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.


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