This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.
Today I offer you two poems, On the Death of Anne Brontë BY CHARLOTTE BRONTË, ‘There’s little joy in life for me’, and ‘There’s Still Joy’ by Luccia Gray-
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.
This poem was written in response the death of Charlotte Bronte’s sister Anne Brontë, in 1849. Anne’s death was sudden and although all the Brone siblings had ill health, Anne’s death was unexpected and Charlotte was clearly devastated. Charlotte was the eldest of the four surviving Bronte siblings. In 1848 her brother Branwell Bonte died, shortly after, Emily became seriously ill and died of tuberculosis, in December 1848, and Anne died of the same disease in May 1849. I can only imagine how Charlotte must have felt, after her mother and all her siblings had died. In her poem, we can feel her desolation and loneliness.
I also know what it means to lose your only surviving sister. I’ve written other poems to my sister, this one is inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s poem to Anne Bronte.
There’s Still Joy
I always knew you’d be a girl.
I heard your cry and ran to see
Your puffed red face and cute fair curls.
At last someone to play with me.
Too soon you left. No parting kiss,
No words to say our last farewell.
Your hugs forever I will miss,
Your virtues to everyone I’ll tell.
I wish you could have fought harder.
You gave up your last breath too soon.
Why couldn’t you have spoken louder
The night you saw the last full moon?
There’s still joy in remembering,
Your face, your voice, your laugh.
But it’s a temporary parting,
Many waters cannot quench love.
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