The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)
Some Fate devised our ruin -- oh that I
Had lived not to endure it, but had died
In days of wealthy peace! But now I see
Woes upon woes, and ever look to see
Worse things -- my children slain, my city sacked
And burned with fire by stony-hearted foes,
Daughters, sons' wives, all Trojan women, haled
Into captivity with our little ones!"
So wailed she; but the King heard naught thereof,
But weeping ever sat by Hector's grave,
For most of all his sons he honoured him,
His mightiest, the defender of his land.
Nothing of Paris knew that pierced heart;
But long and loud lamented Helen; yet
Those wails were but for Trojan ears; her soul
With other thoughts was busy, as she cried:
"Husband, to me, to Troy, and to thyself
A bitter blow is this thy woeful death!
In misery hast thou left me, and I look
To see calamities more deadly yet.
Oh that the Spirits of the Storm had snatched
Me from the earth when first I fared with thee
Drawn by a baleful Fate! It might not be;
The Gods have meted ruin to thee and me.
With shuddering horror all men look on me,
All hate me! Place of refuge is there none
For me; for if to the Danaan host I fly,
With torments will they greet me. If I stay,
Troy's sons and daughters here will compass me
And rend me. Earth shall cover not my corpse,
But dogs and fowl of ravin shall devour.
Oh had Fate slain me ere I saw these woes!"
So cried she: but for him far less she mourned
Than for herself, remembering her own sin.
Yea, and Troy's daughters but in semblance wailed
For him: of other woes their hearts were full.
Some thought on parents, some on husbands slain,
These on their sons, on honoured kinsmen those.
One only heart was pierced with grief unfeigned,
Oenone. Not with them of Troy she wailed,
But far away within that desolate home
Moaning she lay on her lost husband's bed.
As when the copses on high mountains stand
White-veiled with frozen snow, which o'er the glens
The west-wind blasts have strown, but now the sun
And east-wind melt it fast, and the long heights
With water-courses stream, and down the glades
Slide, as they thaw, the heavy sheets, to swell
The rushing waters of an ice-cold spring,
So melted she in tears of anguished pain,
And for her own, her husband, agonised,
And cried to her heart with miserable moans:
"Woe for my wickedness! O hateful life!
I loved mine hapless husband -- dreamed with him
To pace to eld's bright threshold hand in hand,
And heart in heart! The gods ordained not so.
Oh had the black Fates snatched me from the earth
Ere I from Paris turned away in hate!
My living love hath left me! -- yet will I
Dare to die with him, for I loathe the light."