her work has known her poetry up to the present through only some thirty-nine poems. There were twenty-two poems in the little volume entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, which was the first venture of the three Miss Brontës, and there were yet another seventeen in the Posthumous Poems that Charlotte Brontë printed after Emily's death. These thirty-nine poems have been reprinted many times, usually at the end of The Professor. No less than one hundred and thirty-eight additional poems are included in the present volume. Although it cannot be pretended that any one of these is equal to 'The Old Stoic,' that gave so much distinction to the first volume, or to the 'Last Lines,' that were the unforgettable glory of the second, it will scarcely be disputed that these newly printed verses are of profound interest.

There is no incident in the profoundly pathetic story of the Brontës better known than that of the publication of the poems by the three sisters through the firm of Aylott and Jones of Paternoster Row. The little book bears the date 1846. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë here courted public favour for the first time. Only two copies were sold, as we learn from a letter that Currer Bell sent to certain eminent contemporaries—to Tennyson, to Lockhart, to De Quincey, and to others. Here is the letter in question:—

June 16th, 1847. 

Sir,—My relatives, Ellis and Acton Bell, and myself, heedless of the repeated warnings of various respectable publishers, have committed the rash act of printing a volume of poems.

The consequences predicted have, of course, overtaken us: our book is found to be a drug; no man needs it or heeds it. In the space of a year our publisher has disposed but of two copies, and by what painful efforts he succeeded in getting rid of these two, himself only knows.

Before transferring the edition to the trunkmakers, we have decided on distributing as presents a few copies of what we cannot sell; and we beg to offer you one in acknowledgment of the pleasure and profit we have often and long derived from your works.—I am, sir, yours very respectfully,

Currer Bell.[1] 

It is a curious irony of circumstance that this little volume, which so failed of recognition when that would have heartened its authors beyond measure, now sells, on the rare occasions that it turns up in the sale-rooms, for more money than the whole issue cost Charlotte Brontë and her sisters when they had it published at their own expense.

The additional poems which form, as may be seen, the larger part of this volume (pp. 85-333) were contained in note-books that Charlotte Brontë had handled tenderly when she made her Selection after Emily and Anne had died. These little note-books were lent to me by Mr. Nicholls, her husband, some forty years afterwards, with permission to publish whatever I liked from them. No one to-day will deny to them a certain bibliographical interest.

Clement Shorter. 

 April 24th, 1908.
PAGE
I. FAITH AND DESPONDENCY
 'The winter wind is loud and wild 1
II. STARS
 Ah! why, because the dazzling sun  4
III. THE PHILOSOPHER
 Enough of thought, philosopher! 7
IV. REMEMBRANCE
 Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee  10
V. A DEATH-SCENE
 'O Day! he cannot die 12
VI. SONG
 The linnet in the rocky dells  15
VII. ANTICIPATION
 How beautiful the earth is still 17
VIII. THE PRISONER
 In the dungeon-crypts idly did I stray  19
IX. HOPE
 Hope was but a timid friend 24
X. A DAY DREAM
 On a sunny brae alone I lay  25
XI. TO IMAGINATION
 When weary with the long day's care 29
XII. HOW CLEAR SHE SHINES
 How clear she shines! How quietly  31
XIII. SYMPATHY
 There should be no despair for you 33
XIV. PLEAD FOR ME
 Oh, thy bright eyes must answer now  34
XV. SELF-INTERROGATION
 'The evening passes fast away 36
XVI. DEATH
 Death! that struck when I was most confiding  39
XVII. STANZAS TO ——
 Well, some may hate, and some may scorn 41
XVIII. HONOUR'S MARTYR
 The moon is full this winter night  42
XIX. STANZAS
 I'll not weep that thou art going to leave me 45
XX. MY COMFORTER
 Well hast thou spoken, and yet not taught  46
XXI. THE OLD STOIC
 Riches I hold in light esteem 48

