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We were living in the Slad Road when my father left us. I was about three.

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The Prisoner Of War

he waited from night to night
he waited till the son started peeling over the horizon
he waited till he heard the morning birds chirp
he waited for a long time
he waited for his father
his father lost at war
his father he knew since he was born
but as time grew
the boy felt so weary
the boy waited and waited and waited
his mother giving him the same face
the same face when his father left
and the same face when he didn't comeback
but the boy did not notice this
the boy never knew his dad has been lost
but until
until he strayed up one night
a night he would never forget
he saw his father walking about in the streets
his uniform on but he noticed something else
his father had many medals
but he knew nothing of them
all that he cared about was his father was home

the boy waited 10 years
his mother fell asleep in tears
for all those years
but then he finally came home


this poem is dedicated to all POW

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Walt Whitman

Song Of The Open Road

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune--I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

The earth--that is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them. 10

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;
I carry them, men and women--I carry them with me wherever I go;
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;
I am fill'd with them, and I will fill them in return.)


You road I enter upon and look around! I believe you are not all that
is here;
I believe that much unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, neither preference or denial;
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas'd, the
illiterate person, are not denied;
The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar's tramp, the
drunkard's stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,
The escaped youth, the rich person's carriage, the fop, the eloping
couple, 20
The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the
town, the return back from the town,
They pass--I also pass--anything passes--none can be interdicted;
None but are accepted--none but are dear to me.


You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings, and give them
shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I think you are latent with unseen existences--you are so dear to me.

You flagg'd walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides!
you distant ships! 30
You rows of houses! you window-pierc'd façades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has been near you, I believe you have imparted to
yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me;
From the living and the dead I think you have peopled your impassive
surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable
with me.


The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not
wanted, 40
The cheerful voice of the public road--the gay fresh sentiment of the
road.

O highway I travel! O public road! do you say to me, Do not leave me?
Do you say, Venture not? If you leave me, you are lost?
Do you say, I am already prepared--I am well-beaten and undenied--
adhere to me?

O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you--yet I love
you;
You express me better than I can express myself;
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv'd in the open air, and all
great poems also;
I think I could stop here myself, and do miracles;
(My judgments, thoughts, I henceforth try by the open air, the
road;) 50
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever
beholds me shall like me;
I think whoever I see must be happy.


From this hour, freedom!
From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that
would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space;
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are
mine. 60

I am larger, better than I thought;
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me;
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I
would do the same to you.

I will recruit for myself and you as I go;
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go;
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them;
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.


Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear, it would not amaze
me; 70
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear'd, it would not
astonish me.

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Here a great personal deed has room;
A great deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law, and mocks all
authority and all argument against it.

Here is the test of wisdom;
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools;
Wisdom cannot be pass'd from one having it, to another not having it;
Wisdom is of the Soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own
proof, 80
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities, and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the
excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes
it out of the Soul.

Now I reëxamine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the
spacious clouds, and along the landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization;
Here is a man tallied--he realizes here what he has in him;
The past, the future, majesty, love--if they are vacant of you, you
are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me? 90
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

Here is adhesiveness--it is not previously fashion'd--it is apropos;
Do you know what it is, as you pass, to be loved by strangers?
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?


Here is the efflux of the Soul;
The efflux of the Soul comes from within, through embower'd gates,
ever provoking questions:
These yearnings, why are they? These thoughts in the darkness, why
are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me, the sun-
light expands my blood?
Why, when they leave me, do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under, but large and melodious
thoughts descend upon me? 100
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees, and always
drop fruit as I pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver, as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman, drawing his seine by the shore, as I walk
by, and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman's or man's good-will? What gives
them to be free to mine?


The efflux of the Soul is happiness--here is happiness;
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times;
Now it flows unto us--we are rightly charged.

Here rises the fluid and attaching character;
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of
man and woman; 110
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out
of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet
continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love
of young and old;
From it falls distill'd the charm that mocks beauty and attainments;
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.


Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires.

The earth never tires;
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first--Nature is rude
and incomprehensible at first;
Be not discouraged--keep on--there are divine things, well envelop'd;
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can
tell. 120

Allons! we must not stop here!
However sweet these laid-up stores--however convenient this dwelling,
we cannot remain here;
However shelter'd this port, and however calm these waters, we must
not anchor here;
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us, we are permitted
to receive it but a little while.


Allons! the inducements shall be greater;
We will sail pathless and wild seas;
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper
speeds by under full sail.

Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements!
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules! 130
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests!

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage--the burial waits no longer.

Allons! yet take warning!
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance;
None may come to the trial, till he or she bring courage and health.

Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself;
Only those may come, who come in sweet and determin'd bodies;
No diseas'd person--no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted
here.

I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes;
We convince by our presence. 140


Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is call'd riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin'd--you hardly
settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are call'd by an
irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who
remain behind you;
What beckonings of love you receive, you shall only answer with
passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach'd hands
toward you.


Allons! after the GREAT COMPANIONS! and to belong to them! 150
They too are on the road! they are the swift and majestic men; they
are the greatest women.
Over that which hinder'd them--over that which retarded--passing
impediments large or small,
Committers of crimes, committers of many beautiful virtues,
Enjoyers of calms of seas, and storms of seas,
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habitués of many distant countries, habitués of far-distant dwellings,
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of
children, bearers of children,
Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers down of
coffins, 160
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years--the curious
years, each emerging from that which preceded it,
Journeyers as with companions, namely, their own diverse phases,
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
Journeyers gayly with their own youth--Journeyers with their bearded
and well-grain'd manhood,
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass'd, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the
universe,
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.


Allons! to that which is endless, as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights, 170
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they
tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys;
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and
pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you--
however long, but it stretches and waits for you;
To see no being, not God's or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it--enjoying all without
labor or purchase--abstracting the feast, yet not abstracting
one particle of it;
To take the best of the farmer's farm and the rich man's elegant
villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and
the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you
go, 180
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter
them--to gather the love out of their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them
behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road--as many roads--as roads for
traveling souls.


The Soul travels;
The body does not travel as much as the soul;
The body has just as great a work as the soul, and parts away at last
for the journeys of the soul.

All parts away for the progress of souls;
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments,--all that was or
is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and
corners before the procession of Souls along the grand roads of
the universe.

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads
of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and
sustenance.

Forever alive, forever forward, 190
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble,
dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;
But I know that they go toward the best--toward something great.


Allons! whoever you are! come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though
you built it, or though it has been built for you.

Allons! out of the dark confinement!
It is useless to protest--I know all, and expose it.

Behold, through you as bad as the rest,
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people, 200
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash'd and trimm'd
faces,
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession;
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and
bland in the parlors,
In the cars of rail-roads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bed-room,
everywhere,
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the
breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial
flowers,
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself, 210
Speaking of anything else, but never of itself.


Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? nature?
Now understand me well--It is provided in the essence of things, that
from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth
something to make a greater struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle--I nourish active rebellion;
He going with me must go well arm'd;
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies,
desertions.


Allons! the road is before us! 220
It is safe--I have tried it--my own feet have tried it well.

Allons! be not detain'd!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen'd!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn'd!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Mon enfant! I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? 230
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

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The long road

I was a boy in a big room,
Writing things on the floor,
Wondering what i would become,
A painter or a poet,
My road i paved a long way ago,
My hopes and all my wishes,
Trying to become a man,
When i was yet a boy,
It was a long road

Moving up and down the streets,
Driven by the small beard that developed,
Seating on street corners everyday,
There was more to life they said,
Blowing whistles at girls passing,
Those were the growing days,
My heart made a choice,
Yes along the way

We are who we want to be,
The things we say and claim,
The life we all become,
I met a new life,
I met a new career,
Yes i met a beautiful woman,
In the long road of life.

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The Road Im On

She said lifes a lot to think about sometimes
When youre living in between the lines
And all the stars are sparkling, shine everyday
He said lifes so hard to move in sometimes
When it feels like Im in the line
And no one even cares to ask me why I feel this way
And I know you feel helpless now, and I know you feel, hold on
Thats the same road, the same road that Im on, yeah
He said lifes a lot to think about sometimes
When you keep it on between the lines
And everything I want and I want to find one of these days
But what you thought was real in life
Oh, it somehow steer you wrong
And now you just keep trying and trying to find out where you belong
And I know you feel helpless now, and I know you feel, hold on
Thats the same road, the same road that Im on
What you thought was real in life, somehow steer you wrong
And now you just keep trying and trying to find where you belong
I know you feel helpless now, I know you feel, hold on
Thats the same, the same road that Im on

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The Valley Road

While no one was looking on the old plantation
He took her all the way down the long valley road
They sent her away not too much later
Left him walking down the old valley road.
Sometimes I lead, sometimes I follow
This time Ill go where she wants me to go
She said maybe today, maybe tomorrow
Go deep in the woods down the long valley road
Walk on walk on little doll walk
Walkon little doll
Out in the hall they were talkin in a whisper
Everybody noticed she was gone a while
Somebody said she was gone to her sisters
Everyone knew what they were talkin about.
While no one was looking on the old plantation
He showed her what they do down the long valley road
Came back around like nothin really happened
Left him standing on the old valley road
Walk on walk on little doll walk on
Walk on little doll
Walk on, walk on the valley road
Standing like a stone on the old plantation
Rich old man wouldnt ever let him in
Good enough to hire, not good enough to marry
When it all happens, nobody wins
Walk on walk on little doll walk on
Walkon little doll etc

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In The Day's When We Are Dead

Listen! The end draws nearer,
Nearer the morning—or night—
And I see with a vision clearer
That the beginning was right!
These shall be words to remember
When all has been done and said,
And my fame is a dying ember
In the days when I am dead.
Listen! We wrote in sorrow,
And we wrote by candle light;
We took no heed of the morrow,
And I think that we were right—
(To-morrow, but not the day after,
And I think that we were right).

