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through the forefighters, until he lost his life. Him in the midst did
fleet-footed noble Achilles smite with a javelin, in his back as he
darted by, where his belt's golden buckles clasped, and the breast and
back plates overlapped: and right through beside the navel went the
spear-head, and he fell on his knee with a cry, and dark cloud covered
him round about, and he clasped his bowels to him with his hands as he

Then when Hector saw his brother Polydoros clasping his bowels with his
hands, and sinking to the earth, a mist fell over his eyes, nor longer
might he endure to range so far apart, but he came up against Achilles
brandishing his sharp spear, and like flame of fire. And Achilles when
he saw him, sprang up, and spake exultingly: "Behold the man who hath
deepest stricken into my soul, who slew my dear-prized friend; not long
shall we now shrink from each other along the highways of the war."

He said, and looking grimly spake unto goodly Hector: "Come thou near,
that the sooner thou mayest arrive at the goal of death."

Then to him, unterrified, said Hector of the glancing helm: "Son of
Peleus, think not with words to affright me as a child, since I too know
myself how to speak taunts and unjust speech. And I know that thou art a
man of might, and a far better man than I. Yet doth this issue lie in
the lap of the gods, whether I though weaker shall take thy life with my
hurled spear, for mine too hath been found keen ere now."

He said, and poised his spear and hurled it, and Athene with a breath
turned it back from glorious Achilles, breathing very lightly; and it
came back to goodly Hector, and fell there before his feet. Then
Achilles set fiercely upon him, eager to slay him, crying his terrible
cry. But Apollo caught Hector up, very easily, as a god may, and hid him
in thick mist. Thrice then did fleet-footed noble Achilles make onset
with his spear of bronze, and thrice smote the thick mist. [But when the
fourth time he had come godlike on,] then with dread shout he spake to
him winged words: "Dog, thou art now again escaped from death; yet came
ill very nigh thee; but now hath Phoebus Apollo saved thee, to whom thou
must surely pray when thou goest forth amid the clash of spears. Verily
I will slay thee yet when I meet thee hereafter, if any god is helper of
me too. Now will I make after the rest, whomsoever I may seize."

Thus speaking he pierced Dryops in the midst of his neck with his spear,
and he fell down before his feet. But he left him where he lay, and
hurled at Demuchos Philetor's son, a good man and a tall, and stayed him
with a stroke upon his knees; then smote him with his mighty sword and
reft him of life. Then springing on Laogonos and Dardanos, sons of Bias,
he thrust both from their chariot to the ground, one with a spear-cast
smiting and the other in close battle with his sword. Then Tros,
Alastor's son - he came and clasped his knees to pray him to spare him,
and let him live, and slay him not, having compassion on his like
age, fond fool, and knew not that he might not gain his prayers; for
nowise soft of heart or tender was that man, but of fierce mood - with
his hands he touched Achilles' knees, eager to entreat him, but he smote
him in the liver with his sword, and his liver fell from him, and black
blood therefrom filled his bosom, and he swooned, and darkness covered
his eyes. Then Achilles came near and struck Mulios in the ear, and
right through the other ear went the bronze spear-head. Then he smote
Agenor's son Echeklos on the midst of the head with his hilted sword,
and all the sword grew hot thereat with blood; and dark death seized his
eyes, and forceful fate. Then next Deukalion, just where the sinews of
the elbow join, there pierced he him through the forearm with his bronze
spear-head; so abode he with his arm weighed down, beholding death
before him; and Achilles smiting the neck with his sword swept far both
head and helm, and the marrow rose out of the backbone, and the corpse
lay stretched upon the earth. Then went he onward after Peires' noble
son, Rhigmos, who had come from deep-soiled Thrace: him in the midst he
smote with his hurled javelin, and the point fixed in his lung, and he
fell forth of his chariot. And Areithoos his squire, as he turned the
horses round, he pierced in the back with his sharp spear, and thrust
him from the car, and the horse ran wild with fear.

As through deep glens rageth fierce fire on some parched mountain-side,
and the deep forest burneth, and the wind driving it whirleth every way
the flame, so raged he every way with his spear, as it had been a god,
pressing hard on the men he slew; and the black earth ran with blood.
For even as when one yoketh wide-browed bulls to tread white barley in a
stablished threshing-floor, and quickly is it trodden out beneath the
feet of the loud-lowing bulls, thus beneath great-hearted Achilles his
whole-hooved horses trampled corpses and shields together; and with
blood all the axletree below was sprinkled and the rims that ran around
the car, for blood-drops from the horses' hooves splashed them, and
blood-drops from the tires of the wheels. But the son of Peleus pressed
on to win him glory, flecking with gore his irresistible hands.


