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)   

But wrathful on the Argives still he pressed,
As when of old on Pholoe's long-ridged heights
Upon the Centaurs terrible Hercules rushed
Storming in might, and slew them, passing-swift
And strong and battle-cunning though they were;
So rushed he on, so smote he down the array,
One after other, of the Danaan spears.
Heaps upon heaps, here, there, in throngs they fell
Strewn in the dust. As when a river in flood
Comes thundering down, banks crumble on either side
To drifting sand: on seaward rolls the surge
Tossing wild crests, while cliffs on every hand
Ring crashing echoes, as their brows break down
Beneath long-leaping roaring waterfalls,
And dikes are swept away; so fell in dust
The war-famed Argives by Eurypylus slain,
Such as he overtook in that red rout.
Some few escaped, whom strength of fleeing feet
Delivered. Yet in that sore strait they drew
Peneleos from the shrieking tumult forth,
And bare to the ships, though with swift feet themselves
Were fleeing from ghastly death, from pitiless doom.
Behind the rampart of the ships they fled
In huddled rout: they had no heart to stand
Before Eurypylus, for Hercules,
To crown with glory his son's stalwart son,
Thrilled them with panic. There behind their wall
They cowered, as goats to leeward of a hill
Shrink from the wild cold rushing of the wind
That bringeth snow and heavy sleet and haft.
No longing for the pasture tempteth them
Over the brow to step, and face the blast,
But huddling screened by rock-wall and ravine
They abide the storm, and crop the scanty grass
Under dim copses thronging, till the gusts
Of that ill wind shall lull: so, by their towers
Screened, did the trembling Danaans abide
Telephus' mighty son. Yea, he had burnt
The ships, and all that host had he destroyed,
Had not Athena at the last inspired
The Argive men with courage. Ceaselessly
From the high rampart hurled they at the foe
With bitter-biting darts, and slew them fast;
And all the walls were splashed with reeking gore,
And aye went up a moan of smitten men.

So fought they: nightlong, daylong fought they on,
Ceteians, Trojans, battle-biding Greeks,
Fought, now before the ships, and now again
Round the steep wall, with fury unutterable.
Yet even so for two days did they cease
From murderous fight; for to Eurypylus came
A Danaan embassage, saying, "From the war
Forbear we, while we give unto the flames
The battle-slain." So hearkened he to them:
From ruin-wreaking strife forebore the hosts;
And so their dead they buried, who in dust
Had fallen. Chiefly the Achaeans mourned
Peneleos; o'er the mighty dead they heaped
A barrow broad and high, a sign for men
Of days to be. But in a several place
The multitude of heroes slain they laid,
Mourning with stricken hearts. On one great pyre
They burnt them all, and buried in one grave.

Previous | Next
Site Search