Plead for Me

By Emily Brontë 1818–1848 Emily Bronte
O thy bright eyes must answer now,
When Reason, with a scornful brow,
Is mocking at my overthrow;
O thy sweet tongue must plead for me
And tell why I have chosen thee!

Stern Reason is to judgment come
Arrayed in all her forms of gloom:
Wilt thou my advocate be dumb?
No, radiant angel, speak and say
Why I did cast the world away;

Why I have persevered to shun
The common paths that others run;
And on a strange road journeyed on
Heedless alike of Wealth and Power—
Of Glory's wreath and Pleasure's flower.

These once indeed seemed Beings divine,
And they perchance heard vows of mine
And saw my offerings on their shrine—
But, careless gifts are seldom prized,
And mine were worthily despised;

So with a ready heart I swore
To seek their altar-stone no more,
And gave my spirit to adore
Thee, ever present, phantom thing—
My slave, my comrade, and my King!

A slave because I rule thee still;
Incline thee to my changeful will
And make thy influence good or ill—
A comrade, for by day and night
Thou art my intimate delight—

My Darling Pain that wounds and sears
And wrings a blessing out from tears
By deadening me to real cares;
And yet, a king—though prudence well
Have taught thy subject to rebel.

And am I wrong to worship where
Faith cannot doubt nor Hope despair,
Since my own soul can grant my prayer?
Speak, God of Visions, plead for me
And tell why I have chosen thee!

Source: Poets of the English Language (Viking Press, 1950)

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Poet Emily Brontë 1818–1848

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Metaphor

 Emily   Brontë

Biography

The only poems by Emily Brontë that were published in her lifetime were included in a slim volume by Brontë and her sisters Charlotte and Anne titled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (1846), which sold a mere two copies and received only three unsigned reviews in the months following its publication. The three notices were positive, however, especially with respect to the contributions of Ellis Bell—Emily Brontë. The . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Religion, God & the Divine

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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