Iliad

Homer

Homer, creator; Murray, A. T. (Augustus Taber), 1866-1940, translator

So spake she, nor was any man left there within the city, neither any woman, for upon all had come grief that might not be borne; and hard by the gates they met Priam, as he bare home the dead.First Hector's dear wife and queenly mother flung themselves upon the light-running waggon, and clasping his head the while, wailed and tore their hair; and the folk thronged about and wept. And now the whole day long until set of sun had they made lament for Hector with shedding of tears there without the gates,had not the old man spoken amid the folk from out the car:

Make me way for the mules to pass through; thereafter shall ye take your fill of wailing, when I have brought him to the house.
So spake he, and they stood apart and made way for the waggon. But the others, when they had brought him to the glorious house,laid him on a corded bedstead, and by his side set singers, leaders of the dirge, who led the song of lamentation—they chanted the dirge, and thereat the women made lament. And amid these white-armed Andromache led the wailing, holding in her arms the while the head of man-slaying Hector:
Husband, perished from out of life art thou, yet in thy youth, and leavest me a widow in thy halls; and thy son is still but a babe, the son born of thee and me in our haplessness; neither do I deem that he will come to manhood, for ere that shall this city be wasted utterly. For thou hast perished that didst watch thereover,thou that didst guard it, and keep safe its noble wives and little children. These, I ween, shall soon be riding upon the hollow ships, and I among them; and thou, my child, shalt follow with me to a place where thou shalt labour at unseemly tasks, toiling before the face of some ungentle master, or else some Achaean shall seize thee by the armand hurl thee from the wall, a woeful death, being wroth for that Hector slew his brother haply, or his father, or his son, seeing that full many Achaeans at the hands of Hector have bitten the vast earth with their teeth; for nowise gentle was thy father in woeful war.Therefore the folk wail for him throughout the city, and grief unspeakable and sorrow hast thou brought upon thy parents, Hector; and for me beyond all others shall grievous woes be left. For at thy death thou didst neither stretch out thy hands to me from thy bed, nor speak to me any word of wisdom whereonI might have pondered night and day with shedding of tears.

So spake she wailing, and thereat the women made lament. And among them Hecabe in turns led the vehement wailing:

Hector, far dearest to my heart of all my children, lo, when thou livedst thou wast dear to the gods,and therefore have they had care of thee for all thou art in the doom of death. For of other sons of mine whomsoever he took would swift-footed Achilles sell beyond the unresting sea, unto Samos and Imbros and Lemnos, shrouded in smoke, but, when from thee he had taken away thy life with the long-edged bronzeoft would he drag thee about the barrow of his comrade, Patroclus, whom thou didst slay; howbeit even so might he not raise him up. all dewy-fresh thou liest in my halls as wert thou g newly slain, like as one whom Apollo of the silver bow assaileth with his gentle shafts and slayeth.
So spake she wailing, and roused unabating lament. And thereafter Helen was the third to lead the wailing:
Hector, far dearest to my heart of all my husband's brethren! In sooth my husband is godlike Alexander, that brought me to Troy-land —would I died ere then!For this is now the twentieth year from the time when I went from thence and am gone from my native land, but never yet heard I evil or despiteful word from thee; nay, if so be any other spake reproachfully of me in the halls, a brother of thine or a sister, or brother's fair-robed wife,or thy mother—but thy father was ever gentle as he had been mine own—yet wouldst thou turn them with speech and restrain them by the gentleness of thy spirit and thy gentle words. Wherefore I wail alike for thee and for my hapless self with grief at heart; for no longer have I anyone beside in broad Troythat is gentle to me or kind; but all men shudder at me.

So spake she wailing, and thereat the countless throng made moan. But the old man Priam spake among the folk, saying:

Bring wood now, ye men of Troy, unto the city, neither have ye anywise fear at heart of a cunning ambush of the Argives; for verily Achilles laid upon me this wordwhen he sent me forth from the black ships, that he would do us no hurt until the twelfth dawn be come.
So spake he, and they yoked oxen and mules to waggons, and speedily thereafter gathered together before the city. For nine days' space they brought in measureless store of wood,but when the tenth Dawn arose, giving light unto mortals, then bare they forth bold Hector, shedding tears the while, and on the topmost pyre they laid the dead man, and cast fire thereon. But soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, then gathered the folk about the pyre of glorious Hector.And when they were assembled and met together, first they quenched with flaming wine all the pyre, so far as the fire's might had come upon it, and thereafter his brethren and his comrades gathered the white bones, mourning, and big tears flowed ever down their cheeks.The bones they took and placed in a golden urn, covering them over with soft purple robes, and quickly laid the urn in a hollow grave, and covered it over with great close-set stones. Then with speed heaped they the mound, and round about were watchers set on every side,lest the well-greaved Achaeans should set upon them before the time. And when they had piled the barrow they went back, and gathering together duly feasted a glorious feast in the palace of Priam, the king fostered of Zeus. On this wise held they funeral for horse-taming Hector.