The Fall of Troy
How came for the helping of Troy Eurypylus, Hercules'
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #18b
Rose Dawn from Ocean and Tithonus' bed, And climbed the steeps of heaven, scattering round Flushed flakes of splendour; laughed all earth and air. Then turned unto their labours, each to each, Mortals, frail creatures daily dying. Then Streamed to a folkmote all the Achaean men At Menelaus' summons. When the host Were gathered all, then in their midst he spake: "Hearken my words, ye god-descended kings: 10 Mine heart within my breast is burdened sore For men which perish, men that for my sake Came to the bitter war, whose home-return Parents and home shall welcome nevermore; For Fate hath cut off thousands in their prime. Oh that the heavy hand of death had fallen On me, ere hitherward I gathered these! But now hath God laid on me cureless pain In seeing all these ills. Who could rejoice Beholding strivings, struggles of despair? 20 Come, let us, which be yet alive, in haste Flee in the ships, each to his several land, Since Aias and Achilles both are dead. I look not, now they are slain, that we the rest Shall 'scape destruction; nay, but we shall fall Before yon terrible Trojans for my sake And shameless Helen's! Think not that I care For her: for you I care, when I behold Good men in battle slain. Away with her -- Her and her paltry paramour! The Gods 30 Stole all discretion out of her false heart When she forsook mine home and marriage-bed. Let Priam and the Trojans cherish her! But let us straight return: 'twere better far To flee from dolorous war than perish all." So spake he but to try the Argive men. Far other thoughts than these made his heart burn With passionate desire to slay his foes, To break the long walls of their city down From their foundations, and to glut with blood 40 Ares, when Paris mid the slain should fall. Fiercer is naught than passionate desire! Thus as he pondered, sitting in his place, Uprose Tydeides, shaker of the shield, And chode in fiery speech with Menelaus: "O coward Atreus' son, what craven fear Hath gripped thee, that thou speakest so to us As might a weakling child or woman speak? Not unto thee Achaea's noblest sons Will hearken, ere Troy's coronal of towers 50 Be wholly dashed to the dust: for unto men Valour is high renown, and flight is shame! If any man shall hearken to the words Of this thy counsel, I will smite from him His head with sharp blue steel, and hurl it down For soaring kites to feast on. Up! all ye Who care to enkindle men to battle: rouse Our warriors all throughout the fleet to whet The spear, to burnish corslet, helm and shield; And cause both man and horse, all which be keen 60 In fight, to break their fast. Then in yon plain Who is the stronger Ares shall decide." So speaking, in his place he sat him down; Then rose up Thestor's son, and in the midst, Where meet it is to speak, stood forth and cried: "Hear me, ye sons of battle-biding Greeks: Ye know I have the spirit of prophecy. Erewhile I said that ye in the tenth year Should lay waste towered Ilium: this the Gods Are even now fulfilling; victory lies 70 At the Argives' very feet. Come, let us send Tydeides and Odysseus battle-staunch With speed to Scyros overseas, by prayers Hither to bring Achilles' hero son: A light of victory shall he be to us." So spake wise Thestius' son, and all the folk Shouted for joy; for all their hearts and hopes Yearned to see Calchas' prophecy fulfilled. Then to the Argives spake Laertes' son: "Friends, it befits not to say many words 80 This day to you, in sorrow's weariness. I know that wearied men can find no joy In speech or song, though the Pierides, The immortal Muses, love it. At such time Few words do men desire. But now, this thing That pleaseth all the Achaean host, will I Accomplish, so Tydeides fare with me; For, if we twain go, we shall surely bring, Won by our words, war-fain Achilles' son, Yea, though his mother, weeping sore, should strive 90 Within her halls to keep him; for mine heart Trusts that he is a hero's valorous son." Then out spake Menelaus earnestly: "Odysseus, the strong Argives' help at need, If mighty-souled Achilles' valiant son From Scyros by thy suasion come to aid Us who yearn for him, and some Heavenly One Grant victory to our prayers, and I win home To Hellas, I will give to him to wife My noble child Hermione, with gifts 100 Many and goodly for her marriage-dower With a glad heart. I trow he shall not scorn Either his bride or high-born sire-in-law." With a great shout the Danaans hailed his words. Then was the