The Fall of Troy

Page: 120

  Into the maid's throat then he plunged the blade
  Of death: the dear life straightway sobbed she forth,
  With the last piteous moan of parting breath.
  Face-downward to the earth she fell: all round
  Her flesh was crimsoned from her neck, as snow
  Stained on a mountain-side with scarlet blood
  Rushing, from javelin-smitten boar or bear.
  The maiden's corpse then gave they, to be borne
  Unto the city, to Antenor's home,
  For that, when Troy yet stood, he nurtured her
  In his fair halls, a bride for his own son
  Eurymachus. The old man buried her,
  King Priam's princess-child, nigh his own house,
  By Ganymedes' shrine, and overagainst
  The temple of Pallas the Unwearied One.
  Then were the waves stilled, and the blast was hushed
  To sleep, and all the sea-flood lulled to calm.

  Swift with glad laughter hied they to the ships,
  Hymning Achilles and the Blessed Ones.
  A feast they made, first severing thighs of kine
  For the Immortals. Gladsome sacrifice
  Steamed on all sides: in cups of silver and gold
  They drank sweet wine: their hearts leaped up with hope
  Of winning to their fatherland again.
  But when with meats and wine all these were filled,
  Then in their eager ears spake Neleus' son:
  "Hear, friends, who have 'scaped the long turmoil of war,
  That I may say to you one welcome word:
  Now is the hour of heart's delight, the hour
  Of home-return. Away! Achilles soul
  Hath ceased from ruinous wrath; Earth-shaker stills
  The stormy wave, and gentle breezes blow;
  No more the waves toss high. Haste, hale the ships
  Down to the sea. Now, ho for home-return!"

  Eager they heard, and ready made the ships.
  Then was a marvellous portent seen of men;
  For all-unhappy Priam's queen was changed
  From woman's form into a pitiful hound;
  And all men gathered round in wondering awe.
  Then all her body a God transformed to stone—
  A mighty marvel for men yet unborn!
  At Calchas' bidding this the Achaeans bore
  In a swift ship to Hellespont's far side.
  Then down to the sea in haste they ran the keels:
  Their wealth they laid aboard, even all the spoil
  Taken, or ever unto Troy they came,
  From conquered neighbour peoples; therewithal
  Whatso they took from Ilium, wherein most
  They joyed, for untold was the sum thereof.
  And followed with them many a captive maid