Charon's Fee

THIS gray sarcophagus is bare
Of chiseled grace,
And blank the walls of its recess;
Beside it amphora and vase
Kept tears and spices. Haste! displace
The lid and night of ages! Day
Looks coldly in on nothingness !
Yet stay !
Green-mouldered coins are lying there
For Charon’s fee.
The fee unpaid,
Where wanders the unferried shade?
By dread
Perseis led in crossing ways ?
On oak-grown heights where Zeus’ high praise
Erst sounded ? Where the fields proclaim
The presence of Persephone,
To hit and sigh
And jilead her queenly influence
Returning hence ?
Haste hither, Shade of vanished name!
These crusted coins await thy claim
For Charon’s fee.