The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)
He stood, before calamity struck him down.
Then unto wealthy Agamemnon's tent
Did all their mightiest men bring Poeas' son,
And set him chief in honour at the feast,
Extolling him. When all with meat and drink
Were filled, spake Agamemnon lord of spears:
"Dear friend, since by the will of Heaven our souls
Were once perverted, that in sea-girt Lemnos
We left thee, harbour not thine heart within
Fierce wrath for this: by the blest Gods constrained
We did it; and, I trow, the Immortals willed
To bring much evil on us, bereft of thee,
Who art of all men skilfullest to quell
With shafts of death all foes that face thee in fight.
For all the tangled paths of human life,
By land and sea, are by the will of Fate
Hid from our eyes, in many and devious tracks
Are cleft apart, in wandering mazes lost.
Along them men by Fortune's dooming drift
Like unto leaves that drive before the wind.
Oft on an evil path the good man's feet
Stumble, the brave finds not a prosperous path;
And none of earth-born men can shun the Fates,
And of his own will none can choose his way.
So then doth it behove the wise of heart
Though on a troublous track the winds of fate
Sweep him away to suffer and be strong.
Since we were blinded then, and erred herein,
With rich gifts will we make amends to thee
Hereafter, when we take the stately towers
Of Troy: but now receive thou handmaids seven,
Fleet steeds two-score, victors in chariot-race,
And tripods twelve, wherein thine heart may joy
Through all thy days; and always in my tent
Shall royal honour at the feast be thine."
He spake, and gave the hero those fair gifts.
Then answered Poeas' mighty-hearted son;
"Friend, I forgive thee freely, and all beside
Whoso against me haply hath trangressed.
I know how good men's minds sometimes be warped:
Nor meet it is that one be obdurate
Ever, and nurse mean rancours: sternest wrath
Must yield anon unto the melting mood.
Now pass we to our rest; for better is sleep
Than feasting late, for him who longs to fight."
He spake, and rose, and came to his comrades' tent;
Then swiftly for their war-fain king they dight
The couch, while laughed their hearts for very joy.
Gladly he laid him down to sleep till dawn.
So passed the night divine, till flushed the hills
In the sun's light, and men awoke to toil.
Then all athirst for war the Argive men
'Gan whet the spear smooth-shafted, or the dart,
Or javelin, and they brake the bread of dawn,
And foddered all their horses. Then to these
Spake Poeas' son with battle-kindling speech:
"Up! let us make us ready for the war!
Let no man linger mid the galleys, ere
The glorious walls of Ilium stately-towered
Be shattered, and her palaces be burned!"