Pictures & poems/Cassandra

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Pictures & poems pg 64.jpg



REND, rend thy hair, Cassandra: he will go.

Yea, rend thy garments, wring thy hands, and cry

From Troy still towered to the unreddened sky.

See, all but she that bore thee mock thy woe:—

He most whom that fair woman arms, with show

Of wrath on her bent brows; for in this place

This hour thou bad'st all men in Helen's face

The ravished ravishing prize of Death to know.

What eyes, what ears hath sweet Andromache,

Save for her Hector's form and step; as tear

On tear make salt the warm last kiss he gave?

He goes. Cassandra's words beat heavily

Like crows above his crest, and at his ear

Ring hollow in the shield that shall not save.


"O Hector, gone, gone, gone! O Hector, thee

Two chariots wait, in Troy long bless'd and curs'd;

And Grecian spear and Phrygian sand athirst

Crave from thy veins the blood of victory.

Lo! long upon our hearth the brand had we,

Lit for the roof-tree's ruin: and to-day

The ground-stone quits the wall,—the wind hath way.—

And higher and higher the wings of fire are free.

O Paris, Paris! O thou burning brand,

Thou beacon of the sea whence Venus rose,

Lighting thy race to shipwreck! Even that hand

Wherewith she took thine apple let her close

Within thy curls at last, and while Troy glows

Lift thee her trophy to the sea and land."