The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)
Think not Achilles liveth still to war
Against us: him the ravening fire consumed.
Some other Achaean was it who so late
Enkindled them to war. Oh, shame it were
If men who fight for fatherland should fear
Achilles' self, or any Greek beside!
Let us not flinch from war-toil! have we not
Endured much battle-travail heretofore?
What, know ye not that to men sorely tried
Prosperity and joyance follow toil?
So after scourging winds and ruining storms
Zeus brings to men a morn of balmy air;
After disease new strength comes, after war
Peace: all things know Time's changeless law of change."
Then eager all for war they armed themselves
In haste. All through the town rang clangour of arms
As for grim fight strong men arrayed their limbs.
Here stood a wife, shuddering with dread of war,
Yet piling, as she wept, her husband's arms
Before his feet. There little children brought
To a father his war-gear with eager haste;
And now his heart was wrung to hear their sobs,
And now he smiled on those small ministers,
And stronger waxed his heart's resolve to fight
To the last gasp for these, the near and dear.
Yonder again, with hands that had not lost
Old cunning, a grey father for the fray
Girded a son, and murmured once and again:
"Dear boy, yield thou to no man in the war!"
And showed his son the old scars on his breast,
Proud memories of fights fought long ago.
So when they all stood mailed in battle-gear,
Forth of the gates they poured all eager-souled
For war. Against the chariots of the Greeks
Their chariots charged; their ranks of footmen pressed
To meet the footmen of the foe. The earth
Rang to the tramp of onset; pealed the cheer
From man to man; swift closed the fronts of war.
Loud clashed their arms all round; from either side
War-cries were mingled in one awful roar
Swift-winged full many a dart and arrow flew
From host to host; loud clanged the smitten shields
'Neath thrusting spears. neath javelin-point and sword:
Men hewed with battle-axes lightening down;
Crimson the armour ran with blood of men.
And all this while Troy's wives and daughters watched
From high walls that grim battle of the strong.
All trembled as they prayed for husbands, sons,
And brothers: white-haired sires amidst them sat,
And gazed, while anguished fear for sons devoured
Their hearts. But Helen in her bower abode
Amidst her maids, there held by utter shame.
So without pause before the wall they fought,
While Death exulted o'er them; deadly Strife
Shrieked out a long wild cry from host to host.
With blood of slain men dust became red mire:
Here, there, fast fell the warriors mid the fray.
Then slew Deiphobus the charioteer
Of Nestor, Hippasus' son: from that high car
Down fell he 'midst the dead; fear seized his lord