The Iliad and Oddysey of Homer, translated into English blank verse

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   BOOK I.


 Achilles sing, O Goddess! Peleus' son;
 His wrath pernicious, who ten thousand woes
 Caused to Achaia's host, sent many a soul
 Illustrious into Ades premature,
 And Heroes gave (so stood the will of Jove)                      5
 To dogs and to all ravening fowls a prey,
 When fierce dispute had separated once
 The noble Chief Achilles from the son
 Of Atreus, Agamemnon, King of men.
   Who them to strife impell'd? What power divine?               10
 Latona's son and Jove's.[1] For he, incensed
 Against the King, a foul contagion raised
 In all the host, and multitudes destroy'd,
 For that the son of Atreus had his priest
 Dishonored, Chryses. To the fleet he came                       15
 Bearing rich ransom glorious to redeem
 His daughter, and his hands charged with the wreath
 And golden sceptre[2] of the God shaft-arm'd.
   His supplication was at large to all
 The host of Greece, but most of all to two,                     20
 The sons of Atreus, highest in command.
   Ye gallant Chiefs, and ye their gallant host,
 (So may the Gods who in Olympus dwell
 Give Priam's treasures to you for a spoil
 And ye return in safety,) take my gifts                         25
 And loose my child, in honor of the son
 Of Jove, Apollo, archer of the skies.[3]
   At once the voice of all was to respect
 The priest, and to accept the bounteous price;
 But so it pleased not Atreus' mighty son,                       30
 Who with rude threatenings stern him thence dismiss'd.
   Beware, old man! that at these hollow barks
 I find thee not now lingering, or henceforth
 Returning, lest the garland of thy God
 And his bright sceptre should avail thee nought.                35
 I will not loose thy daughter, till old age
 Steal on her. From her native country far,
 In Argos, in my palace, she shall ply
 The loom, and shall be partner of my bed.
 Move me no more. Begone; hence while thou may'st.               40
   He spake, the old priest trembled and obey'd.
 Forlorn he roamed the ocean's sounding shore,
 And, solitary, with much prayer his King
 Bright-hair'd Latona's son, Phoebus, implored.[4]
   God of the silver bow, who with thy power                     45
 Encirclest Chrysa, and who reign'st supreme
 In Tenedos and Cilla the divine,
 Sminthian[5] Apollo![6] If I e'er adorned
 Thy beauteous fane, or on the altar burn'd
 The fat acceptable of bulls or goats,                           50
 Grant my petition. With thy shafts avenge
 On the Achaian host thy servant's tears.
   Such prayer he made, and it was heard.[7] The God,
 Down from Olympus with his radiant bow
 And his full quiver o'er his shoulder slung,                    55
 Marched in his anger; shaken as he moved
 His rattling arrows told of his approach.
 Gloomy he came as night; sat from the ships
 Apart, and sent an arrow. Clang'd the cord
 [8]Dread-sounding, bounding on the silver bow.[9]               60
 Mules first and dogs he struck,[10] but at themselves
 Dispatching soon his bitter arrows keen,
 Smote them. Death-piles on all sides always blazed.
 Nine days throughout the camp his arrows flew;
 The tenth, Achilles from all parts convened                     65
 The host in council. Juno the white-armed
 Moved at the sight of Grecians all around
 Dying, imparted to his mind the thought.[11]
 The full assembly, therefore, now convened,
 Uprose Achilles ardent, and began.                              70
   Atrides! Now, it seems, no course remains
 For us, but that the seas roaming again,
 We hence return; at least if we survive;
 But haste, consult we quick some prophet here
 Or priest, or even interpreter of dreams,                       75
 (For dreams are also of Jove,) that we may learn
 By what crime we have thus incensed Apollo,
 What broken vow, what hecatomb unpaid
 He charges on us, and if soothed with steam
 Of lambs or goats unblemish'd, he may yet                       80
 Be won to spare us, and avert the plague.
   He spake and sat, when Thestor's son arose
 Calchas, an augur foremost in his art,
 Who all things, present, past, and future knew,
 And whom his skill in prophecy, a gift                          85
 Conferred by Phoebus on him, had advanced
 To be conductor of the fleet to Troy;
 He, prudent, them admonishing, replied.[12]
   Jove-loved Achilles! Wouldst thou learn from me
 What cause hath moved Apollo to this wrath,                     90
 The shaft-arm'd King? I shall divulge the cause.
 But thou, swear first and covenant on thy part
 That speaking, acting, thou wilt stand prepared
 To give me succor; for I judge amiss,
 Or he who rules the Argives, the supreme                        95
 O'er all Achaia's host, will be incensed.
 Wo to the man who shall provoke the King
 For if, to-day, he smother close his wrath,
 He harbors still the vengeance, and in time
 Performs it. Answer, therefore, wilt thou save me?             100
   To whom Achilles, swiftest of the swift.
