Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
 
Asia Minor: Troy
Troy
Homer (fl. 850 B.C.)
 
(From The Iliad, Book XXIV)
Translated by W. C. Bryant

CASSANDRA, beautiful as Venus, stood
On Pergamus, and from its height discerned
Her father, standing on the chariot-seat,
And knew the herald, him whose voice so oft
Summoned the citizens, and knew the dead        5
Stretched on a litter drawn by mules. She raised
Her voice, and called to all the city thus:—
  “O Trojan men and women, hasten forth
To look on Hector, if ye e’er rejoiced
To see him coming from the field alive,        10
The pride of Troy, and all who dwell in her.”
  She spake, and suddenly was neither man
Nor woman left within the city bounds.
Deep grief was on them all; they went to meet,
Near to the gates, the monarch bringing home        15
The dead. And first the wife whom Hector loved
Rushed with his reverend mother to the car
As it rolled on, and, plucking out their hair,
Touched with their hands the forehead of the dead,
While round it pressed the multitude, and wept,        20
And would have wept before the gates all day,
Even to the set of sun, in bitter grief
For Hector’s loss, had not the aged man
Addressed the people from his chariot-seat:
“Give place to me, and let the mules pass on,        25
And ye may weep your fill when once the dead
Is laid within the palace.” As he spake,
The throng gave way and let the chariot pass;
And having brought it to the royal halls,
On a fair couch they laid the corse, and placed        30
Singers beside it, leaders of the dirge,
Who sang a sorrowful, lamenting strain,
And all the women answered it with sobs.
White-armed Andromache in both her hands
Took warlike Hector’s head, and over it        35
Began the lamentation midst them all:—
  “Thou hast died young, my husband, leaving me
In this thy home a widow, and one son,
An infant yet. To an unhappy pair
He owes his birth, and never will, I fear,        40
Bloom into youth; for ere that day will Troy
Be overthrown, since thou, its chief defence,
Art dead, the guardian of its walls and all
Its noble matrons and its speechless babes,
Yet to be carried captive far away,        45
And I among them, in the hollow barks;
And thou, my son, wilt either go with me,
Where thou shalt toil at menial tasks for some
Pitiless master; or perhaps some Greek
Will seize thy little arm, and in his rage        50
Will hurl thee from a tower and dash thee dead,
Remembering how thy father, Hector, slew
His brother, son, or father; for the hand
Of Hector forced full many a Greek to bite
The dust of earth. Not slow to smite was he        55
In the fierce conflict; therefore all who dwell
Within the city sorrow for his fall.
Thou bringest an unutterable grief,
O Hector, on thy parents, and on me
The sharpest sorrows. Thou didst not stretch forth        60
Thy hands to me, in dying, from thy couch,
Nor speak a word to comfort me, which I
Might ever think of night and day with tears.”
 
 
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