|Drawing of William Weightman|
by Charlotte Bronte
By Anne Bronte
Yes, thou art gone and never more
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me;
But I may pass the old church door
And pace the floor that covers thee;
May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
And think that frozen lies below
The lightest heart that I have known,
The kindest I shall ever know.
Yet, though I cannot see thee more
'Tis still a comfort to have seen,
And though thy transient life is o'er
'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;
To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair
United to a heart like thine
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
Anne Bronte died in Scarborough, Yorkshire at the tender age of twenty nine. This was in 1849. She had been suffering from tuberculosis. Her sister Emily had died the previous year from the same condition.
However, "A Reminiscence" is not about Emily. It was written in 1845 and probably concerns the death of a young curate called William Weightman. He had arrived in the village of Haworth in 1839 to support the ministerial work of the Bronte sisters' father - The Reverend Patrick Bronte. Weightman died from cholera in 1842 and was remembered fondly by Emily and Anne and presumably Charlotte too
A rather lovely tale remains about Weightman's relationship with the sisters. In February 1840 when Weightman was told that none of the Brontë sisters ever received Valentine cards, he sent them each one anonymously. In an attempt to disguise the fact that he was the sender, he walked ten miles to Bradford to post them.
Anne is undoubtedly the least celebrated of the Bronte sisters but just as with Emily and Charlotte, one can only wonder with frustration what literary heights she might have reached if she had been granted four score years and ten.
|Drawing of Anne Bronte|
by Charlotte Bronte (circa 1834)