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So Jove's bold bird, high balanced in the air, And plaintive glides along the dreary coast,
Achilles, musing as he roll'd his eyes
Die thou the first! When Jove and Heaven orThe gilded horse-hair sparkled in the sun,
dain, Nodding at every step (Vulcanian frame !) I follow thee-He said, and stripp'd the slain. And as he moved his figure seem'd on flame. Then forcing backward from the gaping wound As radiant Hesper shines with keener light, The reeking javelin, cast it on the ground. Far beaming o'er the silver host of night,
The thronging Greeks behold with wondering eyes When all the starry train emblaze the sphere : His manly beauty and superior size: So shone the point of great Achilles' spear. While some ignobler the great dead deface In his right hand he waves the weapon round, With wounds ungenerous, or with taunts disgrace: Eyes the whole man, and meditates the wound: How changed that Hector, who like Jove of late But the rich mail Patroclus lately wore,
Sent lightning on our fleets, and scatter'd fate!' 470 Securely cased the warrior's body o'er!
High o'er the slain the great Achilles stands, One place at length he spies to let in Fate, Begirt with heroes and surrounding bands ; Where 'twixt the neck and throat the jointed plate And thus aloud, while all the host attends : Gave entrance: through that penetrable part Princes and leaders! countrymen and friends! Furious he drove the well-directed dart: 410 Since now at length the powerful will of Heaven Nor pierced the windpipe yet, nor took the power The dire destroyer to our arm has given, Of speech, unhappy! from thy dying hour.
Is not Troy fall'n already ? Haste, ye powers ! Prone on the field the bleeding warrior lies, See if already their deserted towers While thus triumphing stern Achilles cries : Are left unmann'd; or if they yet retain At last is Hector stretch'd upon the plain, The souls of heroes, their great Hector slain.
480 Who fear'd no vengeance for Patroclus slain ? But what is Troy, or glory what to me? Then, prince, you should have fear'd what now Or why reflects my mind on aught but thee, you feel;
Divine Patroclus ! Death has seal'd his eyes;
Unwept, unhonour'd, uninterr'd, he lies !
The flames of friends and lovers cease to glow, While cast to all the rage of hostile power,
Yet mine shall sacred last ; mine undecay'd Thee birds shall mangle and the dogs devour. Burn on through death, and animate my shade. 490
Then Hector, fainting at the approach of death: Meanwhile, ye sons of Greece, in triumph bring By thy own soul! by those who gave thee breath! The corse of Hector, and your Pæans sing. By all the sacred prevalence of prayer!
Be this the song, slow-moving toward the shore, Ah, leave me not for Grecian dogs to tear! 'Hector is dead, and Ilion is no more.' The common rites of sepulture bestow,
Then his fell soul a thought of vengeance bred To soothe a father's and a mother's woe; 430 (Unworthy of himself and of the dead.) Let their large gifts procure an urn at least, The nervous ancles bored, his feet he bound And Hector's ashes in his country rest.
With throngs inserted through the double wound; No, wretch accursed! relentless he replies These fix'd up high behind the rolling wain, (Flames as he spoke shot flashing from his eyes,) His graceful head was trail'd along the plain. 500 Not those who gave me breath should bid me spare, Proud on his car the insulting victor stood, Nor all the sacred prevalence of prayer.
And bore aloft his arms distilling blood. Could I myself the bloody banquet join!
He smites the steeds; the rapid chariot flies;
The sudden clouds of circling dust arise.
And in his parents' sight now dragg'd along ! 510
She rent her tresses, venerably gray,
And the whole city wears one face of woe:
O'er the proud citadel at length should rise, 520
1 Distracted presses to the Dardan gate.
Scarce the whole people stop his desperate course, She spoke; and furious with distracted pace,
And mounts the walls, and sends around her view, At length he roll'd in dust, and thus begun, Too soon her eyes the killing object found, Imploring all, and naming one by one:
The godlike Hector dragg'd along the ground. Ah! let me, let me go where sorrow calls ; 530 A sudden darkness shades her swimming eyes; I, only I, will issue from your walls
She faints, she falls ; her breath, her colour flies. (Guide or companion, friends! I ask you none,) Her hair's fair ornaments, the braids that bound 600 And bow before the murderer of my son:
The net that held them, and the wreath that crown'd, My grief perhaps his pity may engage;
The veil and diadem flew far away Perhaps at least he may respect my age.
(The gift of Venus on her bridal day,) He has a father too; a man like me;
Around a train of weeping sisters stands, One not exempt from age and misery :
To raise her sinking with assisting hands. (Vigorous no more, as when his young embrace Scarce from the verge of death recall'd again Begot this pest of me and all my race.)
She faints, or but recovers to complain. How many valiant sons, in early bloom, 540 O wretched husband of a wretched wife! Has that cursed hand sent headlong to the tomb! Born with one fate to one unhappy life! Thee, Hector! last : thy loss (divinely brave) For sure one star its baleful beam display'd
510 Sinks my sad soul with sorrow to the grave. On Priam's roof and Hippoplacia's shade. Oh had thy gentle spirit pass'd in peace,
From different parents, different climes, we came, The son expiring in the sire's embrace,
At different periods, yet our fate the same!
