Skip navigation to main content

Featured Poem: The Elder’s Rebuke by Emily Bronte

Written by The Reader, 31st July 2017

Our Featured Poem for the week ahead comes from the wonderful mind of Emily Bronte, The Elder's Rebuke.

In this week's poem, the 'elder' of the title offering some wise words of advice to the younger generation. With stark warnings of 'penance' to be paid, there's also some well heeded descriptions of Duty, Mirth, Beauty and Love. A good poem for readers of all age to peruse...

The Elder's Rebuke

“Listen! When your hair, like mine,
Takes a tint of silver gray;
When your eyes, with dimmer shine,
Watch life’s bubbles float away:

When you, young man, have borne like me
The weary weight of sixty-three,
Then shall penance sore be paid
For those hours so wildly squandered;
And the words that now fall dead
On your ear, be deeply pondered—
Pondered and approved at last:
But their virtue will be past!

“Glorious is the prize of Duty,
Though she be ’a serious power’;
Treacherous all the lures of Beauty,
Thorny bud and poisonous flower!

“Mirth is but a mad beguiling
Of the golden-gifted time;
Love—a demon-meteor, wiling
Heedless feet to gulfs of crime.

“Those who follow earthly pleasure,
Heavenly knowledge will not lead;
Wisdom hides from them her treasure,
Virtue bids them evil-speed!

“Vainly may their hearts repenting.
Seek for aid in future years;
Wisdom, scorned, knows no relenting;
Virtue is not won by fears.”

Thus spake the ice-blooded elder gray;
The young man scoffed as he turned away,
Turned to the call of a sweet lute’s measure,
Waked by the lightsome touch of pleasure:
Had he ne’er met a gentler teacher,
Woe had been wrought by that pitiless preacher.

Emily Bronte

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Literature

Places to Go: A Trip Out on the Lake with Edith Wharton in Summer

Places to Go is a special feature that The Reader is bringing to you in the hope that it may…

Read more
Literature

Live Stream: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm you can join us on Facebook live for your bi-weekly dose of literature read…

Read more
Literature

Live Stream: The Sea Shell by William Wordsworth

On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm you can  join us on Facebook live for your bi-weekly dose of literature read…

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.