This post is dedicated to a poetess whom I admire and respect the most. Although best known for her novel Wuthering Heights (One of the best novels that I have read so far), Emily Brontë is essentially a poetess and her poem “Remembrance” is an epitome of excellent poetry. She is an inspiration to me and will always remain so.
*Emily Brontë was born on 30 July 1818 in the parsonage at Thornton in Yorkshire to the Reverend Patrick Brontë and Maria Branwell Brontë, the fifth of their sixth children after Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Branwell.
Emily Bronte was an English poet and novelist. She is famous for the only novel she had written during her lifetime, Wuthering Heights. The novel is now considered as one of the classics of English literature. She had also authored some beautiful poems throughout her career. Emily wrote under the pen name of Ellis Bell.
Her poems were described as having a fine quaint style. They were also described to be having the wings destined to fly high.
Her literary works suggest that she was highly intelligent and she was known to be a strong-willed, and her stubbornness lasted to the end where she refused to see a doctor or rest while she was dying of tuberculosis and consequently, Emily died on December 19, 1848, at the young age of thirty.
The Poem “Remembrance” by Emily Brontë –
Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time’s all-severing wave?
Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
Thy noble heart forever, ever more?
Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills, have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!
Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world’s tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!
No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life’s bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life’s bliss is in the grave with thee.
But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy,
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion—
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?
Here’s the summary* of the poem-
The speaker opens the poem by describing her lover’s grave that lies cold in the earth. Some time has passed since his death, so the speaker begins to reflect on her memory of him and wonders if time has totally depleted the love she felt. She then asks her “Sweet Love of youth” to forgive her if she forgets him, because the world’s tide is always bringing new desires and hopes. At the same time she’s never felt another love like his and all of her “life’s bliss” is therefore in the grave with him.
As more time passes, the speaker realizes that despair has not destroyed her completely and that existence can be strengthened and cherished “without the aid of joy.” At this point she’s “checked her tears of useless passion” and refuses to “hasten down to that tomb” with her lover. She won’t indulge in memory’s pain too much because doing so would be like seeking that empty world again without her lover.
*Source – Internet.