Thus then they were warring around the well-benched ship, but Patroclus drew nigh to Achilles, shepherd of the host, shedding hot tears, even as a fountain of dark water that down over the face of a beetling cliff poureth its dusky stream;and swift-footed goodly Achilles had pity when he saw him, and spake and addressed him with winged words:
Why, Patroclus, art thou bathed in tears, like a girl, a mere babe, that runneth by her mother's side and biddeth her take her up, and clutcheth at her gown, and hindereth her in her going,and tearfully looketh up at her, till the mother take her up? Even like her, Patroclus, dost thou let fall round tears. Hast thou haply somewhat to declare to the Myrmidons or to mine own self, or is it some tidings out of Phthia that thyself alone hast heard? Still lives Menoetius, men tell us, Actor's son,and still lives Peleus. son of Aeacus, amid the Myrmidons, for which twain would we grieve right sore, were they dead. Or art thou sorrowing for the Argives, how they are being slain beside the hollow ships by reason of their own presumptuous act? Speak out; hide it not in thy mind;that we both may know.Then with a heavy groan, didst thou make answer, O knight Patroclus:
O Achilles, son of Peleus, far the mightiest of the Achaeans, be not wroth; so great a sorrow hath overmastered the Achaeans. For verily all they that aforetime were bravest, lie among the ships smitten by darts or wounded with spear-thrusts.Smitten is the son of Tydeus, mighty Diomedes, wounded with spear-thrust is Odysseus, famed for his spear, and Agamemnon, and smitten, too, is Eurypylus with an arrow in the thigh. About these the leeches, skilled in many simples, are busied, seeking to heal their wounds; but with thee may no man deal, Achilles.Never upon me let such wrath lay hold, as that thou dost cherish, O thou whose valour is but a bane! Wherein shall any other even yet to be born have profit of thee, if thou ward not off shameful ruin from the Argives? Pitiless one, thy father, meseems, was not the knight Peleus, nor was Thetis thy mother, but the grey sea bare thee,and the beetling cliffs, for that thy heart is unbending. But if in thy mind thou art shunning some oracle, and thy queenly mother hath declared to thee aught from Zeus, yet me at least send thou forth speedily, and with me let the rest of the host of the Myrmidons follow, if so be I may prove a light of deliverance to the Danaans.And grant me to buckle upon my shoulders that armour of thine, in hope that the Trojans may take me for thee, and so desist from war, and the warlike sons of the Achaeans may take breath, wearied as they are; for scant is the breathing-space in battle. And lightly might we that are unwearieddrive men that are wearied with the battle back to the city from the ships and the huts.
So spake he in prayer, fool that he was, for in sooth it was to be his own evil death and fate for which he prayed. Then, his heart deeply stirred, spake to him swift-footed Achilles:
Ah me, Zeus-born Patroclus, what a thing hast thou said!Neither reck I of any oracle, that I wot of, nor has my queenly mother declared to me aught from Zeus; but herein dread grief cometh upon heart and soul, whenso a man is minded to rob one that is his equal, and take from him his prize, for that he surpasseth him in power.Dread grief is this to me, seeing I have suffered woes at heart. The girl that the sons of the Achaeans chose out for me as a prize, and that I won with my spear, when I had laid waste a well-walled city, her hath lord Agamemnon taken back from my arms, this son of Atreus, as though I were some alien that had no rights.Howbeit these things will we let be, as past and done. In no wise, meseems, was I to be filled with ceaseless wrath at heart; yet verily I deemed that I should not make an end of mine anger, until the hour when unto mine own ships should come the war-cry and the battle. But come, do thou put upon thy shoulders my glorious armour,and lead forth the war-loving Myrmidons to the fight, if in good sooth the dark cloud of the Trojans lieth encompassed the ships mightily, and those others abide with naught to support them but the shore of the sea, having but scant space of land still left them, even the Argives; while the whole city of the Trojans hath come forth against themfearlessly, for they see not the front of my helm shining hard at hand; full soon in their flight would they fill the water-courses with their dead, were but lord Agamemnon of kindly mind toward me, whereas now they are warring around the camp.
