"Aeneas Flees Burning Troy," Federico Barocci, 1598, Wikipedia photo.
“Aeneas Flees Burning Troy,” Federico Barocci, 1598, Wikipedia photo.

O! Bright-eyed Muse Calliope,
sing from rosy-armed Eos!

In my war-weary years, hundred battlefield
Dead I have held, memories of blood spilt
And spared, who was more blessed? Those
Who in struggled pain, straining for another
Breath, words to loved ones, or those who
Fell where they stood, no final words uttered
On hapless Trojan sands?

Horrible uproar of heart and soul, Hector
Tugging at my armored chest, coughing
Blood, panicked eyes, life fleeing as he
Fought cruel clamor of sword and shield,
Achilles’ anvil falling down, beyond boiled
Honey or searing flames, black-venomed
Curses even deathless gods abhorred.

My hands pressing on Trojan foreheads and
On gaping wounds, I silently prayed for their
Eternal sleep, pale and cold under hot bronze
Sun, sacred plains their resting place, holy
Stream of life dust-withered, our mighty sol-
Diers’ thunder quelled, husbands, fathers left
Rotting as dog and vulture prey.

Men of war, personal crucibles, shields and
Armor fail, flesh and bone cleaved, honours
Given, greatness and fame, we proclaimed
Timé, acreté, kleos,” black smoke of funeral
Pyres wing-soaring, death past memory or
Sense, strife of our generation, most bitter
Defeat was fleeing Troy in flames. 

Written in spirit of “Homeric Hymns.”
Lofty praise that mortals cannot sound…
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