And now Olympus’ shining gates unfold;
The gods, with Jove, assume their thrones of gold;
Immortal Hebe, fresh with bloom divine,
The golden goblet crowns with purple wine:
While the full bowls flow round, the powers employ
Their careful eyes on long-contended Troy.
When Jove, disposed to tempt Saturnia’s spleen,
Thus waked the fury of his partial queen.
Menelaus, said he, has two good friends among the goddesses, Juno of Argos, and Minerva of Alalcomene, but only sit still and look on, while Venus keeps ever by Alexandrus’ side to defend him in any danger; indeed she has just rescued him when he made sure that it was all over with him – for the victory really did lie with Menelaus. We must consider what we shall do about all this; shall we set them fighting anew or make peace between them? If you will agree to this last Menelaus can take back Helen and the city of Priam may remain inhabited.
So he mocked
as Athena and Queen Hera muttered between themselves,
huddled together, plotting Troy’s destruction.
True, Athena held her peace and said nothing…
smoldering at the Father, seized with wild resentment.
But Hera could hold the anger in her breast no longer,
suddenly bursting out,
What word has passed thy lips, Jove most severe!
How? wouldst thou render fruitless all my pains?
The sweat that I have poured? my steeds themselves
Have fainted while I gather’d Greece in arms
For punishment of Priam and his sons.
Do it. But small thy praise shall be in heaven.
the Lord Zeus, who drives the clouds of heaven,
Thou fury! What offence of such impiety
Hath Priam or his sons done thee, that with so high a hate
Thou shouldst thus ceaselessly desire to raze and ruinate
So well a builded town as Troy? I think thou hadst the pow’r,
Thou wouldst the ports and far-stretch’d walls fly over, and devour
Old Priam and his issue quick, and make all Troy thy feast;
And then at length I hope thy wrath and tired spleen would rest:
To which run on thy chariot, that nought be found in me
Of just cause to our future jars. In this yet strengthen thee,
And fix it thy memory fast, that if I entertain
As peremptory a desire to level with the plain
A city where thy loved live, stand not betwixt my ire,
And what it aims at, but give way, when thou hast thy desire,
Which now I grant thee willingly, although against Troy will:
For not beneath the ample sun, and heaven’s star bearing hill,
There is a town of earthly men so honour’d in my mind
As sacred Troy, nor of earth’s kings as Priam and his kind,
Who never let my alters lack rich feast of off’rings slain,
And their sweet savours: for which grace I honour them again.
And wide-eyed Hera
There are three cities, indeed, most dear to me: Argos, Sparta, and wide-wayed Mycenae; destroy these whenever they become hateful to thy soul. In behalf of these I neither stand forth, nor do I grudge them to thee: for even were I to grudge them, and not suffer thee to destroy them, by grudging I avail nothing, since thou art much more powerful. And yet it becomes (thee) to render my labour not fruitless; for I am a goddess, and thence my race, whence thine; and wily Saturn begat me, very venerable on two accounts, both by my parentage, and because I have been called spouse. Moreover, thou rulest amongst all the immortals. But truly let us make these concessions to each other: I, on my part, to thee, and thou to me; and the other immortal gods will follow. Do thou without delay bid Minerva go to the dreadful battle-din of the Trojans and Greeks, and contrive that the Trojans may first begin to injure the most renowned Greeks, contrary to the leagues.
This way Hera
prompted him, and the father of the gods and men
complied by saying briskly to Athena:
Down you go to Troy’s and Achaea’s armies now –
and see that the Trojans break the sworn truce first
and trample on the Argives in their triumph.
This is what Minerva was already eager to do, so down she darted
from the topmost summits of Olympus. She shot through the sky as some brilliant meteor which the son of scheming Saturn has sent as a sign to mariners or to some great army, and a fiery train of light follows in its wake. The Trojans and Achaeans were struck with awe as they beheld, and one would turn to his neighbour, saying,
The gods (they cried) the gods this signal sent,
And fate now labours with some vast event:
Jove seals the league, or bloodier scenes prepares;
Jove, the great arbiter of peace and wars!