How Achilles fought with the River, and chased the men of
Troy within their gates.

But when now they came unto the ford of the fair-flowing river, even
eddying Xanthos, whom immortal Zeus begat, there sundering them he
chased the one part to the plain toward the city, even where the
Achaians were flying in affright the day before, when glorious Hector
was in his fury - thither poured some in flight, and Hera spread before
them thick mist to hinder them: - but half were pent into the
deep-flowing silver eddied river, and fell therein with a mighty noise,
and the steep channel sounded, and the banks around rang loudly; for
with shouting they swam therein hither and thither whirled round the
eddies. And as when at the rush of fire locusts take wing to fly unto a
river, and the unwearying fire flameth forth on them with sudden onset,
and they huddle in the water; so before Achilles was the stream of
deep-eddying Xanthos filled with the roar and the throng of horses and

Then the seed of Zeus left behind him his spear upon the bank, leant
against tamarisk bushes, and leapt in, as it were a god, keeping his
sword alone, and devised grim work at heart, and smote as he turned him
every way about: and their groaning went up ghastly as they were
stricken by the sword, and the water reddened with blood. As before a
dolphin of huge maw fly other fish and fill the nooks of some
fair-havened bay, in terror, for he devoureth amain whichsoever of them
he may catch; so along the channels of that dread stream the Trojans
crouched beneath the precipitous sides. And when his hands were weary of
slaughter he chose twelve young men alive out of the river, an atonement
for Patroklos, Menoitios' son that was dead. These brought he forth
amazed like fawns, and bound behind them their hands with well-cut
thongs, which they themselves wore on their pliant doublets, and gave
them to his comrades to lead down to the hollow ships. Then again he
made his onset, athirst for slaying.

There met he a son of Dardanid Priam, in flight out of the river,
Lykaon, whom once himself he took and brought unwilling out of his
father's orchard, in a night assault; he was cutting with keen bronze
young shoots of a wild fig tree, to be hand-rails of a chariot; but to
him an unlooked-for bane came goodly Achilles. And at that time he sold
him into well-peopled Lemnos, sending him on ship board, and the son of
Jason gave a price for him; and thence a guest friend freed him with a
great ransom, Eetion of Imbros, and sent him to goodly Arisbe; whence
flying secretly he came to his father's house. Eleven days he rejoiced
among his friends after he was come from Lemnos, but on the twelfth once
more God brought him into the hands of Achilles, who was to send him to
the house of Hades though nowise fain to go. Him when fleet-footed noble
Achilles saw bare of helm and shield, neither had he a spear, but had
thrown all to the ground; for he sweated grievously as he tried to flee
out of the river, and his knees were failing him for weariness: then in
wrath spake Achilles to his great heart: "Ha! verily great marvel is
this that I behold with my eyes. Surely then will the proud Trojans whom
I have slain rise up again from beneath the murky gloom, since thus hath
this man come back escaped from his pitiless fate, though sold into
goodly Lemnos, neither hath the deep of the hoary sea stayed him, that
holdeth many against their will. But come then, of our spear's point
shall he taste, that I may see and learn in my mind whether likewise he
shall come back even from beneath, or whether the life-giving Earth
shall hold him down, she that holdeth so even the strong."

Thus pondered he in his place; but the other came near amazed, fain to
touch his knees, for his soul longed exceedingly to flee from evil death
and black destruction. Then goodly Achilles lifted his long spear with
intent to smite him, but he stooped and ran under it and caught his
knees; and the spear went over his back and stood in the ground,
hungering for flesh of men. Then Lykaon besought him, with one hand
holding his knees, while with the other he held the sharp spear and
loosed it not, and spake to him winged words: "I cry thee mercy,
Achilles; have thou regard and pity for me: to thee, O fosterling of
Zeus, am I in the bonds of suppliantship. For at thy table first I
tasted meal of Demeter on the day when thou didst take me captive in the
well-ordered orchard, and didst sell me away from my father and my
friends unto goodly Lemnos, and I fetched thee the price of a hundred
oxen. And now have I been ransomed for thrice that, and this is my
twelfth morn since I came to Ilios after much pain. Now once again hath
ruinous fate delivered me unto thy hands; surely I must be hated of
father Zeus, that he hath given me a second time unto thee; and to short
life my mother bare me, Laothoe, old Altes' daughter - Altes who ruleth
among the war-loving Leleges, holding steep Pedasos on the Satnioeis.
His daughter Priam had to wife, with many others, and of her were we two
born, and thou wilt butcher both. Him among the foremost of the
foot-soldiers didst thou lay low, even godlike Polydoros, when thou
smotest him with they sharp spear: and now will it go hard with me here,
for no hope have I to escape thy hands, since God hath delivered me
thereunto. Yet one thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart:
slay me not, since I am not of the same mother as Hector, who slew thy
comrade the gentle and brave."

