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To the dark shades the soul unwilling glides, The corselet his astonish'd breast forsakes :
Good heavens! what active feats yon artist shows! Stupid he stares, and all-assistless stands : 970
From Panthus sprung, Euphorbus was his name; Then rushing sudden on his prostrate prize, Famed for the manage of the foaming horse, To spoil the carcass fierce Patroclus flies : Skill'd in the dart, and matchless in the course; Swift as a lion, terrible and bold,
Full twenty knights he tumbled from the car, That sweeps the fields, depopulates the fold; 910 While yet he learn'd his rudiments of war. Pierced though the dauntless heart, then tumbles His venturous spear first drew the hero's gore;
He struck, he wounded, but he durst no more; And from his fatal courage finds his bane.
Nor, though disarm'd, Patroclus' fury stood : 980 Al once bold Hector leaping from his car,
But swift withdrew the long-protended wood, Defends the body and provokes the war.
And turn'd him short, and herded in the crowd. Thus for some slaughter'd hind, with equal rage, Thus by an arm divine, and mortal spear, Two lordly rulers of the wood engage;
Wounded at once, Patroclus yields to fear, Stung with fierce hunger, each the prey invades, Retires for succour to his social train, And echoing roars rebellow through the shades And fies the fate, which Heaven decreed, in vain. Stern Hector fastens on the warrior's head, Stern Hector, as the bleeding chief he views, And by the foot Patroclus drags the dead. 920 Breaks through the ranks, and his retreat pursues ; While all around, confusion, rage and fright The lance arrests him with a mortal wound; Mix the contending host in mortal fight.
He falls, eart), thunders, and his arms resound. 990 So pent by hills, the wild winds roar aloud With him all Greece was sunk; that moment all In the deep bosom of some gloomy wood; Her yet surviving heroes seem'd to fall. Leaves, arms, and trees, aloft in air are blown, So, scorch'd with heat, along the desert shore, The broad oaks crackle, and the sylvans groan. The roaming lion meets a bristly boar, This way and that the rattling thicket bends, Fast by the spring; they both dispute the flood, And the whole forest in one crash descends. With flaming eyes, and jaws besmear'd with blood; Not with less noise, with less tumultuous rage, At length the sovereign savage wins the strife, In dreadful shock the mingled hosts engage. 930 And the torn boar resigns his thirst and life. Darts shower'd on darts, now round the carcass ring; Patroclus thus, so many chiefs o'erthrown, Now flights of arrows bounding from the string : So many lives effused, expires his own. 1000 Stones follow stones ; some clatter on the fields, As dying now at Hector's feet he lies, Some hard, and heavy, shake the sounding shields. He sternly views him, and triumphing cries : But where the risi whirlwind clouds the plains, Lie there, Patroclus! and with thee the joy, Sunk in soft dust the mighty chief remains, Thy pride once promised, of subverting Troy; And stretch'd in death, forgets the guiding reins ! The fancied scenes of Dion wrapp'd in flames,
Now flaming from the zenith, Sol had driven And thy soft pleasures served with captive dames ! His fervid orb through half the vault of heaven; Unthinking man! I fought those towers to free, While on each host with equal tempest fell 940 And guard that beauteous race from lords like thee; The showering darts, and numbers sunk to hell. But thou a prey to vultures shalt be made; But when his evening wheels o'erhung the main, Thy own Achilles cannot lend thee aid ; 1010 Glad conquest rested on the Grecian train.
Though much at parting that great chief might say, Then from amidst the tumult and alarms,
And much enjoin thee, this important day: They draw the conquer'd corse and radiant arms. 'Return not, my brave friend,' (perhaps he said) Then rash Patroclus with new fury glows, "Without the bloody arms of Hector dead.' And, breathing slaughter, pours amid the foes. He spoke, Patroclus march'd, and thus he sped. Thrice on the press like Mars himself he flew, Supine, and wildly gazing on the skies, And thrice three heroes at each onset slew. With faint, expiring breath, the chief replies : There ends thy glory! there the Fates untwine 950 Vain boaster! cease, and know the Powers divine : The last black remnant of so bright a line; Jove's and Apollo's is this deed, not thine : Apollo dreadful stops thy middle way;
To Heaven is owed whate'er your own you call, Death calls, and Heaven allows no longer day! And Heaven itself disarm'd me ere my fall. 1021
For lo! the god in dusky clouds enshrined, Had twenty mortals, each thy match in might, Approaching, dealt a staggering blow behind, Opposed me fairly, they had sunk in fight : The weighty shock his neck and shoulders feel; By Fate and Phoebus was I first o'erthrown, His eyes flash sparkles, his stunn'd senses reel Euphorbus next; the third mean part thy own. In giddy darkness : far to distance flung,
But thou, imperious! hear my latest breath; His bounding helmet on the champaign rung. The gods inspire it, and it sounds thy death. Achilles' plume is stain'd with dust and
gore, 960 Insulting man, thou shalt be soon as I; That plume, which never stoop'd to earth before ; Black fate hangs o'er thee, and thy hour draws nigh; Long used, untouch'd, in fighting fields to shine, E'en now on life's last verge I see thee stand, 1030 And shade the temples of the man divine.
