Written: January 26th. 1844.  First Published: 1915.

(Not to be confused with two other poems that Anne initially entitled 'Fragment': the first was written on 1 January 1840, and later re-titled 'Self-Congratulation'; the other was written in 1845 and later given the new name - 'The Penitent'. This one has retained its original title - not surprisingly considering its immense size!)

Written shortly after Anne had returned to Thorp Green following her 1843 Christmas holidays. She had been a highly successful in her work there - Charlotte had recently written, in a letter to Ellen Nussey, 'Anne and Branwell are both wondrously valued in their situations'. Anne was determined to stick at her post until her work was completed; however, this one-verse poem clearly shows how she felt about the Robinson family. Despite the shortness of the poem, she obviously had some regard for it as she later recopied it out.

(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.97 & p.179)

Yes I will take a cheerful tone
And feign to share their heartless glee,
But I would rather weep alone
Than laugh amid their revelry.

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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