‘Whoever, fameless, wastes his life away,
Leaves of himself no greater mark on earth
Than smoke in air or froth upon the wave.
So, upwards! On! And vanquish labored breath!
In any battle mind power will prevail,
Unless the weight of body loads it down.
There’s yet a longer ladder you must scale.
You can’t just turn and leave all these behind.
You understand? Well, make my words avail.’
[Inferno, Dante Alighieri, Canto 24:49-57, translated by Robin Kirkpatrick, Penguin Classics]