The Fall of Troy
Page: 36Then from the surge of heavy-plunging seas
Rose the Earth-shaker. No man saw his feet
Pace up the strand, but suddenly he stood
Beside the Nereid Goddesses, and spake
To Thetis, yet for Achilles bowed with grief:
"Refrain from endless mourning for thy son.
Not with the dead shall he abide, but dwell
With Gods, as doth the might of Herakles,
And Dionysus ever fair. Not him
Dread doom shall prison in darkness evermore,
Nor Hades keep him. To the light of Zeus
Soon shall he rise; and I will give to him
A holy island for my gift: it lies
Within the Euxine Sea: there evermore
A God thy son shall be. The tribes that dwell
Around shall as mine own self honour him
With incense and with steam of sacrifice.
Hush thy laments, vex not thine heart with grief."
Then like a wind-breath had he passed away
Over the sea, when that consoling word
Was spoken; and a little in her breast
Revived the spirit of Thetis: and the God
Brought this to pass thereafter. All the host
Moved moaning thence, and came unto the ships
That brought them o'er from Hellas. Then returned
To Helicon the Muses: 'neath the sea,
Wailing the dear dead, Nereus' Daughters sank,
Nor did the hapless Trojans leave unwept
The warrior-king Hippolochus' hero-son,
But laid, in front of the Dardanian gate,
Upon the pyre that captain war-renowned.
But him Apollo's self caught swiftly up
Out of the blazing fire, and to the winds
Gave him, to bear away to Lycia-land;
And fast and far they bare him, 'neath the glens
Of high Telandrus, to a lovely glade;
And for a monument above his grave
Upheaved a granite rock. The Nymphs therefrom
Made gush the hallowed water of a stream
For ever flowing, which the tribes of men
Still call fair-fleeting Glaucus. This the gods
Wrought for an honour to the Lycian king.
But for Achilles still the Argives mourned
Beside the swift ships: heart-sick were they all
With dolorous pain and grief. Each yearned for him
As for a son; no eye in that wide host
Was tearless. But the Trojans with great joy
Exulted, seeing their sorrow from afar,
And the great fire that spake their foe consumed.
And thus a vaunting voice amidst them cried:
"Now hath Cronion from his heaven vouchsafed
A joy past hope unto our longing eyes,
To see Achilles fallen before Troy.
Now he is smitten down, the glorious hosts
Of Troy, I trow, shall win a breathing-space
From blood of death and from the murderous fray.
Ever his heart devised the Trojans' bane;
In his hands maddened aye the spear of doom
With gore besprent, and none of us that faced
Him in the fight beheld another dawn.
But now, I wot, Achaea's valorous sons
Shall flee unto their galleys shapely-prowed,
Since slain Achilles lies. Ah that the might
Of Hector still were here, that he might slay
The Argives one and all amidst their tents!"