He said, and turn'd him of his arms to strip The son of Paeon; but beside the stone That mark'd where men of old had rais'd a mound To Ilus, Dardan's son, the ancient chief, There crouching, Paris, fair-hair'd Helen's Lord, Against the son of Tydeus bent his bow. He from the breast of brave Agastrophus Had stripp'd the corslet; from his shoulders broad The buckler, and the helmet from his head, When Paris bent his bow, and not in vain His arrow launch'd; Tydides' dexter foot Right through it pierc'd, and pinn'd it to the ground. Joyous he laugh'd, and from his hiding place Sprang forth, and thus in tones of triumph cried:
"Thou hast it! not in vain my shaft hath flown! Would that, deep buried in thy flank, it touch'd Thy very life! so should our Trojans lose Their panic fear, who now on thee with dread, As bleating goats upon a lion, look."
To whom, unmov'd, the valiant Diomed: "Poor archer, trusting to thy bow alone, Vile sland'rer and seducer! if indeed Thou durst in arms oppos'd to me to stand, Nought would avail thy arrows and thy bow: And now, because thy shaft hath graz'd my foot, Thou mak'st thine empty boast: I heed thee not, More than a woman or a puny child: A worthless coward's weapon hath no point. 'Tis diff'rent far with me! though light it fall, My spear is sharp, and whom it strikes, it slays. His widow's cheeks are mark'd with scars of grief, His children orphans; rotting on the ground, Red with his blood, he lies, his fun'ral rites By carrion birds, and not by women paid."
Thus while he spoke, Ulysses, spearman bold, Drew near, and stood before him; he, behind, Sat down protected, and from out his foot The arrow drew; whereat sharp anguish shot Through all his flesh; and mounting on his car He bade his faithful charioteer in haste Drive to the ships, for pain weigh'd down his soul. Alone Ulysses stood; of all the Greeks Not one beside him; all were panic-struck: Then with his spirit, perturb'd, he commun'd thus: "Me miserable! which way shall I choose? 'Twere ill indeed that I should turn to flight By hostile numbers daunted; yet 'twere worse Here to be caught alone; and Saturn's son With panic fear the other Greeks hath fill'd. Yet why, my soul, admit such thoughts as these? I know that cowards from the battle fly; But he who boasts a warrior's name, must learn, Wounded or wounding, firmly still to stand."
While in his mind and spirit thus he mus'd, Onward the buckler'd ranks of Trojans came, And, to their harm, encircled him around. As when a boar, by dogs and stalwart youths Attack'd, the shelt'ring thicket leaves, and whets The tusks that gleam between his curved jaws; They crowd around, though ring his clatt'ring tusks, And, fearful though it be, await his rush: So crowded round Ulysses, dear to Jove, The Trojans; he, with brandish'd spear aloft, Sprang forth, and through the shoulder, from above, Deiopites wounded: Thoon next He slew, and Ennomus; then with his spear Chersidamas, in act to quit his car, Thrust through the loins below his bossy shield: Prone in the dust, he clutch'd the blood-stain'd soil. From these he turn'd; and wounded with his spear Charops, the high-born Socus' brother, son Of Hippasus; then forward sprang, to aid His brother, godlike Socus; close he stood Before Ulysses, and address'd him thus: "Far-fam'd Ulysses, as in arms, in wiles Unwearied, thou this day o'er both the sons Of Hippasus, two mighty warriors slain, And of their armour spoil'd, shalt make thy boast, Or by my spear thyself shalt lose thy life." He said, and on the shield's broad circle struck: Through the bright shield the sturdy weapon drove, And through the rich-wrought baldrick, from the ribs Tearing the flesh away; but Pallas seiz'd, And turn'd it from the vital parts aside. The wound, Ulysses knew, was not to death, And back he drew, and thus to Socus cried:
"Ill-fated thou! thy doom hath found thee now; Me hast thou hinder'd from the war awhile; But thee to swift destruction and dark death, This day I doom: great glory, of thee subdued, Shall I obtain, and Hades take thy soul."
Thus he: and Socus, turning, sought to fly; But as he turn'd him round, Ulysses' spear Behind his neck, between the shoulder blades Was driv'n, and through his chest; thund'ring he fell, And o'er his fall Ulysses, vaunting, thus:
"Socus, thou son of warlike Hippasus, Here hast thou found, nor couldst escape, thy doom. Ill-fated thou! nor sire's nor mother's hand Shall gather up thy bones, but carrion birds O'er thee shall flap their baleful wings, and tear Thy mangled flesh; for me, whene'er I die The sons of Greece will build my fun'ral pile." From out his flesh, and from the bossy shield, The spear of Socus, as he spoke, he drew; And as he drew it forth, out gush'd his blood, With anguish keen. The Trojans, when they saw Ulysses' blood, with clam'rous shouts advanc'd Promiscuous; he, retiring, shouted loud To call his comrades; loud as head of man Could bear, he shouted thrice; and thrice his shout The warlike Menelaus heard, and thus To Ajax, standing by his side, he spoke:
"Ajax, thou Heav'n-born son of Telamon, Great chief of men, methinks I hear the voice Of stout Ulysses, as though left alone, And in the stubborn fight cut off from aid, By Trojans overmaster'd. Haste we then, For so 'twere best, to give him present aid. Brave though he be, yet left alone, I fear Great cause we Greeks may have to mourn his loss."
He spoke, and led the way; the godlike chief Follow'd his steps: Ulysses, dear to Jove, Surrounded by the Trojan host they found, As hungry jackals on the mountain side Around a stag, that from an archer's hand Hath taken hurt, yet while his blood was warm And limbs yet serv'd, has baffled his pursuit; But when the fatal shaft has drain'd his strength, Thirsting for blood, beneath the forest shade, The jackals seize their victim; then if chance A hungry lion pass, the jackals shrink In terror back, while he devours the prey; So round Ulysses, sage in council, press'd The Trojans, many and brave, yet nobly he Averted, spear in hand, the fatal hour; Till, with his tow'r-like shield before him borne, Appear'd great Ajax, and beside him stood. Hither and thither then the Trojans fled; While with supporting arm from out the crowd The warlike Menelaus led him forth, Till his attendant with his car drew near. Then Ajax, on the Trojans springing, slew Doryclus, royal Priam's bastard son; Next Pyrasus he smote, and Pandocus, Lysander, and Pylartes; as a stream, Swoll'n by the rains of Heav'n, that from the hills Pours down its wintry torrent on the plain; And many a blighted oak, and many a pine It bears, with piles of drift-wood, to the sea So swept illustrious Ajax o'er the plain, O'erthrowing men and horses; though unknown To Hector; he, upon Scamander's banks Was warring on the field's extremest left, Where round great Nestor and the warlike King Idomeneus, while men were falling fast, Rose, irrepressible, the battle cry. Hector, 'mid these, was working wondrous deeds, With spear and car, routing th' opposed youth; Yet had the Greeks ev'n so their ground maintain'd, But godlike Paris, fair-hair'd Helen's Lord, Through the right shoulder, with a three-barb'd shaft, As in the front he fought, Machaon quell'd: For him the warrior Greeks were sore afraid Lest he, as back the line of battle roll'd, Might to the foe be left; to Nestor then Idomeneus address'd his speech, and said:
"O Nestor, son of Neleus, pride of Greece, Haste thee to mount thy car, and with thee take Machaon; tow'rd the vessels urge with speed The flying steeds; worth many a life is his, The skilful leech, who knows, with practis'd hand, T' extract the shaft, and healing drugs apply."
He said: Gerenian Nestor at the word Mounted his car, Machaon at his side, The skilful leech, sage AEsculapius' son: He touch'd his horses; tow'rd the Grecian ships, As was his purpose, nothing loth, they flew.
To Hector then Cebriones, who saw Confus'd the Trojans' right, drew near, and said:
"Hector, we here, on th' outskirts of the field, O'erpow'r the Greeks; on th' other side, our friends In strange confusion mingled, horse and man, Are driv'n; among them Ajax spreads dismay, The son of Telamon; I know him well, And the broad shield that o'er his shoulders hangs; Thither direct we then our car, where most In mutual slaughter horse and foot engage, And loudest swells, uncheck'd, the battle cry."
He said, and with the pliant lash he touch'd The sleek-skinn'd horses; springing at the sound, Between the Greeks and Trojans, light they bore The flying car, o'er bodies of the slain And broken bucklers trampling; all beneath Was plash'd with blood the axle, and the rails Around the car, as from the horses' feet, And from the felloes of the wheels, were thrown The bloody gouts; yet on he sped, to join The strife of men, and break th' opposing ranks. His coming spread confusion 'mid the Greeks, His spear awhile withheld; then through the rest, With sword, and spear, and pond'rous stones he rush'd, But shunn'd the might of Ajax Telamon.
But Jove, high thron'd, the soul of Ajax fill'd With fear; aghast he stood; his sev'nfold shield He threw behind his back, and, trembling, gaz'd Upon the crowd; then, like some beast of prey, Foot slowly following foot, reluctant turn'd. As when the rustic youths and dogs have driv'n A tawny lion from the cattle fold, Watching all night, and baulk'd him of his prey; Rav'ning for flesh, he still th' attempt renews, But still in vain: for many a jav'lin, hurl'd By vig'rous arms, confronts him to his face, And blazing faggots, that his courage daunt; Till, with the dawn, reluctant he retreat: So from before the Trojans Ajax turn'd, Reluctant, fearing for the ships of Greece. As near a field of corn, a stubborn ass, Upon whose sides had many a club been broke, O'erpow'rs his boyish guides, and ent'ring in, On the rich forage grazes; while the boys Their cudgels ply, but vain their puny strength, Yet drive him out, when fully fed, with ease: Ev'n so great Ajax, son of Telamon, The valiant Trojans and their fam'd Allies, Still thrusting at his shield, before them drove: Yet would he sometimes, rallying, hold in check The Trojan host; then turn again to flight, Yet barring still the passage to the ships. Midway between the Trojans and the Greeks He stood defiant; many jav'lins, hurl'd By vig'rous arms, were in their flight receiv'd On his broad shield; and many, ere they reach'd Their living mark, fell midway on the plain, Fix'd in the ground, in vain athirst for blood. Him thus, hard press'd by thick-thrown spears, beheld Eurypylus, Euaemon's noble son. He hasten'd up, and aim'd his glitt'ring spear; And Apisaon, Phausias' noble son, Below the midriff through the liver struck, And straight relax'd in sudden death his limbs. Forth sprang Eurypylus to seize the spoils: But godlike Paris saw, and as he stoop'd From Apisaon's corpse to strip his arms, Against Eurypylus he bent his bow, And his right thigh transfix'd; the injur'd limb Disabling, in the wound the arrow broke. He 'mid his friends, escaping death, withdrew, And to the Greeks with piercing shout he call'd:
"O friends, the chiefs and councillors of Greece, Turn yet again, and from the doom of death Great Ajax save, hard press'd by hostile spears: Scarce can I hope he may escape with life The desp'rate fight; yet bravely stand, and aid The mighty Ajax, son of Telamon."
