Sunday, October 28, 2012


“Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.” 
            —Marlowe’s Mephastophilis

      No, hell is not hereafter—hell is here,
      And heaven, too, for those who merit it.
      There is no afterlife you need to fear
      To which your severed soul will finally flit:
      This Earth, this present life, is all there is,
      One opportunity to make the best
      And prove yourself a loser or a whiz:
      To live well here and now is mankind’s quest.
      Yet if that ancient fable helps you fare
      More righteously, expecting a reward,
      Or when calamity befalls, to bear
      Your pain and find emotional accord,
           Then put your fancy to its highest use
           And let your blissfulness be your excuse.