The Fall of Troy

Page: 73

  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?"