Thus spoke the wounded hero: round him they With sloping shields and spears uplifted stood: Ajax to meet them came; and when he reach'd The friendly ranks, again he turn'd to bay. So rag'd, like blazing fire, the furious fight.
Meanwhile the mares of Neleus, drench'd with sweat, Bore Nestor and Machaon from the field; Achilles saw, and mark'd them where he stood Upon his lofty vessel's prow, and watch'd The grievous toil, the lamentable rout. Then on his friend Patroclus from the ship He call'd aloud; he heard his voice, and forth, As Mars majestic, from the tent he came: (That day commenc'd his evil destiny) And thus Menoetius' noble son began:
"Why call'st thou me? what wouldst thou, Peleus' son?" To whom Achilles, swift of foot, replied: "Son of Menoetius, dearest to my soul, Soon, must the suppliant Greeks before me kneel, So insupportable is now their need. But haste thee now, Patroclus, dear to Jove: Enquire of Nestor, from the battle field Whom brings he wounded: looking from behind Most like he seem'd to AEsculapius' son, Machaon; but his face I could not see, So swiftly past the eager horses flew."
He said: obedient to his friend's command, Quick to the tents and ships Patroclus ran.
They, when they reach'd the tent of Neleus' son, Descended to the ground; Eurymedon The old man's mares unharness'd from the car, While on the beach they fac'd the cooling breeze, Which from their garments dried the sweat; then turn'd, And in the tent on easy seats repos'd. For them the fair-hair'd Hecamede mix'd A cordial potion; her from Tenedos, When by Achilles ta'en, the old man brought; Daughter of great Arsinous, whom the Greeks On him, their sagest councillor, bestow'd. Before them first a table fair she spread, Well polish'd, and with feet of solid bronze; On this a brazen canister she plac'd, And onions, as a relish to the wine, And pale clear honey, and pure barley meal: By these a splendid goblet, which from home Th' old man had brought, with golden studs adorn'd: Four were its handles, and round each two doves Appear'd to feed; at either end, a cup. Scarce might another move it from the board, When full; but aged Nestor rais'd with ease. In this, their goddess-like attendant first A gen'rous measure mix'd of Pramnian wine: Then with a brazen grater shredded o'er The goatsmilk cheese, and whitest barley meal, And of the draught compounded bade them drink. They drank, and then, reliev'd the parching thirst, With mutual converse entertain'd the hour. Before the gate divine Patroclus stood: The old man saw, and from his seat arose, And took him by the hand, and led him in, And bade him sit; but he, refusing, said:
"No seat for me, thou venerable sire! I must not stay; for he both awe and fear Commands, who hither sent me to enquire What wounded man thou hast; I need not ask, I know Machaon well, his people's guard. My errand done, I must my message bear Back to Achilles; and thou know'st thyself, Thou venerable sire, how stern his mood: Nay sometimes blames he, where no blame is due."
To whom Gerenian Nestor thus replied: "Whence comes Achilles' pity for the Greeks By Trojan weapons wounded? knows he not What depth of suff'ring through the camp prevails? How in the ships, by arrow or by spear Sore wounded, all our best and bravest lie? The valiant son of Tydeus, Diomed, Pierc'd by a shaft; Ulysses by a spear, And Agamemnon's self; Eurypylus By a sharp arrow through the thigh transfix'd; And here another, whom but now I bring, Shot by a bow, from off the battle field: Achilles, valiant as he is, the while For Grecian woes nor care nor pity feels. Waits he, until our ships beside the sea, In our despite, are burnt by hostile fires, And we be singly slain? not mine is now The strength I boasted once of active limbs. O that such youth and vigour yet were mine, As when about a cattle-lifting raid We fought th' Eleans; there Itymoneus I slew, the son of brave Hyperochus, Who dwelt in Elis; and my booty drove. He sought to guard the herd; but from my hand A jav'lin struck him in the foremost ranks: He fell, and terror seiz'd the rustic crowd. Abundant store of plunder from the plain We drove: of horned cattle fifty herds; As many flocks of sheep, as many droves Of swine, as many wide-spread herds of goats, And thrice so many golden-chesnut mares, The foals of many running with their dams. To Pylos, Neleus' city, these we drove By night; and much it gladden'd Neleus' heart, That I, though new to war, such prize had won. When morn appear'd, the clear-voic'd heralds call'd For all to whom from Elis debts were due; Collected thus, the Pylians' leading men Division made: for Elis ow'd us much; Such wrongs we few in Pylos had sustain'd. The might of Hercules in former years Had storm'd our town, and all our bravest slain. Twelve gallant sons had Neleus; I of these Alone was left; the others all were gone. Whence over-proud, th' Epeians treated us With insult, and high-handed violence. A herd of oxen now, and num'rous flock Of sheep, th' old man selected for himself, Three hundred, with their shepherds; for to him Large compensation was from Elis due. Train'd to the course, four horses, with their cars, He for the Tripod at th' Elean games Had sent to run; these Augeas, King of men, Detain'd, and bade the drivers home return, Bootless, and grieving for their horses' loss. Th' old man his words resenting, and his acts, Large spoils retain'd; the rest among the crowd He shar'd, that none might lose his portion due. These we dispos'd of soon, and to the Gods Due off'rings made; but when the third day rose, Back in all haste, in numbers, horse and foot, Our foes return'd; with, them the Molion twins, Yet boys, untutor'd in the arts of war. Far off, by Alpheus' banks, th' extremest verge Of sandy Pylos, is a lofty mound, The city of Thryum; which around, intent To raze its walls, their army was encamp'd. The plain already they had overspread; When Pallas from Olympus' heights came down In haste, and bade us all prepare for war. On no unwilling ears her message fell, But eager all for fight; but me, to arm Neleus forbade, and e'en my horses hid, Deeming me yet unripe for deeds of war. Yet so, albeit on foot, by Pallas' grace A name I gain'd above our noblest horse. There is a river, Minyis by name, Hard by Arene, flowing to the sea, Where we, the Pylian horse, expecting morn, Encamp'd, by troops of footmen quickly join'd. Thence in all haste advancing, all in arms, We reach'd, by midday, Alpheus' sacred stream. There, to o'erruling Jove our off'rings made, To Alpheus and to Neptune each a bull, To Pallas, blue-ey'd Maid, a heifer fair, In order'd ranks we took our ev'ning meal, And each in arms upon the river's brink Lay down to rest; for close beside us lay Th' Epeians, on the town's destruction bent. Then saw they mighty deeds of war display'd; For we, as sunlight overspread the earth, To Jove and Pallas praying, battle gave. But when the Pylians and th' Epeians met, I first a warrior slew, and seiz'd his car, Bold spearman, Mulius; Augeas' son-in-law, His eldest daughter's husband, Agamede, The yellow-hair'd, who all the virtues knew Of each medicinal herb the wide world grows. Him, with my brass-tipp'd spear, as on he came, I slew; he fell; I, rushing to his car, Stood 'mid the foremost ranks; th' Epeians brave Fled diverse, when they saw their champion fall, Chief of their horsemen, foremost in the fight. With the dark whirlwind's force, I onward rush'd, And fifty cars I took; two men in each Fell to my spear, and bit the bloody dust. Then Actor's sons, the Molions, had I slain, Had not th' Earth-shaking God, their mighty sire, Veil'd in thick cloud, withdrawn them from the field; Then Jove great glory to the Pylians gave. For o'er the wide-spread plain we held pursuit, Slaying, and gath'ring up the scatter'd arms, Nor till corn-clad Buprasium, and the rock Olenian, and Alesium, term'd the Mound, Stay'd we our steeds; there Pallas bade us turn. There the last man I slew, and left; the Greeks Back from Buprasium drove their flying cars To Pylos, magnifying all the name, 'Mid men, of Nestor, as 'mid Gods, of Jove. Such once was I 'mid men, while yet I was; Now to himself alone Achilles keeps His valour; yet hereafter, when the Greeks Have perish'd all, remorse shall touch his soul. Dear friend, remember now th' injunctions giv'n By old Menoetius, when from Phthian land He sent thee forth to Agamemnon's aid: I, and Laertes' godlike son, within, Heard all his counsel; to the well-built house Of Peleus we on embassy had come, Throughout Achaia's fertile lands to raise The means of war; Menoetius there we found, Achilles, and thyself within the house; While in the court-yard aged Peleus slew, And to the Lord of thunder offer'd up A fatten'd steer; and from a golden bowl O'er the burnt-off'ring pour'd the ruddy wine. We two, while ye were busied with the flesh, Stood at the gate; surpris'd, Achilles rose, And took us by the hand, and bade us sit, Dispensing all the hospitable rites. With food and wine recruited, I began My speech, and urg'd ye both to join the war: Nor were ye loth to go; much sage advice Your elders gave; old Peleus bade his son To aim at highest honours, and surpass His comrades all; Menoetius, Actor's son, To thee this counsel gave: 'My son,' he said, 'Achilles is by birth above thee far; Thou art in years the elder; he in strength Surpasses thee; do thou with prudent words And timely speech address him, and advise And guide him; he will, to his good, obey.'
