[A dreadful darkness closes in]

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

Through all this world of whelming mist
                    Still let me look to Thee,
And give me courage to resist
                    The Tempter till he flee.

Weary I am — O give me strength
                    And leave me not to faint;
Say Thou wilt comfort me at legnth
                    And pity my complaint.

I've begged to serve Thee heart and soul,
                    To sacrifice to Thee
No niggard portion, but the whole
                    Of my identity.

I hoped amid the brave and strong
                    My portioned task might lie,
To toil amid the labouring throng
                    With purpose pure and high.

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

For Thou hast taken my delight,
                   And hope of life away,
And bid me watch the painful night
                    And wait the weary day.

The hope and delight were Thine;
                    I bless Thee for their loan;
I gave Thee while I deemed them mine
                    Too little thanks, I own.

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?

These weary hours will not be lost,
                    These days of passive misery,
These nights of darkness anguish tost
                    If I can fix my heart on Thee.

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

That inward strife against the sins
                    That ever wait on suffering;
To watch and strike where 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,
                    Whatever 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, whate'er my future fate
                    So let me serve Thee now.

Source: The Poems of Anne Brontë (Rowman and Littlefield, 1979)
More Poems by Anne Brontë