I see thee fall, and by Achilles' hand. Jove dooms it now on Hector's helm to nod; He faints; the soul unwilling wings her way, Not long-for fate pursues him, and the god. (The beauteous body left a load of clay,)
His spear in shivers falls; his ample shield Flits to the lone, uncomfortable coast; Drops from his arm : his baldric strews the field : | A naked, wandering, melancholy ghost !
Then Hector pausing, as his eyes he fed
Against our arm, which rashly he defied, On the pale carcase, thus address'd the dead : Vain was his vigour, and as vain his pride. 30
From whence this boding speech, the stern decree These eyes beheld him on the dust expire, Of death denounced, or why denounced to me? No more to cheer his spouse or glad his sire. Why not as well Achilles' fate be given 1040 Presumptuous youth ! like his shall be thy doom, To Hector's lance? who knows the will of Heaven? Go, wait thy brother to the Stygian gloom ; Pensive he said : then pressing as he lay
Or, while thou may'st, avoid the threaten'd fate : His breathless bosom, tore the lance away, Fools stay to feel it, and are wise too late. And upwards cast the corse : the reeking spear Unmoved Euphorbus thus: That action knowi, He shakes, and charges the bold charioteer. Come, for my brother's blood repay thy own. But swift Automedon with loosen'd reins
His weeping father claims thy destined head,
And spouse, a widow in her bridal bed.
No longer then defer the glorious strife,
Let Heaven decide our fortune, fame, and life. BOOK XVII.
Swift as the word the missile lance he flings;
The well-aim'd weapon on the buckler rings,
But blunted by the brass innoxious falls:
On Jove the father, great Atrides calls; Menelaus. Menelaus, upon the death of Patroclus, defends his body It pierced his throat, and bent him to the plain; 50
from the enemy: Euphorbus, who attelupts it, is slain. Wide through the neck appears the grisly wound, Hector advancing, Menelaus retires; but soon returns Prone sinks the warrior, and his arms resound. with Ajax, and drives him off. This Glaucus objects The shining circlets of his golden hair, 10 Hector as a flight, who thereupon puts on the ar. Which e'en the Graces might be proud to wear mour he had won from Patroclus, and renews the bat. Instarr'd with gems and gold, bestrew the shore, tle. The Greeks give way, till Ajax rallies them: With dust dishonour'd, and deform'd with gore. Æneas sustains the Trojans. Æneas and Hector at. tempt the chariot of Achilles, which is borne off by
As the young olive, in some sylvan scene, Automedon. The horses of Achilles deplore the loss Crown'd by fresh fountains with eternal green, of Patroclus: Jupiter covers his body with a thick Lifts the gay head, in snowy flow'rets fair, darkness: the noble prayer of Ajax on that occasion. And plays and dances to the gentle air;
60 Menelaus sends Antilochus to Achilles, with the news When lo! a whirlwind from high heaven invades of Patroclus' death: then returns to the fight, where, The tender plant, and withers all its shades ; though attacked with the utmost fury, he and Merio. It lies uprooted from its genial bed,
nes, assisted by the Ajaxes, bear off the body to the ships. A lovely ruin now defaced and dead:
Thus young, thus beautiful, Euphorbus lay,
Proud of his deed, and glorious in the prize,
Affrighted Troy the towering victor flies :
Meanwhile Apollo view'd with envious eyes, Turns and re-turns her with a mother's care. And urged great Hector to dispute the prize Opposed to each that near the carcass came, (In Mentes' shape, beneath whose martial care His broad shield glimmers, and his lances flame. 10 The rough Ciconians learn'd the trade of war.)
The son of Panthus, skill'd the dart to send, Forbear, he cried, with fruitless speed to chase Eyes the dead hero, and insults the friend.
Achilles' coursers, of ethereal race; This hand, Atrides, laid Patroclus low;
They stoop not, these, to mortal man's command, Warrior! desist, nor tempt an equal blow:
Or stoop to none but great Achilles' hand.
