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The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)   



So spake she; but Zeus answered not a word;
For pondering there he sat with burdened breast,
Thinking how soon the Argives should destroy
The city of Priam, thinking how himself
Would visit on the victors ruin dread
In war and on the great sea thunder-voiced.
Such thoughts were his, ere long to be fulfilled.

Now sank the sun to Ocean's fathomless flood:
O'er the dim land the infinite darkness stole,
Wherein men gain a little rest from toil.
Then by the ships, despite their sorrow, supped
The Argives, for ye cannot thrust aside
Hunger's importunate craving, when it comes
Upon the breast, but straightway heavy and faint
Lithe limbs become; nor is there remedy
Until one satisfy this clamorous guest
Therefore these ate the meat of eventide
In grief for Achilles' hard necessity
Constrained them all. And, when they had broken bread,
Sweet sleep came on them, loosening from their frames
Care's heavy chain, and quickening strength anew

But when the starry Bears had eastward turned
Their heads, expectant of the uprushing light
Of Helios, and when woke the Queen of Dawn,
Then rose from sleep the stalwart Argive men
Purposing for the Trojans death and doom.
Stirred were they like the roughly-ridging sea
Icarian, or as sudden-rippling corn
In harvest field, what time the rushing wings
Of the cloud-gathering West sweep over it;
So upon Hellespont's strand the folk were stirred.
And to those eager hearts cried Tydeus' son:
"If we be battle-biders, friends, indeed,
More fiercely fight we now the hated foe,
Lest they take heart because Achilles lives
No longer. Come, with armour, car, and steed
Let us beset them. Glory waits our toil?"

But battle-eager Aias answering spake
"Brave be thy words, and nowise idle talk,
Kindling the dauntless Argive men, whose hearts
Before were battle-eager, to the fight
Against the Trojan men, O Tydeus' son.
But we must needs abide amidst the ships
Till Goddess Thetis come forth of the sea;
For that her heart is purposed to set here
Fair athlete-prizes for the funeral-games.
This yesterday she told me, ere she plunged
Into sea-depths, yea, spake to me apart
From other Danaans; and, I trow, by this
Her haste hath brought her nigh. Yon Trojan men,
Though Peleus' son hath died, shall have small heart
For battle, while myself am yet alive,
And thou, and noble Atreus' son, the king."

So spake the mighty son of Telamon,
But knew not that a dark and bitter doom
For him should follow hard upon those games
By Fate's contrivance. Answered Tydeus' son
"O friend, if Thetis comes indeed this day
With goodly gifts for her son's funeral-games,

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