The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
Ought not with anguished grief to vex their souls.
Therefore make end of sorrow-stricken wail
For thy brave child; for to the sons of earth
Minstrels shall chant his glory and his might,
By mine and by my sisters' inspiration,
Unto the end of time. Let not thy soul
Be crushed by dark grief, nor do thou lament
Like those frail mortal women. Know'st thou not
That round all men which dwell upon the earth
Hovereth irresistible deadly Fate,
Who recks not even of the Gods? Such power
She only hath for heritage. Yea, she
Soon shall destroy gold-wealthy Priam's town,
And Trojans many and Argives doom to death,
Whomso she will. No God can stay her hand."
So in her wisdom spake Calliope.
Then plunged the sun down into Ocean's stream,
And sable-vestured Night came floating up
O'er the wide firmament, and brought her boon
Of sleep to sorrowing mortals. On the sands
There slept they, all the Achaean host, with heads
Bowed 'neath the burden of calamity.
But upon Thetis sleep laid not his hand:
Still with the deathless Nereids by the sea
She sate; on either side the Muses spake
One after other comfortable words
To make that sorrowing heart forget its pain.
But when with a triumphant laugh the Dawn
Soared up the sky, and her most radiant light
Shed over all the Trojans and their king,
Then, sorrowing sorely for Achilles still,
The Danaans woke to weep. Day after day,
For many days they wept. Around them moaned
Far-stretching beaches of the sea, and mourned
Great Nereus for his daughter Thetis' sake;
And mourned with him the other Sea-gods all
For dead Achilles. Then the Argives gave
The corpse of great Peleides to the flame.
A pyre of countless tree-trunks built they up
Which, all with one mind toiling, from the heights
Of Ida they brought down; for Atreus' sons
Sped on the work, and charged them to bring thence
Wood without measure, that consumed with speed
Might be Achilles' body. All around
Piled they about the pyre much battle-gear
Of strong men slain; and slew and cast thereon
Full many goodly sons of Trojan men,
And snorting steeds, and mighty bulls withal,
And sheep and fatling swine thereon they cast.
And wailing captive maids from coffers brought
Mantles untold; all cast they on the pyre:
Gold heaped they there and amber. All their hair
The Myrmidons shore, and shrouded with the same
The body of their king. Briseis laid
Her own shorn tresses on the corpse, her gift,
Her last, unto her lord. Great jars of oil
Full many poured they out thereon, with jars
Of honey and of wine, rich blood of the grape
That breathed an odour as of nectar, yea,
Cast incense-breathing perfumes manifold
Marvellous sweet, the precious things put forth
By earth, and treasures of the sea divine.