For not in the hands of Diomedes, son of Tydeus,doth the spear rage, to ward off ruin from the Danaans, neither as yet have I heard the voice of the son of Atreus, shouting from his hated head; nay, it is the voice of man-slaying Hector that breaketh about me, as he calleth to the Trojans, and they with their din possess all the plain, and vanquish the Achaeans in battle.Yet even so, Patroclus, in warding destruction from the ships fall thou upon them mightily, lest verily they burn the ships with blazing fire and rob the Greeks of their desired return. Howbeit do thou hearken, that I may put in thy mind the sum of my counsel, to the end that thou mayest win me great recompense and gloryat the hands of all the Danaans, and that they send back that beauteous girl, and therewithal give glorious gifts. When thou hast driven them from the ships, come back, and if the loud-thundering lord of Hera grant thee to win glory, be not thou fain apart from me to waragainst the war-loving Trojans: thou wilt lessen mine honour. Nor yet do thou, as thou exultest in war and conflict, and slayest the Trojans, lead on unto Ilios, lest one of the gods that are for ever shall come down from Olympus and enter the fray; right dearly doth Apollo, that worketh afar, love them.Nay, return thou back, when once thou hast set a light of deliverance amid the ships, and suffer the rest to battle over the plain. For I would, O father Zeus, and Athene, and Apollo, that no man of the Trojans might escape death, of all that there are, neither any of the Argives, but that we twain might escape destruction,that alone we might loose the sacred diadem of Troy.On this wise spake they one to the other, but Aias no longer abode, for he was sore beset with darts; the will of Zeus was overmastering him, and the lordly Trojans with their missiles; and terribly did the bright helm about his templesring continually, as it was smitten, for smitten it ever was upon the well-wrought cheek-pieces, and his left shoulder grew weary as he ever firmly held his flashing shield; nor might they beat it back about him, for all they pressed him hard with darts. And evermore was he distressed by laboured breathing,and down from his limbs on every side abundant sweat kept streaming, nor had he any wise respite to get his breath withal, but every way evil was heaped upon evil.
Tell me now, ye Muses, that have dwellings on Olympus, how fire was first flung upon the ships of the Achaeans. It was Hector that drew nigh to Aiasand smote his ashen spear with his great sword hard by the socket, at the base ot the point, and shore it clean away, so that Telamonian Aias brandished all vainly a pointless spear, and far from him the head of bronze fell ringing to the ground. And Aias knew in his noble heart, and shudderedat the deeds of the gods, how that Zeus, who thundereth on high, brought utterly to naught the counsels of his battle, and would have victory for the Trojans. Then he gave ground from out the darts; and the Trojans cast upon the swift ship unwearied fire, and over her forthwith streamed a flame that might not be quenched. So then was the ship's stern wreathed about with fire, but Achillessmote both his thighs and spake to Patroclus:
Up now, Zeus-born Patroclus, master of horsemen. Lo, I see by the ships the rush of consuming fire. Let it not be that they take the ships and there be no more escaping! Do on my armour with all haste, and I will gather the host.So spake he,and Patroclus arrayed him in gleaming bronze. The greaves first he set about his legs; beautiful they were, and fitted with silver ankle-pieces; next he did on about his chest the corselet of the swift-footed son of Aeacus, richly-wrought, and spangled with stars.And about his shoulders he cast the silver-studded sword of bronze, and thereafter the shield, great and sturdy; and upon his mighty head he set the well-wrought helmet with horse-hair crest, and terribly did the plume nod from above; and he took two valorous spears, that fitted his grasp.Only the spear of the peerless son of Aeacus he took not, the spear heavy and huge and strong; this none other of the Achaeans could wield, but Achilles alone was skilled to wield it, even the Pelian spear of ash, that Cheiron had given to his dear father from the peak of Pelion, to be for the slaying of warriors.And the horses he bade Automedon yoke speedily, even him that he honoured most after Achilles, breaker of the ranks of men, and that in his eyes was faithful above all to abide his call in battle. At his bidding then Automedon led beneath the yoke the fleet horses, Xanthus and Balius, that flew swift as the winds, horsesthat the Harpy Podarge conceived to the West Wind, as she grazed on the meadow beside the stream of Oceanus. And in the side-traces he set the goodly Pedasus that on a time Achilles had brought away, when he took the city of Eetion; and he, being but mortal, kept pace with immortal steeds.
