Poems of Emily Brontë

by Emily Brontë

A Death-Scene

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: 343


“O day! he cannot die
  When thou so fair art shining!
  O Sun, in such a glorious sky,
  So tranquilly declining;

He cannot leave thee now,
  While fresh west winds are blowing,
  And all around his youthful brow
  Thy cheerful light is glowing!

Edward, awake, awake—
  The golden evening gleams
  Warm and bright on Arden’s lake—
  Arouse thee from thy dreams!

Beside thee, on my knee,
  My dearest friend, I pray
  That thou, to cross the eternal sea,
  Wouldst yet one hour delay:

I hear its billows roar—
  I see them foaming high;
  But no glimpse of a further shore
  Has blest my straining eye.

Believe not what they urge
  Of Eden isles beyond;
  Turn back, from that tempestuous surge,
  To thy own native land.

It is not death, but pain
  That struggles in thy breast—
  Nay, rally, Edward, rouse again;
  I cannot let thee rest!”

One long look, that sore reproved me
  For the woe I could not bear—
  One mute look of suffering moved me
  To repent my useless prayer:

And, with sudden check, the heaving
  Of distraction passed away;
  Not a sign of further grieving
  Stirred my soul that awful day.

Paled, at length, the sweet sun setting;
  Sunk to peace the twilight breeze:
  Summer dews fell softly, wetting
  Glen, and glade, and silent trees.

Then his eyes began to weary,
  Weighed beneath a mortal sleep;
  And their orbs grew strangely dreary,
  Clouded, even as they would weep.

But they wept not, but they changed not,
  Never moved, and never closed;
  Troubled still, and still they ranged not—
  Wandered not, nor yet reposed!

So I knew that he was dying—
  Stooped, and raised his languid head;
  Felt no breath, and heard no sighing,
  So I knew that he was dead.