Οἳ δ’ ὑπὲρ αὐτέων
ἄνδρες ἐμαρνάσθην πολεμήια τεύχε’ ἔχοντες,
τοὶ μὲν ὑπὲρ σφετέρης πόλιος σφετέρων τε τοκήων
λοιγὸν ἀμύνοντες, τοὶ δὲ πραθέειν μεμαῶτες.
πολλοὶ μὲν κέατο, πλέονες δ᾽ ἔτι δῆριν ἔχοντες
μάρνανθ’· αἱ δὲ γυναῖκες ἐυδμήτων ἐπὶ πύργων
χαλκέων ὀξὺ βόων, κατὰ δ’ ἐδρύπτοντο παρειάς,
ζωῇσιν ἴκελαι, ἔργα κλυτοῦ Ἡφαίστοιο.
ἄνδρες δ’, οἳ πρεσβῆες ἔσαν γῆράς τε μέμαρπεν,
ἀθρόοι ἔκτοσθεν πυλέων ἔσαν, ἂν δὲ θεοῖσι
χεῖρας ἔχον μακάρεσσι, περὶ σφετέροισι τέκεσσι
δειδιότες· τοὶ δ’ αὖτε μάχην ἔχον. αἳ δὲ μετ᾽ αὐτοὺς
Κῆρες κυάνεαι, λευκοὺς ἀραβεῦσαι ὀδόντας,
δεινωπαὶ βλοσυραί τε δαφοιναί τ’ ἄπληταί τε
δῆριν ἔχον περὶ πιπτόντων· πᾶσαι δ’ ἄρ’ ἵεντο
αἷμα μέλαν πιέειν· ὃν δὲ πρῶτον μεμάποιεν
κείμενον ἢ πίπτοντα νεούτατον, ἀμφὶ μὲν αὐτῷ
βάλλ’ ὄνυχας μεγάλους, ψυχὴ δ’ Ἄϊδόσδε κατῇεν
Τάρταρον ἐς κρυόενθ’. αἳ δὲ φρένας εὖτ’ ἀρέσαντο
αἵματος ἀνδρομέου, τὸν μὲν ῥίπτασκον ὀπίσσω,
ἂψ δ’ ὅμαδον καὶ μῶλον ἐθύνεον αὖτις ἰοῦσαι.
Κλωθὼ καὶ Λάχεσίς σφιν ἐφέστασαν· ἣ μὲν ὑφήσσων
Ἀτροπος οὔ τι πέλεν μεγάλη θεός, ἀλλ’ ἄρα ἥ γε
τῶν γε μὲν ἀλλάων προφερής τ’ ἦν πρεσβυτάτη τε.
πᾶσαι δ’ ἀμφ’ ἑνὶ φωτὶ μάχην δριμεῖαν ἔθεντο.
δεινὰ δ’ ἐς ἀλλήλας δράκον ὄμμασι θυμήνασαι,
ἐν δ’ ὄνυχας χεῖράς τε θρασείας ἰσώσαντο.
πὰρ δ’ Ἀχλὺς εἱστήκει ἐπισμυγερή τε καὶ αἰνή,
χλωρὴ ἀυσταλέη λιμῷ καταπεπτηυῖα,
γουνοπαχής, μακροὶ δ’ ὄνυχες χείρεσσιν ὑπῆσαν.
τῆς ἐκ μὲν ῥινῶν μύξαι ῥέον, ἐκ δὲ παρειῶν
αἷμ᾽ ἀπελείβετ᾽ ἔραζ’· ἣ δ᾽ ἄπλητον σεσαρυῖα
εἱστήκει, πολλὴ δὲ κόνις κατενήνοθεν ὤμους,
(Pseudo-Hesiod, Aspis 237-270)
Above them, men were fighting, wearing warlike armor, some warding off destruction for the sake of their city and their parents, others eager to sack it. Many were prostrate, but more were still engaged in conflict and were fighting. The women on the well-built bronze towers were crying out sharply and rending their cheeks, and they looked as though they were alive, the work of famous Hephaestus. The men who were elderly and whom old age had seized were crowded together outside the gates, and they held up their hands to the blessed gods, fearing for their sons; but these were engaged in battle. Behind them, the dark Fates, gnashing their white teeth, terrible-faced, grim, blood-red, dreadful, were engaged in conflict around those who were falling. They were all eager to drink black blood. Whomever they caught first, lying there or falling freshly wounded, she clenched around him her great claws, and his soul went down to Hades to chilling Tartarus. When they had satisfied their spirits with human blood, they would hurl him backwards, and going forward they would rush once again into the battle din and melee. Clotho and Lachesis stood over them; Atropos, somewhat smaller, was there, non an especially big goddess, but nonetheless she was superior to these others and the oldest one. All of them were waging bitter battle around one man; they glared terribly with their eyes at one another in their fury, and upon it they were equal to one another in their claws and fierce hands. Beside them stood Death-Mist, gloomy and dread, pallid, parched, cowering in hunger, thick-kneed; long claws were under her hands. From her nostrils flowed mucus, from her cheeks blood was dripping down onto the ground. She stood there, grinning dreadfully, and much dust, wet with tears, lay upon her shoulders. (tr. Glenn W. Most)