Thus spake to him the noble son of Priam, beseeching him with words, but
he heard a voice implacable: "Fond fool, proffer me no ransom, nor these
words. Until Patroklos met his fated day, then was it welcomer to my
soul to spare the men of Troy, and many I took alive and sold beyond the
sea: but now there is none shall escape death, whomsoever before Ilios
God shall deliver into my hands - yes, even among all Trojans, but
chiefest among Priam's sons. Ay, friend, thou too must die: why
lamentest thou? Patroklos is dead, who was better far than thou. Seest
thou not also what manner of man am I for might and goodliness? and a
good man was my father, and a goddess mother bare me. Yet over me too
hang death and forceful fate. There cometh morn or eve or some noonday
when my life too some man shall take in battle, whether with spear he
smite or arrow from the string."

Thus spake he, and the other's knees and heart were unstrung. He let go
Achilles' spear, and sat with both hands outspread. But Achilles drew
his sharp sword and smote on the collar-bone beside the neck, and all
the two-edged sword sank into him, and he lay stretched prone upon the
earth, and blood flowed dark from him and soaked the earth. Him seized
Achilles by the foot and sent him down the stream, and over him exulting
spake winged words: "There lie thou among the fishes, which shall lick
off thy wound's blood heedlessly, nor shall thy mother lay thee on a bed
and mourn for thee, but Skamandros shall bear thee on his eddies into
the broad bosom of the sea. Leaping along the wave shall many a fish
dart up to the dark ripple to eat of the white flesh of Lykaon. So
perish all, until we reach the citadel of sacred Ilios, ye flying and I
behind destroying. Nor even the River, fair-flowing, silver-eddied,
shall avail you, to whom long time forsooth ye sacrifice many bulls, and
among his eddies throw whole-hooved horses down alive. For all this yet
shall ye die the death, until ye pay all for Patroklos' slaying and the
slaughter of Achaians whom at the swift ships ye slew while I tarried

Thus spake he, but the River waxed ever more wroth in his heart, and
sought in his soul how he should stay goodly Achilles from his work, and
ward destruction from the Trojans. Meanwhile the son of Peleus with his
far-shadowing spear leapt, fain to slay him, upon Asteropaios son of
Pelegon, whom wide-flowing Axios begat of Periboia eldest of the
daughters of Akessamenos. Upon him set Achilles, and Asteropaios stood
against him from the river, holding two spears; for Xanthos put courage
into his heart, being angered for the slaughtered youths whom Achilles
was slaughtering along the stream and had no pity on them. Then when the
twain were come nigh in onset on each other, unto him first spake
fleet-footed noble Achilles: "Who and whence art thou of men, that
darest to come against me? Ill-fated are they whose children match them
with my might."

And to him, made answer Pelegon's noble son: "High-hearted son of
Peleus, why askest thou my lineage? I come from deep-soiled Paionia, a
land far off, leading Paionian men with their long spears, and this now
is the eleventh morn since I am come to Ilios. My lineage is of
wide-flowing Axios, who begat Pelegon famous with the spear, and he, men
say, was my father. Now fight we, noble Achilles!"

