A poem by Jennifer Askren



The Fall of Troy


Thetis and Pelaus were to be wed,
When red-faced Eris placed an apple there.
Like a dagger hot with flame it burned
Into the hearts of Hera, Athena and Aphrodite.
An argument that fair Paris called
In beautiful Aphrodite's favour,
And doe-eyed Helen became his prize
As off to Troy she was forced to sail.

Oh, that such folly should come from the gods.
Ten years of blood rained down on poor, vain Troy.

The heart of Menelaus burned with fire
As Odysseus, stubborn as a boar,
And Achilles, clothed in woman's garb,
Refused to battle and to fight poor Troy,
And skilled Agamemnon slaughtered
The goddess Diana's sacred deer.
Then Nestor, Ajax, Diomedes and Palamedes
Sailed on strong winds to war.

Oh, that such folly should come from the gods.
Ten years of blood rained down on poor, vain Troy.

For nine whole years, Greeks fought on Trojan soil.
By giant stone young Hector fell.
Then Achilles, with a gleaming spear,
A victory won, for one short day,
When he dragged young Hector o'er the Trojan plain.
But cunning Paris, with a poisoned arrow,
Shot deep into mighty Achilles' heel,
And noble Greece was dealt a painful blow.

Oh, that such folly should come from the gods.
Ten years of blood rained down on poor, vain Troy.

Come, ye muses, sing and provide some light!
Give Odysseus a means to conquer Troy!
A wooden horse to salvage Greece's might!
While the words Lacoon foretold were not heard,
Poor Troy celebrated, believing it had won,
And into the city the mighty steed was brought.
The veil of night was drawn to hide the Greek's revenge;
As blood poured on the floors, the city burned.

Oh, that such folly should come from the gods.
Ten years of blood rained down on poor, vain Troy.


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