The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
Then, when all things were set in readiness
About the pyre, all, footmen, charioteers,
Compassed that woeful bale, clashing their arms,
While, from the viewless heights Olympian, Zeus
Rained down ambrosia on dead Aeacus' son.
For honour to the Goddess, Nereus' child,
He sent to Aeolus Hermes, bidding him
Summon the sacred might of his swift winds,
For that the corpse of Aeacus' son must now
Be burned. With speed he went, and Aeolus
Refused not: the tempestuous North in haste
He summoned, and the wild blast of the West;
And to Troy sped they on their whirlwind wings.
Fast in mad onrush, fast across the deep
They darted; roared beneath them as they flew
The sea, the land; above crashed thunder-voiced
Clouds headlong hurtling through the firmament.
Then by decree of Zeus down on the pyre
Of slain Achilles, like a charging host
Swooped they; upleapt the Fire-god's madding breath:
Uprose a long wail from the Myrmidons.
Then, though with whirlwind rushes toiled the winds,
All day, all night, they needs must fan the flames
Ere that death-pyre burned out. Up to the heavens
Vast-volumed rolled the smoke. The huge tree-trunks
Groaned, writhing, bursting, in the heat, and dropped
The dark-grey ash all round. So when the winds
Had tirelessly fulfilled their mighty task,
Back to their cave they rode cloud-charioted.
Then, when the fire had last of all consumed
That hero-king, when all the steeds, the men
Slain round the pyre had first been ravined up,
With all the costly offerings laid around
The mighty dead by Achaia's weeping sons,
The glowing embers did the Myrmidons quench
With wine. Then clear to be discerned were seen
His bones; for nowise like the rest were they,
But like an ancient Giant's; none beside
With these were blent; for bulls and steeds, and sons
Of Troy, with all that mingled hecatomb,
Lay in a wide ring round his corse, and he
Amidst them, flame-devoured, lay there alone.
So his companions groaning gathered up
His bones, and in a silver casket laid
Massy and deep, and banded and bestarred
With flashing gold; and Nereus' daughters shed
Ambrosia over them, and precious nards
For honour to Achilles: fat of kine
And amber honey poured they over all.
A golden vase his mother gave, the gift
In old time of the Wine-god, glorious work
Of the craft-master Fire-god, in the which
They laid the casket that enclosed the bones
Of mighty-souled Achilles. All around
The Argives heaped a barrow, a giant sign,
Upon a foreland's uttermost end, beside
The Hellespont's deep waters, wailing loud
Farewells unto the Myrmidons' hero-king.
Nor stayed the immortal steeds of Aeacus' son
Tearless beside the ships; they also mourned
Their slain king: sorely loth were they to abide