Poems of Emily Brontë

by Emily Brontë

The Philosopher

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1846
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Bronte, A., Bronte, C., and Bronte, E. (1846). Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. London, England: Aylott and Jones.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 8.0
  • Word Count: 369
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: philosophy, truth
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Enough of thought, philosopher!
Too long hast thou been dreaming
Unlightened, in this chamber drear,
While summer’s sun is beaming!
Space-sweeping soul, what sad refrain
Concludes thy musings once again?

“Oh, for the time when I shall sleep
Without identity.
And never care how rain may steep,
Or snow may cover me!
No promised heaven, these wild desires
Could all, or half fulfil;
No threatened hell, with quenchless fires,
Subdue this quenchless will!”

“So said I, and still say the same;
Still, to my death, will say—
Three gods, within this little frame,
Are warring night; and day;
Heaven could not hold them all, and yet
They all are held in me;
And must be mine till I forget
My present entity!
Oh, for the time, when in my breast
Their struggles will be o’er!
Oh, for the day, when I shall rest,
And never suffer more!”

“I saw a spirit, standing, man,
Where thou dost stand—an hour ago,
And round his feet three rivers ran,
Of equal depth, and equal flow—
A golden stream—and one like blood;
And one like sapphire seemed to be;
But, where they joined their triple flood
It tumbled in an inky sea
The spirit sent his dazzling gaze
Down through that ocean’s gloomy night;
Then, kindling all, with sudden blaze,
The glad deep sparkled wide and bright—
White as the sun, far, far more fair
Than its divided sources were!”

“And even for that spirit, seer,
I’ve watched and sought my life-time long;
Sought him in heaven, hell, earth, and air,
An endless search, and always wrong.
Had I but seen his glorious eye
ONCE light the clouds that wilder me;
I ne’er had raised this coward cry
To cease to think, and cease to be;

I ne’er had called oblivion blest,
Nor stretching eager hands to death,
Implored to change for senseless rest
This sentient soul, this living breath—
Oh, let me die—that power and will
Their cruel strife may close;
And conquered good, and conquering ill
Be lost in one repose!”