"Such were the old man's words; but thou hast let His counsel slip thy mem'ry; yet ev'n now Speak to Achilles thus, and stir his soul, If haply he will hear thee; and who knows But by the grace of Heav'n thou mayst prevail? For great is oft a friend's persuasive pow'r. But if the fear of evil prophesied, Or message by his Goddess-mother brought From Jove, restrain him, let him send thee forth With all his force of warlike Myrmidons, That thou mayst be the saving light of Greece. Then let him bid thee to the battle bear His glitt'ring arms; if so the men of Troy, Scar'd by his likeness, may forsake the field, And breathing-time afford the sons of Greece, Toil-worn; for little pause has yet been theirs. Fresh and unwearied, ye with ease may drive To their own city, from our ships and tents, The Trojans, worn and battle-wearied men."
Thus he; Patroclus' spirit within him burn'd, And tow'rd Achilles' tent in haste he sped. But, running, as Ulysses' ship he pass'd, Where was the Council and the Justice-seat, And where were built the altars of the Gods, There met him, halting from the battle-field, Shot through the thigh, Euaemon's Heav'n-born son, Eurypylus; his head and shoulders dank With clammy sweat, while from his grievous wound Stream'd the dark blood; yet firm was still his soul. Menoetius' noble son with pity saw, And deeply sorrowing thus address'd the chief:
"Woe for the chiefs and councillors of Greece! And must ye, far from friends and native home, Glut with your flesh the rav'ning dogs of Troy? Yet tell me this, Heav'n-born Eurypylus; Still do the Greeks 'gainst Hector's giant force Make head? or fall they, vanquish'd by his spear?"
To whom with prudent speech, Eurypylus: "No source, Heav'n-born Patroclus, have the Greeks, Of aid, but all must perish by their ships: For in the ships lie all our bravest late, By spear or arrow struck, by Trojan hands; And fiercer, hour by hour, their onset grows. But save me now, and lead me to the ships; There cut the arrow out, and from the wound With tepid water cleanse the clotted blood: Then soothing drugs apply, of healing pow'r, Which from Achilles, thou, 'tis said, hast learn'd, From Chiron, justest of the Centaurs, he. For Podalirius and Machaon both, Our leeches, one lies wounded in the tents, Himself requiring sore the leech's aid; The other on the plain still dares the fight."
To whom again Menoetius' noble son: "How may this be? say, brave Eurypylus, What must I do? a messenger am I, Sent by Gerenian Nestor, prop of Greece, With tidings to Achilles; yet ev'n so I will not leave thee in this weary plight."
He said, and passing his supporting hand Beneath his breast, the wounded warrior led Within the tent; th' attendant saw, and spread The ox-hide couch; then as he lay reclin'd, Patroclus, with his dagger, from the thigh Cut out the biting shaft; and from the wound With tepid water cleans'd the clotted blood; Then, pounded in his hands, a root applied Astringent, anodyne, which all his pain Allay'd; the wound was dried, and stanch'd the blood.
THE BATTLE AT THE GRECIAN WALL.
The Greeks having retired into their entrenchments, Hector attempts to force them; but it proving impossible to pass the ditch, Polydamas advises to quit their chariots, and manage the attack on foot. The Trojans follow his counsel, and having divided their army into five bodies of foot, begin the assault. But upon the signal of an eagle with a serpent in his talons, which appeared on the left hand of the Trojans, Polydamas endeavours to withdraw them again. This Hector opposes, and continues the attack; in which, after many actions, Sarpedon makes the first breach in the wall: Hector also, casting a stone of a vast size, forces open one of the gates, and enters at the head of his troops, who victoriously pursue the Grecians even to their ships.
Thus o'er the wounded chief Eurypylus Watch'd in his tent Menoetius' noble son; But hand to hand the Greeks and Trojans fought; Nor longer might the ditch th' assault repel, Nor the broad wall above, which Greeks had built, To guard their ships, and round it dug the ditch; But to the Gods no hecatombs had paid, That they the ships and all the stores within Might safely keep; against the will of Heav'n The work was done, and thence not long endur'd. While Hector liv'd, and Peleus' son his wrath Retain'd, and Priam's city untaken stood; So long the Grecian wall remain'd entire: But of the Trojans when the best had fall'n, Of Greeks, when some were slain, some yet surviv'd; When the tenth year had seen the fall of Troy, And Greeks, embark'd, had ta'en their homeward way, Then Neptune and Apollo counsel took To sap the wall by aid of all the streams That seaward from the heights of Ida flow; Rhesus, Caresus, and Heptaporus, Granicus, and AEsepus, Rhodius, Scamander's stream divine, and Simois, Where helms and shields lay buried in the sand, And a whole race of warrior demigods: These all Apollo to one channel turn'd; Nine days against the wall the torrent beat; And Jove sent rain continuous, that the wall Might sooner be submerg'd; while Neptune's self, His trident in his hand, led on the stream, Washing away the deep foundations, laid, Laborious, by the Greeks, with logs and stones, Now by fast-flowing Hellespont dispers'd. The wall destroy'd, o'er all the shore he spread A sandy drift; and bade the streams return To where of old their silver waters flow'd. Such were, in future days, to be the works Of Neptune and Apollo; but meanwhile Fierce rag'd the battle round the firm-built wall, And frequent clatter'd on the turrets' beams The hostile missiles: by the scourge of Jove Subdued, the Greeks beside their ships were hemm'd, By Hector scar'd, fell minister of Dread, Who with the whirlwind's force, as ever, fought. As when, by dogs and hunters circled round, A boar, or lion, in his pride of strength, Turns on his foes, while they in close array Stand opposite, and frequent shoot their darts; Nor yet his spirit quails, but firm he stands With suicidal courage; swift he turns, Where best to break the circling ranks; where'er He makes his rush, the circling ranks give way: So Hector, here and there, amid the crowd, Urg'd his companions on to cross the ditch: The fiery steeds shrank back, and, snorting, stood Upon the topmost brink; for the wide ditch Withheld them, easy nor to leap nor cross: For steep arose on either side the banks, And at the top with sharpen'd stakes were crown'd, Thick-set and strong, which there the sons of Greece Had planted, to repel th' invading foes. Scarce might a horse, with well-wheel'd car attach'd, Essay the passage; but on foot they burn'd To make th' attempt; and thus Polydamas, Approaching near, to valiant Hector spoke:
"Hector, and all ye other chiefs of Troy, And brave Allies, in vain we seek to drive Our horses o'er the ditch; 'tis hard to cross; 'Tis crown'd with pointed stakes, and them behind Is built the Grecian wall; there to descend And from our cars in narrow space to fight Were certain ruin. If it be indeed The will of Jove, high-thund'ring, to confound The Greeks in utter rout, and us to aid, I should rejoice that ev'ry Greek forthwith Far from his home should fill a nameless grave; But should they turn, and we again be driv'n Back from the ships, and hurried down the ditch, Such were our loss, that scarce a messenger Would live to bear the tidings to the town Of our destruction by the rallied Greeks. Hear then my counsel; let us all agree With our attendants here upon the bank To leave our horses; and ourselves on foot, All arm'd, press on where Hector leads; the Greeks, If that their doom be nigh, will make no stand."
Thus spoke Polydamas; his counsel pleas'd; And Hector sprang, in arms, from off his car; Nor long, the noble Hector when they saw, Delay'd the other chiefs; then gave command Each to his own attendant, by the ditch To keep the chariots all in due array; Then parting, form'd in order of attack, In five divisions, with their sev'ral chiefs. Round Hector throng'd, and bold Polydamas, The best and bravest; they who long'd the most To storm the wall, and fight beside the ships. With them Cebriones; for Hector left, To guard the horses, one of lesser note. The nest division was by Paris led, Agenor, and Alcathous; the third By Helenus, and brave Deiphobus, Two sons of Priam; Asius was the third, Asius, the son of Hyrtacus; who brought His tow'ring fiery steeds from Selles' stream, Hard by Arisba; stout AEneas led The fourth, Anchises' son, Archilochus With him, and Acamas, Antenor's sons; Both skill'd alike in ev'ry point of war. Of the far-fam'd Allies, Sarpedon held The chief command; and for his comrades chose Asteropaeus, and the warlike might Of Glaucus; these o'er all the rest he held Pre-eminent in valour, save himself, Who o'er them all superior stood confess'd. These, interlac'd their shields of tough bull's-hide, With eager step advanc'd, and deem'd the Greeks Would, unresisting, fall before their ships. The other Trojans and renown'd Allies The words of wise Polydamas obey'd: But Asius, son of Hyrtacus, refus'd His horses and his charioteer to leave, With them advancing to assail the ships. Blind fool, unconscious! from before those ships, Escap'd from death, with horses and with car Triumphant, to the breezy heights of Troy He never shall return; ill-omen'd fate O'ershadowing, dooms him by the spear to fall Of brave Idomeneus, Deucalion's son. He tow'rd the left inclin'd, what way the Greeks With horse and chariot from the plain return'd. That way he drove his horses; and the gates Unguarded found by bolt or massive bar. Their warders held them open'd wide, to save Perchance some comrade, flying from the plain. Thither he bent his course; with clamours loud Follow'd his troops; nor deem'd they that the Greeks Would hold their ground, but fall amid their ships. Little they knew; before the gates they found Two men, two warriors of the prime, two sons Illustrious of the spear-skill'd Lapithae: Stout Polypoetes one, Pirithous' son, With whom Leonteus, bold as blood-stain'd Mars: So stood these two before the lofty gates, As on the mountain side two tow'ring oaks, Which many a day have borne the wind and storm, Firm rifted by their strong continuous roots: So in their arms and vigour confident Those two great Asius' charge, undaunted, met. On th' other side, with, shouts and wild uproar, Their bull's-hide shields uplifted high, advanc'd Against the well-built wall, Asius the King, Iamenus, Orestes, Acamas The son of Asius, and OEnomaus, And Thoon; those within to save the ships Calling meanwhile on all the well-greav'd Greeks; But when they saw the wall by Trojans scal'd, And heard the cry of Greeks in panic fear, Sprang forth those two, before the gates to fight. As when two boars, upon the mountain side, Await th' approaching din of men and dogs, Then sideways rushing, snap the wood around, Ripp'd from the roots; loud clash their clatt'ring tusks, Till to the huntsman's spear they yield their lives; So clatter'd on those champions' brass-clad breasts The hostile weapons; stubbornly they fought, Relying on their strength, and friends above: For from the well-built tow'rs huge stones were hurl'd By those who for themselves, their tents and ships, Maintain'd defensive warfare; thick they fell, As wintry snow-flakes, which the boist'rous wind, Driving the shadowy clouds, spreads fast and close O'er all the surface of the fertile earth: So thick, from Grecian and from Trojan hands, The weapons flew; on helm and bossy shield With grating sound the pond'rous masses rang. Then deeply groaning, as he smote his thigh Thus spoke dismay'd the son of Hyrtacus: "O Father Jove, how hast thou lov'd our hopes To falsify, who deem'd not that the Greeks Would stand our onset, and resistless arms! But they, as yellow-banded wasps, or bees, That by some rocky pass have built their nests, Abandon not their cavern'd home, but wait Th' attack, and boldly for their offspring fight; So from the gates these two, though two alone, Retire not, till they be or ta'en or slain."
