VIRTUE may unlock hell, or even
A sin turn in the wards of Heaven,
(As ethics of the text-book go),
So little men their own deeds know,
Or through the intricate mêlée
Guess whitherward draws the battle-sway;
So little, if they know the deed,
Discern what there from shall succeed.
To wisest moralists 'tis but given
To work rough border-law of Heaven,
Within this narrow life of ours,
Thèse marches 'twixt delimit-less Powers.
Is it, if Heaven the future showed,
Is it the all-severest mode
To see ourselves with the eyes of God ?
God rather grant, at His assize,
He see us not with our own eyes !
Heaven, which man's générations draws,
Nor deviates into replicas,
Must of as deep diversity
In judgement as création be.
There is no expeditious road
To pack and label men for God,
And save them by the barrel-load.
Some may perchance, with strange surprise,
Have blundered into Paradise.
In vasty dusk of life abroad,
They fondly thought to err from God,
Nor knew the circle that they trod ;
And, wandering all the night a bout,
Found them at morn where they set out.
Death dawned; Heaven lay in prospect wide:-
Lo ! they were standing by His side !