“You know, Hell is purely a voluntary organization …”
“We get a lot of opposition from the press … and still some from the church.”
“I am the king: you know it, friend! We wed.
That is the tale of how my wooing sped.
And oh! the quest: half won—incredible?
I am so brave, and pure—folk love me well.
But oh! my life, my being! That is dead,
And my whole soul—a whirlwind out of hell!” [via]
“‘You know I will not strike, Sir pure and brave!
Fight me your best—or I shall find a whip!’
That stung me, even me. He wronged me, so:
Therefore some shame and hate informed the blow;
Some coward’s courage pointed me the steel;
Some strength of Hell: we lunge, and leap, and wheel;
Hard breath and laboured hands—the flashes grow
Swifter and cruel—this court hath no appeal!” [via]
“I must have listened to the voice of hell.
The earthly horror wove its serpent spell
Against the Beauty of the World: I heard
Desolate voices cry the doleful word
“Unready!” All the soul invisible
Of that vast desert echoed, and concurred.
The voices died in mystery away.” [via]
“Where am I? Seven days my spirit fell,
Down, down the whirlpools and the gulfs of hell:
Seven days a corpse lay desolate—at last
Back drew the spirit and the soul aghast
To animate that clay—O horrible!
The resurrection pang is hardly past.
Yet in awhile I stumbled to my feet
To flee—no nightmare could be worse to meet.
And, spite of that, I knew some deadlier trap
Some worm more poisonous would set—mayhap!” [via]
“What meets mine ear,
That every nerve and bone of me cries halt?
What is this cold that nips me at the throat?
This shiver in my blood? this icy note
Of awe within my agonising brain?
Neither of shame, nor love, nor fear, nor pain,
Nor anything? Has love no antidote,
Courage no buckler? Hark! it comes again.
Friend, hast thou heard the wailing of the damned?
Friend, hast thou listened when a murderer shammed
Pale smiles amid his fellows as they spoke
Low of his crime: his fear is like to choke
His palsied throat. How, if Hell’s gate were slammed
This very hour upon thy womanfolk?
Conceive, I charge thee! Brace thy spirit up
To drink at that imagination’s cup!
Then, shriek, and pass! For thou shalt understand
A little of the pressure of the hand
That crushed me now.” [via]
“Loved, and no sin done! Ay, the world shall see
The quest is first—a love less terrible.
Yet, as I ride toward the edge of snow
That cuts the blue, I think. For even so
Comes reason to me: ‘Oh, return, return!
What folly is it for two souls to burn
With hell’s own fire! What is this quest of woe?
What is the end? Consider and discern!’
Banish the thought! My working reason still
Is the rebellious vassal to my will,
Because I will it. That is God’s own mind.
I cast all thought and prudence to the wind:
On, to the quest! The cursed parrot hill
Mocks on, on, on! The thought is left behind.” [via]
“Oh! my pure heart! Adulterous love began
So subtly to identify the man
With its own perfumed thoughts. So steals the grape
Into the furtive brain—a spirit shape
Kisses my spirit as no woman can.
I love her—yes; and I have no escape.
I never spoke, I never looked! But she
Saw through the curtains of the soul of me,
And loved me also! It is very well.
I am well started on the road to Hell.” [via]
“One far above the heavens crowned alone,
Immitigable, intangible, a maid,
Incomprehensible, divine, unknown,
Who loves your love, and to high God hath said:
‘To me these songs are made!’
So in a little from the silent Hell
Rises a spectre, disanointed now,
Who bears a cup of poison terrible,
The seal of God upon his blasted brow,
To whom His angels bow.” [via]
“In that desire their hands are strained and wrung;
In that most infinite passion beats the blood,
And bursting chants of amorous agony flung
To the void Hell, are lost, not understood,
Unheard by evil or good.” [via]