But Achilles went to and fro throughout the huts and let harness in their armour all the Myrmidons, and they rushed forth like ravening wolves in whose hearts is fury unspeakable—wolves that have slain in the hills a great horned stag, and rend him, and the jaws of all are red with gore;and in a pack they go to lap with their slender tongues the surface of the black water from a dusky spring, belching forth the while blood and gore, the heart in their breasts unflinching, and their bellies gorged full; even in such wise the leaders and rulers of the Myrmidons sped forthround about the valiant squire of the swift-footed son of Aeacus. And among them all stood warlike Achilles, urging on both horses and men that bear the shield. Fifty were the swift ships which Achilles, dear to Zeus, led to Troy,and in each ship at the thole-pins were fifty men, his comrades; and five leaders had he appointed in whom he trusted to give command, and himself in his great might was king over all. The one rank was led by Menesthius of the flashing corselet, son of Spercheius, the heaven-fed river.Him did fair Polydora, daughter of Peleus, bear to tireless Spercheius, a woman couched with a god, but in name she bare him to Borus, son of Perieres, who openly wedded her, when he had given gifts of wooing past counting. And of the next company warlike Eudorus was captain,the son of a girl unwed, and him did Polymele, fair in the dance, daughter of Phylas, bear. Of her the strong Argeiphontes became enamoured, when his eyes had sight of her amid the singing maidens, in the dancing-floor of Artemis, huntress of the golden arrows and the echoing chase. Forthwith then he went up into her upper chamber, and lay with her secretly,even Hermes the helper,[*](1) and she gave him a goodly son, Eudorus, pre-eminent in speed of foot and as a warrior. But when at length Eileithyia, goddess of child-birth, had brought him to the light, and he saw the rays of the sun, then her did the stalwart and mighty Echecles, son of Actor,lead to his home, when he had given countless gifts of wooing, and Eudorus did old Phylas nurse and cherish tenderly, loving him dearly, as he had been his own son. And of the third company warlike Peisander was captain, son of Maemalus, a man pre-eminent among all the Myrmidonsin fighting with the spear, after the comrade of the son of Peleus. And the fourth company did the old knight Phoenix lead, and the fifth Alcimedon, the peerless son of Laerces. But when at length Achilles had set them all in array with their leaders, duly parting company from company, he laid upon them a stern command:
Myrmidons, let no man, I bid you, be forgetful of the threats, wherewith heside the swift ships ye threatened the Trojans throughout all the time of my wrath, and upbraided me, each man of you, saying:So saying, he aroused the strength and spirit of every man, and yet closer were their ranks serried when they heard their king. And as when a man buildeth the wall of a high house with close-set stones, to avoid the might of the winds, even so close were arrayed their helms and bossed shields;buckler pressed on buckler, helm upon helm, and man on man. The horse-hair crests on the bright helmet-ridges touched each other, as the men moved their heads, in such close array stood they one by another. And in the front of all two warriors arrayed themselves for war, even Patroclus and Automedon, both of one mind,to war in the forefront of the Myrmidons. But Achilles went into his hut, and opened the lid of a chest, fair and richly-dight, that silver-footed Thetis had set on his ship for him to carry with him, whem she had filled it well with tunics, and cloaks to keep off the wind, and woollen rugs.Therein had he a fair-fashioned cup, wherefrom neither was any other man wont to drink the flaming wine, nor was he wont to pour drink offerings to any other of the gods save only to father Zeus. This cup he then took from the chest and cleansed it first with sulphur, and thereafter washed it in fair streams of water;and himself he washed his hands, and drew flaming wine. Then he made prayer, standing in the midst of the court, and poured forth the wine, looking up to heaven; and not unmarked was he of Zeus, that hurleth the thunderbolt:Cruel son of Peleus, surely it was on gall that thy mother reared thee, thou pitiless one, seeing that in their own despite thou holdest back thy comrades beside the ships.Nay, homeward let us return again with our seafaring ships, since in this wise evil wrath hath fallen upom thy heart.With such words would ye ofttimes gather together and prate at me, but now is set before you a great work of war, whereof in time past ye were enamoured. Therefore let it be with valiant heart that each man fights with the Trojans.
Zeus, thou king, Dodonaean, Pelasgian, thou that dwellest afar, ruling over wintry Dodona,—and about thee dwell the Selli,thine interpreters, men with unwashen feet that couch on the ground. Aforetime verily thou didst hear my word, when I prayed: me thou didst honour, and didst mightily smite the host of the Achaeans; even so now also fulfill thou for me this my desire. Myself verily will I abide in the gathering of the ships,but my comrade am I sending forth amid the host of the Myrmidons to war: with him do thou send forth glory, O Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, and make bold the heart in his breast, to the end that Hector, too, may know whether even alone my squire hath skill to fight, or whether his handsthen only rage invincible, whenso I enter the turmoil of Ares. But when away from the ships he hath driven war and the din of war, thea all-unscathed let him come back to the swift ships with all his arms, and his comrades that fight in close combat.
So spake he in prayer, and Zeus, the counsellor, heard him,and a part the Father granted him, and a part denied. That Patroclus should thrust back the war and battle from the ships he granted; but that he should return safe from out the battle he denied. Achilles then, when he had poured libation and made prayer to father Zeus, went again into his tent, and laid the cup away in the chest, and came forth andstood in front of the hut; for still his heart was fain to look upon the dread conflict of Trojans and Achaeans. But they that were arrayed together with great-hearted Patroclus marched forth, until with high spirits they leapt upon the Trojans. Straightway they poured forth like waspsof the wayside, that boys are wont to stir[*](1) to wrath, ever tormenting them in their nests beside the way, foolish that they are; and a common evil they make for many. And the wasps, if so be some wayfaring ran as he passeth by rouse them unwittingly,fly forth one and all in the valour of their hearts, and fight each in defence of his young; having a heart and spirit like theirs the Myrmidons then poured forth from the ships, and a cry unquenchable arose. But Patroclus called to his comrades with a loud shout:
Myrmidons, ye comrades of Achilles, son of Peleus,be men, my friends, and bethink you of furious valour, to the end that we may win honour for the son of Peleus, that is far the best of the Argives by the ships, himself and his squires that fight in close combat; and that the son of Atreus, wide-ruling Agamemnon, may know his blindness in that he honoured not at all the best of the Achaeans.So saying, he roused the strength and spirit of every man, and on the Trojans they fell all in a throng, and round about them the ships echoed wondrously beneath the shouting of the Achaeans. But when the Trojans saw the valiant son of Menoetius, himself and his squire, shining in their armour,the heart of each man was stirred, and their battalions were shaken, for they deemed that by the ships the swift-footed son of Peleus had cast aside his wrath and had chosen friendliness; and each man gazed about to see how he might escape utter destruction.
