Emily Brontë

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No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere...

Emily Jane Brontë (30 July 181819 December 1848), one of the Brontë sisters, was an English novelist and poet who is best known for her only novel, Wuthering Heights. She wrote under the pen name Ellis Bell.

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I Am the Only Being (1836)

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  • I am the only being whose doom
    No tongue would ask no eye would mourn

    I never caused a thought of gloom
    A smile of joy since I was born
    In secret pleasure — secret tears
    This changeful life has slipped away

    As friendless after eighteen years
    As lone as on my natal day
  • First melted off the hope of youth
    Then Fancy's rainbow fast withdrew
    And then experience told me truth
    In mortal bosoms never grew
    'Twas grief enough to think mankind
    All hollow servile insincere
    But worse to trust to my own mind
    And find the same corruption there

Shall Earth No More Inspire Thee (May 1841)

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I've watched thee every hour —
I know my mighty sway —
I know my magic power
To drive thy griefs away —
  • Shall Earth no more inspire thee,
    Thou lonely dreamer now?

    Since passion may not fire thee
    Shall Nature cease to bow?
    Thy mind is ever moving
    In regions dark to thee;
    Recall its useless roving —
    Come back and dwell with me —
  • I've watched thee every hour —
    I know my mighty sway —
    I know my magic power
    To drive thy griefs away —
  • Then let my winds caress thee —
    Thy neighbor let me be —
    Since naught beside can bless thee
    Return and dwell with me —

The Prisoner (October 1845)

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  • He comes with western winds, with evening's wandering airs,
    With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars;
    Winds take a pensive tone and stars a tender fire
    And visions rise and change which kill me with desire —
  • But first a hush of peace, a soundless calm descends;
    The struggle of distress and fierce impatience ends
    Mute music sooths my breast — unuttered harmony
    That I could never dream till earth was lost to me.
  • Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
    My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels —
    Its wings are almost free, its home, its harbour found;
    Measuring the gulf, it stoops and dares the final bound —
  • O, dreadful is the check — intense the agony
    When the ear begins to hear and the eye begins to see;
    When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again,
    The soul to feel the flesh and the flesh to feel the chain.

    Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less;
    The more that anguish racks the earlier it will bless;
    And robed in fires of Hell, or bright with heavenly shine
    If it but herald Death, the vision is divine —

What Use Is It To Slumber Here?

  • What use is it to slumber here:
    Though the heart be sad and weary?

    What use is it to slumber here
    Though the day rise dark and dreary?
  • For that mist may break when the sun is high
    And this soul forget its sorrow
    And the rose ray of the closing day
    May promise a brighter morrow.

Love and Friendship

  • Love is like the wild rose-briar;
    Friendship like the holly-tree.
    The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms,
    But which will bloom most constantly?

A Little While, a Little While (1846)

  • Still, as I mused, the naked room,
    The alien firelight died away;
    And from the midst of cheerless gloom
    I passed to bright, unclouded day.
    • Stanza vi.
  • A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
    So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air;
    And, deepening still the dreamlike charm,
    Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere.
    • Stanza vii.

Wuthering Heights (1847)

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  • I'm now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.
    • Mr. Lockwood (Ch. III)
  • Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
    • Nelly Dean (Ch. VII)
  • "A good heart will help you to a bonny face, my lad", I continued, "if you were a regular black; and a bad one will turn the bonniest into something worse than ugly."
    • Nelly Dean (Ch. VII)
  • A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o'clock runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.
    • Nelly Dean (Ch. VII)
  • I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.
    • Catherine Earnshaw (Ch. IX)
  • Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there, had not brought Heathcliff so low I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.
    • Catherine Earnshaw (Ch. IX)
  • I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees — my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath — a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff — he's always, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself — but as my own being — so, don't talk of our separation again — it is impracticable.
    • Catherine Earnshaw (Ch. IX)
  • The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don't turn against him, they crush those beneath them.
    • Heathcliff (Ch. XI)
  • Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.
    • Nelly Dean (Ch. XIII)
  • Should there be danger of such an event — should he be the cause of adding a single more trouble to her existence — Why, I think, I shall be justified in going to extremes! I wish you had sincerity enough to tell me whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss. The fear that she would restrains me: and there you see the distinction between our feelings — Had he been in my place, and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him. You may look incredulous, if you please! I never would have banished him from her society, as long as she desired his. The moment her regard ceased, I would have torn his heart out, and drunk his blood! But, till then, if you don't believe me, you don't know me — till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!
    • Heathcliff (Ch. XIV)
  • I was a fool to fancy for a moment that she valued Edgar Linton's attachment more than mine — If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years, as I could in a day. And Catherine has a heart as deep as I have; the sea could be as readily contained in that house-trough, as her whole affection be monopolized by him — Tush! He is scarcely a degree nearer than her dog, or her horse — It is not in him to be loved like me, how can she love in him what he has not?
    • Heathcliff (Ch. XIV)
  • You talk of her mind being unsettled — How the devil could it be otherwise, in her frightful isolation? And that insipid, paltry creature attending her from duty and humanity! From pity and charity. He might as well plant an oak in a flower-pot, and expect it to thrive, as imagine he can restore her to vigour in the soil of his shallow cares!
    • Heathcliff (Ch. XIV)
  • Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living! You said I killed you — haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe — I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
    • Heathcliff (Ch. XVI)
  • My walk home was lengthened by a diversion in the direction of the kirk. When beneath its walls, I perceived decay had made progress, even in seven months — many a window showed black gaps deprived of glass; and slates jutted off, here and there, beyond the right line of the roof, to be gradually worked off in coming autumn storms.

    I sought, and soon discovered, the three head-stones on the slope next the moor — the middle one, gray, and half buried in heath — Edgar Linton's only harmonized by the turf and moss, creeping up its foot — Heathcliff's still bare.

    I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.

    • Mr. Lockwood (Ch. XXXIV)

No Coward Soul Is Mine (1848)

Full text at Wikisource
  • No coward soul is mine,
    No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
    I see Heaven's glories shine,
    And Faith shines equal, arming me from Fear.
  • O God within my breast,
    Almighty, ever-present Deity!
    Life — that in me has rest,
    As I — undying Life — have power in Thee!
  • Vain are the thousand creeds
    That move men's hearts: unutterably vain
    ;
    Worthless as withered weeds,
    Or idlest froth amid the boundless main…
  • With wide-embracing love
    Thy Spirit animates eternal years
    ,
    Pervades and broods above,
    Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.
  • Though earth and moon were gone,
    And suns and universes ceased to be,
    And Thou wert left alone,
    Every existence would exist in Thee.
  • There is not room for Death,
    Nor atom that his might could render void:
    Thou — Thou art Being and Breath,
    And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

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