The Fall of Troy
Page: 88Even as he fell, Epeius' henchmen twain,
Deileon and Amphion, rushed to strip
His armour; but Aeneas brave and strong
Chilled their hot hearts in death beside the dead.
As one in latter summer 'mid his vines
Kills wasps that dart about his ripening grapes,
And so, ere they may taste the fruit, they die;
So smote he them, ere they could seize the arms.
Menon and Amphinous Tydeides slew,
Both goodly men. Paris slew Hippasus' son
Demoleon, who in Laconia's land
Beside the outfall of Eurotas dwelt,
The stream deep-flowing, and to Troy he came
With Menelaus. Under his right breast
The shaft of Paris smote him unto death,
Driving his soul forth like a scattering breath.
Teucer slew Zechis, Medon's war-famed son,
Who dwelt in Phrygia, land of myriad flocks,
Below that haunted cave of fair-haired Nymphs
Where, as Endymion slept beside his kine,
Divine Selene watched him from on high,
And slid from heaven to earth; for passionate love
Drew down the immortal stainless Queen of Night.
And a memorial of her couch abides
Still 'neath the oaks; for mid the copses round
Was poured out milk of kine; and still do men
Marvelling behold its whiteness. Thou wouldst say
Far off that this was milk indeed, which is
A well-spring of white water: if thou draw
A little nigher, lo, the stream is fringed
As though with ice, for white stone rims it round.
Rushed on Alcaeus Meges, Phyleus' son,
And drave his spear beneath his fluttering heart.
Loosed were the cords of sweet life suddenly,
And his sad parents longed in vain to greet
That son returning from the woeful war
To Margasus and Phyllis lovely-girt,
Dwellers by lucent streams of Harpasus,
Who pours the full blood of his clamorous flow
Into Maeander madly rushing aye.
With Glaucus' warrior-comrade Scylaceus
Odeus' son closed in the fight, and stabbed
Over the shield-rim, and the cruel spear
Passed through his shoulder, and drenched his shield with blood.
Howbeit he slew him not, whose day of doom
Awaited him afar beside the wall
Of his own city; for when Illium's towers
Were brought low by that swift avenging host
Fleeing the war to Lycia then he came
Alone; and when he drew nigh to the town,
The thronging women met and questioned him
Touching their sons and husbands; and he told
How all were dead. They compassed him about,
And stoned the man with great stones, that he died.
So had he no joy of his winning home,
But the stones muffled up his dying groans,
And of the same his ghastly tomb was reared
Beside Bellerophon's grave and holy place
In Tlos, nigh that far-famed Chimaera's Crag.
Yet, though he thus fulfilled his day of doom,
As a God afterward men worshipped him
By Phoebus' hest, and never his honour fades.
Now Poeas' son the while slew Deioneus
And Acamas, Antenor's warrior son:
Yea, a great host of strong men laid he low.
On, like the War-god, through his foes he rushed,
Or as a river roaring in full flood
Breaks down long dykes, when, maddening round its rocks,
Down from the mountains swelled by rain it pours
An ever-flowing mightily-rushing stream
Whose foaming crests over its forelands sweep;
So none who saw him even from afar
Dared meet renowned Poeas' valiant son,
Whose breast with battle-fury was fulfilled,
Whose limbs were clad in mighty Hercules' arms
Of cunning workmanship; for on the belt
Gleamed bears most grim and savage, jackals fell,
And panthers, in whose eyes there seems to lurk
A deadly smile. There were fierce-hearted wolves,
And boars with flashing tusks, and mighty lions
All seeming strangely alive; and, there portrayed
Through all its breadth, were battles murder-rife.
With all these marvels covered was the belt;
And with yet more the quiver was adorned.
There Hermes was, storm-footed Son of Zeus,
Slaying huge Argus nigh to Inachus' streams,
Argus, whose sentinel eyes in turn took sleep.
And there was Phaethon from the Sun-car hurled
Into Eridanus. Earth verily seemed
Ablaze, and black smoke hovered on the air.
There Perseus slew Medusa gorgon-eyed
By the stars' baths and utmost bounds of earth
And fountains of deep-flowing Ocean, where
Night in the far west meets the setting sun.
There was the Titan Iapetus' great son
Hung from the beetling crag of Caucasus
In bonds of adamant, and the eagle tare
His liver unconsumed—he seemed to groan!
All these Hephaestus' cunning hands had wrought
For Hercules; and these to Poeas' son,
Most near of friends and dear, he gave to bear.