Patroclus/ The Shield of Achilles
They bring you to me on my own shield,
My closest cousin, my dearest love;
Both my guiding light and the shadow
At my side. How still you lie there —
No breath within, no life without,
No warmth to stop the ocean’s chill.
I called you here to fight for glory —
To right a wrong, to save a bride,
To help me find a purpose.
But here I stand, and there you lie:
Who told you that you could be the one
To don the armour, to lead the charge,
To pay that final price?
Who said that you could leave me here
To be the one to tell our story?
Tomorrow, the horns of war will blow again,
But you will never fight beside me again,
But you will never lie beside me again.
The soldiers line up to leave hair at your feet;
A homage to the one so dear —
I would that I could weave those locks
Into a brand new set of gilded armour,
To forever keep you as you were.
But now they pile the wood beneath your frame,
And now I lose a love once fit to shame
The gods and all their plans:
I would tear down the walls of Olympus
To spend ten seconds more with you —
I would risk the wrath of all of heaven
To see you here, and I there, instead.
But now they pile the wood beneath your frame.
Now I swear:
When we finally set light to your funeral pyre,
That spark will light in me a fire
That will burn away the heart of Troy,
As they burnt mine.