throng dispersed, and to the ships They scattered hungering for the morning meat Which strengtheneth man's heart. So when they ceased From eating, and desire was satisfied, Then with the wise Odysseus Tydeus' son Drew down a swift ship to the boundless sea, 110 And victual and all tackling cast therein. Then stepped they aboard, and with them twenty men, Men skilled to row when winds were contrary, Or when the unrippled sea slept 'neath a calm. They smote the brine, and flashed the boiling foam: On leapt the ship; a watery way was cleft About the oars that sweating rowers tugged. As when hard-toiling oxen, 'neath the yoke Straining, drag on a massy-timbered wain, While creaks the circling axle 'neath its load, 120 And from their weary necks and shoulders streams Down to the ground the sweat abundantly; So at the stiff oars toiled those stalwart men, And fast they laid behind them leagues of sea. Gazed after them the Achaeans as they went, Then turned to whet their deadly darts and spears, The weapons of their warfare. In their town The aweless Trojans armed themselves the while War-eager, praying to the Gods to grant Respite from slaughter, breathing-space from toil. 130 To these, while sorely thus they yearned, the Gods Brought present help in trouble, even the seed Of mighty Hercules, Eurypylus. A great host followed him, in battle skilled, All that by long Caicus' outflow dwelt, Full of triumphant trust in their strong spears. Round them rejoicing thronged the sons of Troy: As when tame geese within a pen gaze up On him who casts them corn, and round his feet Throng hissing uncouth love, and his heart warms 140 As he looks down on them; so thronged the sons Of Troy, as on fierce-heart Eurypylus They gazed; and gladdened was his aweless soul To see those throngs: from porchways women looked Wide-eyed with wonder on the godlike man. Above all men he towered as on he strode, As looks a lion when amid the hills He comes on jackals. Paris welcomed him, As Hector honouring him, his cousin he, Being of one blood with him, who was born Of 150 Astyoche, King Priam's sister fair Whom Telephus embraced in his strong arms, Telephus, whom to aweless Hercules Auge the bright-haired bare in secret love. That babe, a suckling craving for the breast, A swift hind fostered, giving him the teat As to her own fawn in all love; for Zeus So willed it, in whose eyes it was not meet That Hercules' child should perish wretchedly. His glorious son with glad heart Paris led 160 Unto his palace through the wide-wayed burg Beside Assaracus' tomb and stately halls Of Hector, and Tritonis' holy fane. Hard by his mansion stood, and therebeside The stainless altar of Home-warder Zeus Rose. As they went, he lovingly questioned him Of brethren, parents, and of marriage-kin; And all he craved to know Eurypylus told. So communed they, on-pacing side by side. Then came they to a palace great and rich: 170 There goddess-like sat Helen, clothed upon With beauty of the Graces. Maidens four About her plied their tasks: others apart Within that goodly bower wrought the works Beseeming handmaids. Helen marvelling gazed Upon Eurypylus, on Helen he. Then these in converse each with other spake In that all-odorous bower. The handmaids brought And set beside their lady high-seats twain; And Paris sat him down, and at his side 180 Eurypylus. That hero's host encamped Without the city, where the Trojan guards Kept watch. Their armour laid they on the earth; Their steeds, yet breathing battle, stood thereby, And cribs were heaped with horses' provender. Upfloated night, and darkened earth and air; Then feasted they before that cliff-like wall, Ceteian men and Trojans: babel of talk Rose from the feasters: all around the glow Of blazing campfires lighted up the tents: 190 Pealed out the pipe's sweet voice, and hautboys rang With their clear-shrilling reeds; the witching strain Of lyres was rippling round. From far away The Argives gazed and marvelled, seeing the plain Aglare with many fires, and hearing notes Of flutes and lyres, neighing of chariot-steeds And pipes, the shepherd's and the banquet's joy. Therefore they bade their fellows each in turn Keep watch and ward about the tents till dawn, Lest those proud Trojans feasting by their walls 200 Should fall on them, and set the ships aflame. Within the halls of Paris all this while With kings and princes Telephus' hero son Feasted; and Priam and the sons of Troy Each after each prayed him to play the man Against the Argives, and in bitter doom To lay them low; and blithe he promised all. So when they had supped, each hied him to his home; But there Eurypylus laid him down to rest Full nigh the feast-hall, in the stately bower 210 Where Paris theretofore himself had slept With Helen world-renowned. A bower it was Most wondrous fair, the goodliest of them all. There lay he down; but otherwhere their rest Took they, till rose the bright-throned Queen of Morn. Up sprang with dawn the son of Telephus, And passed to the host with all those other kings In Troy abiding. Straightway did the folk All battle-eager don their warrior-gear, Burning to strike in forefront of the fight. 