ART by Tom Leedy                                                                           ellipsis THMB

Apollo Strikes Patroclus

Having three times assaulted Troy's wall and each time having been repulsed by Apollo, Patroclus exceeded the God's patience (and his luck) by making a fourth attempt.


                                          Logue's words:

                                             Three times Patroclus reached Troy's Wall.

                                          Three times he leapt towards its parapet.

                                          Three times, and every time he tried it on

                                           The smiling Mousegod flicked him back.

                                           But when he came a fourth, last time,

                                           The smile was gone.

                                           Instead from parapet to plain to beach-head on,

                                           Across the rucked, sunstruck Aegean, the Mousegod's voice,

                                           Loud as ten thousand crying together,



                           Get back where you belong!"

                                                . . .

                                          It was Patroclus's turn to run, wide-armed,

                                          Back from the Wall towards the dunes,

                                          Staring into the fight, desperate to hide

                                          (To blind that voice) to hide

                                          Among the stainless blades.

                                                                 . . .


                                          Coming behind you through the dust you felt

                                          - What was it? - Felt Creation part, and then,



                                                                 . . .

                                               His hand came from the east,

                                           And in his wrist lay all eternity;

                                           And every atom of his mythic weight

                                           Was poised between His fist and bent left leg.

                                           Your eyes lurched out.  Achilles' helmet rang

                                           Far and away beneath the cannon-bones of Trojan horses,

                                           And you were footless . . . staggering . . . amazed . . .

                                           Between the clumps of dying, dying yourself,

                                           Dazed by the brilliance in your eyes,

                                           The noise - like weirs heard far away -



                                           Original author: Homer