"Verses to a Child", p. 14

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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

“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).


But human love too soon decays,
And ours can never bloom again.
I never thought to see the day,
When his [?] Florian’s friendship would decay,
    Like that of colder men.

Now Mary Flora thou hast but begun
To sail on life’s deceitful sea,
O do not err as I have done,
For I have trusted foolishly,
The faith of every friend I loved,
I never doubted till I proved
    Their hearts[’] inconstancy.

’Tis mournful to look back upon
Those long departed joys and cares,
And* I will weep since thou alone
Art witness to my streaming tears,
This lingering love will not depart,
I can not banish from my heart,
    The friend of childish years,

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

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