who, seated, holding fast his golden scepter,
delivered judgments on the dead; they gathered,
seated or standing, at the spacious gates
of Hades; theybeseeched, and he passed sentence.
'' And then I saw immense Orion,driving
across the field of Asphodels a throng
of savage beasts, those he had killed upon
the lonely mountain slopes. Within hishands
he gripped a club of bronze that cannot crack.
'' I saw the son of splendid Gaea, Tityus,
stretched on the ground for some six hundred cubits.
two vultures sat, one to each side, and torehis liver; their beaks plunged into his bowels,
he could not ward them off; for Tityus
had violated Leto, splendid mistress
of Zeus, as she was walking through the fields
of lovely Panopeus,heading toward Pytho.
'' And I saw Tantalus in deep torment;
he stood upright within a pool, his chin
just touched by water. But despite his thirst,
he could not drink: as soon as that old man
bentover, seeking water,all that pool-
dried by a demon- shrank; and Tantalus
saw black earth at his feet. Above his head,
trees-leafy, high- bore fruit: from pomegranates
to pears, sweet figs,bright apples, and plump olives.
But just as soon as he reached out to touch,
winds blew that fruit up toward the shadowed clouds.
'' And I saw Sisyphus' atrocious pain:
he tried to push a huge stonewith his hands.
He'd brace his hands and feet thrust it up
a slope, but just when he had neared the top,
its weight reversed its course; and once again
that bestial stone rolled back onto theplain.
Sweat drenched his straining limbs: again he thrust,
and dust rose from the head of Sisyphus.
'' And I caught sight of mighty Heracles
( that is to say, his shade; for he himself
rejoicesin the feats of deathless gods
and has as wife the lovely- ankled Hebe,
daughter of Zeus and golden- sandaled Hera).
Around him rose the tumult of the dead, like birds that scatter everywhere in...