POSTHUMOUS POEMS
EDITED BY CHARLOTTE BRONTË

I. A little while, a little while 51
II. THE BLUEBELL
 The Bluebell is the sweetest flower  54
III. Loud without the wind was roaring 56
IV. Shall earth no more inspire thee 59
V. THE NIGHT-WIND
 In summer's mellow midnight  61
VI. 'Aye—there it is! it wakes to-night 63
VII. LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP
 Love is like the wild rose-brier  65
VIII. THE ELDER'S REBUKE
 'Listen! When your hair, like mine 66
IX. THE WANDERER FROM THE FOLD
 How few, of all the hearts that loved 68
X. WARNING AND REPLY
 In the earth—the earth—thou shalt be laid  70
XI. LAST WORDS
 I knew not 'twas so dire a crime 71
XII. THE LADY TO HER GUITAR
 For him who struck thy foreign string  72
XIII. THE TWO CHILDREN
 Heavy hangs the rain-drop 73
XIV. Child of delight, with sun-bright hair 75
XV. THE VISIONARY
 Silent is the house: all are laid asleep  77
XVI. ENCOURAGEMENT
 I do not weep; I would not weep 79
XVII. STANZAS
 Often rebuked, yet always back returning  80
XVIII. No coward soul is mine 81

I. O God of heaven! The dream of horror 85
II. SONG
 Lord of Elbe, on Elbe hill  89
III. Cold, clear, and blue the morning heaven 90
IV. Tell me, tell me, smiling child 92
V. High waving heather 'neath stormy blasts bending 93
VI. The night of storms has past 94
VII. I saw thee, child, one summer day 97
VIII. The battle had passed from the height 100
IX. Alone I sat; the summer day 102
X. The night is darkening round me 103
XI. I'll come when thou art saddest 104
XII. I would have touched the heavenly key 105
XIII. Now trust a heart that trusts in you 106
XIV. Sleep brings no joy to me 107
XV. Strong I stand, though I have borne 108
XVI. O Mother! I am not regretting 109
XVII. Awake, awake! how loud the stormy morning 112
XVIII. O wander not so far away! 113
XIX. Why do I hate that lone green dell? 115
XX. GLENEDEN'S DREAM
 Tell me, whether it is winter? 116
XXI. It's over now; I've known it all 119
XXII. SONG
 This shall be thy lullaby 121
XXIII. 'Twas one of those dark, cloudy days 122
XXIV. DOUGLAS RIDE
 Well narrower draw the circle round 124
XXV. SONG
 What rider up Gobeloin's glen 125
XXVI. SONG
 Geraldine, the moon is shining 128
XXVII. Where were ye all? and where wert thou? 129
XXVIII. Light up thy halls! 'Tis closing day 130
XXIX. O dream, where art thou now? 133
XXX. How still, how happy! These are words 134
XXXI. The night was dark, yet winter breathed 136
XXXII. THE ABSENT ONE
 From our evening fireside now 139
XXXIII. TO THE BLUEBELL
 Sacred watcher, wave thy bells! 141
XXXIV. The busy day has hurried by 142
XXXV. And now the house dog stretched once more 144
XXXVI. Come hither, child; who gifted thee 146
XXXVII. How long will you remain? The midnight hour 148
XXXVIII. Fair sinks the summer evening now 150
XXXIX. The wind I hear it sighing 152
XL. That wind, I used to hear it swelling 153
XLI. Thy sun is near meridian height 154
XLII. Far, far is mirth withdrawn 158
XLIII. It is too late to call thee now 160
XLIV. If grief for grief can touch thee 161
XLV. GERALDINE
 'Twas night, her comrades gathered all 162
XLVI. I see around me piteous tombstones grey 165
XLVII. ROSINA
 Weeks of wild delirium past 167
XLVIII. In the same place, when nature wore 171
XLIX. ASPIN CASTLE
 How do I love on summer night 173
L. ON THE FALL OF ZALONA
 All blue and bright in golden light 178
LI. GRAVE IN THE OCEAN
 Where beams the sun the brightest 182
LII. A SERENADE
 Thy Guardians are asleep 184
LIII. At such a time, in such a spot 186
LIV. RODERIC
 Lie down and rest, the fight is done 188
LV. 'Twas yesterday at early dawn 190
LVI. This summer wind with thee and me 192
LVII. Were they shepherds, who sat all day? 193
LVIII. Rosina, this had never been 207
LIX. I know that to-night the wind it is sighing 208
LX. A thousand sounds of happiness 210
LXI. Come walk with me 212
LXII. I'm standing in the forest now 214
LXII. O hinder me by no delay! 216
LXIV. It was night, and on the mountains 219
LXV. And first an hour of mournful musing 220
LXVI. Had there been falsehood in my breast 222
LXVII. Yes, holy be thy resting-place 223

