- Born: 21 April 1816
- Birthplace: Thornton, Yorkshire, England
- Died: 31 March 1855 (complications from pregnancy)
Charlotte is the author of Jane Eyre and a member of the remarkable Brontë family. The sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne first published their poetry under pseudonyms: Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell was released in 1846, selling only a few copies. Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre was published in 1847, shortly after Emily’s Wuthering Heights; the sisters had almost simultaneously written what later became known as two of the great novels of English literature. Jane Eyre was an immediate success and Charlotte went on to publish Shirley (1848) and Villette (1853). She outlived her sisters but still was only 38 when she died in pregnancy.
Winter Stores by Charlotte Brontë
(published under her nom de plume, Currer Bell, 1846)
And, haply, Death unstrings his bow,
And Sorrow stands apart,
And, for a little while, we know
The sunshine of the heart.
Existence seems a summer eve,
Warm, soft, and full of peace,
Our free, unfettered feelings give
The soul its full release.
A moment, then, it takes the power
To call up thoughts that throw
Around that charmed and hallowed hour,
This life’s divinest glow.
But Time, though viewlessly it flies,
And slowly, will not stay;
Alike, through clear and clouded skies,
It cleaves its silent way.
Alike the bitter cup of grief,
Alike the draught of bliss,
Its progress leaves but moment brief
For baffled lips to kiss
And has the soul, then, only gained,
From this brief time of ease,
A moment’s rest, when overstrained,
One hurried glimpse of peace?
No; while the sun shone kindly o’er us,
And flowers bloomed round our feet,—
While many a bud of joy before us
Unclosed its petals sweet,—
An unseen work within was plying;
Like honey-seeking bee,
From flower to flower, unwearied, flying,
Laboured one faculty,—
’Tis she that from each transient pleasure
Extracts a lasting good;
’Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure
To serve for winter’s food.
And when Youth’s summer day is vanished,
And Age brings Winter’s stress,
Her stores, with hoarded sweets replenished,
Life’s evening hours will bless.