Iliad

Homer

Homer, creator; Murray, A. T. (Augustus Taber), 1866-1940, translator

So spake he, and they all, having one spirit in their breasts, took their stand, each hard by the other, leaning their shields against their shoulders. And Aeneas over against them called to his comrades,looking unto Deïphobus, and Paris, and goodly Agenor, that with himself were leaders of the Trojans; and after them followed the host, as sheep follow after the ram to water from the place of feeding, and the shepherd joyeth in his heart; even so the heart of Aeneas was glad in his breast,when he saw the throng of the host that followed after him. Then over Alcathous they clashed in close fight with their long spears, and about their breasts the bronze rang terribly as they aimed each at the other in the throng; and above all the rest two men of valour,Aeneas and Idomeneus, peers of Ares, were eager each to cleave the other's flesh with the pitiless bronze. And Aeneas first cast at Idomeneus, but he, looking steadily at him, avoided the spear of bronze, and the lance of Aeneas sank quivering down in to the earth,for that it sped in vain from his mighty hand. But Idomeneus cast and smote Oenomaus, full upon the belly, and brake the plate of his corselet, and the bronze let forth the bowels therethrough; and he fell in the dust and clutched the earth in his palm. And Idomeneus drew forth from out the corpse the far-shadowing spear,yet could he not prevail likewise to strip the rest of the fair armour from his shoulders, since he was sore pressed with missiles. For the joints of his feet were not firm as of old in a charge, that he might rush forth after his own cast, or avoid another's. Wherefore in close fight he warded off the pitiless day of doom,but in flight his feet no longer bare him swiftly from the war. And as he drew back step by step Deïphobus cast at him with his shining spear, for verily he ever cherished a ceaseless hate against him. Howbeit this time again he missed him, and smote with his spear Ascalaphus, son of Enyalius, and through the shoulder the mighty spear held its way;and he fell in the dust and clutched the ground with his palm. But as yet loud-voiced dread Ares wist not at all that his son had fallen in the mighty conflict; but he sat on the topmost peak of Olympus beneath the golden clouds, constrained by the will of Zeus,where also were the other immortal gods, being held aloof from the war.

Then over Ascalaphus they clashed in close fight, and Deïphobus tore from Ascalaphus his shining helm, but Meriones, the peer of swift Ares, leapt upon Deïphobus and smote his arm with his spear,and from his hand the crested helm fell to the ground with a clang. And Meriones sprang forth again like a vulture, and drew forth the mighty spear from the upper arm of Deïphobus, and shrank back in the throng of his comrades. But Polites, the own brother of Deïphobus, stretched his arms around his waist,and led him forth from out the dolorous war, until he came to the swift horses that stood waiting for him at the rear of the battle and the conflict with their charioteer and chariot richly dight. These bare him to the city groaning heavily and sore distressed and down ran the blood from his newly wounded arm. But the rest fought on, and a cry unquenchable arose. Then Aeneas leapt upon Aphareus, son of Caletor, that was turned toward him, and struck him on the throat with his sharp spear, and his head sank to one side, and his shield was hurled upon him and his helm withal, and death that slayeth the spirit encompassed him.Then Antilochus, biding his time, leapt upon Thoön, as he turned his back, and smote him with a thrust, and wholly severed the vein that runneth along the back continually until it reacheth the neck; this he severed wholly, and Thoön fell on his back in the dust, stretching out both his hands to his dear comrades.But Antilochus leapt upon him and set him to strip the armour from off his shoulders, looking warily around the while; for the Trojans encircled him and thrust from this side and from that upon his broad, shining shield; howbeit they prevailed not to pierce through and graze the tender flesh of Antilochus with the pitiless bronze; for mightily did Poseidon, the Shaker of Earth,guard Nestor's son, even in the midst of many darts. For never aloof from the foe was Antilochus, but he ranged among them, nor ever was his spear at rest, but was ceaselessly brandished and shaken; and he ever aimed in heart to cast at some foeman, or rush upon him in close fight.

