(suadet enim vesana fames), si forte fugacem
conspexit capream aut surgentem in cornua cervum,
gaudet hians immane comasque arrexit et haeret
visceribus super incumbens; lavit improba taeter
sic ruit in densos alacer Mezentius hostis.
Just as a hungry lion wandering around his lofty lair (for mad hunger urges him on), if by chance he has caught sight of a fleeing goat or a deer lifting up its horns, rejoices, opening his huge mouth wide and his mane bristles and jumping upon it he clings to its flesh; the foul blood washes his wicked mouth – in the same way Mezentius eagerly rushes into the thick of the enemy.
When Menelaus saw Paris stepping out in front of the massed troops with long strides, he felt the joy of a lion that has come across a great carcass, an antlered stag or a wild goat he has found in his hunger: he eats it greedily, even though the running hounds and the strong young huntsmen try to drive him away.
Holding his shield in front of him and with two spears in his grip Sarpedon set out like a mountain lion, who has been long without meat, and his proud heart uges him to break in to a close-built fold and try for the sheep.
As when a mountain lion, sure of his own power, takes the finest heifer from a grazing herd: first he breaks her neck in the grasp of her strong jaws, then tears her, gulping her blood and all her innards: around him dogs and herdsmen set up a great din, but at a distance, unwilling to come close, as fear has its pale grip on them. So it was that no Trojan’s heart within him had the courage to come against glorious Menelaus.