Then Patroclus was first to cast with his bright spearstraight into the midst where men thronged the thickest, even by the stern of the ship of great-souled Protesilaus, and smote Pyraechmes, that had led the Paeonians, lords of chariots, out of Amydon, from the wide-flowing Axius. Him he smote on the right shoulder,and backward in the dust he fell with a groan, and about him his comrades were driven in rout, even the Paeonians, for upon them all had Patroclus sent panic, when he slew their leader that was pre-eminent in fight. From out the ships then he drave them, and quenched the blazing fire. And half-burnt the ship was left there,but the Trojans were driven in rout with a wondrous din, and the Danaans poured in among the hollow ships, and a ceaseless din arose. And as when from the high crest of a great mountain Zeus, that gathereth the lightnings, moveth a dense cloud away, and forth to view appear all mountain peaks, and high headlands,and glades, and from heaven breaketh open the infinite air; even so the Danaans, when they had thrust back from the ships consuming fire, had respite for a little time; howbeit there was no ceasing from war. For not yet were the Trojans driven in headlong rout by the Achaeans, dear to Ares, from the black ships,but still they sought to withstand them, and gave ground from the ships perforce.
Then man slew man of the chieftains as the fight was scattered. First the valiant son of Menoetius smote the thigh of Areilycus with a cast of his sharp spear at the moment when he turned to flee, and drave the bronze clean through;and the spear brake the bone, and he fell on his face on the ground. And warlike Menelaus thrust and smote Thoas on the breast, where it was left bare beside the shield, and loosed his limbs. And the son of Phyleus as he watched Amphiclus that was rushing upon him, proved quicker than his foe, and smote him upon the base of the leg, wherea man's muscle is thickest; and round about the spear-point the sinews were rent apart; and darkness enfolded his eyes. Then of the sons of Nestor, the one, Antilochus, thrust at Atymnius with his sharp spear, and drave the spear of bronze through his flank; and he fell forward. But Maris, hard at hand,rushed upon Antilochus with his spear, wroth for his brother's sake, and took his stand before the dead; howbeit godlike Thrasymedes was too quick for him, and forthwith ere his foe could thrust, smote upon his shoulder, and missed not; but the point of the spear shore the base of the arm away from the muscles, and utterly brake asunder the bone;and he fell with a thud, and darkness enfolded his eyes. So these twain, overcome by twain brethren, went their way to Erebus, goodly comrades of Sarpedon, spearmen sons of Araisodarus, him that reared the raging Chimaera, a bane to many men.And Aias, son of Oileus, leapt upon Cleobulus, and caught him alive, entangled in the throng; but even there he loosed his might, smiting him upon the neck with his hilted sword. Thereat all the blade grew warm with his blood, and down over his eyes came dark death and mighty fate.Then Peneleos and Lyco rushed together, for with their spears either had missed the other, and both had cast in vain; but again they rushed together with their swords. Then Lyco let drive upon the horn of the helm with horse-hair crest, and the sword was shattered at the hilt;but Peneleos smote him upon the neck beneath the ear, and all the blade sank in, so that naught but the skin held fast, and the head hung to one side, and his limbs were loosed. And Meriones with swift strides overtook Acamas, and thrust and smote him, even as he was mounting his car, upon the right shoulder; and he fell from his car and down over his eyes a mist was shed.Then Idomeneus smote Erymas upon the mouth with a thrust of the pitiless bronze, and clean through passed the spear of bronze beneath the brain, and clave asunder the white bones; and his teeth were shaken out, and both his eyes were filled with blood;and up through mouth and nostrils he spurted blood as he gaped,and a black cloud of death enfolded him.
