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Commutual death the fate of war confounds, His opening hand in death forsakes the rein;
And Nestor's trembling hand confess'd his fright;
He dropp'd the reins; and shook with sacred dread, Nor each stern Ajax, thunderbolts of war: 100 Thus, turning, warn'd the intrepid Diomed: Nor he, the king of men, the alarm sustain'd; O chief! too daring in thy friend's defence, Nestor alone amidst the storm remain'd.
Retire advised, and urge the chariot hence. 170 Unwilling be remain'd, for Paris' dart
This day, averse, the sovereign of the skies, Had pierced his courser in a mortal part:
Assists great Hector, and our palm denies, Fix'd is the forehead where the springing mane Some other sun may see the happier hour, Curled 'o'er the brow, it stung him to the brain : When Greece shall conquer by his heavenly power, Mad with his anguish, he begins to rear,
"Tis not in man bis fix'd decree to move: Paw with his hoofs aloft, and lash the air.
The great will glory to submit to Jove.
I fled inglorious to the guarded coast.
O'erwhelm me, earth; and hide a warrior's shame. But Diomed beheld; from forth the crowd
To whom Gerenian Nestor thus replied: He rush'd, and on Ulysses call'd aloud:
Gods! can thy courage fear the Phrygian's pride ? Whither, oh whither does Ulysses run!
Hector may vaunt, but who shall heed the boast ! Oh flight unworthy great Laërtes' son !
Not those who felt thy arm, the Dardan host,
He said, and hasty o'er the gasping throng
Drives the swift steeds; the chariot smokes along. Ulysses seeks the ships, and shelters there
The shouts of Trojans thicken in the wind, But bold Tydides, to the rescue goes,
The storm of hissing javelins pours behind. A single warrior 'midst a host of foes;
Then, with a voice that shakes the solid skies, Before the coursers with a sudden spring
Pleased Hector braves the warrior as he flies • He leap'd, and anxious thus bespoke the king : Go, mighty hero, graced above the rest
Great perils, father! wait the unequal fight; In seats of council and the sumptuous feast! These younger champions will oppress thy might. Now hope no more those honours from thy train; Thy veins no more with ancient vigour glow, 131 Go, less than woman, in the form of man! Weak is thy servant and thy coursers slow. To scale our walls, to wrap our towers in flames, 2010 Then haste, ascend my seat, and from the car To lead in exile the fair Phrygian dames, Observe the steeds of Tros, renown'd in war, Thy once proud hopes, presumptuous prince ! are Practised alike to turn, to stop, to chase, To dare the fight, or urge the rapid race:
This arm shall reach thy heart, and stretch thee dead. These late obey'd Æneas' guiding rein;
Now fears dissuade him, and now hopes invite
Thrice turn'd the chief, and thrice imperial Jore
Great Hector heard; he saw the flashing light,
(The sign of conquest) and thus urged the fight: Thus said the chief; and Nestor, skill'd in war, Hear, every Trojan, Lyeian, Dardan band, Approves his council, and ascends the car:
All famed in war, and dreadful band to hand. The steeds he left, their trusty servants hold; Be mindful of the wreaths your arms have won, Eurymedon, and Sthenelus the bold: 1
Your great forefathers' glories and your own. The reverend charioteer directs the course,
Heard ye the voice of Jove ? Success and fame And strains bis aged arms to lash the horse. Await on Troy; on Greece eternal shame. Hector they face; unknowing how to fear,
In vain they skulk behind their boasted wall, Fierce he drove on: Tydides whirl'd his spear. 150 Weak bulwarks! destined by this arm to fall. The spear with erring haste mistook its way, High o'er their slighted treneh our steeds shall bound, But plunged in Eniopeus' bogoın lay.
