A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Monday, April 12, 2010

Poem of the Day: Emily Brontë

Hope 

Hope was but a timid friend --
She sat without my grated den
Watching how my fate would tend
Even as selfish-hearted men.

She was cruel in her fear.
Through the bars, one dreary day,
I looked out to see her there
And she turned her face away!

Like a false guard false watch keeping
Still in strife she whispered peace;
She would sing while I was weeping,
If I listened, she would cease.

False she was, and unrelenting.
When my last joys strewed the ground
Even Sorrow saw repenting
Those sad relics scattered round;

Hope -- whose whisper would have given
Balm to all that frenzied pain --
Stretched her wings and soared to heaven;
Went -- and ne'er returned again!
--Emily Brontë

Even if you didn't know she wrote it, wouldn't "Emily Brontë" be a good guess? The obvious poem to pair it with is by the other Emily:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me. 
--Emily Dickinson

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