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Andromache Mourning Hector
Jacques-Louis David : 1783

ANDROMACHE.
Will Hector leave me for the fatal plain,
Where, fierce with vengeance for Patroclus slain,
Stalks Peleus' ruthless son?
Who, when thou glid'st amid the dark abodes,
To hurl the spear and to revere the gods,
Shall teach thine orphan one?

HECTOR.
Woman and wife beloved—cease thy tears;
My soul is nerved—the war-clang in my ears!
Be mine in life to stand
Troy's bulwark!—fighting for our hearths, to go
In death, exulting to the streams below,
Slain for my fatherland!

ANDROMACHE.
No more I hear thy martial footsteps fall—
Thine arms shall hang, dull trophies, on the wall—
Fallen the stem of Troy!
Thou goest where slow Cocytus wanders—where
Love sinks in Lethe, and the sunless air
Is dark to light and joy!

HECTOR.
Longing and thought—yes, all I feel and think
May in the silent sloth of Lethe sink,
But my love not!
Hark, the wild swarm is at the walls!—I hear!
Gird on my sword—Beloved one, dry the tear—
Lethe for love is not!

* This poem is, with some alterations, introduced in the Play of "The Robbers."]

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