George Meredith

(12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909 / Portsmouth, England)

Agamemnon In The Fight


[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 woodland,
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.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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