by Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848)

How few of all the hearts that loved
Language: English 
How few of all the hearts [that loved]1
Are grieving for thee now
and why should mine tonight be moved
With such a sense of woe

Too often thus when left alone
Where none my thoughts can see
Comes back a word a passing tone
From thy strange history

Sometimes I seem to see thee rise
A glorious child again

O fairly spread thy earthly sail
And fresh and pure and free
Was the first impulse of the gale
That urged life's wave for thee

Why did the pilot too confiding
Dream o'er that oceans foam
And trust in pleasures careless guiding
to bring his vessel home?

For well he knew what dangers frowned
What mists would gather dim
What rocks and shelves and sands lay round
Between his port and him

The very brightness of the sun
The splendour of the main
The wind that bore him wildly on
Should not have warned in vain

An anxious gazer from the shore
I marked the whitening wave
And wept the more
Because I could not save

It reeks not now when all is over
And yet my heart will be
A mourner still though friend and lover
Have both forgotten thee

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View original text (without footnotes)
Note: in the Fisk work, this is sung by Nelly
1 omitted by Fisk
2 lines 11-16 omitted by Fisk


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Terry Fisk

This text was added to the website: 2004-03-22
Line count: 35
Word count: 202