By the end of 1841, Anne had experienced much depression while working as a governess at Thorp Green over the previous eighteen months. She would obviously not be looking forward to returning there after the Christmas holidays. Early on in 1842, Charlotte and Emily set off for Brussels to study at the Pensionnat Heger school there, leaving Anne feeling more lonely than ever. However, in February, she started this uncharacteristically cheerful poem and gave it the title 'In Memory of a Happy Day in February'. The early part of this poem - which was actually written in February (and presented here in red) is very intriguing, and one cannot help but wonder what occurred on this 'day in February' to raise her spirits so much. Edward Chitham raises the interesting question of whether it could have been another Valentine card from William Weightman.112n Indeed, a few months earlier, in a letter to Ellen Nussey, Charlotte remarked about Weightman: 'He sits opposite to Anne at Church sighing softly - and looking out of the corners of his eyes to win her attention - and Anne is so quiet, her look so downcast - they are a picture'.
Anne completed the poem some nine months later, and under much more sombre circumstances. At this time she was at home having just attended the funeral of Aunt Branwell - the lady who had spent the previous 20 years acting as a mother to Anne. Also, William Weightman himself had died of cholera just a few months earlier. She gave the poem a much more religious-appearing tone. (This later section of the poem is presented here in black.)
(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.82 & p.174)
|Blessed be Thou for all the joy
My soul has felt today!
O let its memory stay with me
And never pass away!
I was alone, for those I loved
Was it the smile of early spring
Was it some feeling of delight,
Was it a sanguine view of life
It was a glimpse of truth divine
I felt there was a God on high
But most throughout the moral world
Deep secrets of his providence
But while I wondered and adored
I knew that my Redeemer lived,
I longed to view that bliss divine
|'Despondency'||'In Memory of a Happy Day in February'||'To Cowper'|
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