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with naked swords in air. Messapus, wild
to break the truce, assailed the Tuscan King,
Aulestes, dressed in kingly blazon fair,
with fearful shock of steeds; the Tuscan dropped
helplessly backward, striking as he fell
his head and shoulders on the altar-stone
that lay behind him. But Messapus flew,
infuriate, a javelin in his hand,
and, towering o'er the suppliant, smote him strong
with the great beam-like spear, and loudly cried:
“Down with him! Ah! no common victim he
to give the mighty gods!” Italia's men
despoiled the dead man ere his limbs were cold.
Then Corynaeus snatched a burning brand
out of the altar, and as Ebysus
came toward him for to strike, he hurled the flame
full in his face: the big beard quickly blazed
with smell of singeing; while the warrior bold
strode over him, and seized with firm left hand
his quailing foe's Iong hair; then with one knee
he pushed and strained, compelled him to the `ground—
and struck straight at his heart with naked steel.
The shepherd Alsus in the foremost line
came leaping through the spears; when o'er him towered
huge Podalirius with a flashing sword
in close pursuit; the mighty battle-axe
clove him with swinging stroke from brow to chin,
and spilt along his mail the streaming gore:
so stern repose and iron slumber fell
upon that shepherd's eyes, and sealed their gaze
in endless night.
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