Written: Spring 1845.  First Published: 1915.

Anne only gives 'Spring 1845' as a date to this poem. Edward Chitham has estimated it to have been written around the end of May or early June, shortly before she resigned her post with the Robinsons. On the manuscript, the last verse (presented below) has been crossed out, but it is unclear if this was done by Anne, or by someone else, possibly Charlotte at a later date.

As in 'Night', written several months earlier, the writer is experiencing bliss in her night-time dreams, only to have it shattered when she awakes. In this dream, she has a lover, and a child of her own. The poem clearly indicates Anne's yearning for marriage and motherhood, as does her later novel, Agnes Grey, where she allows this 'dream' to come to fruition for her heroine, Agnes; though never achieves it for herself.122

(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.113 & p.184; and Langland, 'Anne Brontë: The Other One', p.77)

While on my lonely couch I lie,
I seldom feel myself alone,
For fancy fills my dreaming eye
With scenes and pleasures of its own.

Then I may cherish at my breast
An infant's form beloved and fair,
May smile and soothe it into rest
With all a Mother's fondest care.

How sweet to feel its helpless form
Depending thus on me alone!
And while I hold it safe and warm
What bliss to think it is my own!

And glances then may meet my eyes
That daylight never showed to me;
What raptures in my bosom rise,
Those earnest looks of love to see,

To feel my hand so kindly prest,
To know myself beloved at last,
To think my heart has found a rest,
My life of solitude is past!

But then to wake and find it flown,
The dream of happiness destroyed,
To find myself unloved, alone,
What tongue can speak the dreary void?

A heart whence warm affections flow,
Creator, thou hast given to me,
And am I only thus to know
How sweet the joys of love would be?

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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