 What thou hast learn'd in secret from the God
 That speak, and boldly. By the son of Jove,
 Apollo, whom thou, Calchas, seek'st in prayer
 Made for the Danaï, and who thy soul                           105
 Fills with futurity, in all the host
 The Grecian lives not, who while I shall breathe,
 And see the light of day, shall in this camp
 Oppress thee; no, not even if thou name
 Him, Agamemnon, sovereign o'er us all.                         110
   Then was the seer embolden'd, and he spake.
 Nor vow nor hecatomb unpaid on us
 He charges, but the wrong done to his priest
 Whom Agamemnon slighted when he sought
 His daughter's freedom, and his gifts refused.                 115
 He is the cause. Apollo for his sake
 Afflicts and will afflict us, neither end
 Nor intermission of his heavy scourge
 Granting, 'till unredeem'd, no price required,
 The black-eyed maid be to her father sent,                     120
 And a whole hecatomb in Chrysa bleed.
 Then, not before, the God may be appeased.
   He spake and sat; when Atreus' son arose,
 The Hero Agamemnon, throned supreme.
 Tempests of black resentment overcharged                       125
 His heart, and indignation fired his eyes.
 On Calchas lowering, him he first address'd.
   Prophet of mischief! from whose tongue no note
 Of grateful sound to me, was ever heard;
 Ill tidings are thy joy, and tidings glad                      130
 Thou tell'st not, or thy words come not to pass.
 And now among the Danaï thy dreams
 Divulging, thou pretend'st the Archer-God
 For his priest's sake, our enemy, because
 I scorn'd his offer'd ransom of the maid                       135
 Chrysëis, more desirous far to bear
 Her to my home, for that she charms me more
 Than Clytemnestra, my own first espoused,
 With whom, in disposition, feature, form,
 Accomplishments, she may be well compared.                     140
 Yet, being such, I will return her hence
 If that she go be best. Perish myself--
 But let the people of my charge be saved
 Prepare ye, therefore, a reward for me,
 And seek it instant. It were much unmeet                       145
 That I alone of all the Argive host
 Should want due recompense, whose former prize
 Is elsewhere destined, as ye all perceive.
   To whom Achilles, matchless in the race.
 Atrides, glorious above all in rank,                           150
 And as intent on gain as thou art great,
 Whence shall the Grecians give a prize to thee?
 The general stock is poor; the spoil of towns
 Which we have taken, hath already passed
 In distribution, and it were unjust                            155
 To gather it from all the Greeks again.
 But send thou back this Virgin to her God,
 And when Jove's favor shall have given us Troy,
 A threefold, fourfold share shall then be thine.
   To whom the Sovereign of the host replied.                   160
 Godlike Achilles, valiant as thou art,
 Wouldst thou be subtle too? But me no fraud
 Shall overreach, or art persuade, of thine.
 Wouldst thou, that thou be recompensed, and I
 Sit meekly down, defrauded of my due?                          165
 And didst thou bid me yield her? Let the bold
 Achaians give me competent amends,
 Such as may please me, and it shall be well.
 Else, if they give me none, I will command
 Thy prize, the prize of Ajax, or the prize                     170
 It may be of Ulysses to my tent,
 And let the loser chafe. But this concern
 Shall be adjusted at convenient time.
 Come--launch we now into the sacred deep
 A bark with lusty rowers well supplied;                        175
 Then put on board Chrysëis, and with her
 The sacrifice required. Go also one
 High in authority, some counsellor,
 Idomeneus, or Ajax, or thyself,
 Thou most untractable of all mankind;                          180
 And seek by rites of sacrifice and prayer
 To appease Apollo on our host's behalf.
   Achilles eyed him with a frown, and spake.
 Ah! clothed with impudence as with a cloak,
 And full of subtlety, who, thinkest thou--                     185
 What Grecian here will serve thee, or for thee
 Wage covert war, or open? Me thou know'st,
 Troy never wronged; I came not to avenge
 Harm done to me; no Trojan ever drove
 My pastures, steeds or oxen took of mine,                      190
 Or plunder'd of their fruits the golden fields
 Of Phthia[13] the deep-soil'd. She lies remote,
 And obstacles are numerous interposed,
 Vale-darkening mountains, and the dashing sea.
 No, [14]Shameless Wolf! For thy good pleasure's sake           195
 We came, and, [15]Face of flint! to avenge the wrongs
 By Menelaus and thyself sustain'd,
 On the offending Trojan--service kind,
 But lost on thee, regardless of it all.
 And now--What now? Thy threatening is to seize                 200
 Thyself, the just requital of my toils,
 My prize hard-earn'd, by common suffrage mine.
 I never gain, what Trojan town soe'er
 We ransack, half thy booty. The swift march
 And furious onset--these I largely reap,                       205
 But, distribution made, thy lot exceeds
 Mine far; while I, with any pittance pleased,
 Bear to my ships the little that I win
 After long battle, and account it much.
