The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Fall of Troy

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Fall of Troy

Author: active 4th century Smyrnaeus Quintus

Translator: Arthur S. Way

Release date: September 1, 1996 [eBook #658]
Most recently updated: January 1, 2021

Language: English


Produced by Douglas B. Killings.

The Fall of Troy


Quintus Smyrnaeus

("Quintus of Smyrna")

Fl. 4th Century A.D.

Originally written in Greek, sometime about the middle of the 4th
Century A.D. Translation by A.S. Way, 1913.



Way, A.S. (Ed. & Trans.): "Quintus Smyrnaeus: The Fall of Troy" (Loeb Classics #19; Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1913). Greek text with side-by-side English translation.


Combellack, Frederick M. (Trans.): "The War at Troy: What Homer
Didn't Tell" (University of Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1968).


Fitzgerald, Robert (Trans.): "Homer: The Iliad" (Viking Press,
New York, 1968).



Homer's "Iliad" begins towards the close of the last of the ten years of the Trojan War: its incidents extend over some fifty days only, and it ends with the burial of Hector. The things which came before and after were told by other bards, who between them narrated the whole "cycle" of the events of the war, and so were called the Cyclic Poets. Of their works none have survived; but the story of what befell between Hector's funeral and the taking of Troy is told in detail, and well told, in a poem about half as long as the "Iliad". Some four hundred years after Christ there lived at Smyrna a poet of whom we know scarce anything, save that his first name was Quintus. He had saturated himself with the spirit of Homer, he had caught the ring of his music, and he perhaps had before him the works of those Cyclic Poets whose stars had paled before the sun.

We have practically no external evidence as to the date or place of birth of Quintus of Smyrna, or for the sources whence he drew his materials. His date is approximately settled by two passages in the poem, viz. vi. 531 sqq., in which occurs an illustration drawn from the man-and-beast fights of the amphitheatre, which were suppressed by Theodosius I. (379-395 A.D.); and xiii. 335 sqq., which contains a prophecy, the special particularity of which, it is maintained by Koechly, limits its applicability to the middle of the fourth century A.D.

His place of birth, and the precise locality, is given by himself in xii. 308-313, and confirmatory evidence is afforded by his familiarity, of which he gives numerous instances, with many natural features of the western part of Asia Minor.

With respect to his authorities, and the use he made of their writings, there has been more difference of opinion. Since his narrative covers the same ground as the "Aethiopis" ("Coming of Memnon") and the "Iliupersis" ("Destruction of Troy") of Arctinus (circ. 776 B.C.), and the "Little Iliad" of Lesches (circ. 700 B.C.), it has been assumed that the work of Quintus "is little more than an amplification or remodelling of the works of these two Cyclic Poets." This, however, must needs be pure conjecture, as the only remains of these poets consist of fragments amounting to no more than a very few lines from each, and of the "summaries of contents" made by the grammarian Proclus (circ. 140 A.D.), which, again, we but get at second-hand through the "Bibliotheca" of Photius (ninth century). Now, not merely do the only descriptions of incident that are found in the fragments differ essentially from the corresponding incidents as described by Quintus, but even in the summaries, meagre as they are, we find, as German critics have shown by exhaustive investigation, serious discrepancies enough to justify us in the conclusion that, even if Quintus had the works of the Cyclic poets before him, which is far from certain, his poem was no mere remodelling of theirs, but an independent and practically original work. Not that this conclusion disposes by any means of all difficulties. If Quintus did not follow the Cyclic poets, from what source did he draw his materials? The German critic unhesitatingly answers, "from Homer." As regards language, versification, and general spirit, the matter is beyond controversy; but when we come to consider the incidents of the story, we find deviations from Homer even more serious than any of those from the Cyclic poets. And the strange thing is, that each of these deviations is a manifest detriment to the perfection of his poem; in each of them the writer has missed, or has rejected, a magnificent opportunity. With regard to the slaying of Achilles by the hand of Apollo only, and not by those of Apollo and Paris, he might have pleaded that Homer himself here speaks with an uncertain voice (cf. "Iliad" xv. 416-17, xxii. 355-60, and xxi. 277-78). But, in describing the fight for the body of Achilles ("Odyssey" xxiv. 36 sqq.), Homer makes Agamemnon say:

     "So we grappled the livelong day, and we had not refrained
          us then,
     But Zeus sent a hurricane, stilling the storm of the battle
          of men."

Now, it is just in describing such natural phenomena, and in blending them with the turmoil of battle, that Quintus is in his element; yet for such a scene he substitutes what is, by comparison, a lame and impotent conclusion. Of that awful cry that rang over the sea heralding the coming of Thetis and the Nymphs to the death-rites of her son, and the panic with which it filled the host, Quintus is silent. Again, Homer ("Odyssey" iv. 274-89) describes how Helen came in the night with Deiphobus, and stood by the Wooden Horse, and called to each of the hidden warriors with the voice of his own wife. This thrilling scene Quintus omits, and substitutes nothing of his own. Later on, he makes Menelaus slay Deiphobus unresisting, "heavy with wine," whereas Homer ("Odyssey" viii. 517-20) makes him offer such a magnificent resistance, that Odysseus and Menelaus together could not kill him without the help of Athena. In fact, we may say that, though there are echoes of the "Iliad" all through the poem, yet, wherever Homer has, in the "Odyssey", given the outline-sketch of an effective scene, Quintus has uniformly neglected to develop it, has sometimes substituted something much weaker—as though he had not the "Odyssey" before him!

For this we have no satisfactory explanation to offer. He may have set his own judgment above Homer—a most unlikely hypothesis: he may have been consistently following, in the framework of his story, some original now lost to us: there may be more, and longer, lacunae in the text than any editors have ventured to indicate: but, whatever theory we adopt, it must be based on mere conjecture.

The Greek text here given is that of Koechly (1850) with many of Zimmermann's emendations, which are acknowledged in the notes. Passages enclosed in square brackets are suggestions of Koechly for supplying the general sense of lacunae. Where he has made no such suggestion, or none that seemed to the editors to be adequate, the lacuna has been indicated by asterisks, though here too a few words have been added in the translation, sufficient to connect the sense.

—A. S. Way



    I How died for Troy the Queen of the Amazons,
   II How Memnon, Son of the Dawn, for Troy's sake fell
       in the Battle.
  III How by the shaft of a God laid low was Hero Achilles.
   IV How in the Funeral Games of Achilles heroes contended.
    V How the Arms of Achilles were cause of madness and
       death unto Aias.
   VI How came for the helping of Troy Eurypylus,
       Hercules' grandson.
  VII How the Son of Achilles was brought to the War
       from the Isle of Scyros.
 VIII How Hercules' Grandson perished in fight with the
       Son of Achilles.
   IX How from his long lone exile returned to the war
    X How Paris was stricken to death, and in vain sought
       help of Oenone.
   XI How the sons of Troy for the last time fought from
       her walls and her towers.
  XII How the Wooden Horse was fashioned, and brought
       into Troy by her people.
 XIII How Troy in the night was taken and sacked with fire
       and slaughter.
  XIV How the conquerors sailed from Troy unto judgment
       of tempest and shipwreck.


How died for Troy the Queen of the Amazons, Penthesileia.

  When godlike Hector by Peleides slain
  Passed, and the pyre had ravined up his flesh,
  And earth had veiled his bones, the Trojans then
  Tarried in Priam's city, sore afraid
  Before the might of stout-heart Aeacus' son:
  As kine they were, that midst the copses shrink
  From faring forth to meet a lion grim,
  But in dense thickets terror-huddled cower;
  So in their fortress shivered these to see
  That mighty man. Of those already dead
  They thought of all whose lives he reft away
  As by Scamander's outfall on he rushed,
  And all that in mid-flight to that high wall
  He slew, how he quelled Hector, how he haled
  His corse round Troy;—yea, and of all beside
  Laid low by him since that first day whereon
  O'er restless seas he brought the Trojans doom.
  Ay, all these they remembered, while they stayed
  Thus in their town, and o'er them anguished grief
  Hovered dark-winged, as though that very day
  All Troy with shrieks were crumbling down in fire.

  Then from Thermodon, from broad-sweeping streams,
  Came, clothed upon with beauty of Goddesses,
  Penthesileia—came athirst indeed
  For groan-resounding battle, but yet more
  Fleeing abhorred reproach and evil fame,
  Lest they of her own folk should rail on her
  Because of her own sister's death, for whom
  Ever her sorrows waxed, Hippolyte,
  Whom she had struck dead with her mighty spear,
  Not of her will—'twas at a stag she hurled.
  So came she to the far-famed land of Troy.
  Yea, and her warrior spirit pricked her on,
  Of murder's dread pollution thus to cleanse
  Her soul, and with such sacrifice to appease
  The Awful Ones, the Erinnyes, who in wrath
  For her slain sister straightway haunted her
  Unseen: for ever round the sinner's steps
  They hover; none may 'scape those Goddesses.
  And with her followed twelve beside, each one
  A princess, hot for war and battle grim,
  Far-famous each, yet handmaids unto her:
  Penthesileia far outshone them all.
  As when in the broad sky amidst the stars
  The moon rides over all pre-eminent,
  When through the thunderclouds the cleaving heavens
  Open, when sleep the fury-breathing winds;
  So peerless was she mid that charging host.
  Clonie was there, Polemusa, Derinoe,
  Evandre, and Antandre, and Bremusa,
  Hippothoe, dark-eyed Harmothoe,
  Alcibie, Derimacheia, Antibrote,
  And Thermodosa glorying with the spear.
  All these to battle fared with warrior-souled
  Penthesileia: even as when descends
  Dawn from Olympus' crest of adamant,
  Dawn, heart-exultant in her radiant steeds
  Amidst the bright-haired Hours; and o'er them all,
  How flawless-fair soever these may be,
  Her splendour of beauty glows pre-eminent;
  So peerless amid all the Amazons Unto
  Troy-town Penthesileia came.
  To right, to left, from all sides hurrying thronged
  The Trojans, greatly marvelling, when they saw
  The tireless War-god's child, the mailed maid,
  Like to the Blessed Gods; for in her face
  Glowed beauty glorious and terrible.
  Her smile was ravishing: beneath her brows
  Her love-enkindling eyes shone like to stars,
  And with the crimson rose of shamefastness
  Bright were her cheeks, and mantled over them
  Unearthly grace with battle-prowess clad.

  Then joyed Troy's folk, despite past agonies,
  As when, far-gazing from a height, the hinds
  Behold a rainbow spanning the wide sea,
  When they be yearning for the heaven-sent shower,
  When the parched fields be craving for the rain;
  Then the great sky at last is overgloomed,
  And men see that fair sign of coming wind
  And imminent rain, and seeing, they are glad,
  Who for their corn-fields' plight sore sighed before;
  Even so the sons of Troy when they beheld
  There in their land Penthesileia dread
  Afire for battle, were exceeding glad;
  For when the heart is thrilled with hope of good,
  All smart of evils past is wiped away:
  So, after all his sighing and his pain,
  Gladdened a little while was Priam's soul.
  As when a man who hath suffered many a pang
  From blinded eyes, sore longing to behold
  The light, and, if he may not, fain would die,
  Then at the last, by a cunning leech's skill,
  Or by a God's grace, sees the dawn-rose flush,
  Sees the mist rolled back from before his eyes,—
  Yea, though clear vision come not as of old,
  Yet, after all his anguish, joys to have
  Some small relief, albeit the stings of pain
  Prick sharply yet beneath his eyelids;—so
  Joyed the old king to see that terrible queen—
  The shadowy joy of one in anguish whelmed
  For slain sons. Into his halls he led the Maid,
  And with glad welcome honoured her, as one
  Who greets a daughter to her home returned
  From a far country in the twentieth year;
  And set a feast before her, sumptuous
  As battle-glorious kings, who have brought low
  Nations of foes, array in splendour of pomp,
  With hearts in pride of victory triumphing.
  And gifts he gave her costly and fair to see,
  And pledged him to give many more, so she
  Would save the Trojans from the imminent doom.
  And she such deeds she promised as no man
  Had hoped for, even to lay Achilles low,
  To smite the wide host of the Argive men,
  And cast the brands red-flaming on the ships.
  Ah fool!—but little knew she him, the lord
  Of ashen spears, how far Achilles' might
  In warrior-wasting strife o'erpassed her own!

  But when Andromache, the stately child
  Of king Eetion, heard the wild queen's vaunt,
  Low to her own soul bitterly murmured she:
  "Ah hapless! why with arrogant heart dost thou
  Speak such great swelling words? No strength is thine
  To grapple in fight with Peleus' aweless son.
  Nay, doom and swift death shall he deal to thee.
  Alas for thee! What madness thrills thy soul?
  Fate and the end of death stand hard by thee!
  Hector was mightier far to wield the spear
  Than thou, yet was for all his prowess slain,
  Slain for the bitter grief of Troy, whose folk
  The city through looked on him as a God.
  My glory and his noble parents' glory
  Was he while yet he lived—O that the earth
  Over my dead face had been mounded high,
  Or ever through his throat the breath of life
  Followed the cleaving spear! But now have I
  Looked—woe is me!—on grief unutterable,
  When round the city those fleet-footed steeds
  Haled him, steeds of Achilles, who had made
  Me widowed of mine hero-husband, made
  My portion bitterness through all my days."

  So spake Eetion's lovely-ankled child
  Low to her own soul, thinking on her lord.
  So evermore the faithful-hearted wife
  Nurseth for her lost love undying grief.

  Then in swift revolution sweeping round
  Into the Ocean's deep stream sank the sun,
  And daylight died. So when the banqueters
  Ceased from the wine-cup and the goodly feast,
  Then did the handmaids spread in Priam's halls
  For Penthesileia dauntless-souled the couch
  Heart-cheering, and she laid her down to rest;
  And slumber mist-like overveiled her eyes [depths
  Like sweet dew dropping round. From heavens' blue
  Slid down the might of a deceitful dream
  At Pallas' hest, that so the warrior-maid
  Might see it, and become a curse to Troy
  And to herself, when strained her soul to meet;
  The whirlwind of the battle. In this wise
  The Trito-born, the subtle-souled, contrived:
  Stood o'er the maiden's head that baleful dream
  In likeness of her father, kindling her
  Fearlessly front to front to meet in fight
  Fleetfoot Achilles. And she heard the voice,
  And all her heart exulted, for she weened
  That she should on that dawning day achieve
  A mighty deed in battle's deadly toil
  Ah, fool, who trusted for her sorrow a dream
  Out of the sunless land, such as beguiles
  Full oft the travail-burdened tribes of men,
  Whispering mocking lies in sleeping ears,
  And to the battle's travail lured her then!

  But when the Dawn, the rosy-ankled, leapt
  Up from her bed, then, clad in mighty strength
  Of spirit, suddenly from her couch uprose
  Penthesileia. Then did she array
  Her shoulders in those wondrous-fashioned arms
  Given her of the War-god. First she laid
  Beneath her silver-gleaming knees the greaves
  Fashioned of gold, close-clipping the strong limbs.
  Her rainbow-radiant corslet clasped she then
  About her, and around her shoulders slung,
  With glory in her heart, the massy brand
  Whose shining length was in a scabbard sheathed
  Of ivory and silver. Next, her shield
  Unearthly splendid, caught she up, whose rim
  Swelled like the young moon's arching chariot-rail
  When high o'er Ocean's fathomless-flowing stream
  She rises, with the space half filled with light
  Betwixt her bowing horns. So did it shine
  Unutterably fair. Then on her head
  She settled the bright helmet overstreamed
  With a wild mane of golden-glistering hairs.
  So stood she, lapped about with flaming mail,
  In semblance like the lightning, which the might,
  The never-wearied might of Zeus, to earth
  Hurleth, what time he showeth forth to men
  Fury of thunderous-roaring rain, or swoop
  Resistless of his shouting host of winds.
  Then in hot haste forth of her bower to pass
  Caught she two javelins in the hand that grasped
  Her shield-band; but her strong right hand laid hold
  On a huge halberd, sharp of either blade,
  Which terrible Eris gave to Ares' child
  To be her Titan weapon in the strife
  That raveneth souls of men. Laughing for glee
  Thereover, swiftly flashed she forth the ring
  Of towers. Her coming kindled all the sons
  Of Troy to rush into the battle forth
  Which crowneth men with glory. Swiftly all
  Hearkened her gathering-ery, and thronging came,
  Champions, yea, even such as theretofore
  Shrank back from standing in the ranks of war
  Against Achilles the all-ravager.
  But she in pride of triumph on she rode
  Throned on a goodly steed and fleet, the gift
  Of Oreithyia, the wild North-wind's bride,
  Given to her guest the warrior-maid, what time
  She came to Thrace, a steed whose flying feet
  Could match the Harpies' wings. Riding thereon
  Penthesileia in her goodlihead
  Left the tall palaces of Troy behind.
  And ever were the ghastly-visaged Fates
  Thrusting her on into the battle, doomed
  To be her first against the Greeks—and last!
  To right, to left, with unreturning feet
  The Trojan thousands followed to the fray,
  The pitiless fray, that death-doomed warrior-maid,
  Followed in throngs, as follow sheep the ram
  That by the shepherd's art strides before all.
  So followed they, with battle-fury filled,
  Strong Trojans and wild-hearted Amazons.
  And like Tritonis seemed she, as she went
  To meet the Giants, or as flasheth far
  Through war-hosts Eris, waker of onset-shouts.
  So mighty in the Trojans' midst she seemed,
  Penthesileia of the flying feet.

  Then unto Cronos' Son Laomedon's child
  Upraised his hands, his sorrow-burdened hands,
  Turning him toward the sky-encountering fane
  Of Zeus of Ida, who with sleepless eyes
  Looks ever down on Ilium; and he prayed:
  "Father, give ear! Vouchsafe that on this day
  Achaea's host may fall before the hands
  Of this our warrior-queen, the War-god's child;
  And do thou bring her back unscathed again
  Unto mine halls: we pray thee by the love
  Thou bear'st to Ares of the fiery heart
  Thy son, yea, to her also! is she not
  Most wondrous like the heavenly Goddesses?
  And is she not the child of thine own seed?
  Pity my stricken heart withal! Thou know'st
  All agonies I have suffered in the deaths
  Of dear sons whom the Fates have torn from me
  By Argive hands in the devouring fight.
  Compassionate us, while a remnant yet
  Remains of noble Dardanus' blood, while yet
  This city stands unwasted! Let us know
  From ghastly slaughter and strife one breathing-space!"

  In passionate prayer he spake:—lo, with shrill scream
  Swiftly to left an eagle darted by
  And in his talons bare a gasping dove.
  Then round the heart of Priam all the blood
  Was chilled with fear. Low to his soul he said:
  "Ne'er shall I see return alive from war
  Penthesileia!" On that selfsame day
  The Fates prepared his boding to fulfil;
  And his heart brake with anguish of despair.

  Marvelled the Argives, far across the plain
  Seeing the hosts of Troy charge down on them,
  And midst them Penthesileia, Ares' child.
  These seemed like ravening beasts that mid the hills
  Bring grimly slaughter to the fleecy flocks;
  And she, as a rushing blast of flame she seemed
  That maddeneth through the copses summer-scorched,
  When the wind drives it on; and in this wise
  Spake one to other in their mustering host:
  "Who shall this be who thus can rouse to war
  The Trojans, now that Hector hath been slain—
  These who, we said, would never more find heart
  To stand against us? Lo now, suddenly
  Forth are they rushing, madly afire for fight!
  Sure, in their midst some great one kindleth them
  To battle's toil! Thou verily wouldst say
  This were a God, of such great deeds he dreams!
  Go to, with aweless courage let us arm
  Our own breasts: let us summon up our might
  In battle-fury. We shall lack not help
  Of Gods this day to close in fight with Troy."

  So cried they; and their flashing battle-gear
  Cast they about them: forth the ships they poured
  Clad in the rage of fight as with a cloak.
  Then front to front their battles closed, like beasts
  Of ravin, locked in tangle of gory strife.
  Clanged their bright mail together, clashed the spears,
  The corslets, and the stubborn-welded shields
  And adamant helms. Each stabbed at other's flesh
  With the fierce brass: was neither ruth nor rest,
  And all the Trojan soil was crimson-red.

  Then first Penthesileia smote and slew
  Molion; now Persinous falls, and now
  Eilissus; reeled Antitheus 'neath her spear
  The pride of Lernus quelled she: down she bore
  Hippalmus 'neath her horse-hoofs; Haemon's son
  Died; withered stalwart Elasippus' strength.
  And Derinoe laid low Laogonus,
  And Clonie Menippus, him who sailed
  Long since from Phylace, led by his lord
  Protesilaus to the war with Troy.
  Then was Podarces, son of Iphiclus,
  Heart-wrung with ruth and wrath to see him lie
  Dead, of all battle-comrades best-beloved.
  Swiftly at Clonie he hurled, the maid
  Fair as a Goddess: plunged the unswerving lance
  'Twixt hip and hip, and rushed the dark blood forth
  After the spear, and all her bowels gushed out.
  Then wroth was Penthesileia; through the brawn
  Of his right arm she drave the long spear's point,
  She shore atwain the great blood-brimming veins,
  And through the wide gash of the wound the gore
  Spirted, a crimson fountain. With a groan
  Backward he sprang, his courage wholly quelled
  By bitter pain; and sorrow and dismay
  Thrilled, as he fled, his men of Phylace.
  A short way from the fight he reeled aside,
  And in his friends' arms died in little space.
  Then with his lance Idomeneus thrust out,
  And by the right breast stabbed Bremusa. Stilled
  For ever was the beating of her heart.
  She fell, as falls a graceful-shafted pine
  Hewn mid the hills by woodmen: heavily,
  Sighing through all its boughs, it crashes down.
  So with a wailing shriek she fell, and death
  Unstrung her every limb: her breathing soul
  Mingled with multitudinous-sighing winds.
  Then, as Evandre through the murderous fray
  With Thermodosa rushed, stood Meriones,
  A lion in the path, and slew: his spear
  Right to the heart of one he drave, and one
  Stabbed with a lightning sword-thrust 'twixt the hips:
  Leapt through the wounds the life, and fled away.
  Oileus' fiery son smote Derinoe
  'Twixt throat and shoulder with his ruthless spear;
  And on Alcibie Tydeus' terrible son
  Swooped, and on Derimacheia: head with neck
  Clean from the shoulders of these twain he shore
  With ruin-wreaking brand. Together down
  Fell they, as young calves by the massy axe
  Of brawny flesher felled, that, shearing through
  The sinews of the neck, lops life away.
  So, by the hands of Tydeus' son laid low
  Upon the Trojan plain, far, far away
  From their own highland-home, they fell. Nor these
  Alone died; for the might of Sthenelus
  Down on them hurled Cabeirus' corse, who came
  From Sestos, keen to fight the Argive foe,
  But never saw his fatherland again.
  Then was the heart of Paris filled with wrath
  For a friend slain. Full upon Sthenelus
  Aimed he a shaft death-winged, yet touched him not,
  Despite his thirst for vengeance: otherwhere
  The arrow glanced aside, and carried death
  Whither the stern Fates guided its fierce wing,
  And slew Evenor brazen-tasleted,
  Who from Dulichium came to war with Troy.
  For his death fury-kindled was the son
  Of haughty Phyleus: as a lion leaps
  Upon the flock, so swiftly rushed he: all
  Shrank huddling back before that terrible man.
  Itymoneus he slew, and Hippasus' son
  Agelaus: from Miletus brought they war
  Against the Danaan men by Nastes led,
  The god-like, and Amphimachus mighty-souled.
  On Mycale they dwelt; beside their home
  Rose Latmus' snowy crests, stretched the long glens
  Of Branchus, and Panormus' water-meads.
  Maeander's flood deep-rolling swept thereby,
  Which from the Phrygian uplands, pastured o'er
  By myriad flocks, around a thousand forelands
  Curls, swirls, and drives his hurrying ripples on
  Down to the vine-clad land of Carian men
  These mid the storm of battle Meges slew,
  Nor these alone, but whomsoe'er his lance
  Black-shafted touched, were dead men; for his breast
  The glorious Trito-born with courage thrilled
  To bring to all his foes the day of doom.
  And Polypoetes, dear to Ares, slew
  Dresaeus, whom the Nymph Neaera bare
  To passing-wise Theiodamas for these
  Spread was the bed of love beside the foot
  Of Sipylus the Mountain, where the Gods
  Made Niobe a stony rock, wherefrom
  Tears ever stream: high up, the rugged crag
  Bows as one weeping, weeping, waterfalls
  Cry from far-echoing Hermus, wailing moan
  Of sympathy: the sky-encountering crests
  Of Sipylus, where alway floats a mist
  Hated of shepherds, echo back the cry.
  Weird marvel seems that Rock of Niobe
  To men that pass with feet fear-goaded: there
  They see the likeness of a woman bowed,
  In depths of anguish sobbing, and her tears
  Drop, as she mourns grief-stricken, endlessly.
  Yea, thou wouldst say that verily so it was,
  Viewing it from afar; but when hard by
  Thou standest, all the illusion vanishes;
  And lo, a steep-browed rock, a fragment rent
  From Sipylus—yet Niobe is there,
  Dreeing her weird, the debt of wrath divine,
  A broken heart in guise of shattered stone.

  All through the tangle of that desperate fray
  Stalked slaughter and doom. The incarnate Onset-shout
  Raved through the rolling battle; at her side
  Paced Death the ruthless, and the Fearful Faces,
  The Fates, beside them strode, and in red hands
  Bare murder and the groans of dying men.
  That day the beating of full many a heart,
  Trojan and Argive, was for ever stilled,
  While roared the battle round them, while the fury
  Of Penthesileia fainted not nor failed;
  But as amid long ridges of lone hills
  A lioness, stealing down a deep ravine,
  Springs on the kine with lightning leap, athirst
  For blood wherein her fierce heart revelleth;
  So on the Danaans leapt that warrior-maid.
  And they, their souls were cowed: backward they shrank,
  And fast she followed, as a towering surge
  Chases across the thunder-booming sea
  A flying bark, whose white sails strain beneath
  The wind's wild buffering, and all the air
  Maddens with roaring, as the rollers crash
  On a black foreland looming on the lee
  Where long reefs fringe the surf-tormented shores.
  So chased she, and so dashed the ranks asunder
  Triumphant-souled, and hurled fierce threats before:
  "Ye dogs, this day for evil outrage done
  To Priam shall ye pay! No man of you
  Shall from mine hands deliver his own life,
  And win back home, to gladden parents eyes,
  Or comfort wife or children. Ye shall lie
  Dead, ravined on by vultures and by wolves,
  And none shall heap the earth-mound o'er your clay.
  Where skulketh now the strength of Tydeus' son,
  And where the might of Aeacus' scion?
  Where is Aias' bulk? Ye vaunt them mightiest men
  Of all your rabble. Ha! they will not dare
  With me to close in battle, lest I drag
  Forth from their fainting frames their craven souls!"

  Then heart-uplifted leapt she on the foe,
  Resistless as a tigress, crashing through
  Ranks upon ranks of Argives, smiting now
  With that huge halberd massy-headed, now
  Hurling the keen dart, while her battle-horse
  Flashed through the fight, and on his shoulder bare
  Quiver and bow death-speeding, close to her hand,
  If mid that revel of blood she willed to speed
  The bitter-biting shaft. Behind her swept
  The charging lines of men fleet-footed, friends
  And brethren of the man who never flinched
  From close death-grapple, Hector, panting all
  The hot breath of the War-god from their breasts,
  All slaying Danaans with the ashen spear,
  Who fell as frost-touched leaves in autumn fall
  One after other, or as drops of rain.
  And aye went up a moaning from earth's breast
  All blood-bedrenched, and heaped with corse on corse.
  Horses pierced through with arrows, or impaled
  On spears, were snorting forth their last of strength
  With screaming neighings. Men, with gnashing teeth
  Biting the dust, lay gasping, while the steeds
  Of Trojan charioteers stormed in pursuit,
  Trampling the dying mingled with the dead
  As oxen trample corn in threshing-floors.

  Then one exulting boasted mid the host
  Of Troy, beholding Penthesileia rush
  On through the foes' array, like the black storm
  That maddens o'er the sea, what time the sun
  Allies his might with winter's Goat-horned Star;
  And thus, puffed up with vain hope, shouted he:
  "O friends, in manifest presence down from heaven
  One of the deathless Gods this day hath come
  To fight the Argives, all of love for us,
  Yea, and with sanction of almighty Zeus,
  He whose compassion now remembereth
  Haply strong-hearted Priam, who may boast
  For his a lineage of immortal blood.
  For this, I trow, no mortal woman seems,
  Who is so aweless-daring, who is clad
  In splendour-flashing arms: nay, surely she
  Shall be Athene, or the mighty-souled
  Enyo—haply Eris, or the Child
  Of Leto world-renowned. O yea, I look
  To see her hurl amid yon Argive men
  Mad-shrieking slaughter, see her set aflame
  Yon ships wherein they came long years agone
  Bringing us many sorrows, yea, they came
  Bringing us woes of war intolerable.
  Ha! to the home-land Hellas ne'er shall these
  With joy return, since Gods on our side fight."

  In overweening exultation so
  Vaunted a Trojan. Fool!—he had no vision
  Of ruin onward rushing upon himself
  And Troy, and Penthesileia's self withal.
  For not as yet had any tidings come
  Of that wild fray to Aias stormy-souled,
  Nor to Achilles, waster of tower and town.
  But on the grave-mound of Menoetius' son
  They twain were lying, with sad memories
  Of a dear comrade crushed, and echoing
  Each one the other's groaning. One it was
  Of the Blest Gods who still was holding back
  These from the battle-tumult far away,
  Till many Greeks should fill the measure up
  Of woeful havoc, slain by Trojan foes
  And glorious Penthesileia, who pursued
  With murderous intent their rifled ranks,
  While ever waxed her valour more and more,
  And waxed her might within her: never in vain
  She aimed the unswerving spear-thrust: aye she pierced
  The backs of them that fled, the breasts of such
  As charged to meet her. All the long shaft dripped
  With steaming blood. Swift were her feet as wind
  As down she swooped. Her aweless spirit failed
  For weariness nor fainted, but her might
  Was adamantine. The impending Doom,
  Which roused unto the terrible strife not yet
  Achilles, clothed her still with glory; still
  Aloof the dread Power stood, and still would shed
  Splendour of triumph o'er the death-ordained
  But for a little space, ere it should quell
  That Maiden 'neath the hands of Aeaeus' son.
  In darkness ambushed, with invisible hand
  Ever it thrust her on, and drew her feet
  Destruction-ward, and lit her path to death
  With glory, while she slew foe after foe.
  As when within a dewy garden-close,
  Longing for its green springtide freshness, leaps
  A heifer, and there rangeth to and fro,
  When none is by to stay her, treading down
  All its green herbs, and all its wealth of bloom,
  Devouring greedily this, and marring that
  With trampling feet; so ranged she, Ares' child,
  Through reeling squadrons of Achaea's sons,
  Slew these, and hunted those in panic rout.

  From Troy afar the women marvelling gazed
  At the Maid's battle-prowess. Suddenly
  A fiery passion for the fray hath seized
  Antimachus' daughter, Meneptolemus' wife,
  Tisiphone. Her heart waxed strong, and filled
  With lust of fight she cried to her fellows all,
  With desperate-daring words, to spur them on
  To woeful war, by recklessness made strong.
  "Friends, let a heart of valour in our breasts
  Awake! Let us be like our lords, who fight
  With foes for fatherland, for babes, for us,
  And never pause for breath in that stern strife!
  Let us too throne war's spirit in our hearts!
  Let us too face the fight which favoureth none!
  For we, we women, be not creatures cast
  In diverse mould from men: to us is given
  Such energy of life as stirs in them.
  Eyes have we like to theirs, and limbs: throughout
  Fashioned we are alike: one common light
  We look on, and one common air we breathe:
  With like food are we nourished—nay, wherein
  Have we been dowered of God more niggardly
  Than men? Then let us shrink not from the fray
  See ye not yonder a woman far excelling
  Men in the grapple of fight? Yet is her blood
  Nowise akin to ours, nor fighteth she
  For her own city. For an alien king
  She warreth of her own heart's prompting, fears
  The face of no man; for her soul is thrilled
  With valour and with spirit invincible.
  But we—to right, to left, lie woes on woes
  About our feet: this mourns beloved sons,
  And that a husband who for hearth and home
  Hath died; some wail for fathers now no more;
  Some grieve for brethren and for kinsmen lost.
  Not one but hath some share in sorrow's cup.
  Behind all this a fearful shadow looms,
  The day of bondage! Therefore flinch not ye
  From war, O sorrow-laden! Better far
  To die in battle now, than afterwards
  Hence to be haled into captivity
  To alien folk, we and our little ones,
  In the stern grip of fate leaving behind
  A burning city, and our husbands' graves."

  So cried she, and with passion for stern war
  Thrilled all those women; and with eager speed
  They hasted to go forth without the wall
  Mail-clad, afire to battle for their town
  And people: all their spirit was aflame.
  As when within a hive, when winter-tide
  Is over and gone, loud hum the swarming bees
  What time they make them ready forth to fare
  To bright flower-pastures, and no more endure
  To linger therewithin, but each to other
  Crieth the challenge-cry to sally forth;
  Even so bestirred themselves the women of Troy,
  And kindled each her sister to the fray.
  The weaving-wool, the distaff far they flung,
  And to grim weapons stretched their eager hands.

  And now without the city these had died
  In that wild battle, as their husbands died
  And the strong Amazons died, had not one voice
  Of wisdom cried to stay their maddened feet,
  When with dissuading words Theano spake:
  "Wherefore, ah wherefore for the toil and strain
  Of battle's fearful tumult do ye yearn,
  Infatuate ones? Never your limbs have toiled
  In conflict yet. In utter ignorance
  Panting for labour unendurable,
  Ye rush on all-unthinking; for your strength
  Can never be as that of Danaan men,
  Men trained in daily battle. Amazons
  Have joyed in ruthless fight, in charging steeds,
  From the beginning: all the toil of men
  Do they endure; and therefore evermore
  The spirit of the War-god thrills them through.
  'They fall not short of men in anything:
  Their labour-hardened frames make great their hearts
  For all achievement: never faint their knees
  Nor tremble. Rumour speaks their queen to be
  A daughter of the mighty Lord of War.
  Therefore no woman may compare with her
  In prowess—if she be a woman, not
  A God come down in answer to our prayers.
  Yea, of one blood be all the race of men,
  Yet unto diverse labours still they turn;
  And that for each is evermore the best
  Whereto he bringeth skill of use and wont.
  Therefore do ye from tumult of the fray
  Hold you aloof, and in your women's bowers
  Before the loom still pace ye to and fro;
  And war shall be the business of our lords.
  Lo, of fair issue is there hope: we see
  The Achaeans falling fast: we see the might
  Of our men waxing ever: fear is none
  Of evil issue now: the pitiless foe
  Beleaguer not the town: no desperate need
  There is that women should go forth to war."

  So cried she, and they hearkened to the words
  Of her who had garnered wisdom from the years;
  So from afar they watched the fight. But still
  Penthesileia brake the ranks, and still
  Before her quailed the Achaeans: still they found
  Nor screen nor hiding-place from imminent death.
  As bleating goats are by the blood-stained jaws
  Of a grim panther torn, so slain were they.
  In each man's heart all lust of battle died,
  And fear alone lived. This way, that way fled
  The panic-stricken: some to earth had flung
  The armour from their shoulders; some in dust
  Grovelled in terror 'neath their shields: the steeds
  Fled through the rout unreined of charioteers.
  In rapture of triumph charged the Amazons,
  With groan and scream of agony died the Greeks.
  Withered their manhood was in that sore strait;
  Brief was the span of all whom that fierce maid
  Mid the grim jaws of battle overtook.
  As when with mighty roaring bursteth down
  A storm upon the forest-trees, and some
  Uprendeth by the roots, and on the earth
  Dashes them down, the tail stems blossom-crowned,
  And snappeth some athwart the trunk, and high
  Whirls them through air, till all confused they lie
  A ruin of splintered stems and shattered sprays;
  So the great Danaan host lay, dashed to dust
  By doom of Fate, by Penthesileia's spear.

  But when the very ships were now at point
  To be by hands of Trojans set aflame,
  Then battle-bider Aias heard afar
  The panic-cries, and spake to Aeacus' son:
  "Achilles, all the air about mine ears
  Is full of multitudinous eries, is full
  Of thunder of battle rolling nearer aye.
  Let us go forth then, ere the Trojans win
  Unto the ships, and make great slaughter there
  Of Argive men, and set the ships aflame.
  Foulest reproach such thing on thee and me
  Should bring; for it beseems not that the seed
  Of mighty Zeus should shame the sacred blood
  Of hero-fathers, who themselves of old
  With Hercules the battle-eager sailed
  To Troy, and smote her even at her height
  Of glory, when Laomedon was king.
  Ay, and I ween that our hands even now
  Shall do the like: we too are mighty men."

  He spake: the aweless strength of Aeacus' son
  Hearkened thereto, for also to his ears
  By this the roar of bitter battle came.
  Then hasted both, and donned their warrior-gear
  All splendour-gleaming: now, in these arrayed
  Facing that stormy-tossing rout they stand.
  Loud clashed their glorious armour: in their souls
  A battle-fury like the War-god's wrath
  Maddened; such might was breathed into these twain
  By Atrytone, Shaker of the Shield,
  As on they pressed. With joy the Argives saw
  The coming of that mighty twain: they seemed
  In semblance like Aloeus' giant sons
  Who in the old time made that haughty vaunt
  Of piling on Olympus' brow the height
  Of Ossa steeply-towering, and the crest
  Of sky-encountering Pelion, so to rear
  A mountain-stair for their rebellious rage
  To scale the highest heaven. Huge as these
  The sons of Aeacus seemed, as forth they strode
  To stem the tide of war. A gladsome sight
  To friends who have fainted for their coming, now
  Onward they press to crush triumphant foes.
  Many they slew with their resistless spears;
  As when two herd-destroying lions come
  On sheep amid the copses feeding, far
  From help of shepherds, and in heaps on heaps
  Slay them, till they have drunken to the full
  Of blood, and filled their maws insatiate
  With flesh, so those destroyers twain slew on,
  Spreading wide havoc through the hosts of Troy.

  There Deiochus and gallant Hyllus fell
  By Alas slain, and fell Eurynomus
  Lover of war, and goodly Enyeus died.
  But Peleus' son burst on the Amazons
  Smiting Antandre, Polemusa then,
  Antibrote, fierce-souled Hippothoe,
  Hurling Harmothoe down on sisters slain.
  Then hard on all their-reeling ranks he pressed
  With Telamon's mighty-hearted son; and now
  Before their hands battalions dense and strong
  Crumbled as weakly and as suddenly
  As when in mountain-folds the forest-brakes
  Shrivel before a tempest-driven fire.

  When battle-eager Penthesileia saw
  These twain, as through the scourging storm of war
  Like ravening beasts they rushed, to meet them there
  She sped, as when a leopard grim, whose mood
  Is deadly, leaps from forest-coverts forth,
  Lashing her tail, on hunters closing round,
  While these, in armour clad, and putting trust
  In their long spears, await her lightning leap;
  So did those warriors twain with spears upswung
  Wait Penthesileia. Clanged the brazen plates
  About their shoulders as they moved. And first
  Leapt the long-shafted lance sped from the hand
  Of goodly Penthesileia. Straight it flew
  To the shield of Aeacus' son, but glancing thence
  This way and that the shivered fragments sprang
  As from a rock-face: of such temper were
  The cunning-hearted Fire-god's gifts divine.
  Then in her hand the warrior-maid swung up
  A second javelin fury-winged, against
  Aias, and with fierce words defied the twain:
  "Ha, from mine hand in vain one lance hath leapt!
  But with this second look I suddenly
  To quell the strength and courage of two foes,—
  Ay, though ye vaunt you mighty men of war
  Amid your Danaans! Die ye shall, and so
  Lighter shall be the load of war's affliction
  That lies upon the Trojan chariot-lords.
  Draw nigh, come through the press to grips with me,
  So shall ye learn what might wells up in breasts
  Of Amazons. With my blood is mingled war!
  No mortal man begat me, but the Lord
  Of War, insatiate of the battle-cry.
  Therefore my might is more than any man's."

  With scornful laughter spake she: then she hurled
  Her second lance; but they in utter scorn
  Laughed now, as swiftly flew the shaft, and smote
  The silver greave of Aias, and was foiled
  Thereby, and all its fury could not scar
  The flesh within; for fate had ordered not
  That any blade of foes should taste the blood
  Of Aias in the bitter war. But he
  Recked of the Amazon naught, but turned him thence
  To rush upon the Trojan host, and left
  Penthesileia unto Peleus' son
  Alone, for well he knew his heart within
  That she, for all her prowess, none the less
  Would cost Achilles battle-toil as light,
  As effortless, as doth the dove the hawk.

  Then groaned she an angry groan that she had sped
  Her shafts in vain; and now with scoffing speech
  To her in turn the son of Peleus spake:
  "Woman, with what vain vauntings triumphing
  Hast thou come forth against us, all athirst
  To battle with us, who be mightier far
  Than earthborn heroes? We from Cronos' Son,
  The Thunder-roller, boast our high descent.
  Ay, even Hector quailed, the battle-swift,
  Before us, e'en though far away he saw
  Our onrush to grim battle. Yea, my spear
  Slew him, for all his might. But thou—thine heart
  Is utterly mad, that thou hast greatly dared
  To threaten us with death this day! On thee
  Thy latest hour shall swiftly come—is come!
  Thee not thy sire the War-god now shall pluck
  Out of mine hand, but thou the debt shalt pay
  Of a dark doom, as when mid mountain-folds
  A pricket meets a lion, waster of herds.
  What, woman, hast thou heard not of the heaps
  Of slain, that into Xanthus' rushing stream
  Were thrust by these mine hands?—or hast thou heard
  In vain, because the Blessed Ones have stol'n
  Wit and discretion from thee, to the end
  That Doom's relentless gulf might gape for thee?"

  He spake; he swung up in his mighty hand
  And sped the long spear warrior-slaying, wrought
  By Chiron, and above the right breast pierced
  The battle-eager maid. The red blood leapt
  Forth, as a fountain wells, and all at once
  Fainted the strength of Penthesileia's limbs;
  Dropped the great battle-axe from her nerveless hand;
  A mist of darkness overveiled her eyes,
  And anguish thrilled her soul. Yet even so
  Still drew she difficult breath, still dimly saw
  The hero, even now in act to drag
  Her from the swift steed's back. Confusedly
  She thought: "Or shall I draw my mighty sword,
  And bide Achilles' fiery onrush, or
  Hastily cast me from my fleet horse down
  To earth, and kneel unto this godlike man,
  And with wild breath promise for ransoming
  Great heaps of brass and gold, which pacify
  The hearts of victors never so athirst
  For blood, if haply so the murderous might
  Of Aeacus' son may hearken and may spare,
  Or peradventure may compassionate
  My youth, and so vouchsafe me to behold
  Mine home again?—for O, I long to live!"

  So surged the wild thoughts in her; but the Gods
  Ordained it otherwise. Even now rushed on
  In terrible anger Peleus' son: he thrust
  With sudden spear, and on its shaft impaled
  The body of her tempest-footed steed,
  Even as a man in haste to sup might pierce
  Flesh with the spit, above the glowing hearth
  To roast it, or as in a mountain-glade
  A hunter sends the shaft of death clear through
  The body of a stag with such winged speed
  That the fierce dart leaps forth beyond, to plunge
  Into the tall stem of an oak or pine.
  So that death-ravening spear of Peleus' son
  Clear through the goodly steed rushed on, and pierced
  Penthesileia. Straightway fell she down
  Into the dust of earth, the arms of death,
  In grace and comeliness fell, for naught of shame
  Dishonoured her fair form. Face down she lay
  On the long spear outgasping her last breath,
  Stretched upon that fleet horse as on a couch;
  Like some tall pine snapped by the icy mace
  Of Boreas, earth's forest-fosterling
  Reared by a spring to stately height, amidst
  Long mountain-glens, a glory of mother earth;
  So from the once fleet steed low fallen lay
  Penthesileia, all her shattered strength
  Brought down to this, and all her loveliness.

  Now when the Trojans saw the Warrior-queen
  Struck down in battle, ran through all their lines
  A shiver of panic. Straightway to their walls
  Turned they in flight, heart-agonized with grief.
  As when on the wide sea, 'neath buffetings
  Of storm-blasts, castaways whose ship is wrecked
  Escape, a remnant of a crew, forspent
  With desperate conflict with the cruel sea:
  Late and at last appears the land hard by,
  Appears a city: faint and weary-limbed
  With that grim struggle, through the surf they strain
  To land, sore grieving for the good ship lost,
  And shipmates whom the terrible surge dragged down
  To nether gloom; so, Troyward as they fled
  From battle, all those Trojans wept for her,
  The Child of the resistless War-god, wept
  For friends who died in groan-resounding fight.

  Then over her with scornful laugh the son
  Of Peleus vaunted: "In the dust lie there
  A prey to teeth of dogs, to ravens' beaks,
  Thou wretched thing! Who cozened thee to come
  Forth against me? And thoughtest thou to fare
  Home from the war alive, to bear with thee
  Right royal gifts from Priam the old king,
  Thy guerdon for slain Argives? Ha, 'twas not
  The Immortals who inspired thee with this thought,
  Who know that I of heroes mightiest am,
  The Danaans' light of safety, but a woe
  To Trojans and to thee, O evil-starred!
  Nay, but it was the darkness-shrouded Fates
  And thine own folly of soul that pricked thee on
  To leave the works of women, and to fare
  To war, from which strong men shrink shuddering back."

  So spake he, and his ashen spear the son
  Of Peleus drew from that swift horse, and from
  Penthesileia in death's agony.
  Then steed and rider gasped their lives away
  Slain by one spear. Now from her head he plucked
  The helmet splendour-flashing like the beams
  Of the great sun, or Zeus' own glory-light.
  Then, there as fallen in dust and blood she lay,
  Rose, like the breaking of the dawn, to view
  'Neath dainty-pencilled brows a lovely face,
  Lovely in death. The Argives thronged around,
  And all they saw and marvelled, for she seemed
  Like an Immortal. In her armour there
  Upon the earth she lay, and seemed the Child
  Of Zeus, the tireless Huntress Artemis
  Sleeping, what time her feet forwearied are
  With following lions with her flying shafts
  Over the hills far-stretching. She was made
  A wonder of beauty even in her death
  By Aphrodite glorious-crowned, the Bride
  Of the strong War-god, to the end that he,
  The son of noble Peleus, might be pierced
  With the sharp arrow of repentant love.
  The warriors gazed, and in their hearts they prayed
  That fair and sweet like her their wives might seem,
  Laid on the bed of love, when home they won.
  Yea, and Achilles' very heart was wrung
  With love's remorse to have slain a thing so sweet,
  Who might have borne her home, his queenly bride,
  To chariot-glorious Phthia; for she was
  Flawless, a very daughter of the Gods,
  Divinely tall, and most divinely fair.

  Then Ares' heart was thrilled with grief and rage
  For his child slain. Straight from Olympus down
  He darted, swift and bright as thunderbolt
  Terribly flashing from the mighty hand Of
  Zeus, far leaping o'er the trackless sea,
  Or flaming o'er the land, while shuddereth
  All wide Olympus as it passeth by.
  So through the quivering air with heart aflame
  Swooped Ares armour-clad, soon as he heard
  The dread doom of his daughter. For the Gales,
  The North-wind's fleet-winged daughters, bare to him,
  As through the wide halls of the sky he strode,
  The tidings of the maiden's woeful end.
  Soon as he heard it, like a tempest-blast
  Down to the ridges of Ida leapt he: quaked
  Under his feet the long glens and ravines
  Deep-scored, all Ida's torrent-beds, and all
  Far-stretching foot-hills. Now had Ares brought
  A day of mourning on the Myrmidons,
  But Zeus himself from far Olympus sent
  Mid shattering thunders terror of levin-bolts
  Which thick and fast leapt through the welkin down
  Before his feet, blazing with fearful flames.
  And Ares saw, and knew the stormy threat
  Of the mighty-thundering Father, and he stayed
  His eager feet, now on the very brink
  Of battle's turmoil. As when some huge crag
  Thrust from a beetling cliff-brow by the winds
  And torrent rains, or lightning-lance of Zeus,
  Leaps like a wild beast, and the mountain-glens
  Fling back their crashing echoes as it rolls
  In mad speed on, as with resistless swoop
  Of bound on bound it rushes down, until
  It cometh to the levels of the plain,
  And there perforce its stormy flight is stayed;

  So Ares, battle-eager Son of Zeus,
  Was stayed, how loth soe'er; for all the Gods
  To the Ruler of the Blessed needs must yield,
  Seeing he sits high-throned above them all,
  Clothed in his might unspeakable. Yet still
  Many a wild thought surged through Ares' soul,
  Urging him now to dread the terrible threat
  Of Cronos' wrathful Son, and to return
  Heavenward, and now to reck not of his Sire,
  But with Achilles' blood to stain those hands,
  The battle-tireless. At the last his heart
  Remembered how that many and many a son
  Of Zeus himself in many a war had died,
  Nor in their fall had Zeus availed them aught.
  Therefore he turned him from the Argives—else,
  Down smitten by the blasting thunderbolt,
  With Titans in the nether gloom he had lain,
  Who dared defy the eternal will of Zeus.

  Then did the warrior sons of Argos strip
  With eager haste from corpses strown all round
  The blood-stained spoils. But ever Peleus' son
  Gazed, wild with all regret, still gazed on her,
  The strong, the beautiful, laid in the dust;
  And all his heart was wrung, was broken down
  With sorrowing love, deep, strong as he had known
  When that beloved friend Patroclus died.

  Loud jeered Thersites, mocking to his face:
  "Thou sorry-souled Achilles! art not shamed
  To let some evil Power beguile thine heart
  To pity of a pitiful Amazon
  Whose furious spirit purposed naught but ill
  To us and ours? Ha, woman-mad art thou,
  And thy soul lusts for this thing, as she were
  Some lady wise in household ways, with gifts
  And pure intent for honoured wedlock wooed!
  Good had it been had her spear reached thine heart,
  The heart that sighs for woman-creatures still!
  Thou carest not, unmanly-souled, not thou,
  For valour's glorious path, when once thine eye
  Lights on a woman! Sorry wretch, where now
  Is all thy goodly prowess? where thy wit?
  And where the might that should beseem a king
  All-stainless? Dost not know what misery
  This self-same woman-madness wrought for Troy?
  Nothing there is to men more ruinous
  Than lust for woman's beauty; it maketh fools
  Of wise men. But the toil of war attains
  Renown. To him that is a hero indeed
  Glory of victory and the War-god's works
  Are sweet. 'Tis but the battle-blencher craves
  The beauty and the bed of such as she!"

  So railed he long and loud: the mighty heart
  Of Peleus' son leapt into flame of wrath.
  A sudden buffet of his resistless hand
  Smote 'neath the railer's ear, and all his teeth
  Were dashed to the earth: he fell upon his face:
  Forth of his lips the blood in torrent gushed:
  Swift from his body fled the dastard soul
  Of that vile niddering. Achaea's sons
  Rejoiced thereat, for aye he wont to rail
  On each and all with venomous gibes, himself
  A scandal and the shame of all the host.
  Then mid the warrior Argives cried a voice:
  "Not good it is for baser men to rail
  On kings, or secretly or openly;
  For wrathful retribution swiftly comes.
  The Lady of Justice sits on high; and she
  Who heapeth woe on woe on humankind,
  Even Ate, punisheth the shameless tongue."

  So mid the Danaans cried a voice: nor yet
  Within the mighty soul of Peleus' son
  Lulled was the storm of wrath, but fiercely he spake:
  "Lie there in dust, thy follies all forgot!
  'Tis not for knaves to beard their betters: once
  Thou didst provoke Odysseus' steadfast soul,
  Babbling with venomous tongue a thousand gibes,
  And didst escape with life; but thou hast found
  The son of Peleus not so patient-souled,
  Who with one only buffet from his hand
  Unkennels thy dog's soul! A bitter doom
  Hath swallowed thee: by thine own rascalry
  Thy life is sped. Hence from Achaean men,
  And mouth out thy revilings midst the dead!"