These, then, leaders of the Damans, slew each his man. And as murderous wolves fall upon lambs or kids, choosing them from out the flocks, when through the witlessness of the shepherd they are scattered among the mountains, and the wolves seeing it,forthwith harry the young whose hearts know naught of valour; even so the Damans fell upon the Trojans, and they bethougnt them of ill-sounding flight, and forgat their furious valour. And the great Aias was ever fain to cast his spear at Hector, harnessed in bronze, but he in his cunning of war, his broad shoulderscovered with shield of bull's-hide, ever watched the whirring of arrows and the hurtling of spears. In sooth he knew the tide of victory was turning, but even so he abode, and sought to save his trustv comrades. And as when from Olympus a cloud fareth toward heavenout of the bright air, when Zeus spreadeth forth the tempest, even so from the ships came the shouting and the rout of these; nor was it in good order that they crossed the trench again. Hector verily did his swift-footed horses bear forth with his battle-gear, and he left tbe hosts of Troy, whom the digged trench held back against their will.And in the trench many pairs of swift horses, drawers of chariots, brake the pole at the end, and left the chariots of their lords. But Patroclus followed after, calling fiercely to the Danaans, with purpose of evil toward the Trojans, while they with shouting and in flight filled all the ways, now that their ranks were broken;and on high a cloud of dust was spread up beneath the clouds, and the single-hoofed horses strained back toward the city from the ships and the huts. And Patroclus, wheresoever he saw the greatest throng huddled in rout, thither would with shouting; and beneath his axle-trees men kept falling headlong from their cars, and the chariots were overturned.And straight over the trench leapt the swift horses—the immortal horses that the gods gave as glorious gifts to Peleus—in their onward flight, and against Hector did the heart of Patroclus urge him on, for he was fain to smite him; but his swift horses ever bare Hector forth. And even as beneath a tempest the whole black earth is oppressed,on a day in harvest-time, when Zeus poureth forth rain most violently, whenso in anger he waxeth wroth against men that by violence give crooked judgments in the place of gathering, and drive justice out, recking not of the vengeance of the gods; and all their rivers flow in flood,and many a hillside do the torrents furrow deeply, and down to the dark sea they rush headlong from the mountains with a mighty roar, and the tilled fields of men are wasted; even so[*](1) mighty was the roar of the mares of Troy as they sped on.
But when Patroclus had cut off the foremost battalions, he hemmed themback again towards the ships and would not suffer them for all their eagerness to set foot in the city, but in the mid-space between the ships and the river and the high wall he rushed among them and slew them, and got him vengeance for many a slain comrade. There verily he first smote Pronous with a cast of his bright spear,upon the breast where it was left bare beside the shield, and loosed his limbs; and he feIl with a thud. Next upon Thestor, son of Enops, he rushed. Crouching he sat in his polished car, for his wits were distraught with terror, and the reins had slipped from his hands, but Patroclus drew nigh to him, and smote himupon the right jaw with his spear, and drave it through his teeth; and he laid hold of the spear and dragged him over the chariot-rim, as when a man sitting upon a jutting rock draggeth to land a sacred fish from out the sea, with line and gleaming hook of bronze; even so on the bright spear dragged he him agape from out the car,and cast him down upon his face; and life left him as he fell. Then as Erylaus rushed upon him, he smote him full upon the head with a stone, and his head was wholly cloven asunder within the heavy helmet; and he fell headlong upon the earth, and death, that slayeth the spirit, was shed about him.Thereafter Erymas and Amphoterus, and Epaltes, and Tlepolemus, son of Damastor, and Echius and Pyris, and Ipheus and Evippus, and Polymelus, son of Argeas, all these one after another he brought down to the bounteous earth. But when Sarpedon saw his comrades, that wear the tunic ungirt,being laid low beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius, he called aloud, upbraiding the godlike Lycians:
Shame, ye Lycians, whither do ye flee? Now be ye swift to fight; for I myself will meet this man, that I may know who he is that prevaileth here, and verily hath wrought the Trojans much mischief,seeing he hath loosed the knees of many men and goodly.He spake, and leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground. And Patroclus, over against him, when he beheld him, sprang from his chariot. And as vultures crooked of talon and curved of beak fight with loud cries upom a high rock,even so with cries rushed they one against the other. And the son of crooked-counselling Cronos took pity when he saw them, and spake to Hera, his sister and his wife:
Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius!And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius.
Then ox-eyed queenly Hera answered him:
Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart:if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath.But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him awayuntil they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead.So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth,shewing honour to his dear son—his own son whom Patroclus was about to slay in the deep-soiled land of Troy, far from his native land. Now when they were come near, as they advanced one against the other, then verily did Patroclus smite glorious Thrasymelus, that was the valiant squire of the prince Sarpedon;him he smote on the lower belly, and loosed his limbs. But Sarpedon missed him with his bright spear, as in turn he got upon him, but smote with his spear the horse Pedasus on the right shoulder; and the horse shrieked aloud as he gasped forth his life, and down he fell in[*](1) the dust with a moan, and his spirit flew from him.But the other twain reared this way and that, and the yoke creaked, and above them the reins were entangled, when the trace-horse lay low in the dust. Howbeit for this did Automedon, famed for his spear, find him a remedy; drawing his long sword from beside his stout thigh, he sprang forth and cut loose the trace-horse, and faltered not,and the other two were righted, and strained at the reins; and the two warriors came together again in soul-devouring strife.
Then again Sarpedon missed with his bright spear, and over the left shoulder of Patroclus went the point of the spear and smote him not.But Patroclus in turn rushed on with the bronze, and not in vain did the shaft speed from his hand, but smote his foe where the midriff is set close about the throbbing heart. And he fell as an oak falls, or a poplar, or a tall pine, that among the mountains shipwrights fell with whetted axes to be a ship's timber;even so before his horses and chariot he lay outstretched, moaning aloud and clutching at the bloody dust. And as a lion cometh into the midst of a herd and slayeth a bull, tawny and high of heart amid the kine of trailing gait, and with a groan he perisheth beneath the jaws of the lion;even so beneath Patroclus did the leader of the Lycian shieldmen struggle in death; and he called by name his dear comrade:
Dear Glaucus, warrior amid men of war, now in good sooth it behoveth thee to quit thee as a spearman and a dauntless warrior; now be evil war thy heart's desire if indeed thou art swift to fight.First fare thou up and down everywhere, and urge on the leaders of the Lycians to fight for Sarpedon, and thereafter thyself do battle with the bronze in my defence. For to thee even in time to come shall I be a reproach and a hanging of the head, all thy days continually,if so be the Achaeans shall spoil me of my armour, now that I am fallen amid the gathering of the ships. Nay, hold thy ground valiantly, and urge on all the host.Even as he thus spake the end of death enfolded him, his eyes alike and his nostrils; and Patroclus, setting his foot upon his breast, drew the spear from out the flesh, and the midriff followed therewith;and at the one moment he drew forth the spear-point and the soul of Sarpedon. And the Myrmidons stayed there the snorting horses, that were fain to flee now that they had left the chariot of their lords.
But upon Glaucus came dread grief as he heard the voice of Sarpedon, and his heart was stirred, for that he availed not to succour him.And with his hand he caught and pressed his arm, for his wound tormented him, the wound that Teucer, while warding off destruction from his comrades, had dealt him with his arrow as he rushed upon the high wall. Then in prayer he spake to Apollo, that smiteth afar:
Hear me, O king that art haply in the rich land of Lyciaor haply in Troy, but everywhere hast power to hearken unto a man that is in sorrow, even as now sorrow is come upon me. For I have this grievous wound and mine arm on this side and on that is shot through with sharp pangs, nor can the blood be staunched; and my shoulder is made heavy with the wound,and I avail not to grasp my spear firmly, neither to go and fight with the foe-men. And a man far the noblest hath perished, even Sarpedon, the son of Zeus; and he succoureth not his own child. Howbeit, do thou, O king, heal me of this grievous wound, and lull my pains, and give me might,that I may call to my comrades, the Lycians, and urge them on to fight, and myself do battle about the body of him that is fallen in death.So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Forthwith he made his pains to cease, and staunched the black blood that flowed from his grievous wound, and put might into his heart.And Glaucus knew in his mind, and was glad that the great god had quickly heard his prayer. First fared he up and down everywhere and urged on the leaders of the Lycians to fight for Sarpedon, and thereafter went with long strides into the midst of the Trojans,unto Polydamas, son of Panthous, and goodly Agenor, and he went after Aeneas, and after Hector, harnessed in bronze. And he came up to him and spake winged words, saying:
Hector, now in good sooth art thou utterly forgetful of the allies, that for thy sake far from their friends and their native landare wasting their lives away, yet thou carest not to aid them. Low lies Sarpedon, leader of the Lycian shieldmen, he that guarded Lycia by his judgments and his might. Him hath brazen Ares laid low beneath the spear of Patroclus. Nay, friends, take your stand beside him, and have indignation in heart,lest the Myrmidons strip him of his armour and work shame upon his corpse, being wroth for the sake of all the Danaans that have perished, whom we slew with our spears at the swift ships.
So spake he, and the Trojans were utterly seized with grief, unbearable, overpowering; for Sarpedonwas ever the stay of their city, albeit he was a stranger from afar; for much people followed with him, and among them he was himself pre-eminent in fight. And they made straight for the Danaans full eagerly, and Hector led them, in wrath for Sarpedon's sake. But the Achaeans were urged on by Patroclus, of the shaggy heart, son of Menoetius.To the twain Aiantes spake he first, that were of themselves full eager:
Ye twain Aiantes, now be it your will to ward off the foe, being of such valour as of old ye were amid warriors, or even braver. Low lies the man that was first to leap within the wall of the Achaeans, even Sarpedon. Nay, let us seek to take him, and work shame upon his body,and strip the armour from his shoulders, and many a one of his comrades that seek to defend his body let us slay with the pitiless bronze.So spake he, and they even of themselves were eager to ward off the foe. Then when on both sides they had made strong their battalions, the Trojans and Lycians, and the Myrmidons and Achaeans,they joined battle to fight for the body of him that was fallen in death, with terrible shouting; and loud rang the harness of men. And Zeus drew baneful night over the mighty conflict, that around his dear son might be waged the baneful toil of war.