But as he was aiming amid the throng he was not unmarked of Adamas, son of Asius, who smote him full upon the shield with a thrust of the sharp bronze, setting upon him from nigh at hand. But the spear-point was made of none avail by Poseidon, the dark-haired god,who begrudged it the life of Antilochus. And the one part of the spear abode here, like a charred stake, in the shield of Antilochus, and half lay on the ground; and Adamas shrank back into the throng of his comrades, avoiding fate. But Meriones followed after him as he went and cast with his spear, and smote him midway between the privy parts and the navel, where most of all Ares is cruel to wretched mortals.Even there he fixed his spear, and the other, leaning over[*](43.1) the shaft which pierced him, writhed as a bull that herdsmen amid the mountains have bound with twisted withes and drag with them perforce; even so he, when he was smitten, writhed a little while, but not long, till the warrior Meriones came near and drew the spear forth from out his flesh;and darkness enfolded his eyes. Then in close fight Helenus smote Deïpyrus on the temple with a great Thracian sword, and tore away his helm, and the helm, dashed from his head, fell to the ground, and one of the Achaeans gathered it up as it rolled amid the feet of the fighters;and down upon the eyes of Deïpyrus came the darkness of night, and enfolded him. But the son of Atreus was seized with grief thereat, even Menelaus, good at the war-cry, and he strode forth with a threat against the prince, the warrior Helenus, brandishing his sharp spear, while the other drew the centre-piece of his bow. So the twain at the one moment let fly,the one with his sharp spear, and the other with an arrow from the string. Then the son of Priam smote Menelaus on the breast with his arrow, on the plate of his corselet, and off therefrom glanced the bitter arrow. And as from a broad shovel in a great threshing-floor the dark-skinned beans or pulseleap before the shrill wind and the might of the winnower; even so from the corselet of glorious Menelaus glanced aside the bitter arrow and sped afar. But the son of Atreus, Menelaus, good at the war-cry, cast, and smote Helenus on the hand wherewith he was holding the polished bow, and into the bowclean through the hand was driven the spear of bronze. Then back he shrank into the throng of his comrades, avoiding fate, letting his hand hang down by his side; and the ashen spear trailed after him. This then great-souled Agenor drew forth from his hand, and bound the hand with a strip of twisted sheep's wool,even a sling[*](47.1) that his squire carried for him, the shepherd of the host.

But Peisander made straight at glorious Menelaus; howbeit an evil fate was leading him to the end of death, to be slain by thee, Menelaus, in the dread conflict. And when they were come near, as they advanced one against the other,the son of Atreus missed, and his spear was turned aside; but Peisander thrust and smote the shield of glorious Menelaus, yet availed not to drive the bronze clean through, for the wide shield stayed it and the spear brake in the socket; yet had he joy at heart, and hope for victory.But the son of Atreus drew his silver-studded sword, and leapt upon Peisander; and he from beneath his shield grasped a goodly axe of fine bronze, set on a haft of olive-wood, long and well-polished; and at the one moment they set each upon the other. Peisander verily smote Menelaus upon the horn of his helmet with crest of horse-hair—on the topmost part beneath the very plume; but Menelaus smote him as he came against him, on the forehead above the base of the nose; and the bones crashed loudly, and the two eyeballs, all bloody, fell before his feet in the dust, and he bowed and fell; and Menelaus set his foot upon his breast, and despoiled him of his arms, and exulted, saying:

ln such wise of a surety shall ye leave the ships of the Danaans, drivers of swift horses, ye overweening Trojans, insatiate of the dread din of battle. Aye, and of other despite and shame lack ye naught, wherewith ye have done despite unto me, ye evil dogs,[*](49.1) and had no fear at heart of the grievous wrath of Zeus, that thundereth aloud, the god of hospitality,who shall some day destroy your high city. For ye bare forth wantonly over sea my wedded wife and therewithal much treasure, when it was with her that ye had found entertainment; and now again ye are full fain to fling consuming fire on the sea-faring ships, and to slay the Achaean warriors.Nay, but ye shall be stayed from your fighting, how eager soever ye be! Father Zeus, in sooth men say that in wisdom thou art above all others, both men and gods, yet it is from thee that all these things come; in such wise now dost thou shew favour to men of wantonness, even the Trojans, whose might is always froward,nor can they ever have their fill of the din of evil war. Of all things is there satiety, of sleep, and love, and of sweet song, and the goodly dance; of these things verily a man would rather have his fill than of war; but the Trojans are insatiate of battle.

With this peerless Menelaus stripped from the body the bloody armour and gave it to his comrades, and himself went back again, and mingled with the foremost fighters. Then there leapt forth against him the son of king Pylaemenes, even Harpalion, that followed his dear father to Troy unto the war,but came not back again to his dear native land. He then thrust with his spear full upon the shield of the son of Atreus, from nigh at hand, yet availed not to drive the bronze clean through, and back he shrank into the throng of his comrades, avoiding fate, glancing warily on every side, lest some man should wound his flesh with the bronze.But as he drew back, Meriones let fly at him a bronze-tipped arrow, and smote him on the right buttock, and the arrow passed clean through even to the bladder beneath the bone. And sitting down where he was in the arms of his dear comrades he breathed forth his life, and lay stretched out like a worm on the earth;and the black blood flowed forth and wetted the ground. Him the great-hearted Paphlagonians tended, and setting him in a chariot they bare him to sacred Ilios, sorrowing the while, and with them went his father,[*](51.1) shedding tears; but there was no blood-price gotten for his dead son. And for his slaying waxed Paris mightily wroth at heart, for among the many Paphlagonians Harpalion had been his host; and in wrath for his sake he let fly a bronze-tipped arrow. A certain Euchenor there was, son of Polyidus the seer, a rich man and a valiant, and his abode was in Corinth.He embarked upon his ship knowing full well the deadly fate to be, for often had his old sire, good Polyidus, told it him, to wit, that he must either perish of dire disease in his own halls, or amid the ships of the Achaeans be slain by the Trojans; wherefore he avoided at the same time the heavy fine[*](53.1) of the Achaeansand the hateful disease, that he might not suffer woes at heart. Him Paris smote beneath the jaw, under the ear, and forthwith his spirit departed from his limbs, and hateful darkness gat hold of him.