He said: but Jove regarded not his words; So much on Hector's triumph he was bent. Like battle rag'd round th' other gates; but hard It were for me, with godlike pow'r, to paint Each sev'ral combat; for around the wall A more than human storm of stone was pour'd On ev'ry side; the Greeks, hard press'd, perforce Fought for their ships, while all the Gods look'd on Indignant, who the Grecian cause upheld. Fiercely the Lapithae sustain'd the war: Stout Polypoetes first, Pirithous' son, Smote, through the brass-cheek'd helmet, Damasus; Nor stay'd the brazen helm the spear, whose point Went crashing through the bone, that all the brain Was shatter'd; onward as he rush'd, he fell. Then Pylon next, and Ormenus he slew: Meantime Leonteus, scion true of Mars, Struck with unerring spear Hippomachus, Son of Antimachus, below the waist; Then, drawing from the sheath his trenchant sword, Dash'd through the crowd, and hand to hand he smote Antiphates; he, backward, fell to earth. Menon, Iamenus, Orestes next, In quick succession to the ground he brought. From these while they their glitt'ring armour stripp'd, Round Hector throng'd, and bold Polydamas, The bravest and the best, who long'd the most To storm the wall, and burn with fire the ships. Yet on the margin of the ditch they paus'd; For, as they sought to cross, a sign from Heav'n Appear'd, to leftward of th' astonish'd crowd; A soaring eagle in his talons bore A dragon, huge of size, of blood-red hue, Alive, and breathing still, nor yet subdued; For twisting backward through the breast he pierc'd His bearer, near the neck; he, stung with pain, Let fall his prey, which dropp'd amid the crowd; Then screaming, on the blast was borne away. The Trojans, shudd'ring, in their midst beheld The spotted serpent, dire portent of Jove: Then to bold Hector thus Polydamas: "Hector, in council thou reprov'st me oft For good advice; it is not meet, thou say'st, That private men should talk beside the mark, In council or in war, but study still Thine honour to exalt; yet must I now Declare what seems to me the wisest course: Let us not fight the Greeks beside their ships; For thus I read the future, if indeed To us, about to cross, this sign from Heav'n Was sent, to leftward of th' astonish'd crowd: A soaring eagle, bearing in his claws A dragon, huge of size, of blood-red hue, Alive; yet dropp'd him ere he reach'd his home, Nor to his nestlings bore th' intended prey: So we, e'en though our mighty strength should break The gates and wall, and put the Greeks to rout, By the same road not scatheless should return, But many a Trojan on the field should leave, Slain by the Greeks, while they their ships defend. So would a seer, well vers'd in augury, Worthy of public credit, read this sign."
To whom thus Hector of the glancing helm Replied, with stern regard: "Polydamas, This speech of thine is alien to my soul: Thy better judgment better counsel knows. But if in earnest such is thine advice, Thee of thy senses have the Gods bereft, Who fain wouldst have us disregard the word And promise by the nod of Jove confirm'd, And put our faith in birds' expanded wings; Little of these I reck, nor care to look, If to the right, and tow'rd the morning sun, Or to the left, and shades of night, they fly. Put we our trust in Jove's eternal will, Of mortals and Immortals King supreme. The best of omens is our country's cause. Why shouldst thou tremble at the battle strife? Though ev'ry Trojan else were doom'd to die Beside the ships, no fear lest thou shouldst fall: Unwarlike is thy soul, nor firm of mood: But if thou shrink, or by thy craven words Turn back another Trojan from the fight, My spear shall take the forfeit of thy life."
This said, he led the way; with joyous shouts They follow'd all; then Jove, the lightning's Lord, From Ida's heights a storm of wind sent down, Driving the dust against the Grecian ships; Which quell'd their courage, and to Hector gave, And to the Trojans, fresh incitement; they, On their own strength, and heav'nly signs relying, Their force address'd to storm the Grecian wall. They raz'd the counterscarp, the battlements Destroy'd; and the projecting buttresses, Which, to sustain the tow'rs, the Greeks had fix'd Deep in the soil, with levers undermin'd. These once withdrawn, they hop'd to storm the wall; Nor from the passage yet the Greeks withdrew, But closely fencing with their bull's-hide shields The broken battlements, they thence hurl'd down A storm of weapons on the foe beneath. Commanding from the tow'r in ev'ry place Were seen th' Ajaces, urging to the fight, Imploring these, and those in sterner tones Rebuking, who their warlike toil relax'd.
"Friends, Grecians all, ye who excel in war, And ye of mod'rate or inferior strength, Though all are not with equal pow'rs endued, Yet here is work for all! bear this in mind, Nor tow'rd the ships let any turn his face, By threats dismay'd; but forward press, and each Encourage each, if so the lightning's Lord, Olympian Jove, may grant us to repel, And backward to his city chase the foe."
Thus they, with cheering words, sustain'd the war: Thick as the snow-flakes on a wintry day, When Jove, the Lord of counsel, down on men His snow-storm sends, and manifests his pow'r: Hush'd are the winds; the flakes continuous fall, That the high mountain tops, and jutting crags, And lotus-cover'd meads are buried deep, And man's productive labours of the field; On hoary Ocean's beach and bays they lie, Th' approaching waves their bound; o'er all beside Is spread by Jove the heavy veil of snow. So thickly new the stones from either side, By Greeks on Trojans hurl'd, by these on Greeks; And clatter'd loud through all its length the wall. Nor yet the Trojans, though by Hector led, The gates had broken, and the massive bar, But Jove against the Greeks sent forth his son Sarpedon, as a lion on a herd: His shield's broad orb before his breast he bore, Well-wrought, of beaten brass, which th' arm'rer's hand Had beaten out, and lin'd with stout bull's-hide; With golden rods, continuous, all around; He thus equipp'd, two jav'lins brandishing, Strode onward, as a lion, mountain-bred, Whom, fasting long, his dauntless courage leads To assail the flock, though in well-guarded fold; And though the shepherds there he find, prepar'd With dogs and lances to protect the sheep, Not unattempted will he leave the fold; But, springing to the midst, he bears his prey In triumph thence; or in the onset falls, Wounded by jav'lins hurl'd by stalwart hands: So, prompted by his godlike courage, burn'd Sarpedon to assail the lofty wall, And storm the ramparts; and to Glaucus thus, Son of Hippolochus, his speech address'd:
"Whence is it, Glaucus, that in Lycian land We two at feasts the foremost seats may claim, The largest portions, and the fullest cups? Why held as Gods in honour? why endow'd With ample heritage, by Xanthus' banks, Of vineyard, and of wheat producing land? Then by the Lycians should we not be seen The foremost to affront the raging fight? So may our well-arm'd Lycians make their boast; 'To no inglorious Kings we Lycians owe Allegiance; they on richest viands feed; Of luscious flavour drink the choicest wine; But still their valour brightest shows; and they, Where Lycians war, are foremost in the fight!' O friend! if we, survivors of this war, Could live, from age and death for ever free, Thou shouldst not see me foremost in the fight, Nor would I urge thee to the glorious field: But since on man ten thousand forms of death Attend, which none may 'scape, then on, that we May glory on others gain, or they on us!"
Thus he; nor Glaucus from his bidding shrank; And forward straight they led the Lycian pow'rs. Menestheus, son of Peteus, with dismay Observ'd their movement; for on his command, Inspiring terror, their attack was made. He look'd around him to the Grecian tow'rs, If any chief might there be found, to save His comrades from destruction; there he saw, Of war insatiable, th' Ajaces twain; And Teucer, from the tent but newly come, Hard by; nor yet could reach them with his voice; Such was the din, such tumult rose to Heav'n, From clatt'ring shields, and horsehair-crested helms, And batter'd gates, now all at once assail'd: Before them fiercely strove th' assaulting bands To break their way: he then Thootes sent, His herald, to th' Ajaces, craving aid.
"Haste thee, Thootes, on th' Ajaces call, Both, if it may be; so we best may hope To 'scape the death, which else is near at hand; So fierce the pressure of the Lycian chiefs, Undaunted now, as ever, in the fight. But if they too are hardly press'd, at least Let Ajax, son of Telamon, be spar'd, And with him Teucer, skilled to draw the bow." He said; the herald heard, and straight obey'd; Along the wall, where stood the brass-clad Greeks, He ran, and standing near th' Ajaces, said:
"Ajaces, leaders of the brass-clad Greeks, The son of Heav'n-born Peteus craves your aid. To share awhile the labours of his guard; Both, if it may be; so he best may hope To 'scape the death, which else is near at hand: So fierce the pressure of the Lycian chiefs, Undaunted now, as ever, in the fight. But if ye too are hardly press'd, at least Let Ajax, son of Telamon, be spar'd, And with him Teucer, skill'd to draw the bow."
He said: the mighty son of Telamon Consenting, thus addresss'd Oileus' son: "Ajax, do thou and valiant Lyeomede Exhort the Greeks the struggle to maintain; While I go yonder, to affront the war, To aid their need, and back return in haste."
