6 Poems to Celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s Birthday
In the month of April, we get a chance to celebrate the birthday of Charlotte Brontë and reflect on her life and literary achievements. Born on April 21, 1816, Charlotte was the eldest surviving sister of the Brontë children. She and her sisters, Emily and Anne, took the literary world by storm: Charlotte with Jane Eyre, Emily with Wuthering Heights, and Anne with Agnes Grey. However, the sisters started their literary journeys as poets writing under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
While Emily is often recognized as the strongest poet among the sisters, Charlotte’s talent shines in its own right. In honor of Charlotte’s birthday, let’s celebrate with some of her best poems.
Life (an excerpt)
“Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?”
Evening Solace (an excerpt)
The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed.
And days may pass in gay confusion,
And nights in rosy riot fly,
While, lost in Fame’s or Wealth’s illusion,
The memory of the Past may die.
Winter Stores (an excerpt)
‘Tis she that from each transient pleasure
Extracts a lasting good;
‘Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure
To serve for winter’s food.
And when Youth’s summer day is vanished,
And Age brings Winter’s stress,
Her stores, with hoarded sweets replenished,
Life’s evening hours will bless.
The Letter (an excerpt)
What is she writing ? Watch her now,
How fast her fingers move !
How eagerly her youthful brow
Is bent in thought above !
Her long curls, drooping, shade the light,
She puts them quick aside,
Nor knows, that band of crystals bright,
Her hasty touch untied.
It slips adown her silken dress,
Falls glittering at her feet;
Unmarked it falls, for she no less
Pursues her labour sweet.
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.”
Passion (an excerpt)
Nomy will shall yet control
Thy will, so high and free,
And love shall tame that haughty soul
Yestenderest love for me.
I’ll read my triumph in thine eyes,
Behold, and prove the change;
Then leave, perchance, my noble prize,
Once more in arms to range.
I’d die when all the foam is up,
The bright wine sparkling high;
Nor wait till in the exhausted cup
Life’s dull dregs only lie.
Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward,
Hope blest with fulness large,
I’d mount the saddle, draw the sword,
And perish in the charge !
Charlotte Brontë was a soul who felt great love and great suffering. Her words walked her through the grief of losing her siblings and the enormity of love and passion. Her poetry is a beautiful tribute to her reflections of the people and experiences that touched her heart while she was alive, and they are preserved for us through the poems she left behind.