The Iliad of Homer
Page: 189The reeking javelin, and rejoin'd his friends.
His wounded brother good Polites tends;
Around his waist his pious arms he threw,
And from the rage of battle gently drew:
Him his swift coursers, on his splendid car,
Rapt from the lessening thunder of the war;
To Troy they drove him, groaning from the shore,
And sprinkling, as he pass'd, the sands with gore.
Meanwhile fresh slaughter bathes the sanguine ground,
Heaps fall on heaps, and heaven and earth resound.
Bold Aphareus by great Æneas bled;[pg 245]
As toward the chief he turn'd his daring head,
He pierced his throat; the bending head, depress'd
Beneath his helmet, nods upon his breast;
His shield reversed o'er the fallen warrior lies,
And everlasting slumber seals his eyes.
Antilochus, as Thoon turn'd him round,
Transpierced his back with a dishonest wound:
The hollow vein, that to the neck extends
Along the chine, his eager javelin rends:
Supine he falls, and to his social train
Spreads his imploring arms, but spreads in vain.
Th' exulting victor, leaping where he lay,
From his broad shoulders tore the spoils away;
His time observed; for closed by foes around,
On all sides thick the peals of arms resound.
His shield emboss'd the ringing storm sustains,
But he impervious and untouch'd remains.
(Great Neptune's care preserved from hostile rage
This youth, the joy of Nestor's glorious age.)
In arms intrepid, with the first he fought,
Faced every foe, and every danger sought;
His winged lance, resistless as the wind,
Obeys each motion of the master's mind!
Restless it flies, impatient to be free,
And meditates the distant enemy.
The son of Asius, Adamas, drew near,
And struck his target with the brazen spear
Fierce in his front: but Neptune wards the blow,
And blunts the javelin of th' eluded foe:
In the broad buckler half the weapon stood,
Splinter'd on earth flew half the broken wood.
Disarm'd, he mingled in the Trojan crew;
But Merion's spear o'ertook him as he flew,
Deep in the belly's rim an entrance found,
Where sharp the pang, and mortal is the wound.
Bending he fell, and doubled to the ground,
Lay panting. Thus an ox in fetters tied,
While death's strong pangs distend his labouring side,
His bulk enormous on the field displays;
His heaving heart beats thick as ebbing life decays.
The spear the conqueror from his body drew,
And death's dim shadows swarm before his view.
Next brave Deipyrus in dust was laid:
King Helenus waved high the Thracian blade,
And smote his temples with an arm so strong,
The helm fell off, and roll'd amid the throng:
There for some luckier Greek it rests a prize;
For dark in death the godlike owner lies!
Raging with grief, great Menelaus burns,
And fraught with vengeance, to the victor turns:[pg 246]
That shook the ponderous lance, in act to throw;
And this stood adverse with the bended bow:
Full on his breast the Trojan arrow fell,
But harmless bounded from the plated steel.