Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Quintus
Pages of The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)

Previous | Next

The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   

Then Cronos' Son dispersed that dense dark cloud:
Mist-like it thinned and vanished into air:
Straightway the plain and all the land were seen.
Then far away about the Scaean Gate
He saw the Trojans: seeming like his sire,
He sped against them; they at his coming quailed.
As shipmen tremble when a wild wave bears
Down on their bark, wind-heaved until it swings
Broad, mountain-high above them, when the sea
Is mad with tempest; so, as on he came,
Terror clad all those Trojans as a cloak,
The while he shouted, cheering on his men:
"Hear, friends! -- fill full your hearts with dauntless strength,
The strength that well beseemeth mighty men
Who thirst to win them glorious victory,
To win renown from battle's tumult! Come,
Brave hearts, now strive we even beyond our strength
Till we smite Troy's proud city, till we win
Our hearts' desire! Foul shame it were to abide
Long deedless here and strengthless, womanlike!
Ere I be called war-blencher, let me die!"

Then unto Ares' work their spirits flamed.
Down on the Trojans charged they: yea, and these
Fought with high courage, round their city now,
And now from wall and gate-towers. Never lulled
The rage of war, while Trojan hearts were hot
To hurl the foemen back, and the strong Greeks
To smite the town: grim havoc compassed all.

Then, eager for the Trojans' help, swooped down
Out of Olympus, cloaked about with clouds,
The son of Leto. Mighty rushing winds
Bare him in golden armour clad; and gleamed
With lightning-splendour of his descent the long
Highways of air. His quiver clashed; loud rang
The welkin; earth re-echoed, as he set
His tireless feet by Xanthus. Pealed his shout
Dreadly, with courage filling them of Troy,
Scaring their foes from biding the red fray.
But of all this the mighty Shaker of Earth
Was ware: he breathed into the fainting
Greeks Fierce valour, and the fight waxed murderous
Through those Immortals' clashing wills. Then died
Hosts numberless on either side. In wrath
Apollo thought to smite Achilles' son
In the same place where erst he smote his sire;
But birds of boding screamed to left, to stay
His mood, and other signs from heaven were sent;
Yet was his wrath not minded to obey
Those portents. Swiftly drew Earth-shaker nigh
In mist celestial cloaked: about his feet
Quaked the dark earth as came the Sea-king on.
Then, to stay Phoebus' hand, he cried to him:
"Refrain thy wrath: Achilles' giant son
Slay not! Olympus' Lord himself shall be
Wroth for his death, and bitter grief shall light
On me and all the Sea-gods, as erstwhile
For Achilles' sake. Nay, get thee back to heights
Celestial, lest thou kindle me to wrath,
And so I cleave a sudden chasm in earth,
And Ilium and all her walls go down
To darkness. Thine own soul were vexed thereat."

Previous | Next
Site Search