Who follow on my step shall surely know.
(Text above from The Golden Book of English Sonnets.)
Poet, whose unscarr'd feet have trodden Hell,
By what grim path and dread environing
Of fire couldst thou that dauntless footstep bring
And plant it firm amid the dolorous cell
Of darkness where perpetually dwell
The spirits cursed beyond imagining?
Or else is thine a visionary wing,
And all thy terror but a tale to tell?
Neither and both, thou seeker! I have been
No wilder path than thou thyself dost go,
Close mask'd in an impenetrable screen,
Which having rent I gaze around, and know
What tragic wastes of gloom, before unseen,
Curtain the soul that strives and sins below.