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The Wood

Charlotte Brontë 1816 (Thornton, West Yorkshire) – 1855 (Haworth)

BUT two miles more, and then we rest !
  Well, there is still an hour of day,
And long the brightness of the West
  Will light us on our devious way;
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood­
So total is the solitude,
  We safely may delay.

These massive roots afford a seat,
  Which seems for weary travellers made.
There rest. The air is soft and sweet
  In this sequestered forest glade,
And there are scents of flowers around,
The evening dew draws from the ground;
  How soothingly they spread !

Yes; I was tired, but not at heart;
  No­that beats full of sweet content,
For now I have my natural part
  Of action with adventure blent;
Cast forth on the wide vorld with thee,
And all my once waste energy
  To weighty purpose bent.

Yet­say'st thou, spies around us roam,
  Our aims are termed conspiracy ?
Haply, no more our English home
  An anchorage for us may be ?
That there is risk our mutual blood
May redden in some lonely wood
  The knife of treachery ?

Say'st thou­that where we lodge each night,
  In each lone farm, or lonelier hall
Of Norman Peer­ere morning light
  Suspicion must as duly fall,
As day returns­such vigilance
Presides and watches over France,
  Such rigour governs all ?

I fear not, William; dost thou fear ?
  So that the knife does not divide,
It may be ever hovering near:
  I could not tremble at thy side,
And strenuous love­like mine for thee­
Is buckler strong, 'gainst treachery,
  And turns its stab aside.

I am resolved that thou shalt learn
  To trust my strength as I trust thine;
I am resolved our souls shall burn,
  With equal, steady, mingling shine;
Part of the field is conquered now,
Our lives in the same channel flow,
  Along the self-same line;

And while no groaning storm is heard,
  Thou seem'st content it should be so,
But soon as comes a warning word
  Of danger­straight thine anxious brow
Bends over me a mournful shade,
As doubting if my powers are made
  To ford the floods of woe.

Know, then it is my spirit swells,
  And drinks, with eager joy, the air
Of freedom­where at last it dwells,
  Chartered, a common task to share
With thee, and then it stirs alert,
And pants to learn what menaced hurt
  Demands for thee its care.

Remember, I have crossed the deep,
  And stood with thee on deck, to gaze
On waves that rose in threatening heap,
  While stagnant lay a heavy haze,
Dimly confusing sea with sky,
And baffling, even, the pilot's eye,
  Intent to thread the maze­

Of rocks, on Bretagne's dangerous coast,
  And find a way to steer our band
To the one point obscure, which lost,
  Flung us, as victims, on the strand;­
All, elsewhere, gleamed the Gallic sword,
And not a wherry could be moored
  Along the guarded land.

I feared not then­I fear not now;
  The interest of each stirring scene
Wakes a new sense, a welcome glow,
  In every nerve and bounding vein;
Alike on turbid Channel sea,
Or in still wood of Normandy,
  I feel as born again.

The rain descended that wild morn
  When, anchoring in the cove at last,
Our band, all weary and forlorn,
  Ashore, like wave-worn sailors, cast­
Sought for a sheltering roof in vain,
And scarce could scanty food obtain
  To break their morning fast.

Thou didst thy crust with me divide,
  Thou didst thy cloak around me fold;
And, sitting silent by thy side,
  I ate the bread in peace untold:
Given kindly from thy hand, 'twas sweet
As costly fare or princely treat
  On royal plate of gold.

Sharp blew the sleet upon my face,
  And, rising wild, the gusty wind
Drove on those thundering waves apace,
  Our crew so late had left behind;
But, spite of frozen shower and storm,
So close to thee, my heart beat warm,
  And tranquil slept my mind.

So now­nor foot-sore nor opprest
  With walking all this August day,
I taste a heaven in this brief rest,
  This gipsy-halt beside the way.
England's wild flowers are fair to view,
Like balm is England's summer dew,
  Like gold her sunset ray.

But the white violets, growing here,
  Are sweeter than I yet have seen,
And ne'er did dew so pure and clear
  Distil on forest mosses green,
As now, called forth by summer heat,
Perfumes our cool and fresh retreat­
  These fragrant limes between.

That sunset ! Look beneath the boughs,
  Over the c
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:46 min read
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Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë was an English novelist and poet, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood and whose novels are English literature standards. more…

All Charlotte Brontë poems | Charlotte Brontë Books

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    "The Wood" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/5533/the-wood>.

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