"As in the autumn-time the leaves fall off, First one and then another, till the branch Unto the earth surrenders all its spoils"

The shore of Acheron
Public DomainThe shore of Acheron - Credit: Gustave Doré

(Canto 3, lines 112-114)

Here Dante imitates Virgil in that poet's own description of the throngs on the shores of Acheron in book 6 of the Aeneid: "As many as the leaves that fall in the woods at the first frost of autumn".