Charlotte Bronte, (1816 – 1855), was an English novelist and poet. She was born in Yorkshire and was the eldest of four surviving siblings, Anne, Branwell, and Emily. She is known best for her novels, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Villette’, ‘The Professor’ and ‘Shirley’, all considered to be classics of English literature.
Publishing under the names of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote powerful and passionate poetry.
Charlotte Bronte’s poems reflect her depth of passion for human presence and emotion. Her talent for the manipulation of language shines through her creation of wonderful poems such as ‘The Garden’, ‘The Teacher’s Monologue’, ‘Mementos’ and many more.
Here is a wonderful example:
The Student’s Serenade
I have slept upon my couch,
But my spirit did not rest,
For the labours of the day
Yet my weary soul opprest;
And, before my dreaming eyes
Still the learned volumes lay,
And I could not close their leaves,
And I could not turn away.
But I oped my eyes at last,
And I heard a muffled sound;
‘Twas the night-breeze, come to say
That the snow was on the ground.
Then I knew that there was rest
On the mountain’s bosom free;
So I left my fevered couch,
And I flew to waken thee!
I have flown to waken thee —
For, if thou wilt not arise,
Then my soul can drink no peace
From these holy moonlight skies.
And, this waste of virgin snow
To my sight will not be fair,
Unless thou wilt smiling come,
Love, to wander with me there.
Then, awake! Maria, wake!
For, if thou couldst only know
How the quiet moonlight sleeps
On this wilderness of snow,
And the groves of ancient trees,
In their snowy garb arrayed,
Till they stretch into the gloom
Of the distant valley’s shade;
I know thou wouldst rejoice
To inhale this bracing air;
Thou wouldst break thy sweetest sleep
To behold a scene so fair.
O’er these wintry wilds, alone,
Thou wouldst joy to wander free;
And it will not please thee less,
Though that bliss be shared with me.