Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Achilles weeps for Patroclus



So the fighting raged, while swift-footed Antilochus brought the news to Achilles. He found him in front of the high-sterned ships, agonising over the war, communing anxiously with his proud heart: ‘What woe is this? Why are the long-haired Greeks in flight? Why are they being driven back once more from the plain to the ships? Is this another sorrow sent by the gods, one that my mother prophesied? Did she not say that while I still lived the best of the Myrmidons would forgo the light of day at Trojan hands? Is Patroclus dead, in his rashness: despite my warning, to return to the ships once the fire was out, and not to battle Hector?’

He was lost like this in reflection, when Antilochus, bathed in scalding tears, brought the bitter news: ‘Alas, warlike son of Peleus, sad are the tidings you must hear. Would it were not so, but Patroclus has fallen, and they fight over his corpse, his naked corpse, for Hector of the gleaming helm has your armour.’

At these words, a black cloud of grief shrouded Achilles. Grasping handfuls of dark sand and ash, he poured them over his head and handsome face, soiling his scented tunic. Then he flung himself in the dust, and lying there outstretched, a fallen giant, tore and fouled his hair. The slave girls he and Patroclus had seized as prizes, shrieked with alarm, and ran to warlike Achilles, beating their breasts and sinking to the ground beside him. Antilochus, weeping and groaning, grasped Achilles’ hand, fearing he might take his knife and cut his own throat, so heart-felt was his noble grief.

[Translation from A S Kline's Poetry in Translation]

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