“There then I saw Minos, the glorious son of Zeus, golden sceptre in hand, giving judgment to the dead
from his seat, while they sat and stood about the king through the wide-gated house of Hades, and asked of him judgment.
“And after him I marked huge Orion driving together over the field of asphodel wild beasts which he himself had slain on the lonely hills,
and in his hands he held a club all of bronze, ever unbroken.
“And I saw Tityos, son of glorious Gaea, lying on the ground. Over nine roods1
he stretched, and two vultures sat, one on either side, and tore his liver, plunging their beaks into his bowels, nor could he beat them off with his hands.
For he had offered violence to Leto, the glorious wife of Zeus, as she went toward Pytho
through Panopeus with its lovely lawns.
“Aye, and I saw Tantalus in violent torment, standing in a pool, and the water came nigh unto his chin. He seemed as one athirst, but could not take and drink;
for as often as that old man stooped down, eager to drink, so often would the water be swallowed up and vanish away, and at his feet the black earth would appear, for some god made all dry. And trees, high and leafy, let stream their fruits above his head, pears, and pomegranates, and apple trees with their bright fruit,
and sweet figs, and luxuriant olives. But as often as that old man would reach out toward these, to clutch them with his hands, the wind would toss them to the shadowy clouds.
“Aye, and I saw Sisyphus
in violent torment, seeking to raise a monstrous stone with both his hands.
Verily he would brace himself with hands and feet, and thrust the stone toward the crest of a hill, but as often as he was about to heave it over the top, the weight would turn it back, and then down again to the plain would come rolling the ruthless stone. But he would strain again and thrust it back, and the sweat
flowed down from his limbs, and dust rose up from his head.