Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/51

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xlvii
INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

'Belief in the personal or positive immortality of the individual and indivisible spirit was not apparently, in her case, swallowed up or nullified or made nebulous by any doctrine or dream of simple reabsorption into some indefinite infinity of eternal life. So at least it seems to me that her last ardent confession of dauntless and triumphant faith should properly be read, however capable certain phrases in it may seem of the vaguer and more impersonal interpretation.' It is obvious that she was attracted neither by the rude fervours of the Yorkshire chapels nor by the bigotry of the clergy, and there we must leave it. Mr. R. B. Haldane says, 'It contains the teaching of Aristotle transferred from the abstract to the concrete.'

Of the verses which follow a few are entitled to rank with the finest of English lyrics. The best are bursts of irrepressible feeling, the expression of a single overruling mood. Many of those printed for the first time were written in connection with that unmapped country the Gondaland, about which the sisters wrote and talked so much. Among the noblest lyrics are 'Remembrance,' 'Death,' 'The Visionary,' and 'A Little While.' The last stands alone for its vehement nostalgia. Mrs. Humphry Ward calls attention more than once to the extraor-