Heaven-born, the soul a heavenward course must hold beyond the world she soars the wise man, I affirm, can find no rest in that which perishes, nor will he lend his heart to ought that doth time depend.
Heaven?s gate is narrow and minute,* It cannot be perceived by foolish men, Blinded by vain illusions of the world. E?en the clear-sighted, who discern the way And seek to enter, find the portal barred And hard to be unlocked. Its massive bolts Are pride and passion, avarice and lust.
Hell is out of fashion -- institutional hells at any rate. The populated infernos of the 20th century are more private affairs, the gaps between the bars are the sutures of one's own skull. A valid hell is one from which there is a possibility of redemption, even if this is never achieved, the dungeons of an architecture of grace whose spires point to some kind of heaven. The institutional hells of the present century are reached with one-way tickets, marked Nagasaki and Buchenwald, worlds of terminal horror even more final than the grave.
Here at lastWe shall be freethe Almighty hath not builtHere for his envy, will not drive us henceHere we may reign secure, and in my choiceTo reign is worth ambition though in HellBetter to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, and receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.