Thus saying, Ajax Telamon set forth, And with him Teucer went, his father's son, While by Pandion Teucer's bow was borne. At brave Menestheus' tow'r, within the wall, Arriv'd, sore press'd they found the garrison; For like a whirlwind on the ramparts pour'd The Lycians' valiant councillors and chiefs. They quickly join'd the fray, and loud arose The battle-cry; first Ajax Telamon Sarpedon's comrade, brave Epicles, slew, Struck by a rugged stone, within the wall Which lay, the topmost of the parapet, Of size prodigious; which with both his hands A man in youth's full vigour scarce could raise, As men are now; he lifted it on high, And downward hurl'd; the four-peak'd helm it broke, Crushing the bone, and shatt'ring all the skull; He, like a diver, from the lofty tow'r Fell headlong down, and life forsook his bones, Teucer, meanwhile, from off the lofty wall The valiant Glaucus, pressing to the fight, Struck with an arrow, where he saw his arm Unguarded; he no longer brook'd the fray; Back from the wall he sprang, in hopes to hide From Grecian eyes his wound, that none might see, And triumph o'er him with insulting words. With grief Sarpedon saw his friend withdraw, Yet not relax'd his efforts; Thestor's son, Alcmaon, with his spear he stabb'd, and back The weapon drew; he, following, prostrate fell, And loudly rang his arms of polish'd brass. Then at the parapet, with stalwart hand, Sarpedon tugg'd; and yielding to his force Down fell the block entire; the wall laid bare, To many at once the breach gave open way. Ajax and Teucer him at once assail'd; This with an arrow struck the glitt'ring belt Around his breast, whence hung his pond'rous shield; But Jove, who will'd not that his son should fall Before the ships, the weapon turn'd aside. Then forward Ajax sprang, and with his spear Thrust at the shield; the weapon pass'd not through, Yet check'd his bold advance; a little space Back he recoil'd, but not the more withdrew, His soul on glory intent; and rallying quick, Thus to the warlike Lycians shouted loud:
"Why, Lycians, thus your wonted might relax? 'Tis hard for one alone, how brave soe'er, E'en though he break the rampart down, to force A passage to the ships; but on with me! For work is here for many hands to do."
He said; and by the King's rebuke abash'd, With fiercer zeal the Lycians press'd around Their King and councillor; on th' other side Within the wall the Greeks their squadrons mass'd; Then were great deeds achiev'd; nor thro' the breach Could the brave troops of Lycia to the ships Their passage force; nor could the warrior Greeks Repel the Lycians from the ground, where they, Before the wall, had made their footing good. As when two neighbours, in a common field, Each line in hand, within a narrow space, About the limits of their land contend; Between them thus the rampart drew the line; O'er which the full-orb'd shields of tough bull's-hide, And lighter bucklers on the warriors' breasts On either side they clove; and many a wound The pitiless weapons dealt, on some who, turn'd, Their neck and back laid bare; on many more, Who full in front, and through their shields were struck. On ev'ry side the parapet and tow'rs With Greek and Trojan blood were spatter'd o'er. Nor yet, e'en so, the Greeks to flight were driv'n; But as a woman that for wages spins, Honest and true, with wool and weights in hand, In even balance holds the scales, to mete Her humble hire, her children's maintenance; So even hung the balance of the war, Till Jove with highest honour Hector crown'd, The son of Priam; he, the foremost, scal'd The wall, and loudly on the Trojans call'd:
"On, valiant Trojans, on! the Grecian wall Break down, and wrap their ships in blazing fires."
Thus he, exhorting, spoke; they heard him all, And to the wall rush'd numberless, and swarm'd Upon the ramparts, bristling thick with spears. Then Hector, stooping, seiz'd a pond'rous stone That lay before the gates; 'twas broad below, But sharp above; and scarce two lab'ring men, The strongest, from the ground could raise it up, And load upon a wain; as men are now; But he unaided lifted it with ease, So light it seem'd, by grace of Saturn's son. As in one hand a shepherd bears with ease A full-siz'd fleece, and scarcely feels the weight; So Hector tow'rd the portals bore the stone, Which clos'd the lofty double-folding gates, Within defended by two massive bars Laid crosswise, and with one cross bolt secur'd. Close to the gate he stood; and planting firm His foot, to give his arm its utmost pow'r, Full on the middle dash'd the mighty mass. The hinges both gave way; the pond'rous stone Fell inwards; widely gap'd the op'ning gates; Nor might the bars within the blow sustain: This way and that the sever'd portals flew Before the crashing missile; dark as night His low'ring brow, great Hector sprang within; Bright flash'd the brazen armour on his breast, As through the gates, two jav'lins in his hand, He sprang; the Gods except, no pow'r might meet That onset; blaz'd his eyes with lurid fire. Then to the Trojans, turning to the throng, He call'd aloud to scale the lofty wall; They heard, and straight obey'd; some scal'd the wall: Some through the strong-built gates continuous pour'd; While in confusion irretrievable Fled to their ships the panic-stricken Greeks.
END OF VOLUME I.
THE FOURTH BATTLE CONTINUED, IN WHICH NEPTUNE ASSISTS THE GREEKS. THE ACTS OF IDOMENEUS.
Neptune, concerned for the loss of the Grecians, upon seeing the fortification forced by Hector (who had entered the gate near the station of the Ajaces), assumes the shape of Calchas, and inspires those heroes to oppose him; then, in the form of one of the generals, encourages the other Greeks who had retired to their vessels. The Ajaces form their troops into a close phalanx, and put a stop to Hector and the Trojans. Several deeds of valour are performed; Meriones, losing his spear in the encounter, repairs to seek another at the tent of Idomeneus; this occasions a conversation between these two warriors, who return together to the battle. Idomeneus signalizes his courage above the rest; he kills Othryoneus, Asius, and Alcathous; Deiphobus and AEneas march against him, and at length Idomeneus retires. Menelaus wounds Helenus and kills Peisander. The Trojans are repulsed in the left wing. Hector still keeps his ground against the Ajaces, till, being galled by the Locrian slingers and archers, Polydamas advises to call a council of war: Hector approves his advice, but goes first to rally the Trojans; upbraids Paris, rejoins Polydamas, meets Ajax again, and renews the attack.
The eight-and-twentieth day still continues. The scene is between the Grecian wall and the sea-shore.
When Jove had Hector and the Trojans brought Close to the ships, he left them there to toil And strife continuous; turning his keen glance To view far off th' equestrian tribes of Thrace, The warlike Mysians, and the men who feed On milk of mares, thence Hippemolgi term'd; A peaceful race, the justest of mankind. On Troy he turn'd not once his piercing glance; Nor deem'd he any God would dare to give To Trojans or to Greeks his active aid.
No careless watch the monarch Neptune kept: Wond'ring, he view'd the battle, where he sat Aloft on wooded Samos' topmost peak, Samos of Thrace; whence Ida's heights he saw, And Priam's city, and the ships of Greece.
Thither ascended from the sea, he sat; And thence the Greeks, by Trojans overborne, Pitying he saw, and deeply wroth with Jove. Then down the mountain's craggy side he pass'd With rapid step; and as he mov'd along, Beneath th' immortal feet of Ocean's Lord Quak'd the huge mountain and the shadowy wood. Three strides he took; the fourth, he reach'd his goal, AEgae; where on the margin of the bay His temple stood, all glitt'ring, all of gold, Imperishable; there arriv'd, he yok'd Beneath his car the brazen-footed steeds, Of swiftest flight, with manes of flowing gold. All clad in gold, the golden lash he grasp'd Of curious work, and mounting on his car, Skimm'd o'er the waves; from all the depths below Gamboll'd around the monsters of the deep, Acknowledging their King; the joyous sea Parted her waves; swift flew the bounding steeds, Nor was the brazen axle wet with spray, When to the ships of Greece their Lord they bore.
Down in the deep recesses of the sea A spacious cave there is, which lies midway 'Twixt Tenedos and Imbros' rocky isle: Th' Earth-shaking Neptune there his coursers stay'd, Loos'd from the chariot, and before them plac'd Ambrosial provender; and round their feet Shackles of gold, which none might break nor loose, That there they might await their Lord's return; Then to the Grecian army took his way.
Meantime, by Hector, son of Priam, led, Like fire, or whirlwind, press'd the Trojans on, With furious zeal, and shouts and clamour hoarse; In hopes to take the ships, and all the chiefs To slay beside them; but from Ocean's depths Uprose th' Earth-shaker, Circler of the Earth, To Calchas' likeness and deep voice conform'd, And rous'd the fainting Greeks; th' Ajaces first, Themselves with ardour fill'd, he thus address'd: "'Tis yours, Ajaces, fill'd with courage high, Discarding chilly fear, to save the Greeks: Elsewhere I dread not much the Trojan force, Though they in crowds have scal'd the lofty wall; The well-greav'd Greeks their onset may defy. Yet greatly fear I lest we suffer loss, Where that fierce, fiery madman, Hector, leads. Who boasts himself the son of Jove most high. But may some God your hearts inspire, yourselves Firmly to stand, and cheer your comrades on; So from your swiftly-sailing ships ye yet May drive the foe, how bold soe'er he be, Though by Olympian Jove himself upheld."
So spake th' Earth-shaker, Circler of the Earth, And with his sceptre touching both the chiefs, Fill'd them with strength and courage, and their limbs, Their feet and hands, with active vigour strung; Then like a swift-wing'd falcon sprang to flight, Which down the sheer face of some lofty rock Swoops on the plain to seize his feather'd prey: So swiftly Neptune left the chiefs; him first Departing, knew Oileus' active son, And thus the son of Telamon address'd: "Ajax, since some one of th' Olympian Gods, In likeness of a seer, hath hither come To urge us to the war (no Calchas he, Our augur Heav'n-inspir'd; for well I mark'd His movements, as he went; and of a God 'Tis easy to discern the outward signs), I feel fresh spirit kindled in my breast, And new-born vigour in my feet and hands."
Whom answer'd thus the son of Telamon: "My hands too grasp with firmer hold the spear, My spirit like thine is stirr'd; I feel my feet Instinct with fiery life; nor should I fear With Hector, son of Priam, in his might Alone to meet, and grapple to the death."
