(Caged within Lust’s tormenting cell, the man pulls out the Scroll and reads…)
Vacuum, the barrenness of empty desire;
Insatiable craving, abysmal mire;
Deluded by Lust, the cunning liar;
The end of all ends, brimstone and fire…
Leave the dark dungeon behind;
Leap into the Light;
Break through the hideous blind:
Flee! Stand not to fight!
ENCOUNTER WITH STRANGER
(Stranger comes to the man’s assistance. The man asks Stranger who he is and what he does and gets this reply)
“Ask the ground beneath your feet what it does,
Ask the firmament above your head what it does,
Ask the daystar that fills the world with energy what it does,
(Now hidden from your view; yet, not annulled)
Ask the heart that beats within your breast what it does,
Ask the cold rain pouring from the fiery sky what it does;
Who has appointed it? What office does it hold?
Is it paid from the treasures of Hamartia?
Or does Sarx marshal it like he does the forces of wild Desire?
Then you shall know that my office is not from below;
Neither am I esteemed by this estranged world of woes.
Sin finds nothing in me, nothing worthwhile but profuse enmity!
Do not ask any further; for this is not the time to ask and answer;
Run! Run away from here! Stop not to look back,
Turn neither to the left nor to the right! Just run, run away from here!”
THE CALL OF DRUNKENNESS
(As they keep fleeing, a drunken man calls out to them with this song)
“Why do you run beating dust in the air?
Why do you hurry as if the world needs your care?
Hey, the world’s on its own, buddy;
You ain’t gonna make it any inch better!
Come, enjoy some rum, be a good bum;
Let’s gulp some spirit and get into the gutter!”
INSTRUCTION FROM THE RED BOOK
“Seek Wisdom like one searches for hidden treasure;
And till you find her, allow no game and no pleasure.
Seek her in the squares; seek her in the thoroughfares,
Seek her everywhere, but keep away from barren leisure.”