The Horses of Achilles

When they saw that Petroclus was slain,
who had been so stalwart, and strong, and young,
the horses of Achilles started to weep;
their imortal nature was indignant at the sight of this work of death.
They would shake their heads and toss their manes, stamp the ground with their feet and mourn Patroclus who they realized was lifeless-undone-worthless flesh now-his spirit lost-defenseless-without breath-returned from life to the great Nothing.

Zeus saw the tears of the immortal horses and grew sad.
"At the wedding of Peleus," he said, "I should not have acted so thoughtlessly; it would have been better my hapless horses if we had not given you! What are you doing down there among woebegone humanity, the plaything of fate?
You for whom neither death or old age lie in wait, you are harassed by transitory calamities. Men have implicated you in their troubles."
Yet the two noble animals went on shedding their tears
for the never-ending calamity of death.


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