Herakles

Written by: Akash Yadav

And fifty paces I took, And moved a little ground ahead-- Only to see two paths before me-- So doubtful, on which to tread... I sat awhile, to rest and see, Cursing this life of work and pain: My eyes fell first on one of the roads, Next upon the other lane... Uncertain and perplexed I was, For one was smooth--the other bra'en; One called me on comfortingly, The other prompted further pain; This had the sight of a mount in the dist, That led to fog and mist... Thus I sat, but thus, Much I couldn't think nor do, When all askance, I saw approach Fairest of the fair, maidens two: One spake before another And this she had to say: ''O noble youth, come hold my hand, I'll lead you on your way... No longer bowed-down with toil Wilt thou be and live in ease: A day-dream of gladness life will be-- No more pains to tease...'' ''I have no promise'', said the other, ''Of such fancies or zest, As this path I'll lead you on, Should put your strength to test; I shall not promise pleasures to you, Nor a hope of mirthful rejoice: You'll need to carve a path in life-- With labour, your sole choice. But, I assure, I'll 'company you To the Blue Mount yonder you see... Come, take my hand, I'll take you far To the Mountain of eternal Glory..'' A while, I stood to consider That I had just heard, ''Tell me'', said I, ''What'd be thy names?'' (I craved a Truth beyond all word) ''I am Labour--they call me Virtue'' (I saw her countenance pure) ''I am Lust, or Pleasure, they say''-- A bewitching smile she wore-- And clear in mind, I grabbed the hand, ''I'll be thine, Virtue'', I said, ''Lead me away--on the forbidding aisle Upon which, now I choose to tread..''