220 And now Eurypylus clad his mighty limbs In armour that like levin-flashes gleamed; Upon his shield by cunning hands were wrought All the great labours of strong Hercules. Thereon were seen two serpents flickering Black tongues from grimly jaws: they seemed in act To dart; but Hercules' hands to right and left -- Albeit a babe's hands -- now were throttling them; For aweless was his spirit. As Zeus' strength From the beginning was his strength. The seed 230 Of Heaven-abiders never deedless is Nor helpless, but hath boundless prowess, yea, Even when in the womb unborn it lies. Nemea's mighty lion there was seen Strangled in the strong arms of Hercules, His grim jaws dashed about with bloody foam: He seemed in verity gasping out his life. Thereby was wrought the Hydra many-necked Flickering its dread tongues. Of its fearful heads Some severed lay on earth, but many more 240 Were budding from its necks, while Hercules And Iolaus, dauntless-hearted twain, Toiled hard; the one with lightning sickle-sweeps Lopped the fierce heads, his fellow seared each neck With glowing iron; the monster so was slain. Thereby was wrought the mighty tameless Boar With foaming jaws; real seemed the pictured thing, As by Aleides' giant strength the brute Was to Eurystheus living borne on high. There fashioned was the fleetfoot stag which laid 250 The vineyards waste of hapless husbandmen. The Hero's hands held fast its golden horns, The while it snorted breath of ravening fire. Thereon were seen the fierce Stymphalian Birds, Some arrow-smitten dying in the dust, Some through the grey air darting in swift flight. At this, at that one -- hot in haste he seemed -- Hercules sped the arrows of his wrath. Augeias' monstrous stable there was wrought With cunning craft on that invincible targe; 260 And Hercules was turning through the same The deep flow of Alpheius' stream divine, While wondering Nymphs looked down on every hand Upon that mighty work. Elsewhere portrayed Was the Fire-breathing Bull: the Hero's grip On his strong horns wrenched round the massive neck: The straining muscles on his arm stood out: The huge beast seemed to bellow. Next thereto Wrought on the shield was one in beauty arrayed As of a Goddess, even Hippolyta. 270 The hero by the hair was dragging her From her swift steed, with fierce resolve to wrest With his strong hands the Girdle Marvellous From the Amazon Queen, while quailing shrank away The Maids of War. There in the Thracian land Were Diomedes' grim man-eating steeds: These at their gruesome mangers had he slain, And dead they lay with their fiend-hearted lord. There lay the bulk of giant Geryon Dead mid his kine. His gory heads were cast 280 In dust, dashed down by that resistless club. Before him slain lay that most murderous hound Orthros, in furious might like Cerberus His brother-hound: a herdman lay thereby, Eurytion, all bedabbled with his blood. There were the Golden Apples wrought, that gleamed In the Hesperides' garden undefiled: All round the fearful Serpent's dead coils lay, And shrank the Maids aghast from Zeus' bold son. And there, a dread sight even for Gods to see, 290 Was Cerberus, whom the Loathly Worm had borne To Typho in a craggy cavern's gloom Close on the borders of Eternal Night, A hideous monster, warder of the Gate Of Hades, Home of Wailing, jailer-hound Of dead folk in the shadowy Gulf of Doom. But lightly Zeus' son with his crashing blows Tamed him, and haled him from the cataract flood Of Styx, with heavy-drooping head, and dragged The Dog sore loth to the strange upper air 300 All dauntlessly. And there, at the world's end, Were Caucasus' long glens, where Hercules, Rending Prometheus' chains, and hurling them This way and that with fragments of the rock Whereinto they were riveted, set free The mighty Titan. Arrow-smitten lay The Eagle of the Torment therebeside. There stormed the wild rout of the Centaurs round The hall of Pholus: goaded on by Strife And wine, with Hercules the monsters fought. 