The Fall of Troy

Page: 87

  Shouted they all who heard that gallant rede.
  Swiftly with helms and shields and spears they stood
  In close array. The eyes of mighty Zeus
  From heaven beheld the Trojans armed for fight
  Against the Danaans: then did he awake
  Courage in these and those, that there might be
  Strain of unflinching fight 'twixt host and host.
  That day was Paris doomed, for Helen's sake
  Fighting, by Philoctetes' hands to die.

  To one place Strife incarnate drew them all,
  The fearful Battle-queen, beheld of none,
  But cloaked in clouds blood-raining: on she stalked
  Swelling the mighty roar of battle, now
  Rushed through Troy's squadrons, through Achaea's now;
  Panic and Fear still waited on her steps
  To make their father's sister glorious.
  From small to huge that Fury's stature grew;
  Her arms of adamant were blood-besprent,
  The deadly lance she brandished reached the sky.
  Earth quaked beneath her feet: dread blasts of fire
  Flamed from her mouth: her voice pealed thunder-like
  Kindling strong men. Swift closed the fronts of fight
  Drawn by a dread Power to the mighty work.
  Loud as the shriek of winds that madly blow
  In early spring, when the tall woodland trees
  Put forth their leaves—loud as the roar of fire
  Blazing through sun-scorched brakes—loud as the voice
  Of many waters, when the wide sea raves
  Beneath the howling blast, with thunderous crash
  Of waves, when shake the fearful shipman's knees;
  So thundered earth beneath their charging feet.
  Strife swooped on them: foe hurled himself on foe.

  First did Aeneas of the Danaans slay
  Harpalion, Arizelus' scion, born
  In far Boeotia of Amphinome,
  Who came to Troy to help the Argive men
  With godlike Prothoenor. 'Neath his waist
  Aeneas stabbed, and reft sweet life from him.
  Dead upon him he cast Thersander's son,
  For the barbed javelin pierced through Hyllus' throat
  Whom Arethusa by Lethaeus bare
  In Crete: sore grieved Idomeneus for his fall.

  By this Peleides' son had swiftly slain
  Twelve Trojan warriors with his father's spear.
  First Cebrus fell, Harmon, Pasitheus then,
  Hysminus, Schedius, and Imbrasius,
  Phleges, Mnesaeus, Ennomus, Amphinous,
  Phasis, Galenus last, who had his home

  By Gargarus' steep—a mighty warrior he
  Among Troy's mighties: with a countless host
  To Troy he came: for Priam Dardanus' son
  Promised him many gifts and passing fair.
  Ah fool! his own doom never he foresaw,
  Whose weird was suddenly to fall in fight
  Ere he bore home King Priam's glorious gifts.

  Doom the Destroyer against the Argives sped
  Valiant Aeneas' friend, Eurymenes.
  Wild courage spurred him on, that he might slay
  Many—and then fill death's cup for himself.
  Man after man he slew like some fierce beast,
  And foes shrank from the terrible rage that burned
  On his life's verge, nor reeked of imminent doom.
  Yea, peerless deeds in that fight had he done,
  Had not his hands grown weary, his spear-head
  Bent utterly: his sword availed him not,
  Snapped at the hilt by Fate. Then Meges' dart
  Smote 'neath his ribs; blood spurted from his mouth,
  And in death's agony Doom stood at his side.