  So spake the valiant-hearted aweless son
  Of Aeacus. But Tydeus' son alone
  Of all the Argives was with anger stirred
  Against Achilles for Thersites slain,
  Seeing these twain were of the self-same blood,
  The one, proud Tydeus' battle-eager son,
  The other, seed of godlike Agrius:
  Brother of noble Oeneus Agrius was;
  And Oeneus in the Danaan land begat
  Tydeus the battle-eager, son to whom
  Was stalwart Diomedes. Therefore wroth
  Was he for slain Thersites, yea, had raised
  Against the son of Peleus vengeful hands,
  Except the noblest of Aehaea's sons
  Had thronged around him, and besought him sore,
  And held him back therefrom. With Peleus' son
  Also they pleaded; else those mighty twain,
  The mightiest of all Argives, were at point
  To close with clash of swords, so stung were they
  With bitter wrath; yet hearkened they at last
  To prayers of comrades, and were reconciled.

  Then of their pity did the Atreid kings—
  For these too at the imperial loveliness
  Of Penthesileia marvelled—render up
  Her body to the men of Troy, to bear
  Unto the burg of Ilus far-renowned
  With all her armour. For a herald came
  Asking this boon for Priam; for the king
  Longed with deep yearning of the heart to lay
  That battle-eager maiden, with her arms,
  And with her war-horse, in the great earth-mound
  Of old Laomedon. And so he heaped
  A high broad pyre without the city wall:
  Upon the height thereof that warrior-queen
  They laid, and costly treasures did they heap
  Around her, all that well beseems to burn
  Around a mighty queen in battle slain.
  And so the Fire-god's swift-upleaping might,
  The ravening flame, consumed her. All around
  The people stood on every hand, and quenched
  The pyre with odorous wine. Then gathered they
  The bones, and poured sweet ointment over them,
  And laid them in a casket: over all
  Shed they the rich fat of a heifer, chief
  Among the herds that grazed on Ida's slope.
  And, as for a beloved daughter, rang
  All round the Trojan men's heart-stricken wail,
  As by the stately wall they buried her
  On an outstanding tower, beside the bones
  Of old Laomedon, a queen beside
  A king. This honour for the War-god's sake
  They rendered, and for Penthesileia's own.
  And in the plain beside her buried they
  The Amazons, even all that followed her
  To battle, and by Argive spears were slain.
  For Atreus' sons begrudged not these the boon
  Of tear-besprinkled graves, but let their friends,
  The warrior Trojans, draw their corpses forth,
  Yea, and their own slain also, from amidst
  The swath of darts o'er that grim harvest-field.
  Wrath strikes not at the dead: pitied are foes
  When life has fled, and left them foes no more.

  Far off across the plain the while uprose
  Smoke from the pyres whereon the Argives laid
  The many heroes overthrown and slain
  By Trojan hands what time the sword devoured;
  And multitudinous lamentation wailed
  Over the perished. But above the rest
  Mourned they o'er brave Podarces, who in fight
  Was no less mighty than his hero-brother
  Protesilaus, he who long ago
  Fell, slain of Hector: so Podarces now,
  Struck down by Penthesileia's spear, hath cast
  Over all Argive hearts the pall of grief.
  Wherefore apart from him they laid in clay
  The common throng of slain; but over him
  Toiling they heaped an earth-mound far-descried
  In memory of a warrior aweless-souled.
  And in a several pit withal they thrust
  The niddering Thersites' wretched corse.
  Then to the ships, acclaiming Aeacus' son,
  Returned they all. But when the radiant day
  Had plunged beneath the Ocean-stream, and night,
  The holy, overspread the face of earth,
  Then in the rich king Agamemnon's tent
  Feasted the might of Peleus' son, and there
  Sat at the feast those other mighty ones
  All through the dark, till rose the dawn divine.


How Memnon, Son of the Dawn, for Troy's sake fell in the Battle.

  When o'er the crests of the far-echoing hills
  The splendour of the tireless-racing sun
  Poured o'er the land, still in their tents rejoiced
  Achaea's stalwart sons, and still acclaimed
  Achilles the resistless. But in Troy
  Still mourned her people, still from all her towers
  Seaward they strained their gaze; for one great fear
  Gripped all their hearts—to see that terrible man
  At one bound overleap their high-built wall,
  Then smite with the sword all people therewithin,
  And burn with fire fanes, palaces, and homes.
  And old Thymoetes spake to the anguished ones:
  "Friends, I have lost hope: mine heart seeth not
  Or help, or bulwark from the storm of war,
  Now that the aweless Hector, who was once
  Troy's mighty champion, is in dust laid low.
  Not all his might availed to escape the Fates,
  But overborne he was by Achilles' hands,
  The hands that would, I verily deem, bear down
  A God, if he defied him to the fight,
  Even as he overthrew this warrior-queen
  Penthesileia battle-revelling,
  From whom all other Argives shrank in fear.
  Ah, she was marvellous! When at the first
  I looked on her, meseemed a Blessed One
  From heaven had come down hitherward to bring
  Light to our darkness—ah, vain hope, vain dream!
  Go to, let us take counsel, what to do
  Were best for us. Or shall we still maintain
  A hopeless fight against these ruthless foes,
  Or shall we straightway flee a city doomed?
  Ay, doomed!—for never more may we withstand
  Argives in fighting field, when in the front
  Of battle pitiless Achilles storms."

  Then spake Laomedon's son, the ancient king:
  "Nay, friend, and all ye other sons of Troy,
  And ye our strong war-helpers, flinch we not
  Faint-hearted from defence of fatherland!
  Yet let us go not forth the city-gates
  To battle with yon foe. Nay, from our towers
  And from our ramparts let us make defence,
  Till our new champion come, the stormy heart
  Of Memnon. Lo, he cometh, leading on
  Hosts numberless, Aethiopia's swarthy sons.
  By this, I trow, he is nigh unto our gates;
  For long ago, in sore distress of soul,
  I sent him urgent summons. Yea, and he
  Promised me, gladly promised me, to come
  To Troy, and make all end of all our woes.
  And now, I trust, he is nigh. Let us endure
  A little longer then; for better far
  It is like brave men in the fight to die
  Than flee, and live in shame mid alien folk."

  So spake the old king; but Polydamas,
  The prudent-hearted, thought not good to war
  Thus endlessly, and spake his patriot rede:
  "If Memnon have beyond all shadow of doubt
  Pledged him to thrust dire ruin far from us,
  Then do I gainsay not that we await
  The coming of that godlike man within
  Our walls—yet, ah, mine heart misgives me, lest,
  Though he with all his warriors come, he come
  But to his death, and unto thousands more,
  Our people, nought but misery come thereof;
  For terribly against us leaps the storm
  Of the Achaeans' might. But now, go to,
  Let us not flee afar from this our Troy
  To wander to some alien land, and there,
  In the exile's pitiful helplessness, endure
  All flouts and outrage; nor in our own land
  Abide we till the storm of Argive war
  O'erwhelm us. Nay, even now, late though it be,
  Better it were for us to render back
  Unto the Danaans Helen and her wealth,
  Even all that glory of women brought with her
  From Sparta, and add other treasure—yea,
  Repay it twofold, so to save our Troy
  And our own souls, while yet the spoiler's hand
  Is laid not on our substance, and while yet
  Troy hath not sunk in gulfs of ravening flame.
  I pray you, take to heart my counsel! None
  Shall, well I wot, be given to Trojan men
  Better than this. Ah, would that long ago
  Hector had hearkened to my pleading, when
  I fain had kept him in the ancient home!"

  So spake Polydamas the noble and strong,
  And all the listening Trojans in their hearts
  Approved; yet none dared utter openly
  The word, for all with trembling held in awe
  Their prince and Helen, though for her sole sake
  Daily they died. But on that noble man
  Turned Paris, and reviled him to his face:
  "Thou dastard battle-blencher Polydamas!
  Not in thy craven bosom beats a heart
  That bides the fight, but only fear and panic.
  Yet dost thou vaunt thee—quotha!—still our best
  In counsel!—no man's soul is base as thine!
  Go to, thyself shrink shivering from the strife!
  Cower, coward, in thine halls! But all the rest,
  We men, will still go armour-girt, until
  We wrest from this our truceless war a peace
  That shall not shame us! 'Tis with travail and toil
  Of strenuous war that brave men win renown;
  But flight?—weak women choose it, and young babes!
  Thy spirit is like to theirs. No whit I trust
  Thee in the day of battle—thee, the man
  Who maketh faint the hearts of all the host!"

  So fiercely he reviled: Polydamas
  Wrathfully answered; for he shrank not, he,
  From answering to his face. A caitiff hound,
  A reptile fool, is he who fawns on men
  Before their faces, while his heart is black
  With malice, and, when they be gone, his tongue
  Backbites them. Openly Polydamas
  Flung back upon the prince his taunt and scoff:
  "O thou of living men most mischievous!
  Thy valour—quotha!—brings us misery!
  Thine heart endures, and will endure, that strife
  Should have no limit, save in utter ruin
  Of fatherland and people for thy sake!
  Ne'er may such wantwit valour craze my soul!
  Be mine to cherish wise discretion aye,
  A warder that shall keep mine house in peace."

  Indignantly he spake, and Paris found
  No word to answer him, for conscience woke
  Remembrance of all woes he had brought on Troy,
  And should bring; for his passion-fevered heart
  Would rather hail quick death than severance
  From Helen the divinely fair, although
  For her sake was it that the sons of Troy
  Even then were gazing from their towers to see
  The Argives and Achilles drawing nigh.

  But no long time thereafter came to them
  Memnon the warrior-king, and brought with him
  A countless host of swarthy Aethiops.
  From all the streets of Troy the Trojans flocked
  Glad-eyed to gaze on him, as seafarers,
  With ruining tempest utterly forspent,
  See through wide-parting clouds the radiance
  Of the eternal-wheeling Northern Wain;
  So joyed the Troyfolk as they thronged around,
  And more than all Laomedon's son, for now
  Leapt in his heart a hope, that yet the ships
  Might by those Aethiop men be burned with fire;
  So giantlike their king was, and themselves
  So huge a host, and so athirst for fight.
  Therefore with all observance welcomed he
  The strong son of the Lady of the Dawn
  With goodly gifts and with abundant cheer.
  So at the banquet King and Hero sat
  And talked, this telling of the Danaan chiefs,
  And all the woes himself had suffered, that
  Telling of that strange immortality
  By the Dawn-goddess given to his sire,
  Telling of the unending flow and ebb
  Of the Sea-mother, of the sacred flood
  Of Ocean fathomless-rolling, of the bounds
  Of Earth that wearieth never of her travail,
  Of where the Sun-steeds leap from orient waves,
  Telling withal of all his wayfaring
  From Ocean's verge to Priam's wall, and spurs
  Of Ida. Yea, he told how his strong hands
  Smote the great army of the Solymi
  Who barred his way, whose deed presumptuous brought
  Upon their own heads crushing ruin and woe.
  So told he all that marvellous tale, and told
  Of countless tribes and nations seen of him.
  And Priam heard, and ever glowed his heart
  Within him; and the old lips answering spake:
  "Memnon, the Gods are good, who have vouchsafed
  To me to look upon thine host, and thee
  Here in mine halls. O that their grace would so
  Crown this their boon, that I might see my foes
  All thrust to one destruction by thy spears.
  That well may be, for marvellous-like art thou
  To some invincible Deathless One, yea, more
  Than any earthly hero. Wherefore thou,
  I trust, shalt hurl wild havoc through their host.
  But now, I pray thee, for this day do thou
  Cheer at my feast thine heart, and with the morn
  Shalt thou go forth to battle worthy of thee."

  Then in his hands a chalice deep and wide
  He raised, and Memnon in all love he pledged
  In that huge golden cup, a gift of Gods;
  For this the cunning God-smith brought to Zeus,
  His masterpiece, what time the Mighty in Power
  To Hephaestus gave for bride the Cyprian Queen;
  And Zeus on Dardanus his godlike son
  Bestowed it, he on Erichthonius;
  Erichthonius to Tros the great of heart
  Gave it, and he with all his treasure-store
  Bequeathed it unto Ilus, and he gave
  That wonder to Laomedon, and he
  To Priam, who had thought to leave the same
  To his own son. Fate ordered otherwise.
  And Memnon clasped his hands about that cup
  So peerless-beautiful, and all his heart
  Marvelled; and thus he spake unto the King:
  "Beseems not with great swelling words to vaunt
  Amidst the feast, and lavish promises,
  But rather quietly to eat in hall,
  And to devise deeds worthy. Whether I
  Be brave and strong, or whether I be not,
  Battle, wherein a man's true might is seen,
  Shall prove to thee. Now would I rest, nor drink
  The long night through. The battle-eager spirit
  By measureless wine and lack of sleep is dulled."

  Marvelled at him the old King, and he said:
  "As seems thee good touching the banquet, do
  After thy pleasure. I, when thou art loth,
  Will not constrain thee. Yea, unmeet it is
  To hold back him who fain would leave the board,
  Or hurry from one's halls who fain would stay.
  So is the good old law with all true men."

  Then rose that champion from the board, and passed
  Thence to his sleep—his last! And with him went
  All others from the banquet to their rest:
  And gentle sleep slid down upon them soon.

  But in the halls of Zeus, the Lightning-lord,
  Feasted the gods the while, and Cronos' son,
  All-father, of his deep foreknowledge spake
  Amidst them of the issue of the strife:
  "Be it known unto you all, to-morn shall bring
  By yonder war affliction swift and sore;
  For many mighty horses shall ye see
  In either host beside their chariots slain,
  And many heroes perishing. Therefore ye
  Remember these my words, howe'er ye grieve
  For dear ones. Let none clasp my knees in prayer,
  Since even to us relentless are the fates."

  So warned he them, which knew before, that all
  Should from the battle stand aside, howe'er
  Heart-wrung; that none, petitioning for a son
  Or dear one, should to Olympus vainly come.
  So, at that warning of the Thunderer,
  The Son of Cronos, all they steeled their hearts
  To bear, and spake no word against their king;
  For in exceeding awe they stood of him.
  Yet to their several mansions and their rest
  With sore hearts went they. O'er their deathless eyes
  The blessing-bringer Sleep his light veils spread.

  When o'er precipitous crests of mountain-walls
  Leapt up broad heaven the bright morning-star
  Who rouseth to their toils from slumber sweet
  The binders of the sheaf, then his last sleep
  Unclasped the warrior-son of her who brings
  Light to the world, the Child of Mists of Night.
  Now swelled his mighty heart with eagerness
  To battle with the foe forthright. And Dawn
  With most reluctant feet began to climb
  Heaven's broad highway. Then did the Trojans gird
  Their battle-harness on; then armed themselves
  The Aethiop men, and all the mingled tribes
  Of those war-helpers that from many lands
  To Priam's aid were gathered. Forth the gates
  Swiftly they rushed, like darkly lowering clouds
  Which Cronos' Son, when storm is rolling up,
  Herdeth together through the welkin wide.
  Swiftly the whole plain filled. Onward they streamed
  Like harvest-ravaging locusts drifting on
  In fashion of heavy-brooding rain-clouds o'er
  Wide plains of earth, an irresistible host
  Bringing wan famine on the sons of men;
  So in their might and multitude they went.
  The city streets were all too strait for them
  Marching: upsoared the dust from underfoot.

  From far the Argives gazed, and marvelling saw
  Their onrush, but with speed arrayed their limbs
  In brass, and in the might of Peleus' son
  Put their glad trust. Amidst them rode he on
  Like to a giant Titan, glorying
  In steeds and chariot, while his armour flashed
  Splendour around in sudden lightning-gleams.
  It was as when the sun from utmost bounds
  Of earth-encompassing ocean comes, and brings
  Light to the world, and flings his splendour wide
  Through heaven, and earth and air laugh all around.
  So glorious, mid the Argives Peleus' son
  Rode onward. Mid the Trojans rode the while
  Memnon the hero, even such to see
  As Ares furious-hearted. Onward swept
  The eager host arrayed about their lord.

  Then in the grapple of war on either side
  Closed the long lines, Trojan and Danaan;
  But chief in prowess still the Aethiops were.
  Crashed they together as when surges meet
  On the wild sea, when, in a day of storm,
  From every quarter winds to battle rush.
  Foe hurled at foe the ashen spear, and slew:
  Screams and death-groans went up like roaring fire.
  As when down-thundering torrents shout and rave
  On-pouring seaward, when the madding rains
  Stream from God's cisterns, when the huddling clouds
  Are hurled against each other ceaselessly,
  And leaps their fiery breath in flashes forth;
  So 'neath the fighters' trampling feet the earth
  Thundered, and leapt the terrible battle-yell
  Through frenzied air, for mad the war-cries were.

  For firstfruits of death's harvest Peleus' son
  Slew Thalius and Mentes nobly born,
  Men of renown, and many a head beside
  Dashed he to dust. As in its furious swoop
  A whirlwind shakes dark chasms underground,
  And earth's foundations crumble and melt away
  Around the deep roots of the shuddering world,
  So the ranks crumbled in swift doom to the dust
  Before the spear and fury of Peleus's son.

  But on the other side the hero child
  Of the Dawn-goddess slew the Argive men,
  Like to a baleful Doom which bringeth down
  On men a grim and ghastly pestilence.
  First slew he Pheron; for the bitter spear
  Plunged through his breast, and down on him he hurled
  Goodly Ereuthus, battle-revellers both,
  Dwellers in Thryus by Alpheus' streams,
  Which followed Nestor to the god-built burg
  Of Ilium. But when he had laid these low,
  Against the son of Neleus pressed he on
  Eager to slay. Godlike Antilochus
  Strode forth to meet him, sped the long spear's flight,
  Yet missed him, for a little he swerved, but slew
  His Aethiop comrade, son of Pyrrhasus.
  Wroth for his fall, against Antilochus
  He leapt, as leaps a lion mad of mood
  Upon a boar, the beast that flincheth not
  From fight with man or brute, whose charge is a flash
  Of lightning; so was his swift leap. His foe
  Antilochus caught a huge stone from the ground,
  Hurled, smote him; but unshaken abode his strength,
  For the strong helm-crest fenced his head from death;
  But rang the morion round his brows. His heart
  Kindled with terrible fury at the blow
  More than before against Antilochus.
  Like seething cauldron boiled his maddened might.
  He stabbed, for all his cunning of fence, the son
  Of Nestor above the breast; the crashing spear
  Plunged to the heart, the spot of speediest death.

  Then upon all the Danaans at his fall
  Came grief; but anguish-stricken was the heart
  Of Nestor most of all, to see his child
  Slain in his sight; for no more bitter pang
  Smiteth the heart of man than when a son
  Perishes, and his father sees him die.
  Therefore, albeit unused to melting mood,
  His soul was torn with agony for the son
  By black death slain. A wild cry hastily
  To Thrasymedes did he send afar:
  "Hither to me, Thrasymedes war-renowned!
  Help me to thrust back from thy brother's corse,
  Yea, from mine hapless son, his murderer,
  That so ourselves may render to our dead
  All dues of mourning. If thou flinch for fear,
  No son of mine art thou, nor of the line
  Of Periclymenus, who dared withstand
  Hercules' self. Come, to the battle-toil!
  For grim necessity oftentimes inspires
  The very coward with courage of despair."

  Then at his cry that brother's heart was stung
  With bitter grief. Swift for his help drew nigh
  Phereus, on whom for his great prince's fall
  Came anguish. Charged these warriors twain to face
  Strong Memnon in the gory strife. As when
  Two hunters 'mid a forest's mountain-folds,
  Eager to take the prey, rush on to meet
  A wild boar or a bear, with hearts afire
  To slay him, but in furious mood he leaps
  On them, and holds at bay the might of men;
  So swelled the heart of Memnon. Nigh drew they,
  Yet vainly essayed to slay him, as they hurled
  The long spears, but the lances glanced aside
  Far from his flesh: the Dawn-queen turned them thence.
  Yet fell their spears not vainly to the ground:
  The lance of fiery-hearted Phereus, winged
  With eager speed, dealt death to Meges' son,
  Polymnius: Laomedon was slain
  By the wrath of Nestor's son for a brother dead,
  The dear one Memnon slew in battle-rout,
  And whom the slayer's war-unwearied hands
  Now stripped of his all-brazen battle-gear,
  Nought recking, he, of Thrasymedes' might,
  Nor of stout Phereus, who were unto him
  But weaklings. A great lion seemed he there
  Standing above a hart, as jackals they,
  That, howso hungry, dare not come too nigh.

  But hard thereby the father gazed thereon
  In agony, and cried the rescue-cry
  To other his war-comrades for their aid
  Against the foe. Himself too burned to fight
  From his war-car; for yearning for the dead
  Goaded him to the fray beyond his strength.
  Ay, and himself had been on his dear son
  Laid, numbered with the dead, had not the voice
  Of Memnon stayed him even in act to rush
  Upon him, for he reverenced in his heart
  The white hairs of an age-mate of his sire:
  "Ancient," he cried, "it were my shame to fight.
  With one so much mine elder: I am not
  Blind unto honour. Verily I weened
  That this was some young warrior, when I saw
  Thee facing thus the foe. My bold heart hoped
  For contest worthy of mine hand and spear.
  Nay, draw thou back afar from battle-toil
  And bitter death. Go, lest, how loth soe'er,
  I smite thee of sore need. Nay, fall not thou
  Beside thy son, against a mightier man
  Fighting, lest men with folly thee should charge,
  For folly it is that braves o'ermastering might."

  He spake, and answered him that warrior old:
  "Nay, Memnon, vain was that last word of thine.
  None would name fool the father who essayed,
  Battling with foes for his son's sake, to thrust
  The ruthless slayer back from that dear corpse,
  But ah that yet my strength were whole in me,
  That thou might'st know my spear! Now canst thou vaunt
  Proudly enow: a young man's heart is bold
  And light his wit. Uplifted is thy soul
  And vain thy speech. If in my strength of youth
  Thou hadst met me—ha, thy friends had not rejoiced,
  For all thy might! But me the grievous weight
  Of age bows down, like an old lion whom
  A cur may boldly drive back from the fold,
  For that he cannot, in his wrath's despite,
  Maintain his own cause, being toothless now,
  And strengthless, and his strong heart tamed by time.
  So well the springs of olden strength no more
  Now in my breast. Yet am I stronger still
  Than many men; my grey hairs yield to few
  That have within them all the strength of youth."

  So drew he back a little space, and left
  Lying in dust his son, since now no more
  Lived in the once lithe limbs the olden strength,
  For the years' weight lay heavy on his head.
  Back leapt Thrasymedes likewise, spearman good,
  And battle-eager Phereus, and the rest
  Their comrades; for that slaughter-dealing man
  Pressed hard on them. As when from mountains high
  A shouting river with wide-echoing din
  Sweeps down its fathomless whirlpools through the gloom,
  When God with tumult of a mighty storm
  Hath palled the sky in cloud from verge to verge,
  When thunders crash all round, when thick and fast
  Gleam lightnings from the huddling clouds, when fields
  Are flooded as the hissing rain descends,
  And all the air is filled with awful roar
  Of torrents pouring down the hill-ravines;
  So Memnon toward the shores of Hellespont
  Before him hurled the Argives, following hard
  Behind them, slaughtering ever. Many a man
  Fell in the dust, and left his life in blood
  'Neath Aethiop hands. Stained was the earth with gore
  As Danaans died. Exulted Memnon's soul
  As on the ranks of foemen ever he rushed,
  And heaped with dead was all the plain of Troy.
  And still from fight refrained he not; he hoped
  To be a light of safety unto Troy
  And bane to Danaans. But all the while
  Stood baleful Doom beside him, and spurred on
  To strife, with flattering smile. To right, to left
  His stalwart helpers wrought in battle-toil,
  Alcyoneus and Nychius, and the son
  Of Asius furious-souled; Meneclus' spear,
  Clydon and Alexippus, yea, a host
  Eager to chase the foe, men who in fight
  Quit them like men, exulting in their king.
  Then, as Meneclus on the Danaans charged,
  The son of Neleus slew him. Wroth for his friend,
  Whole throngs of foes fierce-hearted Memnon slew.
  As when a hunter midst the mountains drives
  Swift deer within the dark lines of his toils—
  The eager ring of beaters closing in
  Presses the huddled throng into the snares
  Of death: the dogs are wild with joy of the chase
  Ceaselessly giving tongue, the while his darts
  Leap winged with death on brocket and on hind;
  So Memnon slew and ever slew: his men
  Rejoiced, the while in panic stricken rout
  Before that glorious man the Argives fled.
  As when from a steep mountain's precipice-brow
  Leaps a huge crag, which all-resistless Zeus
  By stroke of thunderbolt hath hurled from the crest;
  Crash oakwood copses, echo long ravines,
  Shudders the forest to its rattle and roar,
  And flocks therein and herds and wild things flee
  Scattering, as bounding, whirling, it descends
  With deadly pitiless onrush; so his foes
  Fled from the lightning-flash of Memnon's spear.

  Then to the side of Aeacus' mighty son
  Came Nestor. Anguished for his son he cried:
  "Achilles, thou great bulwark of the Greeks,
  Slain is my child! The armour of my dead
  Hath Memnon, and I fear me lest his corse
  Be cast a prey to dogs. Haste to his help!
  True friend is he who still remembereth
  A friend though slain, and grieves for one no more."

  Achilles heard; his heart was thrilled with grief:
  He glanced across the rolling battle, saw
  Memnon, saw where in throngs the Argives fell
  Beneath his spear. Forthright he turned away
  From where the rifted ranks of Troy fell fast
  Before his hands, and, thirsting for the fight,
  Wroth for Antilochus and the others slain,
  Came face to face with Memnon. In his hands
  That godlike hero caught up from the ground
  A stone, a boundary-mark 'twixt fields of wheat,
  And hurled. Down on the shield of Peleus' son
  It crashed. But he, the invincible, shrank not
  Before the huge rock-shard, but, thrusting out
  His long lance, rushed to close with him, afoot,
  For his steeds stayed behind the battle-rout.
  On the right shoulder above the shield he smote
  And staggered him; but he, despite the wound,
  Fought on with heart unquailing. Swiftly he thrust
  And pricked with his strong spear Achilles' arm.
  Forth gushed the blood: rejoicing with vain joy
  To Aeacus' son with arrogant words he cried:
  "Now shalt thou in thy death fill up, I trow,
  Thy dark doom, overmastered by mine hands.
  Thou shalt not from this fray escape alive!
  Fool, wherefore hast thou ruthlessly destroyed
  Trojans, and vaunted thee the mightiest man
  Of men, a deathless Nereid's son? Ha, now
  Thy doom hath found thee! Of birth divine am I,
  The Dawn-queen's mighty son, nurtured afar
  By lily-slender Hesperid Maids, beside
  The Ocean-river. Therefore not from thee
  Nor from grim battle shrink I, knowing well
  How far my goddess-mother doth transcend
  A Nereid, whose child thou vauntest thee.
  To Gods and men my mother bringeth light;
  On her depends the issue of all things,
  Works great and glorious in Olympus wrought
  Whereof comes blessing unto men. But thine—
  She sits in barren crypts of brine: she dwells
  Glorying mid dumb sea-monsters and mid fish,
  Deedless, unseen! Nothing I reck of her,
  Nor rank her with the immortal Heavenly Ones."

  In stern rebuke spake Aeacus' aweless son:
  "Memnon, how wast thou so distraught of wit
  That thou shouldst face me, and to fight defy
  Me, who in might, in blood, in stature far
  Surpass thee? From supremest Zeus I trace
  My glorious birth; and from the strong Sea-god
  Nereus, begetter of the Maids of the Sea,
  The Nereids, honoured of the Olympian Gods.
  And chiefest of them all is Thetis, wise
  With wisdom world-renowned; for in her bowers
  She sheltered Dionysus, chased by might
  Of murderous Lycurgus from the earth.
  Yea, and the cunning God-smith welcomed she
  Within her mansion, when from heaven he fell.
  Ay, and the Lightning-lord she once released
  From bonds. The all-seeing Dwellers in the Sky
  Remember all these things, and reverence
  My mother Thetis in divine Olympus.
  Ay, that she is a Goddess shalt thou know
  When to thine heart the brazen spear shall pierce
  Sped by my might. Patroclus' death I avenged
  On Hector, and Antilochus on thee
  Will I avenge. No weakling's friend thou hast slain!
  But why like witless children stand we here
  Babbling our parents' fame and our own deeds?
  Now is the hour when prowess shall decide."

  Then from the sheath he flashed his long keen sword,
  And Memnon his; and swiftly in fiery fight
  Closed they, and rained the never-ceasing blows
  Upon the bucklers which with craft divine
  Hephaestus' self had fashioned. Once and again
  Clashed they together, and their cloudy crests
  Touched, mingling all their tossing storm of hair.
  And Zeus, for that he loved them both, inspired
  With prowess each, and mightier than their wont
  He made them, made them tireless, nothing like
  To men, but Gods: and gloated o'er the twain
  The Queen of Strife. In eager fury these
  Thrust swiftly out the spear, with fell intent
  To reach the throat 'twixt buckler-rim and helm,
  Thrust many a time and oft, and now would aim
  The point beneath the shield, above the greave,
  Now close beneath the corslet curious-wrought
  That lapped the stalwart frame: hard, fast they lunged,
  And on their shoulders clashed the arms divine.
  Roared to the very heavens the battle-shout
  Of warring men, of Trojans, Aethiops,
  And Argives mighty-hearted, while the dust
  Rolled up from 'neath their feet, tossed to the sky
  In stress of battle-travail great and strong.

  As when a mist enshrouds the hills, what time
  Roll up the rain-clouds, and the torrent-beds
  Roar as they fill with rushing floods, and howls
  Each gorge with fearful voices; shepherds quake
  To see the waters' downrush and the mist,
  Screen dear to wolves and all the wild fierce things
  Nursed in the wide arms of the forest; so
  Around the fighters' feet the choking dust
  Hung, hiding the fair splendour of the sun
  And darkening all the heaven. Sore distressed
  With dust and deadly conflict were the folk.
  Then with a sudden hand some Blessed One
  Swept the dust-pall aside; and the Gods saw
  The deadly Fates hurling the charging lines
  Together, in the unending wrestle locked
  Of that grim conflict, saw where never ceased
  Ares from hideous slaughter, saw the earth
  Crimsoned all round with rushing streams of blood,
  Saw where dark Havoc gloated o'er the scene,
  Saw the wide plain with corpses heaped, even all
  Bounded 'twixt Simois and Xanthus, where
  They sweep from Ida down to Hellespont.

  But when long lengthened out the conflict was
  Of those two champions, and the might of both
  In that strong tug and strain was equal-matched,
  Then, gazing from Olympus' far-off heights,
  The Gods joyed, some in the invincible son
  Of Peleus, others in the goodly child
  Of old Tithonus and the Queen of Dawn.
  Thundered the heavens on high from east to west,
  And roared the sea from verge to verge, and rocked
  The dark earth 'neath the heroes' feet, and quaked
  Proud Nereus' daughters all round Thetis thronged
  In grievous fear for mighty Achilles' sake;
  And trembled for her son the Child of the Mist
  As in her chariot through the sky she rode.
  Marvelled the Daughters of the Sun, who stood
  Near her, around that wondrous splendour-ring
  Traced for the race-course of the tireless sun
  By Zeus, the limit of all Nature's life
  And death, the dally round that maketh up
  The eternal circuit of the rolling years.
  And now amongst the Blessed bitter feud
  Had broken out; but by behest of Zeus
  The twin Fates suddenly stood beside these twain,
  One dark—her shadow fell on Memnon's heart;
  One bright—her radiance haloed Peleus' son.
  And with a great cry the Immortals saw,
  And filled with sorrow they of the one part were,
  They of the other with triumphant joy.

  Still in the midst of blood-stained battle-rout
  Those heroes fought, unknowing of the Fates
  Now drawn so nigh, but each at other hurled
  His whole heart's courage, all his bodily might.
  Thou hadst said that in the strife of that dread day
  Huge tireless Giants or strong Titans warred,
  So fiercely blazed the wildfire of their strife,
  Now, when they clashed with swords, now when they leapt
  Hurling huge stones. Nor either would give back
  Before the hail of blows, nor quailed. They stood
  Like storm-tormented headlands steadfast, clothed
  With might past words, unearthly; for the twain
  Alike could boast their lineage of high Zeus.
  Therefore 'twixt these Enyo lengthened out
  The even-balanced strife, while ever they
  In that grim wrestle strained their uttermost,
  They and their dauntless comrades, round their kings
  With ceaseless fury toiling, till their spears
  Stood shivered all in shields of warriors slain,
  And of the fighters woundless none remained;
  But from all limbs streamed down into the dust
  The blood and sweat of that unresting strain
  Of fight, and earth was hidden with the dead,
  As heaven is hidden with clouds when meets the sun
  The Goat-star, and the shipman dreads the deep.
  As charged the lines, the snorting chariot-steeds
  Trampled the dead, as on the myriad leaves
  Ye trample in the woods at entering-in
  Of winter, when the autumn-tide is past.

  Still mid the corpses and the blood fought on
  Those glorious sons of Gods, nor ever ceased
  From wrath of fight. But Eris now inclined
  The fatal scales of battle, which no more
  Were equal-poised. Beneath the breast-bone then
  Of godlike Memnon plunged Achilles' sword;
  Clear through his body all the dark-blue blade
  Leapt: suddenly snapped the silver cord of life.
  Down in a pool of blood he fell, and clashed
  His massy armour, and earth rang again.
  Then turned to flight his comrades panic-struck,
  And of his arms the Myrmidons stripped the dead,
  While fled the Trojans, and Achilles chased,
  As whirlwind swift and mighty to destroy.

  Then groaned the Dawn, and palled herself in clouds,
  And earth was darkened. At their mother's hest
  All the light Breathings of the Dawn took hands,
  And slid down one long stream of sighing wind
  To Priam's plain, and floated round the dead,
  And softly, swiftly caught they up, and bare
  Through silver mists the Dawn-queen's son, with hearts
  Sore aching for their brother's fall, while moaned
  Around them all the air. As on they passed,
  Fell many blood-gouts from those pierced limbs
  Down to the earth, and these were made a sign
  To generations yet to be. The Gods
  Gathered them up from many lands, and made
  Thereof a far-resounding river, named
  Of all that dwell beneath long Ida's flanks
  Paphlagoneion. As its waters flow
  'Twixt fertile acres, once a year they turn
  To blood, when comes the woeful day whereon
  Died Memnon. Thence a sick and choking reek
  Steams: thou wouldst say that from a wound unhealed
  Corrupting humours breathed an evil stench.
  Ay, so the Gods ordained: but now flew on
  Bearing Dawn's mighty son the rushing winds
  Skimming earth's face and palled about with night.

  Nor were his Aethiopian comrades left
  To wander of their King forlorn: a God
  Suddenly winged those eager souls with speed
  Such as should soon be theirs for ever, changed
  To flying fowl, the children of the air.
  Wailing their King in the winds' track they sped.
  As when a hunter mid the forest-brakes
  Is by a boar or grim-jawed lion slain,
  And now his sorrowing friends take up the corse,
  And bear it heavy-hearted; and the hounds
  Follow low-whimpering, pining for their lord
  In that disastrous hunting lost; so they
  Left far behind that stricken field of blood,
  And fast they followed after those swift winds

  With multitudinous moaning, veiled in mist
  Unearthly. Trojans over all the plain
  And Danaans marvelled, seeing that great host
  Vanishing with their King. All hearts stood still
  In dumb amazement. But the tireless winds
  Sighing set hero Memnon's giant corpse
  Down by the deep flow of Aesopus' stream,
  Where is a fair grove of the bright-haired Nymphs,
  The which round his long barrow afterward
  Aesopus' daughters planted, screening it
  With many and manifold trees: and long and loud
  Wailed those Immortals, chanting his renown,
  The son of the Dawn-goddess splendour-throned.

  Now sank the sun: the Lady of the Morn
  Wailing her dear child from the heavens came down.
  Twelve maidens shining-tressed attended her,
  The warders of the high paths of the sun
  For ever circling, warders of the night
  And dawn, and each world-ordinance framed of Zeus,
  Around whose mansion's everlasting doors
  From east to west they dance, from west to east,
  Whirling the wheels of harvest-laden years,
  While rolls the endless round of winter's cold,
  And flowery spring, and lovely summer-tide,
  And heavy-clustered autumn. These came down
  From heaven, for Memnon wailing wild and high;
  And mourned with these the Pleiads. Echoed round
  Far-stretching mountains, and Aesopus' stream.
  Ceaseless uprose the keen, and in their midst,
  Fallen on her son and clasping, wailed the Dawn;
  "Dead art thou, dear, dear child, and thou hast clad
  Thy mother with a pall of grief. Oh, I,
  Now thou art slain, will not endure to light
  The Immortal Heavenly Ones! No, I will plunge
  Down to the dread depths of the underworld,
  Where thy lone spirit flitteth to and fro,
  And will to blind night leave earth, sky, and sea,
  Till Chaos and formless darkness brood o'er all,
  That Cronos' Son may also learn what means
  Anguish of heart. For not less worship-worthy
  Than Nereus' Child, by Zeus's ordinance,
  Am I, who look on all things, I, who bring
  All to their consummation. Recklessly
  My light Zeus now despiseth! Therefore I
  Will pass into the darkness. Let him bring
  Up to Olympus Thetis from the sea
  To hold for him light forth to Gods and men!
  My sad soul loveth darkness more than day,
  Lest I pour light upon thy slayer's head:

  Thus as she cried, the tears ran down her face
  Immortal, like a river brimming aye:
  Drenched was the dark earth round the corse. The Night
  Grieved in her daughter's anguish, and the heaven
  Drew over all his stars a veil of mist
  And cloud, of love unto the Lady of Light.

  Meanwhile within their walls the Trojan folk
  For Memnon sorrowed sore, with vain regret
  Yearning for that lost king and all his host.
  Nor greatly joyed the Argives, where they lay
  Camped in the open plain amidst the dead.
  There, mingled with Achilles' praise, uprose
  Wails for Antilochus: joy clasped hands with grief.

  All night in groans and sighs most pitiful
  The Dawn-queen lay: a sea of darkness moaned
  Around her. Of the dayspring nought she recked:
  She loathed Olympus' spaces. At her side
  Fretted and whinnied still her fleetfoot steeds,
  Trampling the strange earth, gazing at their Queen
  Grief-stricken, yearning for the fiery course.
  Suddenly crashed the thunder of the wrath
  Of Zeus; rocked round her all the shuddering earth,
  And on immortal Eos trembling came.

  Swiftly the dark-skinned Aethiops from her sight
  Buried their lord lamenting. As they wailed
  Unceasingly, the Dawn-queen lovely-eyed
  Changed them to birds sweeping through air around
  The barrow of the mighty dead. And these
  Still do the tribes of men "The Memnons" call;
  And still with wailing cries they dart and wheel
  Above their king's tomb, and they scatter dust
  Down on his grave, still shrill the battle-cry,
  In memory of Memnon, each to each.
  But he in Hades' mansions, or perchance
  Amid the Blessed on the Elysian Plain,
  Laugheth. Divine Dawn comforteth her heart
  Beholding them: but theirs is toil of strife
  Unending, till the weary victors strike
  The vanquished dead, or one and all fill up
  The measure of their doom around his grave.

  So by command of Eos, Lady of Light,
  The swift birds dree their weird. But Dawn divine
  Now heavenward soared with the all-fostering Hours,
  Who drew her to Zeus' threshold, sorely loth,
  Yet conquered by their gentle pleadings, such
  As salve the bitterest grief of broken hearts.
  Nor the Dawn-queen forgat her daily course,
  But quailed before the unbending threat of Zeus,
  Of whom are all things, even all comprised
  Within the encircling sweep of Ocean's stream,
  Earth and the palace-dome of burning stars.
  Before her went her Pleiad-harbingers,
  Then she herself flung wide the ethereal gates,
  And, scattering spray of splendour, flashed there-through.


How by the shaft of a God laid low was Hero Achilles.

  When shone the light of Dawn the splendour-throned,
  Then to the ships the Pylian spearmen bore
  Antilochus' corpse, sore sighing for their prince,
  And by the Hellespont they buried him
  With aching hearts. Around him groaning stood
  The battle-eager sons of Argives, all,
  Of love for Nestor, shrouded o'er with grief.
  But that grey hero's heart was nowise crushed
  By sorrow; for the wise man's soul endures
  Bravely, and cowers not under affliction's stroke.
  But Peleus' son, wroth for Antilochus
  His dear friend, armed for vengeance terrible
  Upon the Trojans. Yea, and these withal,
  Despite their dread of mighty Achilles' spear,
  Poured battle-eager forth their gates, for now
  The Fates with courage filled their breasts, of whom
  Many were doomed to Hades to descend,
  Whence there is no return, thrust down by hands
  Of Aeacus' son, who also was foredoomed
  To perish that same day by Priam's wall.
  Swift met the fronts of conflict: all the tribes
  Of Troy's host, and the battle-biding Greeks,
  Afire with that new-kindled fury of war.

  Then through the foe the son of Peleus made
  Wide havoc: all around the earth was drenched
  With gore, and choked with corpses were the streams
  Of Simois and Xanthus. Still he chased,
  Still slaughtered, even to the city's walls;
  For panic fell on all the host. And now
  All had he slain, had dashed the gates to earth,
  Rending them from their hinges, or the bolts,
  Hurling himself against them, had he snapped,
  And for the Danaans into Priam's burg
  Had made a way, had utterly destroyed
  That goodly town—but now was Phoebus wroth
  Against him with grim fury, when he saw
  Those countless troops of heroes slain of him.
  Down from Olympus with a lion-leap
  He came: his quiver on his shoulders lay,
  And shafts that deal the wounds incurable.
  Facing Achilles stood he; round him clashed
  Quiver and arrows; blazed with quenchless flame
  His eyes, and shook the earth beneath his feet.
  Then with a terrible shout the great God cried,
  So to turn back from war Achilles awed
  By the voice divine, and save from death the Trojans:
  "Back from the Trojans, Peleus' son! Beseems not
  That longer thou deal death unto thy foes,
  Lest an Olympian God abase thy pride."

  But nothing quailed the hero at the voice
  Immortal, for that round him even now
  Hovered the unrelenting Fates. He recked
  Naught of the God, and shouted his defiance.
  "Phoebus, why dost thou in mine own despite
  Stir me to fight with Gods, and wouldst protect
  The arrogant Trojans? Heretofore hast thou
  By thy beguiling turned me from the fray,
  When from destruction thou at the first didst save
  Hector, whereat the Trojans all through Troy
  Exulted. Nay, thou get thee back: return
  Unto the mansion of the Blessed, lest
  I smite thee—ay, immortal though thou be!"

  Then on the God he turned his back, and sped
  After the Trojans fleeing cityward,
  And harried still their flight; but wroth at heart
  Thus Phoebus spake to his indignant soul:
  "Out on this man! he is sense-bereft! But now
  Not Zeus himself nor any other Power
  Shall save this madman who defies the Gods!"

  From mortal sight he vanished into cloud,
  And cloaked with mist a baleful shaft he shot
  Which leapt to Achilles' ankle: sudden pangs
  With mortal sickness made his whole heart faint.
  He reeled, and like a tower he fell, that falls
  Smit by a whirlwind when an earthquake cleaves
  A chasm for rushing blasts from underground;
  So fell the goodly form of Aeacus' son.
  He glared, a murderous glance, to right, to left,
  [Upon the Trojans, and a terrible threat]
  Shouted, a threat that could not be fulfilled:
  "Who shot at me a stealthy-smiting shaft?
  Let him but dare to meet me face to face!
  So shall his blood and all his bowels gush out
  About my spear, and he be hellward sped!
  I know that none can meet me man to man
  And quell in fight—of earth-born heroes none,
  Though such an one should bear within his breast
  A heart unquailing, and have thews of brass.
  But dastards still in stealthy ambush lurk
  For lives of heroes. Let him face me then!—
  Ay! though he be a God whose anger burns
  Against the Danaans! Yea, mine heart forebodes
  That this my smiter was Apollo, cloaked
  In deadly darkness. So in days gone by
  My mother told me how that by his shafts
  I was to die before the Scaean Gates
  A piteous death. Her words were not vain words."

  Then with unflinching hands from out the wound
  Incurable he drew the deadly shaft
  In agonized pain. Forth gushed the blood; his heart
  Waxed faint beneath the shadow of coming doom.
  Then in indignant wrath he hurled from him
  The arrow: a sudden gust of wind swept by,
  And caught it up, and, even as he trod
  Zeus' threshold, to Apollo gave it back;
  For it beseemed not that a shaft divine,
  Sped forth by an Immortal, should be lost.
  He unto high Olympus swiftly came,
  To the great gathering of immortal Gods,
  Where all assembled watched the war of men,
  These longing for the Trojans' triumph, those
  For Danaan victory; so with diverse wills
  Watched they the strife, the slayers and the slain.

  Him did the Bride of Zeus behold, and straight
  Upbraided with exceeding bitter words:
  "What deed of outrage, Phoebus, hast thou done
  This day, forgetful of that day whereon
  To godlike Peleus' spousals gathered all
  The Immortals? Yea, amidst the feasters thou
  Sangest how Thetis silver-footed left
  The sea's abysses to be Peleus' bride;
  And as thou harpedst all earth's children came
  To hearken, beasts and birds, high craggy hills,
  Rivers, and all deep-shadowed forests came.
  All this hast thou forgotten, and hast wrought
  A ruthless deed, hast slain a godlike man,
  Albeit thou with other Gods didst pour
  The nectar, praying that he might be the son
  By Thetis given to Peleus. But that prayer
  Hast thou forgotten, favouring the folk
  Of tyrannous Laomedon, whose kine
  Thou keptest. He, a mortal, did despite
  To thee, the deathless! O, thou art wit-bereft!
  Thou favourest Troy, thy sufferings all forgot.
  Thou wretch, and doth thy false heart know not this,
  What man is an offence, and meriteth
  Suffering, and who is honoured of the Gods?
  Ever Achilles showed us reverence—yea,
  Was of our race. Ha, but the punishment
  Of Troy, I ween, shall not be lighter, though
  Aeacus' son have fallen; for his son
  Right soon shall come from Scyros to the war
  To help the Argive men, no less in might
  Than was his sire, a bane to many a foe.
  But thou—thou for the Trojans dost not care,
  But for his valour enviedst Peleus' son,
  Seeing he was the mightest of all men.
  Thou fool! how wilt thou meet the Nereid's eyes,
  When she shall stand in Zeus' hall midst the Gods,
  Who praised thee once, and loved as her own son?"

  So Hera spake, in bitterness of soul
  Upbraiding, but he answered her not a word,
  Of reverence for his mighty Father's bride;
  Nor could he lift his eyes to meet her eyes,
  But sat abashed, aloof from all the Gods
  Eternal, while in unforgiving wrath
  Scowled on him all the Immortals who maintained
  The Danaans' cause; but such as fain would bring
  Triumph to Troy, these with exultant hearts
  Extolled him, hiding it from Hera's eyes,
  Before whose wrath all Heaven-abiders shrank.

  But Peleus' son the while forgat not yet
  War's fury: still in his invincible limbs
  The hot blood throbbed, and still he longed for fight.
  Was none of all the Trojans dared draw nigh
  The stricken hero, but at distance stood,
  As round a wounded lion hunters stand
  Mid forest-brakes afraid, and, though the shaft
  Stands in his heart, yet faileth not in him
  His royal courage, but with terrible glare
  Roll his fierce eyes, and roar his grimly jaws;
  So wrath and anguish of his deadly hurt
  To fury stung Peleides' soul; but aye
  His strength ebbed through the god-envenomed wound.
  Yet leapt he up, and rushed upon the foe,
  And flashed the lightning of his lance; it slew
  The goodly Orythaon, comrade stout
  Of Hector, through his temples crashing clear:
  His helm stayed not the long lance fury-sped
  Which leapt therethrough, and won within the bones
  The heart of the brain, and spilt his lusty life.
  Then stabbed he 'neath the brow Hipponous
  Even to the eye-roots, that the eyeball fell
  To earth: his soul to Hades flitted forth.
  Then through the jaw he pierced Alcathous,
  And shore away his tongue: in dust he fell
  Gasping his life out, and the spear-head shot
  Out through his ear. These, as they rushed on him,
  That hero slew; but many a fleer's life
  He spilt, for in his heart still leapt the blood.

  But when his limbs grew chill, and ebbed away
  His spirit, leaning on his spear he stood,
  While still the Trojans fled in huddled rout
  Of panic, and he shouted unto them:
  "Trojan and Dardan cravens, ye shall not
  Even in my death, escape my merciless spear,
  But unto mine Avenging Spirits ye
  Shall pay—ay, one and all—destruction's debt!"

  He spake; they heard and quailed: as mid the hills
  Fawns tremble at a lion's deep-mouthed roar,
  And terror-stricken flee the monster, so
  The ranks of Trojan chariot-lords, the lines
  Of battle-helpers drawn from alien lands,
  Quailed at the last shout of Achilles, deemed
  That he was woundless yet. But 'neath the weight
  Of doom his aweless heart, his mighty limbs,
  At last were overborne. Down midst the dead
  He fell, as fails a beetling mountain-cliff.
  Earth rang beneath him: clanged with a thundercrash
  His arms, as Peleus' son the princely fell.
  And still his foes with most exceeding dread
  Stared at him, even as, when some murderous beast
  Lies slain by shepherds, tremble still the sheep
  Eyeing him, as beside the fold he lies,
  And shrinking, as they pass him, far aloof
  And, even as he were living, fear him dead;
  So feared they him, Achilles now no more.

  Yet Paris strove to kindle those faint hearts;
  For his own heart exulted, and he hoped,
  Now Peleus' son, the Danaans' strength, had fallen,
  Wholly to quench the Argive battle-fire:
  "Friends, if ye help me truly and loyally,
  Let us this day die, slain by Argive men,
  Or live, and hale to Troy with Hector's steeds
  In triumph Peleus' son thus fallen dead,
  The steeds that, grieving, yearning for their lord
  To fight have borne me since my brother died.
  Might we with these but hale Achilles slain,
  Glory were this for Hector's horses, yea,
  For Hector—if in Hades men have sense
  Of righteous retribution. This man aye
  Devised but mischief for the sons of Troy;
  And now Troy's daughters with exultant hearts
  From all the city streets shall gather round,
  As pantheresses wroth for stolen cubs,
  Or lionesses, might stand around a man
  Whose craft in hunting vexed them while he lived.
  So round Achilles—a dead corpse at last!—
  In hurrying throngs Troy's daughters then shall come
  In unforgiving, unforgetting hate,
  For parents wroth, for husbands slain, for sons,
  For noble kinsmen. Most of all shall joy
  My father, and the ancient men, whose feet
  Unwillingly are chained within the walls
  By eld, if we shall hale him through our gates,
  And give our foe to fowls of the air for meat."

