Study Guide

Remembrance Love

By Emily Brontë


Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave? (3-4)

Sometimes remembering lost love takes effort, especially since the speaker will always feel the anguish that comes along with that remembrance. Time, however, has a way of easing the pain a bit. Unfortunately, that also means that the speaker will remember her dead loved one less and less as time goes by.

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world's tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong! (13-16)

According to our speaker, "Love of youth" comes only once, and anything that comes after just isn't as sweet because the speaker has grown and experienced more things. She can't fight the "world's tide" but she also knows that no matter the changes that come, they can never harm that ooey-gooey feeling of love she once felt. It's there somewhere locked away in her remembrance.

Then did I check the tears of useless passion—
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine; (25-26)

Love can be dangerous when you lose it. Sometimes it can make you feel like you've lost yourself. The same goes for the speaker here, who feels so hurt that she wants to join her lover in that grave. But these are all yearnings of her "young soul" and her "useless passion" that keep her from being able to cherish her existence without that first love. She needed to grow up a little and learn to check those tears before they wrecked her completely.