Anne Bronte

Here you will find the Poem A Fragment of poet Anne Bronte

A Fragment

'Maiden, thou wert thoughtless once
 Of beauty or of grace,
Simple and homely in attire
 Careless of form and face.
Then whence this change, and why so oft
 Dost smooth thy hazel hair?
And wherefore deck thy youthful form
 With such unwearied care? 
'Tell us ­- and cease to tire our ears
 With yonder hackneyed strain ­-
Why wilt thou play those simple tunes
 So often o'er again?'
'Nay, gentle friends, I can but say
 That childhood's thoughts are gone.
Each year its own new feelings brings
 And years move swiftly on, 

And for these little simple airs,
 I love to play them o'er ­-
So much I dare not promise now
 To play them never more.'
I answered and it was enough;
 They turned them to depart;
They could not read my secret thoughts
 Nor see my throbbing heart. 

I've noticed many a youthful form
 Upon whose changeful face
The inmost workings of the soul
 The gazer's eye might trace.
The speaking eye, the changing lip, 
 The ready blushing cheek,
The smiling or beclouded brow
 Their different feelings speak. 

But, thank God! you might gaze on mine
 For hours and never know
The secret changes of my soul
 From joy to bitter woe.
Last night, as we sat round the fire
 Conversing merrily,
We heard without approaching steps
 Of one well known to me. 

There was no trembling in my voice,
 No blush upon my cheek,
No lustrous sparkle in my eyes,
 Of hope or joy to speak;
But O my spirit burned within,
 My heart beat thick and fast.
He came not nigh ­- he went away
 And then my joy was past. 

And yet my comrades marked it not,
 My voice was still the same;
They saw me smile, and o'er my face ­-
 No signs of sadness came;
They little knew my hidden thoughts
 And they will never know
The anguish of my drooping heart,
 The bitter aching woe!

Olivia Vernon.