Tros Anchisiade, facilis descensus Averno:
noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;
sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras,
hoc opus, hic labor est.
—Aeneid VI, 126-129.
As tourist in the country of the dead,
Of course you think you know the fast way out.
On certainty, not hope, your strength is fed.
Of your escape route you need have no doubt.
So when some drunks beyond the next hill shout
Words you imagine that they meant for you,
You charge with confidence to have it out.
And that, lad, is a foolish thing to do.
Now you are where the beautiful is true
No longer, where facts lie in wait like snares.
These gray environs do not cede on cue
Space to more comforting and stirring airs.
What you have lost mere effort can’t restore.
You can’t act as a tourist anymore.