Sleep, mourner, sleep! -- I cannot sleep My weary mind still wanders on; Then silent weep — I cannot weep, For eyes and tears are turned to stone. Oh might my footsteps find a rest! Oh might my eyes with tears run o'er! Oh could the World but leave my breast To lapse in days that are no more! And if I could in silence mourn Apart from lying sympathy, And Mans remarks or sighs or scorn, I should be where I wish to be For nothing nearer Paradise Ought for a moment to be mine I've far outlived such real joys I could not bear so bright a shine For I've been consecrate to greif — I should not be if that were gone And all my prospect of relief On earth would be -- To Greive Alone! To live in sunshine would be now To live in Lethe every thought Of what I have seen and been below Must first be utterly forgot And I can not forget the years Gone by as if they'd never been; Yet if I will remember Tears Must always dim the dreary scene So theres no choice -- However bright May beam the blaze of July's sun, Twill only yield another sight Of scenes and times forever gone. However young and lovely round Fair forms may meet my cheerless eye They'll only hover oer the ground Where fairer forms in darkness lye And voices tuned to Music's thrill And laughter light as marriage strain, Will only wake a ghostly chill As if the buried spoke again All all is over freind or Lover Cannot awaken gladness here Though sweep the strings their music over No sound will rouse the stirless air I am dying away in dull decay, I feel and know the sands are down And Evenings latest lingering ray And last from my wild heaven is flown Not now I speak of things whose forms Are hid by intervening years Not now I peirce departed storms For bygone greifs and dried up tears I cannot weep as once I wept Over my Western Beauty's grave, Nor wake the woes that long have slept By Gambia's towers and trees and wave I am speaking of a later stroke A death -- the doom of yesterday I am thinking of my latest shock, A Noble freindship torn away I feel and say that I am cast From Hope and peace and power and pride A withered leaf on Autumns blast; A shattered wreck on Oceans tide Without a voice to speak to me Save that deep tone which told my doom And made my dread futurity Look darker than my vanished gloom Without companion save the sight For ever present to my eye Of that tempestuous winter night That saw my Angel Mary die
J. Hall sets stanza 1
About the headline (FAQ)Note: published as two poems, with changes, in collections attributed to Emily Brontë. The first poem is the first stanza alone. Modernized spelling would change "greif" and "freind" to "grief" and "friend", etc.
Confirmed with The Works of Patrick Branwell Brontë: 1837-1848, Volume 3, ed. by Victor A. Neufeldt, New York, Garland Publishing, 1999, pages 14-16.
- sometimes misattributed to Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848)
- by Patrick Branwell Brontë (1817 - 1848), no title [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Juliana Hall (b. 1958), "Sleep, mourner, sleep!", 1987, stanza 1 [ soprano and piano ], from Night Dances - 6 songs for Soprano and Piano, no. 4 [sung text not yet checked]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2014-03-25
Line count: 72
Word count: 468