The Consolation
('Lines Written From Home')
Written: November 7th. 1843.  First Published: 1846.

Like her earlier composition, 'A Fragment' ('Self Congratulation'), this is a personal poem with a Gondal signature. Throughout the summer of 1843 Anne had been showing a particular interest in the poems of Moore, and this creation seems, to some extent, to have been influenced by him. There were a few alterations made, though mostly in punctuation, for inclusion in Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.

Charlotte had the poem re-published in 1850 in a re-print of Wuthering Heights/Agnes Grey, and possibly made some of her own alterations to it. For this posthumous publication, it was re-titled 'Lines Written From Home', which seems strange as, on the given composition date of 7 November 1843, Anne should have been at Thorp Green.

(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.94 & p.177)


Though bleak these woods and damp the ground
With fallen leaves so thickly strewn,
And cold the wind that wanders round
With wild and melancholy moan,

There is a friendly roof I know
Might shield me from the wintry blast;
There is a fire whose ruddy glow
Will cheer me for my wanderings past.

And so, though still where'er I roam
Cold stranger glances meet my eye,
Though when my spirit sinks in woe
Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh,

Though solitude endured too long
Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue
And overclouds my noon of day,

When kindly thoughts that would have way
Flow back discouraged to my breast
I know there is, though far away
A home where heart and soul may rest.

Warm hands are there that clasped in mine
The warmer heart will not belie,
While mirth and truth and friendship shine
In smiling lip and earnest eye.

The ice that gathers round my heart
May there be thawed; and sweetly then
The joys of youth that now depart
Will come to cheer my soul again.

Though far I roam, this thought shall be
My hope, my comfort everywhere;
While such a home remains to me
My heart shall never know despair.

Hespera Caverndel


(The 'Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell' Version)

Though bleak these woods, and damp the ground
With fallen leaves so thickly strown,
And cold the wind that wanders round
With wild and melancholy moan;

There is a friendly roof, I know,
Might shield me from the wintry blast;
There is a fire, whose ruddy glow
Will cheer me for my wanderings past.

And so, though still, where'er I go,
Cold stranger-glances meet my eye;
Though, when my spirit sinks in woe,
Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh;

Though solitude, endured too long,
Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue,
And overclouds my noon of day;

When kindly thoughts, that would have way,
Flow back discouraged to my breast; --
I know there is, though far away,
A home where heart and soul may rest.

Warm hands are there, that, clasped in mine,
The warmer heart will not belie;
While mirth, and truth, and friendship shine
In smiling lip and earnest eye.

The ice that gathers round my heart
May there be thawed; and sweetly, then,
The joys of youth, that now depart,
Will come to cheer my soul again.

Though far I roam, that thought shall be
My hope, my comfort, everywhere;
While such a home remains to me,
My heart shall never know despair!

Acton


Copyright © 2000 Michael Armitage

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