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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


But when these reached divine Achilles' tomb,
Then did his son unsheathe the whetted sword,
His left hand grasped the maid, and his right hand
Was laid upon the tomb, and thus he cried:
"Hear, father, thy son's prayer, hear all the prayers
Of Argives, and be no more wroth with us!
Lo, unto thee now all thine heart's desire
Will we fulfil. Be gracious to us thou,
And to our praying grant sweet home-return."

Into the maid's throat then he plunged the blade
Of death: the dear life straightway sobbed she forth,
With the last piteous moan of parting breath.
Face-downward to the earth she fell: all round
Her flesh was crimsoned from her neck, as snow
Stained on a mountain-side with scarlet blood
Rushing, from javelin-smitten boar or bear.
The maiden's corpse then gave they, to be borne
Unto the city, to Antenor's home,
For that, when Troy yet stood, he nurtured her
In his fair halls, a bride for his own son
Eurymachus. The old man buried her,
King Priam's princess-child, nigh his own house,
By Ganymedes' shrine, and overagainst
The temple of Pallas the Unwearied One.
Then were the waves stilled, and the blast was hushed
To sleep, and all the sea-flood lulled to calm.

Swift with glad laughter hied they to the ships,
Hymning Achilles and the Blessed Ones.
A feast they made, first severing thighs of kine
For the Immortals. Gladsome sacrifice
Steamed on all sides: in cups of silver and gold
They drank sweet wine: their hearts leaped up with hope
Of winning to their fatherland again.
But when with meats and wine all these were filled,
Then in their eager ears spake Neleus' son:
"Hear, friends, who have 'scaped the long turmoil of war,
That I may say to you one welcome word:
Now is the hour of heart's delight, the hour
Of home-return. Away! Achilles soul
Hath ceased from ruinous wrath; Earth-shaker stills
The stormy wave, and gentle breezes blow;
No more the waves toss high. Haste, hale the ships
Down to the sea. Now, ho for home-return!"

Eager they heard, and ready made the ships.
Then was a marvellous portent seen of men;
For all-unhappy Priam's queen was changed
From woman's form into a pitiful hound;
And all men gathered round in wondering awe.
Then all her body a God transformed to stone --
A mighty marvel for men yet unborn!
At Calchas' bidding this the Achaeans bore
In a swift ship to Hellespont's far side.
Then down to the sea in haste they ran the keels:
Their wealth they laid aboard, even all the spoil
Taken, or ever unto Troy they came,
From conquered neighbour peoples; therewithal
Whatso they took from Ilium, wherein most
They joyed, for untold was the sum thereof.
And followed with them many a captive maid
With anguished heart: so went they aboard the ships.
But Calchas would not with that eager host

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