We wrote of a world that was human
And we wrote of blood that was red,
For a child, or a man, or a woman—
Remember when we are dead.

Listen! We wrote not for money,
And listen! We wrote not for fame—
We wrote for the milk and the honey
Of Kindness, and not for a name.

We paused not, nor faltered for any,
Though many fell back where we led;
We wrote of the few for the many—
Remember when we are dead.

We suffered as few men suffer,
Yet laughed as few men laugh;
We grin as the road grows rougher,
And a bitterer cup we quaff.

We lived for Right and for Laughter,
And we fought for a Nation ahead—
Remember it, friends, hereafter,
In the years when I am dead—
For to-morrow and not the day after,
For ourselves, and a Nation ahead.

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Prayer On The Valley Road

I love to walk by the willows along the valley road,
Just before sparkling stars fade and night turns to dawn.
When nocturnal creatures return to their homes,
Lazy mist lifts from the stream and birds greet the morn.

This is where I spend time with my Lord,
Moreover, Addoni is there for me.
I have no wish to be elsewhere,
We speak of loves, losses and glee.

Cities that explode and cities that burn.
We speak of men who are at war.
We speak of loving wives and children,
Moreover, governments whom we implore.

Down a track, that sees a dying moon,
We speak of worldly concerns.
Beautiful creations even the amazing,
He waits for my prayers for our soldiers safe return.

El Shaddi hears me say, 'My child is ill',
And answers, I walk before you upon this track.
As I do, My Spirit is holding your dear child,
Moreover, in my time you will see her back.

So my beloved one I hear His voice,
I'm about to bring light to your day.
You have asked much of me this morn,
I love you; but my answer maybe, 'Nay'.

So He and I will track this day together as I plow and sow,
Love both neighbors and those under my roof.
Being a testimony that honors my Lord,
Being for Him a living proof.

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The Emerald Road

Anger fills every vein
In your furious face
And I think that soon,
They'll burst

And I'll never have to see
Your merciless glare
That I could never make a smile
Only hate

Merciless,
Reasonless
Invisible pride
In me you could never find

I glance at the shining fire
Next to me
Lighting a candle to bring a smile
To the sweetest kid I've ever known

The fire vanishes
Smoke flies
Bringing tears
To my eyes

You're worthless
These words, I've only ever
Heard from you
I wanted pride, approval

Though when I ever made
Those emeralds shine
It was with anger
With hate

I think back, try to be you
For even seconds
Just to know
Why I could never make you proud

And I find nothing
Nothing in the past
I knew your father
He was great

And so were all
Your memories
He would've told me
If they weren't

Honesty
Such a wonderful gift
One that was much too sweet
To ever be given by you

I never wanted you
The words, so like a knife
Could only hurt me
If from you

In my past, I can find nothing
No method, only madness
That still takes its toll on me
Even on my brightest days

I can't begin to imagine
What I did to you
To anyone
That no matter what I did

I couldn't make those emeralds shine
That had once meant so much
But now are no more than another stone
On the road that first began my life.

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song - The Lost Road

We stood together on the seven five
Backs to the fields and eyes wide to the light
My thumb hitched high to the random unknown
I didn’t know where and wouldn’t be shown
We’d learn soon enough we couldn’t go home

We sailed straight into yon white water thrill
Down where the furious waves rose and fell
With no going back, and no turning around
We didn’t know if we’d make it or drown
Or if something worse might soon bring us down

(chorus)
When you were the fire, you were the light
And I was a shadow stealing the night
You were the av’rage and I was the pass
I had momentum and you had the class
Out of the seeds of a circular street
I stood on illusion, you stood on your feet

Across the table we sat with our kind
Breaking the bread with our hands full of time
And gulping down the holy water of self
Too eager like chicks we leapt and we fell
From high window dreams down to the cold earth

I stand alone here o’er this city night
But somehow see only your village light
Off in the far distance beside the lost road
Down by the old Beech tree under the crows
Beneath the moon’s light where we used to stroll.

(chorus)
When you were the fire, you were the light
And I was a shadow stealing the night
You were the av’rage and I was the pass
I had momentum and you had the class
Out of the seeds of a circular street
I stood on illusion, you stood on your feet

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The House with Nobody in It

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

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When The Night Comes

Hold on
Ill be back for you
It wont be long
But for now theres something else
Thats calling me
So take me down a lonesome road
Point me east and let me go
That suitcase weighs me down
With memories
I just wanna be the one you run to
I just wanna be the one you come to
I just wanna be there for someone
When the night comes
Lets put all the cares behind us
And go where theyll never find us
I just wanna be there beside you
When the night comes
When the night comes
Two spirits in the night
That can leave before the morning light
When theres nothing left to lose
And nothing left to fear
So meet me on the edge of town
Wont keep you waiting Ill be round
Then you and i
Well just roll right out of here
I just wanna be the one you run to
I just wanna be the one you come to
I just wanna be there for someone
When the night comes
Lets put all the cares behind us
And go where theyll never find us
I just wanna be there beside you
When the night comes
When the night comes
I know therell be a time for you and i
Just take my hand and run away
Think of all the pieces of the shattered dream
Were gonna make it out some day
Well be coming back
Coming back to stay
When the night comes
I wanna be the one you run to
When the night comes
To be the one youd come to
I wanna be the one you run to
Ooh
I just wanna be the one you run to
Wanna be the one you come to
I just wanna be there for someone
When the night comes
Lets put all the cares behind us
And go where theyll never find us
I just wanna be there beside you
When the night comes
When the night comes
Ah ah when the night comes
When the night rolls down
Ah ah when the night comes
I wanna be with you
Ah ah when the night comes
Oh ah when the night comes in
Ah ah oh
Ah ah when the night comes
When the night comes
Ah ah when the night comes
I wanna be right by your side
Ah ah when the night comes
Yes baby
Ah ah oh
Dont do that to me woman
Ah ah oh
Ever stayed when the night time gets in here
Ah ah when the night comes
I wanna rise and up in the
When the night comes
Ah ah when the night comes
Ah ah oh
Love me

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Life On The Road

Ever since I was a child,
I loved to wander wild
Through the bright city lights,
And find myself a life I could call my own.
It was always my ambition
To see piccadilly,
Ramble and roam around soho
And pimlico and savile row,
And walk down the abbey road.
So I saved all my money
And packed up my clothes,
And I said good-bye to my friends
And my folks back home.
And I left for a life of my own.
I left for a life on the road.
Im a real hungry tyke,
And I know what I like.
And I know where Im goin:
To those bright city lights.
Oh yeah, oh yeah,
This time Im gonna get there.
Im bound for a life on the road.
Give me life on the road.
I said life on the road.
When I arrived in euston,
I was little more than a child.
And I didnt know then
That the dives and the dens
Would be so vulgar and wicked and wild.
Mama always told me
The city ladies were bawdy and bold.
And so I searched night and day
To catch a kissable lady,
But all that I caught was a cold,
cause those stuck-up city ladies
Didnt notice me walk by.
Now Ive got holes in my shoes
cause Ive been walkin the streets all night.
And Im livin the life that I chose.
Livin my life on the road.
I said life on the road.
I want life on the road.
Life on the road.
I was standing with the punks in praed street,
When a muscle man came my way.
He said, hey, are you gay?
Can you come out and play?
And like a fool, I went and said, o.k.
Ever since I was knee high,
I thought the city was paved with gold.
But Ive seen so many losers
And down and out boozers
Who were tired of bein bought and sold.
City women are a tease,
But Id really love to please.
Now Ive got blood shot eyes
cause Ive been walkin the streets all night.
And it sure knocks you out on the road.
And Im livin my life on the road.
I said life on the road.
Life on the road.
I want life on the road.
One of these days,
I wanna go home,
Visit my friends,
And see all the places that I used to know,
And say good-bye to a world thats too real;
Good-bye to a world thats forgotten how to feel.
And its slowly usin me,
And theres no security.
Sometimes I hate the road,
But its the only life I know.
But Im livin the life that I chose,
So Ill live out my life on the road.
Give me life on the road.
I said life on the road.
(repeat)

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Patrick White

Living Off The Grid

Living off the grid in the interstices between the threads
of the spider webs bejewelling the sky with stars
like the net of Indra in the morning dew. Mark one dropp
and they're all marked. Subtract from one
and you take from all. Same way with our eyes
when they see like crystal skulls right through
the ruse of themselves to the glassblowers
of fifteenth century Germany. Cool visuals.
The light refracting off the nuanced smear
above their left front parietal lobes as if
they had something as happy and irrational as water
to be clear about in a brittle kind of way.

