Anne Brontë

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My God! O let me call Thee mine!
Weak, wretched sinner though I be!

Anne Brontë (17 January 1820 - 28 May 1849) was a British novelist and poet, the youngest sibling of Charlotte and Emily Brontë. After initially publishing works under the pseudonyms Currer Bell, Ellis Bell, and Acton Bell they became famous as the Brontë sisters.

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I did not know the nights of gloom,
The days of misery;
The long, long years of dark despair,
That crushed and tortured thee.

Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (1846)

Quotes from poems published in Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (presented in chronological order)

To Cowper (1842)

Written 10 November 1842
Should thy darkest fears be true,
If Heaven be so severe,
That such a soul as thine is lost,
Oh! how shall I appear?
  • All for myself the sigh would swell,
    The tear of anguish start;
    I little knew what wilder woe
    Had filled the Poet's heart.

    I did not know the nights of gloom,
    The days of misery;
    The long, long years of dark despair,
    That crushed and tortured thee.

  • Yet, should thy darkest fears be true,
    If Heaven be so severe,
    That such a soul as thine is lost,
    Oh! how shall I appear?

Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day (1842)

Written 30 December 1842 Full text at Wikisource
  • My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
    And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
    For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
    Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.
  • I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
    The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
    I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
    And hear the wild roar of their thunder today!

A Word to the Calvinists (1843)

Written 28 May 1843 - Full text at Wikisource
That none deserve eternal bliss I know:
Unmerited the grace in mercy given,
But none shall sink to everlasting woe
That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.
  • You may rejoice to think yourselves secure,
    You may be grateful for the gift divine,
    That grace unsought which made your black hearts pure
    And fits your earthborn souls in Heaven to shine.
    But is it sweet to look around and view
    Thousands excluded from that happiness,
    Which they deserve at least as much as you,
    Their faults not greater nor their virtues less?
  • Say does your heart expand to all mankind
    And would you ever to your neighbour do,
    — The weak, the strong, the enlightened and the blind —
    As you would have your neighbour do to you?

    And, when you, looking on your fellow men
    Behold them doomed to endless misery,
    How can you talk of joy and rapture then?
    May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

I ask not how remote the day
Nor what the sinner's woe
Before their dross is purged away,
Enough for me to know

That when the cup of wrath is drained,
The metal purified,
They'll cling to what they once disdained,
And live by Him that died.

  • That none deserve eternal bliss I know:
    Unmerited the grace in mercy given,
    But none shall sink to everlasting woe
    That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.
  • And, O! there lives within my heart
    A hope long nursed by me,
    (And should its cheering ray depart
    How dark my soul would be)

    That as in Adam all have died
    In Christ shall all men live
    And ever round his throne abide
    Eternal praise to give;

    That even the wicked shall at last
    Be fitted for the skies
    And when their dreadful doom is past
    To life and light arise.

  • I ask not how remote the day
    Nor what the sinner's woe
    Before their dross is purged away,
    Enough for me to know

    That when the cup of wrath is drained,
    The metal purified,
    They'll cling to what they once disdained,
    And live by Him that died.

A Prayer (1844)

Written 13 October 1844; also known as "My God! O let me call Thee mine!" - Full text at Wikisource
I know I owe my all to Thee,
O, take this heart I cannot give.
Do Thou my Strength my Saviour be;
And make me to Thy glory live!
  • My God! O let me call Thee mine!
    Weak, wretched sinner though I be,
    My trembling soul would fain be Thine,
    My feeble faith still clings to Thee.
  • I know I owe my all to Thee,
    O, take this heart I cannot give.
    Do Thou my Strength my Saviour be;
    And make me to Thy glory live!

Dreams (1845)

Written in the spring of 1845 - Full text at Wikisource
While on my lonely couch I lie,
I seldom feel myself alone,
For fancy fills my dreaming eye
With scenes and pleasures of its own.
  • While on my lonely couch I lie,
    I seldom feel myself alone,
    For fancy fills my dreaming eye
    With scenes and pleasures of its own.

    Then I may cherish at my breast
    An infant's form beloved and fair,
    May smile and soothe it into rest
    With all a Mother's fondest care.
  • How sweet to feel its helpless form
    Depending thus on me alone!
    And while I hold it safe and warm
    What bliss to think it is my own!
    To feel my hand so kindly prest,
    To know myself beloved at last,
    To think my heart has found a rest,
    My life of solitude is past!
  • But then to wake and find it flown,
    The dream of happiness destroyed,
    To find myself unloved, alone,
    What tongue can speak the dreary void?
    A heart whence warm affections flow,
    Creator, thou hast given to me,
    And am I only thus to know
    How sweet the joys of love would be?

Agnes Grey (1847)

Full text at Wikisource
All true histories contain instruction...
  • All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut. Whether this be the case with my history or not, I am hardly competent to judge. I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others; but the world may judge for itself. Shielded by my own obscurity, and by the lapse of years, and a few fictitious names, I do not fear to venture; and will candidly lay before the public what I would not disclose to the most intimate friend.
    • Ch. I : The Parsonage
  • "Oh, Richard!" exclaimed she, on one occasion, "if you would but dismiss such gloomy subjects from your mind, you would live as long as any of us; at least you would live to see the girls married, and yourself a happy grandfather, with a canty old dame for your companion."
    • Ch. VI : The Parsonage Again
  • "I've done you a piece of good service, Nancy," he began: then seeing me, he acknowledged my presence by a slight bow. I should have been invisible to Hatfield, or any other gentleman of those parts. "I've delivered your cat," he continued, "from the hands, or rather the gun, of Mr. Murray's gamekeeper."
    • Ch. XII : The Shower
  • "If you mean Mr. Weston to be one of your victims," said I, with affected indifference, "you will have to make such overtures yourself that you will find it difficult to draw back when he asks you to fulfil the expectations you have raised."
    • Ch. XVI : The Substitution
  • "Why," said I — "why should you suppose that I dislike the place?"
    "You told me so yourself," was the decisive reply. "You said, at least, that you could not live contentedly, without a friend; and that you had no friend here, and no possibility of making one — and, besides, I know you must dislike it."
    • Ch. XX : The Farewell
  • "But I can't devote myself entirely to a child," said she; "it may die — which is not at all improbable."
    "But, with care, many a delicate infant has become a strong man or woman."
    "But it may grow so intolerably like its father that I shall hate it."
    "That is not likely; it is a little girl, and strongly resembles its mother."
    • Ch. XXIII : The Park
  • "I settled everything with Mrs. Grey, while you were putting on your bonnet," replied he. "She said I might have her consent, if I could obtain yours; and I asked her, in case I should be so happy, to come and live with us — for I was sure you would like it better. But she refused, saying she could now afford to employ an assistant, and would continue the school till she could purchase an annuity sufficient to maintain her in comfortable lodgings; and, meantime, she would spend her vacations alternately with us and your sister, and should be quite contented if you were happy. And so now I have overruled your objections on her account. Have you any other?"
    "No — none."
    "You love me then?" said be, fervently pressing my hand.
    "Yes."
    • Ch. XXV : Conclusion

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