And first the Trojans drave back the bright-eyed Achaeans,for smitten was a man in no wise the worst among the Myrmidons, even the son of great-souled Agacles, goodly Epeigeus, that was king in well-peopled Budeum of old, but when he had slain a goodly man of his kin, to Peleus he came as a suppliant, and to silver-footed Thetis;and they sent him to follow with Achilles, breaker of the ranks of men, to Ilios, famed for its horses, that he might fight with the Trojans. Him, as he was laying hold of the corpse, glorious Hector smote upon the head with a stone; and his head was wholly cloven asunder within the heavy helmet,and he fell headlong upon the corpse, and death, that slayeth the spirit, was shed about him. Then over Patroclus came grief for his slain comrade, and he charged through the foremost fighters like a fleet falcon that driveth in flight daws and starlings; even so straight against the Lycians, O Patroclus, master of horsemen,and against the Trojans didst thou charge, and thy heart was full of wrath for thy comrade. And he smote Sthenelaus, the dear son of Ithaemenes, on the neck with a stone, and brake away therefrom the sinews; and the foremost fighters and glorious Hector gave ground. Far as is the flight of a long javelin,that a man casteth, making trial of his strength, in a contest, haply, or in war beneath the press of murderous foemen, even so far did the Trojans draw back, and the Achaeans drave them. And Glaucus first, the leader of the Lycian shieldmen, turned him about, and slew great-souled Bathycles,the dear son of Chalcon, him that had his abode in Hellas, and for wealth and substance was pre-eminent among the Myrmidons. Him did Glaucus smite full upon the breast with a thrust of his spear, turning suddenly upon rum, when the other was about to overtake him in pursuit. And he fell with a thud, and sore grief gat hold of the Achaeans,for that a good man was fallen; but mightily did the Trojans rejoice. And they came in throngs and took their stand about him, nor did the Achaeans forget their valour, but bare their might straight toward the foe. Then Meriones slew a warrior of the Trojans, in full armour, Laogonus, the bold son of Onetor,one that was priest of Idaean Zeus, and was honoured of the folk even as a god: him he smote beneath the jaw under the ear, and forthwith his spirit departed from his limbs, and hateful darkness gat hold of hinu. And Aeneas cast at Meriones his spear of bronze, for he hoped to smite him as he advanced under cover of his shield.But Meriones, looking steadily at him, avoided the spear of bronze; for he stooped forward, and the long spear fixed itself in the ground behind him, and the butt of the spear quivered; howbeit there at length did mighty Ares stay its fury. [And the lance of Aeneas sank quivering down into the earth,for that it sped in vain from his mighty hand.] Then Aeneas waxed wroth at heart, and spake, saying:
Meriones, full soon, for all thou art a nimble dancer, would my spear have made thee to cease dancing for ever, had I but struck thee.
And Meriones, famed for his spear, made answer:
Aeneas, hard were it for thee, valiant though thou art, to quench the might of every man, whosoever cometh against thee to rake defence. Of mortal stuff, I ween, art thou as well. If so be I should cast, and smite thee fairly with my sharp spear, quickly then, for all thou art strong and trustest in thy hands,shouldst thou yield glory to me, and thy soul to Hades of the goodly steeds.So spake he, but the valiant son of Menoetius rebuked him, saying:
Meriones, wherefore dost thou, that art a man of valour, speak on this wise? Good friend, it is not for words of reviling that the Trojans will give ground from the corpse; ere that shall the earth hold many a one.For in our hands is the issue of war; that of words is in the council. Wherefore it beseemeth not in any wise to multiply words, but to fight.So saying, he led the way, and the other followed, a godlike man. And from them—even as the din ariseth of woodcutters in the glades of a mountain, and afar is the sound thereof heard—so from them went up a clanging from the broad-wayed earth, a clanging of bronze and of hide and of well-wrought shields, as they thrust one at the other with swords and two-edged spears. Nor could a man, though he knew him well, any more have discerned goodly Sarpedon, for that he was utterly enwrapped with darts and blood and dust,from his head to the very soles of his feet. And they ever thronged about the corpse as when in a farmstead flies buzz about the full milk-pails, in the season of spring, when the milk drenches the vessels; even so thronged they about the corpse. Nor did Zeus anywiseturn his bright eyes from the fierce conflict, but ever looked down upon them, and debated in heart, pondering much about the slaying of Patroclus, whether in the fierce conflict even there over godlike Sarpedon, glorious Hectorshould slay him likewise with the sword, and should strip the armour from his shoulders, or whether for yet more men he should make the utter toil of war to wax. And as he pondered, this thing seemed to him the better, that the valiant squire of Achilles, Peleus' son,should again drive toward the city the Trojans and Hector, harnessed in bronze, and take the lives of many. In Hector first of all he roused cowardly rout, and he leapt upon his car and turned to flight, and called on the rest of the Trojans to flee; for he knew the turning of the sacred scales of Zeus.
