Ceasefire

I
Put in mind of his own father and moved to tears
Achilles took him by the hand and pushed the old king
Gently away, but Priam curled up at his feet and
Wept with him until their sadness filled the building.

II
Taking Hector's corpse into his own hands Achilles
Made sure it was washed and, for the old king's sake,
Laid out in uniform, ready for Priam to carry
Wrapped like a present home to Troy at daybreak.

III
When they had eaten together, it pleased them both
to stare at each other's beauty as lovers might,
Achilles built like a god, Priam good-looking still
And full of conversation, who earlier had sighed:

IV
'I get down on my knees and do what must be done
And kiss Achilles' hand, the killer of my son.'


from Selected Poems (Jonathan Cape, 1998), copyright © Michael Longley 1998, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Recordings

Buy album £0.00

1In Memoriam

2Leaving Inishmore

3Caravan

4Swans Mating

5Wounds

6In Memory of Gerard Dillon

7The West

8Skara Brae

9Man Lying on a Wall

10The Linen Workers

11Frozen Rain

12Thaw

13Self-Heal

14The Linen Industry

15Between Hovers

16Detour

17Gorse Fires

18Remembering Carrigskeewaun

19An Amish Rug

20Laertes

21Ghetto

22The Butchers

23The Ice-cream Man

24Autumn Lady's Tresses

25A Flowering

26Ceasefire

27The White Garden

28The Ghost Orchid

29The War Graves

30The Horses

31The Rabbit

33The Beech Tree

34Snow Water

35The Pattern

36Above Dooaghtry

32Etruria

Books by Michael Longley