The Children's Hour, Volume 3 (of 10) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 471 pages of information about The Children's Hour, Volume 3 (of 10).
of King Priam.  But now let us exchange costly gifts, that Trojans and Achaians may say of us that we, having met in this heart-gnawing strife, have parted like good friends.”  He spake, and gave to Ajax a silver-studded sword; and Ajax gave him a purple belt.  So they parted, and went their way; the one to the ships of the Achaians, and the other to the holy city of Troy.  And the Trojans rejoiced that Hector had escaped unhurt from the unapproachable hands of mighty Ajax.

THE DEATH OF PATROCLUS AND THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER

By Alfred J. Church

Patroclus came and stood by the side of Achilles weeping.  Then said Achilles, “What ails thee, Patroclus, that thou weepest like a girl-child that runs along by her mother’s side, and would be taken up, holding her gown, and looking at her with tearful eyes till she lift her in her arms?  Hast thou heard evil news from Phthia?  Menoetius yet lives, they say, and Peleus.  Or art thou weeping for the Greeks, because they perish for their folly?”

Then said Patroclus, “Be not wroth with me, great Achilles, for indeed the Greeks are in grievous straits, and all their bravest are wounded, and still thou cherishest thy wrath.  Surely Peleus was not thy father, nor Thetis thy mother; but the rocks begat thee, and the sea brought thee forth.  Or if thou goest not to battle, fearing some warning from the Gods, yet let me go, and thy Myrmidons with me.  And let me put thy armor on me; so shall the Greeks have breathing-space from the war.”

So he spake, entreating, nor knew that for his own doom he entreated.  And Achilles made reply,—­

“It is no warning that I heed, that I keep back from the war.  But these men took from me my prize, which I won with my own hands.  But let the past be past.  I said I would not rise up till the battle should come nigh to my own ships.  But thou mayest put my armor upon thee, and lead my Myrmidons to the fight.  For in truth the men of Troy are gathered as a dark cloud about the ships, and the Greeks have scarce standing-ground between them and the sea.  For they see not the gleam of my helmet.  And Diomed is not there with his spear; nor do I hear the voice of Agamemnon, but only the voice of Hector as he calls the men of Troy to the battle.  Go, therefore, Patroclus, and drive the fire from the ships.  And then come thou back, nor fight any more with the Trojans, lest thou take my glory from me.  And go not near, in the delight of the battle, to the walls of Troy, lest one of the Gods meet thee to thy hurt; and, of a truth, the keen Archer Apollo loves the Trojans well.”

But as they talked the one to the other, Ajax could hold out no longer.  For swords and javelins came thick upon him, and clattered on his helmet, and his shoulder was weary with the great shield which he held; and he breathed heavily and hard, and the great drops of sweat fell upon the ground.  Then at the last Hector came near and smote his spear with a great sword, so that the head fell off.  Then was Ajax sore afraid, and gave way, and the men of Troy set torches to the ship’s stem, and a great flame shot up to the sky.  And Achilles saw it, and smote his thigh and spake:—­

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The Children's Hour, Volume 3 (of 10) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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