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Then Atalanta's son, who was not an Argive but an Arcadian, hurling himself like a hurricane at the gates, called for [1155] fire and picks to raze the town; but Periclymenus, son of the ocean-god, stayed his wild career, heaving on his head a wagon-load of stone, the coping from the battlements; and it shattered his head with yellow hair and [1160] crashed through the seams of the skull, dabbling with blood his fresh cheek; and he will never go back alive to his mother with her lovely bow, the maid of Maenalus.

Your son then, seeing these gates secure, went on to the next, and I followed him. [1165] I saw Tydeus and his thick rows of targeteers hurling their Aetolian spears into the opening at the top of the turrets, so that our men fled and left the battlements; but your son rallied them once more, as a huntsman cheers his hounds, [1170] and stationed them at the towers again. And then we hastened to other gates, after stopping the affliction there. As for the madness of Capaneus, how can I describe it? He was going about with a long scaling-ladder, and boasting [1175] that even the holy fire of Zeus would not hold him back from giving the city to utter destruction. And even as he spoke, he climbed up beneath the hail of stones, crouched under the shelter of his shield, rung by smooth rung going up the ladder. [1180] But, just as he was scaling the parapet of the wall, Zeus smote him with a thunderbolt; the earth re-echoed, and fear seized everyone; for from the ladder [his limbs were slung far apart, his head toward Olympus, his blood toward earth, [1185] while his legs and arms went spinning round like Ixion's wheel] he was hurled, spinnning; his burning corpse fell to the ground.

But when Adrastus saw that Zeus was hostile to his army, he drew the Argive troops outside the trench. Meanwhile our armed cavalry, seeing the lucky omen of Zeus before us, [1190] were driving forth their chariots, and the armed men charged with spears into the middle of the Argives, and all troubles happened at once: men were dying, hurled headlong from chariots, wheels flew off, axles crashed together, [1195] while the dead were heaped up on the dead. So for to-day we have prevented destruction of the towers of our land; but if this land will be fortunate for the future, that rests with the gods; for even now it owes its safety to some deity.

Chorus Leader
[1200] Victory is fair; and if the gods are growing kinder, it would be well with me.

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