And pass victorious o'er the levellid mound
Soon as before yon hollow ships we 'stand, 220 To thee my vows were breathed from every shore;
Furious he said; then, bending o'er the yoke, Now, gracious God! far humbler our demand; 290
heard And all your master's well-spent care repay. His vows, in bitterness of soul preferr'd; For this, high-fed in plenteous stalls ye stand, 230 The wrath appeased, by happy signs declares, Served with pure wheat, and by a princess' hand; And gives the people to their monarch's prayers For this my spouse, of great Aëtion's line, His eagle, sacred bird of heaven! he sent, So oft has steep'd the strengthening grain in wine. A fawn his talons truss'd (divine portent !) Now swift pursue, now thunder uncontrollid; High o'er the wondering hosts he soar'd above, Give me to seize rich Nestor's shield of gold, Who paid their vows to Panomphean Jove; 300 From Tydeus' shoulders strip the costly load, Then let the prey before his altar fall : Vulcanian arms, the labour of a god :
The Greeks beheld, and transport seized on all : These if we gain, then victory, ye powers ! Encouraged by the sign, the troops revive, This night, this glorious night, the fleet is ours. And fierce on Troy with double fury drive.
That heard, deep anguish stung Saturnia's soul ; Tydides first, of all the Grecian force, She shook her throne that shook the starry pole: 241|O'er the broad ditch impell'd his foaming horse, And thus to Neptune : Thou whose force can Pierced the deep ranks, their strongest battle tore, make
And dyed his javelin red with Trojan gore. The steadfast earth from her foundation shake, Young Agelauis (Phradmon was his sire) Seest thou the Greeks by fates unjust oppress'd, With flying coursers shunn'd his dreadful ire: 310 Now swells thy heart in that immortal breast ? Struck through the back, the Phrygian fell oppress'd ; Yet Æga, Helicé, thy power obey,
The dart drove on, and issued at his breast : And gifts unceasing on thine altars lay.
Headlong he quits the car; his arms resound;
His ponderous buckler thunders on the ground.
And godlike Idomen, now pass'd the mound:
Evæmon's son next issues to the foe, Neptune with wrath rejects the rash design: And last, young Teucer with his bended bow. 320 What rage, what madness, furious queen, is thine ? Secúre behind the Telamonian shield, I war not with the Highest. All above
The skilful archer wide survey'd the field, Submit and tremble at the hand of Jove.
With every shaft some hostile victim slew, Now godlike Hector, to whose matchless might Then close beneath the sevenfold orb withdrew Jove gave the glory of the destined fight,
The conscious infant so, when fear alarms, Squadrons on squadrons drives, and fills the fields 260 Retires for safety to the mother's arms. With close-ranged chariots, and with thicken'd Thus Ajax guards his brother in the field, shields;
Moves as he moves, and turns the shining shield Where the deep trench in length extended lay, Who first by Teucer's mortal arrows bled ? Compacted troops stand wedged in firm array, Orsilochus; then fell Ormenus dead :
330 A dreadful front! they shake the brands, and threat The godlike Lycophon next press'd the plain, With long-destroying flames the hostile fleet. With Chromius, Dæter, Ophelestes slain : The king of men, by Juno's self inspired,
Bold Hamopaön breathless sunk to ground;
Heaps fell on heaps, sad trophies of his art;
Oh youth for ever dear! (the monarch cried,)
Thy country's saviour, and thy father's boast! Where now are all your glorious boasts of yore, Sprung from an alien's bed thy sire to grace, Your hasty triumphs on the Lemnian shore? The vigorous offspring of a stolen embrace. Each fearless hero dares a hundred foes,
Proud of his boy, he own’d the generous flame, While the feast lasts, and while the goblet flows; And the brave son repays his cares with fame. But who to meet one martial man is found, 280 Now hear a monarch's vow: If heaven's high powers When the fight rages, and the flames surround ? Give me to raze Troy's long-defended towers; O mighty Jove ! oh sire of the distress'd !
Whatever treasures Greece for me design, Was ever king like me, like me oppress'd ? The next rich honorary gift be thine:
350 With power immense, with justice arm'd in vain; Some golden tripod, or distinguish'd car, My glory ravish'd, and my people slain!