 But I am gone, I and my sable barks                            210
 (My wiser course) to Phthia, and I judge,
 Scorn'd as I am, that thou shalt hardly glean
 Without me, more than thou shalt soon consume.[16]
   He ceased, and Agamemnon thus replied
 Fly, and fly now; if in thy soul thou feel                     215
 Such ardor of desire to go--begone!
 I woo thee not to stay; stay not an hour
 On my behalf, for I have others here
 Who will respect me more, and above all
 All-judging Jove. There is not in the host                     220
 King or commander whom I hate as thee,
 For all thy pleasure is in strife and blood,
 And at all times; yet valor is no ground
 Whereon to boast, it is the gift of Heaven
 Go, get ye back to Phthia, thou and thine!                     225
 There rule thy Myrmidons.[17] I need not thee,
 Nor heed thy wrath a jot. But this I say,
 Sure as Apollo takes my lovely prize
 Chrysëis, and I shall return her home
 In mine own bark, and with my proper crew,                     230
 So sure the fair Brisëis shall be mine.
 I shall demand her even at thy tent.
 So shalt thou well be taught, how high in power
 I soar above thy pitch, and none shall dare
 Attempt, thenceforth, comparison with me.                      235
   He ended, and the big, disdainful heart
 Throbbed of Achilles; racking doubt ensued
 And sore perplex'd him, whether forcing wide
 A passage through them, with his blade unsheathed
 To lay Atrides breathless at his foot,                         240
 Or to command his stormy spirit down.
 So doubted he, and undecided yet
 Stood drawing forth his falchion huge; when lo!
 Down sent by Juno, to whom both alike
 Were dear, and who alike watched over both,                    245
 Pallas descended. At his back she stood
 To none apparent, save himself alone,
 And seized his golden locks. Startled, he turned,
 And instant knew Minerva. Flashed her eyes
 Terrific;[18] whom with accents on the wing                    250
 Of haste, incontinent he questioned thus.
   Daughter of Jove, why comest thou? that thyself
 May'st witness these affronts which I endure
 From Agamemnon? Surely as I speak,
 This moment, for his arrogance, he dies.                       255
   To whom the blue-eyed Deity. From heaven
 Mine errand is, to sooth, if thou wilt hear,
 Thine anger. Juno the white-arm'd alike
 To him and thee propitious, bade me down:
 Restrain thy wrath. Draw not thy falchion forth.               260
 Retort, and sharply, and let that suffice.
 For I foretell thee true. Thou shalt receive,
 Some future day, thrice told, thy present loss
 For this day's wrong. Cease, therefore, and be still.
   To whom Achilles. Goddess, although much                     265
 Exasperate, I dare not disregard
 Thy word, which to obey is always best.[19]
 Who hears the Gods, the Gods hear also him.
   He said; and on his silver hilt the force
 Of his broad hand impressing, sent the blade                   270
 Home to its rest, nor would the counsel scorn
 Of Pallas. She to heaven well-pleased return'd,
 And in the mansion of Jove Ægis[20]-armed
 Arriving, mingled with her kindred Gods.
 But though from violence, yet not from words                   275
 Abstained Achilles, but with bitter taunt
 Opprobrious, his antagonist reproached.
   Oh charged with wine, in steadfastness of face
 Dog unabashed, and yet at heart a deer!
 Thou never, when the troops have taken arms,                   280
 Hast dared to take thine also; never thou
 Associate with Achaia's Chiefs, to form
 The secret ambush.[21] No. The sound of war
 Is as the voice of destiny to thee.
 Doubtless the course is safer far, to range                    285
 Our numerous host, and if a man have dared
 Dispute thy will, to rob him of his prize.
 King! over whom? Women and spiritless--
 Whom therefore thou devourest; else themselves
 Would stop that mouth that it should scoff no more.            290
 But hearken. I shall swear a solemn oath.
 By this same sceptre,[22] which shall never bud,
 Nor boughs bring forth as once, which having left
 Its stock on the high mountains, at what time
 The woodman's axe lopped off its foliage green,                295
 And stript its bark, shall never grow again;
 Which now the judges of Achaia bear,
 Who under Jove, stand guardians of the laws,
 By this I swear (mark thou the sacred oath)
 Time shall be, when Achilles shall be missed;                  300
 When all shall want him, and thyself the power
 To help the Achaians, whatsoe'er thy will;
 When Hector at your heels shall mow you down:
 The Hero-slaughtering Hector! Then thy soul,
 Vexation-stung, shall tear thee with remorse,                  305
 That thou hast scorn'd, as he were nothing worth,
 A Chief, the soul and bulwark of your cause.
   So saying, he cast his sceptre on the ground
 Studded with gold, and sat. On the other side
 The son of Atreus all impassion'd stood,                       310
 When the harmonious orator arose
 Nestor, the Pylian oracle, whose lips
 Dropped eloquence--the honey not so sweet.
 Two generations past of mortals born
 In Pylus, coëtaneous with himself,                             315
 He govern'd now the third--amid them all
 He stood, and thus, benevolent, began.
   Ah! what calamity hath fall'n on Greece!
