Poem 17 – Futile Lives

“It is futile to live at all, I was told by a man – he was right,
For though I can fight with all my might
And resist the pendulum of eternity
I must die and rest in death,
Though I’ll be remembered by posterity
And though the world will mourn as I draw my final breath.”

Thus spoke Achilles to the ghost of his dear friend
Noble Patroclus, who had fought by him to the end.
Returning from the banks of the river of the dead
He pleaded that his bones might be laid to rest.
That shade of a great warrior, after all the blood he had seen shed
Spoke as strong Achilles, the warrior cursed and blessed
Sank down to the floor, and as his friend spoke he wept.

“It is futile to live in fear, I can tell you here,
For though death will come to all seers
And all those who dare to breathe,
Before then they remain alive
And will not this world leave
For it is far more fearful for them when in Hades they arrive.”


Dear readers,
Once again I have chosen to indulge myself in some Classics-based poetry. Once again returning to the Iliad (For other Iliad-based poetry, and my views on Homer’s masterpiece, read this: thehaplessneoromantic.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/poem-7-the-sorrows-of-priam/), here I focus on what Achilles – prophesised to to die young, but be eternally famous – might say to Patroclus, his recently deceased companion when the latter returns from the dead to say farewell to his comrade. It’s a moving scene in the original – I hope that I do it justice.
I hope that you enjoy the poem,
The Hapless Neo-Romantic


2 thoughts on “Poem 17 – Futile Lives

  1. Pingback: Poem 67 – Dactylic Dreams « The Hapless Neo-Romantic

  2. Pingback: Poem 80 – I have no Ithaca « The Hapless Neo-Romantic

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