Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Idle Charon
By Eugene Lee-Hamilton (1845–1907)
 
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,        5
  Have hemm’d the old boat in, where, lock’d 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,        10
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.
 
 
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