 Now Priam and his sons may well exult,
 Now all in Ilium shall have joy of heart                       320
 Abundant, hearing of this broil, the prime
 Of Greece between, in council and in arms.
 But be persuaded; ye are younger both
 Than I, and I was conversant of old
 With Princes your superiors, yet from them                     325
 No disrespect at any time received.
 Their equals saw I never; never shall;
 Exadius, Coeneus, and the Godlike son
 Of Ægeus, mighty Theseus; men renown'd
 For force superior to the race of man,                         330
 Brave Chiefs they were, and with brave foes they fought,
 With the rude dwellers on the mountain-heights
 The Centaurs,[23] whom with havoc such as fame
 Shall never cease to celebrate, they slew.
 With these men I consorted erst, what time                     335
 From Pylus, though a land from theirs remote,
 They called me forth, and such as was my strength,
 With all that strength I served them. Who is he?
 What Prince or Chief of the degenerate race
 Now seen on earth who might with these compare?                340
 Yet even these would listen and conform
 To my advice in consultation given,
 Which hear ye also; for compliance proves
 Oft times the safer and the manlier course.
 Thou, Agamemnon! valiant as thou art,                          345
 Seize not the maid, his portion from the Greeks,
 But leave her his; nor thou, Achilles, strive
 With our imperial Chief; for never King
 Had equal honor at the hands of Jove
 With Agamemnon, or was throned so high.                        350
 Say thou art stronger, and art Goddess-born,
 How then? His territory passes thine,
 And he is Lord of thousands more than thou.
 Cease, therefore, Agamemnon; calm thy wrath;
 And it shall be mine office to entreat                         355
 Achilles also to a calm, whose might
 The chief munition is of all our host.
   To whom the sovereign of the Greeks replied,
 The son of Atreus. Thou hast spoken well,
 Old Chief, and wisely. But this wrangler here--                360
 Nought will suffice him but the highest place:
 He must control us all, reign over all,
 Dictate to all; but he shall find at least
 One here, disposed to question his commands.
 If the eternal Gods have made him brave,                       365
 Derives he thence a privilege to rail?
   Whom thus Achilles interrupted fierce.
 Could I be found so abject as to take
 The measure of my doings at thy lips,
 Well might they call me coward through the camp,               370
 A vassal, and a fellow of no worth.
 Give law to others. Think not to control
 Me, subject to thy proud commands no more.
 Hear yet again! And weigh what thou shalt hear.
 I will not strive with thee in such a cause,                   375
 Nor yet with any man; I scorn to fight
 For her, whom having given, ye take away.
 But I have other precious things on board;
 Of those take none away without my leave.
 Or if it please thee, put me to the proof                      380
 Before this whole assembly, and my spear
 Shall stream that moment, purpled with thy blood.
   Thus they long time in opposition fierce
 Maintained the war of words; and now, at length,
 (The grand consult dissolved,) Achilles walked                 385
 (Patroclus and the Myrmidons his steps
 Attending) to his camp and to his fleet.
 But Agamemnon order'd forth a bark,
 A swift one, manned with twice ten lusty rowers;
 He sent on board the Hecatomb:[24] he placed                   390
 Chrysëis with the blooming cheeks, himself,
 And to Ulysses gave the freight in charge.
 So all embarked, and plow'd their watery way.
 Atrides, next, bade purify the host;
 The host was purified, as he enjoin'd,                         395
 And the ablution cast into the sea.
   Then to Apollo, on the shore they slew,
 Of the untillable and barren deep,
 Whole Hecatombs of bulls and goats, whose steam
 Slowly in smoky volumes climbed the skies.                     400
   Thus was the camp employed; nor ceased the while
 The son of Atreus from his threats denounced
 At first against Achilles, but command
 Gave to Talthybius and Eurybates
 His heralds, ever faithful to his will.                        405
   Haste--Seek ye both the tent of Peleus' son
 Achilles. Thence lead hither by the hand
 Blooming Brisëis, whom if he withhold,
 Not her alone, but other spoil myself
 Will take in person--He shall rue the hour.                    410
   With such harsh message charged he them dismissed
 They, sad and slow, beside the barren waste
 Of Ocean, to the galleys and the tents
 Moved of the Myrmidons. Him there they found
 Beneath the shadow of his bark reclined,                       415
 Nor glad at their approach. Trembling they stood,
 In presence of the royal Chief, awe-struck,
 Nor questioned him or spake. He not the less
 Knew well their embassy, and thus began.
   Ye heralds, messengers of Gods and men,                      420
 Hail, and draw near! I bid you welcome both.
 I blame not you; the fault is his alone
 Who sends you to conduct the damsel hence
 Brisëis. Go, Patroclus, generous friend!
 Lead forth, and to their guidance give the maid.               425
 But be themselves my witnesses before
 The blessed Gods, before mankind, before
 The ruthless king, should want of me be felt
 To save the host from havoc[25]--Oh, his thoughts
 Are madness all; intelligence or skill,                        430
 Forecast or retrospect, how best the camp
 May be secured from inroad, none hath he.