Thus then did some of the Greeks and Trojans say; but she like a hero entered the host of the Trojans, the brave warrior Laodocus, son of Antenor, seeking godlike Pandarus, if any where she might find
a man that being bred
Out of a faithless family, she thought was fit to shed
The blood of any innocent, and break the covenant sworn.
She found the blameless and valiant son of Lycaon standing, and around him the brave ranks of shielded warriors, who had followed him from the streams of Aesepus; and standing near, she thus to him spoke winged words:
Son of Lykaon,
I have in mind an exploit that may tempt you,
tempt a fighting heart. Have you the gall
to send an arrow like a fork of lightning
home against Menelaos? Every Trojan
heart would rise, and every man would praise you,
especially Alexandros, the prince –
you would be sure to come by glittering gifts
if he could see the warrior, Menelaos,
the son of Atreus, brought down by your bow,
then bedded on a glorious pyre!
brace yourself for a shot at Menelaos.
Engage to pay Apollo, the bright archer,
a perfect hekatomb of firstling lambs
when you go home to your old town, Zeleia.
So Pallas spake, to
the mad-gift-greedy man
whom infatuate he
Listening, uncased at once his polished bow.
That bow, the laden brows of a wild goat
Salacious had supplied; him on a day
Forth issuing from his cave, in ambush placed
He wounded this an arrow to his breast
Dispatch’d, and on the rock supine he fell.
Each horn had from his head tall growth attain’d,
Full sixteen palms; them shaven smooth the smith
Had aptly join’d, and tipt their points with gold.
That bow he strung, then stooping, planted firm
The nether horn, his comrades bold the while
Screening him close with shields, lest ere the prince
Were stricken, Menelaus, brave in arms,
The Greeks with fierce assault should interpose.
his quiver top and drew a feathered arrow,
Unflown, full-fledged, and barb’d with pangs of death
Smoothly on the string
he fitted the sharp arrow.
And vow’d to Lycian Phoebus bow-renown’d
A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock,
To fair Zeleia’s walls once safe restored.
Compressing next nerve and notch’d arrow-head
He drew back both together, to his pap
Drew home the nerve, the barb home to his bow,
And when horn was curved to a wide arch,
he twanged it.
string sang, and the arrow whizzed away,
needlesharp, vicious, flashing through the crowd.
Menelaus, the blessed deathless gods did not forget you,
Zeus’s daughter the queen of fighters first of all.
She reared before you, skewed the tearing shaft,
flicking it off your skin as quick as a mother
flicks a fly from her baby sleeping softly.
So from her babe, when slumber seals his eye,
The watchful mother wafts the envenom’d fly.
Just where his belt with golden buckles joined,
Where linen folds the double corslet lined,
She turn’d the shaft, which, hissing from above
Pass’d the broad belt, and through the corslet drove;
The folds it pierced, the plaited linen tore,
And razed the skin, and drew the purple gore.
As when some woman of Meonia or Caria strains purple dye on to a piece of Ivory that is to be the cheek-piece of a horse, and it is to be laid up in a treasure house – many a knight is fain to bear it, but the king keeps it as an ornament of which both horse and driver may be proud – even so, O Menelaus, were your shapely thighs and your legs down to your fair ancles stained with blood.
Then Agamemnon, the king of men, shuddered, as he beheld the black gore flowing from the wound, and Mars-beloved Menelaus himself shuddered. But when he saw the string and the barbs still outside, his courage was once more collected in his breast. But Agamemnon, deeply sighing, and holding Menelaus with his hand, spoke thus amidst them, and all his companions kept groaning with him:
I swore thy death, my brother when I swore
This truce, and set thee forth in sight of Greeks
And Trojans, our sole champion; for the foe
Hath trodden underfoot his sacred oath,
And stained it with thy blood. But not in vain,
The truce was ratified, the blood of lambs
Poured forth, libation made, and right hands join’d
In holy confidence. The wrath of Jove
May sleep, but will not always; they shall pay
Dear penalty; their own obnoxious heads
Shall be the mulct, their children and their wives.
