EXALTED over earth, from hell arisen,
There sits a woman, ruddy with the flame
Of men's blood spilt, and her uncleanly shame,
And the thrice-venomous vomit of her prison.
She sits as one long dead: infernal calm,
Chill hatred, wrap her in their poisonous cold.
She careth not, but doth disdainly hold
Three scourges for man's soul, that know no balm
They know not any cure. The first is Life,
A well of poison. Sowing dust and dung
Over men's hearts, the second scourge, above
All shameful deeds, is Lying, from whose tongue
Drops Envy, wed with Hatred, to sow Strife.
These twain are bitter; but the last is Love.