Графични страници
PDF файл

So Jove's bold bird, high balanced in the air, And plaintive glides along the dreary coast,
Stoops from the clouds to truss the quivering hare. A naked, wandering, melancholy ghost !
Nor less Achilles his fierce soul prepares;

Achilles, musing as he roll'd his eyes
Before his breast the flaming shield he bears, O'er the dead hero, thus (unheard) replies; 460
Refulgent orb! above his fourfold cone

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;
Achilles absent was Achilles still.

Unwept, unhonour'd, uninterr'd, he lies !
Yet a short space the great avenger stay'd, Can his dear image from my soul depart,
Then low in dust thy strength and glory laid. 420 Long as the vital spirit moves my heart?
Peaceful he sleeps with all our rites adorn'd, If in the melancholy shades below,
For ever honour'd, and for ever mourn'd:

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;
No—to the dogs that carcass I resign.

The sudden clouds of circling dust arise.
Should Troy to bribe me bring forth all her store, Now lost is all that formidable air;
And giving thousands, offer thousands more; 440 The face divine, and long-descending hair,
Should Dardan Priam, and his weeping dame, Purple the ground, and streak the sable sand;
Drain the whole realm to buy one funeral flame: Deform'd, dishonour'd, in his native land,
Their Hector on the pile they should not see, Given to the rage of an insulting throng!
Nor rob the vultures of one limb of thee.

And in his parents' sight now dragg'd along ! 510
Then thus the chief his dying accents drew : The mother first beheld with sad survey:
Thy rage implacable too well I knew :

She rent her tresses, venerably gray,
The Furies that relentless breast have steel'd, And cast far off the regal veils away.
And cursed thee with a heart that cannot yield. With piercing shrieks his bitter fate she moans,
Yet think, a day will come, when Fate's decree While the sad father answers groans with groans ;
And angry gods shall wreak this wrong on thee ; 450 Tears after tears his mournful cheeks o'erflow,
Phæbus and Paris shall avenge my fate,

And the whole city wears one face of woe:
And stretch thee here before this Scæan gate. Not less than if the rage of hostile fires,
He ceased. The Fates suppress'd his labouring From her foundations curling to her spires,

O'er the proud citadel at length should rise, 520
And his eyes stiffen'd at the hand of death; And the last blaze send Dion to the skies.
To the dark realm the spirit wings its way The wretched monarch of the falling state
The manly body left a load of clay,)

1 Distracted presses to the Dardan gate.

Scarce the whole people stop his desperate course, She spoke; and furious with distracted pace,
While strong affliction gives the feeble force: Fears in her heart, and anguish in her face,
Grief tears his heart, and drives him to and fro, Flies through the dome (the maids her steps pursue,)
In all the raging impotence of woe.

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!
While both thy parents wept thy fatal hour, Why was my birth to great Aëtion owed,
And bending o'er thee, mix'd the tender shower! And why was all that tender care bestow'd.
Some comfort that had been, some sad relief, Would I had never been !–0 thou, the ghost
To melt in full satiety of grief!

Of my dead husband, miserably lost !
Thus wail'd the father, grovelling on the ground, Thou to the dismal realms for ever gone!
And all the eyes of llion stream'd around. 551 And I abandon'd, desolate, alone!
Amidst her matrons Hecuba appears

An only child, once comfort of my pains, 620
(A mourning princess, and a train in tears.) Sad product now of hapless love remains !
Ah, why has heaven prolong'd this hated breath, No more to smile upon his sire, no friend
Patient of horrors, to behold thy death!

