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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


Heroes on earth, yea, and a Goddess' son --
But was in battle slain, all through the wiles
And crafty counsels of these very men
Who now to woeful war be kindling thee.
Therefore mine heart is full of shuddering fear
Lest, son, my lot should be to live bereaved
Of thee, and to endure dishonour and pain,
For never heavier blow on woman falls
Than when her lord hath perished, and her sons
Die also, and her house is left to her
Desolate. Straightway evil men remove
Her landmarks, yea, and rob her of her all,
Setting the right at naught. There is no lot
More woeful and more helpless than is hers
Who is left a widow in a desolate home."

Loud-wailing spake she; but her son replied:
"Be of good cheer, my mother; put from thee
Evil foreboding. No man is in war
Beyond his destiny slain. If my weird be
To die in my country's cause, then let me die
When I have done deeds worthy of my sire."

Then to his side old Lycomedes came,
And to his battle-eager grandson spake:
"O valiant-hearted son, so like thy sire,
I know thee strong and valorous; yet, O yet
For thee I fear the bitter war; I fear
The terrible sea-surge. Shipmen evermore
Hang on destruction's brink. Beware, my child,
Perils of waters when thou sailest back
From Troy or other shores, such as beset
Full oftentimes the voyagers that ride
The long sea-ridges, when the sun hath left
The Archer-star, and meets the misty Goat,
When the wild blasts drive on the lowering storm,
Or when Orion to the darkling west
Slopes, into Ocean's river sinking slow.
Beware the time of equal days and nights,
When blasts that o'er the sea's abysses rush,
None knoweth whence in fury of battle clash.
Beware the Pleiads' setting, when the sea
Maddens beneath their power nor these alone,
But other stars, terrors of hapless men,
As o'er the wide sea-gulf they set or rise."

Then kissed he him, nor sought to stay the feet
Of him who panted for the clamour of war,
Who smiled for pleasure and for eagerness
To haste to the ship. Yet were his hurrying feet
Stayed by his mother's pleading and her tears
Still in those halls awhile. As some swift horse
Is reined in by his rider, when he strains
Unto the race-course, and he neighs, and champs
The curbing bit, dashing his chest with foam,
And his feet eager for the course are still
Never, his restless hooves are clattering aye;
His mane is a stormy cloud, he tosses high
His head with snortings, and his lord is glad;
So reined his mother back the glorious son
Of battle-stay Achilles, so his feet
Were restless, so the mother's loving pride
Joyed in her son, despite her heart-sick pain.

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