  Then they, which feared him theretofore, in haste
  Closed round the corpse of strong-heart Aeacus' son,
  Glaucus, Aeneas, battle-fain Agenor,
  And other cunning men in deadly fight,
  Eager to hale him thence to Ilium
  The god-built burg. But Aias failed him not.
  Swiftly that godlike man bestrode the dead:
  Back from the corpse his long lance thrust them all.
  Yet ceased they not from onslaught; thronging round,
  Still with swift rushes fought they for the prize,
  One following other, like to long-lipped bees
  Which hover round their hive in swarms on swarms
  To drive a man thence; but he, recking naught
  Of all their fury, carveth out the combs
  Of nectarous honey: harassed sore are they
  By smoke-reek and the robber; spite of all
  Ever they dart against him; naught cares he;
  So naught of all their onsets Aias recked;
  But first he stabbed Agelaus in the breast,
  And slew that son of Maion: Thestor next:
  Ocythous he smote, Agestratus,
  Aganippus, Zorus, Nessus, Erymas
  The war-renowned, who came from Lycia-land
  With mighty-hearted Glaucus, from his home
  In Melanippion on the mountain-ridge,
  Athena's fane, which Massikyton fronts
  Anigh Chelidonia's headland, dreaded sore
  Of scared seafarers, when its lowering crags
  Must needs be doubled. For his death the blood
  Of famed Hippolochus' son was horror-chilled;
  For this was his dear friend. With one swift thrust
  He pierced the sevenfold hides of Aias' shield,
  Yet touched his flesh not; stayed the spear-head was
  By those thick hides and by the corset-plate
  Which lapped his battle-tireless limbs. But still
  From that stern conflict Glaucus drew not back,
  Burning to vanquish Aias, Aeacus' son,
  And in his folly vaunting threatened him:
  "Aias, men name thee mightiest man of all
  The Argives, hold thee in passing-high esteem
  Even as Achilles: therefore thou, I wot,
  By that dead warrior dead this day shalt lie!"

  So hurled he forth a vain word, knowing not
  How far in might above him was the man
  Whom his spear threatened. Battle-bider Aias
  Darkly and scornfully glaring on him, said
  "Thou craven wretch, and knowest thou not this,
  How much was Hector mightier than thou
  In war-craft? yet before my might, my spear,
  He shrank. Ay, with his valour was there blent
  Discretion. Thou thy thoughts are deathward set,
  Who dar'st defy me to the battle, me,
  A mightier far than thou! Thou canst not say
  That friendship of our fathers thee shall screen;
  Nor me thy gifts shall wile to let thee pass
  Scatheless from war, as once did Tydeus' son.
  Though thou didst 'scape his fury, will not I
  Suffer thee to return alive from war.
  Ha, in thy many helpers dost thou trust
  Who with thee, like so many worthless flies,
  Flit round the noble Achilles' corpse? To these
  Death and black doom shall my swift onset deal."

  Then on the Trojans this way and that he turned,
  As mid long forest-glens a lion turns
  On hounds, and Trojans many and Lycians slew
  That came for honour hungry, till he stood
  Mid a wide ring of flinchers; like a shoal
  Of darting fish when sails into their midst
  Dolphin or shark, a huge sea-fosterling;
  So shrank they from the might of Telamon's son,
  As aye he charged amidst the rout. But still
  Swarmed fighters up, till round Achilles' corse
  To right, to left, lay in the dust the slain
  Countless, as boars around a lion at bay;
  And evermore the strife waxed deadlier.
  Then too Hippolochus' war-wise son was slain
  By Aias of the heart of fire. He fell
  Backward upon Achilles, even as falls
  A sapling on a sturdy mountain-oak;
  So quelled by the spear on Peleus' son he fell.
  But for his rescue Anchises' stalwart son
  Strove hard, with all his comrades battle-fain,
  And haled the corse forth, and to sorrowing friends
  Gave it, to bear to Ilium's hallowed burg.
  Himself to spoil Achilles still fought on,
  Till warrior Aias pierced him with the spear
  Through the right forearm. Swiftly leapt he back
  From murderous war, and hasted thence to Troy.
  There for his healing cunning leeches wrought,
  Who stanched the blood-rush, and laid on the gash
  Balms, such as salve war-stricken warriors' pangs.

  But Aias still fought on: here, there he slew
  With thrusts like lightning-flashes. His great heart
  Ached sorely for his mighty cousin slain.
  And now the warrior-king Laertes' son
  Fought at his side: before him blenched the foe,
  As he smote down Peisander's fleetfoot son,
  The warrior Maenalus, who left his home
  In far-renowned Abydos: down on him
  He hurled Atymnius, the goodly son
  Whom Pegasis the bright-haired Nymph had borne
  To strong Emathion by Granicus' stream.
  Dead by his side he laid Orestius' son,
  Proteus, who dwelt 'neath lofty Ida's folds.
  Ah, never did his mother welcome home
  That son from war, Panaceia beauty-famed!
  He fell by Odysseus' hands, who spilt the lives
  Of many more whom his death-hungering spear
  Reached in that fight around the mighty dead.
  Yet Alcon, son of Megacles battle-swift,
  Hard by Odysseus' right knee drave the spear
  Home, and about the glittering greave the blood
  Dark-crimson welled. He recked not of the wound,
  But was unto his smiter sudden death;
  For clear through his shield he stabbed him with his spear
  Amidst his battle-fury: to the earth
  Backward he dashed him by his giant might
  And strength of hand: clashed round him in the dust
  His armour, and his corslet was distained
  With crimson life-blood. Forth from flesh and shield
  The hero plucked the spear of death: the soul
  Followed the lance-head from the body forth,
  And life forsook its mortal mansion. Then
  Rushed on his comrades, in his wound's despite,
  Odysseus, nor from that stern battle-toil
  Refrained him. And by this a mingled host
  Of Danaans eager-hearted fought around
  The mighty dead, and many and many a foe
  Slew they with those smooth-shafted ashen spears.
  Even as the winds strew down upon the ground
  The flying leaves, when through the forest-glades
  Sweep the wild gusts, as waneth autumn-tide,
  And the old year is dying; so the spears
  Of dauntless Danaans strewed the earth with slain,
  For loyal to dead Achilles were they all,
  And loyal to hero Aias to the death.
  For like black Doom he blasted the ranks of Troy.
  Then against Aias Paris strained his bow;
  But he was ware thereof, and sped a stone
  Swift to the archer's head: that bolt of death
  Crashed through his crested helm, and darkness closed
  Round him. In dust down fell he: naught availed
  His shafts their eager lord, this way and that
  Scattered in dust: empty his quiver lay,
  Flew from his hand the bow. In haste his friends
  Upcaught him from the earth, and Hector's steeds
  Hurried him thence to Troy, scarce drawing breath,
  And moaning in his pain. Nor left his men
  The weapons of their lord, but gathered up
  All from the plain, and bare them to the prince;
  While Aias after him sent a wrathful shout:
  "Dog, thou hast 'scaped the heavy hand of death
  To-day! But swiftly thy last hour shall come
  By some strong Argive's hands, or by mine own,
  But now have I a nobler task in hand,
  From murder's grip to rescue Achilles' corse."
  Then turned he on the foe, hurling swift doom
  On such as fought around Peleides yet.
  'These saw how many yielded up the ghost
  Neath his strong hands, and, with hearts failing them
  For fear, against him could they stand no more.
  As rascal vultures were they, which the swoop
  Of an eagle, king of birds, scares far away
  From carcasses of sheep that wolves have torn;
  So this way, that way scattered they before
  The hurtling stones, the sword, the might of Aias.
  In utter panic from the war they fled,
  In huddled rout, like starlings from the swoop
  Of a death-dealing hawk, when, fleeing bane,
  One drives against another, as they dart
  All terror-huddled in tumultuous flight.
  So from the war to Priam's burg they fled
  Wretchedly clad with terror as a cloak,
  Quailing from mighty Aias' battle-shout,
  As with hands dripping blood-gouts he pursued.
  Yea, all, one after other, had he slain,
  Had they not streamed through city-gates flung wide
  Hard-panting, pierced to the very heart with fear.
  Pent therewithin he left them, as a shepherd
  Leaves folded sheep, and strode back o'er the plain;
  Yet never touched he with his feet the ground,
  But aye he trod on dead men, arms, and blood;
  For countless corpses lay o'er that wide stretch
  Even from broad-wayed Troy to Hellespont,
  Bodies of strong men slain, the spoil of Doom.
  As when the dense stalks of sun-ripened corn
  Fall 'neath the reapers' hands, and the long swaths,
  Heavy with full ears, overspread the field,
  And joys the heart of him who oversees
  The toil, lord of the harvest; even so,
  By baleful havoc overmastered, lay
  All round face-downward men remembering not
  The death-denouncing war-shout. But the sons
  Of fair Achaea left their slaughtered foes
  In dust and blood unstripped of arms awhile
  Till they should lay upon the pyre the son
  Of Peleus, who in battle-shock had been
  Their banner of victory, charging in his might.
  So the kings drew him from that stricken field
  Straining beneath the weight of giant limbs,
  And with all loving care they bore him on,
  And laid him in his tent before the ships.
  And round him gathered that great host, and wailed
  Heart-anguished him who had been the Achaeans' strength,
  And now, forgotten all the splendour of spears,
  Lay mid the tents by moaning Hellespont,
  In stature more than human, even as lay
  Tityos, who sought to force Queen Leto, when
  She fared to Pytho: swiftly in his wrath
  Apollo shot, and laid him low, who seemed
  Invincible: in a foul lake of gore
  There lay he, covering many a rood of ground,
  On the broad earth, his mother; and she moaned
  Over her son, of blessed Gods abhorred;
  But Lady Leto laughed. So grand of mould
  There in the foemen's land lay Aeacus' son,
  For joy to Trojans, but for endless grief
  To Achaean men lamenting. Moaned the air
  With sighing from the abysses of the sea;
  And passing heavy grew the hearts of all,
  Thinking: "Now shall we perish by the hands
  Of Trojans!" Then by those dark ships they thought
  Of white-haired fathers left in halls afar,
  Of wives new-wedded, who by couches cold
  Mourned, waiting, waiting, with their tender babes
  For husbands unreturning; and they groaned
  In bitterness of soul. A passion of grief
  Came o'er their hearts; they fell upon their faces
  On the deep sand flung down, and wept as men
  All comfortless round Peleus' mighty son,
  And clutched and plucked out by the roots their hair,
  And east upon their heads defiling sand.
  Their cry was like the cry that goeth up
  From folk that after battle by their walls
  Are slaughtered, when their maddened foes set fire
  To a great city, and slay in heaps on heaps
  Her people, and make spoil of all her wealth;
  So wild and high they wailed beside the sea,
  Because the Danaans' champion, Aeacus' son,
  Lay, grand in death, by a God's arrow slain,
  As Ares lay, when She of the Mighty Father
  With that huge stone down dashed him on Troy's plain.

  Ceaselessly wailed the Myrmidons Achilles,
  A ring of mourners round the kingly dead,
  That kind heart, friend alike to each and all,
  To no man arrogant nor hard of mood,
  But ever tempering strength with courtesy.

  Then Aias first, deep-groaning, uttered forth
  His yearning o'er his father's brother's son
  God-stricken—ay, no man had smitten him
  Of all upon the wide-wayed earth that dwell!
  Him glorious Aias heavy-hearted mourned,
  Now wandering to the tent of Peleus' son,
  Now cast down all his length, a giant form,
  On the sea-sands; and thus lamented he:
  "Achilles, shield and sword of Argive men,
  Thou hast died in Troy, from Phthia's plains afar,
  Smitten unwares by that accursed shaft,
  Such thing as weakling dastards aim in fight!
  For none who trusts in wielding the great shield,
  None who for war can skill to set the helm
  Upon his brows, and sway the spear in grip,
  And cleave the brass about the breasts of foes,
  Warreth with arrows, shrinking from the fray.
  Not man to man he met thee, whoso smote;
  Else woundless never had he 'scaped thy lance!
  But haply Zeus purposed to ruin all,
  And maketh all our toil and travail vain—
  Ay, now will grant the Trojans victory
  Who from Achaea now hath reft her shield!
  Ah me! how shall old Peleus in his halls
  Take up the burden of a mighty grief
  Now in his joyless age! His heart shall break
  At the mere rumour of it. Better so,
  Thus in a moment to forget all pain.
  But if these evil tidings slay him not,
  Ah, laden with sore sorrow eld shall come
  Upon him, eating out his heart with grief
  By a lone hearth Peleus so passing dear
  Once to the Blessed! But the Gods vouchsafe
  No perfect happiness to hapless men."

  So he in grief lamented Peleus' son.
  Then ancient Phoenix made heart-stricken moan,
  Clasping the noble form of Aeacus' seed,
  And in wild anguish wailed the wise of heart:
  "Thou art reft from me, dear child, and cureless pain
  Hast left to me! Oh that upon my face
  The veiling earth had fallen, ere I saw
  Thy bitter doom! No pang more terrible
  Hath ever stabbed mine heart no, not that hour
  Of exile, when I fled from fatherland
  And noble parents, fleeing Hellas through,
  Till Peleus welcomed me with gifts, and lord
  Of his Dolopians made me. In his arms
  Thee through his halls one day he bare, and set
  Upon my knees, and bade me foster thee,
  His babe, with all love, as mine own dear child:
  I hearkened to him: blithely didst thou cling
  About mine heart, and, babbling wordless speech,
  Didst call me `father' oft, and didst bedew
  My breast and tunic with thy baby lips.
  Ofttimes with soul that laughed for glee I held
  Thee in mine arms; for mine heart whispered me
  `This fosterling through life shall care for thee,
  Staff of thine age shall be.' And that mine hope
  Was for a little while fulfilled; but now
  Thou hast vanished into darkness, and to me
  Is left long heart-ache wild with all regret.
  Ah, might my sorrow slay me, ere the tale
  To noble Peleus come! When on his ears
  Falleth the heavy tidings, he shall weep
  And wail without surcease. Most piteous grief
  We twain for thy sake shall inherit aye,
  Thy sire and I, who, ere our day of doom,
  Mourning shall go down to the grave for thee—
  Ay, better this than life unholpen of thee!"

  So moaned his ever-swelling tide of grief.
  And Atreus' son beside him mourned and wept
  With heart on fire with inly smouldering pain:
  "Thou hast perished, chiefest of the Danaan men,
  Hast perished, and hast left the Achaean host
  Fenceless! Now thou art fallen, are they left
  An easier prey to foes. Thou hast given joy
  To Trojans by thy fall, who dreaded thee
  As sheep a lion. These with eager hearts
  Even to the ships will bring the battle now.
  Zeus, Father, thou too with deceitful words
  Beguilest mortals! Thou didst promise me
  That Priam's burg should be destroyed; but now
  That promise given dost thou not fulfil,
  But thou didst cheat mine heart: I shall not win
  The war's goal, now Achilles is no more."

  So did he cry heart-anguished. Mourned all round
  Wails multitudinous for Peleus' son:
  The dark ships echoed back the voice of grief,
  And sighed and sobbed the immeasurable air.
  And as when long sea-rollers, onward driven
  By a great wind, heave up far out at sea,
  And strandward sweep with terrible rush, and aye
  Headland and beach with shattered spray are scourged,
  And roar unceasing; so a dread sound rose
  Of moaning of the Danaans round the corse,
  Ceaselessly wailing Peleus' aweless son.

  And on their mourning soon black night had come,
  But spake unto Atreides Neleus' son,
  Nestor, whose own heart bare its load of grief
  Remembering his own son Antilochus:
  "O mighty Agamemnon, sceptre-lord
  Of Argives, from wide-shrilling lamentation
  Refrain we for this day. None shall withhold
  Hereafter these from all their heart's desire
  Of weeping and lamenting many days.
  But now go to, from aweless Aeacus' son
  Wash we the foul blood-gouts, and lay we him
  Upon a couch: unseemly it is to shame
  The dead by leaving them untended long."

  So counselled Neleus' son, the passing-wise.
  Then hasted he his men, and bade them set
  Caldrons of cold spring-water o'er the flames,
  And wash the corse, and clothe in vesture fair,
  Sea-purple, which his mother gave her son
  At his first sailing against Troy. With speed
  They did their lord's command: with loving care,
  All service meetly rendered, on a couch
  Laid they the mighty fallen, Peleus' son.

  The Trito-born, the passing-wise, beheld
  And pitied him, and showered upon his head
  Ambrosia, which hath virtue aye to keep
  Taintless, men say, the flesh of warriors slain.
  Like softly-breathing sleeper dewy-fresh
  She made him: over that dead face she drew
  A stern frown, even as when he lay, with wrath
  Darkening his grim face, clasping his slain friend
  Patroclus; and she made his frame to be
  More massive, like a war-god to behold.
  And wonder seized the Argives, as they thronged
  And saw the image of a living man,
  Where all the stately length of Peleus' son
  Lay on the couch, and seemed as though he slept.

  Around him all the woeful captive-maids,
  Whom he had taken for a prey, what time
  He had ravaged hallowed Lemnos, and had scaled
  The towered crags of Thebes, Eetion's town,
  Wailed, as they stood and rent their fair young flesh,
  And smote their breasts, and from their hearts bemoaned
  That lord of gentleness and courtesy,
  Who honoured even the daughters of his foes.
  And stricken most of all with heart-sick pain
  Briseis, hero Achilles' couchmate, bowed
  Over the dead, and tore her fair young flesh
  With ruthless fingers, shrieking: her soft breast
  Was ridged with gory weals, so cruelly
  She smote it thou hadst said that crimson blood
  Had dripped on milk. Yet, in her griefs despite,
  Her winsome loveliness shone out, and grace
  Hung like a veil about her, as she wailed:
  "Woe for this grief passing all griefs beside!
  Never on me came anguish like to this
  Not when my brethren died, my fatherland
  Was wasted—like this anguish for thy death!
  Thou wast my day, my sunlight, my sweet life,
  Mine hope of good, my strong defence from harm,
  Dearer than all my beauty—yea, more dear
  Than my lost parents! Thou wast all in all
  To me, thou only, captive though I be.
  Thou tookest from me every bondmaid's task
  And like a wife didst hold me. Ah, but now
  Me shall some new Achaean master bear
  To fertile Sparta, or to thirsty Argos.
  The bitter cup of thraldom shall I drain,
  Severed, ah me, from thee! Oh that the earth
  Had veiled my dead face ere I saw thy doom!"

  So for slain Peleus' son did she lament
  With woeful handmaids and heart-anguished Greeks,
  Mourning a king, a husband. Never dried
  Her tears were: ever to the earth they streamed
  Like sunless water trickling from a rock
  While rime and snow yet mantle o'er the earth
  Above it; yet the frost melts down before
  The east-wind and the flame-shafts of the sun.

  Now came the sound of that upringing wail
  To Nereus' Daughters, dwellers in the depths
  Unfathomed. With sore anguish all their hearts
  Were smitten: piteously they moaned: their cry
  Shivered along the waves of Hellespont.
  Then with dark mantles overpalled they sped
  Swiftly to where the Argive men were thronged.
  As rushed their troop up silver paths of sea,
  The flood disported round them as they came.
  With one wild cry they floated up; it rang,
  A sound as when fleet-flying cranes forebode
  A great storm. Moaned the monsters of the deep
  Plaintively round that train of mourners. Fast
  On sped they to their goal, with awesome cry
  Wailing the while their sister's mighty son.
  Swiftly from Helicon the Muses came
  Heart-burdened with undying grief, for love
  And honour to the Nereid starry-eyed.

  Then Zeus with courage filled the Argive men,
  That-eyes of flesh might undismayed behold
  That glorious gathering of Goddesses.
  Then those Divine Ones round Achilles' corse
  Pealed forth with one voice from immortal lips
  A lamentation. Rang again the shores
  Of Hellespont. As rain upon the earth
  Their tears fell round the dead man, Aeacus' son;
  For out of depths of sorrow rose their moan.
  And all the armour, yea, the tents, the ships
  Of that great sorrowing multitude were wet
  With tears from ever-welling springs of grief.
  His mother cast her on him, clasping him,
  And kissed her son's lips, crying through her tears:
  "Now let the rosy-vestured Dawn in heaven
  Exult! Now let broad-flowing Axius
  Exult, and for Asteropaeus dead
  Put by his wrath! Let Priam's seed be glad
  But I unto Olympus will ascend,
  And at the feet of everlasting Zeus
  Will cast me, bitterly planning that he gave
  Me, an unwilling bride, unto a man—
  A man whom joyless eld soon overtook,
  To whom the Fates are near, with death for gift.
  Yet not so much for his lot do I grieve
  As for Achilles; for Zeus promised me
  To make him glorious in the Aeacid halls,
  In recompense for the bridal I so loathed
  That into wild wind now I changed me, now
  To water, now in fashion as a bird
  I was, now as the blast of flame; nor might
  A mortal win me for his bride, who seemed
  All shapes in turn that earth and heaven contain,
  Until the Olympian pledged him to bestow
  A godlike son on me, a lord of war.
  Yea, in a manner this did he fulfil
  Faithfully; for my son was mightiest
  Of men. But Zeus made brief his span of life
  Unto my sorrow. Therefore up to heaven
  Will I: to Zeus's mansion will I go
  And wail my son, and will put Zeus in mind
  Of all my travail for him and his sons
  In their sore stress, and sting his soul with shame."

  So in her wild lament the Sea-queen cried.
  But now to Thetis spake Calliope,
  She in whose heart was steadfast wisdom throned:
  "From lamentation, Thetis, now forbear,
  And do not, in the frenzy of thy grief
  For thy lost son, provoke to wrath the Lord
  Of Gods and men. Lo, even sons of Zeus,
  The Thunder-king, have perished, overborne
  By evil fate. Immortal though I be,
  Mine own son Orpheus died, whose magic song
  Drew all the forest-trees to follow him,
  And every craggy rock and river-stream,
  And blasts of winds shrill-piping stormy-breathed,
  And birds that dart through air on rushing wings.
  Yet I endured mine heavy sorrow: Gods
  Ought not with anguished grief to vex their souls.
  Therefore make end of sorrow-stricken wail
  For thy brave child; for to the sons of earth
  Minstrels shall chant his glory and his might,
  By mine and by my sisters' inspiration,
  Unto the end of time. Let not thy soul
  Be crushed by dark grief, nor do thou lament
  Like those frail mortal women. Know'st thou not
  That round all men which dwell upon the earth
  Hovereth irresistible deadly Fate,
  Who recks not even of the Gods? Such power
  She only hath for heritage. Yea, she
  Soon shall destroy gold-wealthy Priam's town,
  And Trojans many and Argives doom to death,
  Whomso she will. No God can stay her hand."

  So in her wisdom spake Calliope.
  Then plunged the sun down into Ocean's stream,
  And sable-vestured Night came floating up
  O'er the wide firmament, and brought her boon
  Of sleep to sorrowing mortals. On the sands
  There slept they, all the Achaean host, with heads
  Bowed 'neath the burden of calamity.
  But upon Thetis sleep laid not his hand:
  Still with the deathless Nereids by the sea
  She sate; on either side the Muses spake
  One after other comfortable words
  To make that sorrowing heart forget its pain.

  But when with a triumphant laugh the Dawn
  Soared up the sky, and her most radiant light
  Shed over all the Trojans and their king,
  Then, sorrowing sorely for Achilles still,
  The Danaans woke to weep. Day after day,
  For many days they wept. Around them moaned
  Far-stretching beaches of the sea, and mourned
  Great Nereus for his daughter Thetis' sake;
  And mourned with him the other Sea-gods all
  For dead Achilles. Then the Argives gave
  The corpse of great Peleides to the flame.
  A pyre of countless tree-trunks built they up
  Which, all with one mind toiling, from the heights
  Of Ida they brought down; for Atreus' sons
  Sped on the work, and charged them to bring thence
  Wood without measure, that consumed with speed
  Might be Achilles' body. All around
  Piled they about the pyre much battle-gear
  Of strong men slain; and slew and cast thereon
  Full many goodly sons of Trojan men,
  And snorting steeds, and mighty bulls withal,
  And sheep and fatling swine thereon they cast.
  And wailing captive maids from coffers brought
  Mantles untold; all cast they on the pyre:
  Gold heaped they there and amber. All their hair
  The Myrmidons shore, and shrouded with the same
  The body of their king. Briseis laid
  Her own shorn tresses on the corpse, her gift,
  Her last, unto her lord. Great jars of oil
  Full many poured they out thereon, with jars
  Of honey and of wine, rich blood of the grape
  That breathed an odour as of nectar, yea,
  Cast incense-breathing perfumes manifold
  Marvellous sweet, the precious things put forth
  By earth, and treasures of the sea divine.

  Then, when all things were set in readiness
  About the pyre, all, footmen, charioteers,
  Compassed that woeful bale, clashing their arms,
  While, from the viewless heights Olympian, Zeus
  Rained down ambrosia on dead Aeacus' son.
  For honour to the Goddess, Nereus' child,
  He sent to Aeolus Hermes, bidding him
  Summon the sacred might of his swift winds,
  For that the corpse of Aeacus' son must now
  Be burned. With speed he went, and Aeolus
  Refused not: the tempestuous North in haste
  He summoned, and the wild blast of the West;
  And to Troy sped they on their whirlwind wings.
  Fast in mad onrush, fast across the deep
  They darted; roared beneath them as they flew
  The sea, the land; above crashed thunder-voiced
  Clouds headlong hurtling through the firmament.
  Then by decree of Zeus down on the pyre
  Of slain Achilles, like a charging host
  Swooped they; upleapt the Fire-god's madding breath:
  Uprose a long wail from the Myrmidons.
  Then, though with whirlwind rushes toiled the winds,
  All day, all night, they needs must fan the flames
  Ere that death-pyre burned out. Up to the heavens
  Vast-volumed rolled the smoke. The huge tree-trunks
  Groaned, writhing, bursting, in the heat, and dropped
  The dark-grey ash all round. So when the winds
  Had tirelessly fulfilled their mighty task,
  Back to their cave they rode cloud-charioted.

  Then, when the fire had last of all consumed
  That hero-king, when all the steeds, the men
  Slain round the pyre had first been ravined up,
  With all the costly offerings laid around
  The mighty dead by Achaia's weeping sons,
  The glowing embers did the Myrmidons quench
  With wine. Then clear to be discerned were seen
  His bones; for nowise like the rest were they,
  But like an ancient Giant's; none beside
  With these were blent; for bulls and steeds, and sons
  Of Troy, with all that mingled hecatomb,
  Lay in a wide ring round his corse, and he
  Amidst them, flame-devoured, lay there alone.
  So his companions groaning gathered up
  His bones, and in a silver casket laid
  Massy and deep, and banded and bestarred
  With flashing gold; and Nereus' daughters shed
  Ambrosia over them, and precious nards
  For honour to Achilles: fat of kine
  And amber honey poured they over all.
  A golden vase his mother gave, the gift
  In old time of the Wine-god, glorious work
  Of the craft-master Fire-god, in the which
  They laid the casket that enclosed the bones
  Of mighty-souled Achilles. All around
  The Argives heaped a barrow, a giant sign,
  Upon a foreland's uttermost end, beside
  The Hellespont's deep waters, wailing loud
  Farewells unto the Myrmidons' hero-king.

  Nor stayed the immortal steeds of Aeacus' son
  Tearless beside the ships; they also mourned
  Their slain king: sorely loth were they to abide
  Longer mid mortal men or Argive steeds
  Bearing a burden of consuming grief;
  But fain were they to soar through air, afar
  From wretched men, over the Ocean's streams,
  Over the Sea-queen's caverns, unto where
  Divine Podarge bare that storm-foot twain
  Begotten of the West-wind clarion-voiced
  Yea, and they had accomplished their desire,
  But the Gods' purpose held them back, until
  From Scyros' isle Achilles' fleetfoot son
  Should come. Him waited they to welcome, when
  He came unto the war-host; for the Fates,
  Daughters of holy Chaos, at their birth
  Had spun the life-threads of those deathless foals,
  Even to serve Poseidon first, and next
  Peleus the dauntless king, Achilles then
  The invincible, and, after these, the fourth,
  The mighty-hearted Neoptolemus,
  Whom after death to the Elysian Plain
  They were to bear, unto the Blessed Land,
  By Zeus' decree. For which cause, though their hearts
  Were pierced with bitter anguish, they abode
  Still by the ships, with spirits sorrowing
  For their old lord, and yearning for the new.

  Then from the surge of heavy-plunging seas
  Rose the Earth-shaker. No man saw his feet
  Pace up the strand, but suddenly he stood
  Beside the Nereid Goddesses, and spake
  To Thetis, yet for Achilles bowed with grief:
  "Refrain from endless mourning for thy son.
  Not with the dead shall he abide, but dwell
  With Gods, as doth the might of Herakles,
  And Dionysus ever fair. Not him
  Dread doom shall prison in darkness evermore,
  Nor Hades keep him. To the light of Zeus
  Soon shall he rise; and I will give to him
  A holy island for my gift: it lies
  Within the Euxine Sea: there evermore
  A God thy son shall be. The tribes that dwell
  Around shall as mine own self honour him
  With incense and with steam of sacrifice.
  Hush thy laments, vex not thine heart with grief."

  Then like a wind-breath had he passed away
  Over the sea, when that consoling word
  Was spoken; and a little in her breast
  Revived the spirit of Thetis: and the God
  Brought this to pass thereafter. All the host
  Moved moaning thence, and came unto the ships
  That brought them o'er from Hellas. Then returned
  To Helicon the Muses: 'neath the sea,
  Wailing the dear dead, Nereus' Daughters sank,


How in the Funeral Games of Achilles heroes contended.

  Nor did the hapless Trojans leave unwept
  The warrior-king Hippolochus' hero-son,
  But laid, in front of the Dardanian gate,
  Upon the pyre that captain war-renowned.
  But him Apollo's self caught swiftly up
  Out of the blazing fire, and to the winds
  Gave him, to bear away to Lycia-land;
  And fast and far they bare him, 'neath the glens
  Of high Telandrus, to a lovely glade;
  And for a monument above his grave
  Upheaved a granite rock. The Nymphs therefrom
  Made gush the hallowed water of a stream
  For ever flowing, which the tribes of men
  Still call fair-fleeting Glaucus. This the gods
  Wrought for an honour to the Lycian king.

  But for Achilles still the Argives mourned
  Beside the swift ships: heart-sick were they all
  With dolorous pain and grief. Each yearned for him
  As for a son; no eye in that wide host
  Was tearless. But the Trojans with great joy
  Exulted, seeing their sorrow from afar,
  And the great fire that spake their foe consumed.
  And thus a vaunting voice amidst them cried:
  "Now hath Cronion from his heaven vouchsafed
  A joy past hope unto our longing eyes,
  To see Achilles fallen before Troy.
  Now he is smitten down, the glorious hosts
  Of Troy, I trow, shall win a breathing-space
  From blood of death and from the murderous fray.
  Ever his heart devised the Trojans' bane;
  In his hands maddened aye the spear of doom
  With gore besprent, and none of us that faced
  Him in the fight beheld another dawn.
  But now, I wot, Achaea's valorous sons
  Shall flee unto their galleys shapely-prowed,
  Since slain Achilles lies. Ah that the might
  Of Hector still were here, that he might slay
  The Argives one and all amidst their tents!"

  So in unbridled joy a Trojan cried;
  But one more wise and prudent answered him:
  "Thou deemest that yon murderous Danaan host
  Will straightway get them to the ships, to flee
  Over the misty sea. Nay, still their lust
  Is hot for fight: us will they nowise fear,
  Still are there left strong battle-eager men,
  As Aias, as Tydeides, Atreus' sons:
  Though dead Achilles be, I still fear these.
  Oh that Apollo Silverbow would end them!
  Then in that day were given to our prayers
  A breathing-space from war and ghastly death."

  In heaven was dole among the Immortal Ones,
  Even all that helped the stalwart Danaans' cause.
  In clouds like mountains piled they veiled their heads
  For grief of soul. But glad those others were
  Who fain would speed Troy to a happy goal.
  Then unto Cronos' Son great Hera spake:
  "Zeus, Lightning-father, wherefore helpest thou
  Troy, all forgetful of the fair-haired bride
  Whom once to Peleus thou didst give to wife
  Midst Pelion's glens? Thyself didst bring to pass
  Those spousals of a Goddess: on that day
  All we Immortals feasted there, and gave
  Gifts passing-fair. All this dost thou forget,
  And hast devised for Hellas heaviest woe."

  So spake she; but Zeus answered not a word;
  For pondering there he sat with burdened breast,
  Thinking how soon the Argives should destroy
  The city of Priam, thinking how himself
  Would visit on the victors ruin dread
  In war and on the great sea thunder-voiced.
  Such thoughts were his, ere long to be fulfilled.

  Now sank the sun to Ocean's fathomless flood:
  O'er the dim land the infinite darkness stole,
  Wherein men gain a little rest from toil.
  Then by the ships, despite their sorrow, supped
  The Argives, for ye cannot thrust aside
  Hunger's importunate craving, when it comes
  Upon the breast, but straightway heavy and faint
  Lithe limbs become; nor is there remedy
  Until one satisfy this clamorous guest
  Therefore these ate the meat of eventide
  In grief for Achilles' hard necessity
  Constrained them all. And, when they had broken bread,
  Sweet sleep came on them, loosening from their frames
  Care's heavy chain, and quickening strength anew

  But when the starry Bears had eastward turned
  Their heads, expectant of the uprushing light
  Of Helios, and when woke the Queen of Dawn,
  Then rose from sleep the stalwart Argive men
  Purposing for the Trojans death and doom.
  Stirred were they like the roughly-ridging sea
  Icarian, or as sudden-rippling corn
  In harvest field, what time the rushing wings
  Of the cloud-gathering West sweep over it;
  So upon Hellespont's strand the folk were stirred.
  And to those eager hearts cried Tydeus' son:
  "If we be battle-biders, friends, indeed,
  More fiercely fight we now the hated foe,
  Lest they take heart because Achilles lives
  No longer. Come, with armour, car, and steed
  Let us beset them. Glory waits our toil?"

  But battle-eager Aias answering spake
  "Brave be thy words, and nowise idle talk,
  Kindling the dauntless Argive men, whose hearts
  Before were battle-eager, to the fight
  Against the Trojan men, O Tydeus' son.
  But we must needs abide amidst the ships
  Till Goddess Thetis come forth of the sea;
  For that her heart is purposed to set here
  Fair athlete-prizes for the funeral-games.
  This yesterday she told me, ere she plunged
  Into sea-depths, yea, spake to me apart
  From other Danaans; and, I trow, by this
  Her haste hath brought her nigh. Yon Trojan men,
  Though Peleus' son hath died, shall have small heart
  For battle, while myself am yet alive,
  And thou, and noble Atreus' son, the king."

  So spake the mighty son of Telamon,
  But knew not that a dark and bitter doom
  For him should follow hard upon those games
  By Fate's contrivance. Answered Tydeus' son
  "O friend, if Thetis comes indeed this day
  With goodly gifts for her son's funeral-games,
  Then bide we by the ships, and keep we here
  All others. Meet it is to do the will
  Of the Immortals: yea, to Achilles too,
  Though the Immortals willed it not, ourselves
  Must render honour grateful to the dead."

  So spake the battle-eager Tydeus' son.
  And lo, the Bride of Peleus gliding came
  Forth of the sea, like the still breath of dawn,
  And suddenly was with the Argive throng
  Where eager-faced they waited, some, that looked
  Soon to contend in that great athlete-strife,
  And some, to joy in seeing the mighty strive.
  Amidst that gathering Thetis sable-stoled
  Set down her prizes, and she summoned forth
  Achaea's champions: at her best they came.

  But first amidst them all rose Neleus' son,
  Not as desiring in the strife of fists
  To toil, nor strain of wrestling; for his arms
  And all his sinews were with grievous eld
  Outworn, but still his heart and brain were strong.
  Of all the Achaeans none could match himself
  Against him in the folkmote's war of words;
  Yea, even Laertes' glorious son to him
  Ever gave place when men for speech were met;
  Nor he alone, but even the kingliest
  Of Argives, Agamemnon, lord of spears.
  Now in their midst he sang the gracious Queen
  Of Nereids, sang how she in willsomeness
  Of beauty was of all the Sea-maids chief.
  Well-pleased she hearkened. Yet again he sang,
  Singing of Peleus' Bridal of Delight,
  Which all the blest Immortals brought to pass
  By Pelion's crests; sang of the ambrosial feast
  When the swift Hours brought in immortal hands
  Meats not of earth, and heaped in golden maunds;
  Sang how the silver tables were set forth
  In haste by Themis blithely laughing; sang
  How breathed Hephaestus purest flame of fire;
  Sang how the Nymphs in golden chalices
  Mingled ambrosia; sang the ravishing dance
  Twined by the Graces' feet; sang of the chant
  The Muses raised, and how its spell enthralled
  All mountains, rivers, all the forest brood;
  How raptured was the infinite firmament,
  Cheiron's fair caverns, yea, the very Gods.

  Such noble strain did Neleus' son pour out
  Into the Argives' eager ears; and they
  Hearkened with ravished souls. Then in their midst
  He sang once more the imperishable deeds
  Of princely Achilles. All the mighty throng
  Acclaimed him with delight. From that beginning
  With fitly chosen words did he extol
  The glorious hero; how he voyaged and smote
  Twelve cities; how he marched o'er leagues on leagues
  Of land, and spoiled eleven; how he slew
  Telephus and Eetion's might renowned
  In Thebe; how his spear laid Cyenus low,
  Poseidon's son, and godlike Polydorus,
  Troilus the goodly, princely Asteropaeus;
  And how he dyed with blood the river-streams
  Of Xanthus, and with countless corpses choked
  His murmuring flow, when from the limbs he tore
  Lycaon's life beside the sounding river;
  And how he smote down Hector; how he slew
  Penthesileia, and the godlike son
  Of splendour-throned Dawn;—all this he sang
  To Argives which already knew the tale;
  Sang of his giant mould, how no man's strength
  In fight could stand against him, nor in games
  Where strong men strive for mastery, where the swift
  Contend with flying feet or hurrying wheels
  Of chariots, nor in combat panoplied;
  And how in goodlihead he far outshone
  All Danaans, and how his bodily might
  Was measureless in the stormy clash of war.
  Last, he prayed Heaven that he might see a son
  Like that great sire from sea-washed Scyros come.

  That noble song acclaiming Argives praised;
  Yea, silver-looted Thetis smiled, and gave
  The singer fleetfoot horses, given of old
  Beside Caicus' mouth by Telephus
  To Achilles, when he healed the torturing wound
  With that same spear wherewith himself had pierced
  Telephus' thigh, and thrust the point clear through.
  These Nestor Neleus' son to his comrades gave,
  And, glorying in their godlike lord, they led
  The steeds unto his ships. Then Thetis set
  Amidst the athlete-ring ten kine, to be
  Her prizes for the footrace, and by each
  Ran a fair suckling calf. These the bold might
  Of Peleus' tireless son had driven down
  From slopes of Ida, prizes of his spear.

  To strive for these rose up two victory-fain,
  Teucer the first, the son of Telamon,
  And Aias, of the Locrian archers chief.
  These twain with swift hands girded them about
  With loin-cloths, reverencing the Goddess-bride
  Of Peleus, and the Sea-maids, who with her
  Came to behold the Argives' athlete-sport.
  And Atreus' son, lord of all Argive men,
  Showed them the turning-goal of that swift course.
  Then these the Queen of Rivalry spurred on,
  As from the starting-line like falcons swift
  They sped away. Long doubtful was the race:
  Now, as the Argives gazed, would Aias' friends
  Shout, now rang out the answering cheer from friends
  Of Teucer. But when in their eager speed
  Close on the end they were, then Teucer's feet
  Were trammelled by unearthly powers: some god
  Or demon dashed his foot against the stock
  Of a deep-rooted tamarisk. Sorely wrenched
  Was his left ankle: round the joint upswelled
  The veins high-ridged. A great shout rang from all
  That watched the contest. Aias darted past
  Exultant: ran his Locrian folk to hail
  Their lord, with sudden joy in all their souls.
  Then to his ships they drave the kine, and cast
  Fodder before them. Eager-helpful friends
  Led Teucer halting thence. The leeches drew
  Blood from his foot: then over it they laid
  Soft-shredded linen ointment-smeared, and swathed
  With smooth bands round, and charmed away the pain.

  Then swiftly rose two mighty-hearted ones
  Eager to match their strength in wrestling strain,
  The son of Tydeus and the giant Aias.
  Into the midst they strode, and marvelling gazed
  The Argives on men shapen like to gods.
  Then grappled they, like lions famine-stung
  Fighting amidst the mountains o'er a stag,
  Whose strength is even-balanced; no whit less
  Is one than other in their deadly rage;
  So these long time in might were even-matched,
  Till Aias locked his strong hands round the son
  Of Tydeus, straining hard to break his back;
  But he, with wrestling-craft and strength combined,
  Shifted his hip 'neath Telamon's son, and heaved
  The giant up; with a side-twist wrenched free
  From Aias' ankle-lock his thigh, and so
  With one huge shoulder-heave to earth he threw
  That mighty champion, and himself came down
  Astride him: then a mighty shout went up.
  But battle-stormer Aias, chafed in mind,
  Sprang up, hot-eager to essay again
  That grim encounter. From his terrible hands
  He dashed the dust, and challenged furiously
  With a great voice Tydeides: not a whit
  That other quailed, but rushed to close with him.
  Rolled up the dust in clouds from 'neath their feet:
  Hurtling they met like battling mountain-bulls
  That clash to prove their dauntless strength, and spurn
  The dust, while with their roaring all the hills
  Re-echo: in their desperate fury these
  Dash their strong heads together, straining long
  Against each other with their massive strength,
  Hard-panting in the fierce rage of their strife,
  While from their mouths drip foam-flakes to the ground;
  So strained they twain with grapple of brawny hands.
  'Neath that hard grip their backs and sinewy necks
  Cracked, even as when in mountain-glades the trees
  Dash storm-tormented boughs together. Oft
  Tydeides clutched at Aias' brawny thighs,
  But could not stir his steadfast-rooted feet.
  Oft Aias hurled his whole weight on him, bowed
  His shoulders backward, strove to press him down;
  And to new grips their hands were shifting aye.
  All round the gazing people shouted, some
  Cheering on glorious Tydeus' son, and some
  The might of Aias. Then the giant swung
  The shoulders of his foe to right, to left;
  Then gripped him 'neath the waist; with one fierce heave
  And giant effort hurled him like a stone
  To earth. The floor of Troyland rang again
  As fell Tydeides: shouted all the folk.
  Yet leapt he up all eager to contend
  With giant Aias for the third last fall:
  But Nestor rose and spake unto the twain:
  "From grapple of wrestling, noble sons, forbear;
  For all we know that ye be mightiest
  Of Argives since the great Achilles died."

  Then these from toil refrained, and from their brows
  Wiped with their hands the plenteous-streaming sweat:
  They kissed each other, and forgat their strife.
  Then Thetis, queen of Goddesses, gave to them
  Four handmaids; and those strong and aweless ones
  Marvelled beholding them, for these surpassed
  All captive-maids in beauty and household-skill,
  Save only lovely-tressed Briseis. These
  Achilles captive brought from Lesbos' Isle,
  And in their service joyed. The first was made
  Stewardess of the feast and lady of meats;
  The second to the feasters poured the wine;
  The third shed water on their hands thereafter;
  The fourth bare all away, the banquet done.
  These Tydeus' son and giant Aias shared,
  And, parted two and two, unto their ships
  Sent they those fair and serviceable ones.

  Next, for the play of fists Idomeneus rose,
  For cunning was he in all athlete-lore;
  But none came forth to meet him, yielding all
  To him, the elder-born, with reverent awe.
  So in their midst gave Thetis unto him
  A chariot and fleet steeds, which theretofore
  Mighty Patroclus from the ranks of Troy
  Drave, when he slew Sarpedon, seed of Zeus,
  These to his henchmen gave Idomeneus
  To drive unto the ships: himself remained
  Still sitting in the glorious athlete-ring.
  Then Phoenix to the stalwart Argives cried:
  "Now to Idomeneus the Gods have given
  A fair prize uncontested, free of toil
  Of mighty arms and shoulders, honouring
  The elder-born with bloodless victory.
  But lo, ye younger men, another prize
  Awaiteth the swift play of cunning hands.
  Step forth then: gladden great Peleides' soul."

  He spake, they heard; but each on other looked,
  And, loth to essay the contest, all sat still,
  Till Neleus' son rebuked those laggard souls:
  "Friends, it were shame that men should shun the play
  Of clenched hands, who in that noble sport
  Have skill, wherein young men delight, which links
  Glory to toil. Ah that my thews were strong
  As when we held King Pelias' funeral-feast,
  I and Acastus, kinsmen joining hands,
  When I with godlike Polydeuces stood
  In gauntlet-strife, in even-balanced fray,
  And when Ancaeus in the wrestlers' ring
  Mightier than all beside, yet feared and shrank
  From me, and dared not strive with me that day,
  For that ere then amidst the Epeian men—
  No battle-blenchers they!—I had vanquished him,
  For all his might, and dashed him to the dust
  By dead Amaryncus' tomb, and thousands round
  Sat marvelling at my prowess and my strength.
  Therefore against me not a second time
  Raised he his hands, strong wrestler though he were;
  And so I won an uncontested prize.
  But now old age is on me, and many griefs.
  Therefore I bid you, whom it well beseems,
  To win the prize; for glory crowns the youth
  Who bears away the meed of athlete-strife."

  Stirred by his gallant chiding, a brave man
  Rose, son of haughty godlike Panopeus,
  The man who framed the Horse, the bane of Troy,
  Not long thereafter. None dared meet him now
  In play of fists, albeit in deadly craft
  Of war, when Ares rusheth through the field,
  He was not cunning. But for strife of hands
  The fair prize uncontested had been won
  By stout Epeius—yea, he was at point
  To bear it thence unto the Achaean ships;
  But one strode forth to meet him, Theseus' son,
  The spearman Acamas, the mighty of heart,
  Bearing already on his swift hands girt
  The hard hide-gauntlets, which Evenor's son
  Agelaus on his prince's hands had drawn
  With courage-kindling words. The comrades then
  Of Panopeus' princely son for Epeius raised
  A heartening cheer. He like a lion stood
  Forth in the midst, his strong hands gauntleted
  With bull's hide hard as horn. Loud rang the cheers
  From side to side of that great throng, to fire
  The courage of the mighty ones to clash
  Hands in the gory play. Sooth, little spur
  Needed they for their eagerness for fight.
  But, ere they closed, they flashed out proving blows
  To wot if still, as theretofore, their arms
  Were limber and lithe, unclogged by toil of war;
  Then faced each other, and upraised their hands
  With ever-watching eyes, and short quick steps
  A-tiptoe, and with ever-shifting feet,
  Each still eluding other's crushing might.
  Then with a rush they closed like thunder-clouds
  Hurled on each other by the tempest-blast,
  Flashing forth lightnings, while the welkin thrills
  As clash the clouds and hollow roar the winds;
  So 'neath the hard hide-gauntlets clashed their jaws.
  Down streamed the blood, and from their brows the sweat
  Blood-streaked made on the flushed cheeks crimson bars.
  Fierce without pause they fought, and never flagged
  Epeius, but threw all his stormy strength
  Into his onrush. Yet did Theseus' son
  Never lose heart, but baffled the straight blows
  Of those strong hands, and by his fighting-craft
  Flinging them right and left, leapt in, brought home
  A blow to his eyebrow, cutting to the bone.
  Even then with counter-stroke Epeius reached
  Acamas' temple, and hurled him to the ground.
  Swift he sprang up, and on his stalwart foe
  Rushed, smote his head: as he rushed in again,
  The other, slightly swerving, sent his left
  Clean to his brow; his right, with all his might
  Behind it, to his nose. Yet Acamas still
  Warded and struck with all the manifold shifts
  Of fighting-craft. But now the Achaeans all
  Bade stop the fight, though eager still were both
  To strive for coveted victory. Then came
  Their henchmen, and the gory gauntlets loosed
  In haste from those strong hands. Now drew they breath
  From that great labour, as they bathed their brows
  With sponges myriad-pored. Comrades and friends
  With pleading words then drew them face to face,
  And prayed, "In friendship straight forget your wrath."
  So to their comrades' suasion hearkened they;
  For wise men ever bear a placable mind.
  They kissed each other, and their hearts forgat
  That bitter strife. Then Thetis sable-stoled
  Gave to their glad hands two great silver bowls
  The which Euneus, Jason's warrior son
  In sea-washed Lemnos to Achilles gave
  To ransom strong Lycaon from his hands.
  These had Hephaestus fashioned for his gift
  To glorious Dionysus, when he brought
  His bride divine to Olympus, Minos' child
  Far-famous, whom in sea-washed Dia's isle
  Theseus unwitting left. The Wine-god brimmed
  With nectar these, and gave them to his son;
  And Thoas at his death to Hypsipyle
  With great possessions left them. She bequeathed
  The bowls to her godlike son, who gave them up
  Unto Achilles for Lycaon's life.
  The one the son of lordly Theseus took,
  And goodly Epeius sent to his ship with joy
  The other. Then their bruises and their scars
  Did Podaleirius tend with loving care.
  First pressed he out black humours, then his hands
  Deftly knit up the gashes: salves he laid
  Thereover, given him by his sire of old,
  Such as had virtue in one day to heal
  The deadliest hurts, yea, seeming-cureless wounds.
  Straight was the smart assuaged, and healed the scars
  Upon their brows and 'neath their clustering hair

  Then for the archery-test Oileus' son
  Stood forth with Teucer, they which in the race
  Erewhile contended. Far away from these
  Agamemnon, lord of spears, set up a helm
  Crested with plumes, and spake: "The master-shot
  Is that which shears the hair-crest clean away."
  Then straightway Aias shot his arrow first,
  And smote the helm-ridge: sharply rang the brass.
  Then Teucer second with most earnest heed
  Shot: the swift shaft hath shorn the plume away.
  Loud shouted all the people as they gazed,
  And praised him without stint, for still his foot
  Halted in pain, yet nowise marred his aim
  When with his hands he sped the flying shaft.
  Then Peleus' bride gave unto him the arms
  Of godlike Troilus, the goodliest
  Of all fair sons whom Hecuba had borne
  In hallowed Troy; yet of his goodlihead
  No joy she had; the prowess and the spear
  Of fell Achilles reft his life from him.
  As when a gardener with new-whetted scythe
  Mows down, ere it may seed, a blade of corn
  Or poppy, in a garden dewy-fresh
  And blossom-flushed, which by a water-course
  Crowdeth its blooms—mows it ere it may reach
  Its goal of bringing offspring to the birth,
  And with his scythe-sweep makes its life-work vain
  And barren of all issue, nevermore
  Now to be fostered by the dews of spring;
  So did Peleides cut down Priam's son
  The god-like beautiful, the beardless yet
  And virgin of a bride, almost a child!
  Yet the Destroyer Fate had lured him on
  To war, upon the threshold of glad youth,
  When youth is bold, and the heart feels no void.

  Forthwith a bar of iron massy and long
  From the swift-speeding hand did many essay
  To hurl; but not an Argive could prevail
  To cast that ponderous mass. Aias alone
  Sped it from his strong hand, as in the time
  Of harvest might a reaper fling from him
  A dry oak-bough, when all the fields are parched.
  And all men marvelled to behold how far
  Flew from his hand the bronze which scarce two men
  Hard-straining had uplifted from the ground.
  Even this Antaeus' might was wont to hurl
  Erstwhile, ere the strong hands of Hercules
  O'ermastered him. This, with much spoil beside,
  Hercules took, and kept it to make sport
  For his invincible hand; but afterward
  Gave it to valiant Peleus, who with him
  Had smitten fair-towered Ilium's burg renowned;
  And he to Achilles gave it, whose swift ships
  Bare it to Troy, to put him aye in mind
  Of his own father, as with eager will
  He fought with stalwart Trojans, and to be
  A worthy test wherewith to prove his strength.
  Even this did Aias from his brawny hand
  Fling far. So then the Nereid gave to him
  The glorious arms from godlike Memnon stripped.
  Marvelling the Argives gazed on them: they were
  A giant's war-gear. Laughing a glad laugh
  That man renowned received them: he alone
  Could wear them on his brawny limbs; they seemed
  As they had even been moulded to his frame.
  The great bar thence he bore withal, to be
  His joy when he was fain of athlete-toil.

  Still sped the contests on; and many rose
  Now for the leaping. Far beyond the marks
  Of all the rest brave Agapenor sprang:
  Loud shouted all for that victorious leap;
  And Thetis gave him the fair battle-gear
  Of mighty Cycnus, who had smitten first
  Protesilaus, then had reft the life
  From many more, till Peleus' son slew him
  First of the chiefs of grief-enshrouded Troy.

