- I SIT, this evening, far away,
- From all I used to know,
- And nought reminds my soul to-day
- Of happy long ago.
- Unwelcome cares, unthought-of fears,
- Around my room arise;
- I seek for suns of former years
- But clouds o'ercast my skies.
- Yes--Memory, wherefore does thy voice
- Bring old times back to view,
- As thou wouldst bid me not rejoice
- In thoughts and prospects new?
- I'll thank thee, Memory, in the hour
- When troubled thoughts are mine--
- For thou, like suns in April's shower,
- On shadowy scenes wilt shine.
- I'll thank thee when approaching death
- Would quench life's feeble ember,
- For thou wouldst even renew my breath
- With thy sweet word 'Remember'!
- Branwel Brontë (1817 - 1848)
Branwell Brontë was the only surviving brother among the very talented Brontë children. While the imaginary kingdom Gondal
belonged exclusivley to Emily
was the property of Charlotte
and Bramwell. Though very talented his nature was very erratic and he had a 'moral weakness' to use ione biographers phrase.
While Emily remained at their home in Hayworth Anne became governess for the Robinsons, where she was joined as tutor by her brother after his failed attempt as first a portrat painter and then as a railway clerk. Bramwell was dismissed from his tutorship because he had fallen in love with his employer's wife and resorting more and more to opium and drink. During his brief 31 years he managed to squander his talent and resources. Neither was his damage self-contained. He cost his sister, Anne, the post of governess for the Robinsons of Thorp Green because of his infatuation with Mrs. Robinson.
With his affair ending in disastrous, his health gradually deteriorated and he died three years later on Septemeber 24th in 1848 of what was recorded as 'Chronic bronchitis - marasmus,' but most symptoms imply that it may have been consumption.
Thorp Green Hall is a wealthy country house situated near York and Bramwell poem reflects upon his two and a half year affair there. Shortly after his arrival there, Mrs. Robinson seventeen years his elder, enticed him into a secret relationship. Ann Marshall was Mrs. Robinson's personal maid and confidant who was employed Thorp Green Hall throughout the time Anne and Branwell were there. Branwell later told his friend, John Brown (the Haworth sexton), that she had seen him 'do enough (with Mrs. Robinson) to hang him.' Full of depression Bramwell depicts a sad repentance as well as regret.
Bram, Robert Philips, Norma H. Dicky, "Bronte," Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia , 1988.
Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:
Your Daily Poetry Break - July 30, 1999: