Lines Written in March, 1836


Lines Written in March, 1836 is a poem excerpted from Fuller's ground-breaking book, Woman in the Nineteenth Century.
"I will not leave you comfortless."
  O, Friend divine! this promise dear
  Falls sweetly on the weary ear!
  Often, in hours of sickening pain,
  It soothes me to thy rest again.

  Might I a true disciple be,
  Following thy footsteps faithfully,
  Then should I still the succor prove
  Of him who gave his life for love.

  When this fond heart would vainly beat
  For bliss that ne'er on earth we meet,
  For perfect sympathy of soul,
  From those such heavy laws control;

  When, roused from passion's ecstasy,
  I see the dreams that filled it fly,
  Amid my bitter tears and sighs
  Those gentle words before me rise.

  With aching brows and feverish brain
  The founts of intellect I drain,
  And con with over-anxious thought
  What poets sung and heroes wrought.

  Enchanted with their deeds and lays,
  I with like gems would deck my days;
  No fires creative in me burn,
  And, humbled, I to Thee return;

  When blackest clouds around me rolled
  Of scepticism drear and cold,
  When love, and hope, and joy and pride,
  Forsook a spirit deeply tried;

  My reason wavered in that hour,
  Prayer, too impatient, lost its power;
  From thy benignity a ray,
  I caught, and found the perfect day.

  A head revered in dust was laid;
  For the first time I watched my dead;
  The widow's sobs were checked in vain,
  And childhood's tears poured down like rain.

  In awe I gaze on that dear face,
  In sorrow, years gone by retrace,
  When, nearest duties most forgot,
  I might have blessed, and did it not!

  Ignorant, his wisdom I reproved,
  Heedless, passed by what most he loved,
  Knew not a life like his to prize,
  Of ceaseless toil and sacrifice.

  No tears can now that hushed heart move,
  No cares display a daughter's love,
  The fair occasion lost, no more
  Can thoughts more just to thee restore.

  What can I do? And how atone
  For all I've done, and left undone?
  Tearful I search the parting words
  Which the beloved John records.

  "Not comfortless!" I dry my eyes,
  My duties clear before me rise,—
  Before thou think'st of taste or pride,
  See home-affections satisfied!

  Be not with generous thoughts content,
  But on well-doing constant bent;
  When self seems dear, self-seeking fair;
  Remember this sad hour in prayer!

  Though all thou wishest fly thy touch,
  Much can one do who loveth much.
  More of thy spirit, Jesus give,
  Not comfortless, though sad, to live.

  And yet not sad, if I can know
  To copy Him who here below
  Sought but to do his Father's will,
  Though from such sweet composure still

  My heart be far. Wilt thou not aid
  One whose best hopes on thee are stayed?
  Breathe into me thy perfect love,
  And guide me to thy rest above!


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