For this I know, know surely; that a day
Shall come, when Ilium, when the warlike King
of Ilium and his host shall perish all.
Saturnian Jove high-throned, dwelling in heaven,
Resentful of this outrage, then shall shake
His storm-clad Aegis over them. He will;
I speak no fable. Time shall prove me true.
But oh my Menelaus, dire distress
Awaits me, if thy close of life be come,
And thou must die. Then ignominy foul
Shall hunt me back to Argos long-desired;
For then all here will recollect their home,
And, hope abandoning, will Helen yield
To be the boast of Priam, and of Troy.
So shall our toils be vain, and while thy bones
Shall waste these clods beneath, Troy’s haughty sons
The tomb of Menelaus glory-crown’d
Insulting barbarous, shall scoff at me.
So may Atrides, shall they say, perform
his anger still as he performed it here,
Whither he led an unsuccessful host,
Whence he hath sail’d again without the spoils,
And where he left his brother’s bones to rot.
So shall the Trojan speak; then open earth
Her mouth, and hide me in her deepest gulfs!
But red-haired Menelaus said:
Nor shall this ever chance, said he, and therefore be of cheer,
Lest all the army, led by you, your passions put in fear:
The arrow fell in no such place as death could enter at;
My girdle, curets doubled here, and my most trusted plate,
Objected all ‘twixt me and death, the shaft scarce piercing one.
Then Agamemnon said:
Would that it were so, O beloved Menelaus; but the physician shall probe the wound, and apply remedies, which may ease thee of thy acute pains.
and spoke out to Talthybios, the crier:
Haste, call hither quick
The son of Aesculapius, leech renown’d,
The prince Machaon. Bid him fly to attend
The war-like chieftain Menelaus; him
Some archer, either Lycian or of Troy,
A dextrous one, hath stricken with a shaft
To his own glory, and to our distress.
The herald obeyed at once.
He ran through the ranks of Achaeans armed in bronze,
searching for brave Machaon. Find him he did,
standing by, flanked by the bands of shielded men
who’d trooped with him from the stallion-land of Tricca.
He halted beside him there and let his message fly:
Son of Aesculapius, King Agamemnon says you are to come and see Menelaus immediately. Some Trojan or Lycian archer has wounded him with an arrow to our dismay and to his own great glory.
The heavy tidings grieved the godlike man;
Swift to his succor through the ranks he ran:
The dauntless king yet standing firm he found,
And all the chiefs in deep concern around.
Where to the steely point the reed was join’d,
The shaft he drew, but left the head behind.
Straight the broad belt with gay embroidery graced
He loosed; the corslet from his breast unbraced;
Then suck’d the blood, and sovereign balm infused,
Which Chiron gave and Aesculapius used.
While these were thus employ’d to ease the Atrean martialist,
The Trojans arm’d, and charg’d the Greeks; the Greeks arm and resist.
Then not asleep nor maz’d with fear, nor shifting off the blows,
You could behold the king of men, but in full speed he goes
To set glorious fight on foot: and he examples this
With toiling, like the worst, on foot
He left his steeds, indeed, and his brass-variegated chariot; and these his servant Eurymedon, son of Ptolymaeus, the son of Pirais, held apart panting.
Those of his swiftly-mounted Greeks that in their arms were fit,
Those he put on with cheerful words, and bad them not remit
never relax your nerve, your fighting strength!
Father Zeus, I swear, will never defend the Trojans,
liars – they were the first to trample on their oaths.
So vultures will eat them raw, their firm young flesh,
and we, we’ll drag their dear wives and helpless children
back to the beaked ships, once we've seized their city!