And that's ok, that's ok, that's ok, too,
but you've got to get down and dirty in the starmud
like the root of an optic nerve deep in the dark matter of the brain,
if you want to be what you see in the visionary sense of the word.
If you want to fly with the dragons that bring the rain
you can't sip like a hummingbird collecting blood samples
from the hollyhocks. You can't live like a tuning fork
witching for a lightning strike if you haven't got
the circuitry for it. If your axons aren't grounded to the earth
you'll be blown out like the brown out of a power station
that wasn't a fit companion for the sun
because you couldn't handle the excruciating transformations
of your own shining, the disciplined ferocity
of a controlled burn. You're either one of the fire wombs of life
or the ashes of a dragonfly in the furnace of a chrysalis
that breaks like the under-fired pottery of a fortune-cookie urn.

Or a stale koan. Either way you're not a guru of the absurd
that's been enlightened by the crazy wisdom standing
in the backlit doorways of delusion, grateful for a hand out
if you've never shaken your spiritualism down on the street
to feed your hungry ghosts something meaty and sweet.
If you want to build your house in the back starfields
of an off road zodiac, you've got to start like an incipient galaxy
with a big black hole as deep as a godhead in your heart
and the bedrock foundation of an asteroidal avalanche
that brings the mountain down on the valley like a gravestone
that's waiting for somebody to put their name and return address on it.

Even if you've blooded your abstractions with soporific poppies
and you're sleepwalking through dreamland, you're still
not homeless enough to be in exile from yourself.
You're still breathing in and out like a hinge on a gate in space.
And there's a light in your face that tells me you're
a lantern in the dark that's never worn its own deathmask
to a ghost dance without paling like the stars
in the false dawn of the fire that consumes them.
And I've noticed you never take
the cranium of your begging bowl
around to the door of an entrance
from which there is no exit.
And that's ok, that's ok, that's ok, too.

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The Forest Road

The forest road,
The infinite straight road stretching away
World without end: the breathless road between the walls
Of the black listening trees: the hushed, grey road
Beyond the window that you shut to-night
Crying that you would look at it by day -
There is a shadow there that sings and calls
But not for you. Oh! hidden eyes that plead in sleep
Against the lonely dark, if I could touch the fear
And leave it kissed away on quiet lids -
If I could hush these hands that are half-awake,
Groping for me in sleep I could go free.
I wish that God would take them out of mine
And fold them like the wings of frightened birds
Shot cruelly down, but fluttering into quietness so soon.
Broken, forgotten things? there is no grief for them in the green Spring
When the new birds fly back to the old trees.
But it shall not be so with you. I will look back. I wish I knew that God would stand
Smiling and looking down on you when morning comes,
To hold you, when you wake, closer than I,
So gently though: and not with famished lips or hungry arms:
He does not hurt the frailest, dearest things
As we do in the dark. See, dear, your hair -
I must unloose this hair that sleeps and dreams
About my face, and clings like the brown weed
To drowned, delivered things, tossed by the tired sea
Back to the beaches. Oh! your hair! If you had lain
A long time dead on the rough, glistening ledge
Of some black cliff, forgotten by the tide,
The raving winds would tear, the dripping brine would rust away
Fold after fold of all the loveliness
That wraps you round, and makes you, lying here,
The passionate fragrance that the roses are.
But death would spare the glory of your head
In the long sweetness of the hair that does not die:
The spray would leap to it in every storm,
The scent of the unsilenced sea would linger on
In these dark waves, and round the silence that was you -
Only the nesting gulls would hear - but there would still be whispers in your hair;
Keep them for me; keep them for me. What is this singing on the road
That makes all other music like the music in a dream -
Dumb to the dancing and the marching feet; you know, in dreams, you see
Old pipers playing that you cannot hear,
And ghostly drums that only seem to beat. This seems to climb:
Is it the music of a larger place? It makes our room too small: it is like a stair,
A calling stair that climbs up to a smile you scarcely see,
Dim, but so waited for; and you know what a smile is, how it calls,
How if I smiled you always ran to me.
Now you must sleep forgetfully, as children do.
There is a Spirit sits by us in sleep
Nearer than those who walk with us in the bright day.
I think he has a tranquil, saving face: I think he came
Straight from the hills: he may have suffered there in time gone by,
And once, from those forsaken heights, looked down,
Lonely himself, on all the lonely sorrows of the earth.
It is his kingdom - Sleep. If I could leave you there -
If, without waking you, I could get up and reach the door -!
We used to go together. - Shut, scared eyes,
Poor, desolate, desperate hands, it is not I
Who thrust you off. No, take your hands away -
I cannot strike your lonely hands. Yes, I have struck your heart,
It did not come so near. Then lie you there
Dear and wild heart behind this quivering snow
With two red stains on it: and I will strike and tear
Mine out, and scatter it to yours. Oh! throbbing dust,
You that were life, our little wind-blown hearts!

The road! the road!

There is a shadow there: I see my soul,
I hear my soul, singing among the trees!

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Patrick White

Living On The Cutting Edge Of The Lunar Waste

Living on the cutting edge of the lunar waste
I made of my last moonrise. A truce
with underwhelming circumstances for awhile,
no apparent pitfalls on a Saturday night in Perth,
too cold for snakes, and the leaves playing their cards
close to earth and the air a knife at your throat,
I can remember when I tried harder to exist,
and it's still a holy war every day just to subsist
and not let it scar your spirit into being cauterized
like a bad tattoo of the moon you had effaced,
but tonight I seek the ease of a solitude older than humans
down in the wetlands of the Tay River just off
Sunset Boulevard before you cross the first bridge.

Waist high in the broken antennae of the brittle grass
yellow as the fossils in a graveyard
of green praying mantes, decultified romantics,
I pad the skull of rock I usually sit on like a prophetic throne
with the old manuscripts of fallen maple leaves,
recalling lines from poems like lyrical snippets of chromosomes
I'd written many years ago to adapt my heart
to the changes it had to go through to recast
the cannon it was into the life of a shapeshifting bell
with the pulse of a nightbird lamenting the dead
instead of a twenty-one gun salute like a firing squad
aimed at the stars. Death is the saddest loss of discipline
the spirit will ever be called upon to master in order to survive.

It was sitting here one night, staring into the eye socket
bored into the albino nugget of a crow's skull,
the boney harps of its wings torn off their hinges
like gates that weren't strong enough to keep something out,
as the black flight feathers of a long eclipse slowly passed
across my eyes, that I realized, dead or alive,
existence is an interactive creative medium that doesn't care
whether you live it like a seance or an exorcism
and there are untold ages of the shining left
even in the oldest ashes of a star strewn on the path
of these long nocturnal firewalks through the mind
and that hello and farewell were the two wings
of the same waterbird, beating in unison
that empowered it to fly like a phoenix of imagination
out of an aviary of urns of its past lives
that might not sing for awhile but never lose their voice.

Cultivate the kind of spirit that can sing to you in the silence
when you're down, about the beauty of just being here
to live it, though you don't want to hear it,
you want to drown in your sorrow like a bell
but somehow the sound of life cuts through you
like a lunar blade with a growing edge
through wounded water and you can't help but wonder
what your ghost would give just to be here again
if only one more time, to resonate with the pain
like a back up singer to the universe,
who knows all the loneliest lyrics by heart
like a waterbird out on the river late at night.

If only to hit one perfect note of sadness, one tine
of separation and suffering like a phantom waterlily
adding its shining to the light like the art
of knowing how to paint starmaps on your tears
indelibly on water for light years to come
to let people know you were once here,
you listened as they will by the side
of this river of life to the same songs, hurt and alone,
as they must if they want to step out of the chorus
and sing solo through their tears in their own voice
before they're gone to a hundred billion stars
that are listening to the same echo
being whispered in their ears like the fires of life
carried away by the desire to live on
like the empty lifeboat of a song full of moonlight
drifting down river to an ocean of awareness
where the gateways of the crow are refeathered
like the exit and entrance of an eclipse of wings
still keeping time to the picture-music that shines
like a new moonrise in the voice of a mindstream that sings
its way through the woods at night alone like a wild grape vine
sustaining the tears of its spiritual high notes until they turn
into the euphoric lunacy of a poetic wine aged in an earthly urn.

