Idle Charon

by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton

The shores of Styx are lone for evermore,

And not one shadowy form upon the steep

Looms through the dusk, as far as eyes can sweep,

To call the ferry over as of yore;

But tintless rushes, all about the shore,

Have hemmed the old boat in, where, locked in sleep,

Hoar-bearded Charon lies; while pale weeds creep

With tightening grasp all round the unused oar.

For in the world of Life strange rumours run

That now the Soul departs not with the breath,

But that the Body and the Soul are one;

And in the loved one's mouth, now, after death,

The widow puts no obol, nor the son,

To pay the ferry in the world beneath.

Last updated January 14, 2019