Jewels for Jane Eyre were unnatural and strange
And they strained their way gasping across the page.
He would have dressed her up and worshipped her
And yet he would slaughter her innocence, the very
Thing that made him desire her, need her, despise
Her like she was his only path to salvation.

She was a witch, and she was a goddess, she was
A pale untainted lady, fit only for sacrifice, and yet
Under the billowing folds of Turkish canopies in
The sun, she would have unfolded herself to him,
And given away the secrets to her magic, and he
Would have yawned and grown bored, another
Maiden despoiled, fallen under his sword.

Not a pixie then, not some startled fawn, just
Jane Eyre, and true to herself, staring out
Across the battlements and running back at his
Word, love runs deeper than spoiling fancies,
Mouldering fantasies, love is imperfect and sometimes
It is untrue, but love lasts, across worlds, across
The moors and the tangled messy years, love
Is spent tears, love is a battle, a fierce unending
Grapple that nobody can ever hope to win.

And when the ashes come, fluttering down, over
Thornfield, the spectre of the past is flattened, damned,
It takes in hand the things we most fear, and it
Grows, gently, a slowly healing scar, everything is
Possible and we can travel far, we can build worlds
Of our own out from the dark, we will not fear anymore.

We stand united, and our jewels will not be worth
Much, indeed they cannot be touched, they will
Last longer than any gem’s shine, and be worth more
Than some ancient golden shrine, indeed, real jewels
Are unnatural and strange, when real love will
Last, embedded across the unending page.


Rose Staveley-Wadham