There are nearly 500 known poems by the Brontës. Here are excerpts from a few of my favorites. The first seven are from "Poems: by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell."

"Life"
by Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë)

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?

"Parting"
by Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë)

There's no use in weeping,
Though we are condemned to part:
There's such a thing as keeping
A remembrance in one's heart:

There's such a thing as dwelling
On the thought ourselves have nurs'd,
And with scorn and courage telling
The world to do its worst. . .

When we've left each friend and brother,
When we're parted wide and far,
We will think of one another,
As even better than we are.

"Gilbert, Part I: The Garden"
by Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë)
A reflection on her Brussels experience
"Remembrance"
By Ellis Bell (Emily Brontë)

Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my Only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains on Angora's shore;
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
That noble heart for ever, ever more?

Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee
While the world's tide is bearing me along;
Sterner desires and darker hopes beset me;
Hopes which obscure but cannot do thee wrong!

No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.

But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.

Then did I check the tears of useless passion—
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.

And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memorys rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?

"A Day Dream"
By Ellis Bell (Emily Brontë)
Lines Composed in a Wood on a Windy Day
By Acton Bell (Anne Brontë)

My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.

The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky.

I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!

"Home"
By Acton Bell (Anne Brontë)
Composed at Thorp Green

How brightly glistening in the sun,
The woodland ivy plays!
While yonder beeches from their barks
Reflect his silver rays.
That sun surveys a lovely scene
From softly smiling skies;
And wildly through unnumbered trees
The wind of winter sighs. . .

But give me back my barren hills
Where colder breezes rise;
Where scarce the scattered, stunted trees
Can yield an answering swell,
But where a wilderness of heath
Returns the sound as well. . .

Restore me to that little spot,
With gray walls compassed round,
Where knotted grass neglected lies,
And weeds usurp the ground.

Though all around this mansion high
Invites the foot to roam,
And though its halls are fair within—
Oh, give me back my HOME!

Celebrating Mr. Nicholls's Victory Over the Washerwomen of Haworth
By Patrick Brontë, November 1847
(Composed with teasing affection for his curate)

In Haworth, a parish of ancient renown,
Some preach in their surplice, and others their gown . . .
The Parson, an old man, but hotter than cold,
Of late in reforming, has grown very bold,
And in his fierce zeal, as report loudly tells,
Through legal resort, has reformed the bells.
His curate, who follows—with all due regard,
Though foild by the Church, has reformed the Churchyard.

The females all routed have fled with their clothes
To stackyards, and backyards, and where no one knows,
And loudly have sworn by the suds which they swim in,
They'll wring off his head, for his warring with women.
Whilst their husbands combine and roar out in their fury,
They'll lynch him at once, without trial by jury.
But saddest of all, the fair maiden declare,
Of marriage or love, he must ever despair.

I Saw A Picture, Yesterday
By Branwell Brontë  (Unpublished, in draft form; c. 1843, 1844; Written at Thorp Green, after Mrs. Robinson showed Branwell her self-portrait.)

Her effort shews a picture made
To contradict its meaning
Where should be sunshine painting shade,
And smile with sadness screening;
Where God has given a cheerful view
A gloomy vista showing
Where heart and face, are fair and true
A shade of doubt bestowing

Ah Lady if to me you give
The power your sketch to adorn
How little of it shall I leave
Save smiles that shine like morn.
Ide keep the hue of happy light
That shines from summer skies
Ide drive the shades from smiles so bright
And dry such shining eyes

Ide give a calm to one whose heart
Has banished calm from mine
Ide brighten up Gods work of art
Where thou hast dimmed it shine
And all the wages I should ask
For such a happy toil
I'll name them—far beyond my task— THY PRESENCE AND THY SMILE.

Lydia Gisborne
By Branwell Brontë  (Unpublished; composed in July or August 1845, after his dismissal from Thorp Green. Lydia Gisborne was Mrs. Robinson's maiden name.)

Cannot my soul depart where it will fly?
Asks my tormented heart, willing to die.
When will this restlessness tossing in sleeplessness—
Stranger to happiness—slumbering lie.

Cannot I chase away life in my tomb
Rather than pass away lifetime in gloom,
With sorrows employing their arts in destroying
The power of enjoying the comforts of home?

Home it is not with me bright as of yore
Joys are forgot with me, taught to deplore
My home has ta'en its rest in an afflicted breast
That I have often pressed but—may no more.