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"Life and marriage I have known, Things once deemed so bright; Now, how utterly is flown Every ray of light ! 'Mid the unknown sea of life I no blest isle have found; At last, through all its wild wave's strife, My bark is homeward bound."
In this excerpt, Bronte sweetly sums up her feelings about aging. She no longer values the things which she once considered of paramount importance. She's exchanged them for a more complete perspective about life and death. As she grows older, she's preparing her soul for death which means she acknowledges the meaninglessness of most of the things which she previously valued. This realization is coupled with despair and a deep resonating sense of regret for time wasted.
"For me the universe is dumb, Stone-deaf, and blank, and wholly blind; Life I must bound, existence sum In the strait limits of one mind"
Frances is a woman despairing after being dumped. In some truly breathtaking prose, Bronte describes her friend's grief in the early hours of morning. Frances has come to the opinion that life just really doesn't have much planned for her, as if she specifically were being denied fulfillment when everyone else seemed to be doing alright. She cannot relate to other people nor make them understand what she's experiencing, so she feels absolutely alone and trapped.
"And then to thank God from my heart,
To thank Him well and fervently; Although I knew that we had lost The hope and glory of our life"
When her sister Anne becomes deathly ill, Charlotte nurses her for so long that she starts to believe her sister would be better off dying. Anne's suffering has become so awful that Charlotte cannot help but ask God to allow her to die painlessly now. When Anne finally does die, she leaves the family in despair. Charlotte is relieved that Anne finally has found rest, but she mourns the loss of the most beloved and hopeful member of the family.
"But, there are hours of lonely musing, Such as in evening silence come, When, soft as birds their pinions closing, The heart's best feelings gather home. Then in our souls there seems to languish A tender grief that is not woe; And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish, Now cause but some mild tears to flow."
In this excerpt, Bronte describes how cathartic quiet meditation has proven for her. She is able to collect her thoughts in peace and thus put things into perspective. Suddenly she finds that the pain lingers but its bearable, almost welcome now. She's slowly but surely becoming invincible.
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