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A Reading of Life, Other Poems and The Sentimentalists

George Meredith

Library of Alexandria
Bibber besotted, with scowl of a cur, having heart of a deer, thou! Never to join to thy warriors armed for the press of the conflict, Never for ambush forth with the princeliest sons of Achaia Dared thy soul, for to thee that thing would have looked as a death-stroke. Sooth, more easy it seems, down the lengthened array of Achaians, Snatch at the prize of the one whose voice has been lifted against thee. Ravening king of the folk, for that thou hast thy rule over abjects; Else, son of Atreus, now were this outrage on me thy last one. Nay, but I tell thee, and I do swear a big oath on it likewise: Yea, by the sceptre here, and it surely bears branches and leaf-buds Never again, since first it was lopped from its trunk on the mountains, No more sprouting; for round it all clean has the sharp metal clipped off Leaves and the bark; ay, verify now do the sons of Achaia, Guardian hands of the counsels of Zeus, pronouncing the judgement, Hold it aloft; so now unto thee shall the oath have its portent; Loud will the cry for Achilles burst from the sons of Achaia Throughout the army, and thou chafe powerless, though in an anguish, How to give succour when vast crops down under man-slaying Hector Tumble expiring; and thou deep in thee shalt tear at thy heart-strings, Rage-wrung, thou, that in nought thou didst honour the flower of Achaians.