A sorrowful image of a tired soul, feeling isolated.

As her stray ideas returned slowly, each folding its weak wings on the mind’s sad shore, like birds exhausted – beholding void, and perceiving silence round her, she believed herself alone.

A touching image, of exhausted birds landing on the ‘mind’s sad shore’. Note that ‘she believed herself alone’, which doesn’t mean she was. Loneliness can be like that, insisting we are alone when we may not be. 

See also our quote-packed celebration of Bronte’s bestellar, Jane Eyre.

Source: Charlotte Bronte, Shirley (London: Collins, 1968), p. 338

Photo credit: alexgarrido at pixabay

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