"Verses to a Child", p. 12

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Anne Brontë

Collection of poems : autograph manuscript signed : [Haworth]

1838 Jan. 24-1841 Aug. 19

The Henry Houston Bonnell Brontë Collection. Bequest of Helen Safford Bonnell, 1969

MA 2696.5

[“The lady of Alzerno’s hall”] (pp. 9–12)

This untitled poem was presumably intended as the second part of the previous poem, “The Parting.” Brontë noted two dates at the end: the first, 1837, is the fictional date of composition by Alexandrina Zenobia; the second, 10 July 1838, is Brontë’s own date of composition (the day after she completed “The Parting”). First published in Poems (1902), pp. 192–94, with the incorrect title “The Lady of Abyerno’s Hall.” Published in The Complete Poems of Anne Brontë (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1920) with the title “The Parting,” part II. Poem 7 in Chitham (1979); pp. 459–61 in Alexander (2010).

“Verses to a Child” (pp. 12–15)

Composed 21 August 1838, when Brontë was eighteen. Written in the voice of Alexandrina Zenobia. First published in Poems (1902), pp. 195–97. Poem 8 in Chitham (1979); pp. 461–63 in Alexander (2010).


His head was pillowed on my knee,
And his dark eyes were turned to me,
With an agonized heart breaking glance,
Until they saw me not —
O the look of a dying man,
Can never be forgot —!

      Alexandrina Zenobia

62 lines
Anne Brontë
July 10 1838

     Verses to a Child

O raise those eyes to me again.
And smile again so joyously,
And fear not love, it was not pain
Nor grief that drew these tears from me;
Beloved child thou canst not tell,
The thoughts that in my bosome swell*
    When e’re I look on thee!

Thou knowst not that a glance of thine,
Can bring back long departed years
And that thy blue eyes[’] magic shine,
Can overflow my own with tears,

*Note: Chitham (1979) transcribes the starred word as “dwell,” but the manuscript reads “swell.”

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