With coursers dreadful in the ranks of war;
Or some fair captive whom thy eyes approve, Their strong distress the wife of Jove survey'd; Shall recompense the warrior's toils with love. Then pensive thus, to war's triumphant maid:
To this the chief: With praise the rest inspire, Oh daughter of that god, whose arm can wield Nor urge a soul already fill'd with fire:
The avenging bolt, and shake the sabie shield! What strength I have, be now in battle tried, Now, in this moment of her last despair, Till every shaft in Phrygian blood be dyed. Shall wretched Greece no more confess our care ? Since rallying from our wall we forced the foe, Condemn'd to suffer the full force of fate, Still aim'd at Ilector bave I bent my bow : 360 And drain the dregs of heaven's relentless hate? Eight forky arrows from this hand have fled, Gods ! shall one raging hand thus level all ? And eight bold heroes by their points lie dead; What numbers fell! what numbers yet shall fall! 130 But sure some god denies me to destroy
What power divine shall Hector's wrath assuage ? This fury of the field, this dog of Troy.
Still swells the slaughter, and still grows the rage ! He said, and twang'd the string. The weapon flies So spake the imperial regent of the skies; At Hector's breast, and sings along the skies : To whom the goddess with the azure eyes: He miss'd the mark; but pierced Gorythio's heart, Long since had lector stain'd these fields with gore, And drench'd in royal blood the thirsty dart. Stretch'd by some Argive on his native shore; (Fair Castianira, nymph of form divine.
But lle, above, the sire of heaven, withstands, This offspring added to king Priam's line.) 370 Mocks our attempts and slights our just demands. As full-blown poppies, overcharged with rain, The stubborn god, inflexible and hard, Decline the head, and drooping kiss the plain; Forgets my service and deserved reward: So sinks the youth: his beauteous head, depress'd Saved I, for this, his favourite son,* distress'd, Beneath his helinet, drops upon his breast.
By stern Euristheus with long labours press'd ? Another shaft the raging archer drew :
He begg'd, with tears he begg’d, in deep dismay; That other shaft with erring fury flew,
I shot from heaven, and gave his arm the day. (From Hector Phabus turn'd the flying wound,) Oh had my wisdom known this dire event, Yet fell not dry or guiltless to the ground:
When to grim Pluto's gloomy gates he went; Thy breast, brave Archeptolemus : it tore, The triple dog had never telt his chain, And dipp'd its feathers in no vulgar gore. 380 Nor styx been cross'd, nor hell explored in vain. Headlong he falls : his sudden fall alarms
Averse to me of all his heaven of gods, The steeds, that startle at his sounding arms. At Theus' suit the partial Thunderer nods,
450 Hector with grief his charioteer beheld,
To grace her gloomy, fierce, resenting son, All pale and breathless on the sanguine field. My hopes are frustrate, and my Greeks undone. Then bids Cebriones direct the rein,
Some future day, perhaps, he may be moved Quits his briglie car, and issues on the plain. To call his blue-eyed maid his best-beloved. Dreadful he shouts : from earth a stone he took, Kaste, launch thy chariot, through yon ranks to ride; And rush'd on Teucer with the lifted rock.
Myself will arm, and thunder at thy side. The youth already strain'd the forcefil yew; Then goddess ! say, shall Hector glory then The shaft already to his shoulder drew; 390 (That terror of the Greeks, that man of men,) The feather in his hand, just wing'd for flight, When Juno's self, and Pallas shall appear, Touch'd where the neck and hollow chest unite; All-dreadful in the crimson walks of war! There, where the juncture knits the channel bone, That mighty 'Trojan then, on yonder shore, The furious chief discharged the craggy stone; Expiring, pale, and terrible no more, The bow-string burst beneath the ponderous blow, Shall feast the fowls, and glue the dogs with gore ? And his numb'd hand dismiss'd his useless bow. She ceased, and Juno rein'd the steeds with care ; He fell: but Ajax his broad shield display'd, (Heaven's awful empress, Saturd's other heir.) And screen'd his brother with a mighty shade; Pallas, meanwhile, her various veil unbound, Till great Alastor and Mecistheus bore
With flowers adorn'd, with art immortal crown'd; The batter'd archer groaning to the shore. 400 The radiant robe her sacred fingers wove,
Troy yet found grace before the Olympian sire ; Floats in rich waves, and spreads the court of Jore. He arm’d their hands, and fill'd their breasts with fire. Her father's arms her mighty limbs invest, The Greeks, repulsed, retreat behind their wall, His cuirass blazes on her ample breast. Or in the trench on heaps confusedly fall.
