Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PRISONER, by EMILY JANE BRONTE



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THE PRISONER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Still let my tyrants know, I am not doom'd to wear
Last Line: "if it but herald death, the vision is divine!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Bell, Ellis
Subject(s): Prisons & Prisoners; Convicts


"Still let my tyrants know, I am not doomed to wear
Year after year in gloom, and desolate despair;
A messenger of Hope comes every night to me,
And offers for short life, eternal liberty.

"He comes with western winds, with evening's wandering airs,
With that clear dusk of heaven that brings the thickest stars,
Winds take a pensive tone, and stars a tender fire,
And visions rise, and change, and kill me with desire.

"Desire for nothing known in my maturer years,
When Joy grew mad with awe, at counting future tears.
When, if my spirit's sky was full of flashes warm,
I knew not whence they came, from sun or thunderstorm.

"But, first, a hush of peace - a soundless calm descends;
The struggle of distress, and fierce impatience ends;
Mute music soothes my breast - unuttered harmony,
That I could never dream, till Earth was lost to me.

"Then dawns the Invisible; the Unseen its truth reveals;
My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels:
Its wings are almost free - its home, its harbor found,
Measuring the gulf, it stoops and dares the final bound.

"O! dreadful is the check - intense the agony -
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again;
The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

"Yet I would lose no sting, would wish no torture less;
The more that anguish racks, the earlier it will bless;
And robed in fires of hell, or bright with heavenly shine,
If it but herald death, the vision is divine!"




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