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Patrick White

Driving The Same Road

Driving the same road years later without you.
Looking at those things,
the boulder in the fork of the tree
like a giant slingshot
or the head of a baby
coming out backwards
between its mother's legs,
all the endless explanations you had
for how and why things got here
now nothing but voiceless mutes in your absence.
But absence is too kind a word
to intimate the subtler death I feel
drawing its sharper knife across my jugular
like the Sanskrit word for consciousness
as if severance were the compassionate side of vacancy.
There's nothing impaled on the dead trees
except for the occasional empty heron's nest
thrust through the icebound beaver pond
where we used to slow down to spot beavers
but it's still humped by as many lodges as it ever was
and the road's still not out of danger.
I'm much more of a stranger now
than I was then
to all these things that go on without us
as if they had never been cherished by us in passage
as roadside shrines along the way
like the collapsing one room schoolhouse
abandoned like the empty envelope
of a lost loveletter
that left nothing to say in return but the silence.
I'm out of place in this era of my life
I'm passing through like a ghost
with more answers about the afterlife of the outcome
that became of me and you
than there are sad questions to ask them
and my solitude is deepened
by a seance of one
and I'm so weary of wounded secrets
talking in their sleep about having no regrets
they survived everything
I'm praying like a dream with no luck
for a life I can wake up from.
The lightning-struck pines
we named the Three Sisters
no longer recognize me
and the gate on the cow-pasture
where they still stand
like stone-walled gorgons
is hanging by a hinge.
And the farm that was paradise awhile
before we jumped
where we lived among sunflowers
listening to the honeybees in the locust trees
and painting ten hours a day in the fields
for months at a time
further and further from home
until we got lost one night together in the woods
and were retroactively enlightened
by the dangers of finding our way back
like wary animals among animals;
the farm is a graveyard of backhoes now
and there are people in it
overliving us like a field gone back to bush.
I don't grieve our separation.
I know all the hairs we split to go our separate ways.
You couldn't be famous in my shadow
and I couldn't be anonymous in yours.
There were no Sufis
whirling in a gust of weathervanes
when the weather turned against us.
Just the vertigo of not knowing what way to go
but knowing you must
or go under.
Everything was blind.
Everything was a sign.
I didn't know if I could make it through
another new beginning
and younger
you couldn't wait.
So I left the gate open
and one night you closed it behind you for good.
I wanted you to be the first to leave
because I knew more about the deserts to come
so for months after
I just sat there alone
like a dead lightbulb in a dry housewell
sucking on my phallic thumb
knowing there was nothing left to keep warm
and waiting for my new teeth to come in.
I practised the brutal discipline
of being me on my own
when I doubted I had the courage
to bluff my way through the changes
as the abyss put on flesh
and walked around as if it were me
trying on avatars that couldn't save me
from the emptiness that embodied them.
I miss you sometimes
but less and less often over the years
though there's still more iron than rust in my tears
and I try with better and better results
I still can't quite forget
you put my heart like a rose through surgery
without an anaesthetic
and there are still dry petals of blood
you amputated like eyelids
snagged like tiny flags
you never honoured
furled around the thorns.
I still can't lawyer my way
through the innocence of your atrocities
as if the moon had fallen on its own horns.
Maybe you were too crazy
to know what you were doing
and you couldn't help yourself
as time and compassion would see it.
But whatever gets said or doesn't
things were just as dead
when they went to your head
as they were when they tried to flee it.
And I wasn't enough of an asylum to know why
my prophetic skull lied to me
like a bad alibi
everytime I excused my murder
in the name of your homocidal youth
as if unconditional love meant being martyred
by the loveless proof of the godless truth
you had made a mistake
and it was too late to correct the heretic
that went up in Renaissance flames
fed by Botticellian picture-frames
at the Bonfire of the Vanities.
You were a Napoleon airtight
that burned so hot
there was never any soot on your window.
My demons were martyred
for insanities they couldn't conceive
ever believing in,
but you were true to your deceptions
and I was blacklisted by the secret police
that tormented your paranoid perfections
with false confessions I never made.
And that's the way things have stayed
for the last twelve years on the record
like the striations of a retreating ice-age
that clawed at the rocks
to keep from flowing out of itself
like many weak threads from one strong rope
over the edge of the known universe
where the mindstream doesn't need
a lonely lamp and light in the darkness
to follow its own course
back to the sea of night it sprang from.
But what's saddest of all to me
driving through this used landscape
that used to be the way home
through all kinds of weather
remembering the innocence
of what we hoped for from each other and life
is knowing the abysmal disappointment that would follow
as if time didn't flow
it just evaporated.
It's demeaning to the spirit of life
to wish you knew then
what you say you know now
as if you always wanted to begin at the end
without ever crossing a threshold.
So I don't wish for anything more
than what is given me moment by moment
knowing what can't be taken away
is already forsaken
but that's not a reason to repent,
that's not a season of lament
that's just the way things are.
There's always a full moon
buried in every scar
like a harvest of starwheat
we leave for the birds
like ghosts in the garden to reap.