310 Amidst the pine-trunks stricken to death they lay Still grasping those strange weapons in dead hands, While some with stems long-shafted still fought on In fury, and refrained not from the strife; And all their heads, gashed in the pitiless fight, Were drenched with gore -- the whole scene seemed to live -- With blood the wine was mingled: meats and bowls And tables in one ruin shattered lay. There by Evenus' torrent, in fierce wrath For his sweet bride, he laid with the arrow low 320 Nessus in mid-flight. There withal was wrought Antaeus' brawny strength, who challenged him To wrestling-strife; he in those sinewy arms Raised high above the earth, was crushed to death. There where swift Hellespont meets the outer sea, Lay the sea-monster slain by his ruthless shafts, While from Hesione he rent her chains. Of bold Alcides many a deed beside Shone on the broad shield of Eurypylus. He seemed the War-god, as from rank to rank 330 He sped; rejoiced the Trojans following him, Seeing his arms, and him clothed with the might Of Gods; and Paris hailed him to the fray: "Glad am I for thy coming, for mine heart Trusts that the Argives all shall wretchedly Be with their ships destroyed; for such a man Mid Greeks or Trojans never have I seen. Now, by the strength and fury of Hercules -- To whom in stature, might, and goodlihead Most like thou art I pray thee, have in mind 340 Him, and resolve to match his deeds with thine. Be the strong shield of Trojans hard-bestead: Win us a breathing-space. Thou only, I trow, From perishing Troy canst thrust the dark doom back." With kindling words he spake. That hero cried: "Great-hearted Paris, like the Blessed Ones In goodlihead, this lieth foreordained On the Gods' knees, who in the fight shall fall, And who outlive it. I, as honour bids, And as my strength sufficeth, will not flinch 350 From Troy's defence. I swear to turn from fight Never, except in victory or death." Gallantly spake he: with exceeding joy Rejoiced the Trojans. Champions then he chose, Alexander and Aeneas fiery-souled, Polydamas, Pammon, and Deiphobus, And Aethicus, of Paphlagonian men The staunchest man to stem the tide of war; These chose he, cunning all in battle-toil, To meet the foe in forefront of the fight. 360 Swiftly they strode before that warrior-throng Then from the city cheering charged. The host Followed them in their thousands, as when bees Follow by bands their leaders from the hives, With loud hum on a spring day pouring forth. So to the fight the warriors followed these; And, as they charged, the thunder-tramp of men And steeds, and clang of armour, rang to heaven. As when a rushing mighty wind stirs up The barren sea-plain from its nethermost floor, 370 And darkling to the strand roll roaring waves Belching sea-tangle from the bursting surf, And wild sounds rise from beaches harvestless; So, as they charged, the wide earth rang again. Now from their rampart forth the Argives poured Round godlike Agamemnon. Rang their shouts Cheering each other on to face the fight, And not to cower beside the ships in dread Of onset-shouts of battle-eager foes. They met those charging hosts with hearts as light 380 As calves bear, when they leap to meet the kine Down faring from hill-pastures in the spring Unto the steading, when the fields are green With corn-blades, when the earth is glad with flowers, And bowls are brimmed with milk of kine and ewes, And multitudinous lowing far and near Uprises as the mothers meet their young, And in their midst the herdman joys; so great Was the uproar that rose when met the fronts Of battle: dread it rang on either hand. 390 Hard-strained was then the fight: incarnate Strife Stalked through the midst, with Slaughter ghastly-faced. Crashed bull-hide shields, and spears, and helmet-crests Meeting: the brass flashed out like leaping flames. Bristled the battle with the lances; earth Ran red with blood, as slaughtered heroes fell And horses, mid a tangle of shattered ears, Some yet with spear-wounds gasping, while on them Others were falling. Through the air upshrieked An awful indistinguishable roar; 400 For on both hosts fell iron-hearted Strife. Here were men hurling cruel jagged stones, There speeding arrows and new-whetted darts, There with the axe or twibill hewing hard, Slashing with swords, and thrusting out with spears: Their mad hands clutched all manner of tools of death. At first the Argives bore the ranks of Troy Backward a little; but they rallied, charged, Leapt on the foe, and drenched the field with blood. Like a black hurricane rushed Eurypylus 410 Cheering his men on, hewing Argives down Awelessly: measureless might was lent to him By Zeus, for a grace to glorious Hercules. Nireus, a man in beauty like the Gods, His spear long-shafted stabbed beneath the ribs, Down on the plain he fell, forth streamed the blood Drenching his splendid arms, drenching the form Glorious of mould, and his thick-clustering hair. There mid the slain in dust and blood he lay, Like a young lusty olive-sapling, which 420 A river rushing down in roaring flood, Tearing its banks away, and cleaving wide A chasm-channel, hath disrooted; low It lieth heavy-blossomed; so lay then The goodly form, the grace of loveliness Of Nireus on earth's breast. But o'er the slain Loud rang the taunting of Eurypylus: "Lie there in dust! Thy beauty marvellous Naught hath availed thee! I have plucked thee away From life, to which thou wast so fain to cling. 430 Rash fool, who didst defy a mightier man Unknowing! Beauty is no match for strength!" He spake, and leapt upon the slain to strip His goodly arms: but now against him came Machaon wroth for Nireus, by his side Doom-overtaken. With his spear he drave At his right shoulder: strong albeit he was, He touched him, and blood spurted from the gash. Yet, ere he might leap back from grapple of death, Even as a lion or fierce mountain-boar 440 Maddens mid thronging huntsmen, furious-fain To rend the man whose hand first wounded him; So fierce Eurypylus on Machaon rushed. The long lance shot out swiftly, and pierced him through On the right haunch; yet would he not give back, Nor flinch from the onset, fast though flowed the blood. In haste he snatched a huge stone from the ground, And dashed it on the head of Telephus' son; But his helm warded him from death or harm Then waxed Eurypylus more hotly wroth 450 With that strong warrior, and in fury of soul Clear through Machaon's breast he drave his spear, And through the midriff passed the gory point. He fell, as falls beneath a lion's jaws A bull, and round him clashed his glancing arms. Swiftly Eurypylus plucked the lance of death Out of the wound, and vaunting cried aloud: "Wretch, wisdom was not bound up in thine heart, That thou, a weakling, didst come forth to fight A mightier. Therefore art thou in the toils 460 Of Doom. Much profit shall be thine, when kites Devour the flesh of thee in battle slain! Ha, dost thou hope still to return, to 'scape Mine hands? A leech art thou, and soothing salves Thou knowest, and by these didst haply hope To flee the evil day! Not thine own sire, On the wind's wings descending from Olympus, Should save thy life, not though between thy lips He should pour nectar and ambrosia!" Faint-breathing answered him the dying man: 470 "Eurypylus, thine own weird is to live Not long: Fate is at point to meet thee here On Troy's plain, and to still thine impious tongue." So passed his spirit into Hades' halls. Then to the dead man spake his conqueror: "Now on the earth lie thou. What shall betide Hereafter, care I not -- yea, though this day Death's doom stand by my feet: no man may live For ever: each man's fate is foreordained." Stabbing the corpse he spake. Then shouted loud 480 Teucer, at seeing Machaon in the dust. Far thence he stood hard-toiling in the fight, For on the centre sore the battle lay: Foe after foe pressed on; yet not for this Was Teucer heedless of the fallen brave, Neither of Nireus lying hard thereby Behind Machaon in the dust. He saw, And with a great voice raised the rescue-cry: "Charge, Argives! Flinch not from the charging foe! For shame unspeakable shall cover us 490 If Trojan men hale back to Ilium Noble Machaon and Nireus godlike-fair. Come, with a good heart let us face the foe To rescue these slain friends, or fall ourselves Beside them. Duty bids that men defend Friends, and to aliens leave them not a prey, Not without sweat of toil is glory won!" Then were the Danaans anguish-stung: the earth All round them dyed they red with blood of slain, As foe fought foe in even-balanced fight. 