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,
Pensive she plied the melancholy loom;

Nor reach the goblet nor divide the bread!
A growing work employ'd her secret hours, The kindest but his present wants allay,
Confusedly gay with intermingled flowers. To leave him wretched the succeeding day:
Her fair-hair'd handmaids heat the brazen urn, 570 Frugal compassion! Heedless they who boast
The bath preparing for her lord's return:

Both parents still, nor feel what he has lost,
In vain : alas! her lord returns no more ;

Shall cry, ‘Begone! thy father feasts not here: 640
Unbathed he lies, and bleeds along the shore ! The wretch obeys, retiring with a tear.
Now frotn the walls the clamours reach her ear, Thus wretched, thus retiring all in tears,
And all her members shake with sudden fear; To my sad soul Astyanax appears !
Forth from her ivory hand the shuttle falls, Forced by repeated insults to return,
And thus, astonish'd, to her maids she calls : And to his widow'd mother vainly mourn.

Ah! follow me! (she cried) what plaintive noise He who, with tender delicacy bred,
Invades my ear? 'Tis sure my mother's voice. With princes sported, and on dainties fed,
My faltering knees their trembling frame desert, 580 And when still evening gave him up to rest
A pulse unusual flutters at my heart;

Sunk soft in down upon his nurse's breast,
Some strange disaster, some reverse of fate Must-ah what must he not? Whom Ilion calls 650
(Ye gods, avert it !) threats the Trojan state. Astyanax, from her well-guarded walls,
Far be the omen which my thoughts suggest ! Is now that name no more, unhappy boy!
But much I fear my Hector's dauntless breast Since now no more thy father guards his Troy.
Confronts Achilles ; chased along the plain, But thou, my Hector! liest exposed in air,
Shut from our walls! I fear, I fear him slain ! Far from thy parents' and thy consort's care,
Safe in the crowd he ever scorn'd to wait, Whose hand in vain, directed by her love,
And sought for glory in the jaws of fate :

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,
So spoke the mournful dame: her matrons hear, Prone on the dust. The Myrmidons around
Sigh back her sighs, and answer tear with tear. Unbraced their armour, and the steeds unbound.

All to Achilles' sable ship repair,
Frequent and full, the genial feast to share.

Now from the well-fed swine black smokes aspire.
The bristly victims hissing o'er the fire :

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,
one-and-thirtieth day is employed in felling the tim. And bid the forests fall (such rites are paid
ber for the pile; the two-and-thirtieth in burning it; To heroes slumbering in eternal shade.)
and the three-and-thirtieth in the games. The scene
is generally on the sea-shore.

Then, when his earthly part shall mount in fire,
Let the leagued squadrons to their posts retire.

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.
Some rites remain to glut our rage of grief.

The form familiar hover'd o'er his head, -
The troops obey'd; and thrice in order led And sleeps Achilles (thus the phantom said,)
(Achilles first) their coursers round the dead; Sleeps my Achilles, his Patroclus dead ?
And thrice their sorrows, and laments renew: Living, I seem'd his dearest, tenderest care,
Tears bathe their arms, and tears the sands bedew. But now forgot I wander in the air.
For such a warrior Thetis aids their woe,

Let my pale corse the rites of burial know,
Melts their strong hearts, and bids their eyes to flow. And give me entrance in the realms below:
But chief, Pelides : thick-succeeding sighs 21 Till then the spirit finds no resting place,
Burst from his heart, and torrents from his eyes : . But here and there the unbodied spectres chace 90
His slaughtering hands, yet red with blood, he laid The vagrant dead around the dark abode,
On his dead friend's cold breast, and thus he said: Forbid to cross the irremeable flood.

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,
E'en great and godlike thou, art doom'd to fall. Bends o'er the extended body of the dead.
Hear then; and as in fate and love we join, Patroclus decent on the appointed ground 170
Ah, suffer that my bones may rest with thine ! They placed, and heap the sylvan pile around.
Together have we lived; together bred;

But great Achilles stands apart in prayer,
One house received us, and one table fed :

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 !
But grant one last embrace, unhappy boy! To whom we vainly vow'd, at our return, 180
Afford at least that melancholy joy.

These locks to fall, and hecatombs to burn;
He said, and with his longing arms essay'd Full fifty lambs to bleed in sacrifice,
In vain to grasp the visionary shade;

Where to the day thy silver fountains rise,
Like a thin smoke he sees the spirit fly,

And where in shade of consecrated bowers
And hears a feeble lamentable cry.

