The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
From glorious Orion, plunge beneath
The stream of tireless Ocean, when the air
Is turmoil, and the sea is mad with storm;
So rushed he, whithersoe'er his feet might bear.
This way and that he ran, like some fierce beast
Which darteth down a rock-walled glen's ravines
With foaming jaws, and murderous intent
Against the hounds and huntsmen, who have torn
Out of the cave her cubs, and slain: she runs
This way and that, and roars, if mid the brakes
Haply she yet may see the dear ones lost;
Whom if a man meet in that maddened mood,
Straightway his darkest of all days hath dawned;
So ruthless-raving rushed he; blackly boiled
His heart, as caldron on the Fire-god's hearth
Maddens with ceaseless hissing o'er the flames
From blazing billets coiling round its sides,
At bidding of the toiler eager-souled
To singe the bristles of a huge-fed boar;
So was his great heart boiling in his breast.
Like a wild sea he raved, like tempest-blast,
Like the winged might of tireless flame amidst
The mountains maddened by a mighty wind,
When the wide-blazing forest crumbles down
In fervent heat. So Aias, his fierce heart
With agony stabbed, in maddened misery raved.
Foam frothed about his lips; a beast-like roar
Howled from his throat. About his shoulders clashed
His armour. They which saw him trembled, all
Cowed by the fearful shout of that one man.
From Ocean then uprose Dawn golden-reined:
Like a soft wind upfloated Sleep to heaven,
And there met Hera, even then returned
To Olympus back from Tethys, unto whom
But yester-morn she went. She clasped him round,
And kissed him, who had been her marriage-kin
Since at her prayer on Ida's erest he had lulled
To sleep Cronion, when his anger burned
Against the Argives. Straightway Hera passed
To Zeus's mansion, and Sleep swiftly flew
To Pasithea's couch. From slumber woke
All nations of the earth. But Aias, like
Orion the invincible, prowled on,
Still bearing murderous madness in his heart.
He rushed upon the sheep, like lion fierce
Whose savage heart is stung with hunger-pangs.
Here, there, he smote them, laid them dead in dust
Thick as the leaves which the strong North-wind's might
Strews, when the waning year to winter turns;
So on the sheep in fury Aias fell,
Deeming he dealt to Danaans evil doom.
Then to his brother Menelaus came,
And spake, but not in hearing of the rest:
"This day shall surely be a ruinous day
For all, since Aias thus is sense-distraught.
It may be he will set the ships aflame,
And slay us all amidst our tents, in wrath
For those lost arms. Would God that Thetis ne'er
Had set them for the prize of rivalry!
Would God Laertes' son had not presumed
In folly of soul to strive with a better man!
Fools were we all; and some malignant God