There is a time, I know not when,
a place, I know not where,
which marks the destiny of men
to heaven or despair.
There is a line by us not seen
which crosses every path,
the hidden boundary between
God's patience and His wrath.
To cross that limit is to die --
to die, as if by stealth.
It may not pale the beaming eye
nor quench the glowing health.
The conscience may be still at ease,
the spirits light and gay;
that which is pleasing still may please
and care be thrust away.
But on that forehead God hath set
indelibly a mark
by man unseen, for man as yet
is blind and in the dark.
And still the doomed man's path below
may bloom like Eden bloomed:
he did not, does not, will not know
nor feel that he is doomed.
He feels, he sees that all is well,
his every fear is calmed.
He lives. He dies. He wakes in hell,
not only doomed but damned.
Oh, where is that mysterious bourn
by which each path is crossed,
beyond which God Himself hath sworn
that he who goes is lost?
How long may men go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end? And where begin
the confines of despair?
One answer from those skies is sent:
"You who'd from God depart,
while it is called today, repent
and harden not your heart."
– Author unknown