Thy altars stand, perfumed with native flowers :
Confused he wakes ; amazement breaks the bands So vow'd my father, but he vow'd in vain :
Of golden sleep, and, starting from the sands, 120 No more Achilles sees his native plain.
Pensive he muses with uplifted hands :

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,
First march the heavy mules, securely slow, 140 And the piled victims round the body spread;
O'er hills, o'er dales, o'er crags, o'er rocks they go: Then jars of honey, and of fragrant oil,
Jumping high o'er the shrubs of the rough ground, Suspends around, low-bending o'er the pile. 210
Rattle the clattering cars, and the shock'd axles Four sprightly coursers, with a deadly groan

Pour forth their lives, and on the pyre are thrown.
But when arrived at Ida's spreading woods, Of nine large dogs, domestic at his board,
(Fair Ida, water'd with descending floods,) Fall two, selected to attend their lord.
Loud sounds the ax; redoubling strokes on strokes ; Then last of all, and horrible to tell,
On all sides round the forest hurls her oaks Sad sacrifice! twelve Trojan captives fell.
Headlong. Deep-echoing groan the thickets brown: On these the rage of fire victorious preys,
Then rustling, crackling, crashing, thunder down. Involves and joins them in one common blaze.
The wood the Grecians cleave, prepared to burn; 150 Smear'd with the bloody rites, he stands on high,
And the slow mules the same rough road return. And calls the spirit with a dreadful cry:
The sturdy woodmen equal burdens bore

All hail, Patroclus ! let thy vengeful ghost
(Such charge was given them) to the sandy shore; Hear and exult on Pluto's dreary coast.
There, on the spot which great Achilles show'd, Behold, Achilles' promise fully paid,
They eased their shoulders, and disposed the load; Twelve Trojan heroes offer'd to thy shade.
Circling around the place, where times to come But heavier fates on Hector's corse attend,
Shall view Patroclus' and Achilles' tomb.

Saved from the flames for hungry dogs to rend.
The hero bids his martial troops appear

So spake he, threatening ! but the gods made vain
High on their cars in all the pomp of war; His threat, and guard inviolate the slain;
Each in refulgent arms his limbs attires, 160 Celestial Venus hover'd o'er bis head,
All mount their chariots, combatants and squires, And roseate unguents, heavenly fragrance shed:
The chariots first proceed, a shining train; She watch'd him all the night and all the day, 230
Then clouds of foot that smoke along the plain ; And drove the bloodhounds from their destined prey,
Next these a melancholy band appear,

Nor sacred Phæbus less employ'd his care;
Amidst, lay dead Patroclus on the bier :

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.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Nor yet the pile, where dead Patroclus lies, There let them rest with decent honour laid,
Smokes, nor as yet the sullen flames arise; Till I shall follow to the infernal shade.
But fast beside, Achilles stood in prayer,

Meantime erect the tomb with pious hands,
Invoked the gods whose spirit moves the air, A common structure on the humble sands;
And victims promised, and libations cast 240 Hereafter Greece some nobler work may raise,
To gentle Zephyr and the Boreal blast :

And late posterity record our praise.
He call'd the aërial powers, along the skies

The Greeks obey; where yet the embers glow 310
To breathe, and whisper to the fires to rise. Wide o'er the pile the sable wine they'throw,
The winged Iris heard the hero's call,

And deep subsides the ashy heap below.
And instant hasten’d to their airy hall,

Next the white bones his sad companions place,
Where, in old Zephyr's open courts on high, With tears collected, in the golden vase.
Sat all the blustering brethren of the sky.

The sacred relics to the tent they bore:
She shone amidst them, on her painted bow; The urn a veil of linen cover'd o'er.
The rocky pavement glitter'd with the show. That done, they bid the sepulchre aspire,
All from the banquet rise, and each invites 250And cast the deep foundations round the pyre;
The various goddess to partake the rites.

High in the midst they heap the swelling bed
Not so (the dame replied,) I haste to go

Of rising earth, memorial of the dead.