  Next, in the javelin-cast Euryalus
  Hurled far beyond all rivals, while the folk
  Shouted aloud: no archer, so they deemed,
  Could speed a winged shaft farther than his cast;
  Therefore the Aeacid hero's mother gave
  To him a deep wide silver oil-flask, ta'en
  By Achilles in possession, when his spear
  Slew Mynes, and he spoiled Lyrnessus' wealth.

  Then fiery-hearted Aias eagerly
  Rose, challenging to strife of hands and feet
  The mightiest hero there; but marvelling
  They marked his mighty thews, and no man dared
  Confront him. Chilling dread had palsied all
  Their courage: from their hearts they feared him, lest
  His hands invincible should all to-break
  His adversary's face, and naught but pain
  Be that man's meed. But at the last all men
  Made signs to battle-bider Euryalus,
  For well they knew him skilled in fighting-craft;
  But he too feared that giant, and he cried:
  "Friends, any other Achaean, whom ye will,
  Blithe will I face; but mighty Alas—no!
  Far doth he overmatch me. He will rend
  Mine heart, if in the onset anger rise
  Within him: from his hands invincible,
  I trow, I should not win to the ships alive."

  Loud laughed they all: but glowed with triumph-joy
  The heart of Aias. Gleaming talents twain
  Of silver he from Thetis' hands received,
  His uncontested prize. His stately height
  Called to her mind her dear son, and she sighed.

  They which had skill in chariot-driving then
  Rose at the contest's summons eagerly:
  Menelaus first, Eurypylus bold in fight,
  Eumelus, Thoas, godlike Polypoetes
  Harnessed their steeds, and led them to the cars
  All panting for the joy of victory.
  Then rode they in a glittering chariot rank
  Out to one place, to a stretch of sand, and stood
  Ranged at the starting-line. The reins they grasped
  In strong hands quickly, while the chariot-steeds
  Shoulder to shoulder fretted, all afire
  To take the lead at starting, pawed the sand,
  Pricked ears, and o'er their frontlets flung the foam.
  With sudden-stiffened sinews those ear-lords
  Lashed with their whips the tempest-looted steeds;
  Then swift as Harpies sprang they forth; they strained
  Furiously at the harness, onward whirling
  The chariots bounding ever from the earth.
  Thou couldst not see a wheel-track, no, nor print
  Of hoof upon the sand—they verily flew.
  Up from the plain the dust-clouds to the sky
  Soared, like the smoke of burning, or a mist
  Rolled round the mountain-forelands by the might
  Of the dark South-wind or the West, when wakes
  A tempest, when the hill-sides stream with rain.
  Burst to the front Eumelus' steeds: behind
  Close pressed the team of godlike Thoas: shouts
  Still answered shouts that cheered each chariot, while
  Onward they swept across the wide-wayed plain.


  "From hallowed Elis, when he had achieved
  A mighty triumph, in that he outstripped
  The swift ear of Oenomaus evil-souled,
  The ruthless slayer of youths who sought to wed
  His daughter Hippodameia passing-wise.
  Yet even he, for all his chariot-lore,
  Had no such fleetfoot steeds as Atreus' son—
  Far slower!—the wind is in the feet of these."

  So spake he, giving glory to the might
  Of those good steeds, and to Atreides' self;
  And filled with joy was Menelaus' soul.
  Straightway his henchmen from the yoke-band loosed
  The panting team, and all those chariot-lords,
  Who in the race had striven, now unyoked
  Their tempest-footed steeds. Podaleirius then
  Hasted to spread salves over all the wounds
  Of Thoas and Eurypylus, gashes scored
  Upon their frames when from the cars they fell
  But Menelaus with exceeding joy
  Of victory glowed, when Thetis lovely-tressed
  Gave him a golden cup, the chief possession
  Once of Eetion the godlike; ere
  Achilles spoiled the far-famed burg of Thebes.

  Then horsemen riding upon horses came
  Down to the course: they grasped in hand the whip
  And bounding from the earth bestrode their steeds,
  The while with foaming mouths the coursers champed
  The bits, and pawed the ground, and fretted aye
  To dash into the course. Forth from the line
  Swiftly they darted, eager for the strife,
  Wild as the blasts of roaring Boreas
  Or shouting Notus, when with hurricane-swoop
  He heaves the wide sea high, when in the east
  Uprises the disastrous Altar-star
  Bringing calamity to seafarers;
  So swift they rushed, spurning with flying feet
  The deep dust on the plain. The riders cried
  Each to his steed, and ever plied the lash
  And shook the reins about the clashing bits.
  On strained the horses: from the people rose
  A shouting like the roaring of a sea.
  On, on across the level plain they flew;
  And now the flashing-footed Argive steed
  By Sthenelus bestridden, had won the race,
  But from the course he swerved, and o'er the plain
  Once and again rushed wide; nor Capaneus' son,
  Good horseman though he were, could turn him back
  By rein or whip, because that steed was strange
  Still to the race-course; yet of lineage
  Noble was he, for in his veins the blood
  Of swift Arion ran, the foal begotten
  By the loud-piping West-wind on a Harpy,
  The fleetest of all earth-born steeds, whose feet
  Could race against his father's swiftest blasts.
  Him did the Blessed to Adrastus give:
  And from him sprang the steed of Sthenelus,
  Which Tydeus' son had given unto his friend
  In hallowed Troyland. Filled with confidence
  In those swift feet his rider led him forth
  Unto the contest of the steeds that day,
  Looking his horsemanship should surely win
  Renown: yet victory gladdened not his heart
  In that great struggle for Achilles' prizes;
  Nay, swift albeit he was, the King of Men
  By skill outraced him. Shouted all the folk,
  "Glory to Agamemnon!" Yet they acclaimed
  The steed of valiant Sthenelus and his lord,
  For that the fiery flying of his feet
  Still won him second place, albeit oft
  Wide of the course he swerved. Then Thetis gave
  To Atreus' son, while laughed his lips for joy,
  God-sprung Polydorus' breastplate silver-wrought.
  To Sthenelus Asteropaeus' massy helm,
  Two lances, and a taslet strong, she gave.
  Yea, and to all the riders who that day
  Came at Achilles' funeral-feast to strive
  She gave gifts. But the son of the old war-lord,
  Laertes, inly grieved to be withheld
  From contests of the strong, how fain soe'er,
  By that sore wound which Alcon dealt to him
  In the grim fight around dead Aeacas' son.


How the Arms of Achilles were cause of madness and death unto Aias.

  So when all other contests had an end,
  Thetis the Goddess laid down in the midst
  Great-souled Achilles' arms divinely wrought;
  And all around flashed out the cunning work
  Wherewith the Fire-god overchased the shield
  Fashioned for Aeacus' son, the dauntless-souled.

  Inwrought upon that labour of a God
  Were first high heaven and cloudland, and beneath
  Lay earth and sea: the winds, the clouds were there,
  The moon and sun, each in its several place;
  There too were all the stars that, fixed in heaven,
  Are borne in its eternal circlings round.
  Above and through all was the infinite air
  Where to and fro flit birds of slender beak:
  Thou hadst said they lived, and floated on the breeze.
  Here Tethys' all-embracing arms were wrought,
  And Ocean's fathomless flow. The outrushing flood
  Of rivers crying to the echoing hills
  All round, to right, to left, rolled o'er the land.

  Round it rose league-long mountain-ridges, haunts
  Of terrible lions and foul jackals: there
  Fierce bears and panthers prowled; with these were seen
  Wild boars that whetted deadly-clashing tusks
  In grimly-frothing jaws. There hunters sped
  After the hounds: beaters with stone and dart,
  To the life portrayed, toiled in the woodland sport.

  And there were man-devouring wars, and all
  Horrors of fight: slain men were falling down
  Mid horse-hoofs; and the likeness of a plain
  Blood-drenched was on that shield invincible.
  Panic was there, and Dread, and ghastly Enyo
  With limbs all gore-bespattered hideously,
  And deadly Strife, and the Avenging Spirits
  Fierce-hearted—she, still goading warriors on
  To the onset they, outbreathing breath of fire.
  Around them hovered the relentless Fates;
  Beside them Battle incarnate onward pressed
  Yelling, and from their limbs streamed blood and sweat.
  There were the ruthless Gorgons: through their hair
  Horribly serpents coiled with flickering tongues.
  A measureless marvel was that cunning work
  Of things that made men shudder to behold
  Seeming as though they verily lived and moved.

  And while here all war's marvels were portrayed,
  Yonder were all the works of lovely peace.
  The myriad tribes of much-enduring men
  Dwelt in fair cities. Justice watched o'er all.
  To diverse toils they set their hands; the fields
  Were harvest-laden; earth her increase bore.

  Most steeply rose on that god-laboured work
  The rugged flanks of holy Honour's mount,
  And there upon a palm-tree throned she sat
  Exalted, and her hands reached up to heaven.
  All round her, paths broken by many rocks
  Thwarted the climbers' feet; by those steep tracks
  Daunted ye saw returning many folk:
  Few won by sweat of toil the sacred height.

  And there were reapers moving down long swaths
  Swinging the whetted sickles: 'neath their hands
  The hot work sped to its close. Hard after these
  Many sheaf-binders followed, and the work
  Grew passing great. With yoke-bands on their necks
  Oxen were there, whereof some drew the wains
  Heaped high with full-eared sheaves, and further on
  Were others ploughing, and the glebe showed black
  Behind them. Youths with ever-busy goads
  Followed: a world of toil was there portrayed.

  And there a banquet was, with pipe and harp,
  Dances of maids, and flashing feet of boys,
  All in swift movement, like to living souls.

  Hard by the dance and its sweet winsomeness
  Out of the sea was rising lovely-crowned
  Cypris, foam-blossoms still upon her hair;
  And round her hovered smiling witchingly
  Desire, and danced the Graces lovely-tressed.

  And there were lordly Nereus' Daughters shown
  Leading their sister up from the wide sea
  To her espousals with the warrior-king.
  And round her all the Immortals banqueted
  On Pelion's ridge far-stretching. All about
  Lush dewy watermeads there were, bestarred
  With flowers innumerable, grassy groves,
  And springs with clear transparent water bright.

  There ships with sighing sheets swept o'er the sea,
  Some beating up to windward, some that sped
  Before a following wind, and round them heaved
  The melancholy surge. Seared shipmen rushed
  This way and that, adread for tempest-gusts,
  Hauling the white sails in, to 'scape the death—
  It all seemed real—some tugging at the oars,
  While the dark sea on either side the ship
  Grew hoary 'neath the swiftly-plashing blades.

  And there triumphant the Earth-shaker rode
  Amid sea-monsters' stormy-footed steeds
  Drew him, and seemed alive, as o'er the deep
  They raced, oft smitten by the golden whip.
  Around their path of flight the waves fell smooth,
  And all before them was unrippled calm.
  Dolphins on either hand about their king
  Swarmed, in wild rapture of homage bowing backs,
  And seemed like live things o'er the hazy sea
  Swimming, albeit all of silver wrought.

  Marvels of untold craft were imaged there
  By cunning-souled Hephaestus' deathless hands
  Upon the shield. And Ocean's fathomless flood
  Clasped like a garland all the outer rim,
  And compassed all the strong shield's curious work.

  And therebeside the massy helmet lay.
  Zeus in his wrath was set upon the crest
  Throned on heaven's dome; the Immortals all around
  Fierce-battling with the Titans fought for Zeus.
  Already were their foes enwrapped with flame,
  For thick and fast as snowflakes poured from heaven
  The thunderbolts: the might of Zeus was roused,
  And burning giants seemed to breathe out flames.

  And therebeside the fair strong corslet lay,
  Unpierceable, which clasped Peleides once:
  There were the greaves close-lapping, light alone
  To Achilles; massy of mould and huge they were.

  And hard by flashed the sword whose edge and point
  No mail could turn, with golden belt, and sheath
  Of silver, and with haft of ivory:
  Brightest amid those wondrous arms it shone.
  Stretched on the earth thereby was that dread spear,
  Long as the tall-tressed pines of Pelion,
  Still breathing out the reek of Hector's blood.

  Then mid the Argives Thetis sable-stoled
  In her deep sorrow for Achilles spake;
  "Now all the athlete-prizes have been won
  Which I set forth in sorrow for my child.
  Now let that mightiest of the Argives come
  Who rescued from the foe my dead: to him
  These glorious and immortal arms I give
  Which even the blessed Deathless joyed to see."

  Then rose in rivalry, each claiming them,
  Laertes' seed and godlike Telamon's son,
  Aias, the mightiest far of Danaan men:
  He seemed the star that in the glittering sky
  Outshines the host of heaven, Hesperus,
  So splendid by Peleides' arms he stood;
  "And let these judge," he cried, "Idomeneus,
  Nestor, and kingly-counselled Agamemnon,"
  For these, he weened, would sureliest know the truth
  Of deeds wrought in that glorious battle-toil.
  "To these I also trust most utterly,"
  Odysseus said, "for prudent of their wit
  Be these, and princeliest of all Danaan men."

  But to Idomeneus and Atreus' son
  Spake Nestor apart, and willingly they heard:
  "Friends, a great woe and unendurable
  This day the careless Gods have laid on us,
  In that into this lamentable strife
  Aias the mighty hath been thrust by them
  Against Odysseus passing-wise. For he,
  To whichsoe'er God gives the victor's glory—
  O yea, he shall rejoice! But he that loseth—
  All for the grief in all the Danaans' hearts
  For him! And ours shall be the deepest grief
  Of all; for that man will not in the war
  Stand by us as of old. A sorrowful day
  It shall be for us, whichsoe'er of these
  Shall break into fierce anger, seeing they
  Are of our heroes chiefest, this in war,
  And that in counsel. Hearken then to me,
  Seeing that I am older far than ye,
  Not by a few years only: with mine age
  Is prudence joined, for I have suffered and wrought
  Much; and in counsel ever the old man,
  Who knoweth much, excelleth younger men.
  Therefore let us ordain to judge this cause
  'Twixt godlike Aias and war-fain Odysseus,
  Our Trojan captives. They shall say whom most
  Our foes dread, and who saved Peleides' corse
  From that most deadly fight. Lo, in our midst
  Be many spear-won Trojans, thralls of Fate;
  And these will pass true judgment on these twain,
  To neither showing favour, since they hate
  Alike all authors of their misery."

  He spake: replied Agamemnon lord of spears:
  "Ancient, there is none other in our midst
  Wiser than thou, of Danaans young or old,
  In that thou say'st that unforgiving wrath
  Will burn in him to whom the Gods herein
  Deny the victory; for these which strive
  Are both our chiefest. Therefore mine heart too
  Is set on this, that to the thralls of war
  This judgment we commit: the loser then
  Shall against Troy devise his deadly work
  Of vengeance, and shall not be wroth with us."

  He spake, and these three, being of one mind,
  In hearing of all men refused to judge
  Judgment so thankless: they would none of it.
  Therefore they set the high-born sons of Troy
  There in the midst, spear-thralls although they were,
  To give just judgment in the warriors' strife.
  Then in hot anger Aias rose, and spake:
  "Odysseus, frantic soul, why hath a God
  Deluded thee, to make thee hold thyself
  My peer in might invincible? Dar'st thou say
  That thou, when slain Achilles lay in dust,
  When round him swarmed the Trojans, didst bear back
  That furious throng, when I amidst them hurled
  Death, and thou coweredst away? Thy dam
  Bare thee a craven and a weakling wretch
  Frail in comparison of me, as is
  A cur beside a lion thunder-voiced!
  No battle-biding heart is in thy breast,
  But wiles and treachery be all thy care.
  Hast thou forgotten how thou didst shrink back
  From faring with Achaea's gathered host
  To Ilium's holy burg, till Atreus' sons
  Forced thee, the cowering craven, how loth soe'er,
  To follow them—would God thou hadst never come!
  For by thy counsel left we in Lemnos' isle
  Groaning in agony Poeas' son renowned.
  And not for him alone was ruin devised
  Of thee; for godlike Palamedes too
  Didst thou contrive destruction—ha, he was
  Alike in battle and council better than thou!
  And now thou dar'st to rise up against me,
  Neither remembering my kindness, nor
  Having respect unto the mightier man
  Who rescued thee erewhile, when thou didst quaff
  In fight before the onset of thy foes,
  When thou, forsaken of all Greeks beside,
   Midst tumult of the fray, wast fleeing too!
  Oh that in that great fight Zeus' self had stayed
  My dauntless might with thunder from his heaven!
  Then with their two-edged swords the Trojan men
  Had hewn thee limb from limb, and to their dogs
  Had cast thy carrion! Then thou hadst not presumed
  To meet me, trusting in thy trickeries!
  Wretch, wherefore, if thou vauntest thee in might
  Beyond all others, hast thou set thy ships
  In the line's centre, screened from foes, nor dared
  As I, on the far wing to draw them up?
  Because thou wast afraid! Not thou it was
  Who savedst from devouring fire the ships;
  But I with heart unquailing there stood fast
  Facing the fire and Hector ay, even he
  Gave back before me everywhere in fight.
  Thou—thou didst fear him aye with deadly fear!
  Oh, had this our contention been but set
  Amidst that very battle, when the roar
  Of conflict rose around Achilles slain!
  Then had thine own eyes seen me bearing forth
  Out from the battle's heart and fury of foes
  That goodly armour and its hero lord
  Unto the tents. But here thou canst but trust
  In cunning speech, and covetest a place
  Amongst the mighty! Thou—thou hast not strength
  To wear Achilles' arms invincible,
  Nor sway his massy spear in thy weak hands!
  But I they are verily moulded to my frame:
  Yea, seemly it is I wear those glorious arms,
  Who shall not shame a God's gifts passing fair.
  But wherefore for Achilles' glorious arms
  With words discourteous wrangling stand we here?
  Come, let us try in strife with brazen spears
  Who of us twain is best in murderous right!
  For silver-footed Thetis set in the midst
  This prize for prowess, not for pestilent words.
  In folkmote may men have some use for words:
  In pride of prowess I know me above thee far,
  And great Achilles' lineage is mine own."

  He spake: with scornful glance and bitter speech
  Odysseus the resourceful chode with him:
  "Aias, unbridled tongue, why these vain words
  To me? Thou hast called me pestilent, niddering,
  And weakling: yet I boast me better far
  Than thou in wit and speech, which things increase
  The strength of men. Lo, how the craggy rock,
  Adamantine though it seem, the hewers of stone
  Amid the hills by wisdom undermine
  Full lightly, and by wisdom shipmen cross
  The thunderous-plunging sea, when mountain-high
  It surgeth, and by craft do hunters quell
  Strong lions, panthers, boars, yea, all the brood
  Of wild things. Furious-hearted bulls are tamed
  To bear the yoke-bands by device of men.
  Yea, all things are by wit accomplished. Still
  It is the man who knoweth that excels
  The witless man alike in toils and counsels.
  For my keen wit did Oeneus' valiant son
  Choose me of all men with him to draw nigh
  To Hector's watchmen: yea, and mighty deeds
  We twain accomplished. I it was who brought
  To Atreus' sons Peleides far-renowned,
  Their battle-helper. Whensoe'er the host
  Needeth some other champion, not for the sake
  Of thine hands will he come, nor by the rede
  Of other Argives: of Achaeans I
  Alone will draw him with soft suasive words
  To where strong men are warring. Mighty power
  The tongue hath over men, when courtesy
  Inspires it. Valour is a deedless thing;
  And bulk and big assemblage of a man
  Cometh to naught, by wisdom unattended.
  But unto me the Immortals gave both strength
  And wisdom, and unto the Argive host
  Made me a blessing. Nor, as thou hast said,
  Hast thou in time past saved me when in flight
  From foes. I never fled, but steadfastly
  Withstood the charge of all the Trojan host.
  Furious the enemy came on like a flood
  But I by might of hands cut short the thread
  Of many lives. Herein thou sayest not true
  Me in the fray thou didst not shield nor save,
  But for thine own life roughtest, lest a spear
  Should pierce thy back if thou shouldst turn to flee
  From war. My ships? I drew them up mid-line,
  Not dreading the battle-fury of any foe,
  But to bring healing unto Atreus' sons
  Of war's calamities: and thou didst set
  Far from their help thy ships. Nay more, I seamed
  With cruel stripes my body, and entered so
  The Trojans' burg, that I might learn of them
  All their devisings for this troublous war.
  Nor ever I dreaded Hector's spear; myself
  Rose mid the foremost, eager for the fight,
  When, prowess-confident, he defied us all.
  Yea, in the fight around Achilles, I
  Slew foes far more than thou; 'twas I who saved
  The dead king with this armour. Not a whit
  I dread thy spear now, but my grievous hurt
  With pain still vexeth me, the wound I gat
  In fighting for these arms and their slain lord.
  In me as in Achilles is Zeus' blood."

  He spake; strong Aias answered him again.
  "Most cunning and most pestilent of men,
  Nor I, nor any other Argive, saw
  Thee toiling in that fray, when Trojans strove
  Fiercely to hale away Achilles slain.
  My might it was that with the spear unstrung
  The knees of some in fight, and others thrilled
  With panic as they pressed on ceaselessly.
  Then fled they in dire straits, as geese or cranes
  Flee from an eagle swooping as they feed
  Along a grassy meadow; so, in dread
  The Trojans shrinking backward from my spear
  And lightening sword, fled into Ilium
  To 'scape destruction. If thy might came there
  Ever at all, not anywhere nigh me
  With foes thou foughtest: somewhere far aloot
  Mid other ranks thou toiledst, nowhere nigh
  Achilles, where the one great battle raged."

  He spake; replied Odysseus the shrewd heart:
  "Aias, I hold myself no worse than thou
  In wit or might, how goodly in outward show
  Thou be soever. Nay, I am keener far
  Of wit than thou in all the Argives' eyes.
  In battle-prowess do I equal thee
  Haply surpass; and this the Trojans know,
  Who tremble when they see me from afar.
  Aye, thou too know'st, and others know my strength
  By that hard struggle in the wrestling-match,
  When Peleus' son set glorious prizes forth
  Beside the barrow of Patroclus slain."

  So spake Laertes' son the world-renowned.
  Then on that strife disastrous of the strong
  The sons of Troy gave judgment. Victory
  And those immortal arms awarded they
  With one consent to Odysseus mighty in war.
  Greatly his soul rejoiced; but one deep groan
  Brake from the Greeks. Then Aias' noble might
  Stood frozen stiff; and suddenly fell on him
  Dark wilderment; all blood within his frame
  Boiled, and his gall swelled, bursting forth in flood.
  Against his liver heaved his bowels; his heart
  With anguished pangs was thrilled; fierce stabbing throes
  Shot through the filmy veil 'twixt bone and brain;
  And darkness and confusion wrapped his mind.
  With fixed eyes staring on the ground he stood
  Still as a statue. Then his sorrowing friends
  Closed round him, led him to the shapely ships,
  Aye murmuring consolations. But his feet
  Trod for the last time, with reluctant steps,
  That path; and hard behind him followed Doom.

  When to the ships beside the boundless sea
  The Argives, faint for supper and for sleep,
  Had passed, into the great deep Thetis plunged,
  And all the Nereids with her. Round them swam
  Sea-monsters many, children of the brine.

  Against the wise Prometheus bitter-wroth
  The Sea-maids were, remembering how that Zeus,
  Moved by his prophecies, unto Peleus gave
  Thetis to wife, a most unwilling bride.
  Then cried in wrath to these Cymothoe:
  "O that the pestilent prophet had endured
  All pangs he merited, when, deep-burrowing,
  The eagle tare his liver aye renewed!"

  So to the dark-haired Sea-maids cried the Nymph.
  Then sank the sun: the onrush of the night
  Shadowed the fields, the heavens were star-bestrewn;
  And by the long-prowed ships the Argives slept
  By ambrosial sleep o'ermastered, and by wine
  The which from proud Idomeneus' realm of Crete:
  The shipmen bare o'er foaming leagues of sea.

  But Aias, wroth against the Argive men,
  Would none of meat or drink, nor clasped him round
  The arms of sleep. In fury he donned his mail,
  He clutched his sword, thinking unspeakable thoughts;
  For now he thought to set the ships aflame,
  And slaughter all the Argives, now, to hew
  With sudden onslaught of his terrible sword
  Guileful Odysseus limb from limb. Such things
  He purposed—nay, had soon accomplished all,
  Had Pallas not with madness smitten him;
  For over Odysseus, strong to endure, her heart
  Yearned, as she called to mind the sacrifices
  Offered to her of him continually.
  Therefore she turned aside from Argive men
  The might of Aias. As a terrible storm,
  Whose wings are laden with dread hurricane-blasts,
  Cometh with portents of heart-numbing fear
  To shipmen, when the Pleiads, fleeing adread
  From glorious Orion, plunge beneath
  The stream of tireless Ocean, when the air
  Is turmoil, and the sea is mad with storm;
  So rushed he, whithersoe'er his feet might bear.
  This way and that he ran, like some fierce beast
  Which darteth down a rock-walled glen's ravines
  With foaming jaws, and murderous intent
  Against the hounds and huntsmen, who have torn
  Out of the cave her cubs, and slain: she runs
  This way and that, and roars, if mid the brakes
  Haply she yet may see the dear ones lost;
  Whom if a man meet in that maddened mood,
  Straightway his darkest of all days hath dawned;
  So ruthless-raving rushed he; blackly boiled
  His heart, as caldron on the Fire-god's hearth
  Maddens with ceaseless hissing o'er the flames
  From blazing billets coiling round its sides,
  At bidding of the toiler eager-souled
  To singe the bristles of a huge-fed boar;
  So was his great heart boiling in his breast.
  Like a wild sea he raved, like tempest-blast,
  Like the winged might of tireless flame amidst
  The mountains maddened by a mighty wind,
  When the wide-blazing forest crumbles down
  In fervent heat. So Aias, his fierce heart
  With agony stabbed, in maddened misery raved.
  Foam frothed about his lips; a beast-like roar
  Howled from his throat. About his shoulders clashed
  His armour. They which saw him trembled, all
  Cowed by the fearful shout of that one man.

  From Ocean then uprose Dawn golden-reined:
  Like a soft wind upfloated Sleep to heaven,
  And there met Hera, even then returned
  To Olympus back from Tethys, unto whom
  But yester-morn she went. She clasped him round,
  And kissed him, who had been her marriage-kin
  Since at her prayer on Ida's erest he had lulled
  To sleep Cronion, when his anger burned
  Against the Argives. Straightway Hera passed
  To Zeus's mansion, and Sleep swiftly flew
  To Pasithea's couch. From slumber woke
  All nations of the earth. But Aias, like
  Orion the invincible, prowled on,
  Still bearing murderous madness in his heart.
  He rushed upon the sheep, like lion fierce
  Whose savage heart is stung with hunger-pangs.
  Here, there, he smote them, laid them dead in dust
  Thick as the leaves which the strong North-wind's might
  Strews, when the waning year to winter turns;
  So on the sheep in fury Aias fell,
  Deeming he dealt to Danaans evil doom.

  Then to his brother Menelaus came,
  And spake, but not in hearing of the rest:
  "This day shall surely be a ruinous day
  For all, since Aias thus is sense-distraught.
  It may be he will set the ships aflame,
  And slay us all amidst our tents, in wrath
  For those lost arms. Would God that Thetis ne'er
  Had set them for the prize of rivalry!
  Would God Laertes' son had not presumed
  In folly of soul to strive with a better man!
  Fools were we all; and some malignant God
  Beguiled us; for the one great war-defence
  Left us, since Aeacus' son in battle fell,
  Was Aias' mighty strength. And now the Gods
  Will to our loss destroy him, bringing bane
  On thee and me, that all we may fill up
  The cup of doom, and pass to nothingness."

  He spake; replied Agamemnon, lord of spears:
  "Now nay, Menelaus, though thine heart he wrung,
  Be thou not wroth with the resourceful king
  Of Cephallenian folk, but with the Gods
  Who plot our ruin. Blame not him, who oft
  Hath been our blessing and our enemies' curse."

  So heavy-hearted spake the Danaan kings.
  But by the streams of Xanthus far away
  'Neath tamarisks shepherds cowered to hide from death,
  As when from a swift eagle cower hares
  'Neath tangled copses, when with sharp fierce scream
  This way and that with wings wide-shadowing
  He wheeleth very nigh; so they here, there,
  Quailed from the presence of that furious man.
  At last above a slaughtered ram he stood,
  And with a deadly laugh he cried to it:
  "Lie there in dust; be meat for dogs and kites!
  Achilles' glorious arms have saved not thee,
  For which thy folly strove with a better man!
  Lie there, thou cur! No wife shall fall on thee,
  And clasp, and wail thee and her fatherless childs,
  Nor shalt thou greet thy parents' longing eyes,
  The staff of their old age! Far from thy land
  Thy carrion dogs and vultures shall devour!"

  So cried he, thinking that amidst the slain
  Odysseus lay blood-boltered at his feet.
  But in that moment from his mind and eyes
  Athena tore away the nightmare-fiend
  Of Madness havoc-breathing, and it passed
  Thence swiftly to the rock-walled river Styx
  Where dwell the winged Erinnyes, they which still
  Visit with torments overweening men.

  Then Aias saw those sheep upon the earth
  Gasping in death; and sore amazed he stood,
  For he divined that by the Blessed Ones
  His senses had been cheated. All his limbs
  Failed under him; his soul was anguished-thrilled:
  He could not in his horror take one step
  Forward nor backward. Like some towering rock
  Fast-rooted mid the mountains, there he stood.
  But when the wild rout of his thoughts had rallied,
  He groaned in misery, and in anguish wailed:
  "Ah me! why do the Gods abhor me so?
  They have wrecked my mind, have with fell madness filled,
  Making me slaughter all these innocent sheep!
  Would God that on Odysseus' pestilent heart
  Mine hands had so avenged me! Miscreant, he
  Brought on me a fell curse! O may his soul
  Suffer all torments that the Avenging Fiends
  Devise for villains! On all other Greeks
  May they bring murderous battle, woeful griefs,
  And chiefly on Agamemnon, Atreus' son!
  Not scatheless to the home may he return
  So long desired! But why should I consort,
  I, a brave man, with the abominable?
  Perish the Argive host, perish my life,
  Now unendurable! The brave no more
  Hath his due guerdon, but the baser sort
  Are honoured most and loved, as this Odysseus
  Hath worship mid the Greeks: but utterly
  Have they forgotten me and all my deeds,
  All that I wrought and suffered in their cause."

  So spake the brave son of strong Telamon,
  Then thrust the sword of Hector through his throat.
  Forth rushed the blood in torrent: in the dust
  Outstretched he lay, like Typhon, when the bolts
  Of Zeus had blasted him. Around him groaned
  The dark earth as he fell upon her breast.

  Then thronging came the Danaans, when they saw
  Low laid in dust the hero; but ere then
  None dared draw nigh him, but in deadly fear
  They watched him from afar. Now hasted they
  And flung themselves upon the dead, outstretched
  Upon their faces: on their heads they cast
  Dust, and their wailing went up to the sky.
  As when men drive away the tender lambs
  Out of the fleecy flock, to feast thereon,
  And round the desolate pens the mothers leap
  Ceaselessly bleating, so o'er Aias rang
  That day a very great and bitter cry.
  Wild echoes pealed from Ida forest-palled,
  And from the plain, the ships, the boundless sea.

  Then Teucer clasping him was minded too
  To rush on bitter doom: howbeit the rest
  Held from the sword his hand. Anguished he fell
  Upon the dead, outpouring many a tear
  More comfortlessly than the orphan babe
  That wails beside the hearth, with ashes strewn
  On head and shoulders, wails bereavement's day
  That brings death to the mother who hath nursed
  The fatherless child; so wailed he, ever wailed
  His great death-stricken brother, creeping slow
  Around the corpse, and uttering his lament:
  "O Aias, mighty-souled, why was thine heart
  Distraught, that thou shouldst deal unto thyself
  Murder and bale? All, was it that the sons
  Of Troy might win a breathing-space from woes,
  Might come and slay the Greeks, now thou art not?
  From these shall all the olden courage fail
  When fast they fall in fight. Their shield from harm
  Is broken now! For me, I have no will
  To see mine home again, now thou art dead.
  Nay, but I long here also now to die,
  That so the earth may shroud me—me and thee
  Not for my parents so much do I care,
  If haply yet they live, if haply yet
  Spared from the grave, in Salamis they dwell,
  As for thee, O my glory and my crown!"

  So cried he groaning sore; with answering moan
  Queenly Tecmessa wailed, the princess-bride
  Of noble Aias, captive of his spear,
  Yet ta'en by him to wife, and household-queen
  O'er all his substance, even all that wives
  Won with a bride-price rule for wedded lords.
  Clasped in his mighty arms, she bare to him
  A son Eurysaces, in all things like
  Unto his father, far as babe might be
  Yet cradled in his tent. With bitter moan
  Fell she on that dear corpse, all her fair form
  Close-shrouded in her veil, and dust-defiled,
  And from her anguished heart cried piteously:
  "Alas for me, for me now thou art dead,
  Not by the hands of foes in fight struck down,
  But by thine own! On me is come a grief
  Ever-abiding! Never had I looked
  To see thy woeful death-day here by Troy.
  Ah, visions shattered by rude hands of Fate!
  Oh that the earth had yawned wide for my grave
  Ere I beheld thy bitter doom! On me
  No sharper, more heart-piercing pang hath come—
  No, not when first from fatherland afar
  And parents thou didst bear me, wailing sore
  Mid other captives, when the day of bondage
  Had come on me, a princess theretofore.
  Not for that dear lost home so much I grieve,
  Nor for my parents dead, as now for thee:
  For all thine heart was kindness unto me
  The hapless, and thou madest me thy wife,
  One soul with thee; yea, and thou promisedst
  To throne me queen of fair-towered Salamis,
  When home we won from Troy. The Gods denied
  Accomplishment thereof. And thou hast passed
  Unto the Unseen Land: thou hast forgot
  Me and thy child, who never shall make glad
  His father's heart, shall never mount thy throne.
  But him shall strangers make a wretched thrall:
  For when the father is no more, the babe
  Is ward of meaner men. A weary life
  The orphan knows, and suffering cometh in
  From every side upon him like a flood.
  To me too thraldom's day shall doubtless come,
  Now thou hast died, who wast my god on earth."

  Then in all kindness Agamemnon spake:
  "Princess, no man on earth shall make thee thrall,
  While Teucer liveth yet, while yet I live.
  Thou shalt have worship of us evermore
  And honour as a Goddess, with thy son,
  As though yet living were that godlike man,
  Aias, who was the Achaeans' chiefest strength.
  Ah that he had not laid this load of grief
  On all, in dying by his own right hand!
  For all the countless armies of his foes
  Never availed to slay him in fair fight."

  So spake he, grieved to the inmost heart. The folk
  Woefully wafted all round. O'er Hellespont
  Echoes of mourning rolled: the sighing air
  Darkened around, a wide-spread sorrow-pall.
  Yea, grief laid hold on wise Odysseus' self
  For the great dead, and with remorseful soul
  To anguish-stricken Argives thus he spake:
  "O friends, there is no greater curse to men
  Than wrath, which groweth till its bitter fruit
  Is strife. Now wrath hath goaded Aias on
  To this dire issue of the rage that filled
  His soul against me. Would to God that ne'er
  Yon Trojans in the strife for Achilles' arms
  Had crowned me with that victory, for which
  Strong Telamon's brave son, in agony
  Of soul, thus perished by his own right hand!
  Yet blame not me, I pray you, for his wrath:
  Blame the dark dolorous Fate that struck him down.
  For, had mine heart foreboded aught of this,
  This desperation of a soul distraught,
  Never for victory had I striven with him,
  Nor had I suffered any Danaan else,
  Though ne'er so eager, to contend with him.
  Nay, I had taken up those arms divine
  With mine own hands, and gladly given them
  To him, ay, though himself desired it not.
  But for such mighty grief and wrath in him
  I had not looked, since not for a woman's sake
  Nor for a city, nor possessions wide,
  I then contended, but for Honour's meed,
  Which alway is for all right-hearted men
  The happy goal of all their rivalry.
  But that great-hearted man was led astray
  By Fate, the hateful fiend; for surely it is
  Unworthy a man to be made passion's fool.
  The wise man's part is, steadfast-souled to endure
  All ills, and not to rage against his lot."

  So spake Laertes' son, the far-renowned.
  But when they all were weary of grief and groan,
  Then to those sorrowing ones spake Neleus' son:
  "O friends, the pitiless-hearted Fates have laid
  Stroke after stroke of sorrow upon us,
  Sorrow for Aias dead, for mighty Achilles,
  For many an Argive, and for mine own son
  Antilochus. Yet all unmeet it is
  Day after day with passion of grief to wail
  Men slain in battle: nay, we must forget
  Laments, and turn us to the better task
  Of rendering dues beseeming to the dead,
  The dues of pyre, of tomb, of bones inurned.
  No lamentations will awake the dead;
  No note thereof he taketh, when the Fates,
  The ruthless ones, have swallowed him in night."

  So spake he words of cheer: the godlike kings
  Gathered with heavy hearts around the dead,
  And many hands upheaved the giant corpse,
  And swiftly bare him to the ships, and there
  Washed they away the blood that clotted lay
  Dust-flecked on mighty limbs and armour: then
  In linen swathed him round. From Ida's heights
  Wood without measure did the young men bring,
  And piled it round the corpse. Billets and logs
  Yet more in a wide circle heaped they round;
  And sheep they laid thereon, fair-woven vests,
  And goodly kine, and speed-triumphant steeds,
  And gleaming gold, and armour without stint,
  From slain foes by that glorious hero stripped.
  And lucent amber-drops they laid thereon,
  Years, say they, which the Daughters of the Sun,
  The Lord of Omens, shed for Phaethon slain,
  When by Eridanus' flood they mourned for him.
  These, for undying honour to his son,
  The God made amber, precious in men's eyes.
  Even this the Argives on that broad-based pyre
  Cast freely, honouring the mighty dead.
  And round him, groaning heavily, they laid
  Silver most fair and precious ivory,
  And jars of oil, and whatsoe'er beside
  They have who heap up goodly and glorious wealth.
  Then thrust they in the strength of ravening flame,
  And from the sea there breathed a wind, sent forth
  By Thetis, to consume the giant frame
  Of Aias. All the night and all the morn
  Burned 'neath the urgent stress of that great wind
  Beside the ships that giant form, as when
  Enceladus by Zeus' levin was consumed
  Beneath Thrinacia, when from all the isle
  Smoke of his burning rose—or like as when
  Hercules, trapped by Nessus' deadly guile,
  Gave to devouring fire his living limbs,
  What time he dared that awful deed, when groaned
  All Oeta as he burned alive, and passed
  His soul into the air, leaving the man
  Far-famous, to be numbered with the Gods,
  When earth closed o'er his toil-tried mortal part.
  So huge amid the flames, all-armour clad,
  Lay Aias, all the joy of fight forgot,
  While a great multitude watching thronged the sands.
  Glad were the Trojans, but the Achaeans grieved.

  But when that goodly frame by ravening fire
  Was all consumed, they quenched the pyre with wine;
  They gathered up the bones, and reverently
  Laid in a golden casket. Hard beside
  Rhoeteium's headland heaped they up a mound
  Measureless-high. Then scattered they amidst
  The long ships, heavy-hearted for the man
  Whom they had honoured even as Achilles.
  Then black night, bearing unto all men sleep,
  Upfloated: so they brake bread, and lay down
  Waiting the Child of the Mist. Short was sleep,
  Broken by fitful staring through the dark,
  Haunted by dread lest in the night the foe
  Should fall on them, now Telamon's son was dead.


How came for the helping of Troy Eurypylus, Hercules' grandson.

  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:
  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?
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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.

  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
  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
  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
  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:
  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
  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:
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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.
  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
  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,
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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.
  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;
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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:
  "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
  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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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!
  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.
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  Dark fate had overtaken and laid in dust.


How the Son of Achilles was brought to the War from the Isle of Scyros.

  When heaven hid his stars, and Dawn awoke
  Outspraying splendour, and night's darkness fled,
  Then undismayed the Argives' warrior-sons
  Marched forth without the ships to meet in fight
  Eurypylus, save those that tarried still
  To render to Machaon midst the ships
  Death-dues, with Nireus—Nireus, who in grace
  And goodlihead was like the Deathless Ones,
  Yet was not strong in bodily might: the Gods
  Grant not perfection in all things to men;
  But evil still is blended with the good
  By some strange fate: to Nireus' winsome grace
  Was linked a weakling's prowess. Yet the Greeks
  Slighted him not, but gave him all death-dues,
  And mourned above his grave with no less grief
  Than for Machaon, whom they honoured aye,
  For his deep wisdom, as the immortal Gods.
  One mound they swiftly heaped above these twain.

  Then in the plain once more did murderous war
  Madden: the multitudinous clash and cry
  Rose, as the shields were shattered with huge stones,
  Were pierced with lances. So they toiled in fight;
  But all this while lay Podaleirius
  Fasting in dust and groaning, leaving not
  His brother's tomb; and oft his heart was moved
  With his own hands to slay himself. And now
  He clutched his sword, and now amidst his herbs
  Sought for a deadly drug; and still his friends
  Essayed to stay his hand and comfort him
  With many pleadings. But he would not cease
  From grieving: yea, his hands had spilt his life
  There on his noble brother's new-made tomb,
  But Nestor heard thereof, and sorrowed sore
  In his affliction, and he came on him
  As now he flung him on that woeful grave,
  And now was casting dust upon his head,
  Beating his breast, and on his brother's name
  Crying, while thralls and comrades round their lord
  Groaned, and affliction held them one and all.
  Then gently spake he to that stricken one:
  "Refrain from bitter moan and deadly grief,
  My son. It is not for a wise man's honour
  To wail, as doth a woman, o'er the fallen.
  Thou shalt not bring him up to light again
  Whose soul hath fleeted vanishing into air,
  Whose body fire hath ravined up, whose bones
  Earth has received. His end was worthy his life.
  Endure thy sore grief, even as I endured,
  Who lost a son, slain by the hands of foes,
  A son not worse than thy Machaon, good
  With spears in battle, good in counsel. None
  Of all the youths so loved his sire as he
  Loved me. He died for me yea, died to save
  His father. Yet, when he was slain, did I
  Endure to taste food, and to see the light,
  Well knowing that all men must tread one path
  Hades-ward, and before all lies one goal,
  Death's mournful goal. A mortal man must bear
  All joys, all griefs, that God vouchsafes to send."

  Made answer that heart-stricken one, while still
  Wet were his cheeks with ever-flowing tears:
  "Father, mine heart is bowed 'neath crushing grief
  For a brother passing wise, who fostered me
  Even as a son. When to the heavens had passed
  Our father, in his arms he cradled me:
  Gladly he taught me all his healing lore;
  We shared one table; in one bed we lay:
  We had all things in common these, and love.
  My grief cannot forget, nor I desire,
  Now he is dead, to see the light of life."

  Then spake the old man to that stricken one:
  "To all men Fate assigns one same sad lot,
  Bereavement: earth shall cover all alike,
  Albeit we tread not the same path of life,
  And none the path he chooseth; for on high
  Good things and bad lie on the knees of
  Gods Unnumbered, indistinguishably blent.
  These no Immortal seeth; they are veiled
  In mystic cloud-folds. Only Fate puts forth
  Her hands thereto, nor looks at what she takes,
  But casts them from Olympus down to earth.
  This way and that they are wafted, as it were
  By gusts of wind. The good man oft is whelmed
  In suffering: wealth undeserved is heaped
  On the vile person. Blind is each man's life;
  Therefore he never walketh surely; oft
  He stumbleth: ever devious is his path,
  Now sloping down to sorrow, mounting now
  To bliss. All-happy is no living man
  From the beginning to the end, but still
  The good and evil clash. Our life is short;
  Beseems not then in grief to live. Hope on,
  Still hope for better days: chain not to woe
  Thine heart. There is a saying among men
  That to the heavens unperishing mount the souls
  Of good men, and to nether darkness sink
  Souls of the wicked. Both to God and man
  Dear was thy brother, good to brother-men,
  And son of an Immortal. Sure am I
  That to the company of Gods shall he
  Ascend, by intercession of thy sire."

  Then raised he that reluctant mourner up
  With comfortable words. From that dark grave
  He drew him, backward gazing oft with groans.
  To the ships they came, where Greeks and Trojan men
  Had bitter travail of rekindled war.

  Eurypylus there, in dauntless spirit like
  The War-god, with mad-raging spear and hands
  Resistless, smote down hosts of foes: the earth
  Was clogged with dead men slain on either side.
  On strode he midst the corpses, awelessly
  He fought, with blood-bespattered hands and feet;
  Never a moment from grim strife he ceased.
  Peneleos the mighty-hearted came
  Against him in the pitiless fray: he fell
  Before Eurypylus' spear: yea, many more
  Fell round him. Ceased not those destroying hands,
  But wrathful on the Argives still he pressed,
  As when of old on Pholoe's long-ridged heights
  Upon the Centaurs terrible Hercules rushed
  Storming in might, and slew them, passing-swift
  And strong and battle-cunning though they were;
  So rushed he on, so smote he down the array,
  One after other, of the Danaan spears.
  Heaps upon heaps, here, there, in throngs they fell
  Strewn in the dust. As when a river in flood
  Comes thundering down, banks crumble on either side
  To drifting sand: on seaward rolls the surge
  Tossing wild crests, while cliffs on every hand
  Ring crashing echoes, as their brows break down
  Beneath long-leaping roaring waterfalls,
  And dikes are swept away; so fell in dust
  The war-famed Argives by Eurypylus slain,
  Such as he overtook in that red rout.
  Some few escaped, whom strength of fleeing feet
  Delivered. Yet in that sore strait they drew
  Peneleos from the shrieking tumult forth,
  And bare to the ships, though with swift feet themselves
  Were fleeing from ghastly death, from pitiless doom.
  Behind the rampart of the ships they fled
  In huddled rout: they had no heart to stand
  Before Eurypylus, for Hercules,
  To crown with glory his son's stalwart son,
  Thrilled them with panic. There behind their wall
  They cowered, as goats to leeward of a hill
  Shrink from the wild cold rushing of the wind
  That bringeth snow and heavy sleet and haft.
  No longing for the pasture tempteth them
  Over the brow to step, and face the blast,
  But huddling screened by rock-wall and ravine
  They abide the storm, and crop the scanty grass
  Under dim copses thronging, till the gusts
  Of that ill wind shall lull: so, by their towers
  Screened, did the trembling Danaans abide
  Telephus' mighty son. Yea, he had burnt
  The ships, and all that host had he destroyed,
  Had not Athena at the last inspired
  The Argive men with courage. Ceaselessly
  From the high rampart hurled they at the foe
  With bitter-biting darts, and slew them fast;
  And all the walls were splashed with reeking gore,
  And aye went up a moan of smitten men.

  So fought they: nightlong, daylong fought they on,
  Ceteians, Trojans, battle-biding Greeks,
  Fought, now before the ships, and now again
  Round the steep wall, with fury unutterable.
  Yet even so for two days did they cease
  From murderous fight; for to Eurypylus came
  A Danaan embassage, saying, "From the war
  Forbear we, while we give unto the flames
  The battle-slain." So hearkened he to them:
  From ruin-wreaking strife forebore the hosts;
  And so their dead they buried, who in dust
  Had fallen. Chiefly the Achaeans mourned
  Peneleos; o'er the mighty dead they heaped
  A barrow broad and high, a sign for men
  Of days to be. But in a several place
  The multitude of heroes slain they laid,
  Mourning with stricken hearts. On one great pyre
  They burnt them all, and buried in one grave.
  So likewise far from thence the sons of Troy
  Buried their slain. Yet murderous Strife slept not,
  But roused again Eurypylus' dauntless might
  To meet the foe. He turned not from the ships,
  But there abode, and fanned the fury of war.

  Meanwhile the black ship on to Scyros ran;
  And those twain found before his palace-gate
  Achilles' son, now hurling dart and lance,
  Now in his chariot driving fleetfoot steeds.
  Glad were they to behold him practising
  The deeds of war, albeit his heart was sad
  For his slain sire, of whom had tidings come
  Ere this. With reverent eyes of awe they went
  To meet him, for that goodly form and face
  Seemed even as very Achilles unto them.
  But he, or ever they had spoken, cried:
  "All hail, ye strangers, unto this mine home
  Say whence ye are, and who, and what the need
  That hither brings you over barren seas."

  So spake he, and Odysseus answered him:
  "Friends are we of Achilles lord of war,
  To whom of Deidameia thou wast born—
  Yea, when we look on thee we seem to see
  That Hero's self; and like the Immortal Ones
  Was he. Of Ithaca am I: this man
  Of Argos, nurse of horses—if perchance
  Thou hast heard the name of Tydeus' warrior son
  Or of the wise Odysseus. Lo, I stand
  Before thee, sent by voice of prophecy.
  I pray thee, pity us: come thou to Troy
  And help us. Only so unto the war
  An end shall be. Gifts beyond words to thee
  The Achaean kings shall give: yea, I myself
  Will give to thee thy godlike father's arms,
  And great shall be thy joy in bearing them;
  For these be like no mortal's battle-gear,
  But splendid as the very War-god's arms.
  Over their marvellous blazonry hath gold
  Been lavished; yea, in heaven Hephaestus' self
  Rejoiced in fashioning that work divine,
  The which thine eyes shall marvel to behold;
  For earth and heaven and sea upon the shield
  Are wrought, and in its wondrous compass are
  Creatures that seem to live and move—a wonder
  Even to the Immortals. Never man
  Hath seen their like, nor any man hath worn,
  Save thy sire only, whom the Achaeans all
  Honoured as Zeus himself. I chiefliest
  From mine heart loved him, and when he was slain,
  To many a foe I dealt a ruthless doom,
  And through them all bare back to the ships his corse.
  Therefore his glorious arms did Thetis give
  To me. These, though I prize them well, to thee
  Will I give gladly when thou com'st to Troy.
  Yea also, when we have smitten Priam's towns
  And unto Hellas in our ships return,
  Shall Menelaus give thee, an thou wilt,
  His princess-child to wife, of love for thee,
  And with his bright-haired daughter shall bestow
  Rich dower of gold and treasure, even all
  That meet is to attend a wealthy king."

  So spake he, and replied Achilles' son:
  "If bidden of oracles the Achaean men
  Summon me, let us with to-morrow's dawn
  Fare forth upon the broad depths of the sea,
  If so to longing Danaans I may prove
  A light of help. Now pass we to mine halls,
  And to such guest-fare as befits to set
  Before the stranger. For my marriage-day—
  To this the Gods in time to come shall see."

  Then hall-ward led he them, and with glad hearts
  They followed. To the forecourt when they came
  Of that great mansion, found they there the Queen
  Deidameia in her sorrow of soul
  Grief-wasted, as when snow from mountain-sides
  Before the sun and east-wind wastes away;
  So pined she for that princely hero slain.
  Then came to her amidst her grief the kings,
  And greeted her in courteous wise. Her son
  Drew near and told their lineage and their names;
  But that for which they came he left untold
  Until the morrow, lest unto her woe
  There should be added grief and floods of tears,
  And lest her prayers should hold him from the path
  Whereon his heart was set. Straight feasted these,
  And comforted their hearts with sleep, even all
  Which dwelt in sea-ringed Scyros, nightlong lulled
  By long low thunder of the girdling deep,
  Of waves Aegean breaking on her shores.
  But not on Deidameia fell the hands
  Of kindly sleep. She bore in mind the names
  Of crafty Odysseus and of Diomede
  The godlike, how these twain had widowed her
  Of battle-fain Achilles, how their words
  Had won his aweless heart to fare with them
  To meet the war-cry where stern Fate met him,
  Shattered his hope of home-return, and laid
  Measureless grief on Peleus and on her.
  Therefore an awful dread oppressed her soul
  Lest her son too to tumult of the war
  Should speed, and grief be added to her grief.

