Power of Love
Written: August 13th. 1846.  First Published: 1917.

This is the second poem written by the Gondal character 'A.E.' (Albert Exina?).

On its first publication in 1917, verse 15 (presented below) was omitted; possibly because it was too Gondal-specific in content; and the editor of the time (Wise) was trying to present the poem as being part of the Branwell - Robinson affair.

(See also: Chitham, 'The Poems of Anne Brontë', p.134 & p.191)

Love, indeed thy strength is mighty
            Thus, alone, such strife to bear --
Three 'gainst one, and never ceasing --
            Death, and Madness, and Despair!

'Tis not my own strength has saved me;
            Health, and hope, and fortitude,
But for love, had long since failed me;
            Heart and soul had sunk subdued.

Often, in my wild impatience,
            I have lost my trust in Heaven,
And my soul has tossed and struggled,
            Like a vessel tempest-driven;

But the voice of my beloved
            In my ear has seemed to say --
'O, be patient if thou lov'st me!'
            And the storm has passed away.

When outworn with weary thinking,
            Sight and thought were waxing dim,
And my mind began to wander,
            And my brain began to swim,

Then those hands outstretched to save me
            Seemed to call me back again --
Those dark eyes did so implore me
            To resume my reason's reign,

That I could not but remember
            How her hopes were fixed on me,
And, with one determined effort,
            Rose, and shook my spirit free.

When hope leaves my weary spirit --
            All the power to hold it gone --
That loved voice so loudly prays me,
            'For my sake, keep hoping on,'

That, at once my strength renewing,
            Though Despair had crushed me down,
I can burst his bonds asunder,
            And defy his deadliest frown.

When, from nights of restless tossing,
            Days of gloom and pining care,
Pain and weakness, still increasing,
            Seem to whisper 'Death is near,'

And I almost bid him welcome,
            Knowing he would bring release,
Weary of this restless struggle --
            Longing to repose in peace,

Then a glance of fond reproval
            Bids such selfish longings flee
And a voice of matchless music
            Murmurs 'Cherish life for me!'

Roused to newborn strength and courage,
            Pain and grief, I cast away,
Health and life, I keenly follow,
            Mighty Death is held at bay.

Yes, my love, I will be patient!
            Firm and bold my heart shall be:
Fear not -- though this life is dreary,
            I can bear it well for thee.

Let our foes still rain upon me
            Cruel wrongs and taunting scorn;
'Tis for thee their hate pursues me,
            And for thee, it shall be borne!


Copyright © 2000 Michael Armitage

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