Save some that mid the tents by wounded men
Tarried, lest haply raiders on the ships
Might fall, to help the Trojans, while these fought
The foe from towers, while rose the flame of war.
Before the Scaean gate fought Capaneus' son
And godlike Diomedes. High above
Deiphobus battle-staunch and strong Polites
With many comrades, stoutly held them back
With arrows and huge stones. Clanged evermore
The smitten helms and shields that fenced strong men
From bitter doom and unrelenting fate,
Before the Gate Idaean Achilles' son
Set in array the fight: around him toiled
His host of battle-cunning Myrmidons.
Helenus and Agenor gallant-souled,
Down-hailing darts, against them held the wall,
Aye cheering on their men. No spurring these
Needed to fight hard for their country's walls.
Odysseus and Eurypylus made assault
Unresting on the gates that fated the plain
And looked to the swift ships. From wall and tower
With huge stones brave Aeneas made defence.
In battle-stress by Simons Teucer toiled.
Each endured hardness at his several post.
Then round war-wise Odysseus men renowned,
By that great captain's battle cunning ruled,
Locked shields together, raised them o'er their heads
Ranged side by side, that many were made one.
Thou hadst said it was a great hall's solid roof,
Which no tempestuous wind-blast misty wet
Can pierce, nor rain from heaven in torrents poured.
So fenced about with shields firm stood the ranks
Of Argives, one in heart for fight, and one
In that array close-welded. From above
The Trojans hailed great stones; as from a rock
Rolled these to earth. Full many a spear and dart
And galling javelin in the pierced shields stood;
Some in the earth stood; many glanced away
With bent points falling baffled from the shields
Battered on all sides. But that clangorous din
None feared; none flinched; as pattering drops of rain
They heard it. Up to the rampart's foot they marched:
None hung back; shoulder to shoulder on they came
Like a long lurid cloud that o'er the sky
Cronion trails in wild midwinter-tide.
On that battalion moved, with thunderous tread
Of tramping feet: a little above the earth
Rose up the dust; the breeze swept it aside
Drifting away behind the men. There went
A sound confused of voices with them, like
The hum of bees that murmur round the hives,
And multitudinous panting, and the gasp
Of men hard-breathing. Exceeding glad the sons
Of Atreus, glorying in them, saw that wall
Unwavering of doom-denouncing war.
In one dense mass against the city-gate
They hurled themselves, with twibills strove to breach
The long walls, from their hinges to upheave
The gates, and dash to earth. The pulse of hope