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Homer

The Iliad: Book 16

Thus did they fight about the ship of Protesilaus. Then Patroclus
drew near to Achilles with tears welling from his eyes, as from some
spring whose crystal stream falls over the ledges of a high precipice.
When Achilles saw him thus weeping he was sorry for him and said,
"Why, Patroclus, do you stand there weeping like some silly child that
comes running to her mother, and begs to be taken up and carried-
she catches hold of her mother's dress to stay her though she is in
a hurry, and looks tearfully up until her mother carries her- even
such tears, Patroclus, are you now shedding. Have you anything to
say to the Myrmidons or to myself? or have you had news from Phthia
which you alone know? They tell me Menoetius son of Actor is still
alive, as also Peleus son of Aeacus, among the Myrmidons- men whose
loss we two should bitterly deplore; or are you grieving about the
Argives and the way in which they are being killed at the ships, throu
their own high-handed doings? Do not hide anything from me but tell me
that both of us may know about it."
Then, O knight Patroclus, with a deep sigh you answered,
"Achilles, son of Peleus, foremost champion of the Achaeans, do not be
angry, but I weep for the disaster that has now befallen the
Argives. All those who have been their champions so far are lying at
the ships, wounded by sword or spear. Brave Diomed son of Tydeus has
been hit with a spear, while famed Ulysses and Agamemnon have received
sword-wounds; Eurypylus again has been struck with an arrow in the
thigh; skilled apothecaries are attending to these heroes, and healing
them of their wounds; are you still, O Achilles, so inexorable? May it
never be my lot to nurse such a passion as you have done, to the
baning of your own good name. Who in future story will speak well of
you unless you now save the Argives from ruin? You know no pity;
knight Peleus was not your father nor Thetis your mother, but the grey
sea bore you and the sheer cliffs begot you, so cruel and
remorseless are you. If however you are kept back through knowledge of
some oracle, or if your mother Thetis has told you something from
the mouth of Jove, at least send me and the Myrmidons with me, if I
may bring deliverance to the Danaans. Let me moreover wear your
armour; the Trojans may thus mistake me for you and quit the field, so
that the hard-pressed sons of the Achaeans may have breathing time-
which while they are fighting may hardly be. We who are fresh might
soon drive tired men back from our ships and tents to their own city."
He knew not what he was asking, nor that he was suing for his own
destruction. Achilles was deeply moved and answered, "What, noble
Patroclus, are you saying? I know no prophesyings which I am
heeding, nor has my mother told me anything from the mouth of Jove,
but I am cut to the very heart that one of my own rank should dare
to rob me because he is more powerful than I am. This, after all
that I have gone through, is more than I can endure. The girl whom the
sons of the Achaeans chose for me, whom I won as the fruit of my spear
on having sacked a city- her has King Agamemnon taken from me as
though I were some common vagrant. Still, let bygones be bygones: no
man may keep his anger for ever; I said I would not relent till battle
and the cry of war had reached my own ships; nevertheless, now gird my
armour about your shoulders, and lead the Myrmidons to battle, for the
dark cloud of Trojans has burst furiously over our fleet; the
Argives are driven back on to the beach, cooped within a narrow space,
and the whole people of Troy has taken heart to sally out against
them, because they see not the visor of my helmet gleaming near
them. Had they seen this, there would not have been a creek nor grip
that had not been filled with their dead as they fled back again.
And so it would have been, if only King Agamemnon had dealt fairly
by me. As it is the Trojans have beset our host. Diomed son of
Tydeus no longer wields his spear to defend the Danaans, neither
have I heard the voice of the son of Atreus coming from his hated
head, whereas that of murderous Hector rings in my cars as he gives
orders to the Trojans, who triumph over the Achaeans and fill the
whole plain with their cry of battle. But even so, Patroclus, fall
upon them and save the fleet, lest the Trojans fire it and prevent
us from being able to return. Do, however, as I now bid you, that
you may win me great honour from all the Danaans, and that they may
restore the girl to me again and give me rich gifts into the
bargain. When you have driven the Trojans from the ships, come back
again. Though Juno's thundering husband should put triumph within your
reach, do not fight the Trojans further in my absence, or you will rob
me of glory that should be mine. And do not for lust of battle go on
killing the Trojans nor lead the Achaeans on to Ilius, lest one of the
ever-living gods from Olympus attack you- for Phoebus Apollo loves
them well: return when you have freed the ships from peril, and let
others wage war upon the plain. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and
Apollo, that not a single man of all the Trojans might be left
alive, nor yet of the Argives, but that we two might be alone left
to tear aside the mantle that veils the brow of Troy."
Thus did they converse. But Ajax could no longer hold his ground for
the shower of darts that rained upon him; the will of Jove and the
javelins of the Trojans were too much for him; the helmet that gleamed
about his temples rang with the continuous clatter of the missiles
that kept pouring on to it and on to the cheek-pieces that protected
his face. Moreover his left shoulder was tired with having held his
shield so long, yet for all this, let fly at him as they would, they
could not make him give ground. He could hardly draw his breath, the
sweat rained from every pore of his body, he had not a moment's
respite, and on all sides he was beset by danger upon danger.
And now, tell me, O Muses that hold your mansions on Olympus, how
fire was thrown upon the ships of the Achaeans. Hector came close up
and let drive with his great sword at the ashen spear of Ajax. He
cut it clean in two just behind where the point was fastened on to the
shaft of the spear. Ajax, therefore, had now nothing but a headless
spear, while the bronze point flew some way off and came ringing
down on to the ground. Ajax knew the hand of heaven in this, and was
dismayed at seeing that Jove had now left him utterly defenceless
and was willing victory for the Trojans. Therefore he drew back, and
the Trojans flung fire upon the ship which was at once wrapped in
flame.
The fire was now flaring about the ship's stern, whereon Achilles
smote his two thighs and said to Patroclus, "Up, noble knight, for I
see the glare of hostile fire at our fleet; up, lest they destroy
our ships, and there be no way by which we may retreat. Gird on your
armour at once while I call our people together."
As he spoke Patroclus put on his armour. First he greaved his legs
with greaves of good make, and fitted with ancle-clasps of silver;
after this he donned the cuirass of the son of Aeacus, richly inlaid
and studded. He hung his silver-studded sword of bronze about his
shoulders, and then his mighty shield. On his comely head he set his
helmet, well wrought, with a crest of horse-hair that nodded
menacingly above it. He grasped two redoubtable spears that suited his
hands, but he did not take the spear of noble Achilles, so stout and
strong, for none other of the Achaeans could wield it, though Achilles
could do so easily. This was the ashen spear from Mount Pelion,
which Chiron had cut upon a mountain top and had given to Peleus,
wherewith to deal out death among heroes. He bade Automedon yoke his
horses with all speed, for he was the man whom he held in honour
next after Achilles, and on whose support in battle he could rely most
firmly. Automedon therefore yoked the fleet horses Xanthus and Balius,
steeds that could fly like the wind: these were they whom the harpy
Podarge bore to the west wind, as she was grazing in a meadow by the
waters of the river Oceanus. In the side traces he set the noble horse
Pedasus, whom Achilles had brought away with him when he sacked the
city of Eetion, and who, mortal steed though he was, could take his
place along with those that were immortal.
Meanwhile Achilles went about everywhere among the tents, and bade
his Myrmidons put on their armour. Even as fierce ravening wolves that
are feasting upon a homed stag which they have killed upon the
mountains, and their jaws are red with blood- they go in a pack to lap
water from the clear spring with their long thin tongues; and they
reek of blood and slaughter; they know not what fear is, for it is
hunger drives them- even so did the leaders and counsellors of the
Myrmidons gather round the good squire of the fleet descendant of
Aeacus, and among them stood Achilles himself cheering on both men and
horses.
Fifty ships had noble Achilles brought to Troy, and in each there
was a crew of fifty oarsmen. Over these he set five captains whom he
could trust, while he was himself commander over them all.
Menesthius of the gleaming corslet, son to the river Spercheius that
streams from heaven, was captain of the first company. Fair Polydora
daughter of Peleus bore him to ever-flowing Spercheius- a woman
mated with a god- but he was called son of Borus son of Perieres, with
whom his mother was living as his wedded wife, and who gave great
wealth to gain her. The second company was led by noble Eudorus, son
to an unwedded woman. Polymele, daughter of Phylas the graceful
dancer, bore him; the mighty slayer of Argos was enamoured of her as
he saw her among the singing women at a dance held in honour of
Diana the rushing huntress of the golden arrows; he therefore-
Mercury, giver of all good- went with her into an upper chamber, and
lay with her in secret, whereon she bore him a noble son Eudorus,
singularly fleet of foot and in fight valiant. When Ilithuia goddess
of the pains of child-birth brought him to the light of day, and he
saw the face of the sun, mighty Echecles son of Actor took the
mother to wife, and gave great wealth to gain her, but her father
Phylas brought the child up, and took care of him, doting as fondly
upon him as though he were his own son. The third company was led by
Pisander son of Maemalus, the finest spearman among all the
Myrmidons next to Achilles' own comrade Patroclus. The old knight
Phoenix was captain of the fourth company, and Alcimedon, noble son of
Laerceus of the fifth.
When Achilles had chosen his men and had stationed them all with
their captains, he charged them straitly saying, "Myrmidons,
remember your threats against the Trojans while you were at the
ships in the time of my anger, and you were all complaining of me.
'Cruel son of Peleus,' you would say, 'your mother must have suckled
you on gall, so ruthless are you. You keep us here at the ships
against our will; if you are so relentless it were better we went home
over the sea.' Often have you gathered and thus chided with me. The
hour is now come for those high feats of arms that you have so long
been pining for, therefore keep high hearts each one of you to do
battle with the Trojans."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all, and they
serried their companies yet more closely when they heard the of
their king. As the stones which a builder sets in the wall of some
high house which is to give shelter from the winds- even so closely
were the helmets and bossed shields set against one another. Shield
pressed on shield, helm on helm, and man on man; so close were they
that the horse-hair plumes on the gleaming ridges of their helmets
touched each other as they bent their heads.
In front of them all two men put on their armour- Patroclus and
Automedon- two men, with but one mind to lead the Myrmidons. Then
Achilles went inside his tent and opened the lid of the strong chest
