Easily one from the other when all get mixed o’er the pasture,
So did the chieftains rank them here there in their places for onslaught,
Hard on the push of the fray; and among them King Agamemnon,
He, for his eyes and his head, as when Zeus glows glad in his thunder,
He with the girdle of Ares, he with the breast of Poseidon.
[Iliad, B. XI. V. 148]
These, then, he left, and away where ranks were now
clashing the thickest,
Onward rushed, and with him rushed all of the bright-greaved Achaians.
Foot then footmen slew, that were flying from direful compulsion,
Horse at the horsemen (up from off under them mounted the dust-cloud,
Up off the plain, raised up cloud-thick by the thundering horse-hooves)
Hewed with the sword’s sharp edge; and so meanwhile Lord Agamemnon
Followed, chasing and slaughtering aye, on-urgeing the Argives.
Now, as when fire voracious catches the unclipped
This way bears it and that the great whirl of the wind, and the scrubwood
Stretches uptorn, flung forward alength by the fire’s fury rageing,
So beneath Atreides Agamemnon heads of the scattered
Trojans fell; and in numbers amany the horses, neck-stiffened,
Rattled their vacant cars down the roadway gaps of the war-field,
Missing the blameless charioteers, but, for these, they were outstretched
Flat upon earth, far dearer to vultures than to their home-mates.
[Iliad; B. XI V. 378]
So he, with a clear shout of laughter,
Forth of his ambush leapt, and he vaunted him, uttering thiswise:
“Hit thou art! not in vain flew the shaft; how by rights it had pierced thee
Into the undermost gut, therewith to have rived thee of life-breath!
Following that had the Trojans plucked a new breath from their direst,
They all frighted of thee, as the goats bleat in flight from a lion.”
Then unto him untroubled made answer stout Diomedes:
“Bow-puller, jiber, thy bow for thy glorying, spyer at virgins!
If that thou dared’st face me here out in the open with weapons,
Nothing then would avail thee thy bow and thy thick shot of arrows.
Now thou plumest thee vainly because of a graze of my footsole;
Reck I as were that stroke from a woman or some pettish infant.
Aye flies blunted the dart of the man that’s emasculate, noughtworth!
Otherwise hits, forth flying from me, and but strikes it the slightest,
My keen shaft, and it numbers a man of the dead fallen straightway.
Torn, troth, then are the cheeks of the wife of that man fallen slaughtered,
Orphans his babes, full surely he reddens the earth with his blood-drops,
Rotting, round him the birds, more numerous they than the women.”