The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
Mad-shrieking slaughter, see her set aflame
Yon ships wherein they came long years agone
Bringing us many sorrows, yea, they came
Bringing us woes of war intolerable.
Ha! to the home-land Hellas ne'er shall these
With joy return, since Gods on our side fight."
In overweening exultation so
Vaunted a Trojan. Fool! -- he had no vision
Of ruin onward rushing upon himself
And Troy, and Penthesileia's self withal.
For not as yet had any tidings come
Of that wild fray to Aias stormy-souled,
Nor to Achilles, waster of tower and town.
But on the grave-mound of Menoetius' son
They twain were lying, with sad memories
Of a dear comrade crushed, and echoing
Each one the other's groaning. One it was
Of the Blest Gods who still was holding back
These from the battle-tumult far away,
Till many Greeks should fill the measure up
Of woeful havoc, slain by Trojan foes
And glorious Penthesileia, who pursued
With murderous intent their rifled ranks,
While ever waxed her valour more and more,
And waxed her might within her: never in vain
She aimed the unswerving spear-thrust: aye she pierced
The backs of them that fled, the breasts of such
As charged to meet her. All the long shaft dripped
With steaming blood. Swift were her feet as wind
As down she swooped. Her aweless spirit failed
For weariness nor fainted, but her might
Was adamantine. The impending Doom,
Which roused unto the terrible strife not yet
Achilles, clothed her still with glory; still
Aloof the dread Power stood, and still would shed
Splendour of triumph o'er the death-ordained
But for a little space, ere it should quell
That Maiden 'neath the hands of Aeaeus' son.
In darkness ambushed, with invisible hand
Ever it thrust her on, and drew her feet
Destruction-ward, and lit her path to death
With glory, while she slew foe after foe.
As when within a dewy garden-close,
Longing for its green springtide freshness, leaps
A heifer, and there rangeth to and fro,
When none is by to stay her, treading down
All its green herbs, and all its wealth of bloom,
Devouring greedily this, and marring that
With trampling feet; so ranged she, Ares' child,
Through reeling squadrons of Achaea's sons,
Slew these, and hunted those in panic rout.
From Troy afar the women marvelling gazed
At the Maid's battle-prowess. Suddenly
A fiery passion for the fray hath seized
Antimachus' daughter, Meneptolemus' wife,
Tisiphone. Her heart waxed strong, and filled
With lust of fight she cried to her fellows all,
With desperate-daring words, to spur them on
To woeful war, by recklessness made strong.
"Friends, let a heart of valour in our breasts
Awake! Let us be like our lords, who fight
With foes for fatherland, for babes, for us,