Death, that struck when I was most confiding In my certain Faith of joy to be, Strike again, Time's withered branch dividing From the fresh root of Eternity! Leaves, upon Time's branch, were growing brightly, Full of sap and full of silver dew; Birds, beneath its shelter, gathered nightly; Daily, round its flowers, the wild bees flew. Sorrow passed and plucked the golden blossom, Guilt stripped off the foliage in its pride; But, within its parent's kindly bosom, Flowed forever Life's restoring tide. Little mourned I for the parted Gladness, For the vacant nest and silent song; Hope was there and laughed me out of sadness, Whispering, "Winter will not linger long." And behold, with tenfold increase blessing Spring adorned the beauty-burdened spray; Wind and rain and fervent heat caressing Lavished glory on its second May. High it rose; no winge'd grief could sweep it; Sin was scared to distance with its shine: Love and its own life had power to keep it From all 'Wrong, from every blight but thine! Heartless Death, the young leaves droop and languish! Evening's gentle air may still restore -- No: the morning sunshine mocks my anguish Time for me must never blossom more! Strike it down, that other boughs may flourish Where that perished sapling used to be; Thus, at least, its mouldering corpse will nourish That from which it sprung-Eternity.
About the headline (FAQ)Note: the Gondal title of this poem was "Rosina Alcona to Julius Brenzaida." It was later published without a title.
- by Emily Brontë (1818 - 1848), "Death" [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 Joan Littlejohn (b. 1937), "Eternity", 1971. [mezzo-soprano and piano] [text not verified]
- by John Mitchell (b. 1941), "Death", op. 71 (Seven Journeys to Earth), Heft 1 no. 3, published 1989. [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2007-12-06
Line count: 32
Word count: 227