Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 117. The Visionary
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
117. The Visionary
By Emily Brontë  (1819–1848)
  
SILENT is the house: all are laid asleep:
One alone looks out o’er the snow-wreaths deep,
Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze
That whirls the wildering drift, and bends the groaning trees.
 
Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor;        5
Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door;
The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far:
I trim it well, to be the wanderer’s guiding-star.
 
Frown, my haughty sire! chide, my angry dame!
Set your slaves to spy; threaten me with shame:       10
But neither sire nor dame nor prying serf shall know,
What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow.
 
What I love shall come like visitant of air,
Safe in secret power from lurking human snare;
What loves me, no word of mine shall e’er betray,       15
Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit pay.
 
Burn, then, little lamp; glimmer straight and clear—
Hush! a rustling wing stirs, methinks, the air:
He for whom I wait, thus ever comes to me;
Strange Power! I trust thy might; trust thou my constancy.       20

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