Monday, January 31, 2022

Emily Brontë*

Emily Brontë (1818—1848) is one of the famous sisters ― Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. Their mother died when Emily was just three, and their two eldest sisters died less than four years later. Such great loss is dealt with in the poem below.

Emily’s novel Wuthering Heights (1847) has become an important focus to the Yorkshire tourism that has sprung up around the popularity of the writing of the Brontë sisters. The Parsonage where they grew up is now a museum to their honour, and St. Michael and All Angels' Church, Haworth, Yorkshire, is visited both as where their father served as Curate, and where Charlotte and Emily are buried in the family vault.

Like so many other female writers, they wrote their poetry and novels using male pseudonyms. The following poem is from Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. (1846, Aylott and Jones).


I do not weep; I would not weep;
Our mother needs no tears:
Dry thine eyes, too; ’tis vain to keep
This causeless grief for years.

What though her brow be changed and cold,
Her sweet eyes closed for ever?
What though the stone—the darksome mould
Our mortal bodies sever?

What though her hand smooth ne’er again
Those silken locks of thine?
Nor, through long hours of future pain,
Her kind face o’er thee shine?

Remember still, she is not dead;
She sees us, sister, now;
Laid, where her angel spirit fled,
’Mid heath and frozen snow.

And from that world of heavenly light
Will she not always bend
To guide us in our lifetime’s night,
And guard us to the end?

Thou knowest she will; and thou mayst mourn
That WE are left below:
But not that she can ne’er return
To share our earthly woe.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Emily Brontë: first post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.