‘The time has come,’ my master said, ‘to prove
yourself; for never in a feather bed
did hero leave behind a lasting groove
upon the planet; without fame, the dead
leave such a mark as foam upon the wave,
or smoke in air, so lift your weary head!
Get up! breathe with the soul, for it is brave
in every battle, and will always win,
unless the heavy body be its grave.
A longer ladder must be climbed’ (XXIV, 46-55, pg. 165)
â€” Dante Alighieri, The Inferno of Dante Alighieri, trans. Ciaran Carson (London: Granta Books, 2002).