"The North Wind", p. 2

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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 North Wind” (pp. 1–3)

Composed 26 January 1838, a few days after Brontë’s eighteenth birthday. Written in the voice of Alexandrina Zenobia, a character in the Gondal saga. First published in Poems (1902), pp. 187–88. Poem 5 in Chitham (1979); pp. 455–57 in Alexander (2010).


“I’ve blown the pure* untrodden snows
In whirling eddies from their brows,
And I have howled in caverns wild,
Where thou a joyous mountain child
Didst dearly love to be.
The sweet world is not changed but thou
Art pining in a dungeon now,
Where thou must ever be;
No voice but mine can reach thine ear
And Heaven has kindly sent me here,
To mourn and sigh with thee,
And tell the[e] of the cherrished land
Of thy nativity.”

Blow on wild wind, thy solemn voice,
However sad and drear,
Is nothing to the gloomy silence
I have had to bear;

Hot tears are streaming from my eyes,
But these are better far,

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

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