The Fall of Troy
Page: 60Now 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.