The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
Mourning shall go down to the grave for thee --
Ay, better this than life unholpen of thee!"
So moaned his ever-swelling tide of grief.
And Atreus' son beside him mourned and wept
With heart on fire with inly smouldering pain:
"Thou hast perished, chiefest of the Danaan men,
Hast perished, and hast left the Achaean host
Fenceless! Now thou art fallen, are they left
An easier prey to foes. Thou hast given joy
To Trojans by thy fall, who dreaded thee
As sheep a lion. These with eager hearts
Even to the ships will bring the battle now.
Zeus, Father, thou too with deceitful words
Beguilest mortals! Thou didst promise me
That Priam's burg should be destroyed; but now
That promise given dost thou not fulfil,
But thou didst cheat mine heart: I shall not win
The war's goal, now Achilles is no more."
So did he cry heart-anguished. Mourned all round
Wails multitudinous for Peleus' son:
The dark ships echoed back the voice of grief,
And sighed and sobbed the immeasurable air.
And as when long sea-rollers, onward driven
By a great wind, heave up far out at sea,
And strandward sweep with terrible rush, and aye
Headland and beach with shattered spray are scourged,
And roar unceasing; so a dread sound rose
Of moaning of the Danaans round the corse,
Ceaselessly wailing Peleus' aweless son.
And on their mourning soon black night had come,
But spake unto Atreides Neleus' son,
Nestor, whose own heart bare its load of grief
Remembering his own son Antilochus:
"O mighty Agamemnon, sceptre-lord
Of Argives, from wide-shrilling lamentation
Refrain we for this day. None shall withhold
Hereafter these from all their heart's desire
Of weeping and lamenting many days.
But now go to, from aweless Aeacus' son
Wash we the foul blood-gouts, and lay we him
Upon a couch: unseemly it is to shame
The dead by leaving them untended long."
So counselled Neleus' son, the passing-wise.
Then hasted he his men, and bade them set
Caldrons of cold spring-water o'er the flames,
And wash the corse, and clothe in vesture fair,
Sea-purple, which his mother gave her son
At his first sailing against Troy. With speed
They did their lord's command: with loving care,
All service meetly rendered, on a couch
Laid they the mighty fallen, Peleus' son.
The Trito-born, the passing-wise, beheld
And pitied him, and showered upon his head
Ambrosia, which hath virtue aye to keep
Taintless, men say, the flesh of warriors slain.
Like softly-breathing sleeper dewy-fresh
She made him: over that dead face she drew
A stern frown, even as when he lay, with wrath
Darkening his grim face, clasping his slain friend