But such as he beheld hang off from increasing fight,
Such would he bitterly rebuke, and with disgrace excite:
Argives, ye arrow fighters, subjects for disgrace, are ye not ashamed?
Why stand ye here astounded, like fawns, which, when they are wearied, running through the extensive plain, stand, and have no strength in their hearts? Thus do ye stand amazed, nor fight. Do ye await the Trojans until they come near, where your fair-prowed galleys are moored on the shore of the hoary sea, that ye may know whether the sun of Saturn will stretch forth his hand over you.
Thus did he go about giving his orders among the ranks. Passing through the crowd, he came presently on the Cretans, arming round Idomeneus, who was at their head, fierce as a wild boar,
stout as a boar
while Meriones was bringing up the battalions that were in the rear.
Agamemnon was glad when he saw him, and spoke him fairly.
Thee fighting, feasting, howsoe’er employed,
I most respect, Idomeneus, of all
The well-horsed Danaei; for when the Chiefs
Of Argos, banqueting, their beakers charge
With rosy wine the honorable meed
Of Valor, thou alone of all the Greeks
Drink’st not by measure. No – thy goblet stands
Replenish’d still, like myself thou knowest
No rule or bound, save what thy choice prescribes.
March. Seek the foe. Fight now as heretofore,
To this Idomeneus, captain of Kretans,
Secure of me, O king! exhort the rest.
Fix’d to thy side, in every toil I share,
Thy firm associate in the day of war.
But let the signal be this moment given;
To mix in fight is all I ask of Heaven.
The field shall prove how perjuries succeed,
And chains or death avenge the impious deed.
the son of Atreus strode on. Elated and making way
through crowds of troops he found the two called Ajax,
great and little, both captains armed for attack
with a cloud of infantry forming up behind them.
Think how a goatherd off on a mountain lookout
spots a storm cloud moving down the sea…
bearing down beneath the rush of the West Wind
Driv’n by the breath of Zephyrus
and miles away he sees it building black as pitch
black as pitch
blacker, whipping the whitecaps, full hurricane fury –
the herdsman shudders to see it, drives his flock to a cave –
so dense the battalions grouped behind the Aeantes,
packed, massed with hardy fighters dear to the gods,
battalions black and bristling shields and spears,
fighters sweeping into the breaking storm of war.
And king Agamemnon, thrilled to see that sight,
sped them on with a rousing flight of praise:
No need, he cried, to give orders to such leaders of the Argives as you are, for of your own selves you spurn your men on to fight with might and main. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo that all were so minded as you are, for the city of Priam would then soon fall beneath our hands, and we should sack it.
Thus having said, he left them there and went to the others; there he found Nestor, the harmonious orator of the Pylians, marshalling his associates, and exhorting them to battle, mighty Pelagon, Alastor, Chromius, and prince Haemon, and Bias the shepherd of the people. In front, indeed, he placed the cavalry with their horses and chariots, but the foot, both numerous and brave, in the rear, to be the stay of
the battle; but the cowards he drove into the middle, that every man, even unwilling, might fight from necessity. At first, indeed, he gave orders to the horsemen; these he commanded to rein in their horses, nor to be confused with the crowd.
Let no warrior, vain
And overweening of his strength or skill,
Start from his rank to dare the fight alone,
Or fall behind it, weakening whom he leaves.
And if, dismounted from his own he climb,
Another’s chariot, let him not affect
Perverse the reins, but let him stand, his spear
Advancing firm, far better so employ’d.
Such was the discipline, in ancient times,
Of our forefathers; by these rules they fought
Successful, and laid many a city low.
So spoke the master of the martial art,
And touch’d with transport great Atrides heart.
I wish you had the same force in your legs
as in your fighting heart; I wish your strength
were whole again. The wrinkling years have worn you.
Better some other soldier had your age,
and you were still among the young.
