Happy Easter With Anne Brontë’s The Bluebell

As I hinted last week, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I’ve been unable to create a full length new s post as I try to do each Sunday. Please accept my apologies, but of course I couldn’t let this special Sunday pass without any post at all.

Anne Brontë was a deeply devout woman, so she would have loved Easter and all the liturgical celebrations around it, celebrations at which her father Patrick Brontë would have taken centre stage of course.

In today’s brief post, then, I will post some Victorian Easter cards (as bizarre as you’d expect if you’ve previously seen their Christmas and Valentine’s offerings, and the beautiful, if mournful, spring poem ‘The Bluebell.’

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.

I hope you and your loved ones are having a happy and healthy Easter, and enjoying a chocolate egg or two – something the Brontës never experienced, as they were first invented in the 1870s. Happy Easter and I hope you can join me next week for a new, and full length, Brontë blog post.

Easter Victorian
Easter Victorian

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