The Fall of Troy

Page: 26

  Meanwhile within their walls the Trojan folk
  For Memnon sorrowed sore, with vain regret
  Yearning for that lost king and all his host.
  Nor greatly joyed the Argives, where they lay
  Camped in the open plain amidst the dead.
  There, mingled with Achilles' praise, uprose
  Wails for Antilochus: joy clasped hands with grief.

  All night in groans and sighs most pitiful
  The Dawn-queen lay: a sea of darkness moaned
  Around her. Of the dayspring nought she recked:
  She loathed Olympus' spaces. At her side
  Fretted and whinnied still her fleetfoot steeds,
  Trampling the strange earth, gazing at their Queen
  Grief-stricken, yearning for the fiery course.
  Suddenly crashed the thunder of the wrath
  Of Zeus; rocked round her all the shuddering earth,
  And on immortal Eos trembling came.

  Swiftly the dark-skinned Aethiops from her sight
  Buried their lord lamenting. As they wailed
  Unceasingly, the Dawn-queen lovely-eyed
  Changed them to birds sweeping through air around
  The barrow of the mighty dead. And these
  Still do the tribes of men "The Memnons" call;
  And still with wailing cries they dart and wheel
  Above their king's tomb, and they scatter dust
  Down on his grave, still shrill the battle-cry,
  In memory of Memnon, each to each.
  But he in Hades' mansions, or perchance
  Amid the Blessed on the Elysian Plain,
  Laugheth. Divine Dawn comforteth her heart
  Beholding them: but theirs is toil of strife
  Unending, till the weary victors strike
  The vanquished dead, or one and all fill up
  The measure of their doom around his grave.

  So by command of Eos, Lady of Light,
  The swift birds dree their weird. But Dawn divine
  Now heavenward soared with the all-fostering Hours,
  Who drew her to Zeus' threshold, sorely loth,
  Yet conquered by their gentle pleadings, such
  As salve the bitterest grief of broken hearts.
  Nor the Dawn-queen forgat her daily course,
  But quailed before the unbending threat of Zeus,
  Of whom are all things, even all comprised
  Within the encircling sweep of Ocean's stream,
  Earth and the palace-dome of burning stars.
  Before her went her Pleiad-harbingers,
  Then she herself flung wide the ethereal gates,
  And, scattering spray of splendour, flashed there-through.


How by the shaft of a God laid low was Hero Achilles.

  When shone the light of Dawn the splendour-throned,