A vast crowd, so many, rushed to the riverbank:
Women and men, famous greathearted heroes,
The life in their hero bodies now defunct,
Unmarried boys and girls, sons whom their fathers
Had had to watch being placed on the funeral pyre;
As many as the leaves of the forest that,
When autumn’s first chill comes, fall from the branches;  
As many as the birds that flock to the land
From the great deep when the season, turning cold,
Has driven them over the seas to seek the sun.
They stood beseeching on the riverbank,
Yearning to be the first to be carried across,
Stretching their hands out toward the farther shore.
But the stern ferryman, taking only this one
Or this other one, pushes the rest away.