Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WIFE'S WILL, by CHARLOTTE BRONTE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WIFE'S WILL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sit still - a word - a breath may break
Last Line: Lit by our clear fire's happy glow;
Alternate Author Name(s): Bell, Currer
Subject(s): Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

SIT still -- a word -- a breath may break
(As light airs stir a sleeping lake,)
The glassy calm that soothes my woes,
The sweet, the deep, the full repose.
O leave me not! for ever be
Thus, more than life itself to me!

Yes, close beside thee, let me kneel --
Give me thy hand that I may feel
The friend so true -- so tried -- so dear,
My heart's own chosen -- indeed is near;
And check me not -- this hour divine
Belongs to me -- is fully mine.

'Tis thy own hearth thou sitt'st beside,
After long absence -- wandering wide;
'Tis thy own wife reads in thine eyes,
A promise clear of stormless skies,
For faith and true love light the rays,
Which shine responsive to her gaze.

Aye, -- well that single tear may fall;
Ten thousand might mine eyes recall,
Which from their lids, ran blinding fast,
In hours of grief, yet scarcely past,
Well may'st thou speak of love to me;
For, oh! most truly -- I love thee!

Yet smile -- for we are happy now.
Whence, then, that sadness on thy brow?
What say'st thou? " We must once again,
Ere long, be severed by the main? "
I knew not this -- I deemed no more,
Thy step would err from Britain's shore.

" Duty commands?" 'Tis true -- 'tis just;
Thy slightest word I wholly trust,
Nor by request, nor faintest sigh
Would I, to turn thy purpose, try;
But, William -- hear my solemn vow --
Hear and confirm! -- with thee I go.

" Distance and suffering," did'st thou say?
" Danger by night, and toil by day?"
Oh, idle words, and vain are these;
Hear me! I cross with thee the seas.
Such risk as thou must meet and dare,
I -- thy true wife -- will duly share.

Passive, at home, I will not pine;
Thy toils -- thy perils, shall be mine;
Grant this -- and be hereafter paid
By a warm heart's devoted aid:
'Tis granted -- with that yielding kiss,
Entered my soul unmingled bliss.

Thanks, William -- thanks! thy love has joy,
Pure -- undefiled with base alloy;
'Tis not a passion, false and blind,
Inspires, enchains, absorbs my mind;
Worthy, I feel, art thou to be
Loved with my perfect energy.

This evening, now, shall sweetly flow,
Lit by our clear fire's happy glow;

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