THIS last denial of my faith,
Thou, solemn Priest, hast heard;
And, though upon my bed of death,
I call not back a word.
Point not to thy Madonna, Priest,
Thy sightless saint of stone;
She cannot, from this burning breast,
Wring one repentant moan.
Thou say'st, that when a sinless child,
I duly bent the knee,
And prayed to what in marble smiled
Cold, lifeless, mute, on me.
I did. But listen ! Children spring
Full soon to riper youth;
And, for Love's vow and Wedlock's ring,
I sold my early truth.
'Twas not a grey, bare head, like thine,
Bent o'er me, when I said,
' That land and God and Faith are mine,
For which thy fathers bled.'
I see thee not, my eyes are dim;
But, well I hear thee say,
' O daughter, cease to think of him
Who led thy soul astray.
Between you lies both space and time;
Let leagues and years prevail
To turn thee from the path of crime,
Back to the Church's pale.'
And, did I need that thou shouldst tell
What mighty barriers rise
To part me from that dungeon-cell,
Where my loved Walter lies ?
And, did I need that thou shouldst taunt
My dying hour at last,
By bidding this worn spirit pant
No more for what is past ?
Priestmust I cease to think of him ?
How hollow rings that word !
Can time, can tears, can distance dim
The memory of my lord ?
I said before, I saw not thee,
Because, an hour agone,
Over my eye-balls, heavily,
The lids fell down like stone.
But still my spirit's inward sight
Beholds his image beam
As fixed, as clear, as burning bright,
As some red planet's gleam.
Talk not of thy Last Sacrament,
Tell not thy beads for me;
Both rite and prayer are vainly spent,
As dews upon the sea.
Speak not one word of Heaven above,
Rave not of Hell's alarms;
Give me but back my Walter's love,
Restore me to his arms !
Then will the bliss of Heaven be won;
Then will Hell shrink away,
As I have seen night's terrors shun
The conquering steps of day.
'Tis my religion thus to love,
My creed thus fixed to be;
Not Death shall shake, nor Priestcraft break
My rock-like constancy !
Now go; for at the door there waits
Another stranger guest:
He callsI comemy pulse scarce beats,
My heart fails in my breast.
Again that voicehow far away,
How dreary sounds that tone !
And I, methinks, am gone astray
In trackless wastes and lone.
I fain would rest a little while:
Where can I find a stay,
Till dawn upon the hills shall smile,
And show some trodden way ?
' I come ! I come !' in haste she said,
' 'Twas Walter's voice I heard !'
Then up she sprangbut fell back, dead,
His name her latest word.
Charlotte Brontë's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Apostasy by Charlotte Brontë )
- One Nation Under God, Katherine Nordhaus
- the weather knows where i'll someday put.., Mandolyn ...
- Love Is, sallam yassin
- MY HEART SMILES TO YOU, john chizoba vincent
- When The Wind Blows, Tony Adah
- If I am just a Character, Felicia Manning
- Only if..., Ntando.B Da poet
- Patience & Acceptance, Tom Zart
- I am a stream, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- THE WIDOW, john chizoba vincent
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- A Drinking Song, William Butler Yeats
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
- Heather Burns
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)