Emily Brontë: A Day Dream

On a sunny brae alone I lay 
One summer afternoon;
It was the marriage-time of May
With her young lover, June.

From her Mother’s heart seemed loath to part
That queen of bridal charms,
But her Father smiled on the fairest child
He ever held in his arms.

The trees did wave their plumy crests,
The glad birds carolled clear;
And I, of all the wedding guests,
Was only sullen there.

There was not one but wished to shun
My aspect void of cheer;
The very grey rocks, looking on,
Asked, “What do you do here?”

And I could utter no reply:
In sooth I did not know
Why I had brought a clouded eye
To greet the general glow.

So, resting on a heathy bank,
I took my heart to me;
And we together sadly sank
Into a reverie.

We thought, “When winter comes again
Where will these bright things be?
All vanished, like a vision vain,
An unreal mockery!

“The birds that now so blithely sing,
Through deserts frozen dry,
Poor spectres of the perished Spring
In famished troops will fly.

“And why should we be glad at all?
The leaf is hardly green,
Before a token of the fall
Is on its surface seen.”

Now whether it were really so
I never could be sure-,
But as, in fit of peevish woe,
I stretched me on the moor,

A thousand thousand glancing fires
Seemed kindling in the air;
A thousand thousand silvery lyres
Resounded far and near:

Methought the very breath I breathed
Was full of sparks divine,
And all my heather-couch was wreathed
By that celestial shine.

And while the wide Earth echoing rang
To their strange minstrelsy,
The little glittering spirits sang,
Or seemed to sing, to me:

“0 mortal, mortal, let them die;
Let Time and Tears destroy,
That we may overflow the sky
With universal joy.

“Let Grief distract the sufferer’s breast,
And Night obscure his way;
They hasten him to endless rest,
And everlasting day.

“To Thee the world is like a tomb,
A desert’s naked shore;
To us, in unimagined bloom,
It brightens more and more.

“And could we lift the veil and give
One brief glimpse to thine eye
Thou would’st rejoice for those that live,
Because they live to die.”

The music ceased-the noonday Dream
Like dream of night withdrew
But Fancy still will sometimes deem
Her fond creation true.

~Emily Brontë (March 5. 18449

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