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The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)   


Of harvest might a reaper fling from him
A dry oak-bough, when all the fields are parched.
And all men marvelled to behold how far
Flew from his hand the bronze which scarce two men
Hard-straining had uplifted from the ground.
Even this Antaeus' might was wont to hurl
Erstwhile, ere the strong hands of Hercules
O'ermastered him. This, with much spoil beside,
Hercules took, and kept it to make sport
For his invincible hand; but afterward
Gave it to valiant Peleus, who with him
Had smitten fair-towered Ilium's burg renowned;
And he to Achilles gave it, whose swift ships
Bare it to Troy, to put him aye in mind
Of his own father, as with eager will
He fought with stalwart Trojans, and to be
A worthy test wherewith to prove his strength.
Even this did Aias from his brawny hand
Fling far. So then the Nereid gave to him
The glorious arms from godlike Memnon stripped.
Marvelling the Argives gazed on them: they were
A giant's war-gear. Laughing a glad laugh
That man renowned received them: he alone
Could wear them on his brawny limbs; they seemed
As they had even been moulded to his frame.
The great bar thence he bore withal, to be
His joy when he was fain of athlete-toil.

Still sped the contests on; and many rose
Now for the leaping. Far beyond the marks
Of all the rest brave Agapenor sprang:
Loud shouted all for that victorious leap;
And Thetis gave him the fair battle-gear
Of mighty Cycnus, who had smitten first
Protesilaus, then had reft the life
From many more, till Peleus' son slew him
First of the chiefs of grief-enshrouded Troy.

Next, in the javelin-cast Euryalus
Hurled far beyond all rivals, while the folk
Shouted aloud: no archer, so they deemed,
Could speed a winged shaft farther than his cast;
Therefore the Aeacid hero's mother gave
To him a deep wide silver oil-flask, ta'en
By Achilles in possession, when his spear
Slew Mynes, and he spoiled Lyrnessus' wealth.

Then fiery-hearted Aias eagerly
Rose, challenging to strife of hands and feet
The mightiest hero there; but marvelling
They marked his mighty thews, and no man dared
Confront him. Chilling dread had palsied all
Their courage: from their hearts they feared him, lest
His hands invincible should all to-break
His adversary's face, and naught but pain
Be that man's meed. But at the last all men
Made signs to battle-bider Euryalus,
For well they knew him skilled in fighting-craft;
But he too feared that giant, and he cried:
"Friends, any other Achaean, whom ye will,
Blithe will I face; but mighty Alas -- no!
Far doth he overmatch me. He will rend
Mine heart, if in the onset anger rise
Within him: from his hands invincible,

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