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The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)   


Of war, when Ares rusheth through the field,
He was not cunning. But for strife of hands
The fair prize uncontested had been won
By stout Epeius -- yea, he was at point
To bear it thence unto the Achaean ships;
But one strode forth to meet him, Theseus' son,
The spearman Acamas, the mighty of heart,
Bearing already on his swift hands girt
The hard hide-gauntlets, which Evenor's son
Agelaus on his prince's hands had drawn
With courage-kindling words. The comrades then
Of Panopeus' princely son for Epeius raised
A heartening cheer. He like a lion stood
Forth in the midst, his strong hands gauntleted
With bull's hide hard as horn. Loud rang the cheers
From side to side of that great throng, to fire
The courage of the mighty ones to clash
Hands in the gory play. Sooth, little spur
Needed they for their eagerness for fight.
But, ere they closed, they flashed out proving blows
To wot if still, as theretofore, their arms
Were limber and lithe, unclogged by toil of war;
Then faced each other, and upraised their hands
With ever-watching eyes, and short quick steps
A-tiptoe, and with ever-shifting feet,
Each still eluding other's crushing might.
Then with a rush they closed like thunder-clouds
Hurled on each other by the tempest-blast,
Flashing forth lightnings, while the welkin thrills
As clash the clouds and hollow roar the winds;
So 'neath the hard hide-gauntlets clashed their jaws.
Down streamed the blood, and from their brows the sweat
Blood-streaked made on the flushed cheeks crimson bars.
Fierce without pause they fought, and never flagged
Epeius, but threw all his stormy strength
Into his onrush. Yet did Theseus' son
Never lose heart, but baffled the straight blows
Of those strong hands, and by his fighting-craft
Flinging them right and left, leapt in, brought home
A blow to his eyebrow, cutting to the bone.
Even then with counter-stroke Epeius reached
Acamas' temple, and hurled him to the ground.
Swift he sprang up, and on his stalwart foe
Rushed, smote his head: as he rushed in again,
The other, slightly swerving, sent his left
Clean to his brow; his right, with all his might
Behind it, to his nose. Yet Acamas still
Warded and struck with all the manifold shifts
Of fighting-craft. But now the Achaeans all
Bade stop the fight, though eager still were both
To strive for coveted victory. Then came
Their henchmen, and the gory gauntlets loosed
In haste from those strong hands. Now drew they breath
From that great labour, as they bathed their brows
With sponges myriad-pored. Comrades and friends
With pleading words then drew them face to face,
And prayed, "In friendship straight forget your wrath."
So to their comrades' suasion hearkened they;
For wise men ever bear a placable mind.
They kissed each other, and their hearts forgat
That bitter strife. Then Thetis sable-stoled
Gave to their glad hands two great silver bowls
The which Euneus, Jason's warrior son
In sea-washed Lemnos to Achilles gave

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