The vigorous power the trembling car ascends; First of the foe, great lector march'd along, Shook by her arm, the massy javelin bends; With terror clothed, and more than mortal strong. Huge, pondrous, strong! that, when her fury burns, As the bold hound, that gives the lion chase, Proud tyrants humbles, and whole hosts o'erturns. With beating bosom, and with eager pace,
Saturnia lends the lash ; the coursers fly. Hangs on his haunch, or fastens on his heels, Smooth glides the chariot through the liquid sky. Guards as he turns, and circles as he wheels; 410 Heaven's gates spontaneous open to the powers, Thus oft the Grecians turn'd, but still they flew; lieaven's golden gates, kept by the winged Hlours, Thus, following Hector, still the hindmost slew. Commission'd in alternate watch they stand, When flying they had pass'd the trench profound, The sun's bright portals and the skies command; And many a chief Jay grasping on the ground; Close or unfold the eternal gates of day, Before the ships a desperate stand they made, Bar heaven with clouds, or roll those clouds away. And fired the troops, and call'd the gods to aid. The sounding hinges ring, the clouds divide; Fierce on his rattling chariot Hector came; Prone down the steep of heaven their course they His eyes like Gorgon shot a sangnine flame
guide. That wither'd all their host : like Mars he stood; Dire as the monster, dreadful as the god! 420
But Jove incensed, from Ida's top survey'd, Trembling afar the offending powers appear’d,
Thaumantia! mount the winds, and stop their car; He saw their soul, and thus bis word imparts ;
Your hearts shall tremble, if our arins we take,
For thus I speak, and what I speak shall stand ; Nor dare to combat hers and nature's sire.
What power soe'er provokes our lifted hand,
Cut off, and exiled from the ethereal race.
But feast their souls on llion's woes to come.
But Juno, impotent of rage, replies:
What frenzy, goddesses ! what rage can move Strength and omnipotence invest thy throne :
The goddess thus : and thus the god replies,
Who swells the clouds, and blackens all the skies : So shall minerva learn to fear his ire,
The morning sun awaked by loud alarms,
Shall see the almighty Thunderer in arms ;
O daughter of that god, whose arm can wield Shall rise in vengeance, and lay waste the plain
With all thy rage, with all thy rebel torce.
No sun e'er gilds the gloomy horrors there ;
There arm once more the bold Titanian band;
And arm in vain ; for what I will, shall stand.
And now the Thunderer meditates his flight The victors keep the field; and Hector calls
610 Swifter than thought the wheels instinctive fly,
These two Scamander's bank apart he ied,
Attend his order, and their prince surround.
Ye valiant Trojans, with attention hear! As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night! Ye Dardan bands, and generous aids, give ear! O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light, This day, we hoped, would wrap in conquering flame When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, Greece with her ships, and crown our toils with And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene; 690 fame.
