Emily Jane Brontë

(30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848 / Thornton / Yorkshire)

Often Rebuked, Yet Always Back Returning - Poem by Emily Jane Brontë

Often rebuked, yet always back returning
To those first feelings that were born with me,
And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning
For idle dreams of things which cannot be:
To-day, I will seek not the shadowy region;
Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear;
And visions rising, legion after legion,
Bring the unreal world too strangely near.

I'll walk, but not in old heroic traces,
And not in paths of high morality,
And not among the half-distinguished faces,
The clouded forms of long-past history.

I'll walk where my own nature would be leading:
It vexes me to choose another guide:
Where the gray flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side

What have those lonely mountains worth revealing?
More glory and more grief than I can tell:
The earth that wakes one human heart to feeling
Can centre both the worlds of Heaven and Hell.


Harold Bloom calls this Emily Brontë's finest poem; however, C.W. Hatfield, who edited her poems, speculates that Charlotte wrote or revised this poem. It first appeared in the 1850 edition of Emily's novel and poems; no manuscript version of this poem is known.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 19, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, December 19, 2011


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