Standing at the Ethiopian Gate
between East and West,
between Day and Night,
between World the Underworld,
at the edge of Land and Ocean,
the rosy-fingered goddess of dawn,
in flowing saffron robes,
Orion looks down on her,
as the sky lightens
Inside the gate,
from behind grand golden doors,
comes the sound of approaching hooves.
Four stallions pull the blazing Sun-Chariot,
impatient for the open sky.
Eos performs her morning duties,
to inspect the track,
to assign the Horai,
to pull open the gate for her brother's chariot
to illuminate the heavens,
to light and warm the mortal world,
to mark the passage of time.
moves toward her
like an approaching wave.
I have no time
to properly welcome you to my humble station.
The horses froth,
and with equal impatience
Helios calls for an open gate."
"I also have no time,"
"The day must not arrive.
I require delay.
Let Helios and his horses rest
a while longer.
Leave the gate locked tight
against the start of a new day
and stand by until I am ready."
"What is this?
Do you speak with the authority of Zeus?
Surely you must,
for you would not demand such favors
on your own."
"Not for myself but for my son,"
"I have upset him,
and I must have the time
to set things right."
"For this you would upset the world?
Are you so drunk on ocean powers
that you would deign command the sky?"
"For my son,"
Thetis starts again,
but Eos glares with golden eyes.
"I also have a mortal son,"
"Memnon the brave,
Memnon the strong,
Memnon the great,
beloved by the gods of the sky,
no less than your precious Achilles.
Would I stop the dawn from breaking
to bring a smile to his face?
if my obligations allowed,
but they do not.
Your son matters to the cosmos
no more than my own."
"Your son is a great warrior,"
She weighs glories in her mind.
"But Memnon is a lesser hero than Achilles."
"Take the time you need,
but while you soothe your son,
I will put a fire into mine.
I will send Memnon to the Troad plain,
by the banks of Scamander,
he will be the doom of Achilles!"
With the dawn paused,
with strong gates holding back the day,
approached mortal sons
who would soon enough
confront each other.
Continuing from the end of The Iliad, an Amazon comes to Troy.