Auos

Johannes Stradanus, Odysseus bij de toegang van Hades, ca. 1600-05

Μναμοσύνας τόδε †ἐριον†· ἐπεὶ ἄμ μέλλῃσι θανεῖσθαι
εἶς Ἀΐδαο δόμους εὐηρέας, ἔστ’ ἐπὶ δεξιὰ κρήνα,
πὰρ δ’ αὐτὰν ἑστακῦα λευκὰ κυπάρισσος·
ἔνθα κατερχόμεναι ψυχαὶ νεκύων ψύχονται.
ταύτας τᾶς κράνας μηδὲ σχεδὸν ἐνγύθεν ἔλθῃς.
πρόσθεν δὲ εὑρήσεις τᾶς Μναμοσύνας ἀπὸ λίμνης
ψυχρὸν ὕδωρ προρέον· φύλακες δ’ ἐπύπερθεν ἔασι.
οἳ δέ σε εἰρήσονται ἐνὶ φρασὶ πευκαλίμαισι
ὅττι δὴ ἐξερέεις Ἄϊδος σκότος ὀρφνήεντος
εἶπον· Γῆς παῖς ἠμι καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος.
δίψᾳ δ’ εἰμ’ αὖος καὶ ἀπόλλυμαι· ἀλλὰ δότ’ ὦκα
ψυχρὸν ὕδωρ πιέναι τῆς Μνημοσύνης ἀπὸ λίμνης.
καὶ δή τοι ἐρέουσιν ὑποχθονίῳ βασιλῆι·
καὶ δώσουσι πιεῖν τᾶς Μναμοσύνας ἀπὸ λίμνας,
καὶ δή καὶ σὺ πιὼν ὁδὸν ἔρχεαι ἅν τε καὶ ἄλλοι
μύσται καὶ βάχχοι ἱερὰν στείχουσι κλεεινοί.
(Orphicorum Fragmenta 474)

This is the [?] of Memory. When you are about to die …
you will go to the well-built halls of Hades; a spring is on the right,
and standing by it a glowing white cypress tree;
there the descending souls of the dead refresh themselves.
Do not go near to this spring at all.
Further along you will find, from the lake of Memory,
refreshing water flowing forth. But guardians are nearby.
They will ask you, with sharp minds,
why you are seeking in the shadowy gloom of Hades.
Say: “I am the child of Earth and starry Heaven;
I am parched with thirst and I perish; but give me quickly
refreshing water to drink from the lake of Memory.”
And then they will speak to the underworld ruler,
and then they will give you to drink from the lake of Memory,
and you too, having drunk, will go along the sacred road that the
other famed initiates and bacchics travel.
(tr. Radcliffe G. Edmonds III)

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