The Fall of Troy
Page: 61As 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.