Yet shun Achilles! enter yet the wall;Having then so many examples of this kind before thine eyes, thou oughtest to make thyself sensible that not a few have been saved by death from those calamities they would certainly have fallen into had they lived longer. Contenting myself with those I have related already, I will omit the rest, that I may not seem tedious; and these are sufficient to show that we ought not to abandon ourselves to violent sorrow, beyond temper and the bounds of nature.
And spare thyself, thy father, spare us all!
Save thy clear life; or, if a soul so brave
Neglect that thought, thy dearer glory save.
Pity, while yet I live, these silver hairs;
While yet thy father feels the woes he bears,
Yet curst with sense! a wretch whom in his rage
All trembling on the verge of helpless age
Great Jove has placed, sad spectacle of pain!
The bitter dregs of Fortune's cup to drain:
To fill with scenes of death his closing eyes,
And number all his days by miseries!
My heroes slain, my bridal bed o'erturn'd,
My daughters ravish'd, and my city burn'd,
My bleeding infants dash'd against the floor;
These I have yet to see, perhaps yet more!
Perhaps even I, reserved by angry Fate,
The last sad relic of my ruin'd state,
(Dire pomp of sovereign wretchedness!) must fall,
[p. 324] And stain the pavement of my regal hall;
Where famish'd dogs, late guardians of my door,
Shall lick their mangled master's spatter'd gore.
But when the Fates, in fulness of their rage,
Spurn the hoar head of unresisting age,
In dust the reverend lineaments deform,
And pour to dogs the life-blood scarcely warm:
This, this is misery! the last, the worst,
That man can feel,—man, fated to be cursed!
He said, and acting what no words can say,
Rent from his head the silver locks away.
With him the mournful mother bears a part;
Yet all her sorrows turn not Hector's heart.
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