Strange, is it not? That of the myriads who
Before us passed the door of Darkness through,
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.
The revelations of devout and learned
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burned
Are all but stories, which, awoke from sleep,
They told their friends, and to sleep returned.
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that after- life to spell:
And by and by my soul returned to me,
And answered “I myself am Heaven and Hell.”
Heaven but the vision of fulfilled desire,
And hell the shadow from a soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which ourselves,
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire.
We are no other than a moving row.
Of magic shadow shapes that come and go.
Round with the sun illumined lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show,
But helpless pieces of the game he plays
Upon this Chequer - board of nights and days.
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the closet lays.
The ball no question makes of ayes and noes,
But here and there as strikes the player goes,
And he that tossed you down into field,
He knows about it all he knows, he knows!
(Anonymous, Unknown title)