Disclaimer: Homer owns these characters from the epic, "The Iliad", not me.
A/N: I wrote this for a college Greek and Roman Mythology Creative Topic last semester- I based it on Ovid's Heroides, which were "letters" from Greek women to their heroic lovers. But in mine I chose Thetis to write to her son Achilles about how she felt watching Achilles from his birth to his death. I also wanted to make the poem sound as much as Ovid's did, so I tried to word my sentences the way I think he would have worded them. I hope it's to your liking. Please Review!
P.S.: For those of you who review and have a little extra time, I'd love it if you could add if you found any allusions that I added in my poem! But it's not necessary. I'd just love reviews in general, good or bad. Thanks, and Happy Holidays!
Thetis, daughter of Nereus, writes this letter to you – lion hearted Achilles.
For how the gods must love and despise me,
That they – Mighty Zeus, lord of thunderbolts and Poseidon of the fearful trident-
Force me to marry a mortal against my will,
(Though it was they who once battled for me above all others)
And bear a son more powerful than his father and all other men—mortal men.
To you I have given the gifts the gods once showered
Upon the son of Aeacus, King of Aegina - the impenetrable armor
And horses born from harpy's wing and Zephyr's breath-
Yet immortality they keep from you, godlike Achilles.
My heart wept constantly, knowing that all too soon
You would meet the ferry man; and dwell there—
On some far off shore so different from my own.
Oh, how countless were the times I tried
To cheat you from the thread bearers, weavers of mortal souls.
Among the women of Scyros you hid well and were gifted a son
But your apathy for fine jewelry and fascination with the curved blade
Was your only fault. Had you been of age, peerless Achilles,
Shining Helen would have chose no other for a husband
And even cowardly Paris would not have dared challenge your claim.
Remember that it was I that you called that day at Troy
When the son of Atreus dishonored your name; and it was
I who wiped away your tears as you wept on my shoulder.
For you, glorious Achilles, I supplemented the father of gods himself
To grant you your prayer for he could not grant mine -
Glory and honor far surpassing that of any other Achaean
Yet answer me this - Did you ever once think of your beloved Phthia
As you sat with the son of Menoetius and your faithful Myrmidons?
Were you not stirred by the story of your childhood by Phoenix, son of Agenor
Who treated you as his son for he had none of his own?
Did you think of it when you laid eyes on your beloved Patrokles,
Who was laid before you deathly still, eyes cast in shadows,
And whose body was stripped naked, bloodied by the war,
His borrowed armor taken by Hector himself.
Who was it you thought of as you donned your newly crafted
Armor - matched only in glory to yourself - that I asked the
Lame god to craft with his own hands for you, my short lived son.
As I gazed upon the shield perhaps it was then that I realized
You would not live much longer.
But still I shed a tear for Troy's king Priam when word came
Of what you did to his eldest son. I cannot blame you, angry Achilles
For he took away the friend and companion you held closest to your heart.
Perhaps it was for the best that you took the life of shining helmed Hector,
So he would not have to bear the shame of watching
As you threw his young son from the walls of his own city.
But grief still tears at my heart For Hecuba and her husband,
For they have lost –as I soon will - a beloved son.
How I mourned at your funeral pyre, son of Peleus,
If only I had held you elsewhere when I bathed you;
Holding you by the ankle in the River Styx whose waters
Were said to make mortal men invincible
Yet even then I could not find it in my heart to blame
The shining far darter who was said to have guided
The arrow that dealt you your fatal blow.
But in my heart how I so deeply yearned
That I had the strength of glorious Heracles,
To wrestle Thanatos himself for your soul;
That you may live again, ageless and immortal.
Had the clever son of Laertes not gone to Scyros,
Using wit passed down from the winged messenger himself,
Or the goddess of strife not thrown the golden apple –
Shining beautiful and pure to hide its true intent,
Perhaps then you would have stayed with the daughters of Nereus
Living out your days in peace; content – without glory.