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[310] ‘Arise,’ He said, “my angels! a wail of woe and sin
Steals through the gates of heaven, and saddens all within.

“My harps take up the mournful strain that from a lost world swells,
The smoke of torment clouds the light and blights the asphodels.

“Fly downward to that under world, and on its souls of pain
Let Love drop smiles like sunshine, and Pity tears like rain!”

Two faces bowed before the Throne, veiled in their golden hair;
Four white wings lessened swiftly down the dark abyss of air.

The way was strange, the flight was long; at last the angels came
Where swung the lost and nether world, red-wrapped in rayless flame.

There Pity, shuddering, wept; but Love, with faith too strong for fear,
Took heart from God's almightiness and smiled a smile of cheer.

And lo! that tear of Pity quenched the flame whereon it fell,
And, with the sunshine of that smile, hope entered into hell!

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