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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


So spake he, and replied Achilles' son:
"If bidden of oracles the Achaean men
Summon me, let us with to-morrow's dawn
Fare forth upon the broad depths of the sea,
If so to longing Danaans I may prove
A light of help. Now pass we to mine halls,
And to such guest-fare as befits to set
Before the stranger. For my marriage-day --
To this the Gods in time to come shall see."

Then hall-ward led he them, and with glad hearts
They followed. To the forecourt when they came
Of that great mansion, found they there the Queen
Deidameia in her sorrow of soul
Grief-wasted, as when snow from mountain-sides
Before the sun and east-wind wastes away;
So pined she for that princely hero slain.
Then came to her amidst her grief the kings,
And greeted her in courteous wise. Her son
Drew near and told their lineage and their names;
But that for which they came he left untold
Until the morrow, lest unto her woe
There should be added grief and floods of tears,
And lest her prayers should hold him from the path
Whereon his heart was set. Straight feasted these,
And comforted their hearts with sleep, even all
Which dwelt in sea-ringed Scyros, nightlong lulled
By long low thunder of the girdling deep,
Of waves Aegean breaking on her shores.
But not on Deidameia fell the hands
Of kindly sleep. She bore in mind the names
Of crafty Odysseus and of Diomede
The godlike, how these twain had widowed her
Of battle-fain Achilles, how their words
Had won his aweless heart to fare with them
To meet the war-cry where stern Fate met him,
Shattered his hope of home-return, and laid
Measureless grief on Peleus and on her.
Therefore an awful dread oppressed her soul
Lest her son too to tumult of the war
Should speed, and grief be added to her grief.

Dawn climbed the wide-arched heaven, straightway they
Rose from their beds. Then Deidameia knew;
And on her son's broad breast she cast herself,
And bitterly wailed: her cry thrilled through the air,
As when a cow loud-lowing mid the hills
Seeks through the glens her calf, and all around
Echo long ridges of the mountain-steep;
So on all sides from dim recesses rang
The hall; and in her misery she cried:
"Child, wherefore is thy soul now on the wing
To follow strangers unto Ilium
The fount of tears, where perish many in fight,
Yea, cunning men in war and battle grim?
And thou art but a youth, and hast not learnt
The ways of war, which save men in the day
Of peril. Hearken thou to me, abide
Here in thine home, lest evil tidings come
From Troy unto my ears, that thou in fight
Hast perished; for mine heart saith, never thou
Hitherward shalt from battle-toil return.
Not even thy sire escaped the doom of death --
He, mightier than thou, mightier than all

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