500 By this to Podaleirius tidings came How that in dust his brother lay, struck down By woeful death. Beside the ships he sat Ministering to the hurts of men with spears Stricken. In wrath for his brother's sake he rose, He clad him in his armour; in his breast Dread battle-prowess swelled. For conflict grim He panted: boiled the mad blood round his heart He leapt amidst the foemen; his swift hands Swung the snake-headed javelin up, and hurled, 510 And slew with its winged speed Agamestor's son Cleitus, a bright-haired Nymph had given him birth Beside Parthenius, whose quiet stream Fleets smooth as oil through green lands, till it pours Its shining ripples to the Euxine sea. Then by his warrior-brother laid he low Lassus, whom Pronoe, fair as a goddess, bare Beside Nymphaeus' stream, hard by a cave, A wide and wondrous cave: sacred it is Men say, unto the Nymphs, even all that haunt 520 The long-ridged Paphlagonian hills, and all That by full-clustered Heracleia dwell. That cave is like the work of gods, of stone In manner marvellous moulded: through it flows Cold water crystal-clear: in niches round Stand bowls of stone upon the rugged rock, Seeming as they were wrought by carvers' hands. Statues of Wood-gods stand around, fair Nymphs, Looms, distaffs, all such things as mortal craft Fashioneth. Wondrous seem they unto men 530 Which pass into that hallowed cave. It hath, Up-leading and down-leading, doorways twain, Facing, the one, the wild North's shrilling blasts, And one the dank rain-burdened South. By this Do mortals pass beneath the Nymphs' wide cave; But that is the Immortals' path: no man May tread it, for a chasm deep and wide Down-reaching unto Hades, yawns between. This track the Blest Gods may alone behold. So died a host on either side that warred 540 Over Machaon and Aglaia's son. But at the last through desperate wrestle of fight The Danaans rescued them: yet few were they Which bare them to the ships: by bitter stress Of conflict were the more part compassed round, And needs must still abide the battle's brunt. But when full many had filled the measure up Of fate, mid tumult, blood and agony, Then to their ships did many Argives flee Pressed by Eurypylus hard, an avalanche 550 Of havoc. Yet a few abode the strife Round Aias and the Atreidae rallying; And haply these had perished all, beset By throngs on throngs of foes on every hand, Had not Oileus' son stabbed with his spear 'Twixt shoulder and breast war-wise Polydamas; Forth gushed the blood, and he recoiled a space. Then Menelaus pierced Deiphobus By the right breast, that with swift feet he fled. And many of that slaughter-breathing throng 560 Were slain by Agamemnon: furiously He rushed on godlike Aethicus with the spear; But he shrank from the forefront back mid friends. Now when Eurypylus the battle-stay Marked how the ranks of Troy gave back from fight, He turned him from the host that he had chased Even to the ships, and rushed with eagle-swoop On Atreus' strong sons and Oileus' seed Stout-hearted, who was passing fleet of foot And in fight peerless. Swiftly he charged on these 570 Grasping his spear long-shafted: at Iris side Charged Paris, charged Aeneas stout of heart, Who hurled a stone exceeding huge, that crashed On Aias' helmet: dashed to the dust he was, Yet gave not up the ghost, whose day of doom Was fate-ordained amidst Caphaerus' rocks On the home-voyage. Now his valiant men Out of the foes' hands snatched him, bare him thence, Scarce drawing breath, to the Achaean ships. And now the Atreid kings, the war-renowned, 580 Were left alone, and murder-breathing foes Encompassed them, and hurled from every side Whate'er their hands might find the deadly shaft Some showered, some the stone, the javelin some. They in the midst aye turned this way and that, As boars or lions compassed round with pales On that day when kings gather to the sport The people, and have penned the mighty beasts Within the toils of death; but these, although With walls ringed round, yet tear with tusk and fang 590 What luckless thrall soever draweth near. So these death-compassed heroes slew their foes Ever as they pressed on. Yet had their might Availed not for defence, for all their will, Had Teucer and Idomeneus strong of heart Come not to help, with Thoas, Meriones, And godlike Thrasymedes, they which shrank Erewhile before Eurypylus yea, had fled Unto the ships to 'scape the crushing doom, But that, in fear for Atreus' sons, they rallied 600 Against Eurypylus: deadly waxed the fight. Then Teucer with a mighty spear-thrust smote Aeneas' shield, yet wounded not his flesh, For the great fourfold buckler warded him; Yet feared he, and recoiled a little space. Leapt Meriones upon Laophoon The son of Paeon, born by Axius' flood Of bright-haired Cleomede. Unto Troy With noble Asteropaeus had he come To aid her folk: him Meriones' keen spear 610 Stabbed 'neath the navel, and the lance-head tore His bowels forth; swift sped his soul away Into the Shadow-land. Alcimedes, The warrior-friend of Aias, Oileus' son, Shot mid the press of Trojans; for he sped With taunting shout a sharp stone from a sling Into their battle's heart. They quailed in fear Before the hum and onrush of the bolt. Fate winged its