Anne Bronte

Here you will find the Long Poem Alexander And Zenobia of poet Anne Bronte

Alexander And Zenobia

Fair was the evening and brightly the sun
 Was shining on desert and grove,
Sweet were the breezes and balmy the flowers
 And cloudless the heavens above. 
It was Arabia's distant land
 And peaceful was the hour;
Two youthful figures lay reclined
 Deep in a shady bower.

One was a boy of just fourteen
 Bold beautiful and bright;
Soft raven curls hung clustering round
 A brow of marble white.

The fair brow and ruddy cheek
 Spoke of less burning skies;
Words cannot paint the look that beamed
 In his dark lustrous eyes.

The other was a slender girl,
 Blooming and young and fair.
The snowy neck was shaded with
 The long bright sunny hair.

And those deep eyes of watery blue,
 So sweetly sad they seemed.
And every feature in her face
 With pensive sorrow teemed.

The youth beheld her saddened air
 And smiling cheerfully
He said, 'How pleasant is the land
 Of sunny Araby!

'Zenobia, I never saw
 A lovelier eve than this;
I never felt my spirit raised
 With more unbroken bliss!

'So deep the shades, so calm the hour,
 So soft the breezes sigh,
So sweetly Philomel begins
 Her heavenly melody.

'So pleasant are the scents that rise
 From flowers of loveliest hue,
And more than all -- Zenobia,
 I am alone with you!

Are we not happy here alone
 In such a healthy spot?'
He looked to her with joyful smile
 But she returned it not.

'Why are you sorrowful?' he asked
 And heaved a bitter sigh,
'O tell me why those drops of woe
 Are gathering in your eye.'

'Gladly would I rejoice,' she said,
 'But grief weighs down my heart.
'Can I be happy when I know
 Tomorrow we must part?

'Yes, Alexander, I must see
 This happy land no more.
At break of day I must return
 To distant Gondal's shore.

'At morning we must bid farewell,
 And at the close of day
You will be wandering alone
 And I shall be away.

'I shall be sorrowing for you
 On the wide weltering sea,
And you will perhaps have wandered here
 To sit and think of me.'

'And shall we part so soon?' he cried,
 'Must we be torn away?
Shall I be left to mourn alone?
 Will you no longer stay?

'And shall we never meet again,
 Hearts that have grown together?
Must they at once be rent away
 And kept apart for ever?'

'Yes, Alexander, we must part,
 But we may meet again,
For when I left my native land
 I wept in anguish then.

'Never shall I forget the day
 I left its rocky shore.
We thought that we had bid adieu
 To meet on earth no more.

'When we had parted how I wept
 To see the mountains blue
Grow dimmer and more distant -- till
 They faded from my view.

'And you too wept -- we little thought
 After so long a time,
To meet again so suddenly 
 In such a distant clime.

'We met on Grecia's classic plain,
 We part in Araby.
And let us hope to meet again
 Beneath our Gondal's sky.'

'Zenobia, do you remember
 A little lonely spring
Among Exina's woody hills
 Where blackbirds used to sing,

'And when they ceased as daylight faded
 From the dusky sky
The pensive nightingale began
 Her matchless melody?

'Sweet bluebells used to flourish there
 And tall trees waved on high,
And through their ever sounding leaves
 The soft wind used to sigh.

'At morning we have often played
 Beside that lonely well;
At evening we have lingered there
 Till dewy twilight fell.

'And when your fifteenth birthday comes,
 Remember me, my love,
And think of what I said to you
 In this sweet spicy grove.

'At evening wander to that spring
 And sit and wait for me;
And 'ere the sun has ceased to shine
 I will return to thee.

'Two years is a weary time
 But it will soon be fled.
And if you do not meet me -- know
 I am not false but dead.'

* * * 

Sweetly the summer day declines
 On forest, plain, and hill
And in that spacious palace hall
 So lonely, wide and still.

Beside a window's open arch,
 In the calm evening air
All lonely sits a stately girl,
 Graceful and young and fair.

The snowy lid and lashes long
 Conceal her downcast eye,
She's reading and till now I have
 Passed unnoticed by.

But see she cannot fix her thoughts,
 They are wandering away;
She looks towards a distant dell
 Where sunny waters play.

And yet her spirit is not with
 The scene she looks upon;
She muses with a mournful smile
 On pleasures that are gone.

She looks upon the book again
 That chained her thoughts before,
And for a moment strives in vain
 To fix her mind once more.

Then gently drops it on her knee
 And looks into the sky,
While trembling drops are shining in
 Her dark