I Am the Only Being Whose Doom

By Emily Brontë 1818–1848 Emily Bronte
I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask, no eye would mourn;
I never caused a thought of gloom,
A smile of joy, since I was born.

In secret pleasure, secret tears,
This changeful life has slipped away,
As friendless after eighteen years,
As lone as on my natal day.

There have been times I cannot hide,
There have been times when this was drear,
When my sad soul forgot its pride
And longed for one to love me here.

But those were in the early glow
Of feelings since subdued by care;
And they have died so long ago,
I hardly now believe they were.

First melted off the hope of youth,
Then fancy’s rainbow fast withdrew;
And then experience told me truth
In mortal bosoms never grew.

’Twas grief enough to think mankind
All hollow, servile, insincere;
But worse to trust to my own mind
And find the same corruption there


Source: The Longman Anthology of Poetry (Pearson, 2006)

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Poet Emily Brontë 1818–1848

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Time & Brevity

 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 Living, Disappointment & Failure, Time & Brevity

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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