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The Fall of Troy (book 7 - 14)   


Holding as naught the perils of the path;
So stayed the Trojans, spite of their desire
[To flee the imminent death that waited them]
Beneath the wall. Godlike Eurypylus
Aye cheered them on to fight. He trusted still
That this new mighty foe would weary at last
With toil of slaughter; but he wearied not.

That desperate battle-travail Pallas saw,
And left the halls of Heaven incense-sweet,
And flew o'er mountain-crests: her hurrying feet
Touched not the earth, borne by the air divine
In form of cloud-wreaths, swifter than the wind.
She came to Troy, she stayed her feet upon
Sigeum's windy ness, she looked forth thence
Over the ringing battle of dauntless men,
And gave the Achaeans glory. Achilles' son
Beyond the rest was filled with valour and strength
Which win renown for men in whom they meet.
Peerless was he in both: the blood of Zeus
Gave strength; to his father's valour was he heir;
So by those towers he smote down many a foe.
And as a fisher on the darkling sea,
To lure the fish to their destruction, takes
Within his boat the strength of fire; his breath
Kindles it to a flame, till round the boat
Glareth its splendour, and from the black sea
Dart up the fish all eager to behold
The radiance -- for the last time; for the barbs
Of his three-pointed spear, as up they leap,
Slay them; his heart rejoices o'er the prey.
So that war-king Achilles' glorious son
Slew hosts of onward-rushing foes around
That wall of stone. Well fought the Achaeans all,
Here, there, adown the ramparts: rang again
The wide strand and the ships: the battered walls
Groaned ever. Men with weary ache of toil
Fainted on either side; sinews and might
Of strong men were unstrung. But o'er the son
Of battle-stay Achilles weariness
Crept not: his battle-eager spirit aye
Was tireless; never touched by palsying fear
He fought on, as with the triumphant strength
Of an ever-flowing river: though it roll
'Twixt blazing forests, though the madding blast
Roll stormy seas of flame, it feareth not,
For at its brink faint grows the fervent heat,
The strong flood turns its might to impotence;
So weariness nor fear could bow the knees
Of Hero Achilles' gallant-hearted son,
Still as he fought, still cheered his comrades on.
Of myriad shafts sped at him none might touch
His flesh, but even as snowflakes on a rock
Fell vainly ever: wholly screened was he
By broad shield and strong helmet, gifts of a God.
In these exulting did the Aeacid's son
Stride all along the wall, with ringing shouts
Cheering the dauntless Argives to the fray,
Being their mightiest far, bearing a soul
Insatiate of the awful onset-cry,
Burning with one strong purpose, to avenge
His father's death: the Myrmidons in their king
Exulted. Roared the battle round the wall.

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