Last Lines

By Anne Brontë 1820–1849 Anne Bronte
I hoped, that with the brave and strong,
      My portioned task might lie;
To toil amid the busy throng,
      With purpose pure and high.

But God has fixed another part,
      And He has fixed it well;
I said so with my bleeding heart,
      When first the anguish fell.

A dreadful darkness closes in
      On my bewildered mind;
Oh, let me suffer and not sin,
      Be tortured, yet resigned.

Shall I with joy thy blessings share
      And not endure their loss?
Or hope the martyr's crown to wear
      And cast away the cross?

Thou, God, hast taken our delight,
      Our treasured hope away;
Thou bidst us now weep through the night
      And sorrow through the day.

These weary hours will not be lost,
      These days of misery,
These nights of darkness, anguish-tost,
      Can I but turn to Thee.

Weak and weary though I lie,
      Crushed with sorrow, worn with pain,
I may lift to Heaven mine eye,
      And strive to labour not in vain;

That inward strife against the sins
      That ever wait on suffering
To strike whatever first begins:
      Each ill that would corruption bring;

That secret labour to sustain
      With humble patience every blow;
To gather fortitude from pain,
      And hope and holiness from woe.

Thus let me serve Thee from my heart,
      Whate'er may be my written fate:
Whether thus early to depart,
      Or yet a while to wait.

If thou shouldst bring me back to life,
      More humbled I should be;
More wise, more strengthened for the strife,
      More apt to lean on Thee.

Should death be standing at the gate,
      Thus should I keep my vow;
But, Lord! whatever be my fate,
      Oh, let me serve Thee now!

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Poet Anne Brontë 1820–1849

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Religion, Faith & Doubt, Christianity, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

Biography

In Conversations in Ebury Street (1924), George Moore declared that "if Anne Brontë had lived ten years longer, she would have taken a place beside Jane Austen, perhaps even a higher place"; in addition, he described her first novel, Agnes Grey (1847), as "the most perfect prose narrative in English literature."

If Moore's estimation of Brontë's work and potential was somewhat inflated, his claims for her served as an overdue . . .

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Poems by Anne Brontë

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Faith & Doubt, Christianity, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Allusion, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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