Thus spake he in defiance, and goodly Achilles lifted the Pelian ash:
but the warrior Asteropaios hurled with both spears together, for he
could use both hands alike, and with the one spear smote the shield, but
pierced it not right through, for the gold stayed it, the gift of a god;
and with the other he grazed the elbow of Achilles' right arm, and there
leapt forth dark blood, but the point beyond him fixed itself in the
earth, eager to batten on flesh. Then in his turn Achilles hurled on
Asteropaios his straight-flying ash, fain to have slain him, but missed
the man and struck the high bank, and quivering half its length in the
bank he left the ashen spear. Then the son of Peleus drew his sharp
sword from his thigh and leapt fiercely at him, and he availed not to
draw with his stout hand Achilles' ashen shaft from the steep bank.
Thrice shook he it striving to draw it forth, and thrice gave up the
strain, but the fourth time he was fain to bend and break the ashen
spear of the seed of Aiakos, but ere that Achilles closing on him reft
him of life with his sword. For in the belly he smote him beside the
navel, and all his bowels gushed out to the earth, and darkness covered
his eyes as he lay gasping. Then Achilles trampling on his breast
stripped off his armour and spake exultingly: "Lie there! It is hard to
strive against children of Kronos' mighty son, even though one be sprung
from a River-god. Thou truly declarest thyself the seed of a
wide-flowing River, but I avow me of the linkage of great Zeus. My sire
is a man ruling many Myrmidons, Peleus the son of Aiakos, and Aiakos was
begotten of Zeus. As Zeus is mightier than seaward-murmuring rivers, so
is the seed of Zeus made mightier than the seed of a river. Nay, there
is hard beside thee a great river, if he may anywise avail; but against
Zeus the son of Kronos it is not possible to fight. For him not even
king Acheloios is match, nor yet the great strength of deep-flowing
Ocean, from whom all rivers flow and every sea, and all springs and deep
wells: yea, even he hath fear of the lightning of great Zeus and his
dread thunder, when it pealeth out of heaven."

He said, and from the steep bank drew his bronze spear, and left there
Asteropaios whom he had slain, lying in the sands, and the dark water
flooded him. Around him eels and fishes swarmed, tearing and gnawing the
fat about his kidneys. But Achilles went on after the charioted Paiones
who still along the eddying river huddled in fear, when they saw their
best man in the stress of battle slain violently by the hands and the
sword of the son of Peleus. There slew he Thersilochos and Mydon and
Astypylos and Mnesos and Thrasios and Ainios and Ophelestes; and more
yet of the Paiones would swift Achilles have slain, had not the
deep-eddying River called unto him in wrath, in semblance of a man, and
from an eddy's depth sent forth a voice: "O Achilles, thy might and thy
evil work are beyond the measure of men; for gods themselves are ever
helping thee. If indeed the son of Kronos hath delivered thee all the
Trojans to destroy, at least drive them forth from me and do thy grim
deeds on the plain, for filled with dead men is my pleasant bed, nor
can I pour my stream to the great sea, being choked with dead, and thou
slayest ruthlessly. Come then, let be; I am astonished, O captain of

And to him answered Achilles fleet of foot: "So be it, heaven-sprung
Skamandros, even as thou biddest. But the proud Trojans I will not cease
from slaying until I have driven them into their city, and have made
trial with Hector face to face whether he is to vanquish me or I him."

Thus saying, he set upon the Trojans, like a god. Then unto Apollo spake
the deep-eddying River: "Out on it, lord of the silver bow, child of
Zeus, thou hast not kept the ordinance of Kronos' son, who charged thee
straitly to stand by the Trojans and to help them, until eve come with
light late-setting, and darken the deep-soiled earth."

He said, and spear-famed Achilles sprang from the bank and leapt into
his midst; but he rushed on him in a furious wave, and stirred up all
his streams in tumult, and swept down the many dead who lay thick in
him, slain by Achilles; these out to land he cast with bellowing like a
bull, and saved the living under his fair streams, hiding them within
eddies deep and wide. But terribly around Achilles arose his tumultuous
wave, and the stream smote violently against his shield, nor availed he
to stand firm upon his feet. Then he grasped a tall fair-grown elm, and
it fell uprooted and tore away all the bank, and reached over the fair
river bed with its thick shoots, and stemmed the River himself, falling
all within him: and Achilles, struggling out of the eddy, made haste to
fly over the plain with his swift feet, for he was afraid. But the great
god ceased not, but arose upon him with darkness on his crest, that he
might stay noble Achilles from slaughter, and ward destruction from the
men of Troy. And the son of Peleus rushed away a spear's throw, with the
swoop of a black eagle, the mighty hunter, strongest at once and
swiftest of winged birds. Like him he sped, and on his breast the bronze
rang terribly as he fled from beneath the onset, and behind him the
River rushed on with a mighty roar. As when a field-waterer from a dark
spring leadeth water along a bed through crops and garden grounds, a
mattock in his hands, casting forth hindrances from the ditch, and as it
floweth all pebbles are swept down, and swiftly gliding it murmureth
down a sloping place, and outrunneth him that is its guide: - thus ever
the river wave caught up Achilles for all his speed; for gods are
mightier than men. For whensoever fleet-footed noble Achilles struggled
to stand against it, and know whether all immortals be upon him who
inhabit spacious heaven, then would a great wave of the heaven-sprung
River beat upon his shoulders from above, and he sprang upward with his
feet, sore vexed at heart; and the River was wearying his knees with
violent rush beneath, devouring the earth from under his feet. Then the
son of Peleus cried aloud, looking up to the broad heaven: "Zeus,
Father, how doth none of the gods take it on him in pity to save me from
the River! after that let come to me what may. None other of the
inhabitants of Heaven is chargeable so much, but only my dear mother,
who beguiled me with false words, saying that under the wall of the
mail-clad men of Troy I must die by the swift arrows of Apollo. Would
that Hector had slain me, the best of men bred here: then brave had been
the slayer, and a brave man had he slain. But now by a sorry death am I
doomed to die, pent in this mighty river, like a swineherd boy whom a
torrent sweepeth down as he essayeth to cross it in a storm."

