Anne Brontë

(7 January 1820 – 28 May 1849 / Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, England)

A Voice From The Dungeon - Poem by Anne Brontë

I'm buried now; I've done with life;
I've done with hate, revenge and strife;
I've done with joy, and hope and love
And all the bustling world above.
Long have I dwelt forgotten here
In pining woe and dull despair;
This place of solitude and gloom
Must be my dungeon and my tomb.

No hope, no pleasure can I find:
I am grown weary of my mind;
Often in balmy sleep I try
To gain a rest from misery,

And in one hour of calm repose
To find a respite from my woes,
But dreamless sleep is not for me
And I am still in misery.

I dream of liberty, 'tis true,
But then I dream of sorrow too,
Of blood and guilt and horrid woes,
Of tortured friends and happy foes;

I dream about the world, but then
I dream of fiends instead of men;
Each smiling hope so quickly fades
And such a lurid gloom pervades

That world -- that when I wake and see
Those dreary phantoms fade and flee,
Even in my dungeon I can smile,
And taste of joy a little while.

And yet it is not always so;
I dreamt a little while ago
That all was as it used to be:
A fresh free wind passed over me;

It was a pleasant summer's day,
The sun shone forth with cheering ray,
Methought a little lovely child
Looked up into my face and smiled.

My heart was full, I wept for joy,
It was my own, my darling boy;
I clasped him to my breast and he
Kissed me and laughed in childish glee.

Just them I heard in whisper sweet
A well known voice my name repeat.
His father stood before my eyes;
I gazed at him in mute surprise,

I thought he smiled and spoke to me,
But still in silent ecstasy
I gazed at him; I could not speak;
I uttered one long piercing shriek.

Alas! Alas! That cursed scream
Aroused me from my heavenly dream;
I looked around in wild despair,
I called them, but they were not there;
The father and the child are gone,
And I must live and die alone.

Marina Sabia


Comments about A Voice From The Dungeon by Anne Brontë

  • Carl Roussell (3/30/2018 7:27:00 PM)


    Perhaps the poet creates their own dreams by putting words to paper. A grouping of words that will let the writer, and maybe the reader, find a different reality for a few moments. (Report) Reply

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  • Lyn Paul (3/30/2018 5:29:00 PM)


    So captivating and beautiful to read. Must of been heartbreaking to wake from this dream. (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Patrick (3/30/2018 4:50:00 PM)


    A life of sorrow and sadness wrapped in quite desperation, this feels like she knows her time is coming fast and is writing a will of her dreams and fears for the world to read. She articulates her psyche with great understanding that even close to two hundred years later it still resonates. A perfect work. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (3/30/2018 3:34:00 PM)


    That first long verse leaves no room for misunderstanding. The person talking is done with life. There are dreams, however, that release her from her prison, that make her feel joy again.... but they fade and she is back where she is stuck and the dungeon is darker and more devoid of hope than before. This poem has layer upon layer. Utterly great writing. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (3/30/2018 1:30:00 PM)


    That world - that when I wake and see
    Those dreary phantoms fade and flee,
    Even in my dungeon I can smile,
    And taste of joy a little while..........impressive expression.
    Beautiful poem shared.
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/30/2018 10:16:00 AM)


    A Hindi/Urdu translation here -

    https: //www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-voice-from-the-dungeon-tears-of-sadness-of-anne-bronte-in-hindi-urdu/
    (Report) Reply

  • Ayesha Cullen (3/30/2018 5:09:00 AM)


    This is one of the beautifully written poems ever! (Report) Reply

  • Paul Brookes (3/30/2018 3:01:00 AM)


    The youngest Bronte sister and the one we no little of A great writer and died too young Love her work (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/30/2018 1:31:00 AM)


    Such a great write... enjoyed reading👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (3/30/2017 11:06:00 PM)


    Alas! Alas! That cursed scream
    Aroused me from my heavenly dream;
    I looked around in wild despair,
    I called them, but they were not there;
    The father and the child are gone,
    And I must live and die alone.

    Anne Bronte's poem tugs at your heart strings. A sad poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (3/30/2017 11:01:00 PM)


    A great composition... liked the poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Amrod (3/30/2017 6:01:00 PM)


    This marvelous poetess inspired Keith Reed, who wrote the lyrics for the Procol Harum. This gloomy despair mixed with ecstatic joy and the play with constrast nonetheless the darker side seems to succeed is of course often so by Procol Harum. (Report) Reply

  • Oilibheir Álain Christie (3/30/2017 5:46:00 PM)


    All three Brontë sisters were so pretty talented.
    This is superb, Anne, just superb.
    (Report) Reply

  • Barry Middleton (3/30/2017 10:22:00 AM)


    I don't know anything about Anne Bronte but it seems from the biography that she never married or had a child. So her dream is like the fantasy world she reportedly retreated to as a child. Unrequited love is supposed to be a repeated theme of hers. The poem is very sad but very good in my opinion. (Report) Reply

  • Joshua Adeyemi (3/30/2017 8:35:00 AM)


    A lovely poem with disciplined rhyme scheme. Anne deserves applause...which im giving out now. Papapapa... Well job done! (Report) Reply

  • (3/30/2017 2:37:00 AM)


    a sad poem full of despair? .........nicely penned. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/30/2017 12:57:00 AM)


    Solitude! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/30/2017 12:32:00 AM)


    Wake and see.... thanks for posting.... (Report) Reply

Read all 18 comments »




What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: dream, despair, joy, father, hope, solitude, child, sleep, hate, sorrow, world, summer, happy, smile, wind, alone, sun, kiss, children, friend



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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