The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
Shrank huddling back before that terrible man.
Itymoneus he slew, and Hippasus' son
Agelaus: from Miletus brought they war
Against the Danaan men by Nastes led,
The god-like, and Amphimachus mighty-souled.
On Mycale they dwelt; beside their home
Rose Latmus' snowy crests, stretched the long glens
Of Branchus, and Panormus' water-meads.
Maeander's flood deep-rolling swept thereby,
Which from the Phrygian uplands, pastured o'er
By myriad flocks, around a thousand forelands
Curls, swirls, and drives his hurrying ripples on
Down to the vine-clad land of Carian men
These mid the storm of battle Meges slew,
Nor these alone, but whomsoe'er his lance
Black-shafted touched, were dead men; for his breast
The glorious Trito-born with courage thrilled
To bring to all his foes the day of doom.
And Polypoetes, dear to Ares, slew
Dresaeus, whom the Nymph Neaera bare
To passing-wise Theiodamas for these
Spread was the bed of love beside the foot
Of Sipylus the Mountain, where the Gods
Made Niobe a stony rock, wherefrom
Tears ever stream: high up, the rugged crag
Bows as one weeping, weeping, waterfalls
Cry from far-echoing Hermus, wailing moan
Of sympathy: the sky-encountering crests
Of Sipylus, where alway floats a mist
Hated of shepherds, echo back the cry.
Weird marvel seems that Rock of Niobe
To men that pass with feet fear-goaded: there
They see the likeness of a woman bowed,
In depths of anguish sobbing, and her tears
Drop, as she mourns grief-stricken, endlessly.
Yea, thou wouldst say that verily so it was,
Viewing it from afar; but when hard by
Thou standest, all the illusion vanishes;
And lo, a steep-browed rock, a fragment rent
From Sipylus -- yet Niobe is there,
Dreeing her weird, the debt of wrath divine,
A broken heart in guise of shattered stone.
All through the tangle of that desperate fray
Stalked slaughter and doom. The incarnate Onset-shout
Raved through the rolling battle; at her side
Paced Death the ruthless, and the Fearful Faces,
The Fates, beside them strode, and in red hands
Bare murder and the groans of dying men.
That day the beating of full many a heart,
Trojan and Argive, was for ever stilled,
While roared the battle round them, while the fury
Of Penthesileia fainted not nor failed;
But as amid long ridges of lone hills
A lioness, stealing down a deep ravine,
Springs on the kine with lightning leap, athirst
For blood wherein her fierce heart revelleth;
So on the Danaans leapt that warrior-maid.
And they, their souls were cowed: backward they shrank,
And fast she followed, as a towering surge
Chases across the thunder-booming sea
A flying bark, whose white sails strain beneath
The wind's wild buffering, and all the air
Maddens with roaring, as the rollers crash