The Fall of Troy

Page: 94

  Eurypylus battle-staunch laid Hellus low,
  Whom Cleito bare beside Gygaea's mere,
  Cleito the fair-cheeked. Face-down in the dust
  Outstretched he lay: shorn by the cruel sword
  From his strong shoulder fell the arm that held
  His long spear. Still its muscles twitched, as though
  Fain to uplift the lance for fight in vain;
  For the man's will no longer stirred therein,
  But aimlessly it quivered, even as leaps
  The severed tail of a snake malignant-eyed,
  Which cannot chase the man who dealt the wound;
  So the right hand of that strong-hearted man
  With impotent grip still clutched the spear for fight.

  Aenus and Polydorus Odysseus slew,
  Ceteians both; this perished by his spear,
  That by his sword death-dealing. Sthenelus
  Smote godlike Abas with a javelin-cast:
  On through his throat and shuddering nape it rushed:
  Stopped were his heart-beats, all his limbs collapsed.

  Tydeides slew Laodocus; Melius fell
  By Agamemnon's hand; Deiphobus
  Smote Alcimus and Dryas: Hippasus,
  How war-renowned soe'er, Agenor slew
  Far from Peneius' river. Crushed by fate,
  Love's nursing-debt to parents ne'er he paid.

  Lamus and stalwart Lyncus Thoas smote,
  And Meriones slew Lycon; Menelaus
  Laid low Archelochus. Upon his home
  Looked down Corycia's ridge, and that great rock
  Of the wise Fire-god, marvellous in men's eyes;
  For thereon, nightlong, daylong, unto him
  Fire blazes, tireless and unquenchable.
  Laden with fruit around it palm-trees grow,
  While mid the stones fire plays about their roots.
  Gods' work is this, a wonder to all time.

  By Teucer princely Hippomedon's son was slain,
  Menoetes: as the archer drew on him,
  Rushed he to smite him; but already hand
  And eye, and bow-craft keen were aiming straight
  On the arching horn the shaft. Swiftly released
  It leapt on the hapless man, while sang the string.
  Stricken full front he heaved one choking gasp,
  Because the fates on the arrow riding flew
  Right to his heart, the throne of thought and strength
  For men, whence short the path is unto death.

  Far from his brawny hand Euryalus hurled
  A massy stone, and shook the ranks of Troy.
  As when in anger against long-screaming cranes
  A watcher of the field leaps from the ground,
  In swift hand whirling round his head the sling,
  And speeds the stone against them, scattering
  Before its hum their ranks far down the wind
  Outspread, and they in huddled panic dart
  With wild cries this way and that, who theretofore
  Swept on in ordered lines; so shrank the foe
  To right and left from that dread bolt of doom
  Hurled of Euryalus. Not in vain it flew
  Fate-winged; it shattered Meles' helm and head
  Down to the eyes: so met him ghastly death.

  Still man slew man, while earth groaned all around,
  As when a mighty wind scourges the land,
  And this way, that way, under its shrieking blasts
  Through the wide woodland bow from the roots and fall
  Great trees, while all the earth is thundering round;
  So fell they in the dust, so clanged their arms,
  So crashed the earth around. Still hot were they
  For fell fight, still dealt bane unto their foes.