No Coward Soul Is Mine ~ Emily Bronte

EMILY BRONTE 1818-1848 ~ PORTRAIT BY BRANWELL BRONTE
"I'll walk where my own nature would be leading:
    It vexes me to choose another guide:
Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
    Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side."
 -Emily Bronte (Stanzas) 

Emily Bronte was the daughter of an Anglican vicar yet her own faith was based not on traditional religious attitudes, but on her own experience which was rooted in nature rather than a physical Church or specific doctrine. Mary Robinson, in her 1883 biography of Emily, put it this way:

“Never was a soul with more passionate love of Mother Earth, of every weed and flower, of every bird, beast, and insect that lived.”

HAWORTH MOOR, WEST YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND

Her sister Charlotte wrote of Emily, that the moors “were what she lived in, and by”. Emily beautifully describes them in “High Waving Heather”, written in 1836. First verse here:

“High waving heather, ‘neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars;
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,

Man’s spirit away from its drear dungeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.”

Emily Bronte had the courage of her convictions. She had faith in a God who was not the construction of orthodoxy, but the God she had come to know for herself. This can be seen in her poem No Coward Soul Is Mine.

“No coward soul is mine

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere

I see Heaven’s glories shine

And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

O God within my breast

Almighty ever-present Deity

Life, that in me hast rest,

As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

Vain are the thousand creeds

That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,

Worthless as withered weeds

Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one

Holding so fast by thy infinity,

So surely anchored on

The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love

Thy spirit animates eternal years

Pervades and broods above,

Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though earth and moon were gone

And suns and universes ceased to be

And Thou wert left alone

Every Existence would exist in thee

There is not room for Death

Nor atom that his might could render void

Since thou art Being and Breath

And what thou art may never be destroyed.”