I. Gods of the old mythology 227
II. Its faded buds already lie 228
III. Bitterly, deeply I've drunk of thy woe 229
IV. Companions all day long we've stood 231
V. Oh, all the cares these noontide airs 233
VI. There's something in this glorious hour 234
VII. Sleep, mourner, sleep!—I cannot sleep 236
VIII. Oh might my footsteps find a rest! 237
IX. How Edenlike seem palace walls 240
X. Now—but one moment—let me stay 241
XI. RETIREMENT
 O let me be alone awhile! 242
XII. DESPONDENCY
 I have gone backward in the work 243
XIII. IN MEMORY OF A HAPPY DAY IN FEBRUARY
 Blessed be Thou for all the joy 245
XIV. A PRAYER
 My God! O let me call Thee mine! 248
XV. CONFIDENCE
 Oppressed with sin and woe 249
XVI. There let thy bleeding branch atone 251
XVII. I am the only being whose doom 252
XVIII. 'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight 253
XIX. A sudden chasm of ghastly light 254
XX. AT CASTLE WOOD
 The day is done, the winter sun 257
XXI. On its bending stalk a bonny flower 259
XXII. And like myself lone, wholly lone 261
XXIII. TO THE HORSE BLACK EAGLE, WHICH I RODE AT THE BATTLE OF ZAMORNA
 Swart steed of night, thou hast charged thy last 263
XXIV. All her tresses backward strayed 264
XXV. The wind was rough which tore 267
XXVI. His land may burst the galling chain 268
XXVII. Start not! upon the minster wall 269
XXVIII. Redbreast, early in the morning 270
XXIX. Through the hours of yesternight 271
XXX. Darkness was overtraced on every face 272
XXXI. Harp of wild and dream-like strain 273
XXXII. The old church tower and garden wall 274
XXXIII. There swept adown that dreary glen 275
XXXIV. In dungeons dark I cannot sing 276
XXXV. When days of beauty deck the vale 277
XXXVI. Still beside that dreary water 278
XXXVII. The evening sun was sinking down 279
XXXVIII. Fall, leaves, fall, die flowers away 280
XXXIX. Loud without the wind was roaring 281
XL. All day I've toiled, but not with pain 282
XLI. There was a time when my cheek burned 283
XLII. Mild the mist upon the hill 284
XLIII. The starry night shall tidings bring 285
XLIV. The organ swells, the trumpets sound 287
XLV. What winter floods, what streams of spring 288
XLVI. None of my kindred now can tell 289
XLVII. Ladybird! ladybird! fly away home 291
XLVIII. I've been wandering in the greenwoods 297
XLIX. May flowers are opening 298
L. That dreary lake, that moonlit sky 300
LI. Heaven's glory shone where he was laid 301
LII. THAT WORD 'NEVER'
 Not many years but long enough to see 302
LIII. I know not how it falls on me 303
LIV. Month after month, year after year 304
LV. She dried her tears and they did smile 305
LVI. I'm happiest now when most away 306
LVII. Weaned from life and flown away 307
LVIII. All hushed and still within the house 308
LIX. The sunshine of a summer sun 309
LX. My ancient ship upon my ancient sea 311
LXI. I do not see myself again 314
LXII. Yet o'er his face a solemn light 317
LXIII. TO A WREATH OF SNOW
 O transient voyager of heaven! 319
LXIV. SONG
 King Julius left the south country 321
LXV. LINES
 I die, but when the grave shall press 322
LXVI. SONG
 O between distress and pleasure 323
LXVII. Shed no tears o'er that tomb 325
LXVIII. Sleep not, dream not; this bright day 327
LXIX. LINES BY CLAUDIA
 I did not sleep; 'twas noon of day 328
LXX. LINES
 Far away is the land of rest 330
LXXI. LINES
 The soft unclouded blue of air 331
  1. De Quincey Memorials, by Alexander H. Japp. See also Alfred, Lord Tennyson: a Memoir, by his Son, 1898, and Lockhart's Life by Andrew Lang, 1897.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1926, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.