Saturday, April 05, 2008

Brontë or Bell, 2

Now a poem from Currer (Charlotte). Charlotte was the driving force behind the collection of Bell poetry she and her sisters published, and as Currer Bell sent complimentary copies to other writers, including Thomas de Quincy. No record of his reply, however, or what happened to all those copies! Since the collection only sold two, yes TWO copies, any copies still in existence are probably one of those gift copies. Here's one of Currer's poems, likely influenced by the sisters being separated when they were working as governesses. They found it hard to be apart, and this expresses an attempt to keep a stiff upper lip:


There's no use in weeping,
Though we are condemned to part:
There's such a thing as keeping
A remembrance in one's heart:

There's such a thing as dwelling
On the thought ourselves have nurs'd,
And with scorn and courage telling
The world to do its worst.

We'll not let its follies grieve us,
We'll just take them as they come;
And then every day will leave us
A merry laugh for home.

When we've left each friend and brother,
When we're parted wide and far,
We will think of one another,
As even better than we are.

Every glorious sight above us,
Every pleasant sight beneath,
We'll connect with those that love us,
Whom we truly love till death!

In the evening, when we're sitting
By the fire perchance alone,
Then shall heart with warm heart meeting,
Give responsive tone for tone.

We can burst the bonds which chain us,
Which cold human hands have wrought,
And where none shall dare restrain us
We can meet again, in thought.

So there's no use in weeping,
Bear a cheerful spirit still;
Never doubt that Fate is keeping
Future good for present ill!

Currer Bell / Charlotte Brontë

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