Here you will find the Long Poem How Love Looked For Hell. of poet Sidney Lanier
'To heal his heart of long-time pain One day Prince Love for to travel was fain With Ministers Mind and Sense. `Now what to thee most strange may be?' Quoth Mind and Sense. `All things above, One curious thing I first would see -- Hell,' quoth Love. 'Then Mind rode in and Sense rode out: They searched the ways of man about. First frightfully groaneth Sense. `'Tis here, 'tis here,' and spurreth in fear To the top of the hill that hangeth above And plucketh the Prince: `Come, come, 'tis here --' `Where?' quoth Love -- '`Not far, not far,' said shivering Sense As they rode on. `A short way hence, -- But seventy paces hence: Look, King, dost see where suddenly This road doth dip from the height above? Cold blew a mouldy wind by me' (`Cold?' quoth Love) '`As I rode down, and the River was black, And yon-side, lo! an endless wrack And rabble of souls,' sighed Sense, `Their eyes upturned and begged and burned In brimstone lakes, and a Hand above Beat back the hands that upward yearned --' `Nay!' quoth Love -- '`Yea, yea, sweet Prince; thyself shalt see, Wilt thou but down this slope with me; 'Tis palpable,' whispered Sense. -- At the foot of the hill a living rill Shone, and the lilies shone white above; `But now 'twas black, 'twas a river, this rill,' (`Black?' quoth Love) '`Ay, black, but lo! the lilies grow, And yon-side where was woe, was woe, -- Where the rabble of souls,' cried Sense, `Did shrivel and turn and beg and burn, Thrust back in the brimstone from above -- Is banked of violet, rose, and fern:' `How?' quoth Love: '`For lakes of pain, yon pleasant plain Of woods and grass and yellow grain Doth ravish the soul and sense: And never a sigh beneath the sky, And folk that smile and gaze above --' `But saw'st thou here, with thine own eye, Hell?' quoth Love. '`I saw true hell with mine own eye, True hell, or light hath told a lie, True, verily,' quoth stout Sense. Then Love rode round and searched the ground, The caves below, the hills above; `But I cannot find where thou hast found Hell,' quoth Love. 'There, while they stood in a green wood And marvelled still on Ill and Good, Came suddenly Minister Mind. `In the heart of sin doth hell begin: 'Tis not below, 'tis not above, It lieth within, it lieth within:' (`Where?' quoth Love) '`I saw a man sit by a corse; `Hell's in the murderer's breast: remorse!' Thus clamored his mind to his mind: Not fleshly dole is the sinner's goal, Hell's not below, nor yet above, 'Tis fixed in the ever-damned soul --' `Fixed?' quoth Love -- '`Fixed: follow me, would'st thou but see: He weepeth under yon willow tree, Fast chained to his corse,' quoth Mind. Full soon they passed, for they rode fast, Where the piteous willow bent above. `Now shall I see at last, at last, Hell,' quoth Love. 'There when they came Mind suffered shame: `These be the same and not the same,' A-wondering whispered Mind. Lo, face by face two spirits pace Where the blissful willow waves above: One saith: `Do me a friendly grace --' (`Grace!' quoth Love) '`Read me two Dreams that linger long, Dim as returns of old-time song That flicker about the mind. I dreamed (how deep in mortal sleep!) I struck thee dead, then stood above, With tears that none but dreamers weep;' `Dreams,' quoth Love; '`In dreams, again, I plucked a flower That clung with pain and stung with power, Yea, nettled me, body and mind.' `'Twas the nettle of sin, 'twas medicine; No need nor seed of it here Above; In dreams of hate true loves begin.' `True,' quoth Love. '`Now strange,' quoth Sense, and `Strange,' quoth Mind, `We saw it, and yet 'tis hard to find, -- But we saw it,' quoth Sense and Mind. Stretched on the ground, beautiful-crowned Of the piteous willow that wreathed above, `But I cannot find where ye have found Hell,' quoth Love.'