Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Mother by Bob Burns
Ode VI

O Dark Lady the living never
see, who frightens us who are alive,
and you, Dark Lord of those who dwell
in the night that is forever,
hear our prayer: we wish the stranger well
and ask that he may arrive
without pain
on the vast plain
that holds all those below
where the waters of Styx flow,
and after the many troubles he has seen
may a just god exalt him and wash him clean.

And you who appear as a beast in Hades' lair,
the growling guardian there,
as our ancient legends say,
where strangers pass by but only one way,
may he have a gentle passage, free of danger,
O child of Earth and Tartaros, bless this stranger,
who comes to the dark plain of the dead. Keep
him well, I pray you, who are eternal sleep.

~ Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus


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