But when they were now come to the ford of the fair-flowing river, even eddying Xanthus that immortal Zeus begat, there Achilles cleft them asunder, and the one part he drave to the plain toward the city, even where the Achaeans were fleeing in rout
the day before, what time glorious Hector was raging—thitherward poured forth some in rout, and Hera spread before them a thick mist to hinder them; but the half of them were pent into the deep-flowing river with its silver eddies. Therein they flung themselves with a great din, and the sheer-falling streams resounded,
and the banks round about rang loudly; and with noise of shouting swam they this way and that, whirled about in the eddies. And as when beneath the onrush of fire locusts take wing to flee unto a river, and the unwearied fire burneth them with its sudden oncoming, and they shrink down into the water;
even so before Achilles was the sounding stream of deep-eddying Xanthus filled confusedly with chariots and with men.
But the Zeus-begotten left there his spear upon the bank, leaning against the tamarisk bushes, and himself leapt in like a god with naught but his sword; and grim was the work he purposed in his heart, and turning him this way
and that he smote and smote; and from them uprose hideous groaning as they were anchorage in their terror, for greedily doth he devour whatsoever one he catcheth;
even so cowered the Trojans in the streams of the dread river beneath the steep banks. And he, when his hands grew weary of slaying, chose twelve youths alive from out the river as blood-price for dead Patroclus, son of Menoetius. These led he forth dazed like fawns,
and bound their hands behind them with shapely thongs, which they themselves wore about their pliant tunics, and gave them to his comrades to lead to the hollow ships. Then himself he sprang back again, full eager to slay.