13 January 2019


Drawing of William Weightman
by Charlotte Bronte
A Reminiscence
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)


  1. Part of the mystique of the Brontes is that they all died so young. One wonder what they would have achieved had they lived longer -- but then, sometimes people never achieve in their later years what they managed to do when they were young. It's hard to know at what age genius will strike!

    1. What time zone is your blog set for, BTW? It says I'm posting at 11:16 a.m. but it's actually 10:16 p.m. in our time zone, YP!

    2. I have no idea what time zone I am in or how to reset my time zone. Fortunately, this is not a problem that ever bothered the Brontes.

    3. Ha! Yes, the Brontes were mercifully spared such technical considerations. But should you ever want to change it, you can get to it via "Settings" on the left-hand side of your Blogger dashboard page (the page that lists all your posts). Just choose "Language and Formatting" and there's a place to set your time zone. Of course it's totally up to you! No pressure! :)

    4. Thank you for that Steve! Ian at "Shooting Parrots" has pointed the issue out before but i didn't know how to fix it. I am going there now. I hope that thirteen and a half years of blogging does not suddenly disappear!

  2. Aha! So that's what you do when you're out walking about, Yorkie...sending Valentine cards...to Shirley! Your secret missions are out of the bag!!!

    My computer time zone is all wrong, too...and has been ever since I've had this PC...but it doesn't concern me. I never know what day it is! :)

    1. Maybe I should make the effort to sort this "problem" out even though I don't really know what Steve was talking about.

    2. To my mind, it doesn't matter, Yorkie....not to me. And, what's it matter, anyway....you and many of the folk with whom I blog are overseas...in the Northern Hemisphere...our time zones are vastly different, anyway.

      As I type this it is 9 am here Tuesday...but it will show a different time when I post this comment.

  3. That is all rather heart-wrenching. The poem is lovely and deftly written, and I'm glad to have had the chance to read it. I don't care for the usual Bronte fare, so probably would never have come across the poem on my own.

    1. In my humble opinion, "Wuthering Heights" is one of the greatest novels ever written.

  4. What a sadly beautiful poem. There was much talent in that family along with much heartache. I have not seen that particular poem, thanks for sharing.

    1. I wanted to direct a spotlight at just one of Anne Bronte's poems and I am glad that this struck a chord with you Bonnie.

  5. What a touching story. It is easy to forget how diseases like TB, cholera, etc. took the lives of so many young people.

    1. The Reverend Patrick Bronte must have been a tough old fellow because he outlived all of his children. Imagine that.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits