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Written: Undated: between 1842 and 1845.  First Published: 1846.

The manuscript of this poem no longer exists, so its composition date is not known, although it was certainly written while she was at Thorp Green. Edward Chitham has estimated its creation to have been around early 1844, though Juliet Barker actually states 'Nov. 1843' (see sources below).

In the poem, Anne is clearly acknowledging all the beauties in and around Thorp Green Hall - the lovely scenes of the surrounding countryside - that 'invites the foot to roam', the 'yonder garden, fair and wide, With groves of evergreen, Long winding walks, and borders trim, And velvet lawns between'; and contrasting these with her home in Haworth - 'With grey walls compassed round, Where knotted grass neglected lies, And weeds usurp the ground', surrounded by the 'barren hills . . . Where scarce the scattered, stunted trees Can yield an answering swell', and 'Where colder breezes rise'; yet she clearly rejects her current surrounds in favour of her home - emphasised by capitalising the last word of the poem for its inclusion in 'Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell' in 1846 - the version presented below. The only other variations between this, and the manuscript copy, are a few punctuation changes.

(See Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.99 & p.179. Also Barker, 'The Brontës', p.434 & p.919 note 87)


How brightly glistening in the sun
       The woodland ivy plays!
While yonder beeches from their barks
       Reflect his silver rays.

That sun surveys a lovely scene
       From softly smiling skies;
And wildly through unnumbered trees
       The wind of winter sighs:

Now loud, it thunders o'er my head,
       And now in distance dies.
But give me back my barren hills
       Where colder breezes rise;

Where scarce the scattered, stunted trees
       Can yield an answering swell,
But where a wilderness of heath
       Returns the sound as well.

For yonder garden, fair and wide,
       With groves of evergreen,
Long winding walks, and borders trim,
       And velvet lawns between;

Restore to me that little spot,
       With grey walls compassed round,
Where knotted grass neglected lies,
       And weeds usurp the ground.

Though all around this mansion high
       Invites the foot to roam,
And though its halls are fair within --
       Oh, give me back my HOME!

Acton


Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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