Such was their mutual converse, as they joy'd In the fierce transport by the God inspir'd. Neptune, meanwhile, the other Greeks arous'd, Who, to the ships withdrawn, their wasted strength Recruited; for their limbs were faint with toil, And grief was in their hearts, as they beheld The Trojan hosts that scal'd the lofty wall; They saw, and from their eyes the teardrops fell, Of safety desp'rate; but th' Earth-shaking God Amid their ranks appearing, soon restor'd Their firm array; to Teucer first he came, To Leitus, and valiant Peneleus, Thoas, Deipyrus, Meriones, And young Antilochus, brave warriors all, And to the chiefs his winged words address'd:
"Shame on ye, Grecian youths! to you I look'd As to our ships' defenders; but if ye Shrink from the perilous battle, then indeed Our day is come, to be by Troy subdu'd. O Heav'n! a sad and wondrous sight is this, A sight I never deem'd my eyes should see, Our ships assail'd by Trojan troops; by those Who heretofore have been as tim'rous hinds Amid the forest depths, the helpless prey Of jackals, pards, and wolves; they here and there, Uncertain, heartless, unresisting, fly: Such were the Trojans once; nor dar'd abide, No, not an hour, the strength and arms of Greece; And these are they, who now beside our ships, Far from their city walls, maintain the fight, Embolden'd by our great commander's fault, And slackness of the people, who, with him Offended, scarce are brought to guard our ships. And, feebly fighting, are beside them slain. E'en though the mighty monarch, Atreus' son, Wide-ruling Agamemnon, be in truth Wholly to blame in this, that he hath wrong'd The son of Peleus, yet 'tis not for us Our courage to relax. Arouse ye then! A brave man's spirit its vigour soon regains. That ye, the best and bravest of the host, Should stand aloof thus idly, 'tis not well; If meaner men should from the battle shrink, I might not blame them; but that such as ye Should falter, indignation fills my soul. Dear friends, from this remissness must accrue Yet greater evils; but with gen'rous shame And keen remorse let each man's breast be fill'd; Fierce is the struggle; in his pride of strength Hector has forc'd the gates and massive bars, And raging, 'mid the ships maintains the war."
Thus Neptune on the Greeks, reproving, call'd: Then round th' Ajaces twain were cluster'd thick The serried files, whose firm array nor Mars, Nor spirit-stirring Pallas might reprove: For there, the bravest all, in order due, Waited the Trojan charge by Hector led: Spear close by spear, and shield by shield o'erlaid, Buckler to buckler press'd, and helm to helm, And man to man; the horsehair plumes above, That nodded on the warriors' glitt'ring crests, Each other touch'd; so closely massed they stood. Backward, by many a stalwart hand, were drawn The spears, in act to hurl; their eyes and minds Turn'd to the front, and eager for the fray. On pour'd the Trojan masses; in the van Hector straight forward urg'd his furious course. As some huge boulder, from its rocky bed Detach'd, and by the wintry torrent's force Hurl'd down the cliff's steep face, when constant rains The massive rock's firm hold have undermin'd; With giant bounds it flies; the crashing wood Resounds beneath it; still it hurries on, Until, arriving at the level plain, Its headlong impulse check'd, it rolls no more; So Hector, threat'ning now through ships and tents, E'en to the sea, to force his murd'rous way, Anon, confronted by that phalanx firm, Halts close before it; while the sons of Greece, With thrust of sword and double-pointed spears, Stave off his onset; he a little space Withdrew, and loudly on the Trojans call'd:
"Trojans, and Lycians, and ye Dardans fam'd In close encounter, stand ye firm! not long The Greeks, though densely mass'd, shall bar my way, But soon, methinks, before my spear shall quail, If from the chief of Gods my mission be, From Jove the Thund'rer, royal Juno's Lord."
His words fresh courage rais'd in ev'ry breast; On loftiest deeds intent, Deiphobus, The son of Priam, from the foremost ranks, His shield's broad orb before him borne, advanc'd With airy step, protected by the shield: At him Meriones with glitt'ring spear Took aim, nor miss'd his mark; the shield's broad orb Of tough bull's-hide it struck; but pass'd not through, For near the head the sturdy shaft was snapp'd. Yet from before his breast Deiphobus Held at arm's length his shield; for much he fear'd The weapon of Meriones; but he Back to his comrades' shelt'ring ranks withdrew, Griev'd at his baffled hopes and broken spear. Then tow'rd the ships he bent his steps, to seek Another spear, which in his tent remain'd. The rest, 'mid wild uproar, maintain'd the fight.
There Teucer first, the son of Telamon, A warrior slew, the son of Mentor, Lord Of num'rous horses, Imbrius, spearman skill'd. In former days, ere came the sons of Greece, He in Pedaeus dwelt, and had to wife Medesicaste, Priam's bastard child; But when the well-trimm'd ships of Greece appear'd, Return'd to Troy; and there, rever'd by all, With Priam dwelt, who lov'd him as a son. Him Teucer with his lance below the ear Stabb'd, and drew back the weapon; down he fell, As by the woodman's axe, on some high peak, Falls a proud ash, conspicuous from afar, Scatt'ring its tender foliage on the ground; He fell; and loud his burnish'd armour rang. Forth Teucer sprang to seize the spoil; at whom, Advancing, Hector aim'd his glitt'ring spear; He saw, and, stooping, shunn'd the brazen death A little space; but through the breast it struck Amphimachus, the son of Cteatus, The son of Actor, hastening to the fight: Thund'ring he fell, and loud his armour rang. Then forward Hector sprang, in hopes to seize The brazen helm, that fitted well the brow Of brave Amphimachus; but Ajax met Th' advance of Hector with his glitt'ring spear; Himself he reach'd not, all in dazzling brass Encas'd; but pressing on his bossy shield Drove by main force beyond where lay the dead: Them both the Greeks withdrew; th' Athenian chiefs Stychius and brave Menestheus, bore away Amid the ranks of Greece Amphimachus; While, as two lions high above the ground Bear through the brushwood in their jaws a goat, Snatch'd from the sharp-fang'd dogs' protecting care: So, fill'd with warlike rage, th' Ajaces twain Lifted on high, and of its armour stripp'd The corpse of Imbrius; and Oileus' son, Griev'd at Amphimachus, his comrade's death, Cut from the tender neck, and like a ball Sent whirling through the crowd the sever'd head; And in the dust at Hector's feet it fell. Then, for his grandson slain, fierce anger fill'd The breast of Neptune; through the tents of Greece And ships he pass'd, the Greeks encouraging, And ills preparing for the sons of Troy. Him met Idomeneus, the warrior King, Leaving a comrade, from the battle field, Wounded behind the knee, but newly brought; Borne by his comrades, to the leech's care He left him, eager to rejoin the fray; Whom by his tent th' Earth-shaking God address'd, The voice assuming of Andraemon's son, Who o'er th' AEtolians, as a God rever'd, In Pleuron reign'd, and lofty Calydon:
"Where now, Idomeneus, sage Cretan chief, Are all the vaunting threats, so freely pour'd Against the Trojans by the sons of Greece?"
To whom the Cretan King, Idomeneus: "Thoas, on none, so far as I may judge, May blame be cast; we all our duties know; Nor see I one by heartless fear restrain'd, Nor hanging back, and flinching from the war: Yet by th' o'erruling will of Saturn's son It seems decreed that here the Greeks should fall, And far from Argos lie in nameless graves. But, Thoas, as thyself art ever staunch, Nor slow the laggards to reprove, thy work Remit not now; but rouse each sev'ral man."
To whom Earth-shaking Neptune thus replied: "Idomeneus, may he from Troy return No more, but here remain to glut the dogs, If such there be, from this day's fight who shrinks. But haste thee, don thine arms; great need is now To hasten, if in aught we two may serve: E'en meaner men, united, courage gain; But we the bravest need not fear to meet."
He said, and to the strife of men return'd. Within his well-constructed tent arriv'd, Straight donn'd Idomeneus his armour bright: Two spears he took; and, like the lightning's flash, Which, as a sign to men, the hand of Jove Hurls downwards from Olympus' glitt'ring heights; Whose dazzling radiance far around is thrown; Flash'd, as the warrior ran, his armour bright. Him met Meriones, his follower brave, Close to the tent; to seek a spear he came; To whom Idomeneus: "Meriones, Swift-footed son of Molus, comrade dear, Why com'st thou here, and leav'st the battle field? Hast thou some wound receiv'd, whereof the pain Subdues thy spirit? or com'st thou, to the field To summon me? unsummon'd, well thou know'st I better love the battle than the tent."
Whom answer'd thus the sage Meriones: "Idomeneus, the brass-clad Cretans' King, I come to seek a spear, if haply such Within thy tent be found; for, in the fight, That which I lately bore, e'en now I broke Against the shield of brave Deiphobus."
To whom Idomeneus, the Cretan King: "Of spears, or one, or twenty, if thou list, Thou there mayst find against the polish'd wall. The spoil of Trojans slain; for with my foes 'Tis not my wont to wage a distant war. Thence have I store of spears, and bossy shields, And crested helms, and breastplates polish'd bright."
Whom answer'd thus the sage Meriones: "Nor are my tent and dark-ribb'd ship devoid Of Trojan spoils; but they are far to seek; Nor deem I that my hand is slack in fight; For 'mid the foremost in the glorious strife I stand, whene'er is heard the battle cry. My deeds by others of the brass-clad Greeks May not be noted; but thou know'st them well."
To whom Idomeneus, the Cretan King: "What need of this? thy prowess well I know; For should we choose our bravest through the fleet To man the secret ambush, surest test Of warriors' courage, where is manifest The diff'rence 'twixt the coward and the brave; (The coward's colour changes, nor his soul Within his breast its even balance keeps, But changing still, from foot to foot he shifts, And in his bosom loudly beats his heart, Expecting death; and chatter all his teeth: The brave man's colour changes not; no fear He knows, the ambush ent'ring; all his pray'r Is that the hour of battle soon may come) E'en there, thy courage none might call in doubt. Shouldst thou from spear or sword receive a wound, Not on thy neck behind, nor on thy back Would fall the blow, but on thy breast, in front, Still pressing onward 'mid the foremost ranks. But come, prolong we not this idle talk, Like babblers vain, who scorn might justly move: Haste to my tent, and there select thy spear."
