First two lines of Homer’s Iliad read:
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί’ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε’ ἔθηκεν,
“Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
the accursed rage that brought great suffering to the Achaeans…”
(in four stanzas):
Shield of sun-reflecting bronze, sword of
Lightning wrath, Achilles warring might
Slew hero Hector outside gates of Troy.
Clash of opposing arms, contest uneven,
God-protected Achilles, his rage unchecked,
No quarter given to his foe, blesséd warrior
Against mortal man, flesh and bone twained,
Hector’s life blood spilt in gushing streams
On sun-scorched battlefields.
Achilles’ prize, Hector’s blood death-soaked
To sand, inglorious fight, his sword and
Shield raised high in defiance to the gods.
Achilles made his glories known to Trojan
And to Greeks awaiting on beached shores.
He had hacked Hector dead, anger enough
To consume him raw, Achilles offered no
Solace to slain Hector’s soul, proper burial
Denied, low dust covering Achilles refused.
In horror and dismay, in triumphant chariot
Display, for such agonies caused, Achilles
Dragged Hector’s lifeless body by the heels
Across war-torn plains to mighty warriors’
Funeral games. Trojan families wept for
Hector was accursed, his soul phantom-cast
To wander twist earth and River Styx, acts
Offensive to the gods, self-destructive to
Achilles, his death vowed divinely ordained.
Triumphant Achilles fell victim to glut of
War, victories he was given by flying lance
And wielding sword, din of ever-clashing
Arms. A single arrow the warrior’s undoing,
Loosed by Paris’ steady hand, Apollo-guided
To Achilles’ vulnerable heel as he breached
Stalwart gates of Troy. Tragic day, pathos-
Filled when Achilles’ helmet fell to ground,
For he was fate-smitten by the gods.