Poem of the Week: Stars by Emily Bronte

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As a team of literature lovers, it occurred to us that we hadn’t spent much time celebrating female poets. So, we will be sharing a Poem of the Week every week on our blog for you to enjoy, and to hopefully discover some lovely poetry you’ll return to again and again, and maybe some new writers too! This week, we’ve chosen Stars by Emily Bronte, in honour of her birthday today, and our ecofeminist theme of July. The imagery in this poem really compliments what you may have been reading about in our July book, The Word for Woman is Wilderness, and so we hope you enjoy this week’s pick:

Stars by Emily Bronte
(or Ah! Why, Because the Dazzling Sun)

Ah! why, because the dazzling sun
Restored my earth to joy
Have you departed, every one,
And left a desert sky?

All through the night, your glorious eyes
Were gazing down in mine,
And with a full heart’s thankful sighs
I blessed that watch divine!

I was at peace, and drank your beams
As they were life to me
And revelled in my changeful dreams
Like petrel on the sea.

Thought followed thought—star followed star
Through boundless regions on,
While one sweet influence, near and far,
Thrilled through and proved us one.

Why did the morning rise to break
So great, so pure a spell,
And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek
Where your cool radiance fell?

Blood-red he rose, and arrow-straight,
His fierce beams struck my brow;
The soul of Nature sprang elate,
But mine sank sad and low!

My lids closed down—yet through their veil
I saw him blazing still;
And bathe in gold the misty dale,
And flash upon the hill.

I turned me to the pillow then
To call back Night, and see
Your worlds of solemn light, again
Throb with my heart and me!

It would not do—the pillow glowed
And glowed both roof and floor,
And birds sang loudly in the wood,
And fresh winds shook the door.

The curtains waved, the wakened flies
Were murmuring round my room,
Imprisoned there, till I should rise
And give them leave to roam.

O Stars and Dreams and Gentle Night;
O Night and Stars return!
And hide me from the hostile light
That does not warm, but burn—

That drains the blood of suffering men;
Drinks tears, instead of dew:
Let me sleep through his blinding reign,
And only wake with you!

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