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– Archive Tombeau de la jeunesse

«« Previous page · Charlotte Brontë: The Wife’s Will · Emma Lazarus: Dreams

Charlotte Brontë: The Wife’s Will

Charlotte Brontë

(1816 -1855)


The Wife’s Will


Sit still–a word–a breath may break

(As light airs stir a sleeping lake)

The glassy calm that soothes my woes–

The sweet, the deep, the full repose.

O leave me not! for ever be

Thus, more than life itself to me!


Yes, close beside thee let me kneel–

Give me thy hand, that I may feel

The friend so true–so tried–so dear,

My heart’s own chosen–indeed is near;

And check me not–this hour divine

Belongs to me–is fully mine.


‘Tis thy own hearth thou sitt’st beside,

After long absence–wandering wide;

‘Tis thy own wife reads in thine eyes

A promise clear of stormless skies;

For faith and true love light the rays

Which shine responsive to her gaze.


Ay,–well that single tear may fall;

Ten thousand might mine eyes recall,

Which from their lids ran blinding fast,

In hours of grief, yet scarcely past;

Well mayst thou speak of love to me,

For, oh! most truly–I love thee!


Yet smile–for we are happy now.

Whence, then, that sadness on thy brow?

What sayst thou? “We muse once again,

Ere long, be severed by the main!”

I knew not this–I deemed no more

Thy step would err from Britain’s shore.


“Duty commands!” ‘Tis true–’tis just;

Thy slightest word I wholly trust,

Nor by request, nor faintest sigh,

Would I to turn thy purpose try;

But, William, hear my solemn vow–

Hear and confirm!–with thee I go.


“Distance and suffering,” didst thou say?

“Danger by night, and toil by day?”

Oh, idle words and vain are these;

Hear me! I cross with thee the seas.

Such risk as thou must meet and dare,

I–thy true wife–will duly share.


Passive, at home, I will not pine;

Thy toils, thy perils shall be mine;

Grant this–and be hereafter paid

By a warm heart’s devoted aid:

‘Tis granted–with that yielding kiss,

Entered my soul unmingled bliss.


Thanks, William, thanks! thy love has joy,

Pure, undefiled with base alloy;

‘Tis not a passion, false and blind,

Inspires, enchains, absorbs my mind;

Worthy, I feel, art thou to be

Loved with my perfect energy.


This evening now shall sweetly flow,

Lit by our clear fire’s happy glow;

And parting’s peace-embittering fear,

Is warned our hearts to come not near;

For fate admits my soul’s decree,

In bliss or bale–to go with thee!


Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë) poetry magazine

More in: - Archive Tombeau de la jeunesse, Anne, Emily & Charlotte Brontë, Archive A-B, Brontë, Anne, Emily & Charlotte

Emma Lazarus: Dreams

lazerusemma 01

Emma Lazarus




A dream of lilies: all the blooming earth,

A garden full of fairies and of flowers;

Its only music the glad cry of mirth,

While the warm sun weaves golden-tissued hours;

Hope a bright angel, beautiful and true

As Truth herself, and life a lovely toy,

Which ne’er will weary us, ne’er break, a new

Eternal source of pleasure and of joy.


A dream of roses: vision of Loves tree,

Of beauty and of madness, and as bright

As naught on earth save only dreams can be,

Made fair and odorous with flower and light;

A dream that Love is strong to outlast Time,

That hearts are stronger than forgetfulness,

The slippery sand than changeful waves that climb,

The wind-blown foam than mighty waters’ stress.


A dream of laurels: after much is gone,

Much buried, much lamented, much forgot,

With what remains to do and what is done,

With what yet is, and what, alas! is not,

Man dreams a dream of laurel and of bays,

A dream of crowns and guerdons and rewards,

Wherein sounds sweet the hollow voice of praise,

And bright appears the wreath that it awards.


A dream of poppies, sad and true as Truth,—

That all these dreams were dreams of vanity;

And full of bitter penitence and ruth,

In his last dream, man deems ’twere good to die;

And weeping o’er the visions vain of yore,

In the sad vigils he doth nightly keep,

He dreams it may be good to dream no more,

And life has nothing like Death’s dreamless sleep.


Emma Lazarus poetry magazine

More in: - Archive Tombeau de la jeunesse, Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma

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