II.

Slow before her forms a gate:

Dark as midnight, cold as hate.

Through the arch there soon appears

The first of many flaming stairs.

She looks behind her at the earth

That she has haunted from her birth;

Then facing forward, soul erect,

She slowly takes a single step

Onto the stair and through the arch

Thus leaving living's wry and parched

Existence; and behind her where

There used to be a bleak world bare,

Now stands a curtain still and black;

She knows that she can not go back.

And down she moves, her footsteps sure

Despite the fire they endure.