“After a while he took the word again:
‘Go thou then moonwards; on the great salt plain;
So to a pillar. Adamant, alone,
It stands. Around it see them overthrown,
King, earl, and knight. There lie the questing slain,
A thousand years forgotten—bone by bone.
‘No more is spoken—the tradition goes:
‘There learns the seeker what he seeks or knows,’
Thence—none have passed. The desert leagues may keep
Some other secret—some profounder deep
Than this one echoed fear: the desert shows
Its ghastly triumph—silence. There they sleep.
‘There, brave and pure, there, true and strong, they stay
Bleached in the desert, till the solemn day
Of God’s revenge—none knoweth them: they rest
Unburied, unremembered, unconfessed.
What names of strength, of majesty, had they?
What suns are these gone down into the West?” [via]
You may be interested in Hell: Warm Words on the Cheerful and Comforting Doctrine of Eternal Damnation by Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, newly added to over at Project Gutenberg.
“THE idea of a hell was born of revenge and brutality on the one side, and cowardice on the other. In my judgment the American people are too brave, too charitable, too generous, too magnanimous, to believe in the infamous dogma of an eternal hell. I have no respect for any human being who believes in it. I have no respect for any man who preaches it. I have no respect for the man who will pollute the imagination of childhood with that infamous lie. I have no respect for the man who will add to the sorrows of this world with the frightful dogma. I have no respect for any man who endeavours to put that infinite cloud, that infinite shadow, over the heart of humanity.”
“Every religion, then, has charged every other religion with having been an unmitigated fraud; and yet, if any man had ever seen the miracle himself, his mind would be prepared to believe that another man had seen the same thing. Whenever a man appeals to a miracle he tells-what is not true. Truth relies upon reason, and the undeviating course of all the laws of nature.”
“Wherever the sword of rebellion is drawn to protect the rights of man, I am a rebel. Wherever the sword of rebellion is drawn to give man liberty, to clothe him in all his just rights, I am on the side of that rebellion. I deny that rulers are crowned by the Most High; the rulers are the people, and the presidents and others are but the servants of the people. All authority comes from the people, and not from the aristocracy of the air.”