Before the walls

The old man Priam came to the tent of Achilles
to plea for the body of his son, the old man came
for Hector slain before the walls where Patroclus fell
before the walls, before the walls of the city
where ten thousand Greeks were cut down,
and ten thousand Trojans more.

Priam mourned and Achilles too, they cried for all
the dead that night, these sons of Mars grieved the deaths.
They spoke of heroes, of horses and the sea.
“I was a child once,” the king said, “the city my home.”
“I was a boy too on an island a distance away.”
“I was a rider of horses.” “I a runner of races,” Achilles

unburdened his heart. “Then I took up the spear.”
“And I the shield.” “King, you make a good shield.”
“You are a great spear. Without you, the Greeks would be gone.”
“Why did my cousin die?” “Why did the gods steal my son away?”
“You are a king and I but a man, yet we grieve the same/”
“This is why the gods gave us tears,” the old man said.

And what did the Warrior say? “Tears are not enough.
The grief that I fear will never fall away.” “Nor mine.”
The old man carried his son home to the Funeral Games
before the walls that were once the city of Troy,
home to Helen and Paris, Andromache and once Hector,
the first-born of Hecuba and Priam inside the walls

of Troy.

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3 thoughts on “Before the walls

  1. I always love the song ‘Bring Him Home’ being sung by a guy called Francis Tickle in competitions I entered, he always brought tears to my eyes and I could always kiss goodbye to the trophy when I saw this song on the programme 🙂
    And I am old
    And will be gone.
    Bring him peace
    Bring him joy
    He is young
    He is only a boy
    You can take
    You can give
    Let him be
    Let him live

    Read more: Les Miserables – Bring Him Home Lyrics | MetroLyrics

    I’m often asked to sing it but it doesn’t seem real having heard a true master sing it with depth and feeling and knowledge of life.

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