  Dawn climbed the wide-arched heaven, straightway they
  Rose from their beds. Then Deidameia knew;
  And on her son's broad breast she cast herself,
  And bitterly wailed: her cry thrilled through the air,
  As when a cow loud-lowing mid the hills
  Seeks through the glens her calf, and all around
  Echo long ridges of the mountain-steep;
  So on all sides from dim recesses rang
  The hall; and in her misery she cried:
  "Child, wherefore is thy soul now on the wing
  To follow strangers unto Ilium
  The fount of tears, where perish many in fight,
  Yea, cunning men in war and battle grim?
  And thou art but a youth, and hast not learnt
  The ways of war, which save men in the day
  Of peril. Hearken thou to me, abide
  Here in thine home, lest evil tidings come
  From Troy unto my ears, that thou in fight
  Hast perished; for mine heart saith, never thou
  Hitherward shalt from battle-toil return.
  Not even thy sire escaped the doom of death—
  He, mightier than thou, mightier than all
  Heroes on earth, yea, and a Goddess' son—
  But was in battle slain, all through the wiles
  And crafty counsels of these very men
  Who now to woeful war be kindling thee.
  Therefore mine heart is full of shuddering fear
  Lest, son, my lot should be to live bereaved
  Of thee, and to endure dishonour and pain,
  For never heavier blow on woman falls
  Than when her lord hath perished, and her sons
  Die also, and her house is left to her
  Desolate. Straightway evil men remove
  Her landmarks, yea, and rob her of her all,
  Setting the right at naught. There is no lot
  More woeful and more helpless than is hers
  Who is left a widow in a desolate home."

  Loud-wailing spake she; but her son replied:
  "Be of good cheer, my mother; put from thee
  Evil foreboding. No man is in war
  Beyond his destiny slain. If my weird be
  To die in my country's cause, then let me die
  When I have done deeds worthy of my sire."

  Then to his side old Lycomedes came,
  And to his battle-eager grandson spake:
  "O valiant-hearted son, so like thy sire,
  I know thee strong and valorous; yet, O yet
  For thee I fear the bitter war; I fear
  The terrible sea-surge. Shipmen evermore
  Hang on destruction's brink. Beware, my child,
  Perils of waters when thou sailest back
  From Troy or other shores, such as beset
  Full oftentimes the voyagers that ride
  The long sea-ridges, when the sun hath left
  The Archer-star, and meets the misty Goat,
  When the wild blasts drive on the lowering storm,
  Or when Orion to the darkling west
  Slopes, into Ocean's river sinking slow.
  Beware the time of equal days and nights,
  When blasts that o'er the sea's abysses rush,
  None knoweth whence in fury of battle clash.
  Beware the Pleiads' setting, when the sea
  Maddens beneath their power nor these alone,
  But other stars, terrors of hapless men,
  As o'er the wide sea-gulf they set or rise."

  Then kissed he him, nor sought to stay the feet
  Of him who panted for the clamour of war,
  Who smiled for pleasure and for eagerness
  To haste to the ship. Yet were his hurrying feet
  Stayed by his mother's pleading and her tears
  Still in those halls awhile. As some swift horse
  Is reined in by his rider, when he strains
  Unto the race-course, and he neighs, and champs
  The curbing bit, dashing his chest with foam,
  And his feet eager for the course are still
  Never, his restless hooves are clattering aye;
  His mane is a stormy cloud, he tosses high
  His head with snortings, and his lord is glad;
  So reined his mother back the glorious son
  Of battle-stay Achilles, so his feet
  Were restless, so the mother's loving pride
  Joyed in her son, despite her heart-sick pain.

  A thousand times he kissed her, then at last
  Left her alone with her own grief and moan
  There in her father's halls. As o'er her nest
  A swallow in her anguish cries aloud
  For her lost nestlings which, mid piteous shrieks,
  A fearful serpent hath devoured, and wrung
  The loving mother's heart; and now above
  That empty cradle spreads her wings, and now
  Flies round its porchway fashioned cunningly
  Lamenting piteously her little ones:
  So for her child Deidameia mourned.
  Now on her son's bed did she cast herself,
  Crying aloud, against his door-post now
  She leaned, and wept: now laid she in her lap
  Those childhood's toys yet treasured in her bower,
  Wherein his babe-heart joyed long years agone.
  She saw a dart there left behind of him,
  And kissed it o'er and o'er yea, whatso else
  Her weeping eyes beheld that was her son's.

  Naught heard he of her moans unutterable,
  But was afar, fast striding to the ship.
  He seemed, as his feet swiftly bare him on,
  Like some all-radiant star; and at his side
  With Tydeus' son war-wise Odysseus went,
  And with them twenty gallant-hearted men,
  Whom Deidameia chose as trustiest
  Of all her household, and unto her son
  Gave them for henchmen swift to do his will.
  And these attended Achilles' valiant son,
  As through the city to the ship he sped.
  On, with glad laughter, in their midst he strode;
  And Thetis and the Nereids joyed thereat.
  Yea, glad was even the Raven-haired, the Lord
  Of all the sea, beholding that brave son
  Of princely Achilles, marking how he longed
  For battle. Beardless boy albeit he was,
  His prowess and his might were inward spurs
  To him. He hasted forth his fatherland
  Like to the War-god, when to gory strife
  He speedeth, wroth with foes, when maddeneth
  His heart, and grim his frown is, and his eyes
  Flash levin-flame around him, and his face
  Is clothed with glory of beauty terror-blent,
  As on he rusheth: quail the very Gods.
  So seemed Achilles' goodly son; and prayers
  Went up through all the city unto Heaven
  To bring their noble prince safe back from war;
  And the Gods hearkened to them. High he towered
  Above all stateliest men which followed him.

  So came they to the heavy-plunging sea,
  And found the rowers in the smooth-wrought ship
  Handling the tackle, fixing mast and sail.
  Straightway they went aboard: the shipmen cast
  The hawsers loose, and heaved the anchor-stones,
  The strength and stay of ships in time of need.
  Then did the Sea-queen's lord grant voyage fair
  To these with gracious mind; for his heart yearned
  O'er the Achaeans, by the Trojan men
  And mighty-souled Eurypylus hard-bestead.
  On either side of Neoptolemus sat
  Those heroes, gladdening his soul with tales
  Of his sire's mighty deeds—of all he wrought
  In sea-raids, and in valiant Telephus' land,
  And how he smote round Priam's burg the men
  Of Troy, for glory unto Atreus' sons.
  His heart glowed, fain to grasp his heritage,
  His aweless father's honour and renown.

  In her bower, sorrowing for her son the while,
  Deidameia poured forth sighs and tears.
  With agony of soul her very heart
  Melted in her, as over coals doth lead
  Or wax, and never did her moaning cease,
  As o'er the wide sea her gaze followed him.
  Ay, for her son a mother fretteth still,
  Though it be to a feast that he hath gone,
  By a friend bidden forth. But soon the sail
  Of that good ship far-fleeting o'er the blue
  Grew faint and fainter—melted in sea-haze.
  But still she sighed, still daylong made her moan.

  On ran the ship before a following wind,
  Seeming to skim the myriad-surging sea,
  And crashed the dark wave either side the prow:
  Swiftly across the abyss unplumbed she sped.
  Night's darkness fell about her, but the breeze
  Held, and the steersman's hand was sure. O'er gulfs
  Of brine she flew, till Dawn divine rose up
  To climb the sky. Then sighted they the peaks
  Of Ida, Chrysa next, and Smintheus' fane,
  Then the Sigean strand, and then the tomb
  Of Aeacus' son. Yet would Laertes' seed,
  The man discreet of soul, not point it out
  To Neoptolemus, lest the tide of grief
  Too high should swell within his breast. They passed
  Calydnae's isles, left Tenedos behind;
  And now was seen the fane of Eleus,
  Where stands Protesilaus' tomb, beneath
  The shade of towery elms; when, soaring high
  Above the plain, their topmost boughs discern
  Troy, straightway wither all their highest sprays.
  Nigh Ilium now the ship by wind and oar
  Was brought: they saw the long strand fringed with keels
  Of Argives, who endured sore travail of war
  Even then about the wall, the which themselves
  Had reared to screen the ships and men in stress
  Of battle. Even now Eurypylus' hands
  To earth were like to dash it and destroy;
  But the quick eyes of Tydeus' strong son marked
  How rained the darts and stones on that long wall.
  Forth of the ship he sprang, and shouted loud
  With all the strength of his undaunted breast:
  "Friends, on the Argive men is heaped this day
  Sore travail! Let us don our flashing arms
  With speed, and to yon battle-turmoil haste.
  For now upon our towers the warrior sons
  Of Troy press hard—yea, haply will they tear
  The long walls down, and burn the ships with fire,
  And so the souls that long for home-return
  Shall win it never; nay, ourselves shall fall
  Before our due time, and shall lie in graves
  In Troyland, far from children and from wives."

  All as one man down from the ship they leapt;
  For trembling seized on all for that grim sight—
  On all save aweless Neoptolemus
  Whose might was like his father's: lust of war
  Swept o'er him. To Odysseus' tent in haste
  They sped, for close it lay to where the ship
  Touched land. About its walls was hung great store
  Of change of armour, of wise Odysseus some,
  And rescued some from gallant comrades slain.
  Then did the brave man put on goodly arms;
  But they in whose breasts faintlier beat their hearts
  Must don the worser. Odysseus stood arrayed
  In those which came with him from Ithaca:
  To Diomede he gave fair battle-gear
  Stripped in time past from mighty Socus slain.
  But in his father's arms Achilles' son
  Clad him and lo, he seemed Achilles' self!
  Light on his limbs and lapping close they lay—
  So cunning was Hephaestus' workmanship—
  Which for another had been a giant's arms.
  The massive helmet cumbered not his brows;
  Yea, the great Pelian spear-shaft burdened not
  His hand, but lightly swung he up on high
  The heavy and tall lance thirsting still for blood.

  Of many Argives which beheld him then
  Might none draw nigh to him, how fain soe'er,
  So fast were they in that grim grapple locked
  Of the wild war that raged all down the wall.
  But as when shipmen, under a desolate isle
  Mid the wide sea by stress of weather bound,
  Chafe, while afar from men the adverse blasts
  Prison them many a day; they pace the deck
  With sinking hearts, while scantier grows their store
  Of food; they weary till a fair wind sings;
  So joyed the Achaean host, which theretofore
  Were heavy of heart, when Neoptolemus came,
  Joyed in the hope of breathing-space from toil.
  Then like the aweless lion's flashed his eyes,
  Which mid the mountains leaps in furious mood
  To meet the hunters that draw nigh his cave,
  Thinking to steal his cubs, there left alone
  In a dark-shadowed glen but from a height
  The beast hath spied, and on the spoilers leaps
  With grim jaws terribly roaring; even so
  That glorious child of Aeacus' aweless son
  Against the Trojan warriors burned in wrath.
  Thither his eagle-swoop descended first
  Where loudest from the plain uproared the fight,
  There weakest, he divined, must be the wall,
  The battlements lowest, since the surge of foes
  Brake heaviest there. Charged at his side the rest
  Breathing the battle-spirit. There they found
  Eurypylus mighty of heart and all his men
  Scaling a tower, exultant in the hope
  Of tearing down the walls, of slaughtering
  The Argives in one holocaust. No mind
  The Gods had to accomplish their desire!
  But now Odysseus, Diomede the strong,
  Leonteus, and Neoptolemus, as a God
  In strength and beauty, hailed their javelins down,
  And thrust them from the wall. As dogs and shepherds
  By shouting and hard fighting drive away
  Strong lions from a steading, rushing forth
  From all sides, and the brutes with glaring eyes
  Pace to and fro; with savage lust for blood
  Of calves and kine their jaws are slavering;
  Yet must their onrush give back from the hounds
  And fearless onset of the shepherd folk;
  [So from these new defenders shrank the foe]
  A little, far as one may hurl a stone
  Exceeding great; for still Eurypylus
  Suffered them not to flee far from the ships,
  But cheered them on to bide the brunt, until
  The ships be won, and all the Argives slain;
  For Zeus with measureless might thrilled all his frame.
  Then seized he a rugged stone and huge, and leapt
  And hurled it full against the high-built wall.
  It crashed, and terribly boomed that rampart steep
  To its foundations. Terror gripped the Greeks,
  As though that wall had crumbled down in dust;
  Yet from the deadly conflict flinched they not,
  But stood fast, like to jackals or to wolves
  Bold robbers of the sheep—when mid the hills
  Hunter and hound would drive them forth their caves,
  Being grimly purposed there to slay their whelps.
  Yet these, albeit tormented by the darts,
  Flee not, but for their cubs' sake bide and fight;
  So for the ships' sake they abode and fought,
  And for their own lives. But Eurypylus
  Afront of all the ships stood, taunting them:
  "Coward and dastard souls! no darts of yours
  Had given me pause, nor thrust back from your ships,
  Had not your rampart stayed mine onset-rush.
  Ye are like to dogs, that in a forest flinch
  Before a lion! Skulking therewithin
  Ye are fighting—nay, are shrinking back from death!
  But if ye dare come forth on Trojan ground,
  As once when ye were eager for the fray,
  None shall from ghastly death deliver you:
  Slain by mine hand ye all shall lie in dust!"

  So did he shout a prophecy unfulfilled,
  Nor heard Doom's chariot-wheels fast rolling near
  Bearing swift death at Neoptolemus' hands,
  Nor saw death gleaming from his glittering spear.
  Ay, and that hero paused not now from fight,
  But from the ramparts smote the Trojans aye.
  From that death leaping from above they quailed
  In tumult round Eurypylus: deadly fear
  Gripped all their hearts. As little children cower
  About a father's knees when thunder of Zeus
  Crashes from cloud to cloud, when all the air
  Shudders and groans, so did the sons of Troy,
  With those Ceteians round their great king, cower
  Ever as prince Neoptolemus hurled; for death
  Rode upon all he cast, and bare his wrath
  Straight rushing down upon the heads of foes.
  Now in their hearts those wildered Trojans said
  That once more they beheld Achilles' self
  Gigantic in his armour. Yet they hid
  That horror in their breasts, lest panic fear
  Should pass from them to the Ceteian host
  And king Eurypylus; so on every side
  They wavered 'twixt the stress of their hard strait
  And that blood-curdling dread, 'twixt shame and fear.
  As when men treading a precipitous path
  Look up, and see adown the mountain-slope
  A torrent rushing on them, thundering down
  The rocks, and dare not meet its clamorous flood,
  But hurry shuddering on, with death in sight
  Holding as naught the perils of the path;
  So stayed the Trojans, spite of their desire
  [To flee the imminent death that waited them]
  Beneath the wall. Godlike Eurypylus
  Aye cheered them on to fight. He trusted still
  That this new mighty foe would weary at last
  With toil of slaughter; but he wearied not.

  That desperate battle-travail Pallas saw,
  And left the halls of Heaven incense-sweet,
  And flew o'er mountain-crests: her hurrying feet
  Touched not the earth, borne by the air divine
  In form of cloud-wreaths, swifter than the wind.
  She came to Troy, she stayed her feet upon
  Sigeum's windy ness, she looked forth thence
  Over the ringing battle of dauntless men,
  And gave the Achaeans glory. Achilles' son
  Beyond the rest was filled with valour and strength
  Which win renown for men in whom they meet.
  Peerless was he in both: the blood of Zeus
  Gave strength; to his father's valour was he heir;
  So by those towers he smote down many a foe.
  And as a fisher on the darkling sea,
  To lure the fish to their destruction, takes
  Within his boat the strength of fire; his breath
  Kindles it to a flame, till round the boat
  Glareth its splendour, and from the black sea
  Dart up the fish all eager to behold
  The radiance—for the last time; for the barbs
  Of his three-pointed spear, as up they leap,
  Slay them; his heart rejoices o'er the prey.
  So that war-king Achilles' glorious son
  Slew hosts of onward-rushing foes around
  That wall of stone. Well fought the Achaeans all,
  Here, there, adown the ramparts: rang again
  The wide strand and the ships: the battered walls
  Groaned ever. Men with weary ache of toil
  Fainted on either side; sinews and might
  Of strong men were unstrung. But o'er the son
  Of battle-stay Achilles weariness
  Crept not: his battle-eager spirit aye
  Was tireless; never touched by palsying fear
  He fought on, as with the triumphant strength
  Of an ever-flowing river: though it roll
  'Twixt blazing forests, though the madding blast
  Roll stormy seas of flame, it feareth not,
  For at its brink faint grows the fervent heat,
  The strong flood turns its might to impotence;
  So weariness nor fear could bow the knees
  Of Hero Achilles' gallant-hearted son,
  Still as he fought, still cheered his comrades on.
  Of myriad shafts sped at him none might touch
  His flesh, but even as snowflakes on a rock
  Fell vainly ever: wholly screened was he
  By broad shield and strong helmet, gifts of a God.
  In these exulting did the Aeacid's son
  Stride all along the wall, with ringing shouts
  Cheering the dauntless Argives to the fray,
  Being their mightiest far, bearing a soul
  Insatiate of the awful onset-cry,
  Burning with one strong purpose, to avenge
  His father's death: the Myrmidons in their king
  Exulted. Roared the battle round the wall.

  Two sons he slew of Meges rich in gold,
  Scion of Dymas—sons of high renown,
  Cunning to hurl the dart, to drive the steed
  In war, and deftly cast the lance afar,
  Born at one birth beside Sangarius' banks
  Of Periboea to him, Celtus one,
  And Eubius the other. But not long
  His boundless wealth enjoyed they, for the
  Fates Span them a thread of life exceeding brief.
  As on one day they saw the light, they died
  On one day by the same hand. To the heart
  Of one Neoptolemus sped a javelin; one
  He smote down with a massy stone that crashed
  Through his strong helmet, shattered all its ridge,
  And dashed his brains to earth. Around them fell
  Foes many, a host untold. The War-god's work
  Waxed ever mightier till the eventide,
  Till failed the light celestial; then the host
  Of brave Eurypylus from the ships drew back
  A little: they that held those leaguered towers
  Had a short breathing-space; the sons of Troy
  Had respite from the deadly-echoing strife,
  From that hard rampart-battle. Verily all
  The Argives had beside their ships been slain,
  Had not Achilles' strong son on that day
  Withstood the host of foes and their great chief
  Eurypylus. Came to that young hero's side
  Phoenix the old, and marvelling gazed on one
  The image of Peleides. Tides of joy
  And grief swept o'er him—grief, for memories
  Of that swift-footed father—joy, for sight
  Of such a son. He for sheer gladness wept;
  For never without tears the tribes of men
  Live—nay, not mid the transports of delight.
  He clasped him round as father claspeth son
  Whom, after long and troublous wanderings,
  The Gods bring home to gladden a father's heart.
  So kissed he Neoptolemus' head and breast,
  Clasping him round, and cried in rapture of joy:
  "Hail, goodly son of that Achilles whom
  I nursed a little one in mine own arms
  With a glad heart. By Heaven's high providence
  Like a strong sapling waxed he in stature fast,
  And daily I rejoiced to see his form
  And prowess, my life's blessing, honouring him
  As though he were the son of mine old age;
  For like a father did he honour me.
  I was indeed his father, he my son
  In spirit: thou hadst deemed us of one blood
  Who were in heart one: but of nobler mould
  Was he by far, in form and strength a God.
  Thou art wholly like him—yea, I seem to see
  Alive amid the Argives him for whom
  Sharp anguish shrouds me ever. I waste away
  In sorrowful age—oh that the grave had closed
  On me while yet he lived! How blest to be
  By loving hands of kinsmen laid to rest!
  Ah child, my sorrowing heart will nevermore
  Forget him! Chide me not for this my grief.
  But now, help thou the Myrmidons and Greeks
  In their sore strait: wreak on the foe thy wrath
  For thy brave sire. It shall be thy renown
  To slay this war-insatiate Telephus' son;
  For mightier art thou, and shalt prove, than he,
  As was thy father than his wretched sire."

  Made answer golden-haired Achilles' son:
  "Ancient, our battle-prowess mighty Fate
  And the o'ermastering War-god shall decide."

  But, as he spake, he had fain on that same day
  Forth of the gates have rushed in his sire's arms;
  But night, which bringeth men release from toil,
  Rose from the ocean veiled in sable pall.

  With honour as of mighty Achilles' self
  Him mid the ships the glad Greeks hailed, who had won
  Courage from that his eager rush to war.
  With princely presents did they honour him,
  With priceless gifts, whereby is wealth increased;
  For some gave gold and silver, handmaids some,
  Brass without weight gave these, and iron those;
  Others in deep jars brought the ruddy wine:
  Yea, fleetfoot steeds they gave, and battle-gear,
  And raiment woven fair by women's hands.
  Glowed Neoptolemus' heart for joy of these.
  A feast they made for him amidst the tents,
  And there extolled Achilles' godlike son
  With praise as of the immortal Heavenly Ones;
  And joyful-voiced Agamemnon spake to him:
  "Thou verily art the brave-souled Aeacid's son,
  His very image thou in stalwart might,
  In beauty, stature, courage, and in soul.
  Mine heart burns in me seeing thee. I trust
  Thine hands and spear shall smite yon hosts of foes,
  Shall smite the city of Priam world-renowned—
  So like thy sire thou art! Methinks I see
  Himself beside the ships, as when his shout
  Of wrath for dead Patroclus shook the ranks
  Of Troy. But he is with the Immortal Ones,
  Yet, bending from that heaven, sends thee to-day
  To save the Argives on destruction's brink."

  Answered Achilles' battle-eager son:
  "Would I might meet him living yet, O King,
  That so himself might see the son of his love
  Not shaming his great father's name. I trust
  So shall it be, if the Gods grant me life."

  So spake he in wisdom and in modesty;
  And all there marvelled at the godlike man.
  But when with meat and wine their hearts were filled,
  Then rose Achilles' battle-eager son,
  And from the feast passed forth unto the tent
  That was his sire's. Much armour of heroes slain
  Lay there; and here and there were captive maids
  Arraying that tent widowed of its lord,
  As though its king lived. When that son beheld
  Those Trojan arms and handmaid-thralls, he groaned,
  By passionate longing for his father seized.
  As when through dense oak-groves and tangled glens
  Comes to the shadowed cave a lion's whelp
  Whose grim sire by the hunters hath been slain,
  And looketh all around that empty den,
  And seeth heaps of bones of steeds and kine
  Slain theretofore, and grieveth for his sire;
  Even so the heart of brave Peleides' son
  With grief was numbed. The handmaids marvelling gazed;
  And fair Briseis' self, when she beheld
  Achilles' son, was now right glad at heart,
  And sorrowed now with memories of the dead.
  Her soul was wildered all, as though indeed
  There stood the aweless Aeacid living yet.

  Meanwhile exultant Trojans camped aloof
  Extolled Eurypylus the fierce and strong,
  As erst they had praised Hector, when he smote
  Their foes, defending Troy and all her wealth.
  But when sweet sleep stole over mortal men,
  Then sons of Troy and battle-biding Greeks
  All slumber-heavy slept unsentinelled.


How Hercules' Grandson perished in fight with the Son of Achilles.

  When from the far sea-line, where is the cave
  Of Dawn, rose up the sun, and scattered light
  Over the earth, then did the eager sons
  Of Troy and of Achaea arm themselves
  Athirst for battle: these Achilles' son
  Cheered on to face the Trojans awelessly;
  And those the giant strength of Telephus' seed
  Kindled. He trusted to dash down the wall
  To earth, and utterly destroy the ships
  With ravening fire, and slay the Argive host.
  Ah, but his hope was as the morning breeze
  Delusive: hard beside him stood the Fates
  Laughing to scorn his vain imaginings.

  Then to the Myrmidons spake Achilles' son,
  The aweless, to the fight enkindling them:
  "Hear me, mine henchmen: take ye to your hearts
  The spirit of war, that we may heal the wounds
  Of Argos, and be ruin to her foes.
  Let no man fear, for mighty prowess is
  The child of courage; but fear slayeth strength
  And spirit. Gird yourselves with strength for war;
  Give foes no breathing-space, that they may say
  That mid our ranks Achilles liveth yet."

  Then clad he with his father's flashing arms
  His shoulders. Then exulted Thetis' heart
  When from the sea she saw the mighty strength
  Of her son's son. Then forth with eagle-speed
  Afront of that high wall he rushed, his ear
  Drawn by the immortal horses of his sire.
  As from the ocean-verge upsprings the sun
  In glory, flashing fire far over earth—
  Fire, when beside his radiant chariot-team
  Races the red star Sirius, scatterer
  Of woefullest diseases over men;
  So flashed upon the eyes of Ilium's host
  That battle-eager hero, Achilles' son.
  Onward they whirled him, those immortal steeds,
  The which, when now he longed to chase the foe
  Back from the ships, Automedon, who wont
  To rein them for his father, brought to him.
  With joy that pair bore battleward their lord,
  So like to Aeacus' son, their deathless hearts
  Held him no worser than Achilles' self.
  Laughing for glee the Argives gathered round
  The might resistless of Neoptolemus,
  Eager for fight as wasps [whose woodland bower
  The axe] hath shaken, who dart swarming forth
  Furious to sting the woodman: round their nest
  Long eddying, they torment all passers by;
  So streamed they forth from galley and from wall
  Burning for fight, and that wide space was thronged,
  And all the plain far blazed with armour-sheen,
  As shone from heaven's vault the sun thereon.
  As flees the cloud-rack through the welkin wide
  Scourged onward by the North-wind's Titan blasts,
  When winter-tide and snow are hard at hand,
  And darkness overpalls the firmament;
  So with their thronging squadrons was the earth
  Covered before the ships. To heaven uprolled,
  Dust hung on hovering wings' men's armour clashed;
  Rattled a thousand chariots; horses neighed
  On-rushing to the fray. Each warrior's prowess
  Kindled him with its trumpet-call to war.

  As leap the long sea-rollers, onward hurled
  By two winds terribly o'er th' broad sea-flood
  Roaring from viewless bournes, with whirlwind blasts
  Crashing together, when a ruining storm
  Maddens along the wide gulfs of the deep,
  And moans the Sea-queen with her anguished waves
  Which sweep from every hand, uptowering
  Like precipiced mountains, while the bitter squall,
  Ceaselessly veering, shrieks across the sea;
  So clashed in strife those hosts from either hand
  With mad rage. Strife incarnate spurred them on,
  And their own prowess. Crashed together these
  Like thunderclouds outlightening, thrilling the air.
  With shattering trumpet-challenge, when the blasts
  Are locked in frenzied wrestle, with mad breath
  Rending the clouds, when Zeus is wroth with men
  Who travail with iniquity, and flout
  His law. So grappled they, as spear with spear
  Clashed, shield with shield, and man on man was hurled.

  And first Achilles' war-impetuous son
  Struck down stout Melaneus and Alcidamas,
  Sons of the war-lord Alexinomus,
  Who dwelt in Caunus mountain-cradled, nigh
  The clear lake shining at Tarbelus' feet
  'Neath snow-capt Imbrus. Menes, fleetfoot son
  Of King Cassandrus, slew he, born to him
  By fair Creusa, where the lovely streams
  Of Lindus meet the sea, beside the marches
  Of battle-biding Carians, and the heights
  Of Lycia the renowned. He slew withal
  Morys the spearman, who from Phrygia came;
  Polybus and Hippomedon by his side
  He laid, this stabbed to the heart, that pierced between
  Shoulder and neck: man after man he slew.
  Earth groaned 'neath Trojan corpses; rank on rank
  Crumbled before him, even as parched brakes
  Sink down before the blast of ravening fire
  When the north wind of latter summer blows;
  So ruining squadrons fell before his charge.

  Meanwhile Aeneas slew Aristolochus,
  Crashing a great stone down on his head: it brake
  Helmet and skull together, and fled his life.
  Fleetfoot Eumaeus Diomede slew; he dwelt
  In craggy Dardanus, where the bride-bed is
  Whereon Anchises clasped the Queen of Love.
  Agamemnon smote down Stratus: unto Thrace
  Returned he not from war, but died far off
  From his dear fatherland. And Meriones
  Struck Chlemus down, Peisenor's son, the friend
  Of god-like Glaucus, and his comrade leal,
  Who by Limurus' outfall dwelt: the folk
  Honoured him as their king, when reigned no more
  Glaucus, in battle slain,—all who abode
  Around Phoenice's towers, and by the crest
  Of Massicytus, and Chimaera's glen.

  So man slew man in fight; but more than all
  Eurypylus hurled doom on many a foe.
  First slew he battle-bider Eurytus,
  Menoetius of the glancing taslet next,
  Elephenor's godlike comrades. Fell with these
  Harpalus, wise Odysseus' warrior-friend;
  But in the fight afar that hero toiled,
  And might not aid his fallen henchman: yet
  Fierce Antiphus for that slain man was wroth,
  And hurled his spear against Eurypylus,
  Yet touched him not; the strong shaft glanced aside,
  And pierced Meilanion battle-staunch, the son
  Of Cleite lovely-faced, Erylaus' bride,
  Who bare him where Caicus meets the sea.
  Wroth for his comrade slain, Eurypylus
  Rushed upon Antiphus, but terror-winged
  He plunged amid his comrades; so the spear
  Of the avenger slew him not, whose doom
  Was one day wretchedly to be devoured
  By the manslaying Cyclops: so it pleased
  Stern Fate, I know not why. Elsewhither sped
  Eurypylus; and aye as he rushed on
  Fell 'neath his spear a multitude untold.
  As tall trees, smitten by the strength of steel
  In mountain-forest, fill the dark ravines,
  Heaped on the earth confusedly, so fell
  The Achaeans 'neath Eurypylus' flying spears—
  Till heart-uplifted met him face to face
  Achilles' son. The long spears in their hands
  They twain swung up, each hot to smite his foe.
  But first Eurypylus cried the challenge-cry;
  "Who art thou? Whence hast come to brave me here?
  To Hades merciless Fate is bearing thee;
  For in grim fight hath none escaped mine hands;
  But whoso, eager for the fray, have come
  Hither, on all have I hurled anguished death.
  By Xanthus' streams have dogs devoured their flesh
  And gnawed their bones. Answer me, who art thou?
  Whose be the steeds that bear thee exultant on?"

  Answered Achilles' battle-eager son:
  "Wherefore, when I am hurrying to the fray,
  Dost thou, a foe, put question thus to me,
  As might a friend, touching my lineage,
  Which many know? Achilles' son am I,
  Son of the man whose long spear smote thy sire,
  And made him flee—yea, and the ruthless fates
  Of death had seized him, but my father's self
  Healed him upon the brink of woeful death.
  The steeds which bear me were my godlike sire's;
  These the West-wind begat, the Harpy bare:
  Over the barren sea their feet can race
  Skimming its crests: in speed they match the winds.
  Since then thou know'st the lineage of my steeds
  And mine, now put thou to the test the might
  Of my strong spear, born on steep Pelion's crest,
  Who hath left his father-stock and forest there."

  He spake; and from the chariot sprang to earth
  That glorious man: he swung the long spear up.
  But in his brawny hand his foe hath seized
  A monstrous stone: full at the golden shield
  Of Neoptolemus he sped its flight;
  But, no whir staggered by its whirlwind rush,
  He like a giant mountain-foreland stood
  Which all the banded fury of river-floods
  Can stir not, rooted in the eternal hills;
  So stood unshaken still Achilles' son.
  Yet not for this Eurypylus' dauntless might
  Shrank from Achilles' son invincible,
  On-spurred by his own hardihood and by Fate.
  Their hearts like caldrons seethed o'er fires of wrath,
  Their glancing armour flashed about their limbs.
  Like terrible lions each on other rushed,
  Which fight amid the mountains famine-stung,
  Writhing and leaping in the strain of strife
  For a slain ox or stag, while all the glens
  Ring with their conflict; so they grappled, so
  Clashed they in pitiless strife. On either hand
  Long lines of warriors Greek and Trojan toiled
  In combat: round them roared up flames of war.
  Like mighty rushing winds they hurled together
  With eager spears for blood of life athirst.
  Hard by them stood Enyo, spurred them on
  Ceaselessly: never paused they from the strife.
  Now hewed they each the other's shield, and now
  Thrust at the greaves, now at the crested helms.
  Reckless of wounds, in that grim toil pressed on
  Those aweless heroes: Strife incarnate watched
  And gloated o'er them. Ran the sweat in streams
  From either: straining hard they stood their ground,
  For both were of the seed of Blessed Ones.
  From Heaven, with hearts at variance, Gods looked down;
  For some gave glory to Achilles' son,
  Some to Eurypylus the godlike. Still
  They fought on, giving ground no more than rock.
  Of granite mountains. Rang from side to side
  Spear-smitten shields. At last the Pelian lance,
  Sped onward by a mighty thrust, hath passed
  Clear through Eurypylus' throat. Forth poured the blood
  Torrent-like; through the portal of the wound
  The soul from the body flew: darkness of death
  Dropped o'er his eyes. To earth in clanging arms
  He fell, like stately pine or silver fir
  Uprooted by the fury of Boreas;
  Such space of earth Eurypylus' giant frame
  Covered in falling: rang again the floor
  And plain of Troyland. Grey death-pallor swept
  Over the corpse, and all the flush of life
  Faded away. With a triumphant laugh
  Shouted the mighty hero over him:
  "Eurypylus, thou saidst thou wouldst destroy
  The Danaan ships and men, wouldst slay us all
  Wretchedly—but the Gods would not fulfil
  Thy wish. For all thy might invincible,
  My father's massy spear hath now subdued
  Thee under me, that spear no man shall 'scape,
  Though he be brass all through, who faceth me."

  He spake, and tore the long lance from the corse,
  While shrank the Trojans back in dread, at sight
  Of that strong-hearted man. Straightway he stripped
  The armour from the dead, for friends to bear
  Fast to the ships Achaean. But himself
  To the swift chariot and the tireless steeds
  Sprang, and sped onward like a thunderbolt
  That lightning-girdled leaps through the wide air
  From Zeus's hands unconquerable—the bolt
  Before whose downrush all the Immortals quail
  Save only Zeus. It rusheth down to earth,
  It rendeth trees and rugged mountain-crags;
  So rushed he on the Trojans, flashing doom
  Before their eyes; dashed to the earth they fell
  Before the charge of those immortal steeds:
  The earth was heaped with slain, was dyed with gore.
  As when in mountain-glens the unnumbered leaves
  Down-streaming thick and fast hide all the ground,
  So hosts of Troy untold on earth were strewn
  By Neoptolemus and fierce-hearted Greeks,
  Shed by whose hands the blood in torrents ran
  'Neath feet of men and horses. Chariot-rails
  Were dashed with blood-spray whirled up from the tyres.

  Now had the Trojans fled within their gates
  As calves that flee a lion, or as swine
  Flee from a storm—but murderous Ares came,
  Unmarked of other Gods, down from the heavens,
  Eager to help the warrior sons of Troy.
  Red-fire and Flame, Tumult and Panic-fear,
  His car-steeds, bare him down into the fight,
  The coursers which to roaring Boreas
  Grim-eyed Erinnys bare, coursers that breathed
  Life-blasting flame: groaned all the shivering air,
  As battleward they sped. Swiftly he came
  To Troy: loud rang the earth beneath the feet
  Of that wild team. Into the battle's heart
  Tossing his massy spear, he came; with a shout
  He cheered the Trojans on to face the foe.
  They heard, and marvelled at that wondrous cry,
  Not seeing the God's immortal form, nor steeds,
  Veiled in dense mist. But the wise prophet-soul
  Of Helenus knew the voice divine that leapt
  Unto the Trojans' ears, they knew not whence,
  And with glad heart to the fleeing host he cried:
  "O cravens, wherefore fear Achilles' son,
  Though ne'er so brave? He is mortal even as we;
  His strength is not as Ares' strength, who is come
  A very present help in our sore need.
  That was his shout far-pealing, bidding us
  Fight on against the Argives. Let your hearts
  Be strong, O friends: let courage fill your breasts.
  No mightier battle-helper can draw nigh
  To Troy than he. Who is of more avail
  For war than Ares, when he aideth men
  Hard-fighting? Lo, to our help he cometh now!
  On to the fight! Cast to the winds your fears!"

  They fled no more, they faced the Argive men,
  As hounds, that mid the copses fled at first,
  Turn them about to face and fight the wolf,
  Spurred by the chiding of their shepherd-lord;
  So turned the sons of Troy again to war,
  Casting away their fear. Man leapt on man
  Valiantly fighting; loud their armour clashed
  Smitten with swords, with lances, and with darts.
  Spears plunged into men's flesh: dread Ares drank
  His fill of blood: struck down fell man on man,
  As Greek and Trojan fought. In level poise
  The battle-balance hung. As when young men
  In hot haste prune a vineyard with the steel,
  And each keeps pace with each in rivalry,
  Since all in strength and age be equal-matched;
  So did the awful scales of battle hang
  Level: all Trojan hearts beat high, and firm
  Stood they in trust on aweless Ares' might,
  While the Greeks trusted in Achilles' son.
  Ever they slew and slew: stalked through the midst
  Deadly Enyo, her shoulders and her hands
  Blood-splashed, while fearful sweat streamed from her limbs.
  Revelling in equal fight, she aided none,
  Lest Thetis' or the War-god's wrath be stirred.

  Then Neoptolemus slew one far-renowned,
  Perimedes, who had dwelt by Smintheus' grove;
  Next Cestrus died, Phalerus battle-staunch,
  Perilaus the strong, Menalcas lord of spears,
  Whom Iphianassa bare by the haunted foot
  Of Cilla to the cunning craftsman Medon.
  In the home-land afar the sire abode,
  And never kissed his son's returning head:
  For that fair home and all his cunning works
  Did far-off kinsmen wrangle o'er his grave.
  Deiphobus slew Lycon battle-staunch:
  The lance-head pierced him close above the groin,
  And round the long spear all his bowels gushed out.
  Aeneas smote down Dymas, who erewhile
  In Aulis dwelt, and followed unto Troy
  Arcesilaus, and saw never more
  The dear home-land. Euryalus hurled a dart,
  And through Astraeus' breast the death-winged point
  Flew, shearing through the breathways of man's life;
  And all that lay within was drenched with blood.
  And hard thereby great-souled Agenor slew
  Hippomenes, hero Teucer's comrade staunch,
  With one swift thrust 'twixt shoulder and neck: his soul
  Rushed forth in blood; death's night swept over him.
  Grief for his comrade slain on Teucer fell;
  He strained his bow, a swift-winged shaft he sped,
  But smote him not, for slightly Agenor swerved.
  Yet nigh him Deiophontes stood; the shaft
  Into his left eye plunged, passed through the ball,
  And out through his right ear, because the Fates
  Whither they willed thrust on the bitter barbs.
  Even as in agony he leapt full height,
  Yet once again the archer's arrow hissed:
  It pierced his throat, through the neck-sinews cleft
  Unswerving, and his hard doom came on him.

  So man to man dealt death; and joyed the Fates
  And Doom, and fell Strife in her maddened glee
  Shouted aloud, and Ares terribly
  Shouted in answer, and with courage thrilled
  The Trojans, and with panic fear the Greeks,
  And shook their reeling squadrons. But one man
  He scared not, even Achilles' son; he abode,
  And fought undaunted, slaying foes on foes.
  As when a young lad sweeps his hand around
  Flies swarming over milk, and nigh the bowl
  Here, there they lie, struck dead by that light touch,
  And gleefully the child still plies the work;
  So stern Achilles' glorious scion joyed
  Over the slain, and recked not of the God
  Who spurred the Trojans on: man after man
  Tasted his vengeance of their charging host.
  Even as a giant mountain-peak withstands
  On-rushing hurricane-blasts, so he abode
  Unquailing. Ares at his eager mood
  Grew wroth, and would have cast his veil of cloud
  Away, and met him face to face in fight,
  But now Athena from Olympus swooped
  To forest-mantled Ida. Quaked the earth
  And Xanthus' murmuring streams; so mightily
  She shook them: terror-stricken were the souls
  Of all the Nymphs, adread for Priam's town.
  From her immortal armour flashed around
  The hovering lightnings; fearful serpents breathed
  Fire from her shield invincible; the crest
  Of her great helmet swept the clouds. And now
  She was at point to close in sudden fight
  With Ares; but the mighty will of Zeus
  Daunted them both, from high heaven thundering
  His terrors. Ares drew back from the war,
  For manifest to him was Zeus's wrath.
  To wintry Thrace he passed; his haughty heart
  Reeked no more of the Trojans. In the plain
  Of Troy no more stayed Pallas; she was gone
  To hallowed Athens. But the armies still
  Strove in the deadly fray; and fainted now
  The Trojans' prowess; but all battle-fain
  The Argives pressed on these as they gave ground.
  As winds chase ships that fly with straining sails
  On to the outsea—as on forest-brakes
  Leapeth the fury of flame—as swift hounds drive
  Deer through the mountains, eager for the prey,
  So did the Argives chase them: Achilles' son
  Still cheered them on, still slew with that great spear
  Whomso he overtook. On, on they fled
  Till into stately-gated Troy they poured.

  Then had the Argives a short breathing-space
  From war, when they had penned the hosts of Troy
  In Priam's burg, as shepherds pen up lambs
  Upon a lonely steading. And, as when
  After hard strain, a breathing-space is given
  To oxen that, quick-panting 'neath the yoke,
  Up a steep hill have dragged a load, so breathed
  Awhile the Achaeans after toil in arms.
  Then once more hot for the fray did they beset
  The city-towers. But now with gates fast barred
  The Trojans from the walls withstood the assault.
  As when within their steading shepherd-folk
  Abide the lowering tempest, when a day
  Of storm hath dawned, with fury of lightnings, rain
  And heavy-drifting snow, and dare not haste
  Forth to the pasture, howsoever fain,
  Till the great storm abate, and rivers, wide
  With rushing floods, again be passable;
  So trembling on their walls they abode the rage
  Of foes against their ramparts surging fast.
  And as when daws or starlings drop in clouds
  Down on an orchard-close, full fain to feast
  Upon its pleasant fruits, and take no heed
  Of men that shout to scare them thence away,
  Until the reckless hunger be appeased
  That makes them bold; so poured round Priam's burg
  The furious Danaans. Against the gates
  They hurled themselves, they strove to batter down
  The mighty-souled Earth-shaker's work divine.

  Yet did tim Troyfolk not, despite their fear,
  Flinch from the fight: they manned their towers, they toiled
  Unresting: ever from the fair-built walls
  Leapt arrows, stones, and fleet-winged javelins down
  Amidst the thronging foes; for Phoebus thrilled
  Their souls with steadfast hardihood. Fain was he
  To save them still, though Hector was no more.

  Then Meriones shot forth a deadly shaft,
  And smote Phylodamas, Polites' friend,
  Beneath the jaw; the arrow pierced his throat.
  Down fell he like a vulture, from a rock
  By fowler's barbed arrow shot and slain;
  So from the high tower swiftly down he fell:
  His life fled; clanged his armour o'er the corpse.
  With laughter of triumph stalwart Molus' son
  A second arrow sped, with strong desire
  To smite Polites, ill-starred Priam's son:
  But with a swift side-swerve did he escape
  The death, nor did the arrow touch his flesh.
  As when a shipman, as his bark flies on
  O'er sea-gulfs, spies amid the rushing tide
  A rock, and to escape it swiftly puts
  The helm about, and turns aside the ship
  Even as he listeth, that a little strength
  Averts a great disaster; so did he
  Foresee and shun the deadly shaft of doom.

  Ever they fought on; walls, towers, battlements
  Were blood-besprent, wherever Trojans fell
  Slain by the arrows of the stalwart Greeks.
  Yet these escaped not scatheless; many of them
  Dyed the earth red: aye waxed the havoc of death
  As friends and foes were stricken. O'er the strife
  Shouted for glee Enyo, sister of War.

  Now had the Argives burst the gates, had breached
  The walls of Troy, for boundless was their might;
  But Ganymedes saw from heaven, and cried,
  Anguished with fear for his own fatherland:
  "O Father Zeus, if of thy seed I am,
  If at thine best I left far-famous Troy
  For immortality with deathless Gods,
  O hear me now, whose soul is anguish-thrilled!
  I cannot bear to see my fathers' town
  In flames, my kindred in disastrous strife
  Perishing: bitterer sorrow is there none!
  Oh, if thine heart is fixed to do this thing,
  Let me be far hence! Less shall be my grief
  If I behold it not with these mine eyes.
  That is the depth of horror and of shame
  To see one's country wrecked by hands of foes."

  With groans and tears so pleaded Ganymede.
  Then Zeus himself with one vast pall of cloud
  Veiled all the city of Priam world-renowned;
  And all the murderous fight was drowned in mist,
  And like a vanished phantom was the wall
  In vapours heavy-hung no eye could pierce;
  And all around crashed thunders, lightnings flamed
  From heaven. The Danaans heard Zeus' clarion peal
  Awe-struck; and Neleus' son cried unto them:
  "Far-famous lords of Argives, all our strength
  Palsied shall be, while Zeus protecteth thus
  Our foes. A great tide of calamity
  On us is rolling; haste we then to the ships;
  Cease we awhile from bitter toil of strife,
  Lest the fire of his wrath consume us all.
  Submit we to his portents; needs must all
  Obey him ever, who is mightier far
  Than all strong Gods, all weakling sons of men.
  On the presumptuous Titans once in wrath
  He poured down fire from heaven: then burned all earth
  Beneath, and Ocean's world-engirdling flood
  Boiled from its depths, yea, to its utmost bounds:
  Far-flowing mighty rivers were dried up:
  Perished all broods of life-sustaining earth,
  All fosterlings of the boundless sea, and all
  Dwellers in rivers: smoke and ashes veiled
  The air: earth fainted in the fervent heat.
  Therefore this day I dread the might of Zeus.
  Now, pass we to the ships, since for to-day
  He helpeth Troy. To us too shall he grant
  Glory hereafter; for the dawn on men,
  Though whiles it frown, anon shall smile. Not yet,
  But soon, shall Fate lead us to smite yon town,
  If true indeed was Calchas' prophecy
  Spoken aforetime to the assembled Greeks,
  That in the tenth year Priam's burg should fall."

  Then left they that far-famous town, and turned
  From war, in awe of Zeus's threatenings,
  Hearkening to one with ancient wisdom wise.
  Yet they forgat not friends in battle slain,
  But bare them from the field and buried them.
  These the mist hid not, but the town alone
  And its unscaleable wall, around which fell
  Trojans and Argives many in battle slain.
  So came they to the ships, and put from them
  Their battle-gear, and strode into the waves
  Of Hellespont fair-flowing, and washed away
  All stain of dust and sweat and clotted gore.

  The sun drave down his never-wearying steeds
  Into the dark west: night streamed o'er the earth,
  Bidding men cease from toil. The Argives then
  Acclaimed Achilles' valiant son with praise
  High as his father's. Mid triumphant mirth
  He feasted in kings' tents: no battle-toil
  Had wearied him; for Thetis from his limbs
  Had charmed all ache of travail, making him
  As one whom labour had no power to tire.
  When his strong heart was satisfied with meat,
  He passed to his father's tent, and over him
  Sleep's dews were poured. The Greeks slept in the plain
  Before the ships, by ever-changing guards
  Watched; for they dreaded lest the host of Troy,
  Or of her staunch allies, should kindle flame
  Upon the ships, and from them all cut off
  Their home-return. In Priam's burg the while
  By gate and wall men watched and slept in turn,
  Adread to hear the Argives' onset-shout.


How from his long lone exile returned to the war Philoctetes.

  When ended was night's darkness, and the Dawn
  Rose from the world's verge, and the wide air glowed
  With splendour, then did Argos' warrior-sons
  Gaze o'er the plain; and lo, all cloudless-clear
  Stood Ilium's towers. The marvel of yesterday
  Seemed a strange dream. No thought the Trojans had
  Of standing forth to fight without the wall.
  A great fear held them thralls, the awful thought
  That yet alive was Peleus' glorious son.
  But to the King of Heaven Antenor cried:
  "Zeus, Lord of Ida and the starry sky,
  Hearken my prayer! Oh turn back from our town
  That battle-eager murderous-hearted man,
  Be he Achilles who hath not passed down
  To Hades, or some other like to him.
  For now in heaven-descended Priam's burg
  By thousands are her people perishing:
  No respite cometh from calamity:
  Murder and havoc evermore increase.
  O Father Zeus, thou carest not though we
  Be slaughtered of our foes: thou helpest them,
  Forgetting thy son, godlike Dardanus!
  But, if this be the purpose of thine heart
  That Argives shall destroy us wretchedly,
  Now do it: draw not out our agony!"

  In passionate prayer he cried; and Zeus from heaven
  Hearkened, and hasted on the end of all,
  Which else he had delayed. He granted him
  This awful boon, that myriads of Troy's sons
  Should with their children perish: but that prayer
  He granted not, to turn Achilles' son
  Back from the wide-wayed town; nay, all the more
  He enkindled him to war, for he would now
  Give grace and glory to the Nereid Queen.

  So purposed he, of all Gods mightiest.
  But now between the city and Hellespont
  Were Greeks and Trojans burning men and steeds
  In battle slain, while paused the murderous strife.
  For Priam sent his herald Menoetes forth
  To Agamemnon and the Achaean chiefs,
  Asking a truce wherein to burn the dead;
  And they, of reverence for the slain, gave ear;
  For wrath pursueth not the dead. And when
  They had lain their slain on those close-thronging pyres,
  Then did the Argives to their tents return,
  And unto Priam's gold-abounding halls
  The Trojans, for Eurypylus sorrowing sore:
  For even as Priam's sons they honoured him.
  Therefore apart from all the other slain,
  Before the Gate Dardanian—where the streams
  Of eddying Xanthus down from Ida flow
  Fed by the rains of heavens—they buried him.

  Aweless Achilles' son the while went forth
  To his sire's huge tomb. Outpouring tears, he kissed
  The tall memorial pillar of the dead,
  And groaning clasped it round, and thus he cried:
  "Hail, father! Though beneath the earth thou lie
  In Hades' halls, I shall forget thee not.
  Oh to have met thee living mid the host!
  Then of each other had our souls had joy,
  Then of her wealth had we spoiled Ilium.
  But now, thou hast not seen thy child, nor I
  Seen thee, who yearned to look on thee in life.
  Yet, though thou be afar amidst the dead,
  Thy spear, thy son, have made thy foes to quail;
  And Danaans with exceeding joy behold
  One like to thee in stature, fame and deeds."

  He spake, and wiped the hot tears from his face;
  And to his father's ships passed swiftly thence:
  With him went Myrmidon warriors two and ten,
  And white-haired Phoenix followed on with these
  Woefully sighing for the glorious dead.

  Night rose o'er earth, the stars flashed out in heaven;
  So these brake bread, and slept till woke the Dawn.
  Then the Greeks donned their armour: flashed afar
  Its splendour up to the very firmament.
  Forth of their gates in one great throng they poured,
  Like snowflakes thick and fast, which drift adown
  Heavily from the clouds in winter's cold;
  So streamed they forth before the wall, and rose
  Their dread shout: groaned the deep earth 'neath their tramp.

  The Trojans heard that shout, and saw that host,
  And marvelled. Crushed with fear were all their hearts
  Foreboding doom; for like a huge cloud seemed
  That throng of foes: with clashing arms they came:
  Volumed and vast the dust rose 'neath their feet.
  Then either did some God with hardihood thrill
  Deiphobus' heart, and made it void of fear,
  Or his own spirit spurred him on to fight,
  To drive by thrust of spear that terrible host
  Of foemen from the city of his birth.
  So there in Troy he cried with heartening speech:
  "O friends, be stout of heart to play the men!
  Remember all the agonies that war
  Brings in the end to them that yield to foes.
  Ye wrestle not for Alexander alone,
  Nor Helen, but for home, for your own lives,
  For wives, for little ones, for parents grey,
  For all the grace of life, for all ye have,
  For this dear land—oh may she shroud me o'er
  Slain in the battle, ere I see her lie
  'Neath foemen's spears—my country! I know not
  A bitterer pang than this for hapless men!
  O be ye strong for battle! Forth to the fight
  With me, and thrust this horror far away!
  Think not Achilles liveth still to war
  Against us: him the ravening fire consumed.
  Some other Achaean was it who so late
  Enkindled them to war. Oh, shame it were
  If men who fight for fatherland should fear
  Achilles' self, or any Greek beside!
  Let us not flinch from war-toil! have we not
  Endured much battle-travail heretofore?
  What, know ye not that to men sorely tried
  Prosperity and joyance follow toil?
  So after scourging winds and ruining storms
  Zeus brings to men a morn of balmy air;
  After disease new strength comes, after war
  Peace: all things know Time's changeless law of change."