And Nestor, knight of Gerene, answered,
Well might I wish, could mortal wish renew
That strength which once boiling youth I knew;
Such as I was, when Ereuthalion slain
Beneath this arm fell prostrate on the plain.
But heaven its gifts not all at once bestows,
These years with wisdom crowns, with action those:
The field of combat fits the young and bold,
The solemn council best becomes the old:
To you the glorious conflict I resign,
Let sage advice, the palm of age, be mine.
Thus he spoke; and the son of Atreus passed him by, rejoicing at his heart. Next he found the horseman Menestheus, son of Peteus, standing, and around him the Athenians skilled in the war-shout:
But crafty Ulysses stood near; and round him stood the ranks of the Cephallenians not feeble; for not yet had the troops of these heard the shout, since lately the roused phalanxes of the horse-subduing Trojans and of the Greeks moved along; but they stood waiting till another division of the Greeks, coming on should charge the Trojans and begin the battle. Having seen these, therefore, Agamemnon, the king of men, reproved them, and, accosting them, spoke winged words:
You there, Peteos’ son, a king, dear to the gods!
And you, the captain of craft and cunning, shrewd with greed!
Why are you cowering here, skulking out of range?
Waiting for others to do your fighting for you?
You – it’s your duty to stand in the front ranks
and take your share of the scorching blaze of battle.
First you are, when you hear of feasts from me,
when Achaeans set out banquets for the chiefs.
Then you are happy enough to down the roast meats
and cups of honeyed, mellow wine – all you can drink.
But now you’d gladly watch ten troops of Achaeans
beat you to this feast,
first to fight with the ruthless bronze before you!
Ulysses glared at him and answered,
What words are these
Which have escaped thy lips;
the barrier of thy teeth
and for what cause,
Atrides, hast thou call’d me slow to fight?
When we of Greece shall in sharp contest clash
With yon steed tamer Trojans, mark me then;
Then thou shalt see (if the concerns of war
So nearly touch thee, and thou so incline)
The father of Telemachus, engaged
Among the foremost Trojans. But thy speech
Was light as is the wind, and rashly made.
Struck with his generous wrath, the king replies:
Son of Laertes and the gods of old,
Odysseus, master mariner and soldier,
I would not be unfair to you; I need not
give you orders, knowing as I do
that you are well disposed toward all I plan.
Your thought is like my own.
Come, then; in time we’ll make amends for this,
if anything uncalled for has been said:
God send the seawinds blow it out of mind!
Thus parted they; and forth he went, when he did leaning find,
Against his chariot, near his horse, him with a mighty mind,
Great Diomedes (Tydeus’ son) and Sthenelus, the seed of Capaneius, whom the king seeing likewise out of deed,
This cried he out on Diomed:
Son of Tydeus, he said, why stand you cowering here upon the brink of battle? Tydeus did not shrink thus, but was ever ahead of his men when leading them on against the foe – so, at least, say they that saw him in battle, for I never set eyes upon him myself. They say that there was no man like him. He came once to Mycenae, not as an enemy but as a guest, in company with Polynices to recruit his forces, for they were levying war against the strong city of Thebes, and prayed our people for a body of picked men to help them. The men of Mycenae were willing to let them have one, but Jove dissuaded them by showing them unfavourable omens. Tydeus, therefore, and Polynices went their way. When they had got as far as the deep-meadowed and rush-grown banks of the AEsopus, the Achaeans sent Tydeus as their envoy, and he found the Cadmeans gathered in great numbers to a banquet in the house of Eteocles. Stranger though he was, he knew no fear on finding himself single-handed among so many, but challenged them to contests of all kinds, and in each one of them was at once victorious, so mightily did Minerva help him. The Cadmeans were incensed at his success, and set a force of fifty youths with two captains –
the godlike hero Maeon, the son of Haemon, and Polyphontes, son of Autophonus – at their head, to lie in wait for him on his return journey; but Tydeus slew every man of them, save only Maeon, whom he let go in obedience to heaven’s omens. Such was Tydeus of Aetolia. His son can talk more glibly, but he cannot fight as his father did.
the rugged man, said nothing whatsoever,
accepting his commander’s reprimand.
