The only author's note that might matter: This works better if the "sium" in Elysium is pronounced as one syllable instead of two. Heh.

For more detailed background (since author's notes longer than the work itself are . . . weird), please visit my livejournal.

Beta: Chloe Amethyst (Thank you!)
Warnings: Character death and my sorry attempt at poetry.
Author's Notes: My first AtG work. This fandom is doing very strange things to me. I mean, I just wrote sonnets, and I never write poetry! It's a short work, and all my fanfictions run on and on (and never get finished)! (Though I guess this didn't break that trend, since I couldn't constrain it to 1 sonnet, but wrote 3!) And I'm writing, essentially, about love! AUUUGGGHHH!

I've followed the content pattern of classical Greek elegies (lament, then praise of the dead, and finally consolation and solace) but not the technical form – the Shakespearean sonnet form was what started this whole thing. Sorry! Rhyming iambic pentameter gave me enough of a beating; I'm not about to take on dactylic hexameter couplets.


Background

". . . Should I die, this is what you are going to do: You will have to be very quiet and remain so.
You'll be calm, and won't go wandering about, screaming your desperation through the streets.
Your grief will be placid and dignified."
En absence des hommes by P. Besson; used in a fan video centering on Alexander and Hephaestion

The following is written on the premise that Hephaestion made such a request of Alexander - not necessarily in words, but perhaps he might have had such a thought, in a life of battles for both of them. Familiar with Alexander's mercurial, dramatic character, Hephaestion must have guessed his mourning would be intense, regardless how anyone tried to comfort him. However, I think Hephaestion might have asked for "placid and dignified" grief, even knowing that Alexander's own sense of friendship and honor would not allow him to comply, in the hope that maybe, just maybe, sometime after the initial shock Alexander would remember, and let the request pull him back from self-destruction.

Elegy

for philalexandros

I
What shall I do, good friend, now you lie still –
What force dispatch, what mighty army send,
Which allies call, what dreadful foe to kill?
A word from you, the earth itself I'd rend.

What can I say, dear friend, now you are mute –
What words to weave, what deep entreaties make,
With whom to plead, from which gods claim my suit?
A breath of yours, my all is theirs to take.

What may I offer, friend who was my self?
How many hecatombs to pyres feed?
The lands, the gold, the men, the crown itself!
For your return, this all with joy I'd cede.

So I beseech once more your guidance shrewd,
Your life restored, my own would be renewed.

II
But hold! What selfish, thoughtless cries – too much!
My struggle 'gainst your fate does you no good;
From e'en beyond the grave, your love is such,
I have no doubt you'd answer if you could.

'Twas ever so – where I was, you were too,
The glory mine, but yours the quiet toil,
You labored long, and so my kingdom grew,
Through you my dreams took shape on solid soil.

And yet as we achieved against all odds,
Our splendid triumphs, grand beyond compare,
Lit fiery envy both in men and gods –
To stand with me in that, no others dared.

In life, so much for my sake you endured,
No man could earn a rest more well-deserved.

III
I curse the Fates! – their shears so cruel and cold!
And yet to them my grudging thanks I yield.
What I could never grant you, they bestowed –
Escape from unearned hatred ill-concealed.

While men revered me as the son of Zeus,
The envious slandered you, begrudged your rise.
I claimed divinity; but 'twas yours too,
In you, innate, though in more subtle guise.

I'll make it known you're as divine as I!
Hence, of my glory take this share at least;
And in exchange, to heed your dying wish,
I'll try to feel some semblance of your peace.

'Twould grant my heart's desire, and death defeat!
Dear friend, in Elysium we once more shall meet.


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