  Then eager all for war they armed themselves
  In haste. All through the town rang clangour of arms
  As for grim fight strong men arrayed their limbs.
  Here stood a wife, shuddering with dread of war,
  Yet piling, as she wept, her husband's arms
  Before his feet. There little children brought
  To a father his war-gear with eager haste;
  And now his heart was wrung to hear their sobs,
  And now he smiled on those small ministers,
  And stronger waxed his heart's resolve to fight
  To the last gasp for these, the near and dear.
  Yonder again, with hands that had not lost
  Old cunning, a grey father for the fray
  Girded a son, and murmured once and again:
  "Dear boy, yield thou to no man in the war!"
  And showed his son the old scars on his breast,
  Proud memories of fights fought long ago.

  So when they all stood mailed in battle-gear,
  Forth of the gates they poured all eager-souled
  For war. Against the chariots of the Greeks
  Their chariots charged; their ranks of footmen pressed
  To meet the footmen of the foe. The earth
  Rang to the tramp of onset; pealed the cheer
  From man to man; swift closed the fronts of war.
  Loud clashed their arms all round; from either side
  War-cries were mingled in one awful roar
  Swift-winged full many a dart and arrow flew
  From host to host; loud clanged the smitten shields
  'Neath thrusting spears, 'neath javelin-point and sword:
  Men hewed with battle-axes lightening down;
  Crimson the armour ran with blood of men.
  And all this while Troy's wives and daughters watched
  From high walls that grim battle of the strong.
  All trembled as they prayed for husbands, sons,
  And brothers: white-haired sires amidst them sat,
  And gazed, while anguished fear for sons devoured
  Their hearts. But Helen in her bower abode
  Amidst her maids, there held by utter shame.

  So without pause before the wall they fought,
  While Death exulted o'er them; deadly Strife
  Shrieked out a long wild cry from host to host.
  With blood of slain men dust became red mire:
  Here, there, fast fell the warriors mid the fray.

  Then slew Deiphobus the charioteer
  Of Nestor, Hippasus' son: from that high car
  Down fell he 'midst the dead; fear seized his lord
  Lest, while his hands were cumbered with the reins,
  He too by Priam's strong son might be slain.
  Melanthius marked his plight: swiftly he sprang
  Upon the car; he urged the horses on,
  Shaking the reins, goading them with his spear,
  Seeing the scourge was lost. But Priam's son
  Left these, and plunged amid a throng of foes.
  There upon many he brought the day of doom;
  For like a ruining tempest on he stormed
  Through reeling ranks. His mighty hand struck down
  Foes numberless: the plain was heaped with dead.

  As when a woodman on the long-ridged hills
  Plunges amid the forest-depths, and hews
  With might and main, and fells sap-laden trees
  To make him store of charcoal from the heaps
  Of billets overturfed and set afire:
  The trunks on all sides fallen strew the slopes,
  While o'er his work the man exulteth; so
  Before Deiphobus' swift death-dealing hands
  In heaps the Achaeans each on other fell.
  The charging lines of Troy swept over some;
  Some fled to Xanthus' stream: Deiphobus chased
  Into the flood yet more, and slew and slew.
  As when on fish-abounding Hellespont's strand
  The fishermen hard-straining drag a net
  Forth of the depths to land; but, while it trails
  Yet through the sea, one leaps amid the waves
  Grasping in hand a sinuous-headed spear
  To deal the sword-fish death, and here and there,
  Fast as he meets them, slays them, and with blood
  The waves are reddened; so were Xanthus' streams
  Impurpled by his hands, and choked with dead.

  Yet not without sore loss the Trojans fought;
  For all this while Peleides' fierce-heart son
  Of other ranks made havoc. Thetis gazed
  Rejoicing in her son's son, with a joy
  As great as was her grief for Achilles slain.
  For a great host beneath his spear were hurled
  Down to the dust, steeds, warriors slaughter-blent.
  And still he chased, and still he slew: he smote
  Amides war-renowned, who on his steed
  Bore down on him, but of his horsemanship
  Small profit won. The bright spear pierced him through
  From navel unto spine, and all his bowels
  Gushed out, and deadly Doom laid hold on him
  Even as he fell beside his horse's feet.
  Ascanius and Oenops next he slew;
  Under the fifth rib of the one he drave
  His spear, the other stabbed he 'neath the throat
  Where a wound bringeth surest doom to man.
  Whomso he met besides he slew—the names
  What man could tell of all that by the hands
  Of Neoptolemus died? Never his limbs
  Waxed weary. As some brawny labourer,
  With strong hands toiling in a fruitful field
  The livelong day, rains down to earth the fruit
  Of olives, swiftly beating with his pole,
  And with the downfall covers all the ground,
  So fast fell 'neath his hands the thronging foe.

  Elsewhere did Agamemnon, Tydeus' son,
  And other chieftains of the Danaans toil
  With fury in the fight. Yet never quailed
  The mighty men of Troy: with heart and soul
  They also fought, and ever stayed from flight
  Such as gave back. Yet many heeded not
  Their chiefs, but fled, cowed by the Achaeans' might.

  Now at the last Achilles' strong son marked
  How fast beside Scamander's outfall Greeks
  Were perishing. Those Troyward-fleeing foes
  Whom he had followed slaying, left he now,
  And bade Automedon thither drive, where hosts
  Were falling of the Achaeans. Straightway he
  Hearkened, and scourged the steeds immortal on
  To that wild fray: bearing their lord they flew
  Swiftly o'er battle-highways paved with death.

  As Ares chariot-borne to murderous war
  Fares forth, and round his onrush quakes the ground,
  While on the God's breast clash celestial arms
  Outflashing fire, so charged Achilles' son
  Against Deiphobus. Clouds of dust upsoared
  About his horses' feet. Automedon marked
  The Trojan chief, and knew him. To his lord
  Straightway he named that hero war-renowned:
  "My king, this is Deiphobus' array—
  The man who from thy father fled in fear.
  Some God or fiend with courage fills him now."

  Naught answered Neoptolemus, save to bid
  Drive on the steeds yet faster, that with speed
  He might avert grim death from perishing friends.
  But when to each other now full nigh they drew,
  Deiphobus, despite his battle-lust,
  Stayed, as a ravening fire stays when it meets
  Water. He marvelled, seeing Achilles' steeds
  And that gigantic son, huge as his sire;
  And his heart wavered, choosing now to flee,
  And now to face that hero, man to man
  As when a mountain boar from his young brood
  Chases the jackals—then a lion leaps
  From hidden ambush into view: the boar
  Halts in his furious onset, loth to advance,
  Loth to retreat, while foam his jaws about
  His whetted tusks; so halted Priam's son
  Car-steeds and car, perplexed, while quivered his hands
  About the lance. Shouted Achilles' son:
  "Ho, Priam's son, why thus so mad to smite
  Those weaker Argives, who have feared thy wrath
  And fled thine onset? So thou deem'st thyself
  Far mightiest! If thine heart be brave indeed,
  Of my spear now make trial in the strife."

  On rushed he, as a lion against a stag,
  Borne by the steeds and chariot of his sire.
  And now full soon his lance had slain his foe,
  Him and his charioteer—but Phoebus poured
  A dense cloud round him from the viewless heights
  Of heaven, and snatched him from the deadly fray,
  And set him down in Troy, amid the rout
  Of fleeing Trojans: so did Peleus' son
  Stab but the empty air; and loud he cried:
  "Dog, thou hast 'scaped my wrath! No might of thine
  Saved thee, though ne'er so fain! Some God hath cast
  Night's veil o'er thee, and snatched thee from thy death."

  Then Cronos' Son dispersed that dense dark cloud:
  Mist-like it thinned and vanished into air:
  Straightway the plain and all the land were seen.
  Then far away about the Scaean Gate
  He saw the Trojans: seeming like his sire,
  He sped against them; they at his coming quailed.
  As shipmen tremble when a wild wave bears
  Down on their bark, wind-heaved until it swings
  Broad, mountain-high above them, when the sea
  Is mad with tempest; so, as on he came,
  Terror clad all those Trojans as a cloak,
  The while he shouted, cheering on his men:
  "Hear, friends!—fill full your hearts with dauntless strength,
  The strength that well beseemeth mighty men
  Who thirst to win them glorious victory,
  To win renown from battle's tumult! Come,
  Brave hearts, now strive we even beyond our strength
  Till we smite Troy's proud city, till we win
  Our hearts' desire! Foul shame it were to abide
  Long deedless here and strengthless, womanlike!
  Ere I be called war-blencher, let me die!"

  Then unto Ares' work their spirits flamed.
  Down on the Trojans charged they: yea, and these
  Fought with high courage, round their city now,
  And now from wall and gate-towers. Never lulled
  The rage of war, while Trojan hearts were hot
  To hurl the foemen back, and the strong Greeks
  To smite the town: grim havoc compassed all.

  Then, eager for the Trojans' help, swooped down
  Out of Olympus, cloaked about with clouds,
  The son of Leto. Mighty rushing winds
  Bare him in golden armour clad; and gleamed
  With lightning-splendour of his descent the long
  Highways of air. His quiver clashed; loud rang
  The welkin; earth re-echoed, as he set
  His tireless feet by Xanthus. Pealed his shout
  Dreadly, with courage filling them of Troy,
  Scaring their foes from biding the red fray.
  But of all this the mighty Shaker of Earth
  Was ware: he breathed into the fainting
  Greeks Fierce valour, and the fight waxed murderous
  Through those Immortals' clashing wills. Then died
  Hosts numberless on either side. In wrath
  Apollo thought to smite Achilles' son
  In the same place where erst he smote his sire;
  But birds of boding screamed to left, to stay
  His mood, and other signs from heaven were sent;
  Yet was his wrath not minded to obey
  Those portents. Swiftly drew Earth-shaker nigh
  In mist celestial cloaked: about his feet
  Quaked the dark earth as came the Sea-king on.
  Then, to stay Phoebus' hand, he cried to him:
  "Refrain thy wrath: Achilles' giant son
  Slay not! Olympus' Lord himself shall be
  Wroth for his death, and bitter grief shall light
  On me and all the Sea-gods, as erstwhile
  For Achilles' sake. Nay, get thee back to heights
  Celestial, lest thou kindle me to wrath,
  And so I cleave a sudden chasm in earth,
  And Ilium and all her walls go down
  To darkness. Thine own soul were vexed thereat."

  Then, overawed by the brother of his sire,
  And fearing for Troy's fate and for her folk,
  To heaven went back Apollo, to the sea
  Poseidon. But the sons of men fought on,
  And slew; and Strife incarnate gloating watched.

  At last by Calchas' counsel Achaea's sons
  Drew back to the ships, and put from them the thought
  Of battle, seeing it was not foreordained
  That Ilium should fall until the might
  Of war-wise Philoctetes came to aid
  The Achaean host. This had the prophet learnt.
  From birds of prosperous omen, or had read
  In hearts of victims. Wise in prophecy-lore
  Was he, and like a God knew things to be.

  Trusting in him, the sons of Atreus stayed
  Awhile the war, and unto Lemnos, land
  Of stately mansions, sent they Tydeus' son
  And battle-staunch Odysseus oversea.
  Fast by the Fire-god's city sped they on
  Over the broad flood of the Aegean Sea
  To vine-clad Lemnos, where in far-off days
  The wives wreaked murderous vengeance on their lords,
  In fierce wrath that they gave them not their due,
  But couched beside the handmaid-thralls of Thrace,
  The captives of their spears when they laid waste
  The land of warrior Thracians. Then these wives,
  Their hearts with fiery jealousy's fever filled,
  Murdered in every home with merciless hands
  Their husbands: no compassion would they show
  To their own wedded lords—such madness shakes
  The heart of man or woman, when it burns
  With jealousy's fever, stung by torturing pangs.
  So with souls filled with desperate hardihood
  In one night did they slaughter all their lords;
  And on a widowed nation rose the sun.

  To hallowed Lemnos came those heroes twain;
  They marked the rocky cave where lay the son
  Of princely Poeas. Horror came on them
  When they beheld the hero of their quest
  Groaning with bitter pangs, on the hard earth
  Lying, with many feathers round him strewn,
  And others round his body, rudely sewn
  Into a cloak, a screen from winter's cold.
  For, oft as famine stung him, would he shoot
  The shaft that missed no fowl his aim had doomed.
  Their flesh he ate, their feathers vestured him.
  And there lay herbs and healing leaves, the which,
  Spread on his deadly wound, assuaged its pangs.
  Wild tangled elf-locks hung about his head.
  He seemed a wild beast, that hath set its foot,
  Prowling by night, upon a hidden trap,
  And so hath been constrained in agony
  To bite with fierce teeth through the prisoned limb
  Ere it could win back to its cave, and there
  In hunger and torturing pains it languisheth.
  So in that wide cave suffering crushed the man;
  And all his frame was wasted: naught but skin
  Covered his bones. Unwashen there he crouched
  With famine-haggard cheeks, with sunken eyes
  Glaring his misery 'neath cavernous brows.
  Never his groaning ceased, for evermore
  The ulcerous black wound, eating to the bone,
  Festered with thrills of agonizing pain.
  As when a beetling cliff, by seething seas
  Aye buffeted, is carved and underscooped,
  For all its stubborn strength, by tireless waves,
  Till, scourged by winds and lashed by tempest-flails,
  The sea into deep caves hath gnawed its base;
  So greater 'neath his foot grew evermore
  The festering wound, dealt when the envenomed fangs
  Tare him of that fell water-snake, which men
  Say dealeth ghastly wounds incurable,
  When the hot sun hath parched it as it crawls
  Over the sands; and so that mightiest man
  Lay faint and wasted with his cureless pain;
  And from the ulcerous wound aye streamed to earth
  Fetid corruption fouling all the floor
  Of that wide cave, a marvel to be heard
  Of men unborn. Beside his stony bed
  Lay a long quiver full of arrows, some
  For hunting, some to smite his foes withal;
  With deadly venom of that fell water-snake
  Were these besmeared. Before it, nigh to his hand,
  Lay the great bow, with curving tips of horn,
  Wrought by the mighty hands of Hercules.

  Now when that solitary spied these twain
  Draw nigh his cave, he sprang to his bow, he laid
  The deadly arrow on the string; for now
  Fierce memory of his wrongs awoke against
  These, who had left him years agone, in pain
  Groaning upon the desolate sea-shore.
  Yea, and his heart's stem will he had swiftly wrought,
  But, even as upon that godlike twain
  He gazed, Athena caused his bitter wrath
  To melt away. Then drew they nigh to him
  With looks of sad compassion, and sat down
  On either hand beside him in the cave,
  And of his deadly wound and grievous pangs
  Asked; and he told them all his sufferings.
  And they spake hope and comfort; and they said:
  "Thy woeful wound, thine anguish, shall be healed,
  If thou but come with us to Achaea's host—
  The host that now is sorrowing after thee
  With all its kings. And no man of them all
  Was cause of thine affliction, but the Fates,
  The cruel ones, whom none that walk the earth
  Escape, but aye they visit hapless men
  Unseen; and day by day with pitiless hearts
  Now they afflict men, now again exalt
  To honour—none knows why; for all the woes
  And all the joys of men do these devise
  After their pleasure." Hearkening he sat
  To Odysseus and to godlike Diomede;
  And all the hoarded wrath for olden wrongs
  And all the torturing rage, melted away.

  Straight to the strand dull-thundering and the ship,
  Laughing for joy, they bare him with his bow.
  There washed they all his body and that foul wound
  With sponges, and with plenteous water bathed:
  So was his soul refreshed. Then hasted they
  And made meat ready for the famished man,
  And in the galley supped with him. Then came
  The balmy night, and sleep slid down on them.
  Till rose the dawn they tarried by the strand
  Of sea-girt Lemnos, but with dayspring cast
  The hawsers loose, and heaved the anchor-stones
  Out of the deep. Athena sent a breeze
  Blowing behind the galley taper-prowed.
  They strained the sail with either stern-sheet taut;
  Seaward they pointed the stout-girdered ship;
  O'er the broad flood she leapt before the wind;
  Broken to right and left the dark wave sighed,
  And seething all around was hoary foam,
  While thronging dolphins raced on either hand
  Flashing along the paths of silver sea.

  Full soon to fish-fraught Hellespont they came
  And the far-stretching ships. Glad were the Greeks
  To see the longed-for faces. Forth the ship
  With joy they stepped; and Poeas' valiant son
  On those two heroes leaned thin wasted hands,
  Who bare him painfully halting to the shore
  Staying his weight upon their brawny arms.
  As seems mid mountain-brakes an oak or pine
  By strength of the woodcutter half hewn through,
  Which for a little stands on what was left
  Of the smooth trunk by him who hewed thereat
  Hard by the roots, that its slow-smouldering wood
  Might yield him pitch—now like to one in pain
  It groans, in weakness borne down by the wind,
  Yet is upstayed upon its leafy boughs
  Which from the earth bear up its helpless weight;
  So by pain unendurable bowed down
  Leaned he on those brave heroes, and was borne
  Unto the war-host. Men beheld, and all
  Compassionated that great archer, crushed
  By anguish of his hurt. But one drew near,
  Podaleirius, godlike in his power to heal.
  Swifter than thought he made him whole and sound;
  For deftly on the wound he spread his salves,
  Calling on his physician-father's name;
  And soon the Achaeans shouted all for joy,
  All praising with one voice Asclepius' son.
  Lovingly then they bathed him, and with oil
  Anointed. All his heaviness of cheer
  And misery vanished by the Immortals' will;
  And glad at heart were all that looked on him;
  And from affliction he awoke to joy.
  Over the bloodless face the flush of health
  Glowed, and for wretched weakness mighty strength
  Thrilled through him: goodly and great waxed all his limbs.
  As when a field of corn revives again
  Which erst had drooped, by rains of ruining storm
  Down beaten flat, but by warm summer winds
  Requickened, o'er the laboured land it smiles,
  So Philoctetes' erstwhile wasted frame
  Was all requickened:—in the galley's hold
  He seemed to have left all cares that crushed his soul.

  And Atreus' sons beheld him marvelling
  As one re-risen from the dead: it seemed
  The work of hands immortal. And indeed
  So was it verily, as their hearts divined;
  For 'twas the glorious Trito-born that shed
  Stature and grace upon him. Suddenly
  He seemed as when of old mid Argive men
  He stood, before calamity struck him down.
  Then unto wealthy Agamemnon's tent
  Did all their mightiest men bring Poeas' son,
  And set him chief in honour at the feast,
  Extolling him. When all with meat and drink
  Were filled, spake Agamemnon lord of spears:
  "Dear friend, since by the will of Heaven our souls
  Were once perverted, that in sea-girt Lemnos
  We left thee, harbour not thine heart within
  Fierce wrath for this: by the blest Gods constrained
  We did it; and, I trow, the Immortals willed
  To bring much evil on us, bereft of thee,
  Who art of all men skilfullest to quell
  With shafts of death all foes that face thee in fight.
  For all the tangled paths of human life,
  By land and sea, are by the will of Fate
  Hid from our eyes, in many and devious tracks
  Are cleft apart, in wandering mazes lost.
  Along them men by Fortune's dooming drift
  Like unto leaves that drive before the wind.
  Oft on an evil path the good man's feet
  Stumble, the brave finds not a prosperous path;
  And none of earth-born men can shun the Fates,
  And of his own will none can choose his way.
  So then doth it behove the wise of heart
  Though on a troublous track the winds of fate
  Sweep him away to suffer and be strong.
  Since we were blinded then, and erred herein,
  With rich gifts will we make amends to thee
  Hereafter, when we take the stately towers
  Of Troy: but now receive thou handmaids seven,
  Fleet steeds two-score, victors in chariot-race,
  And tripods twelve, wherein thine heart may joy
  Through all thy days; and always in my tent
  Shall royal honour at the feast be thine."

  He spake, and gave the hero those fair gifts.
  Then answered Poeas' mighty-hearted son;
  "Friend, I forgive thee freely, and all beside
  Whoso against me haply hath trangressed.
  I know how good men's minds sometimes be warped:
  Nor meet it is that one be obdurate
  Ever, and nurse mean rancours: sternest wrath
  Must yield anon unto the melting mood.
  Now pass we to our rest; for better is sleep
  Than feasting late, for him who longs to fight."

  He spake, and rose, and came to his comrades' tent;
  Then swiftly for their war-fain king they dight
  The couch, while laughed their hearts for very joy.
  Gladly he laid him down to sleep till dawn.

  So passed the night divine, till flushed the hills
  In the sun's light, and men awoke to toil.
  Then all athirst for war the Argive men
  'Gan whet the spear smooth-shafted, or the dart,
  Or javelin, and they brake the bread of dawn,
  And foddered all their horses. Then to these
  Spake Poeas' son with battle-kindling speech:
  "Up! let us make us ready for the war!
  Let no man linger mid the galleys, ere
  The glorious walls of Ilium stately-towered
  Be shattered, and her palaces be burned!"

  Then at his words each heart and spirit glowed:
  They donned their armour, and they grasped their shields.
  Forth of the ships in one huge mass they poured
  Arrayed with bull-hide bucklers, ashen spears,
  And gallant-crested helms. Through all their ranks
  Shoulder to shoulder marched they: thou hadst seen
  No gap 'twixt man and man as on they charged;
  So close they thronged, so dense was their array.


How Paris was stricken to death, and in vain sought help of Oenone.

  Now were the Trojans all without the town
  Of Priam, armour-clad, with battle-cars
  And chariot-steeds; for still they burnt their dead,
  And still they feared lest the Achaean men
  Should fall on them. They looked, and saw them come
  With furious speed against the walls. In haste
  They cast a hurried earth-mound o'er the slain,
  For greatly trembled they to see their foes.
  Then in their sore disquiet spake to them
  Polydamas, a wise and prudent chief:
  "Friends, unendurably against us now
  Maddens the war. Go to, let us devise
  How we may find deliverance from our strait.
  Still bide the Danaans here, still gather strength:
  Now therefore let us man our stately towers,
  And thence withstand them, fighting night and day,
  Until yon Danaans weary, and return
  To Sparta, or, renownless lingering here
  Beside the wall, lose heart. No strength of theirs
  Shall breach the long walls, howsoe'er they strive,
  For in the imperishable work of Gods
  Weakness is none. Food, drink, we shall not lack,
  For in King Priam's gold-abounding halls
  Is stored abundant food, that shall suffice
  For many more than we, through many years,
  Though thrice so great a host at our desire
  Should gather, eager to maintain our cause."

  Then chode with him Anchises' valiant son:
  "Polydamas, wherefore do they call thee wise,
  Who biddest suffer endless tribulations
  Cooped within walls? Never, how long soe'er
  The Achaeans tarry here, will they lose heart;
  But when they see us skulking from the field,
  More fiercely will press on. So ours shall be
  The sufferance, perishing in our native home,
  If for long season they beleaguer us.
  No food, if we be pent within our walls,
  Shall Thebe send us, nor Maeonia wine,
  But wretchedly by famine shall we die,
  Though the great wall stand firm. Nay, though our lot
  Should be to escape that evil death and doom,
  And not by famine miserably to die;
  Yet rather let us fight in armour clad
  For children and grey fathers! Haply Zeus
  Will help us yet; of his high blood are we.
  Nay, even though we be abhorred of him,
  Better straightway to perish gloriously
  Fighting unto the last for fatherland,
  Than die a death of lingering agony!"

  Shouted they all who heard that gallant rede.
  Swiftly with helms and shields and spears they stood
  In close array. The eyes of mighty Zeus
  From heaven beheld the Trojans armed for fight
  Against the Danaans: then did he awake
  Courage in these and those, that there might be
  Strain of unflinching fight 'twixt host and host.
  That day was Paris doomed, for Helen's sake
  Fighting, by Philoctetes' hands to die.

  To one place Strife incarnate drew them all,
  The fearful Battle-queen, beheld of none,
  But cloaked in clouds blood-raining: on she stalked
  Swelling the mighty roar of battle, now
  Rushed through Troy's squadrons, through Achaea's now;
  Panic and Fear still waited on her steps
  To make their father's sister glorious.
  From small to huge that Fury's stature grew;
  Her arms of adamant were blood-besprent,
  The deadly lance she brandished reached the sky.
  Earth quaked beneath her feet: dread blasts of fire
  Flamed from her mouth: her voice pealed thunder-like
  Kindling strong men. Swift closed the fronts of fight
  Drawn by a dread Power to the mighty work.
  Loud as the shriek of winds that madly blow
  In early spring, when the tall woodland trees
  Put forth their leaves—loud as the roar of fire
  Blazing through sun-scorched brakes—loud as the voice
  Of many waters, when the wide sea raves
  Beneath the howling blast, with thunderous crash
  Of waves, when shake the fearful shipman's knees;
  So thundered earth beneath their charging feet.
  Strife swooped on them: foe hurled himself on foe.

  First did Aeneas of the Danaans slay
  Harpalion, Arizelus' scion, born
  In far Boeotia of Amphinome,
  Who came to Troy to help the Argive men
  With godlike Prothoenor. 'Neath his waist
  Aeneas stabbed, and reft sweet life from him.
  Dead upon him he cast Thersander's son,
  For the barbed javelin pierced through Hyllus' throat
  Whom Arethusa by Lethaeus bare
  In Crete: sore grieved Idomeneus for his fall.

  By this Peleides' son had swiftly slain
  Twelve Trojan warriors with his father's spear.
  First Cebrus fell, Harmon, Pasitheus then,
  Hysminus, Schedius, and Imbrasius,
  Phleges, Mnesaeus, Ennomus, Amphinous,
  Phasis, Galenus last, who had his home

  By Gargarus' steep—a mighty warrior he
  Among Troy's mighties: with a countless host
  To Troy he came: for Priam Dardanus' son
  Promised him many gifts and passing fair.
  Ah fool! his own doom never he foresaw,
  Whose weird was suddenly to fall in fight
  Ere he bore home King Priam's glorious gifts.

  Doom the Destroyer against the Argives sped
  Valiant Aeneas' friend, Eurymenes.
  Wild courage spurred him on, that he might slay
  Many—and then fill death's cup for himself.
  Man after man he slew like some fierce beast,
  And foes shrank from the terrible rage that burned
  On his life's verge, nor reeked of imminent doom.
  Yea, peerless deeds in that fight had he done,
  Had not his hands grown weary, his spear-head
  Bent utterly: his sword availed him not,
  Snapped at the hilt by Fate. Then Meges' dart
  Smote 'neath his ribs; blood spurted from his mouth,
  And in death's agony Doom stood at his side.

  Even as he fell, Epeius' henchmen twain,
  Deileon and Amphion, rushed to strip
  His armour; but Aeneas brave and strong
  Chilled their hot hearts in death beside the dead.
  As one in latter summer 'mid his vines
  Kills wasps that dart about his ripening grapes,
  And so, ere they may taste the fruit, they die;
  So smote he them, ere they could seize the arms.

  Menon and Amphinous Tydeides slew,
  Both goodly men. Paris slew Hippasus' son
  Demoleon, who in Laconia's land
  Beside the outfall of Eurotas dwelt,
  The stream deep-flowing, and to Troy he came
  With Menelaus. Under his right breast
  The shaft of Paris smote him unto death,
  Driving his soul forth like a scattering breath.

  Teucer slew Zechis, Medon's war-famed son,
  Who dwelt in Phrygia, land of myriad flocks,
  Below that haunted cave of fair-haired Nymphs
  Where, as Endymion slept beside his kine,
  Divine Selene watched him from on high,
  And slid from heaven to earth; for passionate love
  Drew down the immortal stainless Queen of Night.
  And a memorial of her couch abides
  Still 'neath the oaks; for mid the copses round
  Was poured out milk of kine; and still do men
  Marvelling behold its whiteness. Thou wouldst say
  Far off that this was milk indeed, which is
  A well-spring of white water: if thou draw
  A little nigher, lo, the stream is fringed
  As though with ice, for white stone rims it round.

  Rushed on Alcaeus Meges, Phyleus' son,
  And drave his spear beneath his fluttering heart.
  Loosed were the cords of sweet life suddenly,
  And his sad parents longed in vain to greet
  That son returning from the woeful war
  To Margasus and Phyllis lovely-girt,
  Dwellers by lucent streams of Harpasus,
  Who pours the full blood of his clamorous flow
  Into Maeander madly rushing aye.

  With Glaucus' warrior-comrade Scylaceus
  Odeus' son closed in the fight, and stabbed
  Over the shield-rim, and the cruel spear
  Passed through his shoulder, and drenched his shield with blood.
  Howbeit he slew him not, whose day of doom
  Awaited him afar beside the wall
  Of his own city; for when Illium's towers
  Were brought low by that swift avenging host
  Fleeing the war to Lycia then he came
  Alone; and when he drew nigh to the town,
  The thronging women met and questioned him
  Touching their sons and husbands; and he told
  How all were dead. They compassed him about,
  And stoned the man with great stones, that he died.
  So had he no joy of his winning home,
  But the stones muffled up his dying groans,
  And of the same his ghastly tomb was reared
  Beside Bellerophon's grave and holy place
  In Tlos, nigh that far-famed Chimaera's Crag.
  Yet, though he thus fulfilled his day of doom,
  As a God afterward men worshipped him
  By Phoebus' hest, and never his honour fades.

  Now Poeas' son the while slew Deioneus
  And Acamas, Antenor's warrior son:
  Yea, a great host of strong men laid he low.
  On, like the War-god, through his foes he rushed,
  Or as a river roaring in full flood
  Breaks down long dykes, when, maddening round its rocks,
  Down from the mountains swelled by rain it pours
  An ever-flowing mightily-rushing stream
  Whose foaming crests over its forelands sweep;
  So none who saw him even from afar
  Dared meet renowned Poeas' valiant son,
  Whose breast with battle-fury was fulfilled,
  Whose limbs were clad in mighty Hercules' arms
  Of cunning workmanship; for on the belt
  Gleamed bears most grim and savage, jackals fell,
  And panthers, in whose eyes there seems to lurk
  A deadly smile. There were fierce-hearted wolves,
  And boars with flashing tusks, and mighty lions
  All seeming strangely alive; and, there portrayed
  Through all its breadth, were battles murder-rife.
  With all these marvels covered was the belt;
  And with yet more the quiver was adorned.
  There Hermes was, storm-footed Son of Zeus,
  Slaying huge Argus nigh to Inachus' streams,
  Argus, whose sentinel eyes in turn took sleep.
  And there was Phaethon from the Sun-car hurled
  Into Eridanus. Earth verily seemed
  Ablaze, and black smoke hovered on the air.
  There Perseus slew Medusa gorgon-eyed
  By the stars' baths and utmost bounds of earth
  And fountains of deep-flowing Ocean, where
  Night in the far west meets the setting sun.
  There was the Titan Iapetus' great son
  Hung from the beetling crag of Caucasus
  In bonds of adamant, and the eagle tare
  His liver unconsumed—he seemed to groan!
  All these Hephaestus' cunning hands had wrought
  For Hercules; and these to Poeas' son,
  Most near of friends and dear, he gave to bear.

  So glorying in those arms he smote the foe.
  But Paris at the last to meet him sprang
  Fearlessly, bearing in his hands his bow
  And deadly arrows—but his latest day
  Now met himself. A flying shaft he sped
  Forth from the string, which sang as leapt the dart,
  Which flew not vainly: yet the very mark
  It missed, for Philoctetes swerved aside
  A hair-breadth, and it smote above the breast
  Cleodorus war-renowned, and cleft a path
  Clear through his shoulder; for he had not now
  The buckler broad which wont to fence from death
  Its bearer, but was falling back from fight,
  Being shieldless; for Polydamas' massy lance
  Had cleft the shoulder-belt whereby his targe
  Hung, and he gave back therefore, fighting still
  With stubborn spear. But now the arrow of death
  Fell on him, as from ambush leaping forth.
  For so Fate willed, I trow, to bring dread doom
  On noble-hearted Lernus' scion, born
  Of Amphiale, in Rhodes the fertile land.

  But soon as Poeas' battle-eager son
  Marked him by Paris' deadly arrow slain,
  Swiftly he strained his bow, shouting aloud:
  "Dog! I will give thee death, will speed thee down
  To the Unseen Land, who darest to brave me!
  And so shall they have rest, who travail now
  For thy vile sake. Destruction shall have end
  When thou art dead, the author of our bane."

  Then to his breast he drew the plaited cord.
  The great bow arched, the merciless shaft was aimed
  Straight, and the terrible point a little peered
  Above the bow, in that constraining grip.
  Loud sang the string, as the death-hissing shaft
  Leapt, and missed not: yet was not Paris' heart
  Stilled, but his spirit yet was strong in him;
  For that first arrow was not winged with death:
  It did but graze the fair flesh by his wrist.
  Then once again the avenger drew the bow,
  And the barbed shaft of Poeas' son had plunged,
  Ere he could swerve, 'twixt flank and groin. No more
  He abode the fight, but swiftly hasted back
  As hastes a dog which on a lion rushed
  At first, then fleeth terror-stricken back.
  So he, his very heart with agony thrilled,
  Fled from the war. Still clashed the grappling hosts,
  Man slaying man: aye bloodier waxed the fray
  As rained the blows: corpse upon corpse was flung
  Confusedly, like thunder-drops, or flakes
  Of snow, or hailstones, by the wintry blast
  At Zeus' behest strewn over the long hills
  And forest-boughs; so by a pitiless doom
  Slain, friends with foes in heaps on heaps were strown.

  Sorely groaned Paris; with the torturing wound
  Fainted his spirit. Leeches sought to allay
  His frenzy of pain. But now drew back to Troy
  The Trojans, and the Danaans to their ships
  Swiftly returned, for dark night put an end
  To strife, and stole from men's limbs weariness,
  Pouring upon their eyes pain-healing sleep.

  But through the livelong night no sleep laid hold
  On Paris: for his help no leech availed,
  Though ne'er so willing, with his salves. His weird
  Was only by Oenone's hands to escape
  Death's doom, if so she willed. Now he obeyed
  The prophecy, and he went—exceeding loth,
  But grim necessity forced him thence, to face
  The wife forsaken. Evil-boding fowl
  Shrieked o'er his head, or darted past to left,
  Still as he went. Now, as he looked at them,
  His heart sank; now hope whispered, "Haply vain
  Their bodings are!" but on their wings were borne
  Visions of doom that blended with his pain.
  Into Oenone's presence thus he came.
  Amazed her thronging handmaids looked on him
  As at the Nymph's feet that pale suppliant fell
  Faint with the anguish of his wound, whose pangs
  Stabbed him through brain and heart, yea, quivered through
  His very bones, for that fierce venom crawled
  Through all his inwards with corrupting fangs;
  And his life fainted in him agony-thrilled.
  As one with sickness and tormenting thirst
  Consumed, lies parched, with heart quick-shuddering,
  With liver seething as in flame, the soul,
  Scarce conscious, fluttering at his burning lips,
  Longing for life, for water longing sore;
  So was his breast one fire of torturing pain.
  Then in exceeding feebleness he spake:
  "O reverenced wife, turn not from me in hate
  For that I left thee widowed long ago!
  Not of my will I did it: the strong Fates
  Dragged me to Helen—oh that I had died
  Ere I embraced her—in thine arms had died!
  All, by the Gods I pray, the Lords of Heaven,
  By all the memories of our wedded love,
  Be merciful! Banish my bitter pain:
  Lay on my deadly wound those healing salves
  Which only can, by Fate's decree, remove
  This torment, if thou wilt. Thine heart must speak
  My sentence, to be saved from death or no.
  Pity me—oh, make haste to pity me!
  This venom's might is swiftly bringing death!
  Heal me, while life yet lingers in my limbs!
  Remember not those pangs of jealousy,
  Nor leave me by a cruel doom to die
  Low fallen at thy feet! This should offend
  The Prayers, the Daughters of the Thunderer Zeus,
  Whose anger followeth unrelenting pride
  With vengeance, and the Erinnys executes
  Their wrath. My queen, I sinned, in folly sinned;
  Yet from death save me—oh, make haste to save!"

  So prayed he; but her darkly-brooding heart
  Was steeled, and her words mocked his agony:
  "Thou comest unto me!—thou, who didst leave
  Erewhile a wailing wife in a desolate home!—
  Didst leave her for thy Tyndarid darling! Go,
  Lie laughing in her arms for bliss! She is better
  Than thy true wife—is, rumour saith, immortal!
  Make haste to kneel to her but not to me!
  Weep not to me, nor whimper pitiful prayers!
  Oh that mine heart beat with a tigress' strength,
  That I might tear thy flesh and lap thy blood
  For all the pain thy folly brought on me!
  Vile wretch! where now is Love's Queen glory-crowned?
  Hath Zeus forgotten his daughter's paramour?
  Have them for thy deliverers! Get thee hence
  Far from my dwelling, curse of Gods and men!
  Yea, for through thee, thou miscreant, sorrow came
  On deathless Gods, for sons and sons' sons slain.
  Hence from my threshold!—to thine Helen go!
  Agonize day and night beside her bed:
  There whimper, pierced to the heart with cruel pangs,
  Until she heal thee of thy grievous pain."

  So from her doors she drave that groaning man—
  Ah fool! not knowing her own doom, whose weird
  Was straightway after him to tread the path
  Of death! So Fate had spun her destiny-thread.

  Then, as he stumbled down through Ida's brakes,
  Where Doom on his death-path was leading him
  Painfully halting, racked with heart-sick pain,
  Hera beheld him, with rejoicing soul
  Throned in the Olympian palace-court of Zeus.
  And seated at her side were handmaids four
  Whom radiant-faced Selene bare to the Sun
  To be unwearying ministers in Heaven,
  In form and office diverse each from each;
  For of these Seasons one was summer's queen,
  And one of winter and his stormy star,
  Of spring the third, of autumn-tide the fourth.
  So in four portions parted is man's year
  Ruled by these Queens in turn—but of all this
  Be Zeus himself the Overseer in heaven.
  And of those issues now these spake with her
  Which baleful Fate in her all-ruining heart
  Was shaping to the birth the new espousals
  Of Helen, fatal to Deiphobus—
  The wrath of Helenus, who hoped in vain
  For that fair bride, and how, when he had fled,
  Wroth with the Trojans, to the mountain-height,
  Achaea's sons would seize him and would hale
  Unto their ships—how, by his counselling
  Strong Tydeus' son should with Odysseus scale
  The great wall, and should slay Alcathous
  The temple-warder, and should bear away
  Pallas the Gracious, with her free consent,
  Whose image was the sure defence of Troy;—
  Yea, for not even a God, how wroth soe'er,
  Had power to lay the City of Priam waste
  While that immortal shape stood warder there.
  No man had carven that celestial form,
  But Cronos' Son himself had cast it down
  From heaven to Priam's gold-abounding burg.

  Of these things with her handmaids did the Queen
  Of Heaven hold converse, and of many such,
  But Paris, while they talked, gave up the ghost
  On Ida: never Helen saw him more.
  Loud wailed the Nymphs around him; for they still
  Remembered how their nursling wont to lisp
  His childish prattle, compassed with their smiles.
  And with them mourned the neatherds light of foot,
  Sorrowful-hearted; moaned the mountain-glens.

  Then unto travail-burdened Priam's queen
  A herdman told the dread doom of her son.
  Wildly her trembling heart leapt when she heard;
  With failing limbs she sank to earth and wailed:
  "Dead! thou dead, O dear child! Grief heaped on grief
  Hast thou bequeathed me, grief eternal! Best
  Of all my sons, save Hector alone, wast thou!
  While beats my heart, my grief shall weep for thee.
  The hand of Heaven is in our sufferings:
  Some Fate devised our ruin—oh that I
  Had lived not to endure it, but had died
  In days of wealthy peace! But now I see
  Woes upon woes, and ever look to see
  Worse things—my children slain, my city sacked
  And burned with fire by stony-hearted foes,
  Daughters, sons' wives, all Trojan women, haled
  Into captivity with our little ones!"

  So wailed she; but the King heard naught thereof,
  But weeping ever sat by Hector's grave,
  For most of all his sons he honoured him,
  His mightiest, the defender of his land.
  Nothing of Paris knew that pierced heart;
  But long and loud lamented Helen; yet
  Those wails were but for Trojan ears; her soul
  With other thoughts was busy, as she cried:
  "Husband, to me, to Troy, and to thyself
  A bitter blow is this thy woeful death!
  In misery hast thou left me, and I look
  To see calamities more deadly yet.
  Oh that the Spirits of the Storm had snatched
  Me from the earth when first I fared with thee
  Drawn by a baleful Fate! It might not be;
  The Gods have meted ruin to thee and me.
  With shuddering horror all men look on me,
  All hate me! Place of refuge is there none
  For me; for if to the Danaan host I fly,
  With torments will they greet me. If I stay,
  Troy's sons and daughters here will compass me
  And rend me. Earth shall cover not my corpse,
  But dogs and fowl of ravin shall devour.
  Oh had Fate slain me ere I saw these woes!"

  So cried she: but for him far less she mourned
  Than for herself, remembering her own sin.
  Yea, and Troy's daughters but in semblance wailed
  For him: of other woes their hearts were full.
  Some thought on parents, some on husbands slain,
  These on their sons, on honoured kinsmen those.

  One only heart was pierced with grief unfeigned,
  Oenone. Not with them of Troy she wailed,
  But far away within that desolate home
  Moaning she lay on her lost husband's bed.
  As when the copses on high mountains stand
  White-veiled with frozen snow, which o'er the glens
  The west-wind blasts have strown, but now the sun
  And east-wind melt it fast, and the long heights
  With water-courses stream, and down the glades
  Slide, as they thaw, the heavy sheets, to swell
  The rushing waters of an ice-cold spring,
  So melted she in tears of anguished pain,
  And for her own, her husband, agonised,
  And cried to her heart with miserable moans:
  "Woe for my wickedness! O hateful life!
  I loved mine hapless husband—dreamed with him
  To pace to eld's bright threshold hand in hand,
  And heart in heart! The gods ordained not so.
  Oh had the black Fates snatched me from the earth
  Ere I from Paris turned away in hate!
  My living love hath left me!—yet will I
  Dare to die with him, for I loathe the light."

  So cried she, weeping, weeping piteously,
  Remembering him whom death had swallowed up,
  Wasting, as melteth wax before the flame
  Yet secretly, being fearful lest her sire
  Should mark it, or her handmaids till the night
  Rose from broad Ocean, flooding all the earth
  With darkness bringing men release from toil.
  Then, while her father and her maidens slept,
  She slid the bolts back of the outer doors,
  And rushed forth like a storm-blast. Fast she ran,
  As when a heifer 'mid the mountains speeds,
  Her heart with passion stung, to meet her mate,
  And madly races on with flying feet,
  And fears not, in her frenzy of desire,
  The herdman, as her wild rush bears her on,
  So she but find her mate amid the woods;
  So down the long tracks flew Oenone's feet;
  Seeking the awful pyre, to leap thereon.
  No weariness she knew: as upon wings
  Her feet flew faster ever, onward spurred
  By fell Fate, and the Cyprian Queen. She feared
  No shaggy beast that met her in the dark
  Who erst had feared them sorely—rugged rock
  And precipice of tangled mountain-slope,
  She trod them all unstumbling; torrent-beds
  She leapt. The white Moon-goddess from on high
  Looked on her, and remembered her own love,
  Princely Endymion, and she pitied her
  In that wild race, and, shining overhead
  In her full brightness, made the long tracks plain.

  Through mountain-gorges so she won to where
  Wailed other Nymphs round Alexander's corpse.
  Roared up about him a great wall of fire;
  For from the mountains far and near had come
  Shepherds, and heaped the death-bale broad and high
  For love's and sorrow's latest service done
  To one of old their comrade and their king.
  Sore weeping stood they round. She raised no wail,
  The broken-hearted, when she saw him there,
  But, in her mantle muffling up her face,
  Leapt on the pyre: loud wailed that multitude.
  There burned she, clasping Paris. All the Nymphs
  Marvelled, beholding her beside her lord
  Flung down, and heart to heart spake whispering:
  "Verily evil-hearted Paris was,
  Who left a leal true wife, and took for bride
  A wanton, to himself and Troy a curse.
  Ah fool, who recked not of the broken heart
  Of a most virtuous wife, who more than life
  Loved him who turned from her and loved her not!"

  So in their hearts the Nymphs spake: but they twain
  Burned on the pyre, never to hail again
  The dayspring. Wondering herdmen stood around,
  As once the thronging Argives marvelling saw
  Evadne clasping mid the fire her lord
  Capaneus, slain by Zeus' dread thunderbolt.
  But when the blast of the devouring fire
  Had made twain one, Oenone and Paris, now
  One little heap of ashes, then with wine
  Quenched they the embers, and they laid their bones
  In a wide golden vase, and round them piled
  The earth-mound; and they set two pillars there
  That each from other ever turn away;
  For the old jealousy in the marble lives.


How the sons of Troy for the last time fought from her walls and her towers.

  Troy's daughters mourned within her walls; might none
  Go forth to Paris' tomb, for far away
  From high-built Troy it lay. But the young men
  Without the city toiled unceasingly
  In fight wherein from slaughter rest was none,
  Though dead was Paris; for the Achaeans pressed
  Hard on the Trojans even unto Troy.
  Yet these charged forth—they could not choose but so,
  For Strife and deadly Enyo in their midst
  Stalked, like the fell Erinyes to behold,
  Breathing destruction from their lips like flame.
  Beside them raged the ruthless-hearted Fates
  Fiercely: here Panic-fear and Ares there
  Stirred up the hosts: hard after followed
  Dread With slaughter's gore besprent, that in one host
  Might men see, and be strong, in the other fear;
  And all around were javelins, spears, and darts
  Murder-athirst from this side, that side, showered.
  Aye, as they hurled together, armour clashed,
  As foe with foe grappled in murderous fight.

  There Neoptolemus slew Laodamas,
  Whom Lycia nurtured by fair Xanthus' stream,
  The stream revealed to men by Leto, bride
  Of Thunderer Zeus, when Lycia's stony plain
  Was by her hands uptorn mid agonies
  Of travail-throes wherein she brought to light
  Mid bitter pangs those babes of birth divine.
  Nirus upon him laid he dead; the spear
  Crashed through his jaw, and clear through mouth and tongue
  Passed: on the lance's irresistible point
  Shrieking was he impaled: flooded with gore
  His mouth was as he cried. The cruel shaft,
  Sped on by that strong hand, dashed him to earth
  In throes of death. Evenor next he smote
  Above the flank, and onward drave the spear
  Into his liver: swiftly anguished death
  Came upon him. Iphition next he slew:
  He quelled Hippomedon, Hippasus' bold son,
  Whom Ocyone the Nymph had borne beside
  Sangarius' river-flow. Ne'er welcomed she
  Her son's returning face, but ruthless Fate
  With anguish thrilled her of her child bereaved.

  Bremon Aeneas slew, and Andromachus,
  Of Cnossus this, of hallowed Lyctus that:
  On one spot both from their swift chariots fell;
  This gasped for breath, his throat by the long spear
  Transfixed; that other, by a massy stone,
  Sped from a strong hand, on the temple struck,
  Breathed out his life, and black doom shrouded him.
  The startled steeds, bereft of charioteers,
  Fleeing, mid all those corpses were confused,
  And princely Aeneas' henchmen seized on them
  With hearts exulting in the goodly spoil.

  There Philoctetes with his deadly shaft
  Smote Peirasus in act to flee the war:
  The tendons twain behind the knee it snapped,
  And palsied all his speed. A Danaan marked,
  And leapt on that maimed man with sweep of sword
  Shearing his neck through. On the breast of earth
  The headless body fell: the head far flung
  Went rolling with lips parted as to shriek;
  And swiftly fleeted thence the homeless soul.

  Polydamas struck down Eurymachus
  And Cleon with his spear. From Syme came
  With Nireus' following these: cunning were both
  In craft of fisher-folk to east the hook
  Baited with guile, to drop into the sea
  The net, from the boat's prow with deftest hands
  Swiftly and straight to plunge the three-forked spear.
  But not from bane their sea-craft saved them now.

  Eurypylus battle-staunch laid Hellus low,
  Whom Cleito bare beside Gygaea's mere,
  Cleito the fair-cheeked. Face-down in the dust
  Outstretched he lay: shorn by the cruel sword
  From his strong shoulder fell the arm that held
  His long spear. Still its muscles twitched, as though
  Fain to uplift the lance for fight in vain;
  For the man's will no longer stirred therein,
  But aimlessly it quivered, even as leaps
  The severed tail of a snake malignant-eyed,
  Which cannot chase the man who dealt the wound;
  So the right hand of that strong-hearted man
  With impotent grip still clutched the spear for fight.

  Aenus and Polydorus Odysseus slew,
  Ceteians both; this perished by his spear,
  That by his sword death-dealing. Sthenelus
  Smote godlike Abas with a javelin-cast:
  On through his throat and shuddering nape it rushed:
  Stopped were his heart-beats, all his limbs collapsed.

  Tydeides slew Laodocus; Melius fell
  By Agamemnon's hand; Deiphobus
  Smote Alcimus and Dryas: Hippasus,
  How war-renowned soe'er, Agenor slew
  Far from Peneius' river. Crushed by fate,
  Love's nursing-debt to parents ne'er he paid.

  Lamus and stalwart Lyncus Thoas smote,
  And Meriones slew Lycon; Menelaus
  Laid low Archelochus. Upon his home
  Looked down Corycia's ridge, and that great rock
  Of the wise Fire-god, marvellous in men's eyes;
  For thereon, nightlong, daylong, unto him
  Fire blazes, tireless and unquenchable.
  Laden with fruit around it palm-trees grow,
  While mid the stones fire plays about their roots.
  Gods' work is this, a wonder to all time.

  By Teucer princely Hippomedon's son was slain,
  Menoetes: as the archer drew on him,
  Rushed he to smite him; but already hand
  And eye, and bow-craft keen were aiming straight
  On the arching horn the shaft. Swiftly released
  It leapt on the hapless man, while sang the string.
  Stricken full front he heaved one choking gasp,
  Because the fates on the arrow riding flew
  Right to his heart, the throne of thought and strength
  For men, whence short the path is unto death.

  Far from his brawny hand Euryalus hurled
  A massy stone, and shook the ranks of Troy.
  As when in anger against long-screaming cranes
  A watcher of the field leaps from the ground,
  In swift hand whirling round his head the sling,
  And speeds the stone against them, scattering
  Before its hum their ranks far down the wind
  Outspread, and they in huddled panic dart
  With wild cries this way and that, who theretofore
  Swept on in ordered lines; so shrank the foe
  To right and left from that dread bolt of doom
  Hurled of Euryalus. Not in vain it flew
  Fate-winged; it shattered Meles' helm and head
  Down to the eyes: so met him ghastly death.

  Still man slew man, while earth groaned all around,
  As when a mighty wind scourges the land,
  And this way, that way, under its shrieking blasts
  Through the wide woodland bow from the roots and fall
  Great trees, while all the earth is thundering round;
  So fell they in the dust, so clanged their arms,
  So crashed the earth around. Still hot were they
  For fell fight, still dealt bane unto their foes.

  Nigh to Aeneas then Apollo came,
  And to Eurymachus, brave Antenor's son;
  For these against the mighty Achaeans fought
  Shoulder to shoulder, as two strong oxen, matched
  In age, yoked to a wain; nor ever ceased
  From battling. Suddenly spake the God to these
  In Polymestor's shape, the seer his mother
  By Xanthus bare to the Far-darter's priest:
  "Eurymachus, Aeneas, seed of Gods,
  'Twere shame if ye should flinch from Argives! Nay,
  Not Ares' self should joy to encounter you,
  An ye would face him in the fray; for Fate
  Hath spun long destiny-threads for thee and thee."