Then the valiant Lycians likewise abode not, but were driven in routone and all, when they saw their king smitten to the heart, lying in the gathering of the dead; for many had fallen above him, when the son of Cronos strained taut the cords of the fierce conflict. But from the shoulders of Sarpedon they stripped his shining harness of bronze,and this the valiant son of Menoetius gave to his comrades to bear to the hollow ships. And then unto Apollo spake Zeus, the cloud-gatherer:
Up now, dear Phoebus, go cleanse from Sarpedon the dark blood, when thou hast taken him forth from out the range of darts, and thereafter bear thou him far away, and bathe him in the streams of the river,and anoint him with ambrosia, and clothe him about with immortal raiment, and give him to swift conveyers to bear with them, even to the twin brethren, Sleep and Death, who shall set him speedily in the rich land of wide Lycia. There shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burialwith mound and pillar; for this is the due of tne dead.So spake he, nor was Apollo disobedient to his father's bidding, but went down from the hills of Ida into the dread din of battle. Forthwith then he lifted up goodly Sarpedon forth from out the range of darts, and when he had borne him far away, bathed him in the streams of the river,and anointed him with ambrosia, and clothed him about with immortal raiment, and gave him to swift conveyers to bear with them, even to the twin brethren, Sleep and Death, who set him speedily in the rich land of wide Lycia. But Patroclus with a call to his horses and to Automedon,pressed after the Trojans and Lycians, and was greatly blinded in heart, fool that he was! for had he observed the word of the son of Peleus, he would verily have escaped the evil fate of black death. But ever is the intent of Zeus stronger than that of men, for he driveth even a valiant man in rout, and robbeth him of victoryfull easily, and again of himself he rouseth men to fight; and he it was that now put fury in the breast of Patroclus. Then whom first, whom last didst thou slay, Patroclus, when the gods called thee deathward? Adrastus first, and Autonous, and Echeclus,and Perimus, son of Megas, and Epistor, and Melanippus, and thereafter Elasus, and Mulius, and Pylartes: these he slew, and the others bethought them each man of flight.
Then would the sons of the Achaeans have taken high-gated Troy by the hands of Patroclus, for around and before him he raged with his spear,had not Phoebus Apollo taken his stand upon the well-builded wall thinking thoughts of bane for him, but bearing aid to the Trojans. Thrice did Patroclus set foot upon a corner of the high wall, and thrice did Apollo fling him back, thrusting against the bright shield with his immortal hands.But when for the fourth time he rushed on like a god, then with a terrible cry Apollo spake to him winged words:
Give back, Zeus-born Patroclus. It is not fated, I tell thee, that by thy spear the city of the lordly Trojans shall be laid waste, nay, nor by that of Achilles, who is better far than thou.So spake he, and Patroclus gave ground a great space backward, avoiding the wrath of Apollo that smiteth afar. But Hector at the Scaean gate was staying his single-hoofed horses, for he was divided in mind, whether he should drive again into the turmoil and do battle, or should call to the host to gather them within the wall.And while he pondered thus there drew nigh to him Phoebus Apollo in the likeness of a young man and a strong, even of Asius, that was uncle to horse-taming Hector, and own brother to Hecabe, but son of Dymas, that dwelt in Phrygia by the streams of Sangarius.In his likeness spake Apollo, the son of Zeus, unto Hector:
Hector, wherefore dost thou cease from battle? It beseemeth thee not. I would that I were as much stronger than thou as I am weaker;then straightway would it be to thine own hurt that thou drawest back from the war. Nay, come, drive against Patroclus thy strong-hoofed horses,if so be thou mayest slay him, and Apollo give thee glory.
So spake he, and went back again, a god into the toil of men. Then unto wise-hearted Cebriones glorious Hector gave command to lash his horses into the battle. But Apollo went his way, and entered into the throng, and sent an evil panic upon the Argives,and vouchsafed glory to the Trojans and to Hector. But Hector let be the other Danaans, neither sought to stay them, but drave his strong-hoofed horses against Patroclus; and Patroclus over against him leapt from his chariot to the ground with a spear in his left hand,while with the other he grasped a stone, shining and jagged, that his hand compassed about. Firmly he planted himself, and hurled it, neither had he long awe of his foe, nor sped he his missile in vain, but smote the charioteer of Hector, even Cebriones, a bastard son of glorious Priam, upon the forehead with the sharp stone, as he was holding the reins of the horses.And both his brows did the stone dash together, and the bone held not, but the eyes fell to the ground in the dust even there, before his feet. And like a diver he fell from the well-wrought car, and his spirit left his bones. Then with mocking words didst thou speak to him, knight Patroclus:
Hah, look you, verily nimble is the man; how lightly he diveth! In sooth if he were on the teeming deep, this man would satisfy many by seeking for oysters, leaping from his ship were the sea never so stormy, seeing that now on the plain he diveth lightly from his car. Verily among the Trojans too there be men that dive.