I’ve known of the Brontë sisters (mid-19th cent) for years but only recently picked up a volume of Emily Bronte’s poetry. It’s stunning. Knowing the difficulties Emily Brontë faced, the struggles of her day, her family trials and losses, the stiff opposition she and her sisters overcame, besides dying at age 30 of tuberculosis (3 months after her brother died of alcoholism), some of her poems are nothing short of miraculous. I have one or two others I will share, but “No Coward Soul is Mine” will do for now.
If you haven’t watched the 2-part TV series Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, please do. You won’t be sorry, unless of course you don’t appreciate good literature or the English language at its best and most beautiful!
No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven’s glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear.
O God within my breast
Almighty ever-present Deity
Life, that in me hast rest,
As I Undying Life, have power in Thee.
Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main.
To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity,
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.
With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears.
Though earth and moon were gone
And suns and universes ceased to be
And Thou wert left alone
Every Existence would exist in thee.
There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed.