“Before me there were no created things,
Only eterne, and I eternal last.
All hope abandon, ye who enter in!”
These words in somber color I beheld
Written upon the summit of a gate…
“This miserable mode
Maintain the melancholy souls of those
Who lived withouten infamy or praise.
Commingled are they with that caitiff choir
Of Angels, who have not rebellious been,
Nor faithful were to God, but were for self.”
“Now I will have thee know, ere thou go farther.
That they sinned not; and if they merit had,
‘Tis not enough, because they had not baptism,
Which is the portal of the faith thou holdest;
And if they were before Christianity,
In the right manner they adored not God;
And among such as these am I myself.
For such defects, and not for other guilt,
Lost are we…”
“The honorable name,
That sounds of them above there in thy life,
Wins grace in Heaven, that so advances them.”