by Emily Brontë (1818-1848)
Death! that struck when I was most confiding
In my certain faith of joy to be—
Strike again, Time’s withered branch dividing
From the fresh root of Eternity!
Leaves, upon Time’s branch, were growing brightly,
Full of sap, and full of silver dew;
Birds beneath its shelter gathered nightly;
Daily round its flowers the wild bees flew.
Sorrow passed, and plucked the golden blossom;
Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride;
But, within its parent’s kindly bosom,
Flowed for ever Life’s restoring tide.
Little mourned I for the parted gladness,
For the vacant nest and silent song—
Hope was there, and laughed me out of sadness;
Whispering, “Winter will not linger long!”
And, behold! with tenfold increase blessing,
Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray;
Wind and rain and fervent heat, caressing,
Lavished glory on that second May!
High it rose—no winged grief could sweep it;
Sin was scared to distance with its shine;
Love, and its own life, had power to keep it
From all wrong—from every blight but thine!
Cruel Death! The young leaves droop and languish;
Evening’s gentle air may still restore—
No! the morning sunshine mocks my anguish—
Time, for me, must never blossom more!
Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish
Where that perished sapling used to be;
Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish
That from which it sprung—Eternity.