  He spake, and vanished, mingling with the winds.
  But their hearts felt the God's power: suddenly
  Flooded with boundless courage were their frames,
  Maddened their spirits: on the foe they leapt
  Like furious wasps that in a storm of rage
  Swoop upon bees, beholding them draw nigh
  In latter-summer to the mellowing grapes,
  Or from their hives forth-streaming thitherward;
  So fiercely leapt these sons of Troy to meet
  War-hardened Greeks. The black Fates joyed to see
  Their conflict, Ares laughed, Enyo yelled
  Horribly. Loud their glancing armour clanged:
  They stabbed, they hewed down hosts of foes untold
  With irresistible hands. The reeling ranks
  Fell, as the swath falls in the harvest heat,
  When the swift-handed reapers, ranged adown
  The field's long furrows, ply the sickle fast;
  So fell before their hands ranks numberless:
  With corpses earth was heaped, with torrent blood
  Was streaming: Strife incarnate o'er the slain
  Gloated. They paused not from the awful toil,
  But aye pressed on, like lions chasing sheep.
  Then turned the Greeks to craven flight; all feet
  Unmaimed as yet fled from the murderous war.
  Aye followed on Anchises' warrior son,
  Smiting foes' backs with his avenging spear:
  On pressed Eurymachus, while glowed the heart
  Of Healer Apollo watching from on high.

  As when a man descries a herd of swine
  Draw nigh his ripening corn, before the sheaves
  Fall neath the reapers' hands, and harketh on
  Against them his strong dogs; as down they rush,
  The spoilers see and quake; no more think they
  Of feasting, but they turn in panic flight
  Huddling: fast follow at their heels the hounds
  Biting remorselessly, while long and loud
  Squealing they flee, and joys the harvest's lord;
  So rejoiced Phoebus, seeing from the war
  Fleeing the mighty Argive host. No more
  Cared they for deeds of men, but cried to the Gods
  For swift feet, in whose feet alone was hope
  To escape Eurymachus' and Aeneas' spears
  Which lightened ever all along their rear.

  But one Greek, over-trusting in his strength,
  Or by Fate's malice to destruction drawn,
  Curbed in mid flight from war's turmoil his steed,
  And strove to wheel him round into the fight
  To face the foe. But fierce Agenor thrust
  Ere he was ware; his two-edged partizan
  Shore though his shoulder; yea, the very bone
  Of that gashed arm was cloven by the steel;
  The tendons parted, the veins spirted blood:
  Down by his horse's neck he slid, and straight
  Fell mid the dead. But still the strong arm hung
  With rigid fingers locked about the reins
  Like a live man's. Weird marvel was that sight,
  The bloody hand down hanging from the rein,
  Scaring the foes yet more, by Ares' will.
  Thou hadst said, "It craveth still for horsemanship!"
  So bare the steed that sign of his slain lord.

  Aeneas hurled his spear; it found the waist
  Of Anthalus' son, it pierced the navel through,
  Dragging the inwards with it. Stretched in dust,
  Clutching with agonized hands at steel and bowels,
  Horribly shrieked he, tore with his teeth the earth
  Groaning, till life and pain forsook the man.
  Scared were the Argives, like a startled team
  Of oxen 'neath the yoke-band straining hard,
  What time the sharp-fanged gadfly stings their flanks
  Athirst for blood, and they in frenzy of pain
  Start from the furrow, and sore disquieted
  The hind is for marred work, and for their sake,
  Lest haply the recoiling ploughshare light
  On their leg-sinews, and hamstring his team;
  So were the Danaans scared, so feared for them
  Achilles' son, and shouted thunder-voiced:
  "Cravens, why flee, like starlings nothing-worth
  Scared by a hawk that swoopeth down on them?
  Come, play the men! Better it is by far
  To die in war than choose unmanly flight!"

  Then to his cry they hearkened, and straightway
  Were of good heart. Mighty of mood he leapt
  Upon the Trojans, swinging in his hand
  The lightening spear: swept after him his host
  Of Myrmidons with hearts swelled with the strength
  Resistless of a tempest; so the Greeks
  Won breathing-space. With fury like his sire's
  One after other slew he of the foe.
  Recoiling back they fell, as waves on-rolled
  By Boreas foaming from the deep to the strand,
  Are caught by another blast that whirlwind-like
  Leaps, in a short lull of the north-wind, forth,
  Smites them full-face, and hurls them back from the shore;
  So them that erewhile on the Danaans pressed
  Godlike Achilles' son now backward hurled
  A short space only brave Aeneas' spirit
  Let him not flee, but made him bide the fight
  Fearlessly; and Enyo level held
  The battle's scales. Yet not against Aeneas
  Achilles' son upraised his father's spear,
  But elsewhither turned his fury: in reverence
  For Aphrodite, Thetis splendour-veiled
  Turned from that man her mighty son's son's rage
  And giant strength on other hosts of foes.
  There slew he many a Trojan, while the ranks
  Of Greeks were ravaged by Aeneas' hand.
  Over the battle-slain the vultures joyed,
  Hungry to rend the hearts and flesh of men.
  But all the Nymphs were wailing, daughters born
  Of Xanthus and fair-flowing Simois.

  So toiled they in the fight: the wind's breath rolled
  Huge dust-clouds up; the illimitable air
  Was one thick haze, as with a sudden mist:
  Earth disappeared, faces were blotted out;
  Yet still they fought on; each man, whomso he met,
  Ruthlessly slew him, though his very friend
  It might be—in that turmoil none could tell
  Who met him, friend or foe: blind wilderment
  Enmeshed the hosts. And now had all been blent
  Confusedly, had perished miserably,
  All falling by their fellows' murderous swords,
  Had not Cronion from Olympus helped
  Their sore strait, and he swept aside the dust
  Of conflict, and he calmed those deadly winds.
  Yet still the hosts fought on; but lighter far
  Their battle-travail was, who now discerned
  Whom in the fray to smite, and whom to spare.
  The Danaans now forced back the Trojan host,
  The Trojans now the Danaan ranks, as swayed
  The dread fight to and fro. From either side
  Darts leapt and fell like snowflakes. Far away
  Shepherds from Ida trembling watched the strife,
  And to the Heaven-abiders lifted hands
  Of supplication, praying that all their foes
  Might perish, and that from the woeful war
  Troy might win breathing-space, and see at last
  The day of freedom: the Gods hearkened not.
  Far other issues Fate devised, nor recked
  Of Zeus the Almighty, nor of none beside
  Of the Immortals. Her unpitying soul
  Cares naught what doom she spinneth with her thread
  Inevitable, be it for men new-born
  Or cities: all things wax and wane through her.
  So by her hest the battle-travail swelled
  'Twixt Trojan chariot-lords and Greeks that closed
  In grapple of fight—they dealt each other death
  Ruthlessly: no man quailed, but stout of heart
  Fought on; for courage thrusts men into war.

  But now when many had perished in the dust,
  Then did the Argive might prevail at last
  By stern decree of Pallas; for she came
  Into the heart of battle, hot to help
  The Greeks to lay waste Priam's glorious town.
  Then Aphrodite, who lamented sore
  For Paris slain, snatched suddenly away
  Renowned Aeneas from the deadly strife,
  And poured thick mist about him. Fate forbade
  That hero any longer to contend
  With Argive foes without the high-built wall.
  Yea, and his mother sorely feared the wrath
  Of Pallas passing-wise, whose heart was keen
  To help the Danaans now—yea, feared lest she
  Might slay him even beyond his doom, who spared
  Not Ares' self, a mightier far than he.

  No more the Trojans now abode the edge
  Of fight, but all disheartened backward drew.
  For like fierce ravening beasts the Argive men
  Leapt on them, mad with murderous rage of war.
  Choked with their slain the river-channels were,
  Heaped was the field; in red dust thousands fell,
  Horses and men; and chariots overturned
  Were strewn there: blood was streaming all around
  Like rain, for deadly Doom raged through the fray.

  Men stabbed with swords, and men impaled on spears
  Lay all confusedly, like scattered beams,
  When on the strand of the low-thundering sea
  Men from great girders of a tall ship's hull
  Strike out the bolts and clamps, and scatter wide
  Long planks and timbers, till the whole broad beach
  Is paved with beams o'erplashed by darkling surge;
  So lay in dust and blood those slaughtered men,
  Rapture and pain of fight forgotten now.

  A remnant from the pitiless strife escaped
  Entered their stronghold, scarce eluding doom.
  Children and wives from their limbs blood-besprent
  Received their arms bedabbled with foul gore;
  And baths for all were heated. Leeches ran
  Through all the town in hot haste to the homes
  Of wounded men to minister to their hurts.
  Here wives and daughters moaned round men come back
  From war, there cried on many who came not
  Here, men stung to the soul by bitter pangs
  Groaned upon beds of pain; there, toil-spent men
  Turned them to supper. Whinnied the swift steeds
  And neighed o'er mangers heaped. By tent and ship
  Far off the Greeks did even as they of Troy.

  When o'er the streams of Ocean Dawn drove up
  Her splendour-flashing steeds, and earth's tribes waked,
  Then the strong Argives' battle-eager sons
  Marched against Priam's city lofty-towered,
  Save some that mid the tents by wounded men
  Tarried, lest haply raiders on the ships
  Might fall, to help the Trojans, while these fought
  The foe from towers, while rose the flame of war.

  Before the Scaean gate fought Capaneus' son
  And godlike Diomedes. High above
  Deiphobus battle-staunch and strong Polites
  With many comrades, stoutly held them back
  With arrows and huge stones. Clanged evermore
  The smitten helms and shields that fenced strong men
  From bitter doom and unrelenting fate,

  Before the Gate Idaean Achilles' son
  Set in array the fight: around him toiled
  His host of battle-cunning Myrmidons.
  Helenus and Agenor gallant-souled,
  Down-hailing darts, against them held the wall,
  Aye cheering on their men. No spurring these
  Needed to fight hard for their country's walls.

  Odysseus and Eurypylus made assault
  Unresting on the gates that fated the plain
  And looked to the swift ships. From wall and tower
  With huge stones brave Aeneas made defence.

  In battle-stress by Simons Teucer toiled.
  Each endured hardness at his several post.

  Then round war-wise Odysseus men renowned,
  By that great captain's battle cunning ruled,
  Locked shields together, raised them o'er their heads
  Ranged side by side, that many were made one.
  Thou hadst said it was a great hall's solid roof,
  Which no tempestuous wind-blast misty wet
  Can pierce, nor rain from heaven in torrents poured.
  So fenced about with shields firm stood the ranks
  Of Argives, one in heart for fight, and one
  In that array close-welded. From above
  The Trojans hailed great stones; as from a rock
  Rolled these to earth. Full many a spear and dart
  And galling javelin in the pierced shields stood;
  Some in the earth stood; many glanced away
  With bent points falling baffled from the shields
  Battered on all sides. But that clangorous din
  None feared; none flinched; as pattering drops of rain
  They heard it. Up to the rampart's foot they marched:
  None hung back; shoulder to shoulder on they came
  Like a long lurid cloud that o'er the sky
  Cronion trails in wild midwinter-tide.
  On that battalion moved, with thunderous tread
  Of tramping feet: a little above the earth
  Rose up the dust; the breeze swept it aside
  Drifting away behind the men. There went
  A sound confused of voices with them, like
  The hum of bees that murmur round the hives,
  And multitudinous panting, and the gasp
  Of men hard-breathing. Exceeding glad the sons
  Of Atreus, glorying in them, saw that wall
  Unwavering of doom-denouncing war.
  In one dense mass against the city-gate
  They hurled themselves, with twibills strove to breach
  The long walls, from their hinges to upheave
  The gates, and dash to earth. The pulse of hope
  Beat strong in those proud hearts. But naught availed
  Targes nor levers, when Aeneas' might
  Swung in his hands a stone like a thunderbolt,
  Hurled it with uttermost strength, and dashed to death
  All whom it caught beneath the shields, as when
  A mountain's precipice-edge breaks off and falls
  On pasturing goats, and all that graze thereby
  Tremble; so were those Danaans dazed with dread.
  Stone after stone he hurled on the reeling ranks,
  As when amid the hills Olympian Zeus
  With thunderbolts and blazing lightnings rends
  From their foundations crags that rim a peak,
  And this way, that way, sends them hurtling down;
  Then the flocks tremble, scattering in wild flight;
  So quailed the Achaeans, when Aeneas dashed
  To sudden fragments all that battle-wall
  Moulded of adamant shields, because a God
  Gave more than human strength. No man of them
  Could lift his eyes unto him in that fight,
  Because the arms that lapped his sinewy limbs
  Flashed like the heaven-born lightnings. At his side
  Stood, all his form divine in darkness cloaked,
  Ares the terrible, and winged the flight
  Of what bare down to the Argives doom or dread.
  He fought as when Olympian Zeus himself
  From heaven in wrath smote down the insolent bands
  Of giants grim, and shook the boundless earth,
  And sea, and ocean, and the heavens, when reeled
  The knees of Atlas neath the rush of Zeus.
  So crumbled down beneath Aeneas' bolts
  The Argive squadrons. All along the wall
  Wroth with the foeman rushed he: from his hands
  Whatso he lighted on in onslaught-haste
  Hurled he; for many a battle-staying bolt
  Lay on the walls of those staunch Dardan men.
  With such Aeneas stormed in giant might,
  With such drave back the thronging foes. All round
  The Trojans played the men. Sore travail and pain
  Had all folk round the city: many fell,
  Argives and Trojans. Rang the battle-cries:
  Aeneas cheered the war-fain Trojans on
  To fight for home, for wives, and their own souls
  With a good heart: war-staunch Achilles' son
  Shouted: "Flinch not, ye Argives, from the walls,
  Till Troy be taken, and sink down in flames!"
  And round these twain an awful measureless roar
  Rang, daylong as they fought: no breathing-space
  Came from the war to them whose spirits burned,
  These, to smite Ilium, those, to guard her safe.

  But from Aeneas valiant-souled afar
  Fought Aias, speeding midst the men of Troy
  Winged death; for now his arrow straight through air
  Flew, now his deadly dart, and smote them down
  One after one: yet others cowered away
  Before his peerless prowess, and abode
  The fight no more, but fenceless left the wall

  Then one, of all the Locrians mightiest,
  Fierce-souled Alcimedon, trusting in his prince
  And his own might and valour of his youth,
  All battle-eager on a ladder set
  Swift feet, to pave for friends a death-strewn path
  Into the town. Above his head he raised

  The screening shield; up that dread path he went
  Hardening his heart from trembling, in his hand
  Now shook the threatening spear, now upward climbed
  Fast high in air he trod the perilous way.
  Now on the Trojans had disaster come,
  But, even as above the parapet
  His head rose, and for the first time and the last
  From her high rampart he looked down on Troy,
  Aeneas, who had marked, albeit afar,
  That bold assault, rushed on him, dashed on his head
  So huge a stone that the hero's mighty strength
  Shattered the ladder. Down from on high he rushed
  As arrow from the string: death followed him
  As whirling round he fell; with air was blent
  His lost life, ere he crashed to the stony ground.
  Strong spear, broad shield, in mid fall flew from his hands,
  And from his head the helm: his corslet came
  Alone with him to earth. The Locrian men
  Groaned, seeing their champion quelled by evil doom;
  For all his hair and all the stones around
  Were brain-bespattered: all his bones were crushed,
  And his once active limbs besprent with gore.

  Then godlike Poeas' war-triumphant son
  Marked where Aeneas stormed along the wall
  In lion-like strength, and straightway shot a shaft
  Aimed at that glorious hero, neither missed
  The man: yet not through his unyielding targe
  To the fair flesh it won, being turned aside
  By Cytherea and the shield, but grazed
  The buckler lightly: yet not all in vain
  Fell earthward, but between the targe and helm
  Smote Medon: from the tower he fell, as falls
  A wild goat from a crag, the hunter's shaft
  Deep in its heart: so nerveless-flung he fell,
  And fled away from him the precious life.
  Wroth for his friend, a stone Aeneas hurled,
  And Philoctetes' stalwart comrade slew,
  Toxaechmes; for he shattered his head and crushed
  Helmet and skull-bones; and his noble heart
  Was stilled. Loud shouted princely Poeas' son:
  "Aeneas, thou, forsooth, dost deem thyself
  A mighty champion, fighting from a tower
  Whence craven women war with foes! Now if
  Thou be a man, come forth without the wall
  In battle-harness, and so learn to know
  In spear-craft and in bow-craft Poeas' son!"

  So cried he; but Anchises' valiant seed,
  How fain soe'er, naught answered, for the stress
  Of desperate conflict round that wall and burg
  Ceaselessly raging: pause from fight was none:
  Yea, for long time no respite had there been
  For the war-weary from that endless toil.


How the Wooden Horse was fashioned, and brought into Troy by her people.

  When round the walls of Troy the Danaan host
  Had borne much travail, and yet the end was not,
  By Calchas then assembled were the chiefs;
  For his heart was instructed by the hests
  Of Phoebus, by the flights of birds, the stars,
  And all the signs that speak to men the will
  Of Heaven; so he to that assembly cried:
  "No longer toil in leaguer of yon walls;
  Some other counsel let your hearts devise,
  Some stratagem to help the host and us.
  For here but yesterday I saw a sign:
  A falcon chased a dove, and she, hard pressed,
  Entered a cleft of the rock; and chafing he
  Tarried long time hard by that rift, but she
  Abode in covert. Nursing still his wrath,
  He hid him in a bush. Forth darted she,
  In folly deeming him afar: he swooped,
  And to the hapless dove dealt wretched death.
  Therefore by force essay we not to smite Troy,
  but let cunning stratagem avail."

  He spake; but no man's wit might find a way
  To escape their grievous travail, as they sought
  To find a remedy, till Laertes' son
  Discerned it of his wisdom, and he spake:
  "Friend, in high honour held of the Heavenly Ones,
  If doomed it be indeed that Priam's burg
  By guile must fall before the war-worn Greeks,
  A great Horse let us fashion, in the which
  Our mightiest shall take ambush. Let the host
  Burn all their tents, and sail from hence away
  To Tenedos; so the Trojans, from their towers
  Gazing, shall stream forth fearless to the plain.
  Let some brave man, unknown of any in Troy,
  With a stout heart abide without the Horse,
  Crouching beneath its shadow, who shall say:
  "`Achaea's lords of might, exceeding fain
  Safe to win home, made this their offering
  For safe return, an image to appease
  The wrath of Pallas for her image stolen
  From Troy.' And to this story shall he stand,
  How long soe'er they question him, until,
  Though never so relentless, they believe,
  And drag it, their own doom, within the town.
  Then shall war's signal unto us be given—
  To them at sea, by sudden flash of torch,
  To the ambush, by the cry, `Come forth the Horse!'
  When unsuspecting sleep the sons of Troy."

  He spake, and all men praised him: most of all
  Extolled him Calchas, that such marvellous guile
  He put into the Achaeans' hearts, to be
  For them assurance of triumph, but for Troy
  Ruin; and to those battle-lords he cried:
  "Let your hearts seek none other stratagem,
  Friends; to war-strong Odysseus' rede give ear.
  His wise thought shall not miss accomplishment.
  Yea, our desire even now the Gods fulfil.
  Hark! for new tokens come from the Unseen!
  Lo, there on high crash through the firmament
  Zeus' thunder and lightning! See, where birds to right
  Dart past, and scream with long-resounding cry!
  Go to, no more in endless leaguer of Troy
  Linger we. Hard necessity fills the foe
  With desperate courage that makes cowards brave;
  For then are men most dangerous, when they stake
  Their lives in utter recklessness of death,
  As battle now the aweless sons of Troy
  All round their burg, mad with the lust of fight."

  But cried Achilles' battle-eager son:
  "Calchas, brave men meet face to face their foes!
  Who skulk behind their walls, and fight from towers,
  Are nidderings, hearts palsied with base fear.
  Hence with all thought of wile and stratagem!
  The great war-travail of the spear beseems
  True heroes. Best in battle are the brave."

  But answer made to him Laertes' seed:
  "Bold-hearted child of aweless Aeacus' son,
  This as beseems a hero princely and brave,
  Dauntlessly trusting in thy strength, thou say'st.
  Yet thine invincible sire's unquailing might
  Availed not to smite Priam's wealthy burg,
  Nor we, for all our travail. Nay, with speed,
  As counselleth Calchas, go we to the ships,
  And fashion we the Horse by Epeius' hands,
  Who in the woodwright's craft is chiefest far
  Of Argives, for Athena taught his lore."

  Then all their mightiest men gave ear to him
  Save twain, fierce-hearted Neoptolemus
  And Philoctetes mighty-souled; for these
  Still were insatiate for the bitter fray,
  Still longed for turmoil of the fight. They bade
  Their own folk bear against that giant wall
  What things soe'er for war's assaults avail,
  In hope to lay that stately fortress low,
  Seeing Heaven's decrees had brought them both to war.
  Yea, they had haply accomplished all their will,
  But from the sky Zeus showed his wrath; he shook
  The earth beneath their feet, and all the air
  Shuddered, as down before those heroes twain
  He hurled his thunderbolt: wide echoes crashed
  Through all Dardania. Unto fear straightway
  Turned were their bold hearts: they forgat their might,
  And Calchas' counsels grudgingly obeyed.
  So with the Argives came they to the ships
  In reverence for the seer who spake from Zeus
  Or Phoebus, and they obeyed him utterly.

  What time round splendour-kindled heavens the stars
  From east to west far-flashing wheel, and when
  Man doth forget his toil, in that still hour
  Athena left the high mansions of the Blest,
  Clothed her in shape of a maiden tender-fleshed,
  And came to ships and host. Over the head
  Of brave Epeius stood she in his dream,
  And bade him build a Horse of tree: herself
  Would labour in his labour, and herself
  Stand by his side, to the work enkindling him.
  Hearing the Goddess' word, with a glad laugh
  Leapt he from careless sleep: right well he knew
  The Immortal One celestial. Now his heart
  Could hold no thought beside; his mind was fixed
  Upon the wondrous work, and through his soul
  Marched marshalled each device of craftsmanship.

  When rose the dawn, and thrust back kindly night
  To Erebus, and through the firmament streamed
  Glad glory, then Epeius told his dream
  To eager Argives—all he saw and heard;
  And hearkening joyed they with exceeding joy.
  Straightway to tall-tressed Ida's leafy glades
  The sons of Atreus sent swift messengers.
  These laid the axe unto the forest-pines,
  And hewed the great trees: to their smiting rang
  The echoing glens. On those far-stretching hills
  All bare of undergrowth the high peaks rose:
  Open their glades were, not, as in time past,
  Haunted of beasts: there dry the tree-trunks rose
  Wooing the winds. Even these the Achaeans hewed
  With axes, and in haste they bare them down
  From those shagged mountain heights to Hellespont's shores.
  Strained with a strenuous spirit at the work
  Young men and mules; and all the people toiled
  Each at his task obeying Epeius's hest.
  For with the keen steel some were hewing beams,
  Some measuring planks, and some with axes lopped
  Branches away from trunks as yet unsawn:
  Each wrought his several work. Epeius first
  Fashioned the feet of that great Horse of Wood:
  The belly next he shaped, and over this
  Moulded the back and the great loins behind,
  The throat in front, and ridged the towering neck
  With waving mane: the crested head he wrought,
  The streaming tail, the ears, the lucent eyes—
  All that of lifelike horses have. So grew
  Like a live thing that more than human work,
  For a God gave to a man that wondrous craft.
  And in three days, by Pallas's decree,
  Finished was all. Rejoiced thereat the host
  Of Argos, marvelling how the wood expressed
  Mettle, and speed of foot—yea, seemed to neigh.
  Godlike Epeius then uplifted hands
  To Pallas, and for that huge Horse he prayed:
  "Hear, great-souled Goddess: bless thine Horse and me!"
  He spake: Athena rich in counsel heard,
  And made his work a marvel to all men
  Which saw, or heard its fame in days to be.

  But while the Danaans o'er Epeius' work
  Joyed, and their routed foes within the walls
  Tarried, and shrank from death and pitiless doom,
  Then, when imperious Zeus far from the Gods
  Had gone to Ocean's streams and Tethys' caves,
  Strife rose between the Immortals: heart with heart
  Was set at variance. Riding on the blasts
  Of winds, from heaven to earth they swooped: the air
  Crashed round them. Lighting down by Xanthus' stream
  Arrayed they stood against each other, these
  For the Achaeans, for the Trojans those;
  And all their souls were thrilled with lust of war:
  There gathered too the Lords of the wide Sea.
  These in their wrath were eager to destroy
  The Horse of Guile and all the ships, and those
  Fair Ilium. But all-contriving Fate
  Held them therefrom, and turned their hearts to strife
  Against each other. Ares to the fray
  Rose first, and on Athena rushed. Thereat
  Fell each on other: clashed around their limbs
  The golden arms celestial as they charged.
  Round them the wide sea thundered, the dark earth
  Quaked 'neath immortal feet. Rang from them all
  Far-pealing battle-shouts; that awful cry
  Rolled up to the broad-arching heaven, and down
  Even to Hades' fathomless abyss:
  Trembled the Titans there in depths of gloom.
  Ida's long ridges sighed, sobbed clamorous streams
  Of ever-flowing rivers, groaned ravines
  Far-furrowed, Argive ships, and Priam's towers.
  Yet men feared not, for naught they knew of all
  That strife, by Heaven's decree. Then her high peaks
  The Gods' hands wrenched from Ida's crest, and hurled
  Against each other: but like crumbling sands
  Shivered they fell round those invincible limbs,
  Shattered to small dust. But the mind of Zeus,
  At the utmost verge of earth, was ware of all:
  Straight left he Ocean's stream, and to wide heaven
  Ascended, charioted upon the winds,
  The East, the North, the West-wind, and the South:
  For Iris rainbow-plumed led 'neath the yoke
  Of his eternal ear that stormy team,
  The ear which Time the immortal framed for him
  Of adamant with never-wearying hands.
  So came he to Olympus' giant ridge.
  His wrath shook all the firmament, as crashed
  From east to west his thunders; lightnings gleamed,
  As thick and fast his thunderbolts poured to earth,
  And flamed the limitless welkin. Terror fell
  Upon the hearts of those Immortals: quaked
  The limbs of all—ay, deathless though they were!
  Then Themis, trembling for them, swift as thought
  Leapt down through clouds, and came with speed to them—
  For in the strife she only had no part
  And stood between the fighters, and she cried:
  "Forbear the conflict! O, when Zeus is wroth,
  It ill beseems that everlasting Gods
  Should fight for men's sake, creatures of a day:
  Else shall ye be all suddenly destroyed;
  For Zeus will tear up all the hills, and hurl
  Upon you: sons nor daughters will he spare,
  But bury 'neath one ruin of shattered earth
  All. No escape shall ye find thence to light,
  In horror of darkness prisoned evermore."

  Dreading Zeus' menace gave they heed to her,
  From strife refrained, and cast away their wrath,
  And were made one in peace and amity.
  Some heavenward soared, some plunged into the sea,
  On earth stayed some. Amid the Achaean host
  Spake in his subtlety Laertes' son:
  "O valorous-hearted lords of the Argive host,
  Now prove in time of need what men ye be,
  How passing-strong, how flawless-brave! The hour
  Is this for desperate emprise: now, with hearts
  Heroic, enter ye yon carven horse,
  So to attain the goal of this stern war.
  For better it is by stratagem and craft
  Now to destroy this city, for whose sake
  Hither we came, and still are suffering
  Many afflictions far from our own land.
  Come then, and let your hearts be stout and strong
  For he who in stress of fight hath turned to bay
  And snatched a desperate courage from despair,
  Oft, though the weaker, slays a mightier foe.
  For courage, which is all men's glory, makes
  The heart great. Come then, set the ambush, ye
  Which be our mightiest, and the rest shall go
  To Tenedos' hallowed burg, and there abide
  Until our foes have haled within their walls
  Us with the Horse, as deeming that they bring
  A gift unto Tritonis. Some brave man,
  One whom the Trojans know not, yet we lack,
  To harden his heart as steel, and to abide
  Near by the Horse. Let that man bear in mind
  Heedfully whatsoe'er I said erewhile.
  And let none other thought be in his heart,
  Lest to the foe our counsel be revealed."

  Then, when all others feared, a man far-famed
  Made answer, Sinon, marked of destiny
  To bring the great work to accomplishment.
  Therefore with worship all men looked on him,
  The loyal of heart, as in the midst he spake:
  "Odysseus, and all ye Achaean chiefs,
  This work for which ye crave will I perform—
  Yea, though they torture me, though into fire
  Living they thrust me; for mine heart is fixed
  Not to escape, but die by hands of foes,
  Except I crown with glory your desire."

  Stoutly he spake: right glad the Argives were;
  And one said: "How the Gods have given to-day
  High courage to this man! He hath not been
  Heretofore valiant. Heaven is kindling him
  To be the Trojans' ruin, but to us
  Salvation. Now full soon, I trow, we reach
  The goal of grievous war, so long unseen."

  So a voice murmured mid the Achaean host.
  Then, to stir up the heroes, Nestor cried:
  "Now is the time, dear sons, for courage and strength:
  Now do the Gods bring nigh the end of toil:
  Now give they victory to our longing hands.
  Come, bravely enter ye this cavernous Horse.
  For high renown attendeth courage high.
  Oh that my limbs were mighty as of old,
  When Aeson's son for heroes called, to man
  Swift Argo, when of the heroes foremost I
  Would gladly have entered her, but Pelias
  The king withheld me in my own despite.
  Ah me, but now the burden of years—O nay,
  As I were young, into the Horse will I
  Fearlessly! Glory and strength shall courage give."

  Answered him golden-haired Achilles' son:
  "Nestor, in wisdom art thou chief of men;
  But cruel age hath caught thee in his grip:
  No more thy strength may match thy gallant will;
  Therefore thou needs must unto Tenedos' strand.
  We will take ambush, we the youths, of strife
  Insatiate still, as thou, old sire, dost bid."

  Then strode the son of Neleus to his side,
  And kissed his hands, and kissed the head of him
  Who offered thus himself the first of all
  To enter that huge horse, being peril-fain,
  And bade the elder of days abide without.
  Then to the battle-eager spake the old:
  "Thy father's son art thou! Achilles' might
  And chivalrous speech be here! O, sure am I
  That by thine hands the Argives shall destroy
  The stately city of Priam. At the last,
  After long travail, glory shall be ours,
  Ours, after toil and tribulation of war;
  The Gods have laid tribulation at men's feet
  But happiness far off, and toil between:
  Therefore for men full easy is the path
  To ruin, and the path to fame is hard,
  Where feet must press right on through painful toil."

  He spake: replied Achilles' glorious son:
  "Old sire, as thine heart trusteth, be it vouchsafed
  In answer to our prayers; for best were this:
  But if the Gods will otherwise, be it so.
  Ay, gladlier would I fall with glory in fight
  Than flee from Troy, bowed 'neath a load of shame."

  Then in his sire's celestial arms he arrayed
  His shoulders; and with speed in harness sheathed
  Stood the most mighty heroes, in whose healers
  Was dauntless spirit. Tell, ye Queens of Song,
  Now man by man the names of all that passed
  Into the cavernous Horse; for ye inspired
  My soul with all my song, long ere my cheek
  Grew dark with manhood's beard, what time I fed
  My goodly sheep on Smyrna's pasture-lea,
  From Hermus thrice so far as one may hear
  A man's shout, by the fane of Artemis,
  In the Deliverer's Grove, upon a hill
  Neither exceeding low nor passing high.

  Into that cavernous Horse Achilles' son
  First entered, strong Menelaus followed then,
  Odysseus, Sthenelus, godlike Diomede,
  Philoctetes and Menestheus, Anticlus,
  Thoas and Polypoetes golden-haired,
  Aias, Eurypylus, godlike Thrasymede,
  Idomeneus, Meriones, far-famous twain,
  Podaleirius of spears, Eurymachus,
  Teucer the godlike, fierce Ialmenus,
  Thalpius, Antimachus, Leonteus staunch,
  Eumelus, and Euryalus fair as a God,
  Amphimachus, Demophoon, Agapenor,
  Akamas, Meges stalwart Phyleus' son—
  Yea, more, even all their chiefest, entered in,
  So many as that carven Horse could hold.
  Godlike Epeius last of all passed in,
  The fashioner of the Horse; in his breast lay
  The secret of the opening of its doors
  And of their closing: therefore last of all
  He entered, and he drew the ladders up
  Whereby they clomb: then made he all secure,
  And set himself beside the bolt. So all
  In silence sat 'twixt victory and death.

  But the rest fired the tents, wherein erewhile
  They slept, and sailed the wide sea in their ships.
  Two mighty-hearted captains ordered these,
  Nestor and Agamemnon lord of spears.
  Fain had they also entered that great Horse,
  But all the host withheld them, bidding stay
  With them a-shipboard, ordering their array:
  For men far better work the works of war
  When their kings oversee them; therefore these
  Abode without, albeit mighty men.
  So came they swiftly unto Tenedos' shore,
  And dropped the anchor-stones, then leapt in haste
  Forth of the ships, and silent waited there
  Keen-watching till the signal-torch should flash.

  But nigh the foe were they in the Horse, and now
  Looked they for death, and now to smite the town;
  And on their hopes and fears uprose the dawn.

  Then marked the Trojans upon Hellespont's strand
  The smoke upleaping yet through air: no more
  Saw they the ships which brought to them from Greece
  Destruction dire. With joy to the shore they ran,
  But armed them first, for fear still haunted them
  Then marked they that fair-carven Horse, and stood
  Marvelling round, for a mighty work was there.
  A hapless-seeming man thereby they spied,
  Sinon; and this one, that one questioned him
  Touching the Danaans, as in a great ring
  They compassed him, and with unangry words
  First questioned, then with terrible threatenings.
  Then tortured they that man of guileful soul
  Long time unceasing. Firm as a rock abode
  The unquivering limbs, the unconquerable will.
  His ears, his nose, at last they shore away
  In every wise tormenting him, until
  He should declare the truth, whither were gone
  The Danaans in their ships, what thing the Horse
  Concealed within it. He had armed his mind
  With resolution, and of outrage foul
  Recked not; his soul endured their cruel stripes,
  Yea, and the bitter torment of the fire;
  For strong endurance into him Hera breathed;
  And still he told them the same guileful tale:
  "The Argives in their ships flee oversea
  Weary of tribulation of endless war.
  This horse by Calchas' counsel fashioned they
  For wise Athena, to propitiate
  Her stern wrath for that guardian image stol'n
  From Troy. And by Odysseus' prompting I
  Was marked for slaughter, to be sacrificed
  To the sea-powers, beside the moaning waves,
  To win them safe return. But their intent
  I marked; and ere they spilt the drops of wine,
  And sprinkled hallowed meal upon mine head,
  Swiftly I fled, and, by the help of Heaven,
  I flung me down, clasping the Horse's feet;
  And they, sore loth, perforce must leave me there
  Dreading great Zeus's daughter mighty-souled."

  In subtlety so he spake, his soul untamed
  By pain; for a brave man's part is to endure
  To the uttermost. And of the Trojans some
  Believed him, others for a wily knave
  Held him, of whose mind was Laocoon.
  Wisely he spake: "A deadly fraud is this,"
  He said, "devised by the Achaean chiefs!"
  And cried to all straightway to burn the Horse,
  And know if aught within its timbers lurked.

  Yea, and they had obeyed him, and had 'scaped
  Destruction; but Athena, fiercely wroth
  With him, the Trojans, and their city, shook
  Earth's deep foundations 'neath Laocoon's feet.
  Straight terror fell on him, and trembling bowed
  The knees of the presumptuous: round his head
  Horror of darkness poured; a sharp pang thrilled
  His eyelids; swam his eyes beneath his brows;
  His eyeballs, stabbed with bitter anguish, throbbed
  Even from the roots, and rolled in frenzy of pain.
  Clear through his brain the bitter torment pierced
  Even to the filmy inner veil thereof;
  Now bloodshot were his eyes, now ghastly green;
  Anon with rheum they ran, as pours a stream
  Down from a rugged crag, with thawing snow
  Made turbid. As a man distraught he seemed:
  All things he saw showed double, and he groaned
  Fearfully; yet he ceased not to exhort
  The men of Troy, and recked not of his pain.
  Then did the Goddess strike him utterly blind.
  Stared his fixed eyeballs white from pits of blood;
  And all folk groaned for pity of their friend,
  And dread of the Prey-giver, lest he had sinned
  In folly against her, and his mind was thus
  Warped to destruction yea, lest on themselves
  Like judgment should be visited, to avenge
  The outrage done to hapless Sinon's flesh,
  Whereby they hoped to wring the truth from him.
  So led they him in friendly wise to Troy,
  Pitying him at the last. Then gathered all,
  And o'er that huge Horse hastily cast a rope,
  And made it fast above; for under its feet
  Smooth wooden rollers had Epeius laid,
  That, dragged by Trojan hands, it might glide on
  Into their fortress. One and all they haled
  With multitudinous tug and strain, as when
  Down to the sea young men sore-labouring drag
  A ship; hard-crushed the stubborn rollers groan,
  As, sliding with weird shrieks, the keel descends
  Into the sea-surge; so that host with toil
  Dragged up unto their city their own doom,
  Epeius' work. With great festoons of flowers
  They hung it, and their own heads did they wreathe,
  While answering each other pealed the flutes.
  Grimly Enyo laughed, seeing the end
  Of that dire war; Hera rejoiced on high;
  Glad was Athena. When the Trojans came
  Unto their city, brake they down the walls,
  Their city's coronal, that the Horse of Death
  Might be led in. Troy's daughters greeted it
  With shouts of salutation; marvelling all
  Gazed at the mighty work where lurked their doom.

  But still Laocoon ceased not to exhort
  His countrymen to burn the Horse with fire:
  They would not hear, for dread of the Gods' wrath.
  But then a yet more hideous punishment
  Athena visited on his hapless sons.
  A cave there was, beneath a rugged cliff
  Exceeding high, unscalable, wherein
  Dwelt fearful monsters of the deadly brood
  Of Typhon, in the rock-clefts of the isle
  Calydna that looks Troyward from the sea.
  Thence stirred she up the strength of serpents twain,
  And summoned them to Troy. By her uproused
  They shook the island as with earthquake: roared
  The sea; the waves disparted as they came.
  Onward they swept with fearful-flickering tongues:
  Shuddered the very monsters of the deep:
  Xanthus' and Simois' daughters moaned aloud,
  The River-nymphs: the Cyprian Queen looked down
  In anguish from Olympus. Swiftly they came
  Whither the Goddess sped them: with grim jaws
  Whetting their deadly fangs, on his hapless sons
  Sprang they. All Trojans panic-stricken fled,
  Seeing those fearsome dragons in their town.
  No man, though ne'er so dauntless theretofore,
  Dared tarry; ghastly dread laid hold on all
  Shrinking in horror from the monsters. Screamed
  The women; yea, the mother forgat her child,
  Fear-frenzied as she fled: all Troy became
  One shriek of fleers, one huddle of jostling limbs:
  The streets were choked with cowering fugitives.
  Alone was left Laocoon with his sons,
  For death's doom and the Goddess chained their feet.
  Then, even as from destruction shrank the lads,
  Those deadly fangs had seized and ravined up
  The twain, outstretching to their sightless sire
  Agonized hands: no power to help had he.
  Trojans far off looked on from every side
  Weeping, all dazed. And, having now fulfilled
  Upon the Trojans Pallas' awful hest,
  Those monsters vanished 'neath the earth; and still
  Stands their memorial, where into the fane
  They entered of Apollo in Pergamus
  The hallowed. Therebefore the sons of Troy
  Gathered, and reared a cenotaph for those
  Who miserably had perished. Over it
  Their father from his blind eyes rained the tears:
  Over the empty tomb their mother shrieked,
  Boding the while yet worse things, wailing o'er
  The ruin wrought by folly of her lord,
  Dreading the anger of the Blessed Ones.
  As when around her void nest in a brake
  In sorest anguish moans the nightingale
  Whose fledglings, ere they learned her plaintive song,
  A hideous serpent's fangs have done to death,
  And left the mother anguish, endless woe,
  And bootless crying round her desolate home;
  So groaned she for her children's wretched death,
  So moaned she o'er the void tomb; and her pangs
  Were sharpened by her lord's plight stricken blind.

  While she for children and for husband moaned—
  These slain, he of the sun's light portionless—
  The Trojans to the Immortals sacrificed,
  Pouring the wine. Their hearts beat high with hope
  To escape the weary stress of woeful war.
  Howbeit the victims burned not, and the flames
  Died out, as though 'neath heavy-hissing rain;
  And writhed the smoke-wreaths blood-red, and the thighs
  Quivering from crumbling altars fell to earth.
  Drink-offerings turned to blood, Gods' statues wept,
  And temple-walls dripped gore: along them rolled
  Echoes of groaning out of depths unseen;
  And all the long walls shuddered: from the towers
  Came quick sharp sounds like cries of men in pain;
  And, weirdly shrieking, of themselves slid back
  The gate-bolts. Screaming "Desolation!" wailed
  The birds of night. Above that God-built burg
  A mist palled every star; and yet no cloud
  Was in the flashing heavens. By Phoebus' fane
  Withered the bays that erst were lush and green.
  Wolves and foul-feeding jackals came and howled
  Within the gates. Ay, other signs untold
  Appeared, portending woe to Dardanus' sons
  And Troy: yet no fear touched the Trojans' hearts
  Who saw all through the town those portents dire:
  Fate crazed them all, that midst their revelling
  Slain by their foes they might fill up their doom.

  One heart was steadfast, and one soul clear-eyed,
  Cassandra. Never her words were unfulfilled;
  Yet was their utter truth, by Fate's decree,
  Ever as idle wind in the hearers' ears,
  That no bar to Troy's ruin might be set.
  She saw those evil portents all through Troy
  Conspiring to one end; loud rang her cry,
  As roars a lioness that mid the brakes
  A hunter has stabbed or shot, whereat her heart
  Maddens, and down the long hills rolls her roar,
  And her might waxes tenfold; so with heart
  Aflame with prophecy came she forth her bower.
  Over her snowy shoulders tossed her hair
  Streaming far down, and wildly blazed her eyes.
  Her neck writhed, like a sapling in the wind
  Shaken, as moaned and shrieked that noble maid:
  "O wretches! into the Land of Darkness now
  We are passing; for all round us full of fire
  And blood and dismal moan the city is.
  Everywhere portents of calamity
  Gods show: destruction yawns before your feet.
  Fools! ye know not your doom: still ye rejoice
  With one consent in madness, who to Troy
  Have brought the Argive Horse where ruin lurks!
  Oh, ye believe not me, though ne'er so loud
  I cry! The Erinyes and the ruthless Fates,
  For Helen's spousals madly wroth, through Troy
  Dart on wild wings. And ye, ye are banqueting there
  In your last feast, on meats befouled with gore,
  When now your feet are on the Path of Ghosts!"

  Then cried a scoffing voice an ominous word:
  "Why doth a raving tongue of evil speech,
  Daughter of Priam, make thy lips to cry
  Words empty as wind? No maiden modesty
  With purity veils thee: thou art compassed round
  With ruinous madness; therefore all men scorn
  Thee, babbler! Hence, thine evil bodings speak
  To the Argives and thyself! For thee doth wait
  Anguish and shame yet bitterer than befell
  Presumptuous Laocoon. Shame it were
  In folly to destroy the Immortals' gift."

  So scoffed a Trojan: others in like sort
  Cried shame on her, and said she spake but lies,
  Saying that ruin and Fate's heavy stroke
  Were hard at hand. They knew not their own doom,
  And mocked, and thrust her back from that huge Horse
  For fain she was to smite its beams apart,
  Or burn with ravening fire. She snatched a brand
  Of blazing pine-wood from the hearth and ran
  In fury: in the other hand she bare
  A two-edged halberd: on that Horse of Doom
  She rushed, to cause the Trojans to behold
  With their own eyes the ambush hidden there.
  But straightway from her hands they plucked and flung
  Afar the fire and steel, and careless turned
  To the feast; for darkened o'er them their last night.
  Within the horse the Argives joyed to hear
  The uproar of Troy's feasters setting at naught
  Cassandra, but they marvelled that she knew
  So well the Achaeans' purpose and device.

  As mid the hills a furious pantheress,
  Which from the steading hounds and shepherd-folk
  Drive with fierce rush, with savage heart turns back
  Even in departing, galled albeit by darts:
  So from the great Horse fled she, anguish-racked
  For Troy, for all the ruin she foreknew.


How Troy in the night was taken and sacked with fire and slaughter.

  So feasted they through Troy, and in their midst
  Loud pealed the flutes and pipes: on every hand
  Were song and dance, laughter and cries confused
  Of banqueters beside the meats and wine.
  They, lifting in their hands the beakers brimmed,
  Recklessly drank, till heavy of brain they grew,
  Till rolled their fluctuant eyes. Now and again
  Some mouth would babble the drunkard's broken words.
  The household gear, the very roof and walls
  Seemed as they rocked: all things they looked on seemed
  Whirled in wild dance. About their eyes a veil
  Of mist dropped, for the drunkard's sight is dimmed,
  And the wit dulled, when rise the fumes to the brain:
  And thus a heavy-headed feaster cried:
  "For naught the Danaans mustered that great host
  Hither! Fools, they have wrought not their intent,
  But with hopes unaccomplished from our town
  Like silly boys or women have they fled."

  So cried a Trojan wit-befogged with wine,
  Fool, nor discerned destruction at the doors.

  When sleep had locked his fetters everywhere
  Through Troy on folk fulfilled of wine and meat,
  Then Sinon lifted high a blazing torch
  To show the Argive men the splendour of fire.
  But fearfully the while his heart beat, lest
  The men of Troy might see it, and the plot
  Be suddenly revealed. But on their beds
  Sleeping their last sleep lay they, heavy with wine.
  The host saw, and from Tenedos set sail.

  Then nigh the Horse drew Sinon: softly he called,
  Full softly, that no man of Troy might hear,
  But only Achaea's chiefs, far from whose eyes
  Sleep hovered, so athirst were they for fight.
  They heard, and to Odysseus all inclined
  Their ears: he bade them urgently go forth
  Softly and fearlessly; and they obeyed
  That battle-summons, pressing in hot haste
  To leap to earth: but in his subtlety
  He stayed them from all thrusting eagerly forth.
  But first himself with swift unfaltering hands,
  Helped of Epeius, here and there unbarred
  The ribs of the Horse of beams: above the planks
  A little he raised his head, and gazed around
  On all sides, if he haply might descry
  One Trojan waking yet. As when a wolf,
  With hunger stung to the heart, comes from the hills,
  And ravenous for flesh draws nigh the flock
  Penned in the wide fold, slinking past the men
  And dogs that watch, all keen to ward the sheep,
  Then o'er the fold-wall leaps with soundless feet;
  So stole Odysseus down from the Horse: with him
  Followed the war-fain lords of Hellas' League,
  Orderly stepping down the ladders, which
  Epeius framed for paths of mighty men,
  For entering and for passing forth the Horse,
  Who down them now on this side, that side, streamed
  As fearless wasps startled by stroke of axe
  In angry mood pour all together forth
  From the tree-bole, at sound of woodman's blow;
  So battle-kindled forth the Horse they poured
  Into the midst of that strong city of Troy
  With hearts that leapt expectant. [With swift hands
  Snatched they the brands from dying hearths, and fired
  Temple and palace. Onward then to the gates
  Sped they,] and swiftly slew the slumbering guards,
  [Then held the gate-towers till their friends should come.]
  Fast rowed the host the while; on swept the ships
  Over the great flood: Thetis made their paths
  Straight, and behind them sent a driving wind
  Speeding them, and the hearts Achaean glowed.
  Swiftly to Hellespont's shore they came, and there
  Beached they the keels again, and deftly dealt
  With whatso tackling appertains to ships.
  Then leapt they aland, and hasted on to Troy
  Silent as sheep that hurry to the fold
  From woodland pasture on an autumn eve;
  So without sound of voices marched they on
  Unto the Trojans' fortress, eager all
  To help those mighty chiefs with foes begirt.
  Now these—as famished wolves fierce-glaring round
  Fall on a fold mid the long forest-hills,
  While sleeps the toil-worn watchman, and they rend
  The sheep on every hand within the wall
  In darkness, and all round [are heaped the slain;
  So these within the city smote and slew,
  As swarmed the awakened foe around them; yet,
  Fast as they slew, aye faster closed on them
  Those thousands, mad to thrust them from the gates.]
  Slipping in blood and stumbling o'er the dead
  [Their line reeled,] and destruction loomed o'er them,
  Though Danaan thousands near and nearer drew.

  But when the whole host reached the walls of Troy,
  Into the city of Priam, breathing rage
  Of fight, with reckless battle-lust they poured;
  And all that fortress found they full of war
  And slaughter, palaces, temples, horribly
  Blazing on all sides; glowed their hearts with joy.
  In deadly mood then charged they on the foe.
  Ares and fell Enyo maddened there:
  Blood ran in torrents, drenched was all the earth,
  As Trojans and their alien helpers died.
  Here were men lying quelled by bitter death
  All up and down the city in their blood;
  Others on them were falling, gasping forth
  Their life's strength; others, clutching in their hands
  Their bowels that looked through hideous gashes forth,
  Wandered in wretched plight around their homes:
  Others, whose feet, while yet asleep they lay,
  Had been hewn off, with groans unutterable
  Crawled mid the corpses. Some, who had rushed to fight,
  Lay now in dust, with hands and heads hewn off.
  Some were there, through whose backs, even as they fled,
  The spear had passed, clear through to the breast, and some
  Whose waists the lance had pierced, impaling them
  Where sharpest stings the anguish-laden steel.
  And all about the city dolorous howls
  Of dogs uprose, and miserable moans
  Of strong men stricken to death; and every home
  With awful cries was echoing. Rang the shrieks
  Of women, like to screams of cranes, which see
  An eagle stooping on them from the sky,
  Which have no courage to resist, but scream
  Long terror-shrieks in dread of Zeus's bird;
  So here, so there the Trojan women wailed,
  Some starting from their sleep, some to the ground
  Leaping: they thought not in that agony
  Of robe and zone; in naught but tunics clad
  Distraught they wandered: others found nor veil
  Nor cloak to cast about them, but, as came
  Onward their foes, they stood with beating hearts
  Trembling, as lettered by despair, essaying,
  All-hapless, with their hands alone to hide
  Their nakedness. And some in frenzy of woe:
  Their tresses tore, and beat their breasts, and screamed.
  Others against that stormy torrent of foes
  Recklessly rushed, insensible of fear,
  Through mad desire to aid the perishing,
  Husbands or children; for despair had given
  High courage. Shrieks had startled from their sleep
  Soft little babes whose hearts had never known
  Trouble—and there one with another lay
  Gasping their lives out! Some there were whose dreams
  Changed to a sudden vision of doom. All round
  The fell Fates gloated horribly o'er the slain.
  And even as swine be slaughtered in the court
  Of a rich king who makes his folk a feast,
  So without number were they slain. The wine
  Left in the mixing-bowls was blent with blood
  Gruesomely. No man bare a sword unstained
  With murder of defenceless folk of Troy,
  Though he were but a weakling in fair fight.
  And as by wolves or jackals sheep are torn,
  What time the furnace-breath of midnoon-heat
  Darts down, and all the flock beneath the shade
  Are crowded, and the shepherd is not there,
  But to the homestead bears afar their milk;
  And the fierce brutes leap on them, tear their throats,
  Gorge to the full their ravenous maws, and then
  Lap the dark blood, and linger still to slay
  All in mere lust of slaughter, and provide
  An evil banquet for that shepherd-lord;
  So through the city of Priam Danaans slew
  One after other in that last fight of all.
  No Trojan there was woundless, all men's limbs
  With blood in torrents spilt were darkly dashed.