   He ended, nor Patroclus disobey'd,
 But leading beautiful Brisëis forth
 Into their guidance gave her; loth she went                    435
 From whom she loved, and looking oft behind.
 Then wept Achilles, and apart from all,
 With eyes directed to the gloomy Deep
 And arms outstretch'd, his mother suppliant sought.
   Since, mother, though ordain'd so soon to die,               440
 I am thy son, I might with cause expect
 Some honor at the Thunderer's hands, but none
 To me he shows, whom Agamemnon, Chief
 Of the Achaians, hath himself disgraced,
 Seizing by violence my just reward.                            445
   So prayed he weeping, whom his mother heard
 Within the gulfs of Ocean where she sat
 Beside her ancient sire. From the gray flood
 Ascending sudden, like a mist she came,
 Sat down before him, stroked his face, and said.               450
   Why weeps my son? and what is thy distress?
 Hide not a sorrow that I wish to share.
   To whom Achilles, sighing deep, replied.
 Why tell thee woes to thee already known?
 At Thebes, Eëtion's city we arrived,                           455
 Smote, sack'd it, and brought all the spoil away.
 Just distribution made among the Greeks,
 The son of Atreus for his lot received
 Blooming Chrysëis. Her, Apollo's priest
 Old Chryses followed to Achaia's camp,                         460
 That he might loose his daughter. Ransom rich
 He brought, and in his hands the hallow'd wreath
 And golden sceptre of the Archer God
 Apollo, bore; to the whole Grecian host,
 But chiefly to the foremost in command                         465
 He sued, the sons of Atreus; then, the rest
 All recommended reverence of the Seer,
 And prompt acceptance of his costly gifts.
 But Agamemnon might not so be pleased,
 Who gave him rude dismission; he in wrath                      470
 Returning, prayed, whose prayer Apollo heard,
 For much he loved him. A pestiferous shaft
 He instant shot into the Grecian host,
 And heap'd the people died. His arrows swept
 The whole wide camp of Greece, 'till at the last               475
 A Seer, by Phoebus taught, explain'd the cause.
 I first advised propitiation. Rage
 Fired Agamemnon. Rising, he denounced
 Vengeance, and hath fulfilled it. She, in truth,
 Is gone to Chrysa, and with her we send                        480
 Propitiation also to the King
 Shaft-arm'd Apollo. But my beauteous prize
 Brisëis, mine by the award of all,
 His heralds, at this moment, lead away.
 But thou, wherein thou canst, aid thy own son!                 485
 Haste hence to Heaven, and if thy word or deed
 Hath ever gratified the heart of Jove,
 With earnest suit press him on my behalf.
 For I, not seldom, in my father's hall
 Have heard thee boasting, how when once the Gods,              490
 With Juno, Neptune, Pallas at their head,
 Conspired to bind the Thunderer, thou didst loose
 His bands, O Goddess! calling to his aid
 The Hundred-handed warrior, by the Gods
 Briareus, but by men, Ægeon named.[26]                         495
 For he in prowess and in might surpassed
 His father Neptune, who, enthroned sublime,
 Sits second only to Saturnian Jove,
 Elate with glory and joy. Him all the Gods
 Fearing from that bold enterprise abstained.                   500
 Now, therefore, of these things reminding Jove,
 Embrace his knees; entreat him that he give
 The host of Troy his succor, and shut fast
 The routed Grecians, prisoners in the fleet,
 That all may find much solace[27] in their King,               505
 And that the mighty sovereign o'er them all,
 Their Agamemnon, may himself be taught
 His rashness, who hath thus dishonor'd foul
 The life itself, and bulwark of his cause.
   To him, with streaming eyes, Thetis replied.                 510
 Born as thou wast to sorrow, ah, my son!
 Why have I rear'd thee! Would that without tears,
 Or cause for tears (transient as is thy life,
 A little span) thy days might pass at Troy!
 But short and sorrowful the fates ordain                       515
 Thy life, peculiar trouble must be thine,
 Whom, therefore, oh that I had never borne!
 But seeking the Olympian hill snow-crown'd,
 I will myself plead for thee in the ear
 Of Jove, the Thunderer. Meantime at thy fleet                  520
 Abiding, let thy wrath against the Greeks
 Still burn, and altogether cease from war.
 For to the banks of the Oceanus,[28]
 Where Æthiopia holds a feast to Jove,[29]
 He journey'd yesterday, with whom the Gods                     525
 Went also, and the twelfth day brings them home.
 Then will I to his brazen-floor'd abode,
 That I may clasp his knees, and much misdeem
 Of my endeavor, or my prayer shall speed.
   So saying, she went; but him she left enraged                530
 For fair Brisëis' sake, forced from his arms
 By stress of power. Meantime Ulysses came
 To Chrysa with the Hecatomb in charge.
 Arrived within the haven[30] deep, their sails
 Furling, they stowed them in the bark below.                   535
 Then by its tackle lowering swift the mast
 Into its crutch, they briskly push'd to land,
 Heaved anchors out, and moor'd the vessel fast.
