Elysium

O Elysium, Western Fields of longed for bliss,
Of ever blooming parks and winter slain,[1]
Serenely ruled by life's uneventful kiss,[2]
In your embrace, each plough their chosen plain.[3]

O Blesséd Isles, within the twilight reign,
Beyond decaying urbs[4] and pass the trial,[5]
Enclosed by weighty stress and burning strain,[6]
Your loves and friends are barred from all that's vile.

O Atlantis,[7] you mirage so sure amiss,
Your culture shrouded within the mists arcane,
Each day yours leave and cross oblivion's aisle[8]
Allowing you to be shut to all the pain,
To do your part and be a pious thane
And then return to your chimeric[9] style.

Notes:

  1. eternal youth
  2. Rhadamanthus, ruler of Elysium led an uneventful life.
  3. In Elysium, everyone is free to pursue their chosen career.
  4. The White Rock, past which one goes to reach the underworld.
  5. The dead are judged by Rhadamanthus, Minos, Æacus as to their rightousness, just as our qualifications to live in our community are judged.
  6. Elysium is surrounded by the rivers Styx (Promise), Acheron (Woe), Phlegethon (Fire), and Cocytus (Wailing); so we enclose ourselves in the exhausting over work of our lives.
  7. Atlantis was west of the known world in the Western Sea and may be a variation on Elysium.
  8. The river Lethe (oblivion) in which those returning to earth wish to forget there former selves.
  9. from Chimæra, a fire-breathing monster, with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's hind parts; located in the underworld by Virgil.

©2010 John A. Mills