The Fall of Troy

Page: 36

  Then 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,


How in the Funeral Games of Achilles heroes contended.

  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!"