 Forth came the mariners, and trod the beach;
 Forth came the victims of Apollo next,                         540
 And, last, Chrysëis. Her Ulysses led
 Toward the altar, gave her to the arms
 Of her own father, and him thus address'd.
   O Chryses! Agamemnon, King of men,
 Hath sent thy daughter home, with whom we bring                545
 A Hecatomb on all our host's behalf
 To Phoebus, hoping to appease the God
 By whose dread shafts the Argives now expire.
   So saying, he gave her to him, who with joy
 Received his daughter. Then, before the shrine                 550
 Magnificent in order due they ranged
 The noble Hecatomb.[31] Each laved his hands
 And took the salted meal, and Chryses made
 His fervent prayer with hands upraised on high.
   God of the silver bow, who with thy power                    555
 Encirclest Chrysa, and who reign'st supreme
 In Tenedos, and Cilla the divine!
 Thou prov'dst propitious to my first request,
 Hast honor'd me, and punish'd sore the Greeks;
 Hear yet thy servant's prayer; take from their host            560
 At once the loathsome pestilence away!
   So Chryses prayed, whom Phoebus heard well-pleased;
 Then prayed the Grecians also, and with meal
 Sprinkling the victims, their retracted necks
 First pierced, then flay'd them; the disjointed thighs         565
 They, next, invested with the double caul,
 Which with crude slices thin they overspread.
 The priest burned incense, and libation poured
 Large on the hissing brands, while, him beside,
 Busy with spit and prong, stood many a youth                   570
 Trained to the task. The thighs with fire consumed,
 They gave to each his portion of the maw,
 Then slashed the remnant, pierced it with the spits,
 And managing with culinary skill
 The roast, withdrew it from the spits again.                   575
 Their whole task thus accomplish'd, and the board
 Set forth, they feasted, and were all sufficed.
 When neither hunger more nor thirst remained
 Unsatisfied, boys crown'd the beakers high
 With wine delicious, and from right to left                    580
 Distributing the cups, served every guest.
 Thenceforth the youths of the Achaian race
 To song propitiatory gave the day,
 Pæans[32] to Phoebus, Archer of the skies,
 Chaunting melodious. Pleased, Apollo heard.                    585
 But, when, the sun descending, darkness fell,
 They on the beach beside their hawsers slept;
 And, when the day-spring's daughter rosy-palm'd
 Aurora look'd abroad, then back they steer'd
 To the vast camp. Fair wind, and blowing fresh,                590
 Apollo sent them; quick they rear'd the mast,
 Then spread the unsullied canvas to the gale,
 And the wind filled it. Roared the sable flood
 Around the bark, that ever as she went
 Dash'd wide the brine, and scudded swift away.                 595
 Thus reaching soon the spacious camp of Greece,
 Their galley they updrew sheer o'er the sands
 From the rude surge remote, then propp'd her sides
 With scantlings long,[33] and sought their several tents.
   But Peleus' noble son, the speed-renown'd                    600
 Achilles, he, his well-built bark beside,
 Consumed his hours, nor would in council more,
 Where wise men win distinction, or in fight
 Appear, to sorrow and heart-withering wo
 Abandon'd; though for battle, ardent, still                    605
 He panted, and the shout-resounding field.
 But when the twelfth fair morrow streak'd the East,
 Then all the everlasting Gods to Heaven
 Resorted, with the Thunderer at their head,
 And Thetis, not unmindful of her son,                          610
 Prom the salt flood emerged, seeking betimes
 Olympus and the boundless fields of heaven.
 High, on the topmost eminence sublime
 Of the deep-fork'd Olympian she perceived
 The Thunderer seated, from the Gods apart.                     615
 She sat before him, clasp'd with her left hand
 His knees, her right beneath his chin she placed,
 And thus the King, Saturnian Jove, implored.
   Father of all, by all that I have done
 Or said that ever pleased thee, grant my suit.                 620
 Exalt my son, by destiny short-lived
 Beyond the lot of others. Him with shame
 The King of men hath overwhelm'd, by force
 Usurping his just meed; thou, therefore, Jove,
 Supreme in wisdom, honor him, and give                         625
 Success to Troy, till all Achaia's sons
 Shall yield him honor more than he hath lost!
   She spake, to whom the Thunderer nought replied,
 But silent sat long time. She, as her hand
 Had grown there, still importunate, his knees                  630
 Clasp'd as at first, and thus her suit renew'd.[34]
   Or grant my prayer, and ratify the grant,
 Or send me hence (for thou hast none to fear)
 Plainly refused; that I may know and feel
 By how much I am least of all in heaven.                       635
   To whom the cloud-assembler at the last
 Spake, deep-distress'd. Hard task and full of strife
 Thou hast enjoined me; Juno will not spare
 For gibe and taunt injurious, whose complaint
 Sounds daily in the ears of all the Gods,                      640
 That I assist the Trojans; but depart,
 Lest she observe thee; my concern shall be
 How best I may perform thy full desire.
