Anne has noted on the manuscript: 'Mostly written in the spring of 1842.' Edward Chitham points out that when she came to complete the poem in October 1843, she completely recopied it out, and it is not clear what additions or alterations were made at that time. On both these occasions Anne was at Thorp Green where she was cut off from all the sources of happiness that she prized, and she identifies herself with a caged Dove. The Dove also appears in her poem 'Self Communion', where she describes herself as 'more timid than the wild wood dove' when a child. The 'caged bird' is a symbol commonly used in poetry.
There is virtually no punctuation in the manuscript - this was mostly added (as presented below) in 1846 for the poem's publication in Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell.
(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.92 & p.177)
|Poor restless dove, I pity thee;
And when I hear thy plaintive moan,
I mourn for thy captivity,
And in thy woes forget mine own.
To see thee stand prepared to fly,
In vain in vain! Thou canst not rise:
Oh, thou wert made to wander free
Yet, hadst thou but one gentle mate
Yes, even there, if, listening by,
But thou, poor solitary dove,
|'A Hymn'||'The Captive Dove'||'The Consolation'|
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