The Fall of Troy

Page: 61

  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.