Life Poem by Charlotte Brontë


Rating: 3.8

LIFE, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall ?

Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly !

What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away ?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway ?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair !


I especially enjoy the poem Life by Charlotte Bronte because she begins with those wonderful lines ‘LIFE, believe, is not a dream /So dark as sages say; ’. Charlotte insists we believe in life and boldly denies that the sages are correct in believing that life is darker than it is. The optimism of her weather metaphor about life is beautifully written. It is true that if we can survive a storm or trials in earlier years, often if we continue to work hard eventually, there is a better tomorrow. The sunny hours of life are a joy. Death does step in causing sorrow casting hope down at times. But hopes elastic renewal, buoyant, unconquered with golden wings strong enough to carry us, is superb imagery in this context. A mistake has occurred in the layout of this poem! There is an apparent planned stanza break between the lines ‘Still strong to bear us well.’ and ‘Manfully, fearlessly, ’. The poem is so well crafted it must be so. This break gives the perfect symmetry of four stanzas of eight, four, eight and four lines. The themes of each stanza then neatly fit into the weather metaphor of life in a day, life’s sunny hours, death seeming to win but conquered, and the exquisite encouragement of the courage theme beginning ‘Manfully, fearlessly, /The day of trial bear, ’. Such beauty and wisdom in Charlotte’s conclusion ‘For gloriously, victoriously, /Can courage quell despair! ’. With four stanzas of four separate themes, is revealed the deftness and clever craftsmanship of Bronte in the now apparent second and fourth stanzas, where the first and third lines of each contain the only paired adverbs in the entire poem. These being ‘Rapidly, merrily, ’ and ‘Gratefully, cheerily, ’ in the second stanza and ‘Manfully, fearlessly, ’ with the strength of ‘For gloriously, victoriously, ’ in the fourth stanza. Coincidence? Definitely not. This brilliant poet knew exactly what she was doing when writing this exceptional verse.

42 17 Reply
Jean Dament 20 May 2010

I enjoyed this wonderful poem describing life so well & on a positive note. She covered the whole gambit of life within her poem. Spiritsong

24 19 Reply
Manonton Dalan 20 May 2012

hmmm... i agree. make the best of it and keep on dreaming. who knows tomorrow would be better than today.

28 14 Reply
Juan Olivarez 20 May 2010

Wonderful poem, this woman new her grammer and how to entertain the public which is the ultimate goal of the poet. However bitter people who will never in a hundred life times do what she did in her short time upon this earth, will continue to criticize her and other great poets for no good reason, other than, she will always be well looked on by history.

27 10 Reply
Dejiw Eowdws 03 May 2012

can this be classified as a protest against sadness?

15 19 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 08 August 2023

The special theme of the poem LIFE by Charlotte Bronte is: The poem uses personification: Death, sorrow, hope, and courage are spoken of as if they are persons/people.5 Stars and toMyFacvourites

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 08 August 2023

The poem 'Life' is the poet's own reflection on his life and tells his point of view on the more important things in life. The poet wants to lead a joyful life with forward face and unreluctant soul. He wants neither to hurry to his goal nor move away from his goal.

0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 04 February 2022

A beautiful philosophical rendition written with conviction. An insightful piece of poetry...

0 0 Reply
Dr Dillip K Swain 11 May 2021

Life's sunny hours flit by, Gratefully, cheerily, Enjoy them as they fly! Marvelous ink!

0 0 Reply
Subhas Chandra Chakra 06 November 2020

Wow, such a nice poem on life. Loved the lines.. Still buoyant are her golden wings, Still strong to bear us well. Manfully, fearlessly, .... Being hopeful makes a day, No matter, Whatever the saages say

0 0 Reply
Error Success