Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

Part Of The Dialogue Between Hector And Andromache - Poem by Samuel Johnson

She ceas'd; then godlike Hector answer'd kind -
(His various plumage sporting in the wind)
'That post and all the rest shall be my care;
But shall I then forsake the unfinish'd war?
How would the Trojans brand great Hector's name!
And one base action sully all my fame,
Acquired by wounds, and battles bravely fought!
Oh! how my soul abhors so mean a thought.
Long have I learnt to slight this feeble breath,
And view with cheerful eyes approaching death.
The inexorable sisters have decreed
That Priam's house and Priam's self shall bleed:
The day shall come, in which proud Troy shall yield,
And spread its smoking ruins o'er the field.
Yet Hecuba's, nor Priam's hoary age,
Whose blood shall quench some Grecian's thirsty rage;
Their souls dismiss'd through many a ghastly wound,
Can in my bosom half that grief create,
As the sad thought of your impending fate:
When some proud Grecian dame shall tasks impose,
Mimic your years, and ridicule your woes:
Beneath Hyperia's waters shall you sweat,
And, fainting, scarce support the liquid weight:
Then shall some Argive loud insulting cry,
'Behold the wife of Hector, guard of Troy!'
Tears, at my name, shall drown those beauteous eyes,
And that fair bosom heave with rising sighs!
Before that day, by some brave hero's hand,
May I lie slain, and spurn the bloody sand!'

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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