Monday, February 10, 2014

Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë (1818—1848) is known for her poetry and for her one novel Wuthering Heights (1847). She is part of the famous trio of sisters, along with Anne and Charlotte. Her mother died of cancer when she was just three years old. Her father was an evangelical ordained minister in the Church of England. In 1846 the three sisters published a book of poems under their pseudonyms; it was called Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Twenty one of the poems were Emily's. The book, unfortunately, only sold two copies.

According to Charlotte, the following poem contains, "...the last lines my sister Emily ever wrote." The poem was one of Emily Dickinson's favourites, and was chosen by her to be read at her funeral.

No Coward Soul is Mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And Faith shines equal, arming me from Fear.

0 God within my breast,
Almighty ever-present Deity!
Life—that in me hast rest,
As I—Undying Life—have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts, unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though Earth and moon were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And thou wert left alone,
Every Existence would exist in thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou—Thou art Being and Breath,
And what thou art may never be destroyed.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.