flight to the bold charioteer Of Pammon, Hippasus' son: his brow it smote 620 While yet he grasped the reins, and flung him stunned Down from the chariot-seat before the wheels. The rushing war-wain whirled his wretched form 'Twixt tyres and heels of onward-leaping steeds, And awful death in that hour swallowed him When whip and reins had flown from his nerveless hands. Then grief thrilled Pammon: hard necessity Made him both chariot-lord and charioteer. Now to his doom and death-day had he bowed, Had not a Trojan through that gory strife 630 Leapt, grasped the reins, and saved the prince, when now His strength failed 'neath the murderous hands of foes. As godlike Acamas charged, the stalwart son Of Nestor thrust the spear above his knee, And with that wound sore anguish came on him: Back from the fight he drew; the deadly strife He left unto his comrades: quenched was now His battle-lust. Eurypylus' henchman smote Echemmon, Thoas' friend, amidst the fray 640 Beneath the shoulder: nigh his heart the spear Passed bitter-biting: o'er his limbs brake out Mingled with blood cold sweat of agony. He turned to flee; Eurypylus' giant might Chased, caught him, shearing his heel-tendons through: There, where the blow fell, his reluctant feet Stayed, and the spirit left his mortal frame. Thoas pricked Paris with quick-thrusting spear On the right thigh: backward a space he ran For his death-speeding bow, which had been left 650 To rearward of the fight. Idomeneus Upheaved a stone, huge as his hands could swing, And dashed it on Eurypylus' arm: to earth Fell his death-dealing spear. Backward he stepped To grasp another, since from out his hand The first was smitten. So had Atreus' sons A moment's breathing-space from stress of war. But swiftly drew Eurypylus' henchmen near Bearing a stubborn-shafted lance, wherewith He brake the strength of many. In stormy might 660 Then charged he on the foe: whomso he met He slew, and spread wide havoc through their ranks. Now neither Atreus' sons might steadfast stand, Nor any valiant Danaan beside, For ruinous panic suddenly gripped the hearts Of all; for on them all Eurypylus rushed Flashing death in their faces, chased them, slew, Cried to the Trojans and to his chariot-lords: "Friends, be of good heart! To these Danaans Let us deal slaughter and doom's darkness now! 670 Lo, how like scared sheep back to the ships they flee! Forget not your death-dealing battle-lore, O ye that from your youth are men of war!" Then charged they on the Argives as one man; And these in utter panic turned and fled The bitter battle, those hard after them Followed, as white-fanged hounds hold deer in chase Up the long forest-glens. Full many in dust They dashed down, howsoe'er they longed to escape. The slaughter grim and great of that wild fray. 680 Eurypylus hath slain Bucolion, Nesus, and Chromion and Antiphus; Twain in Mycenae dwelt, a goodly land; In Lacedaemon twain. Men of renown Albeit they were, he slew them. Then he smote A host unnumbered of the common throng. My strength should not suffice to sing their fate, How fain soever, though within my breast Were iron lungs. Aeneas slew withal Antimachus and Pheres, twain which left 690 Crete with Idomeneus. Agenor smote Molus the princely, -- with king Sthenelus He came from Argos, -- hurled from far behind A dart new-whetted, as he fled from fight, Piercing his right leg, and the eager shaft Cut sheer through the broad sinew, shattering The bones with anguished pain: and so his doom Met him, to die a death of agony. Then Paris' arrows laid proud Phorcys low, And Mosynus, brethren both, from Salamis 700 Who came in Aias' ships, and nevermore Saw the home-land. Cleolaus smote he next, Meges' stout henchman; for the arrow struck His left breast: deadly night enwrapped him round, And his soul fleeted forth: his fainting heart Still in his breast fluttering convulsively Made the winged arrow shiver. Yet again Did Paris shoot at bold Eetion. Through his jaw leapt the sudden-flashing brass: He groaned, and with his blood were mingled tears. 710 So ever man slew man, till all the space Was heaped with Argives each on other cast. Now had the Trojans burnt with fire the ships, Had not night, trailing heavy-folded mist, Uprisen. So Eurypylus drew back, And Troy's sons with him, from the ships aloof A little space, by Simois' outfall; there Camped they exultant. But amidst the ships Flung down upon the sands the Argives wailed Heart-anguished for the slain, so many of whom 720 Dark fate had overtaken and laid in dust.
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