The Trojan thus. The Spartan monarch burn'd, By Sparta slain ! for ever now suppress'd
His words infix'd unutterable care
(Forth welling from the wound, as prone he lay,) These sons of Panthus vent their haughty mind. And in the victor's hands the shining prey. Yet 'twas but late, beneath my conquering steel, Sheath'd in bright arms, through cleaving ranks be flies, This boaster's brother, Hyperenor, fell;
And sends his voice in thunder to the skies:
Fierce as a flood of flame by Vulcan sent, What from thy thankless arms can we expect? It flew, and fired the nations as it went.
Thy friend Sarpedon proves thy base neglect: Atrides from the voice the storm divined,
Say, shall our slaughter'd bodies guard your walls, And thus explored his own unconquer'd mind: 100 While unrevenged the great Sarpedon falls ?
Then shall I quit Patroclus on the plain, E'en where he died for Troy, you left him there, Slain in my cause, and for my honour slain? A feast for dogs, and all the fowls of air. 170 Desert the arms, the relics of my friend?
On my command if any Lycian wait, Or, singly, Hector and his troops attend ?
Hence let him march, and give up Troy to fate. Sure where such partial favour Heaven bestow'd, Did such a spirit as the gods impart To brave the hero were to brave the god.
Impel one Trojan hand or Trojan heart
Tis not to Hector, but to Heaven I yield. The sword for glory and his country's cause;
Sarpedon's arms, and honour'd corse again! 180
But words are vainLet Ajax once appear,
So from the fold the unwilling lion parts, Thou darest not meet the terrors of his eye;
The Trojan chief with fix'd resentment eyed
Say, is it just (my friend) that Hector's ear His manly breast, and with new fury burn'd; From such a warrior such a speech should hear? 190 O'er all the black battalions sent his view, I deem'd thee once the wisest of thy kind, And through the cloud the godlike Ajax knew; But ill this insult suits a prudent mind. Where labouring on the left the warrior stood, I shun great Ajax ? I desert my train ? All grim in arms, and cover'd o'er with blood; 'Tis mine to prove the rash assertion vain; There breathing courage, where the god of day I joy to mingle where the battle bleeds, Had sunk each heart with terror and dismay. And hear the thunder of the sounding steeds.
To him the king: Oh Ajax, oh my friend! But Jove's high will is ever uncontroll'd, Haste, and Patroclus' loved remains defend : 130 The strong he withers, and confounds the bold : The body to Achilles to restore,
Now crowns with fame the mighty man, and now Demands our care; alas, we can no more! Strikes the fresh garland from the victor's brow! 200 For naked now, despoil'd of arms he lies; Come, through yon squadrons let us hew the way, And Hector glories in the dazzling prize.
And thou be witness if I fear to-day;
Then turning to the martial hosts, he cries :
Torn from his friend, by right of conquest mine. 210
The distant band, that on the sandy shore
By aged Peleus to Achilles given,
Forbid by fate to reach his father's years.
Him, proud in triumph, glittering from afar, How vain, without the merit, is the name? The god whose thunder rends the troubled air, Since battle is renounced, thy thoughts employ Beheld with pity, as apart he sate, What other methods may preserve thy Troy ; 160|And, conscious, look'd through all the scene of fate : 'Tis time to try if Nion's state can stand
He shook the sacred honours of his head ; By thee alone, nor ask a foreign hand;
Olympus trembled, and the godhead said: 230 Mean, empty boast! but shall the Lycians stake Ah wretched man! uninindful of thy end ! Their lives for you ? those Lycians you forsake ? A moment's glory, and what fates attend !
In heavenly panoply divinely bright
Come all! let generous rage your arms employ, 310 Thou stand'st, and armies tremble at thy sight And save Patroclus from the dogs of Troy. As at Achilles' self: beneath thy dart
Oilean Ajax first the voice obey'd, Lies slain the great Achilles' dearer part :
Swift was his pace, and ready was his aid : Thou from the mighty dead those arms hast torn Next him Idomeneus, more slow with age, Which once the greatest of mankind had worn. And Merion burning with a hero's rage. Yet live! I give thee one illustrious day,
The long-succeeding numbers who can name?
Then with his sable brow he gave the nod, Full in the mouth is stopp'd the rushing tide,
Jove pouring darkness o'er the mingled fight,
The first attack the Grecians scarce sustain, Asteropæns kindled at the sound,
Repulsed, they yield, the Trojans seize the slain And Ennomus, in augury renown'd.