320 To sacred Ocean and the floods below:

The swarming populace the chief detains,
E'en now our solemn hecatombs attend,

And leads amidst a wide extent of plains ;
And heaven is feasting, on the world's green end, There placed them round: then from the ships pro-
With righteous Æthiops (uncorrupted train!)

ceeds Far on the extremest limits of the main.

A train of oxen, mules, and stately steeds,
But Peleus' son entreats, with sacrifice,

Vases and tripods (for the funeral games,)
The Western Spirit, and the North, to rise ; Resplendent brass, and more resplendent dames.
Let on Patroclus' pile your blast be driven, 260 First stood the prizes to reward the force
And bear the blazing honours high to heaven. Of rapid racers in the dusty course :

Swift as the word she vanish'd from their view; A woman for the first, in beauty's bloom
Swift as the word the winds tumultuous flew; Skill'd in the needle and the labouring loom: 330
Forth burst the stormy band with thundering roar, And a large vase, where two bright handles rise,
And heaps on heaps the clouds are toss'd before. Of twenty measures its capacious size.
To the wide main then stooping from the skies, The second victor claims a mare unbroke,
The heaving deeps in watery mountains rise: Big with a mule, unknowing of the yoke;
Troy feels the blast along her shaking walls, The third a charger yet untouch'd by flame;
Till on the pile the gather'd tempest falls.

Four ample measures held the shining frame:
The structure crackles in the roaring fires, 270 Two golden talents for the fourth were placed,
And all the night the plenteous flame aspires; An ample double bowl contents the last.
All night Achilles hails Patroclus' soul,

These in fair order ranged upon the plain,
With large libations from the golden bowl. The hero, rising, thus address'd the train : 340
As a poor father, helpless and undone,

Behold the prizes, valiant Greeks ! decreed
Mourns o'er the ashes of an only son,

To the brave rulers of the racing steed;
Takes a sad pleasure the last bones to burn, Prizes which none beside ourself could gain,
And pour in tears, ere yet they close the urn: Should our immortal coursers take the plain,
So stay'd Achilles, circling round the shore, (A race unrivall’d, which from Ocean's god
So watch'd the flames, till now they flame no more. Peleus received, and on his son bestow'd.)
'Twas then, emerging through the shades of night, But this no time our vigour to display;
The morning planet told the approach of light; 281 Nor suit with them, the games of this sad day;
And fast behind, Aurora's warmer ray,

Lost is Patroclus now, that wont to deck
O'er the broad ocean pour'd the golden day: Their flowing manes, and sleek their glossy neck.
Then sunk the blaze, the pile no longer burn'd, Sad as they shared in human grief, they stand, 350
And to their caves the whistling winds return'd; And trail those graceful honours on the sand;
Across the Thracian seas their course they bore; Let others for the nobler task prepare,
The ruffled seas beneath their passage roar. Who trust the courser and the flying car.

Then parting from the pile, he ceased to weep, Fired at his word, the rival racers rise :
And sunk to quiet in the embrace of sleep. But far the first, Eumelus hopes the prize,
Exhausted with his grief: meanwhile the crowd 290 Famed through Pieria for the fleetest breed,
Of thronging Grecians round Achilles stood; And skill'd to manage the high bounding steed
The tumult waked him: from his eyes he shook With equal ardour bold T.ydides swell'd,
Unwilling slumber, and the chiefs bespoke: The steeds of Tros beneath his yoke compell’d, 360

Ye kings and princes of the Achaian name: (Which late obey'd the Dardan chief's command,
First let us quench the yet remaining flame When scarce a god redeem'd him from his hand.)
With sable wine; then (as the rites direct)

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
The rest around the margin will be seen 300 (Æthe her name,) at home to end his days;
Promiscuous, steeds and immolated men.)

Base wealth preferring to eternal praise.
These, wrapp'd in double cawls of fat, prepare ; Next him Antilochus demands the course,
And in the golden vase dispose with care : With beating heart, and cheers his Pylian horse. 370

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »