<<<
>>>

The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy

Page: 35

'So saying he put courage into the hearts of the immortal steeds and they went where the charioteer would have them go, and they came safely out of the battle.'

'Now Hector, with the armour of Achilles upon him, gathered his companies together and brought them up to the battle to win and carry away the body of Patroklos. But each one who laid hands upon that body was instantly slain by Aias. All day the battle went on, for the Greeks would say to each other, "Comrades, let the earth yawn and swallow us rather than let the Trojans carry off the body of Patroklos." And on their side the Trojans would say, "Friends, rather let us all be slain together beside this man than let one of us go backward now."'

'Now Nestor's son, Antilochos, who was fighting on the left of the battlefield, heard of the slaying of Patroklos. His eyes filled with tears and his voice was choked with grief and he dashed out of the battle to bring the grievous tidings to the hut T

hen Achilles fainted away and his head lay in the ashes of his hut. He woke again and moaned terribly. His goddess-mother heard the sound of his grief as she sat within the depths of the Ocean. She came to him as he was still moaning terribly. She took his hand and clasped it and said, "My child, why weep'st thou?" Achilles ceased his moaning and answered, "Patroklos, my dear friend, has been slain. Now I shall have no joy in my life save the joy of slaying Hector who slew my friend."'

'Thetis, his goddess-mother, wept when she heard such speech from Achilles. "Short-lived you will be, my son," she said, "for it is appointed by the gods that after the death of Hector your death will come."'

'"Straightway then let me die," said Achilles, "since I let my friend die without giving him help. O that I had not let my wrath overcome my spirit! Here I stayed, a useless burthen on the earth, while my comrades and my own dear friend fought for their country—here I stayed, I who am the best of all the Greeks. But now let me go into the battle and let the Trojans know that Achilles has come back, although he tarried long."'

"But thine armour, my son," said Thetis. "Thou hast no armour now to protect thee in the battle. Go not into it until thou seest me again. In the morning I shall return and I shall bring thee armour that Hephaistos, the smith of the gods, shall make for thee."'


<<<
>>>