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The Fall of Troy

Page: 27

  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.


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