The Fall of Troy (book 1 - 6)
There by Evenus' torrent, in fierce wrath
For his sweet bride, he laid with the arrow low
Nessus in mid-flight. There withal was wrought
Antaeus' brawny strength, who challenged him
To wrestling-strife; he in those sinewy arms
Raised high above the earth, was crushed to death.
There where swift Hellespont meets the outer sea,
Lay the sea-monster slain by his ruthless shafts,
While from Hesione he rent her chains.
Of bold Alcides many a deed beside
Shone on the broad shield of Eurypylus.
He seemed the War-god, as from rank to rank
He sped; rejoiced the Trojans following him,
Seeing his arms, and him clothed with the might
Of Gods; and Paris hailed him to the fray:
"Glad am I for thy coming, for mine heart
Trusts that the Argives all shall wretchedly
Be with their ships destroyed; for such a man
Mid Greeks or Trojans never have I seen.
Now, by the strength and fury of Hercules --
To whom in stature, might, and goodlihead
Most like thou art I pray thee, have in mind
Him, and resolve to match his deeds with thine.
Be the strong shield of Trojans hard-bestead:
Win us a breathing-space. Thou only, I trow,
From perishing Troy canst thrust the dark doom back."
With kindling words he spake. That hero cried:
"Great-hearted Paris, like the Blessed Ones
In goodlihead, this lieth foreordained
On the Gods' knees, who in the fight shall fall,
And who outlive it. I, as honour bids,
And as my strength sufficeth, will not flinch
From Troy's defence. I swear to turn from fight
Never, except in victory or death."
Gallantly spake he: with exceeding joy
Rejoiced the Trojans. Champions then he chose,
Alexander and Aeneas fiery-souled,
Polydamas, Pammon, and Deiphobus,
And Aethicus, of Paphlagonian men
The staunchest man to stem the tide of war;
These chose he, cunning all in battle-toil,
To meet the foe in forefront of the fight.
Swiftly they strode before that warrior-throng
Then from the city cheering charged. The host
Followed them in their thousands, as when bees
Follow by bands their leaders from the hives,
With loud hum on a spring day pouring forth.
So to the fight the warriors followed these;
And, as they charged, the thunder-tramp of men
And steeds, and clang of armour, rang to heaven.
As when a rushing mighty wind stirs up
The barren sea-plain from its nethermost floor,
And darkling to the strand roll roaring waves
Belching sea-tangle from the bursting surf,
And wild sounds rise from beaches harvestless;
So, as they charged, the wide earth rang again.
Now from their rampart forth the Argives poured
Round godlike Agamemnon. Rang their shouts
Cheering each other on to face the fight,