From The Prisoner: A Fragment

From I Just Hope It’s Lethal: Poems of Sadness, Madness, & Joy collected by Liz Rosenberg & Deena November

From The Prisoner: A Fragment by Emily Bronte

” “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 that 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 til earth was lost to me.

“The dawns the Invisible, the Unseen its truth reveals;

My outward sense is gone, my inward essence feels –

Its wings are almost freee, its home, its harbour found;

Measuring the gulf it stoops and dares the final bound!

“Oh, dreadful is the check – intense the agony

When the ear begins to hear and they 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 than 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.”

She ceased to speak, and we, unanswering turned to go –

We had no further power to work the captive woe;

Her cheek, her gleaming eye, declared that man had given

A sentence unapproved, and overruled by Heaven.”

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