SHAPE \* MERGEFORMAT Emily Brontë’s Poetry EMILY BRONTË’S POETRY: AN OVERVIEW Poems by Currer, Ellis and Action Bell, published in 1846 and paid for by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, contained twenty-one poems by Emily and by Anne and nineteen by Charlotte.
Despite the fact that it received two encouraging reviews, only two copies were sold.
Charlotte edited Emily’s poems and rewrote some for the 1850 edition of her sisters’ poems and novels.
She included seventeen previously unpublished poems from Emily’s manuscripts and one poem not found in Emily’s manuscript (“Often rebuked, yet always back returning”). Emily Brontë has been called one of the great English lyric poets and has found admirers among other poets.
Emily Dickinson thought so highly of Emily Brontë’s poetry that she chose “No coward soul” to be read at her funeral. High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending (December 13, 1836) High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending, Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars; Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending, Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending, Man’s spirit away from its drear dongeon sending, Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars. All down the mountain sides, wild forest lending One mighty voice to the life-giving wind; Rivers their banks in the jubilee rending, Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending, Wider and deeper their waters extending, Leaving a desolate desert behind. Shining and lowering and swelling and dying, Changing for ever from midnight to noon; Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing, Shadows on shadows advancing and flying, Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying, Coming as swiftly and fading as soon. Riches I hold in light esteem (March 1, 1841) Riches I hold in light esteem And Love I laugh to scorn And lust of Fame was but a dream That vanished with the morn– And if I pray, the only prayer That moves my lips for me Is–”Leave the heart that now I bear And give me liberty.” Yes, as my swift days near their goal ’Tis all that I implore Through life and death, a chainless soul With courage to endure! A Day Dream (March 5, 1844) On a sunny brae alone I lay One summer afternoon; It was the marriage-time of May With her young lover, June. From her Mother’s heart seemed loath to part That queen of bridal charms, But her Father smiled on the fairest child He ever held in his arms. The trees did wave their plumy crests, The glad birds carolled clear; And I, of all the wedding guests, Was only sullen there. There was not one but wished to shun My aspect void of cheer; The very grey rocks, looking on, Asked, “What do you do here?” And I could utter no reply: In sooth I did not know Why I had brought a clouded eye To greet the general glow. So, resting on a heathy bank, I took my heart to me; And we together sadly sank Into a reverie. — “Miss Catherine, I’ll own to you that I have little patience with Linton; and Hareton and Joseph have less.
I’ll own that he’s with a harsh set.
He pines for kindness as well as love, and a kind word from you would be his best medicine.
Don’t mind Mrs.
Dean’s cruel cautions, but be generous, and contrive to see him.
He dreams of you day and night, and cannot be persuaded that you don’t hate him, since you neither write nor call.” I closed the door and rolled a stone to assist the loosened lock in holding it, and spreading my umbrella, I drew my charge underneath, for the rain began to drive through the moaning branches of the trees, and warned us to avoid delay.
Our hurry prevented any comment on the encounter with Heathcliff as we stretched towards home, but I divined instinctively that Catherine’s heart was clouded now in double darkness.
Her features were so sad they did not seem hers.
She evidently regarded what she had heard as every syllable true. The master had retired to rest before we came in.
Cathy stole to his room to inquire how he was; he had fallen asleep.
She returned, and asked me to sit with her in the library.
We took our tea together, and afterwards she lay down on the rug, and told me not to talk, for she was weary.
I got a book, and pretended to read.
As soon as she supposed me absorbed in my occupation she recommenced her silent weeping; it appeared, at present, her favourite diversion.
I suffered her to enjoy it a while, then I expostulated, deriding and ridiculing all Mr.
Heathcliff’s assertions about his son, as if I were certain she would coincide.
Alas! I hadn’t skill to counteract the effect his account had produced; it was just what he intended. “You may be right, Ellen,” she answered, “but I shall never feel at ease till I know.
And I must tell Linton it is not my fault that I don’t write, and convince him that I shall not change.” What use were anger and protestations against her silly credulity? We parted that night hostile, but next day beheld me on the road to Wuthering Heights by the side of my wilful young mistress’s pony.
I couldn’t bear to witness her sorrow, to see her pale dejected countenance and heavy eyes; and I yielded, in the faint hope that Linton himself might prove, by his reception of us, how little of the tale was founded on fact. Chapter 2.9 The rainy night had ushered in a misty morning — half frost, half drizzle — and temporary brooks crossed our path, gurgling from the uplands.
My feet were thoroughly wetted; I was cross and low, exactly the humour suited for making the most of these disagreeable things. We entered the farm-house by the kitchen way to ascertain whether Mr.
Heathcliff were really absent; because I put slight faith in his own affirmation. Joseph seemed sitting in a sort of elysium alone, beside a roaring fire; a quart of ale on the table near him, bristling with large pieces of toasted oat cake; and his black, short pipe in his mouth. Catherine ran to the hearth to warm herself.
I asked if the master were in? My question remained so long unanswered, that I thought the old man had grown deaf, and repeated it louder. “Na — ay!” he snarled, or rather screamed through his nose. “Na — ay! yah muh goa back whear yah coom frough.” “Joseph,” cried a peevish voice, simultaneously with me, from the inner room. “How often am I to call you ? There are only a few red ashes now.
Joseph! come this moment.” Vigorous puffs, and a resolute stare into the grate, declared he had no ear for this appeal.
The housekeeper and Hareton were invisible; one gone on an errand, and the other at his work, probably.
We knew Linton’s tones and entered. “Oh, I hope you’ll die in a garret ! starved to death,” said the boy, mistaking our approach for that of his negligent attendant. He stopped, on observing his error; his cousin flew to him. “Is that you, Miss Linton ?” he said, raising his head from the arm of the great chair in which he reclined. “No, don’t kiss me; it takes my breath.
Dear me! Papa said you would call,” continued he, after recovering a little from Catherine’s embrace, while she stood by looking very contrite. “Will you shut the door, if you please? You left it open; and those — those detestable creatures won’t bring coals to the fire.
It’s so cold!” I stirred up the cinders, and fetched a scuttleful myself.
The invalid complained of being covered with ashes; but he had a tiresome cough, and looked feverish and ill, so I did not rebuke his temper. “Well, Linton,” murmured Catherine, when his corrugated brow relaxed, “are you glad to see me? Can I do you any good?” “Why didn’t you come before?” he asked. “You should have come, instead of writing.
It tired me dreadfully writing those long letters.
I’d far rather have talked to you.
Now, I can neither bear to talk nor anything else.
I wonder where Zillah is! Will you” — looking at me — “step into the kitchen and see?” I had received no thanks for my other service, and being unwilling to run to and fro at his behest, I replied, — “Nobody is out there but Joseph.” “I want to drink,” he exclaimed fretfully, turning away. “Zillah is constantly gadding off to Gimmerton since papa went; it’s miserable! And I’m obliged to come down here; they resolved never to hear me up-stairs.”
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