But Sthenelos, the son of Kapaneus,
made a retort:
Don’t lie Atrides! You know the truth ¬– say it!
We claim we are far, far greater than our fathers.
We are the ones who stormed the seven gates of Thebes,
heading a weaker force and facing stronger walls
but obeying the gods’ signs and backed by Zeus.
Our fathers? Fools. Their own bravado killed them.
Don’t tell me you rank our fathers with ourselves.
Now rugged Diomedes with a frown
turned and said:
Sthenelus, my friend!
I give thee counsel. Mark it. Hold thy peace.
If Agamemnon, who hath charge of all,
Excite his well-appointed host to war,
He hath no blame from me. For should the Greeks
(Her people vanquished) win imperial Troy,
The glory shall be his; or, if his host
O’erpower’d in battle perish, his the shame.
Come, therefore; be it ours to rouse at once
To action all the fury of our might.
He spoke, and from his chariot leaped with his arms upon the earth, and dreadfully sounded the brass on the breast of the prince, as he moved rapidly along: then truly would fear have seized even a brave spirit.
As when the winds ascending by degrees,
First move the whitening surface of the seas,
when the west wind has lashed it into fury
The billows float in order to the shore,
The wave behind rolls on the wave before;
Till, with growing storm, the deeps arise,
Foam o’er the rocks, and thunder to the skies.
even so did the serried phalanxes of the Danaans march steadfastly to battle.
Sedate and silent move the numerous bands;
No sound, no whisper, but the chief’s commands,
Those only heard; with awe the rest obey,
As if some god had snatch’d their voice away.
But the Trojans
As when the fleecy flocks unnumber’d stand
In wealthy folds, and wait the milker’s hand,
having heard the voice of their lambs – thus was the clamour of the Trojans excited through the wide army.
and not one cry, no common voice to bind them
all together, their tongues mixed and clashed,
their men hailed from so many far-flung countries.
Ares drove them, fiery-eyed Athena drove the Argives,
But Terror followed both the hosts, and Flight, and furious, Strife
(the sister and the mate of
Mars), that spoil of human life;
And never is her rage at rest; at first she is but small,
Yet after, but a little fed, she grows so vast and tall,
That while her feet move here in earth, her forehead is in heaven:
And this was she that made even then both hosts so deadly given.
When the long lines met at the point of contact,
there was a shock of bull’s hide, battering pikes,
and weight of men in bronze.
Bucklers with bosses
ground into one another. A great din rose,
in one same air elation and agony
of men destroying and destroyed, and earth
astream with blood.
The bold Antilochus the slaughter led
The first who struck a valiant Trojan dead:
At great Echopolus the lance arrives,
Razed his high crest, and through his helmet drives;
Warm’d in the brain the brazen weapon lies,
And shades eternal settle o’er his eyes.
So sinks a tower, that long assaults had stood
of force and fire, its walls besmear’d with blood.
headlong as a tower he fell amid the press of fight, and as he dropped
King Elephenor, son of Chalcodon and captain of the proud Abantes began dragging him out of reach of the darts that were falling around him, in haste to strip him of his armour.
But this purpose was not for long; Agenor saw him haling the body away, and smote him in the side with his bronze-shod spear – for as he stooped his side was left unprotected by his shield – and thus perished.
So Elephenor fell, for whom arose
Sharp conflict; Greeks and Trojans mutual flew
wolves to battle, and man grappled man.