He said: and from the tent Meriones, Valiant as Mars, his spear selected straight, And, eager for the fray, rejoin'd his chief. As Mars, the bane of men, goes forth to war, Attended by his strong, unfearing son, Terror, who shakes the bravest warrior's soul; They two, from Thrace, against the Ephyri, Or haughty Phlegyans arm; nor hear alike The pray'rs of both the combatants, one side With vict'ry crowning; so to battle went Those leaders twain, in dazzling arms array'd: Then thus Meriones his chief address'd:
"Son of Deucalion, say if on the right, Or on the centre of the gen'ral host, Our onset should be made, or on the left; For there, methinks, most succour need the Greeks."
To whom Idomeneus, the Cretan chief: "Others there are the centre to defend, Th' Ajaces both, and Teucer, of the Greeks Best archer, good too in the standing fight; These may for Hector full employment find, Brave as he is, and eager for the fray; E'en for his courage 'twere a task too hard, Their might to conquer, and resistless hands, And burn the ships, if Saturn's son himself Fire not, and 'mid the shipping throw the torch. Great Ajax Telamon to none would yield, Of mortal birth, by earthly food sustain'd, By spear or pond'rous stone assailable; In hand to hand encounter, scarce surpass'd By Peleus' son Achilles; though with him In speed of foot he might not hope to vie. Then on the left let us our onset make; And quickly learn if we on others' heads Are doom'd to win renown, or they on ours."
He said: and, brave as Mars, Meriones, Thither where he directed, led the way. Now when, attended thus, Idomeneus, Like blazing fire, in dazzling arms appear'd, Around him throng'd, with rallying cries, the Greeks, And rag'd beside the ships the balanc'd fight. As, when the dust lies deepest on the roads, Before the boist'rous winds the storm drives fast, And high at once the whirling clouds are toss'd; So was the fight confus'd; and in the throng Each man with keen desire of slaughter burn'd. Bristled the deadly strife with pond'rous spears, Wielded with dire intent; the brazen gleam Dazzled the sight, by flashing helmets cast, And breastplates polish'd bright, and glitt'ring shields Commingling; stern of heart indeed were he, Who on that sight with joy, not pain, could gaze.
Dire evil then on mortal warriors brought The diverse minds of Saturn's mighty sons: To Hector and the Trojans Jove design'd, In honour of Achilles, swift of foot, To give the vict'ry; yet not utterly He will'd to slay before the walls of Troy The Grecian host; but glory to confer On Thetis and her noble-minded son. Neptune, on th' other side, the Greeks inspir'd, Clandestine rising from the hoary sea; For them before the Trojan host o'erborne He saw with grief, and deeply wroth with Jove. Equal the rank of both, their birth the same, But Jove in wisdom, as in years, the first. Nor ventur'd Neptune openly to aid The cause of Greece; but cloth'd in mortal form, In secret still the army's courage rous'd. This way and that they tugg'd of furious war And balanc'd strife, where many a warrior fell, The straining rope, which none might break or loose. Then, though his hair was grizzl'd o'er with age, Calling the Greeks to aid, Idomeneus, Inspiring terror, on the Trojans sprang, And slew Othryoneus, who but of late Came from Cabesus on the alarm of war; And, welcomed as a guest in Priam's house, The fairest of his daughters sought to wed, No portion asked, Cassandra; mighty deeds He promis'd, from before the walls of Troy In their despite to drive the sons of Greece. The aged Priam listen'd to his snit; And he, his promise trusting, fought for Troy. Him, marching with proud step, Idomeneus Struck with his glitt'ring spear, nor aught avail'd His brazen breastplate; through the middle thrust, Thund'ring he fell: the victor vaunting cried:
"Othryoneus, above all mortal men I hold thee in respect, if thou indeed Wilt make thy words to aged Priam good, Who promis'd thee his daughter in return: We too would offer thee a like reward; And give thee here to wed, from Argos brought, Atrides' fairest daughter, if with us Thou wilt o'erthrow the well-built walls of Troy. Come then, on board our ocean-going ships Discuss the marriage contract; nor shall we Be found illib'ral of our bridal gifts."
He said, and seizing by the foot the slain, Dragg'd from the press; but to the rescue came Asius, himself on foot before his car: So close his charioteer the horses held, They breath'd upon his shoulders; eagerly He sought to reach Idomeneus; but he, Preventing, through his gullet drove the spear, Beneath his chin; right through the weapon pass'd; He fell; as falls an oak, or poplar tall, Or lofty pine, which on the mountain top, For some proud ship, the woodman's axe hath hewn: So he, before the car and horses stretch'd, His death-cry utt'ring, clutch'd the blood-stain'd soil; Bewilder'd, helpless, stood his charioteer; Nor dar'd, escaping from the foemen's hands, To turn his horses: him, Antilochus Beneath the waistband struck; nor aught avail'd His brazen breastplate; through the middle thrust, He, from the well-wrought chariot, gasping, fell. Antilochus, the noble Nestor's son, The horses seiz'd, and from the Trojan ranks Drove to the Grecian camp. For Asius' death Deep griev'd, Deiphobus, approaching, hurl'd Against Idomeneus his glitt'ring spear: The coming weapon he beheld, and shunn'd: Beneath the ample circle of his shield, With hides and brazen plates encircled round, And by two rods sustain'd, conceal'd he stood: Beneath he crouch'd, and o'er him flew the spear: Yet harsh it grated, glancing from the shield; Nor bootless from that stalwart hand it flew, But through the midriff, close below the heart, Hypsenor, son of Hippasus, it struck, And straight relax'd his limbs; then shouting loud, In boastful tone, Deiphobus exclaim'd:
"Not unaveng'd lies Asius; he, methinks, As I have found him fellowship, with joy Thro' Hades' strongly-guarded gates may pass." He said; the Greeks, indignant, heard his boast; Chief, of Antilochus the manly soul Was stirr'd within him; yet amid his grief His comrade not forgetting, up he ran, And o'er him spread the cover of his shield. Meanwhile, two trusty friends, Mecistheus, son Of Echius, and Alastor, rais'd the slain, And deeply groaning bore him to the ships. Nor did Idomeneus his noble rage Abate; still burning o'er some Trojan soul To draw the gloomy veil of night and death; Or, having sav'd the Greeks, himself to fall. Then high-born AEsuetes' son he slew, Alcathous; he, Anchises' son-in-law, The eldest of his daughters had to wife, Hippodamia; by her parents both, O'er all, belov'd; in beauty, skill, and mind, All her compeers surpassing; wife of one, The noblest man through all the breadth of Troy. Him Neptune by Idomeneus subdued; Seal'd his quick eyes, his active limbs restrain'd, Without the pow'r to fly, or shun the spear; Fix'd as a pillar, or a lofty tree, He stood, while through his breast Idomeneus His weapon drove; the brazen mail it broke, Which oft had turn'd aside the stroke of death; Harshly it grated, sever'd by the spear: He fell; the spear-point quiv'ring in his heart, Which with convulsive throbbings shook the shaft. There Mars its course arrested. Then with shouts Of triumph, vaunting, thus Idomeneus:
"How now, Deiphobus? are three for one An equal balance? where are now thy boasts? Come forth, my friend, thyself to me oppos'd; And learn, if here, unworthy my descent From Jove, my great progenitor, I stand. He Minos, guardian chief of Crete, begot; Noble Deucalion was to Minos born, I to Deucalion; far extends my rule In wide-spread Crete; whom now our ships have brought, A bane to thee, thy sire, and Trojans all."
He said; and doubtful stood Deiphobus, Or to retreat, and summon to his aid The Trojans, or alone the venture try. Thus as he mus'd, the wiser course appear'd To seek AEneas; him he found apart, Behind the crowd; for he was still at feud With godlike Priam, who, he thought, withheld The public honour to his valour due. To whom Deiphobus, approaching, thus:
"AEneas, sagest councillor of Troy, Behoves thee now, if rev'rence for the dead Can move thy soul, thy sister's husband aid: Haste we to save Alcathous; who of old, When thou wast little, in thy father's house, Nurs'd thee with tender care; for him, but now, The spear-renown'd Idomeneus hath slain."
He said; AEneas' spirit was rous'd, and fill'd With martial rage he sought Idomeneus. Nor, cowardlike, did he th' encounter shun; But firmly stood, as stands a mountain-boar Self-confident, that in some lonely spot Awaits the clam'rous chase; bristles his back; His eyes with fire are flashing; and his tusks He whets, on men and dogs prepar'd to rush: So stood the spear-renown'd Idomeneus, The onset of AEneas, swift in fight, Awaiting; and the friends he saw around He summon'd to his aid; Ascalaphus, Deipyrus, and brave Meriones, Antilochus and Aphareus; to these, Tried warriors all, he thus addressed his speech:
"Aid me, my friends! alone I stand, and dread The onset of AEneas, swift of foot. Mighty to slay in battle; and the bloom Of youth is his, the crown of human strength; If, as our spirit, our years were but the same, Great glory now should he, or I, obtain." He said; and, one in heart, their bucklers slop'd Upon their shoulders, all beside him stood.
