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The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)   


Quit them like men, exulting in their king.
Then, as Meneclus on the Danaans charged,
The son of Neleus slew him. Wroth for his friend,
Whole throngs of foes fierce-hearted Memnon slew.
As when a hunter midst the mountains drives
Swift deer within the dark lines of his toils --
The eager ring of beaters closing in
Presses the huddled throng into the snares
Of death: the dogs are wild with joy of the chase
Ceaselessly giving tongue, the while his darts
Leap winged with death on brocket and on hind;
So Memnon slew and ever slew: his men
Rejoiced, the while in panic stricken rout
Before that glorious man the Argives fled.
As when from a steep mountain's precipice-brow
Leaps a huge crag, which all-resistless Zeus
By stroke of thunderbolt hath hurled from the crest;
Crash oakwood copses, echo long ravines,
Shudders the forest to its rattle and roar,
And flocks therein and herds and wild things flee
Scattering, as bounding, whirling, it descends
With deadly pitiless onrush; so his foes
Fled from the lightning-flash of Memnon's spear.

Then to the side of Aeacus' mighty son
Came Nestor. Anguished for his son he cried:
"Achilles, thou great bulwark of the Greeks,
Slain is my child! The armour of my dead
Hath Memnon, and I fear me lest his corse
Be cast a prey to dogs. Haste to his help!
True friend is he who still remembereth
A friend though slain, and grieves for one no more."

Achilles heard; his heart was thrilled with grief:
He glanced across the rolling battle, saw
Memnon, saw where in throngs the Argives fell
Beneath his spear. Forthright he turned away
From where the rifted ranks of Troy fell fast
Before his hands, and, thirsting for the fight,
Wroth for Antilochus and the others slain,
Came face to face with Memnon. In his hands
That godlike hero caught up from the ground
A stone, a boundary-mark 'twixt fields of wheat,
And hurled. Down on the shield of Peleus' son
It crashed. But he, the invincible, shrank not
Before the huge rock-shard, but, thrusting out
His long lance, rushed to close with him, afoot,
For his steeds stayed behind the battle-rout.
On the right shoulder above the shield he smote
And staggered him; but he, despite the wound,
Fought on with heart unquailing. Swiftly he thrust
And pricked with his strong spear Achilles' arm.
Forth gushed the blood: rejoicing with vain joy
To Aeacus' son with arrogant words he cried:
"Now shalt thou in thy death fill up, I trow,
Thy dark doom, overmastered by mine hands.
Thou shalt not from this fray escape alive!
Fool, wherefore hast thou ruthlessly destroyed
Trojans, and vaunted thee the mightiest man
Of men, a deathless Nereid's son? Ha, now
Thy doom hath found thee! Of birth divine am I,
The Dawn-queen's mighty son, nurtured afar
By lily-slender Hesperid Maids, beside
The Ocean-river. Therefore not from thee

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