But from the shores of Argos far remote
Our camp is, where the Trojans arm’d complete 895
Swarm on the plain, and Ocean shuts us in.
Our hands must therefore save us, not our heels
He said, and furious with his spear again
Press’d them, and whatsoever Trojan came,
Obsequious to the will of Hector, arm’d 900
With fire to burn the fleet, on his spear’s point
Ajax receiving pierced him, till at length
Twelve in close fight fell by his single arm.
ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTEENTH BOOK.
Achilles, at the suit of Patroclus, grants him his own armor, and permission to lead the Myrmidons to battle. They, sallying, repulse the Trojans. Patroclus slays Sarpedon, and Hector, when Apollo had first stripped off his armor and Euphorbus wounded him, slays Patroclus.
Such contest for that gallant bark they
Meantime Patroclus, standing at the side
Of the illustrious Chief Achilles, wept
Fast as a crystal fountain from the height
Of some rude rock pours down its rapid stream. 5
Divine Achilles with compassion moved
Mark’d him, and in wing’d accents thus began.
Who weeps Patroclus like an infant girl
Who, running at her mother’s side, entreats
To be uplifted in her arms? She grasps 10
Her mantle, checks her haste, and looking up
With tearful eyes, pleads earnest to be borne;
So fall, Patroclus! thy unceasing tears.
Bring’st thou to me or to my people aught
Afflictive? Hast thou mournful tidings learn’d 15
Prom Phthia, trusted to thy ear alone?
Menoetius, son of Actor, as they say,
Still lives; still lives his Myrmidons among
Peleus AEacides; whom, were they dead,
With cause sufficient we should both deplore. 20
Or weep’st thou the Achaians at the ships
Perishing, for their outrage done to me?
Speak. Name thy trouble. I would learn the cause
To whom, deep-sorrowing, thou didst reply,
Patroclus! Oh Achilles, Peleus’ son! 25
Noblest of all our host! bear with my grief,
Since such distress hath on the Grecians fallen.
The bravest of their ships disabled lie,
Some wounded from afar, some hand to hand.
Diomede, warlike son of Tydeus, bleeds, 30
Gall’d by a shaft; Ulysses, glorious Chief,
And Agamemnon suffer by the spear,
And brave Eurypylus an arrow-point
Bears in his thigh. These all, are now the care
Of healing hands. Oh thou art pity-proof, 35
Achilles! be my bosom ever free