snow stones

Ὣς τώ γε προβοῶντε μάχην ὄτρυνον Ἀχαιῶν.
τῶν δ’, ὥς τε νιφάδες χιόνος πίπτωσι θαμειαὶ
ἤματι χειμερίῳ, ὅτε τ’ ὤρετο μητίετα Ζεὺς
νιφέμεν, ἀνθρώποισι πιφαυσκόμενος τὰ ἃ κῆλα·
κοιμήσας δ’ ἀνέμους χέει ἔμπεδον, ὄφρα καλύψῃ
ὑψηλῶν ὀρέων κορυφὰς καὶ πρώονας ἄκρους
καὶ πεδία λωτοῦντα καὶ ἀνδρῶν πίονα ἔργα,
καί τ’ ἐφ’ ἁλὸς πολιῆς κέχυται λιμέσιν τε καὶ ἀκταῖς,
κῦμα δέ μιν προσπλάζον ἐρύκεται· ἄλλα τε πάντα
εἴλυται καθύπερθ’, ὅτ’ ἐπιβρίσῃ Διὸς ὄμβρος·
ὣς τῶν ἀμφοτέρωσε λίθοι πωτῶντο θαμειαί,
αἱ μὲν ἄρ’ ἐς Τρῶας, αἱ δ’ ἐκ Τρώων ἐς Ἀχαιούς,
βαλλομένων· τὸ δὲ τεῖχος ὕπερ πᾶν δοῦπος ὀρώρει.
(Homer, Il. 12.277-289)

So their cries urged on the Achaeans’ war-lust.
Thick-and-fast as the snows that fall on a winter dawn
when Zeus who rules the world brings on a blizzard,
displaying to all mankind his weaponry of war…
and he puts the winds to sleep, drifting on and on
until he has shrouded over the mountains’ looming peaks
and the headlands jutting sharp, the lowlands deep in grass
and the rich plowed work of farming men, and the drifts fall
on the gray salt surf and the harbors and down along the beaches
and only breakers beating against the drifts can hold them off
but all else on the earth they cover over, snows from the sky
when Zeus comes storming down—now so thick-and-fast
they volleyed rocks from both sides, some at the Trojans,
some from Trojans against the Argives, salvos landing,
the whole long rampart thundering under blows.
(tr. Robert Fagles)

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