The Fates (mythology)

The three Fates - Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis
The Fates: Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis

   In mythology, the Fates were the three goddesses of destiny. According to one account, they are the daughters of Night; according to another, they are the daugh­ters of Zeus. In art, they are represented standing in a group, armed with the dis­taff and shears. Clotho, the spinner, draws out the thread of human life; Lachesis, the presider over lots and games of chance, twists its bright and dark lines together and deter­mines its length; when it has reached its destined length, Atropos, the inevitable, clips off the thread with her shears. As is appropriate, they are rep­resented as women of dark and severe countenance.

Twist ye, twine ye! even so,
Mingle shades of joy and woe,
Hope, and fear, and peace, and strife,
In the thread of human life. —Scott.