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The tenth year this, since Priamos' great match,
King Menelaos, Agamemnon King,
-- The strenuous yoke-pair of the Atreidai's honour
Two-throned, two-sceptred, whereof Zeus was donor --
Did from this land the aid, the armament despatch,
The thousand-sailored force of Argives clamouring
"Ares" from out the indignant breast, as fling
Passion forth vultures which, because of grief
Away, -- as are their young ones, -- with the thief,
Lofty above their brood-nests wheel in ring,
Row round and round with oar of either wing,
Lament the bedded chicks, lost labour that was love:
Which hearing, one above
-- Whether Apollon, Pan or Zeus -- that wail,
Sharp-piercing bird-shriek of the guests who fare
Housemates with gods in air --
Suchanone sends, against who these assail,
What, late-sent, shall not fail
Of punishing -- Erinus. Here as there,
The Guardian of the Guest, Zeus, the excelling one,
Sends against Alexandros either son
Of Atreus: for that wife, the many-husbanded,
Appointing many a tug that tries the limb,
While the knee plays the prop in dust, while, shred
To morsels, lies the spear-shaft; in those grim
Marriage-prolusions when their Fury wed
Danaoi and Troes, both alike. All's said:
Things are where things are, and, as fate has willed,
So shall they be fulfilled.
Not gently-grieving, not just doling out
The drops of expiation -- no, nor tears distilled --
Shall he we know of bring the hard about
To soft -- that intense ire
At those mock rites unsanctified by fire.
But we pay nought here: through our flesh, age-weighed,
Left out from who gave aid
In that day, -- we remain,
Staying on staves a strength
The equal of a child's at length.
For when young marrow in the breast doth reign,
That's the old man's match, -- Ares out of place
In either: but in oldest age's case,
Foliage a-fading, why, he wends his way
On three feet, and, no stronger than a child,
Wanders about gone wild,
A dream in day.

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load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
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