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224th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 224th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2013 Dive Into Poetry Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Check out the stops on the 2013 National Poetry Month Blog Tour and the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem is from Anne Brontë:

Last Lines

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!

What do you think?

  • I agree this is a bit like Dickinson, perhaps because of the talk about death. I do like the idea of grief bringing strength, especially if one relies on God and faith. I think she raises a few questions about faith and how even in grief — particularly grief brought by God — is hardest, especially given her human failings….the penchant to resent and blame the cause of the grief.

  • The coupling of grief and the fear of sin seems so much more devastating to me than just suffering a loss. The speaker wants to be the best follower, yet fears that the very human grief she feels will make her unworthy – a grief by the way that she views as being sent by that self-same God. The effect of her plea is to make me want to hold her and tell her that it is okay to weep for her loss.

  • I’ve never read any poems by the Brontes. I liked the rhyming in this one, since it didn’t sound as forced as some other rhyming poems. And for some reason, it reads like Dickinson a bit to me.