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Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Bluebell Wood At Temple Newsam

Alas! Dear Anne Bronte, like her sister Emily, was of a melancholy nature. Having grown up amid the freedom of the Moors, they found it so stifling to be torn from that childhood world and plunged into work that stifled their spirits. Anne's lovely poem, "The Bluebell" begins with such wonder but, sadly, as always, she slips into her sadness again.
Today I walked among bluebells (on the photo - at Temple Newsam) and had such a sense of being without the past, without the future, without anything but the glory of the woods. I think that the Brontes' yearning for freedom was so chained to that lost world of Angria and the Great Glass Town that they created as children - a fantasy world that was a reality to them. If only they had thought that perhaps it was possible to create and live their beautiful dream in this world, they might not have always been so melancholy and sad. It's a beautiful poem:

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
'Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;

That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.

Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,
My heart was not so heavy then
As it was wont to be.

Less harassed than at other times
I saw the scene was fair,
And spoke and laughed to those around,
As if I knew no care.

But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.

Whence came that rising in my throat,
That dimness in my eye?
Why did those burning drops distil --
Those bitter feelings rise?

O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood's hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,

Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.

I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others' weal
With anxious toil and strife.

'Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!'
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.

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