which silver-footed Thetis had given him to take on board ship, and
which she had filled with shirts, cloaks to keep out the cold, and
good thick rugs. In this chest he had a cup of rare workmanship,
from which no man but himself might drink, nor would he make
offering from it to any other god save only to father Jove. He took
the cup from the chest and cleansed it with sulphur; this done he
rinsed it clean water, and after he had washed his hands he drew wine.
Then he stood in the middle of the court and prayed, looking towards
heaven, and making his drink-offering of wine; nor was he unseen of
Jove whose joy is in thunder. "King Jove," he cried, "lord of
Dodona, god of the Pelasgi, who dwellest afar, you who hold wintry
Dodona in your sway, where your prophets the Selli dwell around you
with their feet unwashed and their couches made upon the ground- if
you heard me when I prayed to you aforetime, and did me honour while
you sent disaster on the Achaeans, vouchsafe me now the fulfilment
of yet this further prayer. I shall stay here where my ships are
lying, but I shall send my comrade into battle at the head of many
Myrmidons. Grant, O all-seeing Jove, that victory may go with him; put
your courage into his heart that Hector may learn whether my squire is
man enough to fight alone, or whether his might is only then so
indomitable when I myself enter the turmoil of war. Afterwards when he
has chased the fight and the cry of battle from the ships, grant
that he may return unharmed, with his armour and his comrades,
fighters in close combat."
Thus did he pray, and all-counselling Jove heard his prayer. Part of
it he did indeed vouchsafe him- but not the whole. He granted that
Patroclus should thrust back war and battle from the ships, but
refused to let him come safely out of the fight.
When he had made his drink-offering and had thus prayed, Achilles
went inside his tent and put back the cup into his chest.
Then he again came out, for he still loved to look upon the fierce
fight that raged between the Trojans and Achaeans.
Meanwhile the armed band that was about Patroclus marched on till
they sprang high in hope upon the Trojans. They came swarming out like
wasps whose nests are by the roadside, and whom silly children love to
tease, whereon any one who happens to be passing may get stung- or
again, if a wayfarer going along the road vexes them by accident,
every wasp will come flying out in a fury to defend his little ones-
even with such rage and courage did the Myrmidons swarm from their
ships, and their cry of battle rose heavenwards. Patroclus called
out to his men at the top of his voice, "Myrmidons, followers of
Achilles son of Peleus, be men my friends, fight with might and with
main, that we may win glory for the son of Peleus, who is far the
foremost man at the ships of the Argives- he, and his close fighting
followers. The son of Atreus King Agamemnon will thus learn his
folly in showing no respect to the bravest of the Achaeans."
With these words he put heart and soul into them all, and they
fell in a body upon the Trojans. The ships rang again with the cry
which the Achaeans raised, and when the Trojans saw the brave son of
Menoetius and his squire all gleaming in their armour, they were
daunted and their battalions were thrown into confusion, for they
thought the fleet son of Peleus must now have put aside his anger, and
have been reconciled to Agamemnon; every one, therefore, looked
round about to see whither he might fly for safety.
Patroclus first aimed a spear into the middle of the press where men
were packed most closely, by the stern of the ship of Protesilaus.
He hit Pyraechmes who had led his Paeonian horsemen from the Amydon
and the broad waters of the river Axius; the spear struck him on the
right shoulder, and with a groan he fell backwards in the dust; on
this his men were thrown into confusion, for by killing their
leader, who was the finest soldier among them, Patroclus struck
panic into them all. He thus drove them from the ship and quenched the
fire that was then blazing- leaving the half-burnt ship to lie where
it was. The Trojans were now driven back with a shout that rent the
skies, while the Danaans poured after them from their ships,
shouting also without ceasing. As when Jove, gatherer of the
thunder-cloud, spreads a dense canopy on the top of some lofty
mountain, and all the peaks, the jutting headlands, and forest
glades show out in the great light that flashes from the bursting
heavens, even so when the Danaans had now driven back the fire from
their ships, they took breath for a little while; but the fury of
the fight was not yet over, for the Trojans were not driven back in
utter rout, but still gave battle, and were ousted from their ground
only by sheer fighting.
The fight then became more scattered, and the chieftains killed
one another when and how they could. The valiant son of Menoetius
first drove his spear into the thigh of Areilycus just as he was
turning round; the point went clean through, and broke the bone so
that he fell forward. Meanwhile Menelaus struck Thoas in the chest,
where it was exposed near the rim of his shield, and he fell dead. The
son of Phyleus saw Amphiclus about to attack him, and ere he could
do so took aim at the upper part of his thigh, where the muscles are
thicker than in any other part; the spear tore through all the
sinews of the leg, and his eyes were closed in darkness. Of the sons
of Nestor one, Antilochus, speared Atymnius, driving the point of
the spear through his throat, and down he fell. Maris then sprang on
Antilochus in hand-to-hand fight to avenge his brother, and bestrode
the body spear in hand; but valiant Thrasymedes was too quick for him,
and in a moment had struck him in the shoulder ere he could deal his
blow; his aim was true, and the spear severed all the muscles at the
root of his arm, and tore them right down to the bone, so he fell
heavily to the ground and his eyes were closed in darkness. Thus did
these two noble comrades of Sarpedon go down to Erebus slain by the
two sons of Nestor; they were the warrior sons of Amisodorus, who
had reared the invincible Chimaera, to the bane of many. Ajax son of
Oileus sprang on Cleobulus and took him alive as he was entangled in
the crush; but he killed him then and there by a sword-blow on the
neck. The sword reeked with his blood, while dark death and the strong
hand of fate gripped him and closed his eyes.
Peneleos and Lycon now met in close fight, for they had missed
each other with their spears. They had both thrown without effect,
so now they drew their swords. Lycon struck the plumed crest of
Peneleos' helmet but his sword broke at the hilt, while Peneleos smote
Lycon on the neck under the ear. The blade sank so deep that the
head was held on by nothing but the skin, and there was no more life
left in him. Meriones gave chase to Acamas on foot and caught him up
just as he was about to mount his chariot; he drove a spear through
his right shoulder so that he fell headlong from the car, and his eyes
were closed in darkness. Idomeneus speared Erymas in the mouth; the
bronze point of the spear went clean through it beneath the brain,
crashing in among the white bones and smashing them up. His teeth were
all of them knocked out and the blood came gushing in a stream from
both his eyes; it also came gurgling up from his mouth and nostrils,
and the darkness of death enfolded him round about.
Thus did these chieftains of the Danaans each of them kill his
man. As ravening wolves seize on kids or lambs, fastening on them when
they are alone on the hillsides and have strayed from the main flock
through the carelessness of the shepherd- and when the wolves see this
they pounce upon them at once because they cannot defend themselves-
even so did the Danaans now fall on the Trojans, who fled with
ill-omened cries in their panic and had no more fight left in them.
Meanwhile great Ajax kept on trying to drive a spear into Hector,
but Hector was so skilful that he held his broad shoulders well
under cover of his ox-hide shield, ever on the look-out for the
whizzing of the arrows and the heavy thud of the spears. He well
knew that the fortunes of the day had changed, but still stood his
ground and tried to protect his comrades.
As when a cloud goes up into heaven from Olympus, rising out of a
clear sky when Jove is brewing a gale- even with such panic stricken
rout did the Trojans now fly, and there was no order in their going.
Hector's fleet horses bore him and his armour out of the fight, and he
left the Trojan host penned in by the deep trench against their
will. Many a yoke of horses snapped the pole of their chariots in
the trench and left their master's car behind them. Patroclus gave
chase, calling impetuously on the Danaans and full of fury against the
Trojans, who, being now no longer in a body, filled all the ways
with their cries of panic and rout; the air was darkened with the
clouds of dust they raised, and the horses strained every nerve in
their flight from the tents and ships towards the city.
Patroclus kept on heading his horses wherever he saw most men flying
in confusion, cheering on his men the while. Chariots were being
smashed in all directions, and many a man came tumbling down from
his own car to fall beneath the wheels of that of Patroclus, whose
immortal steeds, given by the gods to Peleus, sprang over the trench
at a bound as they sped onward. He was intent on trying to get near
Hector, for he had set his heart on spearing him, but Hector's
horses were now hurrying him away. As the whole dark earth bows before
some tempest on an autumn day when Jove rains his hardest to punish
men for giving crooked judgement in their courts, and arriving justice
therefrom without heed to the decrees of heaven- all the rivers run
full and the torrents tear many a new channel as they roar headlong
from the mountains to the dark sea, and it fares ill with the works of
men- even such was the stress and strain of the Trojan horses in their
flight.
Patroclus now cut off the battalions that were nearest to him and
drove them back to the ships. They were doing their best to reach
the city, but he would not Yet them, and bore down on them between the
river and the ships and wall. Many a fallen comrade did he then
avenge. First he hit Pronous with a spear on the chest where it was
exposed near the rim of his shield, and he fell heavily to the ground.
Next he sprang on Thestor son of Enops, who was sitting all huddled up
in his chariot, for he had lost his head and the reins had been torn
out of his hands. Patroclus went up to him and drove a spear into
his right jaw; he thus hooked him by the teeth and the spear pulled
him over the rim of his car, as one who sits at the end of some
jutting rock and draws a strong fish out of the sea with a hook and
a line- even so with his spear did he pull Thestor all gaping from his
chariot; he then threw him down on his face and he died while falling.
On this, as Erylaus was on to attack him, he struck him full on the
head with a stone, and his brains were all battered inside his helmet,
whereon he fell headlong to the ground and the pangs of death took
hold upon him. Then he laid low, one after the other, Erymas,
Amphoterus, Epaltes, Tlepolemus, Echius son of Damastor, Pyris,
lpheus, Euippus and Polymelus son of Argeas.
Now when Sarpedon saw his comrades, men who wore ungirdled tunics,
being overcome by Patroclus son of Menoetius, he rebuked the Lycians
saying. "Shame on you, where are you flying to? Show your mettle; I
will myself meet this man in fight and learn who it is that is so
masterful; he has done us much hurt, and has stretched many a brave
man upon the ground."
He sprang from his chariot as he spoke, and Patroclus, when he saw
this, leaped on to the ground also. The two then rushed at one another
with loud cries like eagle-beaked crook-taloned vultures that scream
and tear at one another in some high mountain fastness.
The son of scheming Saturn looked down upon them in pity and said to