On th' other side, AEneas to his aid Summon'd his brother chiefs, Deiphobus, And Paris, and Agenor; following whom Came on the gen'ral crowd; as flocks of sheep From pasture follow to their drinking-place The lordly ram; well pleas'd the shepherd sees; So pleas'd, AEneas saw the gath'ring crowd. Then o'er Alcathous hand to hand was wag'd The war of spears; dire was the clash of brass Upon the heroes' breasts, as 'mid the press Each aim'd at other; proudly eminent Stood forth two mighty warriors, terrible As Mars, AEneas and Idomeneus, Their sharp spears wielding each at other's life. First at Idomeneus AEneas threw His spear; he saw, and shunn'd the brazen point; And vainly from his stalwart hand dismiss'd, AEneas' spear stood quiv'ring in the ground. Idomeneus in front, below the waist, OEnomaus struck; the weighty spear broke through The hollow breastplate, and th' intestines tore; Prone in the dust he fell, and clutch'd the ground. Forthwith Idomeneus from out the corpse The pond'rous spear withdrew; yet could not strip His armour off; so thickly flew the spears. Nor did his feet retain their youthful force, His weapon to regain, or back to spring. Skill'd in the standing fight his life to guard, He lack'd the active pow'r of swift retreat. At him, retiring slow, Deiphobus, Still fill'd with anger, threw his glitt'ring spear: His aim he miss'd; but through the shoulder pierc'd Ascalaphus, a valiant son of Mars; Prone in the dust he fell, and clutch'd the ground. Nor knew the loud-voic'd, mighty God of War That in the stubborn fight his son had fall'n; On high Olympus, girt with golden clouds, He sat, amid th' Immortals all, restrain'd, By Jove's commands, from mingling in the war. How hand to hand around Ascalaphus Rag'd the fierce conflict: first Deiphobus From off his head the glitt'ring helmet tore; But, terrible as Mars, Meriones Sprang forth, and pierc'd his arm; and from his hand With hollow sound the crested helmet fell. On, like a vulture, sprang Meriones, And from his arm the sturdy spear withdrew; Then backward leap'd amid his comrades' ranks; While round his brother's waist Polites threw His arms, and led him from the battle-field To where, with charioteer and rich-wrought car, Beyond the fight, his flying coursers stood. Him, rack'd with pain, and groaning, while the blood Stream'd down his wounded arm, to Troy they bore. The rest fought on, and loud the tumult rose.
AEneas through the throat of Aphareus, Caletor's son, turn'd sideways tow'rds him, drove His glitt'ring spear; and down on th' other side, His shield and helmet following, sank his head; And o'er his eyes were cast the shades of death. As Thoon turn'd, Antilochus, who watch'd Th' occasion, forward sprang, and with his spear Ripp'd all the flesh that lay along the spine Up to the neck; he backward fell, with hands Uplifted calling for his comrades' aid: But forward sprang Antilochus, and tore His armour from his breast, while round he cast His watchful glances; for on ev'ry side On his broad shield the Trojans show'r'd their blows, But touch'd him not; for Neptune, 'mid the throng Of weapons, threw his guard o'er Nestor's son. Yet not aloof he stood, but in their midst, Commingled; nor held motionless his spear; But ever threat'ning, turn'd from side to side, Prepar'd to hurl, or hand to hand engage. Him Adamas, the son of Asius, marked, As o'er the crowd he glanc'd; and springing forth, Struck with his spear the centre of the shield; But dark-hair'd Neptune grudg'd the hero's life, And stay'd the brazen point; half in the shield, Like a fire-harden'd stake, remained infix'd, The other half lay broken, on the ground. Back to his comrades' shelt'ring ranks he sprang, In hope of safety; but Meriones, Quick-following, plung'd his weapon through his groin, Where sharpest agony to wretched men Attends on death; there planted he his spear: Around the shaft he writh'd, and gasping groan'd, Like to a mountain bull, which, bound with cords, The herdsmen drag along, with struggles vain, Resisting; so the wounded warrior groan'd: But not for long: for fierce Meriones, Approaching, from his body tore the spear, And the dark shades of death his eyes o'erspread. Then Helenus, a weighty Thracian sword Wielding aloft, across the temples smote Deipyrus, and all his helmet crash'd; Which, as it roll'd beneath their feet, some Greek Seiz'd 'mid the press; his eyes were clos'd in death. The valiant Menelaus, Atreus' son, With grief beheld; and royal Helenus With threat'ning mien approaching, pois'd on high His glitt'ring spear, while he the bowstring drew. Then simultaneous flew from either side The gleaming spear, and arrow from the string. The shaft of Priam's son below the breast The hollow cuirass struck, and bounded off; As bound the dark-skinn'd beans, or clatt'ring peas, From the broad fan upon the threshing-floor, By the brisk breeze impell'd, and winnower's force; From noble Menelaus' cuirass so The stinging arrow bounding, glanc'd afar. But valiant Menelaus, Atreus' son, Transfix'd the hand that held the polish'd bow: The brazen point pass'd through, and to the bow The hand was pinn'd; back to his comrades' ranks He sprang, in hope of safety, hanging down The wounded limb, that trail'd the ashen spear. Agenor from the wound the spear withdrew, And with a twisted sling of woollen cloth, By an attendant brought, bound up the hand. To noble Menelaus stood oppos'd Peisander, to the confines dark of death Led by his evil fate, by thee to fall, Great son of Atreus, in the deadly strife. When near they drew, Atrides miss'd his aim, With erring spear divergent; next his shield Peisander struck, but drove not through the spear; For the broad shield resisted, and the shaft Was snapp'd in sunder: Menelaus saw Rejoicing, and with hope of triumph flush'd; Unsheathing then his silver-studded sword Rush'd on Peisander; he beneath his shield Drew forth a pond'rous brazen battle-axe, With handle long, of polish'd olive-wood: And both at once in deadly combat join'd. Then, just below the plume, Peisander struck The crested helmet's peak; but Atreus' son Met him advancing, and across the brow Smote him, above the nose; loud crash'd the bone, And in the dust the gory eyeballs dropp'd Before him; doubled with the pain, he fell: The victor, planting on his chest his foot, Stripp'd off his arms, and thus exulting cried: "Thus shall ye all, insatiate of the fight, Proud Trojans, from before our ships depart; Nor lack your share of insult and of wrong, Such as on me, vile hounds, ye cast erewhile, Nor fear'd th' avenger of the slighted laws Of hospitality, high thund'ring Jove, Who soon your lofty city shall o'erthrow. Kindly receiv'd, my virgin-wedded wife, With store of goods, ye basely bore away; And now ye rage, infuriate, to destroy With fire our ocean-going ships, and slay Our Grecian heroes; but the time shall come When ye too fain would from the war escape. O Father Jove, 'tis said that thou excell'st, In wisdom, Gods and men; all human things From thee proceed; and can it be, that thou With favour seest these men of violence, These Trojans, with presumptuous courage fill'd, Whose rage for the battle knows nor stint nor bound? Men are with all things sated; sleep and love; Sweet sounds of music, and the joyous dance. Of these may some more gladly take their fill; But Trojans still for war, instiate, thirst."
Thus Menelaus; and the blood-stained arms Stripp'd from the corpse, and to his comrades gave; Then join'd again the foremost in the fray. There to th' encounter forth Harpalion sprang, Son of the King Pylaemenes, who came, His father following, to the war of Troy, But back return'd not to his native land. He standing near, full in the centre struck Atrides' shield, but drove not through the spear; Back to his comrades' shelt'ring ranks he sprang In hopes of safety, glancing all around, His body to defend; but as he turn'd, In his right flank a brazen-pointed shaft, Shot by Meriones, was buried deep: Beneath the bone it pass'd, and pierc'd him through. At once he fell; and gasping out his life, Amid his comrades, writhing on the ground Like a crush'd worm he lay; and from the wound The dark blood pouring, drench'd the thirsty soil.
The valiant troops of Paphlagonia clos'd Around him; on his car they plac'd the slain. And deeply sorrowing, to the city bore; His father, weeping, walk'd beside the car,  Nor vengeance for his slaughter'd son obtain'd. Paris with grief and anger saw him fall: For he in former days his guest had been In Paphlagonia; then, with anger fill'd, A brass-tipp'd arrow from his bow he sent.
A certain man there was, Euchenor nam'd, Who dwelt in Corinth; rich, of blameless life, The son of Polyeidus, skilful seer: His fate well knowing, he embark'd; for oft The good old man had told him that his doom Was, or at home by sharp disease to die, Or with the Greeks by Trojan hands to fall. Embarking, he escap'd alike the fine By Greeks impos'd, and pangs of sharp disease. Him Paris smote between the ear and jaw; Swift fled his spirit, and darkness clos'd his eyes. Thus rag'd, like blazing fire, the furious fight.
But nought as yet had Hector heard, nor knew How sorely, leftward of the ships, were press'd The Trojans by the Greeks; and now appear'd Their triumph, sure; such succour Neptune gave, Their courage rousing, and imparting strength. But there he kept, where first the serried ranks Of Greeks he broke, and storm'd the wall and gates; There beach'd beside the hoary sea, the ships Of Ajax and Protesilaus lay; There had the wall been lowest built; and there Were gather'd in defence the chiefest all, Horses and men: the stout Boeotians there, Join'd to th' Ionians with their flowing robes, Loerians, and Phthians, and Epeians proud, Could scarce protect their ships; nor could repel Th' impetuous fire of godlike Hector's charge. There too the choicest troops of Athens fought; Their chief, Menestheus, Peteus' son; with whom Were Pheidas, Stichius, Bias in command; Th' Epeians Meges, Phyleus' son, obey'd, And Dracius and Amphion; Medon next, With brave Podarces led the Phthian host: Medon, the great Oileus' bastard son, Brother of Ajax; he in Phylace, Far from his native land, was driv'n to dwell, Since one to Eriopis near akin, His sire Oileus' wife, his hand had slain. Podarces from Iphiclus claim'd his birth, The son of Phylacus; these two in arms The valiant Phthians leading to the fight, Join'd the Boeotian troops to guard the ships. But from the side of Ajax Telamon Stirr'd not a whit Oileus' active son; But as on fallow-land with one accord, Two dark-red oxen drag the well-wrought plough, Streaming with sweat that gathers round their horns; They by the polish'd yoke together held, The stiff soil cleaving, down the furrow strain; So closely, side by side, those two advanc'd. But comrades, many and brave, on Telamon Attended, who, whene'er with toil and sweat His limbs grew faint, upheld his weighty shield; While in the fray, Oileus' noble son No Locrians follow'd; theirs were not the hearts To brook th' endurance of the standing fight; Nor had they brass-bound helms, with horsehair plume, Nor ample shields they bore, nor ashen spear; But came to Troy, in bows and twisted slings Of woollen cloth confiding; and from these Their bolts quick-show'ring, broke the Trojan ranks. While those, in front, in glitt'ring arms oppos'd The men of Troy, by noble Hector led: These, in the rear, unseen, their arrows shot. Nor stood the Trojans; for amid their ranks The galling arrows dire confusion spread. Then had the Trojans from the ships and tents Back to the breezy heights of Troy been driv'n In flight disastrous; but Polydamas Drew near to Hector, and address'd him thus: