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John Hay

(8 October 1838 – 1 July 1905 / Salem, Indiana)

Accidents


A vision seen by Plato the divine:
Two shuddering souls come forward, waiting doom
From Rhadamanthus in the nether gloom.
One is a slave hunger has made him pine;
One is a king his arms and jewels shine,
Making strange splendor in the dismal room.
"Hence!" cries the judge, "and strip them! Let them come
With nought to show if they be coarse or fine."
Of garb and body they are swift bereft:
Such is hell's law nothing but soul is left.
The slave, in virtue glorious, is held fit
For those blest isles of peace where just kings go.
The king, by vice deformed, is sent below
To herd with base slaves in the wailing pit.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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