Then Telemonian Ajax smote the blooming youth Simoisius, son of Anthemion, whom formerly his mother, descending from Ida, brought forth on the banks of Simios, when, to wit, she followed her parents to view the flocks; wherefore they called him Simiosius. Nor did he repay to his dear parents the price of his early nurture, for his life was short, he being slain with a spear by magnanimous Ajax. For him advancing
first he (Ajax) struck him on the breast, near the right pap: and the brazen spear passed out through his shoulder on the opposite side.
He fell on the ground on the dust, like a poplar, which has sprung up in the moist grass-land of an extensive marsh, – branches grow smooth,
straight and tall in a meadow by some mere
In moist edge of a mighty fen, his head in curls
But all his body plain and smooth;
yet upon the very top, which the chariot-maker lops with the shining steel, that he might bend (it as) a felloe for a beauteous chariot. Drying, it lies indeed on the banks of the river. So did the high-born Ajax spoil Simoisius, the descendant of Anthemion.
Thereon Antiphus of the gleaming corslet, son of Priam, hurled a spear at Ajax
but his sharp spear missed
and he hit Leucus
the faithful companion of Ulysses, in the groin, as he was drawing the body aside;
It dropped out of his grasp, and he fell over it.
Then burned Ulysses’ wrath for Leucus slain,
And through the foremost combatants, array’d
In dazzling arms, he rush’d. Full near he stood,
And, looking keen around him, hurl’d a lance.
His friend’s grief gave it angry pow’r, and deadly way it held
Upon Democoon, who was sprung of Priam’s wanton force,
Came from Abydus, and was made the master of his horse;
The weapon enter’d close above his ear,
Cold through his temples glides the whizzing spear;
With piercing shrieks the youth resigns his breath,
His eye-balls darken with the shades of death.
Ponderous he falls; his clanging arms resound,
And his broad buckler rings against the ground.
The Trojan front gave way, Prince Hektor, too,
while Argives raised a great yell. Dragging dead men
out of the press, they made a deep advance.
Now looking down from Pergamos, Apollo
in indignation cried out to the Trojans:
Turn, turn, ye Trojans! face your Grecian foes.
They, like yourselves, are vulnerable flesh,
Not adamant or steel. Your direst dread
Achilles, son of Thetis radiant-hair’d,
Fights not, but sullen in his fleet abides.
Thus spoke the dreadful god from the city. But most glorious Tritonian Pallas, the daughter of Jove, going through the host, roused the Greeks wherever she saw them relaxing.
Then fate fell upon Diores, the son of Amarynceus, for he was stuck by a jagged stone near the ancle of his right leg. He that hurled it was Peirous, son of Imbrasus, captain of the Thracians, who had come from Aenus; the bones and both the tendons were crushed by the pitiless stone. He fell to the ground on his back, and in his death throes stretched out his hands towards his comrades. But Peirous, who had wounded him, sprang on him and thrust a spear into his belly,
And through his navel drove the pointed death:
His gushing entrails smoked upon the ground,
And the warm life came issuing from the wound.
and darkness veiled his eyes.
Then Thoas the Aitolian lunged at Peiros,
hitting him with a spear above the nipple,
so the bronze point stuck in his lung; and Thoas
at close quarters, wrenching the heavy spear,
pulled it out of his chest, then drew his sword
His sword flew in, and by the midst it wip’d his belly out,
But he did not spoil him of his armour, for his companions stood round him, the hair-tufted Thracians, holding long spears in their hands, who drove him from them, though being mighty, and valiant, and glorious; but he, retreating, was repulsed with force.
They therefore in the dust, the Epean Chief
Diores, and the Thracian, Pirus lay
Stretch’d side by side, with numerous slain around.
With copious slaughter all the fields are red,
And heaped with growing mountains of the dead.
no man who waded into that work could scorn it any longer,
anyone still not speared or stabbed by tearing bronze
who whirled into the heart of all that slaughter –
not even if great Athena led him by the hand,
flicking away the weapons hailing down against him.
That day ranks of Trojans, ranks of Achaean fighters
sprawled there side-by-side, facedown in the dust.