The Arbour
Written: Undated: between 1840 and early 1845.  First Published: 1846.

The manuscript of this poem is missing; hence the difficulty in dating it. The version presented below is that which appeared in Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.

(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.110 & p.183)


I'll rest me in this sheltered bower,
And look upon the clear blue sky
That smiles upon me through the trees,
Which stand so thickly clustering by;

And view their green and glossy leaves,
All glistening in the sunshine fair;
And list the rustling of their boughs,
So softly whispering through the air.

And while my ear drinks in the sound,
My winged soul shall fly away;
Reviewing long departed years
As one mild, beaming, autumn day;

And soaring on to future scenes,
Like hills and woods, and valleys green,
All basking in the summer's sun,
But distant still, and dimly seen.

Oh, list! 'tis summer's very breath
That gently shakes the rustling trees -­
But look! the snow is on the ground -­
How can I think of scenes like these?

'Tis but the frost that clears the air,
And gives the sky that lovely blue;
They're smiling in a winter's sun,
Those evergreens of sombre hue.

And winter's chill is on my heart -­
How can I dream of future bliss?
How can my spirit soar away,
Confined by such a chain as this?


Copyright © 2000 Michael Armitage

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