The Old Stoic

Riches I hold in light esteem;
And Love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream
That vanished with the morn:

And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is, 'Leave the heart that now I bear,
And give me liberty! '

Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
'Tis all that I implore;
In life and death, a chainless soul,
With courage to endure.

by Emily Jane Brontë

Comments (1)

This is my favourite poem by Emily Bronte. Her strength in facing her death, her courage - and if she felt regret, and I often think how could she not- there's no self pity. To look back as she did on her past ambitions, however fleeting or shadowy they were and to mock not only that ambition but herself for feeling it or even needing it. I wish myself as capable of turning from the ephemeral, worldly ambition we claim as so important today and grasp more sincerely the deeper, finer things of living we too often take for granted.