Of my dead husband, miserably lost !
An only child, once comfort of my pains, 620
To help him now! no father to defend ! O Hector! late thy parents' pride and joy, For should he 'scape the sword, the common doom, The boast of nations! the defence of Troy! What wrongs attend him, and what griefs to come! To whom her safety and her fame she owed E'en from his own paternal roof expellid, Her chief, her hero, and almost her god!
Some stranger ploughs his patrimonial field. O fatal change! become in one sad day 560 The day that to the shades the father sends, A senseless corse! inanimated clay!
Robs the sad orphan of his father's friends : But not as yet the fatal news had spread He, wretched outcast of mankind! appears To fair Andromache, of Hector dead;
For ever sad, for ever bathed in tears! As yet no messenger had told his fate,
Among the happy unregarded he Nor e'en his stay without the Scæan gate.
Hangs on the robe or trembles at the knee: Far in the close recesses of the dome,
While those his father's former bounty fed,
Nor reach the goblet nor divide the bread!
Both parents still, nor feel what he has lost,
Shall cry, ‘Begone! thy father feasts not here: 640
Ah! follow me! (she cried) what plaintive noise He who, with tender delicacy bred,
Sunk soft in down upon his nurse's breast,
The martial scarf and robe of triumph wove. Perhaps that noble heat has cost his breath, 590 Now to devouring flames be these a prey, Now quench'd for over in the arms of death. Useless to thee from this accursed day!
Yet let the sacrifice at least be paid,
660 Gloomy he said, and (horrible to view) An honour to the living, not the dead!
Before the bier the bleeding Hector threw,
All to Achilles' sable ship repair,
Now from the well-fed swine black smokes aspire.
40 The huge ox bellowing falls; with feebler cries ARGUMENT.
Expires the goat; the sheep in silence dies. Funeral Games in honour of Patroclus. Around the hero's prostrate body flow'd Achilles and the Myrmidons do honour to the body of In one promiscuous stream the reeking blood.
Patroclus. After the funeral feast he retires to the And now a band of Argive monarchs brings sea-shore, where falling asleep, the ghost of his friend The glorious victor to the king of kings. appears to him, and demands the rites of burial; the From his dead friend the pensive warrior went, next morning the soldiers are sent with mules and with steps unwilling, to the regal tent. waggons to fetch wood for the pyre. The funeral procession, and the offering their hair to the dead. The attending heralds, as by office bound, Achilles sacrifices several animals, and lastly twelve With kindled flames the tripod-vase surround; 50 Trojan captives at the pile, then sets fire to it. He To cleanse his conquering hands from hostile gore, pays libations to the winds, which, (at the instance of They urged in vain; the chief refused, and swore: Iris) rise, and raise the flames. When the pile has No drop shall touch me, by almighty Jove! burned all night, they gather the bones, place them in the first and greatest of the gods above ! an urn of gold, and raise the tomb. Achilles insti. Till on the pyre I place thee; till I rear tutes the funeral games: the chariot-race, the fight of
The the cestus, the wrestling, the foot-race, the single
grassy mound, and clip thy sacred hair. combat, the discus, the shooting with arrows, the Some ease at least those pious rites may give, darting the javelin : the various descriptions of which, And soothe my sorrows while I bear to live. and the various success of several antagonists, make Howe'er, reluctant as I am, I stay the greatest part of the book.
And share your feasts ; but, with the dawn of day, 60 In this book ends the thirtieth day. The night follow-|(O king of men !; it claims thy royal care,
ing, the ghost of Patroclus appears to Achilles: the That Greece the warrior's funeral pile prepare,
Then, when his earthly part shall mount in fire,
He spoke; they hear him, and the word obey;
The rage of hunger and of thirst allay, Thus humbled in the dust, the pensive train Then ease in sleep the labours of the day. Through the sad city mourn'd her hero slain. But great Pelides, stretch'd along the shore, 70 The body soild with dust, and black with gore, Where dash'd on rocks the broken billows roar, Lies on broad Hellespont's resounding shore : Lies inly groaning; while on either hand The Grecians seek their ships, and clear the strand, The martial Myrmidons confusedly stand. All, but the martial Myrmidonian band;
Along the grass his languid members fall, These yet assembled great Achilles holds, Tired with his chase around the Trojan wall : And the stern purpose of his mind unfolds : Hush'd by the murmurs of the rolling deep,
Not yet (my brave companions of the war) At length he sinks in the soft arms of sleep. Release your smoking coursers from the car; 10 When lo! the shades, before his closing eyes, Bat, with his chariot each in order led,
Of sad Patroclus rosé, or seem'd to rise ; Perform due honours to Patroclus dead.
In the same robe he living wore, he came; 80 Ere yet from rest or food we seek relief,
In stature, voice, and pleasing look, the same.