Juno who was his wife and sister, "Alas, that it should be the lot
of Sarpedon whom I love so dearly to perish by the hand of
Patroclus. I am in two minds whether to catch him up out of the
fight and set him down safe and sound in the fertile land of Lycia, or
to let him now fall by the hand of the son of Menoetius."
And Juno answered, "Most dread son of Saturn, what is this that
you are saying? Would you snatch a mortal man, whose doom has long
been fated, out of the jaws of death? Do as you will, but we shall not
all of us be of your mind. I say further, and lay my saying to your
heart, that if you send Sarpedon safely to his own home, some other of
the gods will be also wanting to escort his son out of battle, for
there are many sons of gods fighting round the city of Troy, and you
will make every one jealous. If, however, you are fond of him and pity
him, let him indeed fall by the hand of Patroclus, but as soon as
the life is gone out of him, send Death and sweet Sleep to bear him
off the field and take him to the broad lands of Lycia, where his
brothers and his kinsmen will bury him with mound and pillar, in due
honour to the dead."
The sire of gods and men assented, but he shed a rain of blood
upon the earth in honour of his son whom Patroclus was about to kill
on the rich plain of Troy far from his home.
When they were now come close to one another Patroclus struck
Thrasydemus, the brave squire of Sarpedon, in the lower part of the
belly, and killed him. Sarpedon then aimed a spear at Patroclus and
missed him, but he struck the horse Pedasus in the right shoulder, and
it screamed aloud as it lay, groaning in the dust until the life
went out of it. The other two horses began to plunge; the pole of
the chariot cracked and they got entangled in the reins through the
fall of the horse that was yoked along with them; but Automedon knew
what to do; without the loss of a moment he drew the keen blade that
hung by his sturdy thigh and cut the third horse adrift; whereon the
other two righted themselves, and pulling hard at the reins again went
together into battle.
Sarpedon now took a second aim at Patroclus, and again missed him,
the point of the spear passed over his left shoulder without hitting
him. Patroclus then aimed in his turn, and the spear sped not from his
hand in vain, for he hit Sarpedon just where the midriff surrounds the
ever-beating heart. He fell like some oak or silver poplar or tall
pine to which woodmen have laid their axes upon the mountains to
make timber for ship-building- even so did he lie stretched at full
length in front of his chariot and horses, moaning and clutching at
the blood-stained dust. As when a lion springs with a bound upon a
herd of cattle and fastens on a great black bull which dies
bellowing in its clutches- even so did the leader of the Lycian
warriors struggle in death as he fell by the hand of Patroclus. He
called on his trusty comrade and said, "Glaucus, my brother, hero
among heroes, put forth all your strength, fight with might and
main, now if ever quit yourself like a valiant soldier. First go about
among the Lycian captains and bid them fight for Sarpedon; then
yourself also do battle to save my armour from being taken. My name
will haunt you henceforth and for ever if the Achaeans rob me of my
armour now that I have fallen at their ships. Do your very utmost
and call all my people together."
Death closed his eyes as he spoke. Patroclus planted his heel on his
breast and drew the spear from his body, whereon his senses came out
along with it, and he drew out both spear-point and Sarpedon's soul at
the same time. Hard by the Myrmidons held his snorting steeds, who
were wild with panic at finding themselves deserted by their lords.
Glaucus was overcome with grief when he heard what Sarpedon said,
for he could not help him. He had to support his arm with his other
hand, being in great pain through the wound which Teucer's arrow had
given him when Teucer was defending the wall as he, Glaucus, was
assailing it. Therefore he prayed to far-darting Apollo saying,
"Hear me O king from your seat, may be in the rich land of Lycia, or
may be in Troy, for in all places you can hear the prayer of one who
is in distress, as I now am. I have a grievous wound; my hand is
aching with pain, there is no staunching the blood, and my whole arm
drags by reason of my hurt, so that I cannot grasp my sword nor go
among my foes and fight them, thou our prince, Jove's son Sarpedon, is
slain. Jove defended not his son, do you, therefore, O king, heal me
of my wound, ease my pain and grant me strength both to cheer on the
Lycians and to fight along with them round the body of him who has
fallen."
Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He eased his pain,
staunched the black blood from the wound, and gave him new strength.
Glaucus perceived this, and was thankful that the mighty god had
answered his prayer; forthwith, therefore, he went among the Lycian
captains, and bade them come to fight about the body of Sarpedon. From
these he strode on among the Trojans to Polydamas son of Panthous
and Agenor; he then went in search of Aeneas and Hector, and when he
had found them he said, "Hector, you have utterly forgotten your
allies, who languish here for your sake far from friends and home
while you do nothing to support them. Sarpedon leader of the Lycian
warriors has fallen- he who was at once the right and might of
Lycia; Mars has laid him low by the spear of Patroclus. Stand by
him, my friends, and suffer not the Myrmidons to strip him of his
armour, nor to treat his body with contumely in revenge for all the
Danaans whom we have speared at the ships."
As he spoke the Trojans were plunged in extreme and ungovernable
grief; for Sarpedon, alien though he was, had been one of the main
stays of their city, both as having much people with him, and
himself the foremost among them all. Led by Hector, who was infuriated
by the fall of Sarpedon, they made instantly for the Danaans with
all their might, while the undaunted spirit of Patroclus son of
Menoetius cheered on the Achaeans. First he spoke to the two Ajaxes,
men who needed no bidding. "Ajaxes," said he, "may it now please you
to show youselves the men you have always been, or even better-
Sarpedon is fallen- he who was first to overleap the wall of the
Achaeans; let us take the body and outrage it; let us strip the armour
from his shoulders, and kill his comrades if they try to rescue his
body."
He spoke to men who of themselves were full eager; both sides,
therefore, the Trojans and Lycians on the one hand, and the
Myrmidons and Achaeans on the other, strengthened their battalions,
and fought desperately about the body of Sarpedon, shouting fiercely
the while. Mighty was the din of their armour as they came together,
and Jove shed a thick darkness over the fight, to increase the of
the battle over the body of his son.
At first the Trojans made some headway against the Achaeans, for one
of the best men among the Myrmidons was killed, Epeigeus, son of noble
Agacles who had erewhile been king in the good city of Budeum; but
presently, having killed a valiant kinsman of his own, he took
refuge with Peleus and Thetis, who sent him to Ilius the land of noble
steeds to fight the Trojans under Achilles. Hector now struck him on
the head with a stone just as he had caught hold of the body, and
his brains inside his helmet were all battered in, so that he fell
face foremost upon the body of Sarpedon, and there died. Patroclus was
enraged by the death of his comrade, and sped through the front
ranks as swiftly as a hawk that swoops down on a flock of daws or
starlings. Even so swiftly, O noble knight Patroclus, did you make
straight for the Lycians and Trojans to avenge your comrade. Forthwith
he struck Sthenelaus the son of Ithaemenes on the neck with a stone,
and broke the tendons that join it to the head and spine. On this
Hector and the front rank of his men gave ground. As far as a man
can throw a javelin when competing for some prize, or even in
battle- so far did the Trojans now retreat before the Achaeans.
Glaucus, captain of the Lycians, was the first to rally them, by
killing Bathycles son of Chalcon who lived in Hellas and was the
richest man among the Myrmidons. Glaucus turned round suddenly, just
as Bathycles who was pursuing him was about to lay hold of him, and
drove his spear right into the middle of his chest, whereon he fell
heavily to the ground, and the fall of so good a man filled the
Achaeans with dismay, while the Trojans were exultant, and came up
in a body round the corpse. Nevertheless the Achaeans, mindful of
their prowess, bore straight down upon them.
Meriones then killed a helmed warrior of the Trojans, Laogonus son
of Onetor, who was priest of Jove of Mt. Ida, and was honoured by
the people as though he were a god. Meriones struck him under the
jaw and ear, so that life went out of him and the darkness of death
laid hold upon him. Aeneas then aimed a spear at Meriones, hoping to
hit him under the shield as he was advancing, but Meriones saw it
coming and stooped forward to avoid it, whereon the spear flew past
him and the point stuck in the ground, while the butt-end went on
quivering till Mars robbed it of its force. The spear, therefore, sped
from Aeneas's hand in vain and fell quivering to the ground. Aeneas
was angry and said, "Meriones, you are a good dancer, but if I had hit
you my spear would soon have made an end of you."
And Meriones answered, "Aeneas, for all your bravery, you will not
be able to make an end of every one who comes against you. You are
only a mortal like myself, and if I were to hit you in the middle of
your shield with my spear, however strong and self-confident you may
be, I should soon vanquish you, and you would yield your life to Hades
of the noble steeds."
On this the son of Menoetius rebuked him and said, "Meriones, hero
though you be, you should not speak thus; taunting speeches, my good
friend, will not make the Trojans draw away from the dead body; some
of them must go under ground first; blows for battle, and words for
council; fight, therefore, and say nothing."
He led the way as he spoke and the hero went forward with him. As
the sound of woodcutters in some forest glade upon the mountains-
and the thud of their axes is heard afar- even such a din now rose
from earth-clash of bronze armour and of good ox-hide shields, as
men smote each other with their swords and spears pointed at both
ends. A man had need of good eyesight now to know Sarpedon, so covered
was he from head to foot with spears and blood and dust. Men swarmed
about the body, as flies that buzz round the full milk-pails in spring
when they are brimming with milk- even so did they gather round
Sarpedon; nor did Jove turn his keen eyes away for one moment from the
fight, but kept looking at it all the time, for he was settling how
best to kill Patroclus, and considering whether Hector should be
allowed to end him now in the fight round the body of Sarpedon, and
strip him of his armour, or whether he should let him give yet further
trouble to the Trojans. In the end, he deemed it best that the brave
squire of Achilles son of Peleus should drive Hector and the Trojans
back towards the city and take the lives of many. First, therefore, he
made Hector turn fainthearted, whereon he mounted his chariot and
fled, bidding the other Trojans fly also, for he saw that the scales
of Jove had turned against him. Neither would the brave Lycians
stand firm; they were dismayed when they saw their king lying struck
to the heart amid a heap of corpses- for when the son of Saturn made
the fight wax hot many had fallen above him. The Achaeans, therefore
stripped the gleaming armour from his shoulders and the brave son of
Menoetius gave it to his men to take to the ships. Then Jove lord of
the storm-cloud said to Apollo, "Dear Phoebus, go, I pray you, and
take Sarpedon out of range of the weapons; cleanse the black blood
from off him, and then bear him a long way off where you may wash
