by: Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

      OME have won a wild delight,
      By daring wilder sorrow;
      Could I gain thy love to-night,
      I'd hazard death to-morrow.

      Could the battle-struggle earn
      One kind glance from thine eye,
      How this withering heart would burn,
      The heady fight to try!

      Welcome nights of broken sleep,
      And days of carnage cold,
      Could I deem that thou wouldst weep
      To hear my perils told.

      Tell me, if with wandering bands
      I roam full far away,
      Wilt thou to those distant lands
      In spirit ever stray?

      Wild, long, a trumpet sounds afar;
      Bid me--bid me go
      Where Seik and Briton meet in war,
      On Indian Sutlej's flow.

      Blood has dyed the Sutlej's waves
      With scarlet stain, I know;
      Indus' borders yawn with graves,
      Yet, command me go!

      Though rank and high the holocaust
      Of nations steams to heaven,
      Glad I'd join the death-doomed host,
      Were but the mandate given.

      Passion's strength should nerve my arm,
      Its ardour stir my life,
      Till human force to that dread charm
      Should yield and sink in wild alarm,
      Like trees to tempest-strife.

      If, hot from war, I seek thy love,
      Darest thou turn aside?
      Darest thou then my fire reprove,
      By scorn, and maddening pride?

      No--my will shall yet control
      Thy will, so high and free,
      And love shall tame that haughty soul--
      Yes--tenderest love for me.

      I'll read my triumph in thine eyes,
      Behold, and prove the change;
      Then leave, perchance, my noble prize,
      Once more in arms to range.

      I'd die when all the foam is up,
      The bright wine sparkling high;
      Nor wait till in the exhausted cup
      Life's dull dregs only lie.

      Then Love thus crowned with sweet reward,
      Hope blest with fulness large,
      I'd mount the saddle, draw the sword,
      And perish in the charge!

"Passion" is reprinted from Poems By Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bronte. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1848.




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