 And to assure thee more, I give the sign
 Indubitable, which all fear expels                             645
 At once from heavenly minds. Nought, so confirmed,
 May, after, be reversed or render'd vain.
   He ceased, and under his dark brows the nod
 Vouchsafed of confirmation. All around
 The Sovereign's everlasting head his curls                     650
 Ambrosial shook,[35] and the huge mountain reeled.
   Their conference closed, they parted. She, at once,
 From bright Olympus plunged into the flood
 Profound, and Jove to his own courts withdrew.
 Together all the Gods, at his approach,                        655
 Uprose; none sat expectant till he came,
 But all advanced to meet the Eternal Sire.
 So on his throne he sat. Nor Juno him
 Not understood; she, watchful, had observed,
 In consultation close with Jove engaged                        660
 Thetis, bright-footed daughter of the deep,
 And keen the son of Saturn thus reproved.
   Shrewd as thou art, who now hath had thine ear?
 Thy joy is ever such, from me apart
 To plan and plot clandestine, and thy thoughts,                665
 Think what thou may'st, are always barred to me.
   To whom the father, thus, of heaven and earth.
 Expect not, Juno, that thou shalt partake
 My counsels at all times, which oft in height
 And depth, thy comprehension far exceed,                       670
 Jove's consort as thou art. When aught occurs
 Meet for thine ear, to none will I impart
 Of Gods or men more free than to thyself.
 But for my secret thoughts, which I withhold
 From all in heaven beside, them search not thou                675
 With irksome curiosity and vain.
   Him answer'd then the Goddess ample-eyed.[36]
 What word hath passed thy lips, Saturnian Jove,
 Thou most severe! I never search thy thoughts,
 Nor the serenity of thy profound                               680
 Intentions trouble; they are safe from me:
 But now there seems a cause. Deeply I dread
 Lest Thetis, silver-footed daughter fair
 Of Ocean's hoary Sovereign, here arrived
 At early dawn to practise on thee, Jove!                       685
 I noticed her a suitress at thy knees,
 And much misdeem or promise-bound thou stand'st
 To Thetis past recall, to exalt her son,
 And Greeks to slaughter thousands at the ships.
   To whom the cloud-assembler God, incensed.                   690
 Ah subtle! ever teeming with surmise,
 And fathomer of my concealed designs,
 Thy toil is vain, or (which is worse for thee,)
 Shall but estrange thee from mine heart the more.
 And be it as thou sayest,--I am well pleased                   695
 That so it should be. Be advised, desist,
 Hold thou thy peace. Else, if my glorious hands
 Once reach thee, the Olympian Powers combined
 To rescue thee, shall interfere in vain.
   He said,--whom Juno, awful Goddess, heard                    700
 Appall'd, and mute submitted to his will.
 But through the courts of Jove the heavenly Powers
 All felt displeasure; when to them arose
 Vulcan, illustrious artist, who with speech
 Conciliatory interposed to sooth                               705
 His white-armed mother Juno, Goddess dread.
   Hard doom is ours, and not to be endured,
 If feast and merriment must pause in heaven
 While ye such clamor raise tumultuous here
 For man's unworthy sake: yet thus we speed                     710
 Ever, when evil overpoises good.
 But I exhort my mother, though herself
 Already warn'd, that meekly she submit
 To Jove our father, lest our father chide
 More roughly, and confusion mar the feast.                     715
 For the Olympian Thunderer could with ease
 Us from our thrones precipitate, so far
 He reigns to all superior. Seek to assuage
 His anger therefore; so shall he with smiles
 Cheer thee, nor thee alone, but all in heaven.                 720
   So Vulcan, and, upstarting, placed a cup
 Full-charged between his mother's hands, and said,
   My mother, be advised, and, though aggrieved,
 Yet patient; lest I see thee whom I love
 So dear, with stripes chastised before my face,                725
 Willing, but impotent to give thee aid.[37]
 Who can resist the Thunderer? Me, when once
 I flew to save thee, by the foot he seized
 And hurl'd me through the portal of the skies.
 "From morn to eve I fell, a summer's day,"                     730
 And dropped, at last, in Lemnos. There half-dead
 The Sintians found me, and with succor prompt
 And hospitable, entertained me fallen.
   So He; then Juno smiled, Goddess white-arm'd,
 And smiling still, from his unwonted hand[38]                  735
 Received the goblet. He from right to left
 Rich nectar from the beaker drawn, alert
 Distributed to all the powers divine.
 Heaven rang with laughter inextinguishable
 Peal after peal, such pleasure all conceived                   740
 At sight of Vulcan in his new employ.
   So spent they in festivity the day,
 And all were cheered; nor was Apollo's harp
 Silent, nor did the Muses spare to add
 Responsive melody of vocal sweets.                             745
 But when the sun's bright orb had now declined,
 Each to his mansion, wheresoever built
 By the lame matchless Architect, withdrew.[39]
 Jove also, kindler of the fires of heaven,
 His couch ascending as at other times                          750
 When gentle sleep approach'd him, slept serene,
 With golden-sceptred Juno at his side.
