Sacred Texts  Classics  Homer  Index  Previous  Next 


‘NOW Hector’s sister was the first to see her father coming in the dawn across the plain of Troy with the wagon upon which his body was laid. She came down to the City and she cried through the streets, "O men and women of Troy, ye who often went to the gates to meet Hector coming back with victory, come now to the gates to receive Hector dead."’

‘Then every man and woman in the City took themselves outside the gate. And they brought in the wagon upon which Hector was laid, and all day from the early dawn to the going down of the sun they wailed for him who had been the guardian of their city.’

‘His father took the body to the house where Hector had lived and he laid it upon his bed. Then Hector’s wife, Andromache, went to the bed and cried over the body. "Husband," she cried, "thou art gone from life, and thou hast left me a widow in thy house. Our child is yet little, and he shall not grow to manhood in the halls that were thine, for long before that the City will be taken and destroyed. Ah, how can it stand, when thou, who wert its best guardian, hast perished? The folk lament thee, Hector; but for me and for thy little son, doomed to grow up amongst strangers and men unfriendly to him, the pain for thy death will ever abide."’

‘And Hekabe, Hector’s mother, went to the bed and cried "Of all my children thou, Hector, wert the dearest. Thou wert slain because it was not thy way to play the coward; ever wert thou championing the men and women of Troy without thought of taking shelter or flight. And for that thou wert slain, my son."’

‘And I, Helen, went to the bed too, to lament for noble Hector. "Of all the friends I had in Troy, thou wert the dearest, Hector," I cried. "Never did I hear one harsh word from thee to me who brought wars and troubles to thy City. In every way thou wert as a brother to me. Therefore I bewail thee with pain at my heart, for in all Troy there is no one now who is friendly to me."’

‘Then did the King and the folk of the City prepare for Hector’s funeral. On the tenth day, weeping most bitter tears they bore brave Hector away. And they made a grave for him, and over the grave they put close-set stones, and over it all they raised a great barrow. On the eleventh day they feasted at King Priam’s house, and on the twelfth day the battle began anew.’

Next: Chapter XXII