Around her throne the vivid planets roll, But darkness now, to save the cowards, falls, And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole, And guards then trembling in their wooden walls. O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, Obey the Night, and use her peaceful hours And tip with silver every mountain's head; Our steeds to forage, and refresh our powers. Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise, Straight from the town be sheep and oxen sought, A flood of glory bursts from all the skies : And strengthening bread, and generous wine The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight, brought;
631 Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light. Wide o'er the field, high blazing to the sky, So many flames before proud llion blaze, Let numerous fores the absent sun supply,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays: The flaming piles with plenieous fuel raise, The long reflections of the distant fires
701 Till the bright morn her purple beam displays; Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires. Lest, in the silence and the shades of night, A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild, Greece in her sable ships attempt her flight, And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field. Not unmolested let the wretches gain
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend, Their lofty decks, or safely cleave the main ; Whose number'd arms, by fits, thick flashes send, Some hostile wound let every dart bestow,
Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn, Some lasting token of the Phrygian foe, 640 And ardent warriors wait the rising morn. Wounds, that long hence may ask their spouses' care, And warn their children from a Trojan war. Now through the circuit of our Ilion wall, Let sacred heralds sound the solemn call;
BOOK IX. To bid the sires, with hoary honours crown'd,
The Embassy to Achilles.
Agamemnon, after the last day's defeat, proposes to the
Greeks to quit the siege, and return to their country. Lest, under covert of the midnight shade,
Diomed opposes this, and Nestor seconds him, praising The insidious foe the naked town invade. 650
his wisdom and resolution. He orders the guard to be Suffice, to-night, these orders to obey:
strengthened, and a council summoned to deliberate A nobler charge shall rouse the dawning day. what measures are to be followed in this emergency. The gods, I trust, shall give to Hector's hand, Agamemnon pursues this advice, and Nestor farther From these detested foes to free the land,
prevails upon him to send ambassadors to Achilles, in Who plough'd, with fates averse, the watery way,
order to move him to a reconciliation. Ulysses and For Trojan vultures a predestined prey.
Ajax are made choice of, who are accompanied by old
Phenix. They make, each of them, very moving and Our common safety must be now the care;
pressing speeches, but are rejected with roughneas by But soon as morning paints the fields of air,
Achilles, who notwithstanding retains Phænix in his Sheath'd in bright arms let every troop engage, tent. The ambassadors return unsuccessfully to the And the fired fleet behold the battle rage. 660 camp, and the troops betake themselves to sleep. Then, then shall Hector and Tydides prove, This book, and the next following, take up the space of Whose fates are heaviest in the scale of Jove.
one night, which is the twenty-seventh from the be To-morrow's light (O haste the glorious morn!)
ginning of the poem. The scene lies on the sea-share, Shall see his bloody spoils in triumph borne;
the station of the Grecian ships. With this keen javelin shall his breast be gored, And prostrate heroes bleed around their lord.
BOOK IX. Certain as this, oh! might my days endure,
Thus joyful Troy maintain'd the watch of night; From age inglorious, and black death secure; While fear, pale comrade of inglorious flight, So might my glory know no bound,
And heaven-bred horror, on the Grecian part, Like Pallas worshipp'd, like the sun renown'd! 670 Sat on each face, and sadden'd every heart. As the next dawn, the last they shall enjoy, As, from its cloudy dungeon issuing forth, Shall crush the Greeks, and end the woes of Troy. A double tempest of the west and north
The leader spoke. From all his host around Swells o'er the sea, from Thracia's frozen shore, Shouts of applause along the shores resound. Heaps waves on waves, and bids the Ægean roar; Each from the yoke the smoking steeds untied, This way and that the boiling deeps are toss'd; And fix'd their head-stalls to his chariot-side. Such various passions urged the troubled bost. 10 Fat sheep and oxen from the town are led, Great Agamemnon grieved above the rest ; With generous wine, and all-sustaining bread. Superior sorrows swell’d his royal breast; Full hecatombs lay burning on the shore;
Himself his orders to the heralds bears, The winds to heaven the curling vapours bore. 680 To bid to council all the Grecian peers, Ungrateful offering to the immortal powers ! But bid in whispers : these surround their chief, Whose wrath hung heavy o'er the Trojan towers; In solemn sadness, and majestic grief. Nor Priam nor his sons obtain'd their grace; The king amidst the mournful circle rose: Proud Troy they hated, and her guilty race. Down his wan cheek a briny torrent flows: The troops exulting sat in order round,
So silent fountains, from a rock's tall head, And beaming fires illumined all the ground. In sable streams soft trickling waters shed. 20