Friday, March 23, 2012

Hector Awaits His Death

And so it comes to this: the end of days,
The sum of starlit nights and rain-washed years
I spent with friends who lie stone dead in fields
Of Troy. My faithful Andromache waits
With Astyanax, my son: I wish my stay
Would last one summer more; to see him grow,
To lie with her in balmy autumn nights,
And rest in fields where Golden barley grows.

But Achilles waits: no war is ever just,
And he is young, a boy who seeks his fame,
He does not understand my love for life.
The gods have foretold this: but I will not
Take shelter behind walls. I see old death;
He waits for me. What can a mortal do
When gods take sides, and all our years are bound
In dice that fates have rolled; and now death waits.

As long as mankind exists, Achilles wants
His name to last, but I just want to live
In peace, to tend my goats and watch the sun
In lands where neither men nor gods seek blood;
But Achilles waits: and death is waiting too.
And all my yesteryears have led to this:
This field, this god-infested ground, and I
Wait sword in hand for death: I am ready.

Diptesh Ghosh

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