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For the men above kept hurling stones from the well-built towers, [155] in defence of their own lives and of the huts and of the swift-faring ships. And like snow-flakes the stones fell ever earthward, like flakes that a blustering wind, as it driveth the shadowy clouds, sheddeth thick and fast upon the bounteous earth; even so flowed the missiles from the hands of these, of Achaeans [160] alike and Trojans; and helms rang harshly and bossed shields, as they were smitten with great stones. Then verily Asius, son of Hyrtacus, uttered a groan, and smote both his thighs, and in sore indignation he spake, saying: “Father Zeus, of a surety thou too then art utterly a lover of lies, [165] for I deemed not that the Achaean warriors would stay our might and our invincible hands. But they like wasps of nimble1 waist, or bees that have made their nest in a rugged path, and leave not their hollow home, but abide, [170] and in defence of their young ward off hunter folk; even so these men, though they be but two, are not minded to give ground from the gate, till they either slay or be slain.” So spake he, but with these words he moved not the mind of Zeus, for it was to Hector that Zeus willed to vouchsafe glory. [175] But others were fighting in battle about the other gates, and hard were it for me, as though I were a god, to tell the tale of all these things, for everywhere about the wall of stone rose the wondrous-blazing fire; for the Argives, albeit in sore distress, defended their ships perforce; and the gods were grieved at heart, [180] all that were helpers of the Danaans in battle. And the Lapiths clashed in war and strife. Then the son of Peirithous, mighty Polypoetes, cast with his spear and smote Damasus through the helmet with cheek pieces of bronze; [185] and the bronze helm stayed not the spear, but the point of bronze brake clean through the bone, and all the brain was spattered about within; so stayed he him in his fury. And thereafter he slew Pylon and Ormenus. And Leonteus, scion of Ares, smote Hippomachus, son of Antimachus, with a cast of his spear, striking him upon the girdle. [190] And again he drew from its sheath his sharp sword and darting upon him through the throng smote Antiphates first in close fight, so that he was hurled backward upon the ground; and thereafter Menon, and Iamenus, and Orestes, all of these one after the other he brought down to the bounteous earth.

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