him in the river, anoint him with ambrosia, and clothe him in immortal
raiment; this done, commit him to the arms of the two fleet
messengers, Death, and Sleep, who will carry him straightway to the
rich land of Lycia, where his brothers and kinsmen will inter him, and
will raise both mound and pillar to his memory, in due honour to the
dead."
Thus he spoke. Apollo obeyed his father's saying, and came down from
the heights of Ida into the thick of the fight; forthwith he took
Sarpedon out of range of the weapons, and then bore him a long way
off, where he washed him in the river, anointed him with ambrosia
and clothed him in immortal raiment; this done, he committed him to
the arms of the two fleet messengers, Death, and Sleep, who
presently set him down in the rich land of Lycia.
Meanwhile Patroclus, with many a shout to his horses and to
Automedon, pursued the Trojans and Lycians in the pride and
foolishness of his heart. Had he but obeyed the bidding of the son
of Peleus, he would have, escaped death and have been scatheless;
but the counsels of Jove pass man's understanding; he will put even
a brave man to flight and snatch victory from his grasp, or again he
will set him on to fight, as he now did when he put a high spirit into
the heart of Patroclus.
Who then first, and who last, was slain by you, O Patroclus, when
the gods had now called you to meet your doom? First Adrestus,
Autonous, Echeclus, Perimus the son of Megas, Epistor and
Melanippus; after these he killed Elasus, Mulius, and Pylartes.
These he slew, but the rest saved themselves by flight.
The sons of the Achaeans would now have taken Troy by the hands of
Patroclus, for his spear flew in all directions, had not Phoebus
Apollo taken his stand upon the wall to defeat his purpose and to
aid the Trojans. Thrice did Patroclus charge at an angle of the high
wall, and thrice did Apollo beat him back, striking his shield with
his own immortal hands. When Patroclus was coming on like a god for
yet a fourth time, Apollo shouted to him with an awful voice and said,
"Draw back, noble Patroclus, it is not your lot to sack the city of
the Trojan chieftains, nor yet will it be that of Achilles who is a
far better man than you are." On hearing this, Patroclus withdrew to
some distance and avoided the anger of Apollo.
Meanwhile Hector was waiting with his horses inside the Scaean
gates, in doubt whether to drive out again and go on fighting, or to
call the army inside the gates. As he was thus doubting Phoebus Apollo
drew near him in the likeness of a young and lusty warrior Asius,
who was Hector's uncle, being own brother to Hecuba, and son of
Dymas who lived in Phrygia by the waters of the river Sangarius; in
his likeness Jove's son Apollo now spoke to Hector saying, "Hector,
why have you left off fighting? It is ill done of you. If I were as
much better a man than you, as I am worse, you should soon rue your
slackness. Drive straight towards Patroclus, if so be that Apollo
may grant you a triumph over him, and you may rull him."
With this the god went back into the hurly-burly, and Hector bade
Cebriones drive again into the fight. Apollo passed in among them, and
struck panic into the Argives, while he gave triumph to Hector and the
Trojans. Hector let the other Danaans alone and killed no man, but
drove straight at Patroclus. Patroclus then sprang from his chariot to
the ground, with a spear in his left hand, and in his right a jagged
stone as large as his hand could hold. He stood still and threw it,
nor did it go far without hitting some one; the cast was not in
vain, for the stone struck Cebriones, Hector's charioteer, a bastard
son of Priam, as he held the reins in his hands. The stone hit him
on the forehead and drove his brows into his head for the bone was
smashed, and his eyes fell to the ground at his feet. He dropped
dead from his chariot as though he were diving, and there was no
more life left in him. Over him did you then vaunt, O knight
Patroclus, saying, "Bless my heart, how active he is, and how well
he dives. If we had been at sea this fellow would have dived from
the ship's side and brought up as many oysters as the whole crew could
stomach, even in rough water, for he has dived beautifully off his
chariot on to the ground. It seems, then, that there are divers also
among the Trojans."
As he spoke he flung himself on Cebriones with the spring, as it
were, of a lion that while attacking a stockyard is himself struck
in the chest, and his courage is his own bane- even so furiously, O
Patroclus, did you then spring upon Cebriones. Hector sprang also from
his chariot to the ground. The pair then fought over the body of
Cebriones. As two lions fight fiercely on some high mountain over
the body of a stag that they have killed, even so did these two mighty
warriors, Patroclus son of Menoetius and brave Hector, hack and hew at
one another over the corpse of Cebriones. Hector would not let him
go when he had once got him by the head, while Patroclus kept fast
hold of his feet, and a fierce fight raged between the other Danaans
and Trojans. As the east and south wind buffet one another when they
beat upon some dense forest on the mountains- there is beech and ash
and spreading cornel; the to of the trees roar as they beat on one
another, and one can hear the boughs cracking and breaking- even so
did the Trojans and Achaeans spring upon one another and lay about
each other, and neither side would give way. Many a pointed spear fell
to ground and many a winged arrow sped from its bow-string about the
body of Cebriones; many a great stone, moreover, beat on many a shield
as they fought around his body, but there he lay in the whirling
clouds of dust, all huge and hugely, heedless of his driving now.
So long as the sun was still high in mid-heaven the weapons of
either side were alike deadly, and the people fell; but when he went
down towards the time when men loose their oxen, the Achaeans proved
to be beyond all forecast stronger, so that they drew Cebriones out of
range of the darts and tumult of the Trojans, and stripped the
armour from his shoulders. Then Patroclus sprang like Mars with fierce
intent and a terrific shout upon the Trojans, and thrice did he kill
nine men; but as he was coming on like a god for a time, then, O
Patroclus, was the hour of your end approaching, for Phoebus fought
you in fell earnest. Patroclus did not see him as he moved about in
the crush, for he was enshrouded in thick darkness, and the god struck
him from behind on his back and his broad shoulders with the flat of
his hand, so that his eyes turned dizzy. Phoebus Apollo beat the
helmet from off his head, and it rolled rattling off under the horses'
feet, where its horse-hair plumes were all begrimed with dust and
blood. Never indeed had that helmet fared so before, for it had served
to protect the head and comely forehead of the godlike hero
Achilles. Now, however, Zeus delivered it over to be worn by Hector.
Nevertheless the end of Hector also was near. The bronze-shod spear,
so great and so strong, was broken in the hand of Patroclus, while his
shield that covered him from head to foot fell to the ground as did
also the band that held it, and Apollo undid the fastenings of his
corslet.
On this his mind became clouded; his limbs failed him, and he
stood as one dazed; whereon Euphorbus son of Panthous a Dardanian, the
best spearman of his time, as also the finest horseman and fleetest
runner, came behind him and struck him in the back with a spear,
midway between the shoulders. This man as soon as ever he had come
up with his chariot had dismounted twenty men, so proficient was he in
all the arts of war- he it was, O knight Patroclus, that first drove a
weapon into you, but he did not quite overpower you. Euphorbus then
ran back into the crowd, after drawing his ashen spear out of the
wound; he would not stand firm and wait for Patroclus, unarmed
though he now was, to attack him; but Patroclus unnerved, alike by the
blow the god had given him and by the spear-wound, drew back under
cover of his men in fear for his life. Hector on this, seeing him to
be wounded and giving ground, forced his way through the ranks, and
when close up with him struck him in the lower part of the belly
with a spear, driving the bronze point right through it, so that he
fell heavily to the ground to the great of the Achaeans. As when a
lion has fought some fierce wild-boar and worsted him- the two fight
furiously upon the mountains over some little fountain at which they
would both drink, and the lion has beaten the boar till he can
hardly breathe- even so did Hector son of Priam take the life of the
brave son of Menoetius who had killed so many, striking him from close
at hand, and vaunting over him the while. "Patroclus," said he, "you
deemed that you should sack our city, rob our Trojan women of their
freedom, and carry them off in your ships to your own country. Fool;
Hector and his fleet horses were ever straining their utmost to defend
them. I am foremost of all the Trojan warriors to stave the day of
bondage from off them; as for you, vultures shall devour you here.
Poor wretch, Achilles with all his bravery availed you nothing; and
yet I ween when you left him he charged you straitly saying, 'Come not
back to the ships, knight Patroclus, till you have rent the
bloodstained shirt of murderous Hector about his body. Thus I ween did
he charge you, and your fool's heart answered him 'yea' within you."
Then, as the life ebbed out of you, you answered, O knight
Patroclus: "Hector, vaunt as you will, for Jove the son of Saturn
and Apollo have vouchsafed you victory; it is they who have vanquished
me so easily, and they who have stripped the armour from my shoulders;
had twenty such men as you attacked me, all of them would have
fallen before my spear. Fate and the son of Leto have overpowered
me, and among mortal men Euphorbus; you are yourself third only in the
killing of me. I say further, and lay my saying to your heart, you too
shall live but for a little season; death and the day of your doom are
close upon you, and they will lay you low by the hand of Achilles
son of Aeacus."
When he had thus spoken his eyes were closed in death, his soul left
his body and flitted down to the house of Hades, mourning its sad fate
and bidding farewell to the youth and vigor of its manhood. Dead
though he was, Hector still spoke to him saying, "Patroclus, why
should you thus foretell my doom? Who knows but Achilles, son of
lovely Thetis, may be smitten by my spear and die before me?"
As he spoke he drew the bronze spear from the wound, planting his
foot upon the body, which he thrust off and let lie on its back. He
then went spear in hand after Automedon, squire of the fleet
descendant of Aeacus, for he longed to lay him low, but the immortal
steeds which the gods had given as a rich gift to Peleus bore him
swiftly from the field.

poem by , translated by Samuel ButlerReport problemRelated quotes
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Living For The Night

Living for the night
Yet always dreading the day
When you and I part

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Don't Stop Living In The Red

Don't stop living in the red
Don't stop living in the red
Don't stop living in the reeeeeeeeeed

You were always living in the red
You were always living in the red
You were always living in the reeeeeeeeed

Oooooh....oooooh....oooooh......oooooh

Red

song performed by Andrew W.K. from I Get WetReport problemRelated quotes
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We Were Waiting At The Station

We were waiting at the station
For we had a reservation
For some time that we'd spend on our own
And then all our plans for travel
Did immediately unravel
When someone shouted 'you're wanted on the phone'
It was our great aunt alice
Who without a trace of malice
Said the children should not be left alone
So our brief weekend of passion
Went quite quickly out of fashion
We kissed and sighed and then walked slowly home.

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