The Ferryman

Maudlin Of The Well

Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat
terribili squalore Charon, cui plurima mento
canities inculta jacet, stant lumina flamma,
sordidus ex umeris nodo dependet amictus

Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram
perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna
quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna
est eiter in silvis, ubi caelum condidit umbra
Juppiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem

"Sic demum lucos Stygis et regna invia vivis aspicies..."
"Anchisa generate deum certissimia proles,
Cocyti stagna alta vides Stygiamque paludem.
di cujus jurare timent et fallere numen."

Nec plura his. Ille admirans venerabile donum
fatalis virgae longo post tempore visum
caeruleam advertit puppim ripaeque propinquat.

Watching over these waves and streams of terrible filth is the horrifying Charon, on whose chin countless unkempt grey hairs lie outspread; his eyes endure in flame, and a squalid cloak hang knotted from this shoulders.

Beneath lonely darkness the gloomy travellers go through shadow and through the deserted abodes and ghostly kingdom of Dis: through uncertain moonlight under tray of a spiteful sort the way lies in the woods, where Jupiter hides the sky in shadow and night steal color from the black heavens.

“In this manner you will at last behold the sacred grove of Styx and the kingdom pathless to the living…”
“Child of Anchises, most certain progeny of a god, you will see the deep mere of the mournful river of Hades and the swamp of Styx, whose divine power the gods fear to swear by and prove false.”

Nothing more was said. Wondering at the venerable offering of the fated branch, seen after distant time, he turned the vessel to the darkness and the shores approached.

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