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The Second Race.

The Second Race

   As in a dream Achilles chases Hector round and round
   The walls of Troy; the one not gaining ground, the other
   Not able to pull away. As in a dream.

   The tortoise trundles onwards, slowly, so slowly; stops,
   Draws into itself at the thud of their pounding feet. Achilles
   Catches Hector, and the tortoise inches ahead.
   The hero has his prize--blood for blood, inestimably
   Gratifying vendetta--and forfeits this second race.
   In his sturdy breast-plate the tortoise seems almost atone

   With the fallen that lie round him. Like theirs, his silent purpose
   Is private; as private as the wind, whistling over the high
   Walls and towers, or the lazy, circling wings

   And glutted, besmeared beaks, idly pecking.
   Was that the winning-post? The tortoise trundles past.
   Too late, Achilles lifts his head, as if waking

   From a dream, and squints after him; at the little puff
   Of dust he raises, at his private writing in the sand.
   Achilles' breath comes hard: so this is it, fate's hand?
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Title Annotation:Gedigte/Poems
Author:Meihuizen, N.T.C.
Article Type:Poem
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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