Orpheus on the Breton coast

On an idle afternoon,
when my lyre was hanging on the willows,
I ripped off tens of mussels,
threw them alive in boiling local wine,
destroyed a lobster with a tongs
and speared snails out of their bunkers

heroically my hands soaked
afterwards in lemon juice

That night I rowed on the sea and came
into a gully that took me to the Styx

Hades, with a soft heart, gave me another
chance to fetch Eurydice -

If only I had looked round
- she was already almost above ground -
at the nymph that passed me

the first rays of the sun just caught
Poseidon's sardonic look of triumph



Translation: Hans van den Bos & Hilary Reynolds (taken from blogspot Poetry of the Low Countries)