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Avec les Morts ne fault lucter.


Hector[2] mourant par le coup d’Achilles
(Apres avoir tant de Grecz reculles)
Ne peut tenir sa voix, quand ilz saultoient,
Et les lyens à ses piedz apprestoient.
Tirez (dist il). Lievres qui craignent fort
Tirent ainsi la barbe au Lyon mort.[3]

C’est la Nature des Pusillanimes, insulter
aulx fors vincuz: lesquelz en leurs forces
ne heussent osé regarder.


1.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari.

2.  Hector was the greatest warrior on the Trojan side in the Trojan War, killed in single combat by Achilles, the Greek champion. See Homer, Iliad 22.367ff. and 24.14ff. for Achilles’ desecration of Hector’s body, dragging it, tied by the feet behind his chariot, round the tomb of Patroclus.

3.  The last two lines are a translation of the two-line epigram Anthologia graeca 16.4, where, in Planudes’ text, the words are attributed to Hector in the heading.

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