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In free debate, my friends, your sentence speak; Stern in superior grief Pelides stood; For me, I move, before the morning break, 300 Those slaughtering arms so used to bathe in blood, To raise our camp : too dangerous here our post, Now clasp'd his clay cold limbs : then gushing start Far from Troy walls, and on a naked coast. The tears, and sighs bursts from his swelling heart. I deem'd not Greece so dreadful, while engaged The lion thus, with dreadful anguish stung,
371 In mutual feuds, her king and hero raged ;
Roars through the desert, and demands his young; Then, while we hoped our armies might prevail, When the grim savage, to his rifled den We boldly camp'd beside a thousand sail.
Too late returning, snuffs the track of men, I dread Pelides now: his rage of mind
And o'er the vales and o'er the forest bounds : Not long continues to the shores confined,
His clamorous grief the bellowing wood resounds. Nor to the fields, where long in equal fray So grieves Achilles ; and impetuous vents, Contending nations won and lost the day; 310 To all his Myrmidons, his loud laments. For Troy, for Troy, shall henceforth be the strife, In what vain promise, gods ! did I engage, And the hard contest not for fame, but life. When, lo console Menetius' feeble age, 380 Haste then to Dion, while the favouring night I vow'd his much-loved offspring to restore, Detains those terrors, keeps that arm from fight; Charged with rich spoils, to fair Opuntia's shore ? If but the morrow's sun behold us here,
But mighty Jove cuts short, with just disdain, That arm, those terrors, we shall feel, not fear; The long, long views of poor, designing man! And hearts that now disdain, shall leap with joy, One fate the warrior and the friend shall strike, If heaven permit them then to enter Troy.
And Troy's black sands must drink our blood Let not my fatal prophecy be true,
alike : Nor what I trernble but to think, engue. 320 Me too, a wretched mother shall deplore, Whatever be our fate, yet let us try
An aged father never see me more ! What force of thought and reason can supply; Yet my Patroclus ! yet a space I stay, Let us on counsel for our guard depend;
Then swift pursue thee on the darksome way. 390
And twelve the noblest of the Trojan line,
Return ? (said Hector, fired with stern disdain) Weep all the night, and murmur all the day : 400
wound But while inglorious in her walls we stay'd, A massy caldron of stupendous frame Sunk were her treasures, and her stores decay'd: They brought, and placed it o'er the rising flame The Phrygiang now her scatter'd spoils enjoy, 341 Then heap the lighted wood; the flame divides And proud Meonia wastes the fruits of Troy. Beneath the vase, and climbs around the sides : Great Jove at length my arms to conquest calls, In its wide womb they pour the rushing stream; And shuts the Grecians in their wooden walls : The boiling water bubbles to the brim.
410 Dar'st thou dispirit whom the gods incite ? The body then they bathe with pious toil, Flies any Trojan ? I shall stop his flight
Embalm the wounds, anoint the limbs with oil, To better counsel then attention lend;
High on a bed of state extended laid, Take due refreshment, and the watch attend. And decent cover'd with a linen shade.: If there be one whose riches cost him care, Last o'er the dead the milk-white veil they threw: Forth let him bring them for the troops to share ; 350 That done, their sorrows and their sighs renew. 'Tis better generously bestow'd on those,
Meanwhile to Juno, in the realms above Than left the plunder of our country's foes. (His wife and sister) spoke almighty Jove : Soon as the morn the purple orient warms, At last thy will prevails ; great Peleus' son Fierce on yon navy will we pour our arms. Rises in arms; such grace thy Greeks have won. If great Achilles rise in all his might,
Say (for I know not) is their race divine, 411 His be the danger: I shall stand the fight.
And thou the mother of that martial line ? Honour, ye gods! or let me gain or give !
What words are these ? (the imperial dame replies, And live he glorious, whosoe'er shall live! While anger flash'd from her majestic eyes :) Mars is our common lord, alike to all :
Succour like this a mortal arm might lend, And oft the victor triumphs but to fall.
360 And such success mere human wit attend: The shouting host in loud applauses join'd: And shall not I, the second power above, So Pallas robb'd the many of their mind;
Heaven's queen, and consort of the thundering Jove, To their own sense condemn'd, and left to choose Say, shall not I one nation's fate command? The worst advice, the better to refuse.
Not wreak my vengence on one guilty land ? 430 While the long night extends her sable reign, So they. Meanwhile the silver-footed dame Around Patroclus mourn'd the Grecian train. Reach'd the Vulcanian dome, eternal frame !
High-eminent amid the works divine,
Oh, Vulcan! say, was ever breast divine Where heaven's far-beaming brazen mansions shine. So pierced with sorrows, so o'erwhelm'd as mine? There the lame architect the goddess found,
Of all the goddesses, did Jove prepare
He grew, he flourish'd, and he graced the land :
Robb'd of the prize the Grecian suffrage gave,
What, goddess ! this unusual favour draws? Large gifts they promise, and their elders send;
His arms, his steeds, his forces to employ;
High on a throne, with stars of silver graced, Then slain by Phæbus (Hector had the name)
At once resigns his armour, life, and fame.
But thou, in pity, by my prayer be won:
To shine with glory till he shines no more! 530
O could I hide him from the Fates as well, And soft received me on their silver breast.
Or with these hands the cruel stroke repel, E'en then, these arts employ'd my infant thought; As I shall forge most envied arms, the gaze Chains, bracelets, pendants, all their toys I wrought. Of wondering ages, and the world's amaze! Nine years kept secret in the dark abode,
Thus having said, the father of the fires Secure I lay conceal'd from man and god : 470 To the black labours of his forge retires. Deep in a cavern'd rock my days were led; Soon as he bade them blow, the bellows turn'd The rushing ocean murmur'd o'er my head. Their iron mouths; and where the furnace burnd, Now since her presence glads our mansion, say, Resounding breath'd: at once the blast expires, 541 For such desert what service can I pay?
And twenty forges catch at once the fires; Vouchsafe, O Thetis ! at our board to share Just as the god directs, now loud, now low, The genial rites and hospitable fare ;
They raise a tempest, or they gently blow. While I the labours of the forge forego,
In hissing flames huge silver bars are rollid, And bid the roaring bellows cease to blow. And stubborn brass, and tin, and solid gold :
Then from his anvil the lame artist rose; Before, deep fix'd, the eternal anvils stand; Wide with distorted legs oblique he goes 480 | The ponderous hammer loads his better hand, And stills the bellows, and (in order laid)
His left with tongs turns the vex'd metal round, Locks in their chests his instruments of trade. And thick, strong strokes, the doubling vaults rebound. Then with a sponge the sooty workman dress'd Then first he form'd the immense and solid shield; His brawny arms imbrown'd and hairy breast. Rich various artifice emblazed the field; With his huge sceptre graced and red attire, Its utmost verge a threefold circle bound; Came halting forth the sovereign of the fire: A silver chain suspends the massy round; The monarch's steps two female forms uphold, Five ample plates the broad expanse compose, That moved and breathed in animated gold: And godlike labours on the surface rose. To whom was voice, and sense, and science given There shone the image of the master-mind : Of works divine (such wonders are in heaven!) 490 There earth, there heaven, there ocean he design'd; On these supported, with unequal gait,
The unwearied sun, the moon completely round: 360 He reach'd the throne where pensive Thetis sate; The starry lights that heaven's high convex crowad; There placed beside her on the shining frame, The Pleiads, Hyads, with the Northern Team; He thus address'd the silver-footed dame:
And grcat Orion's more refulgent beam; Thee, welcome, goddess ! what occasion calls To which, around the axle of the sky, (So long a stranger) to these honour'd walls ? The Bear revolving points his golden eye, 'Tis thine, fair Thetis, the command to lay, Still shines exalted on the ethereal plain, And Vulcan's joy and duty to obey.
Nor bathes his blazing forehead in the main. To whom the mournful mother thus replies Two cities radiant on the shield appear, (The crystal drops stood trembling in her eyes :) 500 The image one of peace, and one of war.
Here sacred pomp and genial feast delight,
Another field rose high with waving grain : And solemn dance, and Hymeneal rite; 570/With bended sickles stand the reaper-train : 638 Along the street the new-made brides are led, Here stretch'd in ranks the leveli'd swarths are found, With torches flaming, to the nuptial bed;
Sheaves heap'd on sheaves here thicken up the ground. The youthful dancers, in a circle bound,
With sweeping stroke the mowers strew the lands; To the soft flute and cittern's silver sound: The gatherers follow, and collect in bands; Through the fair streets, the matrons in a row And last the children, in whose arms are borne Stand in their porches, and enjoy the show. (Too short to gripe them) the brown sheaves of corn
There, in the forum swarm a numerous train, The rustic monarch of the field descries,
With silent glee, the heaps around him rise.
The victim ox the sturdy youth prepare ;
The reaper's due repast, the women's care. 650 The appointed heralds still the noisy bands,
Next, ripe in yellow gold, a vineyard shines, And form a ring with sceptres in their hands : Bent with the pondrous harvest of its vines; On seats of stone within the sacred place,
A deeper dye the dangling clusters show, The reverend elders nodded o'er the case; And curl'd on silver props, in order glow: Alternate, each the attesting sceptre took,
A darker metal mix'd, intrench'd the place : And; rising solemn, each his sentence spoke. And pales of glittering tin the enclosure grace. Two golden talents lay amidst, in sight,
To this, one pach-way gently winding leads, The prize of him'who best adjudged the right. 590 Where march a train with baskets on their heads Another part (a prospect differing far)
(Fair maids, and blooming youths,) that smiling bear Glow'd with refulgent arms and horrid war. The purple product of the autumnal year. 660 Two mighty hosts a leaguer'd town embrace, To these a youth awakes the warbling strings, And one would pillage, one would burn the place. Whose tender lay the fate of Linus sings; Meantime the townsmen, arm'd with silent care, In measured dance behind him move the train, A secret ambush on the foe prepare :
Tune soft the voice, and answer to the strain. Their wives, their children, and the watchful band Here, herds of oxen march, erect and bold, Of trembling parents, on the turrets stand. Rear high their horns, and seem to low in gold, They march: by Pallas and by Mars made bold : And speed to meadows, on whose sounding shores Gold were the gods, their radiant garments gold, 600 A rapid torrent through the rushes roars: And gold their armour : these the squadron led, Four golden herdsmen as their guardians stand, August, divine, superior by the head!
And nine sour dogs complete the rustic band. 670 A place for ambush fit they found, and stood Two lions rushing from the wood appear'd, Cover'd with shields, beside a silver flood.
And seized a bull, the master of the herd: Two spies at distance lurk, and watchful seem He rvar'd : in vain the dogs, the men withstood; If sheep or oxen seek the winding stream. They tore his flesh, and drank the sable blood. Soon the white flocks proceeded o'er the plains, The dogs (oft cheer'd in vain) desert the prey, And steers slow moving, and two shepherd swains; Dread the grim terrors, and at distance bay. Behind them, piping on their reeds, they go,
Next this, the eye the art of Vulcan leads Nor fear an ambush nor suspect a foe. 610 Deep through fair forests and a length of meads • In arms the glittering squadron rising round, And stalls, and folds, and scatter'd cots between; Rush sudden! hills of slaughter heap the ground, And fleecy flocks, that whiten all the scene. 680 Whole flocks and herds lie bleeding on the plains, A figured dance succeeds ; such once was seen And, all amidst them, dead, the shepherd swains ! In lofty Gnossus; for the Cretan queen, The bellowing oxen the besiegers hear;
Form'd by Dædalean art; a comely band They rise, take horse, approach, and meet the war; Of youths and maidens, bounding hand in hand: They fight, they fall, beside the silver flood; The maids in soft cymars of linen dress'd; The waving silver seem'd to blush with blood. The youths all graceful in the glossy vest : l'here tumult, there contention, stood confess'd; Of those the locks with flowery wreaths enrolld; One rear'd a dagger at a captive's breast, 620 of these the sides adorn'd with swords of gold, One held a living foe, that freshly bled
That, glittering gay, from silver belts depend.
A field deep-furrow'd next the god design'd, So whirls a wheel, in giddy circle toss'd,
Now high, now low, their pliant limbs they bend, The master meets them with his goblet crown'd; And general songs the sprightly revel end. 700 The hearty draught rewards, renews their toil, Thus the broad shield complete the artist crown'd Then back the turning plough-shares cleave the soil: With his last hand, and pour’d the ocean round: Behind, the rising earth in ridges rolld:
In living silver seem'd the waves to roll, And sable look'd, though form'd of molten gold. | And beat the buckler's verge, and bound the whole.
This done, whate'er a warrior's use requires, Whole years untouch'd, uninjured, shall remain,
Then uncontroll'd in boundless war engage,
710 And Heaven with strength supply the mighty rage Swift from Olympus' snowy summit flies,
Then in the nostrils of the slain she pour'd
O'er all the corse. The flies forbid their prey,
Achilles to the strand obedient went;
The shores resounded with the voice he sent.
The heroes heard, and all the naval train
That tend the ships, or guide them o'er the main,
preserves the body of his friend from corruption, and Studious to see that terror of the plain, commands him to assemble the army, to declare his Long lost to battle, shine in arms again.
5C resentment at an end. Agamemnon and Achilles are
Tydides and Ulysses first appear, solemnly reconciled: the speeches, presents, and cere. monies on that occasion. Achilles is with great diffi. Lame with their wounds, and leaning on the spear, culty persua ded to refrain from the battle till the These on the sacred seats of council placed, troops have refreshed themselves, by the advice of The king of men, Atrides, came the last : Ulysses. The presents are conveyed to the tent of He too sore wounded by Agenor's son. Achilles: where Briseïs laments over the body of Pa. Achilles, rising in the midst, begun: troclus. The hero obstinately refuses all repast, and Oh monarch! better far had been the fate gives himself up to lamentations for his friend. Mi. Of thee, of me, of all the Grecian state, nerva descends to strengthen him, hy the order of Ju. If (ere the day when, by mad passion sway'd, piter. He arms for the fight : his appearance described. He addresses himself to his horses, and reproaches
Rash we contended for the black-eyed maid.) them with the death of Patroclus. One of them is mi. Preventing Dian had despatch'd her dart, raculously endued with voice, and inspired to prophesy And shot the shining mischief to the heart: his fate: but the hero, not astonished at that prodigy. Then many a hero had not press’d the shore, rushes with fury to the combat.
Nor Troy's glad fields been fatten'd with our gore: The thirtieth day. The scene is on the sea-shore. Long, long shall Greece the woes we caused bewail,
And sad posterity repeat the tale.
But this, no more the subject of debate,
Is past, forgotten, and resign'd to fate.
Why should (alas !) a mortal man, as I, Above the waves that blush'd with early red, Burn with a fury that can never die?
70 (With new-born day to gladden mortal sight, Here then my anger ends: let war succeed, And gild the courts of heaven with sacred light,) And e'en as Greece has bled, let Ilion bleed. The immortal arms the goddess-mother bears Now call the hosts, and try if in our sight Swift to her son : her son she finds in tears Troy yet shall dare to camp a second night: Stretch'd o'er Patroclus' corse; while all the rest I deem their mightiest, when this arm he knows, Their sovereign's sorrow in their own espress'd. Shall 'scape with transport, and with joy repose. A ray divine her heavenly presence shed,
He said: his finish'd wrath with loud acclaim And thus, his hand soft-touching, Thetis said: 10 The Greeks accept, and shout Pelides' name.
Suppress (my son) this rage of grief, and know When thus, not rising from his lofty throne, It was not man, but Heaven, that gave the blow; In state unmoved, the king of men begun : Behold what arms by Vulcan are bestow'd,
Hear me, ye sons of Greece! with silence hear!
And grant your monarch an impartial ear;
Nor charge on me, ye Greeks, the dire debate :
When from Achilles' arms 1 forced the prey. He turns the radiant gift, and feeds his mind What then could I, against the will of Heaven? On all the immortal artist had design'd.
Not by myself, but vengeful Atè driven;
Not on the ground that haughty Fury treads,
Of old, she stalk'd amid the bright abodes; (Thc azure goddess to her son replied ;)
And Jove himself, the sire of men and gods,
The world's great ruler, felt her venom'd dart; Dismiss the people then, and give command
With strong repast to hearten every band ; 170
In full assembly of all Greece be laid :
The king of men shall rise in public sight,
Pure from his arms, and guiltless of his loves.
That done, a sumptuous banquet shall be made, And fix dominion on the favour'd youth. 110 And the full price of injured honour paid. The Thunderer, unsuspicious of the fraud, Stretch not henceforth, O prince! thy sovereign might Pronounced those solemn words that bind a god. Beyond the bound of reason and of right; 180 The joyful goddess from Olympus' height, 'Tis the chief praise that e'er to kings belong'd, Swift to Achaian Argos bent her flight;
To right with justice whom with power they wrong'd. Scarce seven moons gone, lay Sthenelus's wife; To him the monarch : Just is thy decree, She push'd her lingering infant into life:
Thy words give joy, and wisdom breathes in thee. Her charms Alcmena's coming labours stay, Each due atonement gladly I prepare ; And stop the babe just issuing to the day:
And Heaven regard me as I justly swear. Then bids Saturnius bear his oath in mind : Here then awhile let Greece assembled stay, * A youth (says she) of Jove's immortal kind, 120 Nor great Achilles grudge this short delay; Is this day born; from Sthenelus he springs, Till from the flect our presents be convey'd, And claims thy promise to be king of kings.' And, Jove attesting, the firm compact made. 190 Grief seized the Thunderer, by his oath engaged; A train of noble youth the charge shall bear; Stung to the soul, he sorrow'd and he raged. These to select, Ulysses, be thy care: From his ambrosial head, where perch'd she sat, In order rank'd let all our gifts appear, He snatch'd the fury-goddess of debate,
And the fair train of captives close the rear: The dread, the irrevocable oath he swore,
Talthybius shall the victim boar convey, The immortal seats should ne'er behold her more; Sacred to Jove, and yon bright orb of day. And whirl'd her headlong down, for ever driven For this (the stern Æacides replies.) Proin bright Olympus and the starry heaven : 130 Some less important season may suffice, Thence on the nether world the Fury fell;
When the stern fury of the war is o'er, Ordain'd with man's contentious race to dwell. And wrath extinguish'd burns my breast no inore. 200 Full of the god his son's hard toils bemoan'd, By Hector slain, their faces to the sky, Cursed the dire Fury, and in secret groan'd. All grim with gaping wounds our heroes lie: E’en thus, like Jove himself, was I misled, Those call to war! and might my voice incite, While raging Hector heap'd our camps with dead. Now, now, this instant, should commence the fight : What can the errors of my rage atone ?
Then, when the day's complete, let generous bowls, My martial troops, my treasures are thy own: And copious banquets, glad our weary souls. This instant from the navy shall be sent
Let not my palate know the taste of food, Whate'er Ulysses promised at thy tent : 140 Till my insatiate rage be cloy'd with blood : But thou appeased, propitious to our prayer, Pale lies my friend with wounds disfigured o'er, Resume thy arms, and shine again in war.
And his cold feet are pointed to the door. 210 O king of nations ! whose superior sway Revenge is all my soul! no meaner care, (Returns Achilles) all our host obey!
Interest, or thought, has room to þarbour there; To keep or send the presents be thy care ;
Destruction be my feast, and mortal wounds, To us 'tis equal: all we ask is war.
And scenes of blood, and agonizing sounds. While yet we talk, or but an instant shun
O first of Greeks! (Ulysses thus rejoin'de) The fight, our glorious work remains undone. The best and bravest of the warrior kind! Let every Greek who sees my spear confound Thy praise it is in dreadful camps to shine, The Trojan ranks, and deal destruction round, 150 But old experience and calm wisdom mine. With emulation, what I act survey,
Then hear my counsel, and to reason yield: And learn from thence the business of the day. The bravest soon are satiate of the field ; 220
The son of Peleus thus : and thus replies, Though vast the heaps that strew the crimson plain,
The bloody harvest brings but little gain :
Great Jove but turns it, and the victor dies!
The great, the bold, by thousands daily fall, When by the gods inspired, and led by thee. And endless were the grief to weep for all. Strength is derived from spirits and from blood, Eternal sorrows what avails to shed ? And those augment by generous wine and food: 160 Greece honours not with solemn feasts the dead : What boastful son of war, without that stay, Enough when death demands the brave to pay Can last a hero through a single day?
The tribute of a melancholy day,
230 Courage may prompt; but, ebbing out his strength, One chief with patience to the grave resign'd, Mere unsupported man must yield at length ; One care devolves on others left behind. Shrunk with dry famine, and with toils declined, Let generous food supplies of strength produce, The drooping body will desert the mind:
Let rising spirits flow from sprightly juice, But built anew with strength-conferring fare, Let their warm heads with scenes of battle glow With limbs and soul untamed he tires a war. And pour new furies on the feebler foe.