James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

March 31

Haworth Churchyard

By Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)

  • In memory of Charlotte Brontë. Died March 31, 1855.

  • HOW shall we honour the young,

    The ardent, the gifted? how mourn?

    Console we cannot; her ear

    Is deaf. Far northward from here,

    In a churchyard high mid the moors

    Of Yorkshire, a little earth

    Stops it for ever to praise.

    Where, behind Keighly, the road

    Up to the heart of the moors

    Beneath heath-clad showery hills

    Runs, and colliers carts

    Poach the deep ways coming down,

    And a rough, grim’d race have their homes—

    There, on its slope, is built

    The moorland town. But the church

    Stands on the crest of the hill,

    Lonely and bleak; at its side

    The parsonage house and the graves.

    See! in the desolate house

    The children’s father. Alas—

    Age, whom the most of us chide,

    Chide, and put back, and delay—

    Come, unupbraided for once!

    Lay thy benumbing hand,

    Gratefully cold on this brow!

    Shut out the grief, the despair!

    Weaken the sense of his loss!

    Deaden the infinite pain!

    Another grief I see,

    Younger: but this the Muse,

    In pity, with silent awe

    Revering what she cannot sooth,

    With veil’d face and bow’d head,

    Salutes, and passes by.

    Strew with roses the grave

    Of the early-dying. Alas!

    Early she goes on the path

    To the Silent Country, and leaves

    Half his laurels unwon,

    Dying too soon; yet green

    Laurels she had, and a course

    Short, yet redoubled by Fame.