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The Fall of Troy

Page: 25

  Nor were his Aethiopian comrades left
  To wander of their King forlorn: a God
  Suddenly winged those eager souls with speed
  Such as should soon be theirs for ever, changed
  To flying fowl, the children of the air.
  Wailing their King in the winds' track they sped.
  As when a hunter mid the forest-brakes
  Is by a boar or grim-jawed lion slain,
  And now his sorrowing friends take up the corse,
  And bear it heavy-hearted; and the hounds
  Follow low-whimpering, pining for their lord
  In that disastrous hunting lost; so they
  Left far behind that stricken field of blood,
  And fast they followed after those swift winds

  With multitudinous moaning, veiled in mist
  Unearthly. Trojans over all the plain
  And Danaans marvelled, seeing that great host
  Vanishing with their King. All hearts stood still
  In dumb amazement. But the tireless winds
  Sighing set hero Memnon's giant corpse
  Down by the deep flow of Aesopus' stream,
  Where is a fair grove of the bright-haired Nymphs,
  The which round his long barrow afterward
  Aesopus' daughters planted, screening it
  With many and manifold trees: and long and loud
  Wailed those Immortals, chanting his renown,
  The son of the Dawn-goddess splendour-throned.

  Now sank the sun: the Lady of the Morn
  Wailing her dear child from the heavens came down.
  Twelve maidens shining-tressed attended her,
  The warders of the high paths of the sun
  For ever circling, warders of the night
  And dawn, and each world-ordinance framed of Zeus,
  Around whose mansion's everlasting doors
  From east to west they dance, from west to east,
  Whirling the wheels of harvest-laden years,
  While rolls the endless round of winter's cold,
  And flowery spring, and lovely summer-tide,
  And heavy-clustered autumn. These came down
  From heaven, for Memnon wailing wild and high;
  And mourned with these the Pleiads. Echoed round
  Far-stretching mountains, and Aesopus' stream.
  Ceaseless uprose the keen, and in their midst,
  Fallen on her son and clasping, wailed the Dawn;
  "Dead art thou, dear, dear child, and thou hast clad
  Thy mother with a pall of grief. Oh, I,
  Now thou art slain, will not endure to light
  The Immortal Heavenly Ones! No, I will plunge
  Down to the dread depths of the underworld,
  Where thy lone spirit flitteth to and fro,
  And will to blind night leave earth, sky, and sea,
  Till Chaos and formless darkness brood o'er all,
  That Cronos' Son may also learn what means
  Anguish of heart. For not less worship-worthy
  Than Nereus' Child, by Zeus's ordinance,
  Am I, who look on all things, I, who bring
  All to their consummation. Recklessly
  My light Zeus now despiseth! Therefore I
  Will pass into the darkness. Let him bring
  Up to Olympus Thetis from the sea
  To hold for him light forth to Gods and men!
  My sad soul loveth darkness more than day,
  Lest I pour light upon thy slayer's head:

  Thus as she cried, the tears ran down her face
  Immortal, like a river brimming aye:
  Drenched was the dark earth round the corse. The Night
  Grieved in her daughter's anguish, and the heaven
  Drew over all his stars a veil of mist
  And cloud, of love unto the Lady of Light.


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