  Nor seetheless were the Danaans in the fray:
  With beakers some were smitten, with tables some,
  Thrust in the eyes of some were burning brands
  Snatched from the hearth; some died transfixed with spits
  Yet left within the hot flesh of the swine
  Whereon the red breath of the Fire-god beat;
  Others struck down by bills and axes keen
  Gasped in their blood: from some men's hands were shorn
  The fingers, who, in wild hope to escape
  The imminent death, had clutched the blades of swords.
  And here in that dark tumult one had hurled
  A stone, and crushed the crown of a friend's head.
  Like wild beasts trapped and stabbed within a fold
  On a lone steading, frenziedly they fought,
  Mad with despair-enkindled rage, beneath
  That night of horror. Hot with battle-lust
  Here, there, the fighters rushed and hurried through
  The palace of Priam. Many an Argive fell
  Spear-slain; for whatso Trojan in his halls
  Might seize a sword, might lift a spear in hand,
  Slew foes—ay, heavy though he were with wine.

  Upflashed a glare unearthly through the town,
  For many an Argive bare in hand a torch
  To know in that dim battle friends from foes.

  Then Tydeus' son amid the war-storm met
  Spearman Coroebus, lordly Mygdon's son,
  And 'neath the left ribs pierced him with the lance
  Where run the life-ways of man's meat and drink;
  So met him black death borne upon the spear:
  Down in dark blood he fell mid hosts of slain.
  Ah fool! the bride he won not, Priam's child
  Cassandra, yea, his loveliest, for whose sake
  To Priam's burg but yesterday he came,
  And vaunted he would thrust the Argives back
  From Ilium. Never did the Gods fulfil
  His hope: the Fates hurled doom upon his head.
  With him the slayer laid Eurydamas low,
  Antenor's gallant son-in-law, who most
  For prudence was pre-eminent in Troy.
  Then met he Ilioneus the elder of days,
  And flashed his terrible sword forth. All the limbs
  Of that grey sire were palsied with his fear:
  He put forth trembling hands, with one he caught
  The swift avenging sword, with one he clasped
  The hero's knees. Despite his fury of war,
  A moment paused his wrath, or haply a God
  Held back the sword a space, that that old man
  Might speak to his fierce foe one word of prayer.
  Piteously cried he, terror-overwhelmed:
  "I kneel before thee, whosoe'er thou be
  Of mighty Argives. Oh compassionate
  My suppliant hands! Abate thy wrath! To slay
  The young and valiant is a glorious thing;
  But if thou smite an old man, small renown
  Waits on thy prowess. Therefore turn from me
  Thine hands against young men, if thou dost hope
  Ever to come to grey hairs such as mine."

  So spake he; but replied strong Tydeus' son:
  "Old man, I look to attain to honoured age;
  But while my Strength yet waxeth, will not I
  Spare any foe, but hurl to Hades all.
  The brave man makes an end of every foe."

  Then through his throat that terrible warrior drave
  The deadly blade, and thrust it straight to where
  The paths of man's life lead by swiftest way
  Blood-paved to doom: death palsied his poor strength
  By Diomedes' hands. Thence rushed he on
  Slaying the Trojans, storming in his might
  All through their fortress: pierced by his long spear
  Eurycoon fell, Perimnestor's son renowned.
  Amphimedon Aias slew: Agamemnon smote
  Damastor's son: Idomeneus struck down
  Mimas: by Meges Deiopites died.

  Achilles' son with his resistless lance
  Smote godlike Pammon; then his javelin pierced
  Polites in mid-rush: Antiphonus
  Dead upon these he laid, all Priam's sons.
  Agenor faced him in the fight, and fell:
  Hero on hero slew he; everywhere
  Stalked at his side Death's black doom manifest:
  Clad in his sire's might, whomso he met he slew.
  Last, on Troy's king in murderous mood he came.
  By Zeus the Hearth-lord's altar. Seeing him,
  Old Priam knew him and quaked not; for he longed
  Himself to lay his life down midst his sons;
  And craving death to Achilles' seed he spake:
  "Fierce-hearted son of Achilles strong in war,
  Slay me, and pity not my misery.
  I have no will to see the sun's light more,
  Who have suffered woes so many and so dread.
  With my sons would I die, and so forget
  Anguish and horror of war. Oh that thy sire
  Had slain me, ere mine eyes beheld aflame
  Illium, had slain me when I brought to him
  Ransom for Hector, whom thy father slew.
  He spared me—so the Fates had spun my thread
  Of destiny. But thou, glut with my blood
  Thy fierce heart, and let me forget my pain."
  Answered Achilles' battle-eager son:
  "Fain am I, yea, in haste to grant thy prayer.
  A foe like thee will I not leave alive;
  For naught is dearer unto men than life."

  With one stroke swept he off that hoary head
  Lightly as when a reaper lops an ear
  In a parched cornfield at the harvest-tide.
  With lips yet murmuring low it rolled afar
  From where with quivering limbs the body lay
  Amidst dark-purple blood and slaughtered men.
  So lay he, chiefest once of all the world
  In lineage, wealth, in many and goodly sons.
  Ah me, not long abides the honour of man,
  But shame from unseen ambush leaps on him
  So clutched him Doom, so he forgat his woes.

  Yea, also did those Danaan car-lords hurl
  From a high tower the babe Astyanax,
  Dashing him out of life. They tore the child
  Out of his mother's arms, in wrathful hate
  Of Hector, who in life had dealt to them
  Such havoc; therefore hated they his seed,
  And down from that high rampart flung his child—
  A wordless babe that nothing knew of war!
  As when amid the mountains hungry wolves
  Chase from the mother's side a suckling calf,
  And with malignant cunning drive it o'er
  An echoing cliffs edge, while runs to and fro
  Its dam with long moans mourning her dear child,
  And a new evil followeth hard on her,
  For suddenly lions seize her for a prey;
  So, as she agonized for her son, the foe
  To bondage haled with other captive thralls
  That shrieking daughter of King Eetion.
  Then, as on those three fearful deaths she thought
  Of husband, child, and father, Andromaehe
  Longed sore to die. Yea, for the royally-born
  Better it is to die in war, than do
  The service of the thrall to baser folk.
  All piteously the broken-hearted cried:
  "Oh hurl my body also from the wall,
  Or down the cliff, or cast me midst the fire,
  Ye Argives! Woes are mine unutterable!
  For Peleus' son smote down my noble father
  In Thebe, and in Troy mine husband slew,
  Who unto me was all mine heart's desire,
  Who left me in mine halls one little child,
  My darling and my pride—of all mine hopes
  In him fell merciless Fate hath cheated me!
  Oh therefore thrust this broken-hearted one
  Now out of life! Hale me not overseas
  Mingled with spear-thralls; for my soul henceforth
  Hath no more pleasure in life, since God hath slain
  My nearest and my dearest! For me waits
  Trouble and anguish and lone homelessness!"

  So cried she, longing for the grave; for vile
  Is life to them whose glory is swallowed up
  Of shame: a horror is the scorn of men.
  But, spite her prayers, to thraldom dragged they her.

  In all the homes of Troy lay dying men,
  And rose from all a lamentable cry,
  Save only Antenor's halls; for unto him
  The Argives rendered hospitality's debt,
  For that in time past had his roof received
  And sheltered godlike Menelaus, when
  He with Odysseus came to claim his own.
  Therefore the mighty sons of Achaea showed
  Grace to him, as to a friend, and spared his life
  And substance, fearing Themis who seeth all.

  Then also princely Anchises' noble son—
  Hard had he fought through Priam's burg that night
  With spear and valour, and many had he slain—
  When now he saw the city set aflame
  By hands of foes, saw her folk perishing
  In multitudes, her treasures spoiled, her wives
  And children dragged to thraldom from their homes,
  No more he hoped to see the stately walls
  Of his birth-city, but bethought him now
  How from that mighty ruin to escape.
  And as the helmsman of a ship, who toils
  On the deep sea, and matches all his craft
  Against the winds and waves from every side
  Rushing against him in the stormy time,
  Forspent at last, both hand and heart, when now
  The ship is foundering in the surge, forsakes
  The helm, to launch forth in a little boat,
  And heeds no longer ship and lading; so
  Anchises' gallant son forsook the town
  And left her to her foes, a sea of fire.
  His son and father alone he snatched from death;
  The old man broken down with years he set
  On his broad shoulders with his own strong hands,
  And led the young child by his small soft hand,
  Whose little footsteps lightly touched the ground;
  And, as he quaked to see that work of deaths
  His father led him through the roar of fight,
  And clinging hung on him the tender child,
  Tears down his soft cheeks streaming. But the man
  O'er many a body sprang with hurrying feet,
  And in the darkness in his own despite
  Trampled on many. Cypris guided them,
  Earnest to save from that wild ruin her son,
  His father, and his child. As on he pressed,
  The flames gave back before him everywhere:
  The blast of the Fire-god's breath to right and left
  Was cloven asunder. Spears and javelins hurled
  Against him by the Achaeans harmless fell.
  Also, to stay them, Calchas cried aloud:
  "Forbear against Aeneas' noble head
  To hurl the bitter dart, the deadly spear!
  Fated he is by the high Gods' decree
  To pass from Xanthus, and by Tiber's flood
  To found a city holy and glorious
  Through all time, and to rule o'er tribes of men
  Far-sundered. Of his seed shall lords of earth
  Rule from the rising to the setting sun.
  Yea, with the Immortals ever shall he dwell,
  Who is son of Aphrodite lovely-tressed.
  From him too is it meet we hold our hands
  Because he hath preferred his father and son
  To gold, to all things that might profit a man
  Who fleeth exiled to an alien land.
  This one night hath revealed to us a man
  Faithful to death to his father and his child."

  Then hearkened they, and as a God did all
  Look on him. Forth the city hasted he
  Whither his feet should bear him, while the foe
  Made havoc still of goodly-builded Troy.

  Then also Menelaus in Helen's bower
  Found, heavy with wine, ill-starred Deiphobus,
  And slew him with the sword: but she had fled
  And hidden her in the palace. O'er the blood
  Of that slain man exulted he, and cried:
  "Dog! I, even I have dealt thee unwelcome death
  This day! No dawn divine shall meet thee again
  Alive in Troy—ay, though thou vaunt thyself
  Spouse of the child of Zeus the thunder-voiced!
  Black death hath trapped thee slain in my wife's bower!
  Would I had met Alexander too in fight
  Ere this, and plucked his heart out! So my grief
  Had been a lighter load. But he hath paid
  Already justice' debt, hath passed beneath
  Death's cold dark shadow. Ha, small joy to thee
  My wife was doomed to bring! Ay, wicked men
  Never elude pure Themis: night and day
  Her eyes are on them, and the wide world through
  Above the tribes of men she floats in air,
  Holpen of Zeus, for punishment of sin."

  On passed he, dealing merciless death to foes,
  For maddened was his soul with jealousy.
  Against the Trojans was his bold heart full
  Of thoughts of vengeance, which were now fulfilled
  By the dread Goddess Justice, for that theirs
  Was that first outrage touching Helen, theirs
  That profanation of the oaths, and theirs
  That trampling on the blood of sacrifice
  When their presumptuous souls forgat the Gods.
  Therefore the Vengeance-friends brought woes on them
  Thereafter, and some died in fighting field,
  Some now in Troy by board and bridal bower.

  Menelaus mid the inner chambers found
  At last his wife, there cowering from the wrath
  Of her bold-hearted lord. He glared on her,
  Hungering to slay her in his jealous rage.
  But winsome Aphrodite curbed him, struck
  Out of his hand the sword, his onrush reined,
  Jealousy's dark cloud swept she away, and stirred
  Love's deep sweet well-springs in his heart and eyes.
  Swept o'er him strange amazement: powerless all
  Was he to lift the sword against her neck,
  Seeing her splendour of beauty. Like a stock
  Of dead wood in a mountain forest, which
  No swiftly-rushing blasts of north-winds shake,
  Nor fury of south-winds ever, so he stood,
  So dazed abode long time. All his great strength
  Was broken, as he looked upon his wife.
  And suddenly had he forgotten all
  Yea, all her sins against her spousal-troth;
  For Aphrodite made all fade away,
  She who subdueth all immortal hearts
  And mortal. Yet even so he lifted up
  From earth his sword, and made as he would rush
  Upon his wife but other was his intent,
  Even as he sprang: he did but feign, to cheat
  Achaean eyes. Then did his brother stay
  His fury, and spake with pacifying words,
  Fearing lest all they had toiled for should be lost:
  "Forbear wrath, Menelaus, now: 'twere shame
  To slay thy wedded wife, for whose sake we
  Have suffered much affliction, while we sought
  Vengeance on Priam. Not, as thou dost deem,
  Was Helen's the sin, but his who set at naught
  The Guest-lord, and thine hospitable board;
  So with death-pangs hath God requited him."

  Then hearkened Menelaus to his rede.
  But the Gods, palled in dark clouds, mourned for Troy,
  A ruined glory save fair-tressed Tritonis
  And Hera: their hearts triumphed, when they saw
  The burg of god-descended Priam destroyed.
  Yet not the wise heart Trito-born herself
  Was wholly tearless; for within her fane
  Outraged Cassandra was of Oileus son
  Lust-maddened. But grim vengeance upon him
  Ere long the Goddess wreaked, repaying insult
  With mortal sufferance. Yea, she would not look
  Upon the infamy, but clad herself
  With shame and wrath as with a cloak: she turned
  Her stern eyes to the temple-roof, and groaned
  The holy image, and the hallowed floor
  Quaked mightily. Yet did he not forbear
  His mad sin, for his soul was lust-distraught.

  Here, there, on all sides crumbled flaming homes
  In ruin down: scorched dust with smoke was blent:
  Trembled the streets to the awful thunderous crash.
  Here burned Aeneas' palace, yonder flamed
  Antimachus' halls: one furnace was the height
  Of fair-built Pergamus; flames were roaring round
  Apollo's temple, round Athena's fane,
  And round the Hearth-lord's altar: flames licked up
  Fair chambers of the sons' sons of a king;
  And all the city sank down into hell.

  Of Trojans some by Argos' sons were slain,
  Some by their own roofs crashing down in fire,
  Giving at once in death and tomb to them:
  Some in their own throats plunged the steel, when foes
  And fire were in the porch together seen:
  Some slew their wives and children, and flung themselves
  Dead on them, when despair had done its work
  Of horror. One, who deemed the foe afar,
  Caught up a vase, and, fain to quench the flame,
  Hasted for water. Leapt unmarked on him
  An Argive, and his spirit, heavy with wine,
  Was thrust forth from the body by the spear.
  Clashed the void vase above him, as he fell
  Backward within the house. As through his hall
  Another fled, the burning roof-beam crashed
  Down on his head, and swift death came with it.
  And many women, as in frenzied flight
  They rushed forth, suddenly remembered babes
  Left in their beds beneath those burning roofs:
  With wild feet sped they back—the house fell in
  Upon them, and they perished, mother and child.
  Horses and dogs in panic through the town
  Fled from the flames, trampling beneath their feet
  The dead, and dashing into living men
  To their sore hurt. Shrieks rang through all the town.
  In through his blazing porchway rushed a man
  To rescue wife and child. Through smoke and flame
  Blindly he groped, and perished while he cried
  Their names, and pitiless doom slew those within.

  The fire-glow upward mounted to the sky,
  The red glare o'er the firmament spread its wings,
  And all the tribes of folk that dwelt around
  Beheld it, far as Ida's mountain-crests,
  And sea-girt Tenedos, and Thracian Samos.
  And men that voyaged on the deep sea cried:
  "The Argives have achieved their mighty task
  After long toil for star-eyed Helen's sake.
  All Troy, the once queen-city, burns in fire:
  For all their prayers, no God defends them now;
  For strong Fate oversees all works of men,
  And the renownless and obscure to fame
  She raises, and brings low the exalted ones.
  Oft out of good is evil brought, and good
  From evil, mid the travail and change of life."

  So spake they, who from far beheld the glare
  Of Troy's great burning. Compassed were her folk
  With wailing misery: through her streets the foe
  Exulted, as when madding blasts turmoil
  The boundless sea, what time the Altar ascends
  To heaven's star-pavement, turned to the misty south
  Overagainst Arcturus tempest-breathed,
  And with its rising leap the wild winds forth,
  And ships full many are whelmed 'neath ravening seas;
  Wild as those stormy winds Achaea's sons
  Ravaged steep Ilium while she burned in flame.
  As when a mountain clothed with shaggy woods
  Burns swiftly in a fire-blast winged with winds,
  And from her tall peaks goeth up a roar,
  And all the forest-children this way and that
  Rush through the wood, tormented by the flame;
  So were the Trojans perishing: there was none
  To save, of all the Gods. Round these were staked
  The nets of Fate, which no man can escape.

  Then were Demophoon and Acamas
  By mighty Theseus' mother Aethra met.
  Yearning to see them was she guided on
  To meet them by some Blessed One, the while
  'Wildered from war and fire she fled. They saw
  In that red glare a woman royal-tall,
  Imperial-moulded, and they weened that this
  Was Priam's queen, and with swift eagerness
  Laid hands on her, to lead her captive thence
  To the Danaans; but piteously she moaned:
  "Ah, do not, noble sons of warrior Greeks,
  To your ships hale me, as I were a foe!
  I am not of Trojan birth: of Danaans came
  My princely blood renowned. In Troezen's halls
  Pittheus begat me, Aegeus wedded me,
  And of my womb sprang Theseus glory-crowned.
  For great Zeus' sake, for your dear parents' sake,
  I pray you, if the seed of Theseus came
  Hither with Atreus' sons, O bring ye me
  Unto their yearning eyes. I trow they be
  Young men like you. My soul shall be refreshed
  If living I behold those chieftains twain."

  Hearkening to her they called their sire to mind,
  His deeds for Helen's sake, and how the sons
  Of Zeus the Thunderer in the old time smote
  Aphidnae, when, because these were but babes,
  Their nurses hid them far from peril of fight;
  And Aethra they remembered—all she endured
  Through wars, as mother-in-law at first, and thrall
  Thereafter of Helen. Dumb for joy were they,
  Till spake Demophoon to that wistful one:
  "Even now the Gods fulfil thine heart's desire:
  We whom thou seest are the sons of him,
  Thy noble son: thee shall our loving hands
  Bear to the ships: with joy to Hellas' soil
  Thee will we bring, where once thou wast a queen."

  Then his great father's mother clasped him round
  With clinging arms: she kissed his shoulders broad,
  His head, his breast, his bearded lips she kissed,
  And Acamas kissed withal, the while she shed
  Glad tears on these who could not choose but weep.
  As when one tarries long mid alien men,
  And folk report him dead, but suddenly
  He cometh home: his children see his face,
  And break into glad weeping; yea, and he,
  His arms around them, and their little heads
  Upon his shoulders, sobs: echoes the home
  With happy mourning's music-beating wings;
  So wept they with sweet sighs and sorrowless moans.

  Then, too, affliction-burdened Priam's child,
  Laodice, say they, stretched her hands to heaven,
  Praying the mighty Gods that earth might gape
  To swallow her, ere she defiled her hand
  With thralls' work; and a God gave ear, and rent
  Deep earth beneath her: so by Heaven's decree
  Did earth's abysmal chasm receive the maid
  In Troy's last hour. Electra's self withal,
  The Star-queen lovely-robed, shrouded her form
  In mist and cloud, and left the Pleiad-band,
  Her sisters, as the olden legend tells.
  Still riseth up in sight of toil-worn men
  Their bright troop in the skies; but she alone
  Hides viewless ever, since the hallowed town
  Of her son Dardanus in ruin fell,
  When Zeus most high from heaven could help her not,
  Because to Fate the might of Zeus must bow;
  And by the Immortals' purpose all these things
  Had come to pass, or by Fate's ordinance.

  Still on Troy's folk the Argives wreaked their wrath,
  And battle's issues Strife Incarnate held.


How the conquerors sailed from Troy unto judgment of tempest and shipwreck.

  Then rose from Ocean Dawn the golden-throned
  Up to the heavens; night into Chaos sank.
  And now the Argives spoiled fair-fenced Troy,
  And took her boundless treasures for a prey.
  Like river-torrents seemed they, that sweep down,
  By rain, floods swelled, in thunder from the hills,
  And seaward hurl tall trees and whatsoe'er
  Grows on the mountains, mingled with the wreck
  Of shattered cliff and crag; so the long lines
  Of Danaans who had wasted Troy with fire
  Seemed, streaming with her plunder to the ships.
  Troy's daughters therewithal in scattered bands
  They haled down seaward—virgins yet unwed,
  And new-made brides, and matrons silver-haired,
  And mothers from whose bosoms foes had torn
  Babes for the last time closing lips on breasts.

  Amidst of these Menelaus led his wife
  Forth of the burning city, having wrought
  A mighty triumph—joy and shame were his.
  Cassandra heavenly-fair was haled the prize
  Of Agamemnon: to Achilles' son
  Andromache had fallen: Hecuba
  Odysseus dragged unto his ship. The tears
  Poured from her eyes as water from a spring;
  Trembled her limbs, fear-frenzied was her heart;
  Rent were her hoary tresses and besprent
  With ashes of the hearth, cast by her hands
  When she saw Priam slain and Troy aflame.
  And aye she deeply groaned for thraldom's day
  That trapped her vainly loth. Each hero led
  A wailing Trojan woman to his ship.
  Here, there, uprose from these the wild lament,
  The woeful-mingling cries of mother and babe.
  As when with white-tusked swine the herdmen drive
  Their younglings from the hill-pens to the plain
  As winter closeth in, and evermore
  Each answereth each with mingled plaintive cries;
  So moaned Troy's daughters by their foes enslaved,
  Handmaid and queen made one in thraldom's lot.

  But Helen raised no lamentation: shame
  Sat on her dark-blue eyes, and cast its flush
  Over her lovely cheeks. Her heart beat hard
  With sore misgiving, lest, as to the ships
  She passed, the Achaeans might mishandle her.
  Therefore with fluttering soul she trembled sore;
  And, her head darkly mantled in her veil,
  Close-following trod she in her husband's steps,
  With cheek shame-crimsoned, like the Queen of Love,
  What time the Heaven-abiders saw her clasped
  In Ares' arms, shaming in sight of all
  The marriage-bed, trapped in the myriad-meshed
  Toils of Hephaestus: tangled there she lay
  In agony of shame, while thronged around
  The Blessed, and there stood Hephaestus' self:
  For fearful it is for wives to be beheld
  By husbands' eyes doing the deed of shame.
  Lovely as she in form and roseate blush
  Passed Helen mid the Trojan captives on
  To the Argive ships. But the folk all around
  Marvelled to see the glory of loveliness
  Of that all-flawless woman. No man dared
  Or secretly or openly to cast
  Reproach on her. As on a Goddess all
  Gazed on her with adoring wistful eyes.
  As when to wanderers on a stormy sea,
  After long time and passion of prayer, the sight
  Of fatherland is given; from deadly deeps
  Escaped, they stretch hands to her joyful-souled;
  So joyed the Danaans all, no man of them
  Remembered any more war's travail and pain.
  Such thoughts Cytherea stirred in them, for grace
  To Helen starry-eyed, and Zeus her sire.

  Then, when he saw that burg beloved destroyed,
  Xanthus, scarce drawing breath from bloody war,
  Mourned with his Nymphs for ruin fallen on Troy,
  Mourned for the city of Priam blotted out.
  As when hail lashes a field of ripened wheat,
  And beats it small, and smites off all the ears
  With merciless scourge, and levelled with the ground
  Are stalks, and on the earth is all the grain
  Woefully wasted, and the harvest's lord
  Is stricken with deadly grief; so Xanthus' soul
  Was utterly whelmed in grief for Ilium made
  A desolation; grief undying was his,
  Immortal though he was. Mourned Simois
  And long-ridged Ida: all who on Ida dwelt
  Wailed from afar the ruin of Priam's town.

  But with loud laughter of glee the Argives sought
  Their galleys, chanting the triumphant might
  Of victory, chanting now the Blessed Gods,
  Now their own valour, and Epeius' work
  Ever renowned. Their song soared up to heaven,
  Like multitudinous cries of daws, when breaks
  A day of sunny calm and windless air
  After a ruining storm: from their glad hearts
  So rose the joyful clamour, till the Gods
  Heard and rejoiced in heaven, all who had helped
  With willing hands the war-fain Argive men.
  But chafed those others which had aided Troy,
  Beholding Priam's city wrapped in flame,
  Yet powerless for her help to override
  Fate; for not Cronos' Son can stay the hand
  Of Destiny, whose might transcendeth all
  The Immortals, and Zeus sanctioneth all her deeds.

  The Argives on the flaming altar-wood
  Laid many thighs of oxen, and made haste
  To spill sweet wine on their burnt offerings,
  Thanking the Gods for that great work achieved.
  And loudly at the feast they sang the praise
  Of all the mailed men whom the Horse of Tree
  Had ambushed. Far-famed Sinon they extolled
  For that dire torment he endured of foes;
  Yea, song and honour-guerdons without end
  All rendered him: and that resolved soul
  Glad-hearted joyed for the Argives victory,
  And for his own misfeaturing sorrowed not.
  For to the wise and prudent man renown
  Is better far than gold, than goodlihead,
  Than all good things men have or hope to win.

  So, feasting by the ships all void of fear,
  Cried one to another ever and anon:
  "We have touched the goal of this long war, have won
  Glory, have smitten our foes and their great town!
  Now grant, O Zeus, to our prayers safe home-return!"
  But not to all the Sire vouchsafed return.

  Then rose a cunning harper in their midst.
  And sang the song of triumph and of peace
  Re-won, and with glad hearts untouched by care
  They heard; for no more fear of war had they,
  But of sweet toil of law-abiding days
  And blissful, fleeting hours henceforth they dreamed.
  All the War's Story in their eager ears
  He sang—how leagued peoples gathering met
  At hallowed Aulis—how the invincible strength
  Of Peleus' son smote fenced cities twelve
  In sea-raids, how he marched o'er leagues on leagues
  Of land, and spoiled eleven—all he wrought
  In fight with Telephus and Eetion—
  How he slew giant Cycnus—all the toil
  Of war that through Achilles' wrath befell
  The Achaeans—how he dragged dead Hector round
  His own Troy's wall, and how he slew in fight
  Penthesileia and Tithonus' son:—
  How Aias laid low Glaucus, lord of spears,
  Then sang he how the child of Aeacus' son
  Struck down Eurypylus, and how the shafts
  Of Philoctetes dealt to Paris death.
  Then the song named all heroes who passed in
  To ambush in the Horse of Guile, and hymned
  The fall of god-descended Priam's burg;
  The feast he sang last, and peace after war;
  Then many another, as they listed, sang.

  But when above those feasters midnight's stars
  Hung, ceased the Danaans from the feast and wine,
  And turned to sleep's forgetfulness of care,
  For that with yesterday's war-travail all
  Were wearied; wherefore they, who fain all night
  Had revelled, needs must cease: how loth soe'er,
  Sleep drew them thence; here, there, soft slumbered they.

  But in his tent Menelaus lovingly
  With bright-haired Helen spake; for on their eyes
  Sleep had not fallen yet. The Cyprian Queen
  Brooded above their souls, that olden love
  Might be renewed, and heart-ache chased away.

  Helen first brake the silence, and she said:
  "O Menelaus, be not wroth with me!
  Not of my will I left thy roof, thy bed,
  But Alexander and the sons of Troy
  Came upon me, and snatched away, when thou
  Wast far thence. Oftentimes did I essay
  By the death-noose to perish wretchedly,
  Or by the bitter sword; but still they stayed
  Mine hand, and still spake comfortable words
  To salve my grief for thee and my sweet child.
  For her sake, for the sake of olden love,
  And for thine own sake, I beseech thee now,
  Forget thy stern displeasure against thy wife."

  Answered her Menelaus wise of wit:
  "No more remember past griefs: seal them up
  Hid in thine heart. Let all be locked within
  The dim dark mansion of forgetfulness.
  What profits it to call ill deeds to mind?"

  Glad was she then: fear flitted from her heart,
  And came sweet hope that her lord's wrath was dead.
  She cast her arms around him, and their eyes
  With tears were brimming as they made sweet moan;
  And side by side they laid them, and their hearts
  Thrilled with remembrance of old spousal joy.
  And as a vine and ivy entwine their stems
  Each around other, that no might of wind
  Avails to sever them, so clung these twain
  Twined in the passionate embrace of love.

  When came on these too sorrow-drowning sleep,
  Even then above his son's head rose and stood
  Godlike Achilles' mighty shade, in form
  As when he lived, the Trojans' bane, the joy
  Of Greeks, and kissed his neck and flashing eyes
  Lovingly, and spake comfortable words:
  "All hail, my son! Vex not thine heart with grief
  For thy dead sire; for with the Blessed Gods
  Now at the feast I sit. Refrain thy soul
  From sorrow, and plant my strength within thy mind.
  Be foremost of the Argives ever; yield
  To none in valour, but in council bow
  Before thine elders: so shall all acclaim
  Thy courtesy. Honour princely men and wise;
  For the true man is still the true man's friend,
  Even as the vile man cleaveth to the knave.
  If good thy thought be, good shall be thy deeds:
  But no man shall attain to Honour's height,
  Except his heart be right within: her stem
  Is hard to climb, and high in heaven spread
  Her branches: only they whom strength and toil
  Attend, strain up to pluck her blissful fruit,
  Climbing the Tree of Honour glow-crowned.
  Thou therefore follow fame, and let thy soul
  Be not in sorrow afflicted overmuch,
  Nor in prosperity over-glad. To friends,
  To comrades, child and wife, be kindly of heart,
  Remembering still that near to all men stand
  The gates of doom, the mansions of the dead:
  For humankind are like the flower of grass,
  The blossom of spring; these fade the while those bloom:
  Therefore be ever kindly with thy kind.
  Now to the Argives say—to Atreus' son
  Agamemnon chiefly—if my battle-toil
  Round Priam's walls, and those sea-raids I led
  Or ever I set foot on Trojan land,
  Be in their hearts remembered, to my tomb
  Be Priam's daughter Polyxeina led—
  Whom as my portion of the spoil I claim—
  And sacrificed thereon: else shall my wrath
  Against them more than for Briseis burn.
  The waves of the great deep will I turmoil
  To bar their way, upstirring storm on storm,
  That through their own mad folly pining away
  Here they may linger long, until to me
  They pour drink-offerings, yearning sore for home.
  But, when they have slain the maiden, I grudge not
  That whoso will may bury her far from me."

  Then as a wind-breath swift he fleeted thence,
  And came to the Elysian Plain, whereto
  A path to heaven reacheth, for the feet
  Ascending and descending of the Blest.
  Then the son started up from sleep, and called
  His sire to mind, and glowed the heart in him.

  When to wide heaven the Child of Mist uprose,
  Scattering night, unveiling earth and air,
  Then from their rest upsprang Achaea's sons
  Yearning for home. With laughter 'gan they hale
  Down to the sea the keels: but lo, their haste
  Was reined in by Achilles' mighty son:

  He assembled them, and told his sire's behest:
  "Hearken, dear sons of Argives battle-staunch,
  To this my glorious father's hest, to me
  Spoken in darkness slumbering on my bed:
  He saith, he dwells with the Immortal Gods:
  He biddeth you and Atreus' son the king
  To bring, as his war-guerdon passing-fair,
  To his dim dark tomb Polyxeina queenly-robed,
  To slay her there, but far thence bury her.
  But if ye slight him, and essay to sail
  The sea, he threateneth to stir up the waves
  To bar your path upon the deep, and here
  Storm-bound long time to hold you, ships and men."

  Then hearkened they, and as to a God they prayed;
  For even now a storm-blast on the sea
  Upheaved the waves, broad-backed and thronging fast
  More than before beneath the madding wind.
  Tossed the great deep, smit by Poseidon's hands
  For a grace to strong Achilles. All the winds
  Swooped on the waters. Prayed the Dardans all
  To Achilles, and a man to his fellow cried:
  "Great Zeus's seed Achilles verily was;
  Therefore is he a God, who in days past
  Dwelt among us; for lapse of dateless time
  Makes not the sons of Heaven to fade away."

  Then to Achilles' tomb the host returned,
  And led the maid, as calf by herdmen dragged
  For sacrifice, from woodland pastures torn
  From its mother's side, and lowing long and loud
  It moans with anguished heart; so Priam's child
  Wailed in the hands of foes. Down streamed her tears
  As when beneath the heavy sacks of sand
  Olives clear-skinned, ne'er blotched by drops of storm,
  Pour out their oil, when the long levers creak
  As strong men strain the cords; so poured the tears
  Of travail-burdened Priam's daughter, haled
  To stern Achilles' tomb, tears blent with moans.
  Drenched were her bosom-folds, glistened the drops
  On flesh clear-white as costly ivory.

  Then, to crown all her griefs, yet sharper pain
  Fell on the heart of hapless Hecuba.
  Then did her soul recall that awful dream,
  The vision of sleep of that night overpast:
  Herseemed that on Achilles' tomb she stood
  Moaning, her hair down-streaming to the ground,
  And from her breasts blood dripped to earth the while,
  And drenched the tomb. Fear-haunted touching this,
  Foreboding all calamity, she wailed
  Piteously; far rang her wild lament.
  As a dog moaning at her master's door,
  Utters long howls, her teats with milk distent,
  Whose whelps, ere their eyes opened to the light,
  Her lords afar have flung, a prey to kites;
  And now with short sharp cries she plains, and now
  Long howling: the weird outcry thrills the air;
  So wailed and shrieked for her child Hecuba:
  "Ah me! what sorrows first or last shall I
  Lament heart-anguished, who am full of woes?
  Those unimagined ills my sons, my king
  Have suffered? or my city, or daughters shamed?
  Or my despair, my day of slavery?
  Oh, the grim fates have caught me in a net
  Of manifold ills! O child, they have spun for thee
  Dread weird of unimagined misery!
  They have thrust thee away, when near was Hymen's hymn,
  From thine espousals, marked thee for destruction
  Dark, unendurable, unspeakable!
  For lo, a dead man's heart, Achilles' heart,
  Is by our blood made warm with life to-day!
  O child, dear child, that I might die with thee,
  That earth might swallow me, ere I see thy doom!"
  So cried she, weeping never-ceasing tears,
  For grief on bitter grief encompassed her.
  But when these reached divine Achilles' tomb,
  Then did his son unsheathe the whetted sword,
  His left hand grasped the maid, and his right hand
  Was laid upon the tomb, and thus he cried:
  "Hear, father, thy son's prayer, hear all the prayers
  Of Argives, and be no more wroth with us!
  Lo, unto thee now all thine heart's desire
  Will we fulfil. Be gracious to us thou,
  And to our praying grant sweet home-return."

  Into the maid's throat then he plunged the blade
  Of death: the dear life straightway sobbed she forth,
  With the last piteous moan of parting breath.
  Face-downward to the earth she fell: all round
  Her flesh was crimsoned from her neck, as snow
  Stained on a mountain-side with scarlet blood
  Rushing, from javelin-smitten boar or bear.
  The maiden's corpse then gave they, to be borne
  Unto the city, to Antenor's home,
  For that, when Troy yet stood, he nurtured her
  In his fair halls, a bride for his own son
  Eurymachus. The old man buried her,
  King Priam's princess-child, nigh his own house,
  By Ganymedes' shrine, and overagainst
  The temple of Pallas the Unwearied One.
  Then were the waves stilled, and the blast was hushed
  To sleep, and all the sea-flood lulled to calm.

  Swift with glad laughter hied they to the ships,
  Hymning Achilles and the Blessed Ones.
  A feast they made, first severing thighs of kine
  For the Immortals. Gladsome sacrifice
  Steamed on all sides: in cups of silver and gold
  They drank sweet wine: their hearts leaped up with hope
  Of winning to their fatherland again.
  But when with meats and wine all these were filled,
  Then in their eager ears spake Neleus' son:
  "Hear, friends, who have 'scaped the long turmoil of war,
  That I may say to you one welcome word:
  Now is the hour of heart's delight, the hour
  Of home-return. Away! Achilles soul
  Hath ceased from ruinous wrath; Earth-shaker stills
  The stormy wave, and gentle breezes blow;
  No more the waves toss high. Haste, hale the ships
  Down to the sea. Now, ho for home-return!"

  Eager they heard, and ready made the ships.
  Then was a marvellous portent seen of men;
  For all-unhappy Priam's queen was changed
  From woman's form into a pitiful hound;
  And all men gathered round in wondering awe.
  Then all her body a God transformed to stone—
  A mighty marvel for men yet unborn!
  At Calchas' bidding this the Achaeans bore
  In a swift ship to Hellespont's far side.
  Then down to the sea in haste they ran the keels:
  Their wealth they laid aboard, even all the spoil
  Taken, or ever unto Troy they came,
  From conquered neighbour peoples; therewithal
  Whatso they took from Ilium, wherein most
  They joyed, for untold was the sum thereof.
  And followed with them many a captive maid
  With anguished heart: so went they aboard the ships.
  But Calchas would not with that eager host
  Launch forth; yea, he had fain withheld therefrom
  All the Achaeans, for his prophet-soul
  Foreboded dread destruction looming o'er
  The Argives by the Rocks Capherean.
  But naught they heeded him; malignant
  Fate Deluded men's souls: only Amphilochus
  The wise in prophet-lore, the gallant son
  Of princely Amphiaraus, stayed with him.
  Fated were these twain, far from their own land,
  To reach Pamphylian and Cilician burgs;
  And this the Gods thereafter brought to pass.

  But now the Achaeans cast the hawsers loose
  From shore: in haste they heaved the anchor-stones.
  Roared Hellespont beneath swift-flashing oars;
  Crashed the prows through the sea. About the bows
  Much armour of slain foes was lying heaped:
  Along the bulwarks victory-trophies hung
  Countless. With garlands wreathed they all the ships,
  Their heads, the spears, the shields wherewith they had fought
  Against their foes. The chiefs stood on the prows,
  And poured into the dark sea once and again
  Wine to the Gods, to grant them safe return.
  But with the winds their prayers mixed; far away
  Vainly they floated blent with cloud and air.

  With anguished hearts the captive maids looked back
  On Ilium, and with sobs and moans they wailed,
  Striving to hide their grief from Argive eyes.
  Clasping their knees some sat; in misery some
  Veiled with their hands their faces; others nursed
  Young children in their arms: those innocents
  Not yet bewailed their day of bondage, nor
  Their country's ruin; all their thoughts were set
  On comfort of the breast, for the babe's heart
  Hath none affinity with sorrow. All
  Sat with unbraided hair and pitiful breasts
  Scored with their fingers. On their cheeks there lay
  Stains of dried tears, and streamed thereover now
  Fresh tears full fast, as still they gazed aback
  On the lost hapless home, wherefrom yet rose
  The flames, and o'er it writhed the rolling smoke.
  Now on Cassandra marvelling they gazed,
  Calling to mind her prophecy of doom;
  But at their tears she laughed in bitter scorn,
  In anguish for the ruin of her land.

  Such Trojans as had scaped from pitiless war
  Gathered to render now the burial-dues
  Unto their city's slain. Antenor led
  To that sad work: one pyre for all they raised.

  But laughed with triumphing hearts the Argive men,
  As now with oars they swept o'er dark sea-ways,
  Now hastily hoised the sails high o'er the ships,
  And fleeted fast astern Dardania-land,
  And Hero Achilles' tomb. But now their hearts,
  How blithe soe'er, remembered comrades slain,
  And sorely grieved, and wistfully they looked
  Back to the alien's land; it seemed to them
  Aye sliding farther from their ships. Full soon
  By Tenedos' beaches slipt they: now they ran
  By Chrysa, Sminthian Phoebus' holy place,
  And hallowed Cilla. Far away were glimpsed
  The windy heights of Lesbos. Rounded now
  Was Lecton's foreland, where is the last peak
  Of Ida. In the sails loud hummed the wind,
  Crashed round the prows the dark surge: the long waves
  Showed shadowy hollows, far the white wake gleamed.

  Now had the Argives all to the hallowed soil
  Of Hellas won, by perils of the deep
  Unscathed, but for Athena Daughter of Zeus
  The Thunderer, and her indignation's wrath.
  When nigh Euboea's windy heights they drew,
  She rose, in anger unappeasable
  Against the Locrian king, devising doom
  Crushing and pitiless, and drew nigh to Zeus
  Lord of the Gods, and spake to him apart
  In wrath that in her breast would not be pent:
  "Zeus, Father, unendurable of Gods
  Is men's presumption! They reck not of thee,
  Of none of the Blessed reck they, forasmuch
  As vengeance followeth after sin no more;
  And ofttimes more afflicted are good men
  Than evil, and their misery hath no end.
  Therefore no man regardeth justice: shame
  Lives not with men! And I, I will not dwell
  Hereafter in Olympus, not be named
  Thy daughter, if I may not be avenged
  On the Achaeans' reckless sin! Behold,
  Within my very temple Oileus' son
  Hath wrought iniquity, hath pitied not
  Cassandra stretching unregarded hands
  Once and again to me; nor did he dread
  My might, nor reverenced in his wicked heart
  The Immortal, but a deed intolerable
  He did. Therefore let not thy spirit divine
  Begrudge mine heart's desire, that so all men
  May quake before the manifest wrath of Gods."

  Answered the Sire with heart-assuaging words:
  "Child, not for the Argives' sake withstand I thee;
  But all mine armoury which the Cyclops' might
  To win my favour wrought with tireless hands,
  To thy desire I give. O strong heart, hurl
  A ruining storm thyself on the Argive fleet."

  Then down before the aweless Maid he cast
  Swift lightning, thunder, and deadly thunderbolt;
  And her heart leapt, and gladdened was her soul.
  She donned the stormy Aegis flashing far,
  Adamantine, massy, a marvel to the Gods,
  Whereon was wrought Medusa's ghastly head,
  Fearful: strong serpents breathing forth the blast
  Of ravening fire were on the face thereof.
  Crashed on the Queen's breast all the Aegis-links,
  As after lightning crashes the firmament.
  Then grasped she her father's weapons, which no God
  Save Zeus can lift, and wide Olympus shook.
  Then swept she clouds and mist together on high;
  Night over earth was poured, haze o'er the sea.
  Zeus watched, and was right glad as broad heaven's floor
  Rocked 'neath the Goddess's feet, and crashed the sky,
  As though invincible Zeus rushed forth to war.
  Then sped she Iris unto Acolus,
  From heaven far-flying over misty seas,
  To bid him send forth all his buffering winds
  O'er iron-bound Caphereus' cliffs to sweep
  Ceaselessly, and with ruin of madding blasts
  To upheave the sea. And Iris heard, and swift
  She darted, through cloud-billows plunging down—
  Thou hadst said: "Lo, in the sky dark water and fire!"
  And to Aeolia came she, isle of caves,
  Of echoing dungeons of mad-raging winds
  With rugged ribs of mountain overarched,
  Whereby the mansion stands of Aeolus
  Hippotas' son. Him found she therewithin
  With wife and twelve sons; and she told to him
  Athena's purpose toward the homeward-bound
  Achaeans. He denied her not, but passed
  Forth of his halls, and in resistless hands
  Upswung his trident, smiting the mountain-side
  Within whose chasm-cell the wild winds dwelt
  Tempestuously shrieking. Ever pealed
  Weird roarings of their voices round its vaults.
  Cleft by his might was the hill-side; forth they poured.
  He bade them on their wings bear blackest storm
  To upheave the sea, and shroud Caphereus' heights.
  Swiftly upsprang they, ere their king's command
  Was fully spoken. Mightily moaned the sea
  As they rushed o'er it; waves like mountain-cliffs
  From all sides were uprolled. The Achaeans' hearts
  Were terror-palsied, as the uptowering surge
  Now swung the ships up high through palling mist,
  Now hurled them rolled as down a precipice
  To dark abysses. Up through yawning deeps
  Some power resistless belched the boiling sand
  From the sea's floor. Tossed in despair, fear-dazed,
  Men could not grasp the oar, nor reef the sail
  About the yard-arm, howsoever fain,
  Ere the winds rent it, could not with the sheets
  Trim the torn canvas, buffeted so were they
  By ruining blasts. The helmsman had no power
  To guide the rudder with his practised hands,
  For those ill winds hurled all confusedly.
  No hope of life was left them: blackest night,
  Fury of tempest, wrath of deathless Gods,
  Raged round them. Still Poseidon heaved and swung
  The merciless sea, to work the heart's desire
  Of his brother's glorious child; and she on high
  Stormed with her lightnings, ruthless in her rage.
  Thundered from heaven Zeus, in purpose fixed
  To glorify his daughter. All the isles
  And mainlands round were lashed by leaping seas
  Nigh to Euboea, where the Power divine
  Scourged most with unrelenting stroke on stroke
  The Argives. Groan and shriek of perishing men
  Rang through the ships; started great beams and snapped
  With ominous sound, for ever ship on ship
  With shivering timbers crashed. With hopeless toil
  Men strained with oars to thrust back hulls that reeled
  Down on their own, but with the shattered planks
  Were hurled into the abyss, to perish there
  By pitiless doom; for beams of foundering ships
  From this, from that side battered out their lives,
  And crushed were all their bodies wretchedly.
  Some in the ships fell down, and like dead men
  Lay there; some, in the grip of destiny,
  Clinging to oars smooth-shaven, tried to swim;
  Some upon planks were tossing. Roared the surge
  From fathomless depths: it seemed as though sea, sky,
  And land were blended all confusedly.

  Still from Olympus thundering Atrytone
  Wielded her Father's power unshamed, and still
  The welkin shrieked around. Her ruin of wrath
  Now upon Aias hurled she: on his ship
  Dashed she a thunderbolt, and shivered it
  Wide in a moment into fragments small,
  While earth and air yelled o'er the wreck, and whirled
  And plunged and fell the whole sea down thereon.
  They in the ship were all together flung
  Forth: all about them swept the giant waves,
  Round them leapt lightnings flaming through the dark.
  Choked with the strangling surf of hissing brine,
  Gasping out life, they drifted o'er the sea.

  But even in death those captive maids rejoiced,
  As some ill-starred ones, clasping to their breasts
  Their babes, sank in the sea; some flung their arms
  Round Danaans' horror-stricken heads, and dragged
  These down with them, so rendering to their foes
  Requital for foul outrage down to them.
  And from on high the haughty Trito-born
  Looked down on all this, and her heart was glad.

  But Aias floated now on a galley's plank,
  Now through the brine with strong hands oared his path,
  Like some old Titan in his tireless might.
  Cleft was the salt sea-surge by the sinewy hands
  Of that undaunted man: the Gods beheld
  And marvelled at his courage and his strength.
  But now the billows swung him up on high
  Through misty air, as though to a mountain's peak,
  Now whelmed him down, as they would bury him
  In ravening whirlpits: yet his stubborn hands
  Toiled on unwearied. Aye to right and left
  Flashed lightnings down, and quenched them in the sea;
  For not yet was the Child of Thunderer Zeus
  Purposed to smite him dead, despite her wrath,
  Ere he had drained the cup of travail and pain
  Down to the dregs; so in the deep long time
  Affliction wore him down, tormented sore
  On every side. Grim Fates stood round the man
  Unnumbered; yet despair still kindled strength.
  He cried: "Though all the Olympians banded come
  In wrath, and rouse against me all the sea,
  I will escape them!" But no whit did he
  Elude the Gods' wrath; for the Shaker of Earth
  In fierceness of his indignation marked
  Where his hands clung to the Gyraean Rock,
  And in stern anger with an earthquake shook
  Both sea and land. Around on all sides crashed
  Caphereus' cliffs: beneath the Sea-king's wrath
  The surf-tormented beaches shrieked and roared.
  The broad crag rifted reeled into the sea,
  The rock whereto his desperate hands had clung;
  Yet did he writhe up round its jutting spurs,
  While flayed his hands were, and from 'neath his nails
  The blood ran. Wrestling with him roared the waves,
  And the foam whitened all his hair and beard.

  Yet had he 'scaped perchance his evil doom,
  Had not Poseidon, wroth with his hardihood,
  Cleaving the earth, hurled down the chasm the rock,
  As in the old time Pallas heaved on high
  Sicily, and on huge Enceladus
  Dashed down the isle, which burns with the burning yet
  Of that immortal giant, as he breathes
  Fire underground; so did the mountain-crag,
  Hurled from on high, bury the Locrian king,
  Pinning the strong man down, a wretch crushed flat.
  And so on him death's black destruction came
  Whom land and sea alike were leagued to slay.

  Still over the great deep were swept the rest
  Of those Achaeans, crouching terror-dazed
  Down in the ships, save those that mid the waves
  Had fallen. Misery encompassed all;
  For some with heavily-plunging prows drave on,
  With keels upturned some drifted. Here were masts
  Snapped from the hull by rushing gusts, and there
  Were tempest-rifted wrecks of scattered beams;
  And some had sunk, whelmed in the mighty deep,
  Swamped by the torrent downpour from the clouds:
  For these endured not madness of wind-tossed sea
  Leagued with heaven's waterspout; for streamed the sky
  Ceaselessly like a river, while the deep
  Raved round them. And one cried: "Such floods on men
  Fell only when Deucalion's deluge came,
  When earth was drowned, and all was fathomless sea!"

  So cried a Danaan, seeing soul-appalled
  That wild storm. Thousands perished; corpses thronged
  The great sea-highways: all the beaches were
  Too strait for them: the surf belched multitudes
  Forth on the land. The heavy-booming sea
  With weltering beams of ships was wholly paved,
  And here and there the grey waves gleamed between.

  So found they each his several evil fate,
  Some whelmed beneath broad-rushing billows, some
  Wretchedly perishing with their shattered ships
  By Nauplius' devising on the rocks.
  Wroth for that son whom they had done to death,
  He; when the storm rose and the Argives died,
  Rejoiced amid his sorrow, seeing a God
  Gave to his hands revenge, which now he wreaked
  Upon the host he hated, as o'er the deep
  They tossed sore-harassed. To his sea-god sire
  He prayed that all might perish, ships and men
  Whelmed in the deep. Poseidon heard his prayer,
  And on the dark surge swept them nigh his land.
  He, like a harbour-warder, lifted high
  A blazing torch, and so by guile he trapped
  The Achaean men, who deemed that they had won
  A sheltering haven: but sharp reefs and crags
  Gave awful welcome unto ships and men,
  Who, dashed to pieces on the cruel rocks
  In the black night, crowned ills with direr ills.
  Some few escaped, by a God or Power unseen
  Plucked from death's hand. Athena now rejoiced
  Her heart within, and now was racked with fears
  For prudent-souled Odysseus; for his weird
  Was through Poseidon's wrath to suffer woes
  Full many.

                 But Earth-shaker's jealousy now
  Burned against those long walls and towers uppiled
  By the strong Argives for a fence against
  The Trojans' battle-onset. Swiftly then
  He swelled to overbrimming all the sea
  That rolls from Euxine down to Hellespont,
  And hurled it on the shore of Troy: and Zeus,
  For a grace unto the glorious Shaker of Earth,
  Poured rain from heaven: withal Far-darter bare
  In that great work his part; from Ida's heights
  Into one channel led he all her streams,
  And flooded the Achaeans' work. The sea
  Dashed o'er it, and the roaring torrents still
  Rushed on it, swollen by the rains of Zeus;
  And the dark surge of the wide-moaning sea
  Still hurled them back from mingling with the deep,
  Till all the Danaan walls were blotted out
  Beneath their desolating flood. Then earth
  Was by Poseidon chasm-cleft: up rushed
  Deluge of water, slime and sand, while quaked
  Sigeum with the mighty shock, and roared
  The beach and the foundations of the land
  Dardanian. So vanished, whelmed from sight,
  That mighty rampart. Earth asunder yawned,
  And all sank down, and only sand was seen,
  When back the sea rolled, o'er the beach outspread
  Far down the heavy-booming shore. All this
  The Immortals' anger wrought. But in their ships
  The Argives storm-dispersed went sailing on.
  So came they home, as heaven guided each,
  Even all that 'scaped the fell sea-tempest blasts.