Faith was written in Ms. Alcott’s diary in May, 1850, when she was 18 years old, after the family suffered small-pox during the summer after her mother cared for some poor immigrants who were sick. She describes both her parent as very ill: “we had a curious time of exile, danger, and trouble. No doctors, and all got well.”
The poem is featured in Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters, and Journals (1889).
Oh, when the heart is full of fears
And the way seems dim to heaven,
When the sorrow and the care of years
Peace from the heart has driven,–
Then, through the mist of falling tears,
Look up and be forgiven.
Forgiven for the lack of faith
That made all dark to thee,
Let conscience o’er thy wayward soul
Have fullest mastery:
Hope on, fight on, and thou shalt win
A noble victory.
Though thou art weary and forlorn,
Let not thy heart’s peace go;
Though the riches of this world are gone,
And thy lot is care and woe,
Faint not, but journey hourly on:
True wealth is not below.
Through all the darkness still look up:
Let virtue be thy guide;
Take thy draught from sorrow’s cup,
Yet trustfully abide;
Let not temptation vanquish thee,
And the Father will provide.