Then fierce they rally, to revenge led on Hear, all ye hosts, and hear, unnumber'd bands 260 By the swift rage of Ajax 'Telamon; Of neighbouring nations, or of distant lands! (Ajax, to Peleus' son the second name, "Twas not for state we summon'd you so far, In graceful stature next, and next in fame.) To boast our numbers, and the pomp of war; With headlong force the foremost ranks he tore: 330 Ye came to fight; a valiant foe to chase,
So through the thicket bursts the mountain-boar, To save our present and our future race.
And rudely scatters, far to distance round, For this, our wealth, our products you enjoy, The frighted hunter and the baying hound. And glean the relics of exhausted Troy.
The son of Lethus, brave Pelasgus' heir, Now then to conquer or to die prepare,
Hippothous, dragg'd the carcass through the war; To die or conquer are the terms of war.
| The sinewy ancles bored, the feet he bound Whatever hand shall win Patroclus slain, 270 With thongs, inserted through the double wound Whoe'er shall drag him to the Trojan train, Inevitable fate o'ertakes the deed; With Hector's self shall equal honours claim; Doom'd by great Ajax' vengeful lance to bleed : With Hector part the spoil, and share the fame. It cleft the helmet's brazen cheeks in twain; 340
Fired by his words, the troops dismiss their fears, The shatter'd crest and horse-hair strew the plain; They join, they thicken, they protend their spears; With nerves relax'd he tumbles to the ground; Full on the Greeks they drive in firm array, The brain comes gushing through the ghastly wound And each from Ajax hopes the glorious prey: He drops Patroclus' foot, and o'er him spread Vain hope! what number shall the field o'er Now lies a sad companion of the dead : spread!
Far from Larissa lies, his native air, What victims perish round the mighty dead And ill requites his parents' tender care.
Great Ajax mark'd the growing storm from far, 230 Lamented youth! in life's firm bloom he fell, And thus bespoke his brother of the war:
Sent by great Ajax to the shades of hell. Our fatal day, alas! is come (my friend,)
Once more at Ajax, Hector's javelin flies: And all our wars and glories at an end !
The Grecian marking as it cut the skies, "Tis not this corse alone we guard in vain,
Shunnid the descending death; which hissing on, Condemn'd to vultures on the Trojan plain; Stretch'd in the dust the great lphytus' son, We too must yield: the same sad fate must fall Schedius the brave, of all the Phocian kind, On thee, on me, perhaps (my friend) on all. The boldest warrior, and the noblest mind: See what a tempest direful Hector spreads, In little Panopè, for strength renown'd, And lo! it bursts, it thunders on our heads! He held his seat, and ruled the realms around, Call on our Greeks, if any hear the call, 290 Plunged in his throat, the weapon drank his blood, The bravest Greeks: this bour demands them all. And deep transpiercing through the shoulder stood,
The warrior raised his voice, and wide around In clanging arms the hero fell, and all The field re-echo'd the distressful sound.
The fields resounded with his weighty fall. Oh chiefs ! oh princes ! to whose hand is given Phorcys, as slain Hippothous he defends, The rule of men; whose glory is from heaven! The Telamonian lance his belly rends; Whom with due honours both Atrides grace: The hollow armour burst before the stroke, Ye guides and guardians of our Argive race! And through the wound the rushing entrails broke, All, whom this well-known voice shall reach from far In strong convulsions panting on the sands All, whom I see not through this cloud of war, He lies, and grasps the dust with dying hands,
Struck at the sight, recede the Trojan train : Meanwhile the sons of Nestor, in the rear, The shouting Argives strip the heroes slain. (Their fellows routed) toss the distant spear, And now had Troy, by Greece compell’d to yield, And skirmish wide: so Nestor gave command, Fled to her ramparts, and resign'd the field; 371 When from the ships he sent the Pylian band. Greece, in her native fortitude elate,
The youthful brothers thus for fame contend,
440 With Jove averse, had turn'd the scale of fate; Nor knew the fortune of Achilles' friend; But Phæbus urged Æneas to the fight;
In thought they view'd him still, with martial joy, He seem'd like aged Periphas to sight
Glorious in arms, and dealing deaths to Troy. (A herald in Anchises' love grown old,
But round the course the heroes pant for breath Revered for prudence; and with prudence bold.) And thick and heavy grows the work of death :
Thus he- What methods yet, oh chief! remain, O’erlabour'd now, with dust, and sweat, and gore, To save your Troy, though heaven its fall ordain! Their knees, their legs, their feet are cover'd o'er; There have been heroes, who, by virtuous care, 380 Drops follow drops, the clouds on clouds arise, By valour, numbers, and by arts of war,
And carnage clogs their hands, and darkness fills Have forced the powers to spare a sinking state, And gain'd at length the glorious odds of fate : As when a slaughter'd bull's yet-reeking hide,
456 But you, when fortune smiles, when Jove declares Strain'd with full force, and tugg`d from side to side His partial favour, and assists your wars,
The brawny curriers stretch ; and labour o'er Your shameful efforts 'gainst yourselves employ, The extended surface, drunk with fat and gore: And force the unwilling god to ruin Troy.
So tugging round the corse both armies stood; Æneas through the form assumed descries The mangled body bathed in sweat and blood; The power conceal'd, and thus to Hector cries : While Greeks and Ilians equal strength employ, Oh lasting shame! to our own fears a prey, 490 Now to the ships to force it, now to Troy. We seek our ramparts and desert the day. Not Pallas' self, her breast when fury warms, I A god (nor is he less) my bosom warms,
Nor he whose anger sets the world in arms, And tells me, Jove asserts the Trojan arms. Could blame this scene; such rage, such horror He spoke, and foremost to the combat few :
reign'd; The bold example all his host pursue.
Such Jove to honour the great dead ordain'd. 461 Then first, Leocritus beneath him bled,
Achilles in his ships at distance lay, In vain beloved by valiant Lycomede;
Nor knew the fatal fortune of the day;" Who view'd his fall, and grieving at the chance, He, yet unconscious of Patroclus' full, Swift to revenge it, sent his angry lance:
In dust extended under llion's wall, The whirling lance, with vigorous force address'd, Expects him glorious from the conquer'd plain, Descends, and pants in A pisaon's breast : 401 And for his wish'd return prepares in vain ; From rich Pæonia's vales the warrior came,
Though well he knew, to make proud lion bend, Next thee, Asteropeus ! in place and fame.
Was more than heaven had destined to his friend : Asteropeus with grief beheld the slain,
Perhaps to him : this Thetis had reveal'd, 470 And rush'd to combat, but he rush'd in vain : The rest, in pity to her son, conceal'd. Indissolubly firm, around the dead,
Still raged the conflict round the hero dead, Rank within rank, on buckler buckler spread, And heaps on heaps by mutual wounds they bled. And hemm'd with bristled spears, the Grecians stood ; Cursed be the man (e'en private Greeks would say) A brazen bulwark, and an iron wood.
Who dares desert this well-disputed day! Great Ajax eyes them with incessant care, 410 First may the cleaving earth before our eyes And in an orb contracts the crowded war, Gape wide, and drink our blood for sacrifice ! Close in their ranks commands to fight or fall, First perish all, ere haughty Troy shall boast And stands the centre and the soul of all:
We lost Patroclus, and our glory lost!
479 Fix'd on the spot they war, and, wounded, wound; Thus they. While with one voice the Trojans said, A sanguine torrent steeps the reeking ground; Grant this day, Jove! or heap us on the dead! On heaps the Greeks, on heaps the 'Trojans bled, Then ciash their sounding arms; the clangours rise, And, thickening round them, rise the hills of dead. And shake the brazen concave of the skies.
Greece, in close order, and collected might, Meantime, at distance from the scene of blood, Yet suffery least, and sways the wavering tight; The pensive steeds of great Achilles stood; Fierce as conflicting fires, the combat burns, 420 Their godlike master slain before their eyes And now it rises, now it sinks by turns.
They wept, and shared in human miseries. In one thick darkness all the tight was lost; In vain Automedon now shakes the rein, The sun, the moon, and all the ethereal host, Now plies the lash, and soothes and threats in vain; Seem'd as extinct: day ravish'd from their eyes, Nor to the fight nor Hellespont they go, 490 And all heaven's splendours blotted from the skies; Restive they stood, and obstinate in woe; Such o'er Patroclus' body hung the night,
Sull as a tombstone, never to be moved, The rest in sunshine fought, and open light; On some good inan or woman unreproved Unclouded there, the aürial azure spread,
Lays its eternal weight; or fix'd as stands No vapour rested on the mountain's head; A marble courser by the sculptor's hands, The golden sun pour'd forth a stronger ray, 430 Placed on the hero's grave. Along their face, And all the broad expansion flarned with day. The big round drops coursed down with silent pace, Dispersed around the plain, by tits they fight, Conglobing on the dust. Their manes, that late And here, and there, their scatter'd arrows light: Circled their arched necks, and waved in state, But death and darkness o'er the carcass spread, Traild on the dust, beneath the yoke were spread, There burn'd the war, and there the mighty bled. And prone to earth was hung their languid head: 501