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Ovid, Achilles' death

From Metamorphoses

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

Translated into English verse under the direction of Sir Samuel Garth
by John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, William Congreve and other eminent hands

 

The sire of Cygnus, monarch of the main,
Mean-time, laments his son, in battel slain,
And vows the victor's death; nor vows in vain.
For nine long years the smother'd pain he bore
(Achilles was not ripe for Fate before):
Then when he saw the promis'd hour was near,
He thus bespoke the God, that guides the year:

Immortal offspring of my brother Jove;
My brightest nephew, and whom best I love,
Whose hands were join'd with mine, to raise the wall
Of tott'ring Troy, now nodding to her fall,
Dost thou not mourn our pow'r employ'd in vain;
And the defenders of our city slain?
To pass the rest, could noble Hector lie
Unpity'd, drag'd around his native Troy?
And yet the murd'rer lives: himself by far
A greater plague, than all the wasteful war:
He lives; the proud Peliades lives, to boast
Our town destroy'd, our common labour lost.
O, could I meet him! But I wish too late:
To prove my trident is not in his Fate!
But let him try (for that's allow'd) thy dart,
And pierce his only penetrable part.

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Cf. Homer, Achilles' Grief Cavafy, Perfidy 

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