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(16 November / Westport New Zealand)

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Achilles And The Slaying Of Hector

Achilles took the slain body of proud Prince Hector
slit holes through warrior corpse ankles and proceeded
to drag Hector’s defeated slain body behind his chariot
an ignoble act of revenge bitterness hate anger contempt

Achilles killed proud Hector with a single spear thrust
Achilles refused to eat mourns on Olympian ambrosia
Achilles killed Hector with a spear thrust into the neck
proud noble neck the only vulnerable on Hector’s body

Hector who wore the god made prize armour of Achilles
armour stripped from slain Patroclus beloved of Achilles
in grief how anger festered into revenge rage in Achilles
Hector victim of vengeance dies a slow agonizing death

Hector accepted his fate begged Achilles treat his body
with respect once slain but hubris was wrath of Achilles
shamelessly Achilles desecrates the Trojan heroes body
for nine days dragging slain corpse around the battlefield

for nine days denying King Priam funeral rites for his son
Achilles enraged cared nothing for feelings of Hector’s family
shamed humiliated is corpse of Hector dragged behind chariot
Achilles what great rage passions storm in soul possessed

Achilles who addressed Hector like an entreating dog
stated as he killed him it was hopeless to expect respect
for his slain defeated corpse declared 'my rage, my fury
would drive me now to hack your flesh away and eat

you raw — such agonies you have caused me' “For what
you've done. No one can keep the dogs off of your head,
not if they brought me ransom of ten or twenty times as much,
or more' then Achilles slices Hector's head hanging only

by skin thus fell Trojan prince Hector to pride arrogance
Achilles of scorn wrath slayer of Hector son of King Priam
Hector with wife child who fought to defend his city family
even Zeus was dismayed by hubris abuse to Hector's body

at the command of Zeus Hermes led King Priam in a wagon
out of Troy across the plains into the Greek camp unnoticed
to Achilles' tent to plead with Achilles for a slain son's body
to permit a father to perform his funeral rites for son Hector

Priam grasped Achilles by the knees and begged this feared
killer of so many of his sons to worthy ransom his son's body
Priam begged by the gods kissed the hand of Achilles killer
of his sons stirred Achilles' grief to tears to claim corpse son

only then after nine days of bitter agony did Priam at Achilles
feet begging reclaim Hector's body to take back into city Troy
only then could funeral rites be preformed only then could the
desecrated corpse of Hector be buried as Troy the city mourns


Copyright © Terence George Craddock

Submitted: Thursday, November 18, 2010
Edited: Wednesday, April 13, 2011


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