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is hurrying toward the walls, Like one distracted, with her son and nurse."

So spake the matron. Hector left in haste
The mansion, and retraced his way between
The rows of stately dwellings, traversing
The mighty city. When at length he reached
The Scæan gates, that issue on the field,
His

spouse, the nobly-dowered Andromache, Came forth to meet him,-daughter of the prince Ection, who, among the woody slopes Of Placos, in the Hypoplacian town Of Thebè, ruled Cilicia and her sons, And gave

his child to Hector great in arms.
She came attended by a maid, who bore
A tender child—a babe too young to speak-
Upon her bosom,—Hector's only son,
Beautiful as a star, whom Hector called
Scamandrius, but all else Astvanax,-
The city's lord,—since Hector stood the sole
Defense of Troy. The father on his child
Looked with a silent smile. Andromache
Pressed to his side meanwhile, and, all in tears,
Clung to his hand, and, thus beginning, said:-

“Too brave! thy valor yet will cause thy death.
Thou hast no pity on thy tender child,
Nor me, unhappy one, who soon must be
Thy widow. All the Greeks will rush on thee
To take thy life. A happier lot were mine,
If I must lose thee, to go down to earth,
For I shall have no hope when thou art gone, —
Nothing but sorrow. Father have I none,
And no dear mother. Great Achilles slew

child

My father when he sacked the populous town Of the Cilicians,—Thebe with high gates. 'Twas there he smote Eëtion, yet forbore To make his arms a spoil; he dared not that, But burned the dead with his bright armor on, And raised a mound above him. Mountain-nymphs, Daughters of ægis-bearing Jupiter, Came to the spot and planted it with elms. Seven brothers had I in my father's house, And all went down to Hades in one day. Achilles the swift-footed slew them all Among their slow-paced bullocks and white sheep. My mother, princess on the woody slopes Of Placos, with his spoils he bore away, And only for large ransom gave her back. But her Diana, archer-queen, struck down Within her father's palace. Hector, thou · Art father and dear mother now to me, And brother and my youthful spouşe besides. In pity keep within the fortress here, Nor make thy child an orphan nor thy wife A widow. Post thine army near the place Of the wild fig-tree, where the city walls Are low and may be scaled. Thrice in the war The boldest of the foe have tried the spot, — The Ajaces and the famed Idomeneus, The two chiefs born to Atreus, and the brave Tydides, whether counseled by some seer Or prompted to the attempt by their own minds."

Then answered Hector, great in war: "All this I bear in mind, dear wife; but I should stand Ashamed before the men and long-robed dames Of Troy, were I to keep aloof and shun

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The conflict, coward-like. Not thus my

heart
Prompts me, for greatly have I learned to dare
And strike among the foremost sons of Troy,
Upholding my great father's fame and mine;)
Yet well in my undoubting mind I know
The day shall come in which our sacred Troy,
And Priam, and the people over whom
Spear-bearing Priam rules, shall perish all.
But not the sorrows of the Trojan race,
Nor those of Hecuba herself, nor those
Of royal Priam, nor the woes that wait
My brothers many and brave, —who all at last,
Slain by the pitiless foe, shall lie in dust,-
Grieve me

so much as thine, when some mailed Greek
Shall lead thee weeping hence, and take from thee
Thy day of freedom. Thou in Argos then
Shalt, at another's bidding, ply the loom,
And from the fountain of Messeis draw
Water, or from the Hypercian spring,
Constrained unwilling by thy cruel lot.
And then shall some one say who sees thee weep,
‘This was the wife of Hector, most renowned
Of the horse-taming Trojans, when they fought
Around their city.' So shall some one say,
And thou shalt grieve the more, lamenting him
Who haply might have kept afar the day
Of thy captivity. O, let the earth
Be heaped above my head in death before
I hear thy cries as thou art borne away!”

So speaking, mighty Hector stretched his arms
To take the boy; the boy shrank crying back
To his fair nurse's bosom, scared to see
His father helmeted in glittering brass,

And eyeing with affright the horse-hair plume
That grimly nodded from the lofty crest.
At this both parents in their fondness laughed;
And hastily' the mighty Hector took
The helmet from his brow and laid it down
Gleaming upon the ground, and, having kissed
His darling son and tossed him up in play,
Prayed thus to Jove and all the gods of heaven:-

“O Jupiter and all ye deities,
Vouchsafe that this my son may yet become!
Among the Trojans eminent like me,
And nobly rule in Ilium. May they say,
‘This man is greater than his father was!'
When they behold him from the battle-field
Bring back the bloody spoil of the slain foe,-
That so hiš mother may be glad at heart.”

So speaking, to the arms of his dear spouse
He gave the boy; she on her fragrant breast
Received him, weeping as she smiled. The chief
Beheld, and, moved with tender pity, smoothed
Her forehead gently with his hand and said:

“Sorrow not thus, beloved one, for me.
No living man can send me to the shades
Before my time; no man of woman born,
Coward or brave, can shun his destiny.
But go thou home, and tend thy labors there,—
The web, the distaff, -and command thy maids
To speed the work. The cares of war pertain
To all men born in Troy, and most to me.”

Thus speaking, mighty Hector took again
His helmet, shadowed with the horse-hair plume, -
While homeward his beloved consort went,
Oft looking back, and shedding many tears.

Homer

36

NIGHT ON THE PLAINS OF TROY

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ECTOR has just urged the Trojan host to

bivouac for the night on the plains before the Grecian camp, instead of returning as usual into

the city.
So Hector spake; the Trojans roared applause;
Then loosed their sweating horses from the yoke,
And each beside his chariot bound his own;
And oxen from the city, and goodly sheep
In haste they drove, and honey-hearted wine
And bread from out the houses brought, and heaped
Their firewood, and the winds from off the plain
Rolled the rich vapor far into the heaven.

And these all night upon the bridge of war mersat glorying { many a fire before them blazed:

As when in heaven the stars about the moon
Look beautiful,

'when all the winds are laid,
And every height comes out, and jutting peak
And valley, and the immeasurable heavens
Break open to their highest, and all the stars,
Shine, and the shepherd gladdens in his heart:
So many a fire between the ships and stream
Of Xanthus blazed before the towers of Troy,
A thousand on the plain; and close by each
Sat fifty in the blaze of burning fire;
And eating hoary grain and pulse the steeds,
Fixt by their cars, waited the golden dawn.

lo

Homer

1 From the eighth book

the Iliad.

ated by Alfred Tennyson.

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