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The Fall of Troy

Page: 53

BOOK 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."


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