He thought to keep himself from Hell
by knowing and by loving well.
His work and vision, his desire
Would keep him climbing up the stair.
At limit now of flesh and bone,
He cannot climb for holding on.
"I fear the drop, I feel the blaze --
Lord, grant thy mercy and thy grace."
Wendell Berry from A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997, p108.