Thus spake he, and quickly Poseidon and Athene came near and stood
beside him, in the likeness of men, and taking his hands in theirs
pledged him in words. And the first that spake was Poseidon, Shaker of
the earth: "Son of Peleus, tremble not, neither be afraid; such helpers
of thee are we from the gods, approved of Zeus, even Pallas Athene and
I, for to be vanquished of a river is not appointed thee, but he will
soon give back, and thou wilt thyself perceive it: but we will give thee
wise counsel, if thou wilt obey it; hold not thy hand from hazardous
battle until within Ilios' famous walls thou have pent the Trojan host,
even all that flee before thee. But do thou, when thou hast taken the
life of Hector, go back unto the ships; this glory we give unto thee to

They having thus spoken departed to the immortals, but he toward the
plain - for the bidding of gods was strong upon him - went onward; and all
the plain was filled with water-flood, and many beautiful arms and
corpses of slain youths were drifting there. So upward sprang his knees
as he rushed against the stream right on, nor stayed him the
wide-flowing River, for Athene put great strength in him. Neither did
Skamandros slacken his fierceness, but yet more raged against the son of
Peleus, and he curled crestwise the billow of his stream, lifting
himself on high, and on Simoeis he called with a shout: "Dear brother,
the strength of this man let us both join to stay, since quickly he will
lay waste the great city of king Priam, and the Trojans abide not in the
battle. Help me with speed, and fill thy streams with water from thy
springs, and urge on all thy torrents, and raise up a great wave, and
stir huge roaring of tree-stumps and stones, that we may stay the fierce
man who now is lording it, and deeming himself match for gods. For
neither, I ween, will strength avail him nor comeliness anywise, nor
that armour beautiful, which deep beneath the flood shall be o'erlaid
with slime, and himself I will wrap him in my sands and pour round him
countless shingle without stint, nor shall the Achaians know where to
gather his bones, so vast a shroud of silt will I heap over them. Where
he dieth there shall be his tomb, neither shall he have need of any
barrow to be raised, when the Achaians make his funeral."

He said, and rushed in tumult on Achilles, raging from on high,
thundering with foam and blood and bodies of dead men. Then did a dark
wave of the heaven-sprung River stand towering up and overwhelm the son
of Peleus. But Hera cried aloud in terror of Achilles, lest the great
deep-eddying River sweep him away, and straightway she called to
Hephaistos, her dear son: "Rise, lame god, O my son; it was against thee
we thought that eddying Xanthos was matched in fight. Help with all
speed, put forth large blast of flame. Then will I go to raise a strong
storm out of the sea of the west wind and the white south which shall
utterly consume the dead Trojans and their armour, blowing the angry
flame. Thou along Xanthos' banks burn up his trees and wrap himself in
fire, nor let him anywise turn thee back by soft words or by threat, nor
stay thy rage - only when I cry to thee with my voice, then hold the
unwearying fire."

Thus spake she, and Hephaistos made ready fierce-blazing fire. First on
the plain fire blazed, and burnt the many dead who lay there thick,
slain by Achilles; and all the plain was parched and the bright water
stayed. And as when in late summer the north wind swiftly parcheth a new
watered orchard, and he that tilleth it is glad, thus was the whole
plain parched, and Hephaistos consumed the dead; then against the river
he turned his gleaming flame. Elms burnt and willow trees and tamarisks,

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