The form familiar hover'd o'er his head, -
Let my pale corse the rites of burial know,
All hail, Patroclus ! let thy honour'd ghost Now give thy hand : for to the farther shore Hear, and rejoice on Pluto's dreary coast; When once we pass, the soul returns no more: Behold! Achilles' promise is complete;
When once the last funereal flames ascend, The bloody Hector stretch'd before thy feet. No more shall meet Achilles and his friend; Lo! to the dogs his carcass I resign;
No more our thoughts to those we loved make known, And twelve sad victims of the Trojan line, 30 Or quit the dearest, to converse alone. Sacred to vengeance, instant, shall expire:
Me fate has sever'd from the sons of earth, Their lives effused, around thy funeral pyre, The fate foredoom'd that waited from my birth: 100
Thee too it waits ; before the Trojan wall, Supporting with his hands the hero's head,
But great Achilles stands apart in prayer,
And from his head divides the yellow hair ; That golden urn thy goddess-mother gave, Those curling locks which from his youth he vow'd, May mix our ashes in one common grave.
And sacred grew, to Sperchius' honour'd flood : And is it thou ? (he answers :) to my sight Then sighing, to the deep his looks he cast, Once more return'st thou from the realms of night? And rollid his eyes around the watery waste: Oh more than brother! Think each office paid, 111 Sperchius ! whose waves in mazy errors lost, Whate'er can rest a discontented shade;
Delightful roll along my native coast !
These locks to fall, and hecatombs to burn;
Where to the day thy silver fountains rise,
And where in shade of consecrated bowers
Thy altars stand, perfumed with native flowers :
In that vain hope these hairs no longer grow; 'Tis true, 'tis certain; man, though dead, retains Patroclus bears them to the shades below. Part of himself; the immortal mind remains : Thus o'er Patroclus while the hero pray'd,
190 The form subsists without the body's aid,
On his cold hand the sacred lock he laid. Aërial semblance, and an empty shade!
Once more afresh the Grecian sorrows flow; This night my friend, so late in battle lost,
And now the sun had set upon their woe; Stood at my side, a pensive, plaintive ghost; But to the king of men thus spoke the chief: E'en now familiar, as in life, he came,
Enough; Atrides! give the troops relief: Alas! how different ! yet how like the same. Permit the mourning legions to retire,
Thus while he spoke, each eye grew big with tears : And Jet the chiefs alone attend the pyre; And now the rosy-finger'd Morn appears, 131 The pious care be ours the dead to burnShows every mournful face with tears o'erspread, He said: the people to their ships return;
200 And glares on the pale visage of the dead.
While those deputed to inter the slain, But Agamemnon, as the rites demand,
Heap with a rising pyramid the plain. With mules and waggons sends a chosen band, A hundred foot in length, a hundred wide, To load the timber, and the pile to rear;
The growing structure spreads on every side: A charge consign'd to Merion's faithful care. High on the top the manly corse they lay, With proper instruments they take the road, And well-fed sheep and sable oxen slay : Axes to cut, and ropes to sling the load.
Achilles cover'd with their fat the dead,
Pour forth their lives, and on the pyre are thrown.
All hail, Patroclus ! let thy vengeful ghost
Saved from the flames for hungry dogs to rend.
So spake he, threatening ! but the gods made vain
Nor sacred Phæbus less employ'd his care;
He pour'd around a veil of gather'd air, O’er all the corse their scatter'd locks they throw, And kept the nerves undried, the flesh entire, Achilles next, oppress'd with mighty woe, Against the solar beam and Sirian fire.
Nor yet the pile, where dead Patroclus lies, There let them rest with decent honour laid,
Meantime erect the tomb with pious hands,
And late posterity record our praise.
The Greeks obey; where yet the embers glow 310
And deep subsides the ashy heap below.
Next the white bones his sad companions place,
The sacred relics to the tent they bore:
High in the midst they heap the swelling bed
Of rising earth, memorial of the dead.
320 To sacred Ocean and the floods below:
The swarming populace the chief detains,
And leads amidst a wide extent of plains ;
ceeds Far on the extremest limits of the main.
A train of oxen, mules, and stately steeds,
Vases and tripods (for the funeral games,)
Swift as the word she vanish'd from their view; A woman for the first, in beauty's bloom
Four ample measures held the shining frame:
These in fair order ranged upon the plain,
Behold the prizes, valiant Greeks ! decreed
To the brave rulers of the racing steed;
Lost is Patroclus now, that wont to deck
Then parting from the pile, he ceased to weep, Fired at his word, the rival racers rise :
Ye kings and princes of the Achaian name: (Which late obey'd the Dardan chief's command,
Then Menelaus his Podargus brings, The hero's bones with careful view select :
And the famed courser of the king of kings: (A part, and easy to be known they lie
Whom rich Echepolus (more rich than brave) Amidst the heap, and obvious to the eye :
To 'scape the wars, to Agamemnon gave
Base wealth preferring to eternal praise.