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The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)   


Escape, a remnant of a crew, forspent
With desperate conflict with the cruel sea:
Late and at last appears the land hard by,
Appears a city: faint and weary-limbed
With that grim struggle, through the surf they strain
To land, sore grieving for the good ship 1ost,
And shipmates whom the terrible surge dragged down
To nether gloom; so, Troyward as they fled
From battle, all those Trojans wept for her,
The Child of the resistless War-god, wept
For friends who died in groan-resounding fight.

Then over her with scornful laugh the son
Of Peleus vaunted: "In the dust lie there
A prey to teeth of dogs, to ravens' beaks,
Thou wretched thing! Who cozened thee to come
Forth against me? And thoughtest thou to fare
Home from the war alive, to bear with thee
Right royal gifts from Priam the old king,
Thy guerdon for slain Argives? Ha, 'twas not
The Immortals who inspired thee with this thought,
Who know that I of heroes mightiest am,
The Danaans' light of safety, but a woe
To Trojans and to thee, O evil-starred!
Nay, but it was the darkness-shrouded Fates
And thine own folly of soul that pricked thee on
To leave the works of women, and to fare
To war, from which strong men shrink shuddering back."

So spake he, and his ashen spear the son
Of Peleus drew from that swift horse, and from
Penthesileia in death's agony.
Then steed and rider gasped their lives away
Slain by one spear. Now from her head he plucked
The helmet splendour-flashing like the beams
Of the great sun, or Zeus' own glory-light.
Then, there as fallen in dust and blood she lay,
Rose, like the breaking of the dawn, to view
'Neath dainty-pencilled brows a lovely face,
Lovely in death. The Argives thronged around,
And all they saw and marvelled, for she seemed
Like an Immortal. In her armour there
Upon the earth she lay, and seemed the Child
Of Zeus, the tireless Huntress Artemis
Sleeping, what time her feet forwearied are
With following lions with her flying shafts
Over the hills far-stretching. She was made
A wonder of beauty even in her death
By Aphrodite glorious-crowned, the Bride
Of the strong War-god, to the end that he,
The son of noble Peleus, might be pierced
With the sharp arrow of repentant love.
The warriors gazed, and in their hearts they prayed
That fair and sweet like her their wives might seem,
Laid on the bed of love, when home they won.
Yea, and Achilles' very heart was wrung
With love's remorse to have slain a thing so sweet,
Who might have borne her home, his queenly bride,
To chariot-glorious Phthia; for she was
Flawless, a very daughter of the Gods,
Divinely tall, and most divinely fair.

Then Ares' heart was thrilled with grief and rage
For his child slain. Straight from Olympus down

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