Charon, bite back your spleen:
this has been willed where what is willed must be,
and is not yours to ask what it may mean.

[Caron, non ti crucciare:
vuolsi così colà dove si puote
ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare]

Dante Alighieri the poet
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 3, l. 94ff (3.94-96) [Virgil] (1309) [tr. Ciardi (1954), l. 91ff]

Replying to Charon who complains that he cannot ferry a living person. (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

Caron, do not torment
Yourself, nor trouble us with asking more;
For who would this, can do whate'er he wills.
[tr. Rogers (1782), l. 78ff]

Cease, sullen Pilot of th' Infernal Tide!
Comission'd from above he seeks the shore,
And pleads the will of Heav'n's immortal Sire!
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 21]

Charon! thyself torment not: so 't is will'd,
Where will and power are one: ask thou no more.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Rest, angry Charon, rest:
So is it willed to be, where might and will
Go hand in hand, and brook no farther quest.
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

Charon, vex not thyself: thus it is willed there, where what is willed can be done; and ask no more.
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Vex not thyself:
Such is the will of Him, whose dwelling's where
He can do what he wills. Questions forbear.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

"Charon," -- the Leader said -- "cease from thy rage;
There it is will'd, where is the pow'r to do
That which is will'd; so question thou no more."
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

Vex thee not, Charon;
It is so willed there where is power to do
That which is willed; and farther question not.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Charon, vex not thyself; thus is it willed in that place where what is willed can be; and ask no more.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Charon, be not sore;
So is it willed above, where will can do
That which it pleases; do not question more.
[tr. Minchin (1885)]

Charon, vex not thyself, it is thus willed there where is power to do that which is willed; and farther ask not.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Charon, trouble not thyself: thus is it willed, where what is willed hath power to be accomplished; and ask no more.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

Charon, restrain thy fury;
Thus is it willed there where can be accomplished
Whatever is willed -- and further ask no question.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

Charon, do not torment thyself. It is so willed where will and power are one, and ask no more.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Charon, thy frowns forbear.
Thus is this thing willed there, where what is willed
Can be accomplished. Further question spare.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Charon, why wilt thou roar
And chafe in vain? Thus it is willed where power
And will are one; enough; ask thou no more.
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

Charon, do not rage. Thus it is willed there where that can be done which is willed; and ask no more.
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

Charon, this is no time for anger!
It is so willed, there where the power is
for what is willed; that's all you need to know.
[tr. Musa (1971)]

Charon, don't torment yourself:
our passage has been willed above, where One
can do what He has willed; and ask no more.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

Charon, don't torment yourself:
It is willed there, where anything can be done
If it is willed: no need for further questions.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

Charon, do not rage:
Thus it is willed where everything may be
Simply if it is willed. Therefore, oblige,
And ask no more,
[tr. Pinsky (1994), l. 77ff]

Charon, do not torture yourself with anger: this is willed where what is willed can be done, so ask no more.
[tr. Durling (1996)]

Charon, do not vex yourself: it is willed there, where what is willed is done: ask no more.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Charon, to protest is useless.
What is willed is what will be, because
it can be done; so leave the matter thus.
[tr. Carson (2002)]
"Charon," my leader, "don't torment yourself.
For this is willed where all is possible
that is willed there. And so demand no more."
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

Charon, do not torment yourself.
It is willed where will and power are one,
and ask no more.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

Charon, this nonsense won't do.
These things were decided by those forever able
To make decisions and see them done. Not you.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

Charon, never fear:
All this is wanted there where what is willed
Is said and done, so more than that don't ask.
[tr. James (2013)]

Added on 2-Dec-22 | Last updated 10-Sep-23
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