The Fall of Troy
Page: 53BOOK VI
How came for the helping of Troy Eurypylus, Hercules' grandson.
Rose Dawn from Ocean and Tithonus' bed,
And climbed the steeps of heaven, scattering round
Flushed flakes of splendour; laughed all earth and air.
Then turned unto their labours, each to each,
Mortals, frail creatures daily dying. Then
Streamed to a folkmote all the Achaean men
At Menelaus' summons. When the host
Were gathered all, then in their midst he spake:
"Hearken my words, ye god-descended kings:
Mine heart within my breast is burdened sore
For men which perish, men that for my sake
Came to the bitter war, whose home-return
Parents and home shall welcome nevermore;
For Fate hath cut off thousands in their prime.
Oh that the heavy hand of death had fallen
On me, ere hitherward I gathered these!
But now hath God laid on me cureless pain
In seeing all these ills. Who could rejoice
Beholding strivings, struggles of despair?
Come, let us, which be yet alive, in haste
Flee in the ships, each to his several land,
Since Aias and Achilles both are dead.
I look not, now they are slain, that we the rest
Shall 'scape destruction; nay, but we shall fall
Before yon terrible Trojans for my sake
And shameless Helen's! Think not that I care
For her: for you I care, when I behold
Good men in battle slain. Away with her—
Her and her paltry paramour! The Gods
Stole all discretion out of her false heart
When she forsook mine home and marriage-bed.
Let Priam and the Trojans cherish her!
But let us straight return: 'twere better far
To flee from dolorous war than perish all."