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FUGITIVE PIECES.

[Page 263 ]

[Page 264 ]


Brontë, Patrick, 1777-1861.:

[Our blazing guest, long have you been] [from Brontëana. The Rev. Patrick Brontë, A.B., His Collected Works and Life. The Works; And The Brontës of Ireland. Edited, &c., By J. Horsfall Turner (1898)]

1 Our blazing guest, long have you been,
2 To us, and many more, unseen;
3 Full seventy years have pass'd away
4 Since last we saw you, fresh and gay---
5 Time seems to do you little wrong---
6 As yet, you sweep the sky along,
7 A thousand times more glib and fast,
8 Than railroad speed or sweeping blast---
9 Not so---the things you left behind---
10 Not so---the race of human kind.
11 Vast changes in this world have been,
12 Since by this world you last were seen:
13 The child, who clapped his hands with joy,
14 And hailed thee as a shining toy,
15 Has pass'd, long since, that dusky bourne,
16 From whence no travellers return;
17 Or sinking now in feeble age,
18 Surveys thee, as a hoary sage;
19 Sees thee, a mighty globe serene,
20 Wide hurried o'er the welkin sheen,
21 In nebulous or solid state,
22 For ends both wise, and good, and great;
23 Or, to adjust and balance true
24 The shining orbs of ether blue,
25 Lest, erring in the heavenly plane,
26 All should to chaos rush again;---
27 Or if the sun, as Newton says,
28 Still issues forth substantial rays,
29 Emitting from his body bright,
30 Exhausting sparks of rapid light---
31 To give him back each spark and ray,
32 Well gather'd, on thy airy way;
33 Lest he should sink in wrinkled years,
34 And leave in night the rolling spheres.
35 Say, dost thou, then, all things that burn,
36 Give to the Sun in thy return?
37 And thus maintain his shining face
38 In all the pride of youthful grace?
39 If so, thou art less selfish far,
40 Than many another shining star---
41 Less selfish, far, than those below,
42 Who gaze upon thy brilliant glow;

[Page 265 ]

43 For, here on earth, both one and all,
44 We try to rise on others' fall;
45 And think our lustre shines the best,
46 When dusky veils obscure the rest.
47 But Newton sage and others say,
48 The sun doth play you yea and nay;
49 That, at each point of time, his force
50 Attracts, repels, thy fiery course;
51 In contradiction---strange to say---
52 Lest you should wander from your way,
53 And that, when he has got thy meed,
54 He sends you on your way with speed.
55 Alas! alas! should this be so?
56 How many suns are here below,
57 Save that they want both heat and light,
58 And never shine, by day or night---
59 Attract---repel---get all they can---
60 And part with nought to living man!
61 Some say thou art electric fire,
62 And hast a tail of plague and ire---
63 That all along thy airy way
64 You shed on men a baleful sway;
65 That on the nations near and far
66 You sow the seeds of bloody war.
67 Small need for these thy fatal arts;
68 For we abound in wrathful hearts,
69 And cunning heads, and blighting gales,
70 And martial hands, and fiery tails---
71 And swift to ill---for ill combine,
72 With ready skill, surpassing thine.
73 Thy course is chang'd, as sages say,
74 And thou hast run a novel way,
75 Just that the wond'ring world might own
76 Thou hast a will and way thine own.
77 In this, fair stranger, we're inclined
78 To follow thee, and have our mind---
79 Whate'er sarcastic mortals say,
80 For we have orbits where to move,
81 By impulse strong, of hate or love;
82 And we have ends to answer here.
83 Though in a dark and narrow sphere.

[Page 266 ]

84 Since last this earth has seen thy face,
85 Thou hast been wide in many a place---
86 And many suns and worlds hast known,
87 Besides these orbs we call our own;---
88 Say, hast thou, in thy leisure hours,
89 E'er scrutiniz'd a world like ours?---
90 E'er seen such thinking worms of clay,
91 Run wildly mad in such a way?---
92 So brief in life---so prone to ill---
93 So much averse to that great Will,
94 That speaks in truth and boundless might
95 And gave thee all thy speed, and light,
96 And very being---and has said
97 "Let all things be!" and they were made.
98 But thou art on thy course, I see,
99 And wilt not converse deign to me;---
100 Nor man nor angles by their force
101 Can for one moment stop thy course;---
102 The Mighty God himself alone
103 Can rein thy speed, and guide thee on.
104 Then fare thee well, thou mighty star---
105 Go---do thy errand, near and far.
106 Ere thou dost here return again,
107 Few things that now are shall remain.
108 Tell distant worlds, on whom you shine,
109 The hand that made thee is divine,---
110 Round thy wide orbit shed thy rays,
111 In token of the loudest praise
112 To God who made thyself and all
113 The stars around this earthly ball---
114 Who shall beam forth, in glory bright,
115 When all creation sets in night.

P. Bronte. Haworth, Oct. 20, 1835.
© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 |