"Sing, O goddess, the stalwart heart
Of Priam’s son that blood imparts
To veins walled ev’n as Ilion’s gates
To Argive spears cast unabate,
Where god-men blood-rush battlefield,
In standing still to move the will;
How raging wrath nobility met
In death, yet holding alive to death.
As stand before the fall precedes,
Life lost, glory’s citadel keeps…"
Comes now a familiar tale
Of glory and human fire –
Far away, where corpses burn,
Bodies in mêlée’s pyre.
Down there a rumbling stirs,
Stench and fear are all around.
Proudly the hero beams
Eyes that tear the heart of men.
Raise your spear, raise your shield,
From a safer distance high above the throng
Comes the coward’s call to recede behind the wall.
Shame beckons behind her gates, but the proud man says, “Come on!”
So here’s the last ride: death, comes before the fall!
Hulking steps now he feels
Swiftly beneath the Trojan sun;
Very wrath, it seems, to speed
Invincible across the sand.
Greek tresses Hector spots
And knows the weight of time
In his ear whispers some god:
“Trojan, stand for your life.”
And if you listen close, you still can hear the sound
Of Hector’s ghost, who fought for that beloved ground.
He goes to the shades now, forever released
By Achilles’ sharp blade to the vast Elysian seas,
And if you sweep away the gore, there will be found
The bust of he who bit the dust bleeding on the ground.