The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
To let some evil Power beguile thine heart
To pity of a pitiful Amazon
Whose furious spirit purposed naught but ill
To us and ours? Ha, woman-mad art thou,
And thy soul lusts for this thing, as she were
Some lady wise in household ways, with gifts
And pure intent for honoured wedlock wooed!
Good had it been had her spear reached thine heart,
The heart that sighs for woman-creatures still!
Thou carest not, unmanly-souled, not thou,
For valour's glorious path, when once thine eye
Lights on a woman! Sorry wretch, where now
Is all thy goodly prowess? where thy wit?
And where the might that should beseem a king
All-stainless? Dost not know what misery
This self-same woman-madness wrought for Troy?
Nothing there is to men more ruinous
Than lust for woman's beauty; it maketh fools
Of wise men. But the toil of war attains
Renown. To him that is a hero indeed
Glory of victory and the War-god's works
Are sweet. 'Tis but the battle-blencher craves
The beauty and the bed of such as she!"
So railed he long and loud: the mighty heart
Of Peleus' son leapt into flame of wrath.
A sudden buffet of his resistless hand
Smote 'neath the railer's ear, and all his teeth
Were dashed to the earth: he fell upon his face:
Forth of his lips the blood in torrent gushed:
Swift from his body fled the dastard soul
Of that vile niddering. Achaea's sons
Rejoiced thereat, for aye he wont to rail
On each and all with venomous gibes, himself
A scandal and the shame of all the host.
Then mid the warrior Argives cried a voice:
"Not good it is for baser men to rail
On kings, or secretly or openly;
For wrathful retribution swiftly comes.
The Lady of Justice sits on high; and she
Who heapeth woe on woe on humankind,
Even Ate, punisheth the shameless tongue."
So mid the Danaans cried a voice: nor yet
Within the mighty soul of Peleus' son
Lulled was the storm of wrath, but fiercely he spake:
"Lie there in dust, thy follies all forgot!
'Tis not for knaves to beard their betters: once
Thou didst provoke Odysseus' steadfast soul,
Babbling with venomous tongue a thousand gibes,
And didst escape with life; but thou hast found
The son of Peleus not so patient-souled,
Who with one only buffet from his hand
Unkennels thy dog's soul! A bitter doom
Hath swallowed thee: by thine own rascalry
Thy life is sped. Hence from Achaean men,
And mouth out thy revilings midst the dead!"
So spake the valiant-hearted aweless son
Of Aeacus. But Tydeus' son alone
Of all the Argives was with anger stirred
Against Achilles for Thersites slain,
Seeing these twain were of the self-same blood,
The one, proud Tydeus' battle-eager son,