Daughters of darkling Night, much-named, draw near,
Infinite Fates, and listen to my prayer;
Who in the heavenly lake (where waters white
Burst from a fountain hid in depths of night,
And through a dark and stony cavern glide,
A cave profound, invisible) abide;
From whence, wide coursing round the boundless earth,
Your power extends to those of mortal birth;
To men with hope elated, trifling, gay,
A race presumptuous, born but to decay.
To these acceding, in a purple veil
To sense impervious, you yourselves conceal,
When in the plain of Fate you joyful ride
In one great car, with Glory for your guide;
Till all-complete your heaven appointed round,
At Justice, Hope, and Care’s concluding bound,
The terms absolved, prescribed by ancient law,
Of power immense, and just without a flaw.
For Fate alone with vision unconfined
Surveys the conduct of the mortal kind.
Fate is Jove’s perfect and eternal eye,
For Jove and Fate our every deed descry.
Come, gentle powers, well born, benignant, famed,
Atropos, Lachesis, and Clotho named;
Unchanged, aerial, wandering in the night,
Untamed, invisible to mortal sight;
Fates all-producing, all-destroying, hear,
Regard the incense and the holy prayer;
Propitious listen to these rites inclined,
And far avert distress, with placid mind.