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Year 10 English B.

Mulcahy Chien He Wong

Jupiter’s Letter to Aeneas

Son of Anchises, Hero of Troy, hark my words!


This venture you embark upon is fraught with danger;
descent to the realm of Hades is no trivial matter.
Beleaguered by phantoms of dark, you must not falter,
for the nightmares that will render you possessed with terror can
harm you naught:
not Gorgon nor Harpy, not Chimaera nor Scylla.
Not the many-handed Briareus, triple-bodied Geryon, nor even the
polycephalic Hydra.

And when you sight the Marsh of Styx, the Wailing River, Acheron’s
Tartarean waves,
harden thine heart, for none— not even the mighty Gods— can
alleviate the suffering of
those condemned to wander for eternity, should their bones not be
at rest.
With Palinurus shall you meet amongst this congregation of souls;
but converse with due speed, for alas! I portend spiteful Charon’s
impending wrath.
The Cumaean Sibyl and the Golden Bough you hath shall silence his
tirade
and garner you safe passage across the fetid, icy river upon his
ancient vessel.

Across the marsh you will find Cerberus, three entities yet one,
guardian of the gates.
The creature’s serrated teeth and claw ache to lacerate flesh, to
inflict pain,
his vicious howls— asserting his ferocity— frightening to behold.
With manes of bloodthirsty and writhing serpents, the beast is no
illusion.
With a sly concoction, Apollo’s prophetess will bring him to slumber,
Year 10 English B. Mulcahy Chien He Wong

and into the true Underworld will you wander.

Minos— Son of Mine, King of Crete— conducts his judgement here.


Stirring the cauldrons of souls, he casts his jurisdiction upon
innocuous infants, the unjustly executed, victims of unreciprocated
or betrayed love…
Dido of Phoenicia will confront thee and teach you of her anguish—
Mourn her fate if you must, but remember your intent, Aeneas.
When the road diverges, follow the path to Elysium, the haven of
the pure,
for the other leads to Tartarus, where the cruel endure poetic justice
for eternity.

Upon reaching the gates of the Land of Joy, the Fortunate Groves,
rinse thyself with fresh pure water, for this land is Holy,
and present the Golden Bough to the Cyclops’ handicraft.
Here in the land of the blessed exists a ubiquitous air of radiant
warmth and light,
an ambiance of happiness— untarnished by the chill that permeates
all else.
Here the souls that have bettered humanity leisure,
Living in shady groves and resting upon lush meadows.
It is here, Aeneas, future founder of Rome,
shall you meet your father.
Year 10 English B. Mulcahy Chien He Wong