Thursday, May 28, 2020

Anne Bronte Remembered

Charlotte Bronte drawing of Anne Bronte
Bronte Parsonage Museum

‘I have no horror of death: if I thought it inevitable, I think I could quietly resign myself to the prospect . . . But I wish it would please God to spare me, not only for papa’s and Charlotte’s sakes, but because I long to do some good in the world before I leave it. I have many schemes in my head for future practice - humble and limited indeed - but still I should not like them all to come to nothing, and myself to have lived to so little purpose. But God’s will be done.’ - Anne Brontë

Anne Bronte Memorial Stone

On the Death of Anne Brontë

There's little joy in life for me,
      And little terror in the grave;
I 've lived the parting hour to see
      Of one I would have died to save.

Calmly to watch the failing breath,
      Wishing each sigh might be the last;
Longing to see the shade of death
      O'er those belovèd features cast.

The cloud, the stillness that must part
      The darling of my life from me;
And then to thank God from my heart,
      To thank Him well and fervently;

Although I knew that we had lost
      The hope and glory of our life;
And now, benighted, tempest-tossed,
      Must bear alone the weary strife.

Call Me Away By Anne Bronte
Call me away; there's nothing here, 
That wins my soul to stay; 
Then let me leave this prospect drear, 
And hasten far away. 
To our beloved land I'll flee, 
Our land of thought and soul, 
Where I have roved so oft with thee, 
Beyond the world's control. 

I'll sit and watch those ancient trees, 
Those Scotch firs dark and high; 
I'll listen to the eerie breeze, 
Among their branches sigh. 

The glorious moon shines far above; 
How soft her radiance falls, 
On snowy heights, and rock, and grove; 
And yonder palace walls! 

Who stands beneath yon fir trees high? 
A youth both slight and fair, 
Whose bright and restless azure eye 
Proclaims him known to care, 
Though fair that brow, it is not smooth; 
Though small those features, yet in sooth 
Stern passion has been there. 

Now on the peaceful moon are fixed 
Those eyes so glistening bright, 
But trembling teardrops hang betwixt, 
And dim the blessed light. 

Though late the hour, and keen the blast, 
That whistles round him now, 
Those raven locks are backward cast, 
To cool his burning brow. 

His hands above his heaving breast 
Are clasped in agony -- 
'O Father! Father! let me rest! 
And call my soul to thee! 

I know 'tis weakness thus to pray; 
But all this cankering care -- 
This doubt tormenting night and day 
Is more than I can bear! 

With none to comfort, none to guide 
And none to strengthen me. 
Since thou my only friend hast died -- 
I've pined to follow thee! 
Since thou hast died! And did he live 
What comfort could his counsel give -- 
To one forlorn like me? 

Would he my Idol's form adore -- 
Her soul, her glance, her tone? 
And say, "Forget for ever more 
Her kindred and thine own; 
Let dreams of her thy peace destroy, 
Leave every other hope and joy 
And live for her alone"?' 

He starts, he smiles, and dries the tears, 
Still glistening on his cheek, 
The lady of his soul appears, 
And hark! I hear her speak -- 

'Aye, dry thy tears; thou wilt not weep -- 
While I am by thy side -- 
Our foes all day their watch may keep 
But cannot thus divide 
Such hearts as ours; and we tonight 
Together in the clear moon's light 
Their malice will deride. 

No fear our present bliss shall blast 
And sorrow we'll defy. 
Do thou forget the dreary past, 
The dreadful future I.' 

Forget it? Yes, while thou art by 
I think of nought but thee, 
'Tis only when thou art not nigh 
Remembrance tortures me. 

But such a lofty soul to find, 
And such a heart as thine, 
In such a glorious form enshrined 
And still to call thee mine -- 
Would be for earth too great a bliss, 
Without a taint of woe like this, 
Then why should I repine?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Remembering poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti On His Birthday


Thin are the night-skirts left behind 
By daybreak hours that onward creep, 
And thin, alas! the shred of sleep 
That wavers with the spirit's wind: 
But in half-dreams that shift and roll 
And still remember and forget, 
My soul this hour has drawn your soul 
A little nearer yet. 

Our lives, most dear, are never near, 
Our thoughts are never far apart, 
Though all that draws us heart to heart 
Seems fainter now and now more clear. 
To-night Love claims his full control, 
And with desire and with regret 
My soul this hour has drawn your soul 
A little nearer yet. 

Is there a home where heavy earth 
Melts to bright air that breathes no pain, 
Where water leaves no thirst again 
And springing fire is Love's new birth? 
If faith long bound to one true goal 
May there at length its hope beget, 
My soul that hour shall draw your soul 
For ever nearer yet.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Remembering Mom on Mother’s Day!

My beloved mom and me

The Mother Moon By Louisa May Alcott 

THE moon upon the wide sea 
Placidly looks down,
Smiling with her mild face,
Though the ocean frown. 
Clouds may dim her brightness,
But soon they pass away, 
And she shines out, unaltered,
O'er the little waves at play. 
So 'mid the storm or sunshine,
Wherever she may go, 
Led on by her hidden power 
The wild see must plow. 

As the tranquil evening moon 
Looks on that restless sea, 
So a mother's gentle face, 
Little child, is watching thee. 
Then banish every tempest, 
Chase all your clouds away, 
That smoothly and brightly 
Your quiet heart may play. 
Let cheerful looks and actions 
Like shining ripples flow, 
Following the mother's voice, 
Singing as they go.
Reprinted from the Saturday Evening Gazette, August 23, 1856.

A book review of The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse

New York Times  bestselling author Kate Mosse returns with  The Ghost Ship , a sweeping historical epic of adventure on the high seas. The B...