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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy

Page: 24

XII
S

uch was the quarrel, dear son, between Agamemnon, King of men, and great Achilles. Ah, because of that quarrel many brave men and great captains whom I remember went down to their deaths!'

'But Agamemnon before long relented and he sent three envoys to make friendship between himself and Achilles. The envoys were Odysseus and Aias and the old man Phoinix who had been a foster-father to Achilles. Now when these three went into his hut they found Achilles sitting with a lyre in his hands, singing to the music he made. His song was of what Thetis, his goddess-mother, had told him concerning his own fate—how, if he remained in the war against Troy, he should win for himself imperishable renown but would soon lose his life, and how, if he left the war, his years in his own land should be long, although no great renown would be his. Patroklos, his dear friend, listened to what Achilles sang. And Achilles sang of what royal state would be his if he gave up the war against the Trojans and went back to his father's halls—old Peleus would welcome him, and he would seek a bride for him from amongst the loveliest of the Greek maidens. "In three days," he sang, "can Poseidon, God of the Sea, bring me to my own land and to my father's royal castle."'B

ut Hector has not gone through the gates of the City. Look now, Achilles! His chariots remain on the plain. Lo now, his watch-fires! A thousand fires thou canst see and beside each sits fifty warriors with their horses loose beside their chariots champing barley. Eagerly they wait for the light of the dawn when they will come against us again, hoping this time to overthrow the wall we have builded, and come to our ships and burn them with fire, and so destroy all hope of our return."'


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