                 *       *       *       *       *

The first book contains the preliminaries to the commencement of serious action. First, the visit of the priest of Apollo to ransom his captive daughter, the refusal of Agamemnon to yield her up, and the pestilence sent by the god upon the Grecian army in consequence. Secondly, the restoration, the propitiation of Apollo, the quarrel of Agamemnon and Achilles, and the withdrawing of the latter from the Grecian army. Thirdly, the intercession of Thetis with Jupiter; his promise, unwillingly given, to avenge Achilles; and the assembly of the gods, in which the promise is angrily alluded to by Juno, and the discussion peremptorily checked by Jupiter. The poet, throughout this book, maintains a simple, unadorned style, but highly descriptive, and happily adapted to the nature of the subject.--FELTON.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK II.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND BOOK.


Jupiter, in pursuance of his purpose to distress the Grecians in answer to the prayer of Thetis, deceives Agamemnon by a dream. He, in consequence of it, calls a council, the result of which is that the army shall go forth to battle. Thersites is mutinous, and is chastised by Ulysses. Ulysses, Nestor, and Agamemnon, harangue the people; and preparation is made for battle. An exact account follows of the forces on both sides.



                              BOOK II.


 [1]All night both Gods and Chiefs equestrian slept,
 But not the Sire of all. He, waking soon,
 Mused how to exalt Achilles, and destroy
 No few in battle at the Grecian fleet.
 This counsel, at the last, as best he chose                      5
 And likeliest; to dispatch an evil Dream
 To Agamemnon's tent, and to his side
 The phantom summoning, him thus addressed.
   Haste, evil Dream! Fly to the Grecian fleet,
 And, entering royal Agamemnon's tent,                           10
 His ear possess thou thus, omitting nought
 Of all that I enjoin thee. Bid him arm
 His universal host, for that the time
 When the Achaians shall at length possess
 Wide Ilium, hath arrived. The Gods above                        15
 No longer dwell at variance. The request
 Of Juno hath prevail'd; now, wo to Troy!
 So charged, the Dream departed. At the ships
 Well-built arriving of Achaia's host,
 He Agamemnon, son of Atreus, sought.                            20
 Him sleeping in his tent he found, immersed
 In soft repose ambrosial. At his head
 The shadow stood, similitude exact
 Of Nestor, son of Neleus; sage, with whom
 In Agamemnon's thought might none compare.                      25
 His form assumed, the sacred Dream began.
   Oh son of Atreus the renown'd in arms
 And in the race! Sleep'st thou? It ill behoves
 To sleep all night the man of high employ,
 And charged, as thou art, with a people's care.                 30
 Now, therefore, mark me well, who, sent from Jove,
 Inform thee, that although so far remote,
 He yet compassionates and thinks on thee
 With kind solicitude. He bids thee arm
 Thy universal host, for that the time                           35
 When the Achaians shall at length possess
 Wide Ilium, hath arrived. The Gods above
 No longer dwell at variance. The requests
 Of Juno have prevail'd. Now, wo to Troy
 From Jove himself! Her fate is on the wing.                     40
 Awaking from thy dewy slumbers, hold
 In firm remembrance all that thou hast heard.
   So spake the Dream, and vanishing, him left
 In false hopes occupied and musings vain.
 Full sure he thought, ignorant of the plan                      45
 By Jove design'd, that day the last of Troy.
 Fond thought! For toils and agonies to Greeks
 And Trojans both, in many a bloody field
 To be endured, the Thunderer yet ordain'd.
 Starting he woke, and seeming still to hear                     50
 The warning voice divine, with hasty leap
 Sprang from his bed, and sat.[2] His fleecy vest
 New-woven he put on, and mantle wide;
 His sandals fair to his unsullied feet
 He braced, and slung his argent-studded sword.                  55
 Then, incorruptible for evermore
 The sceptre of his sires he took, with which
 He issued forth into the camp of Greece.
   Aurora now on the Olympian heights
 Proclaiming stood new day to all in heaven,                     60
 When he his clear-voiced heralds bade convene
 The Greeks in council. Went the summons forth
 Into all quarters, and the throng began.
 First, at the ship of Nestor, Pylian King,[3]
 The senior Chiefs for high exploits renown'd                    65
 He gather'd, whom he prudent thus address'd.
   My fellow warriors, hear! A dream from heaven,
 Amid the stillness of the vacant night
 Approach'd me, semblance close in stature, bulk,
 And air, of noble Nestor. At mine head                          70
 The shadow took his stand, and thus he spake.
   Oh son of Atreus the renown'd in arms
 And in the race, sleep'st thou? It ill behoves
 To sleep all night the man of high employ,
 And charged as thou art with a people's care.                   75
 Now, therefore, mark me well, who, sent from Jove,
 Inform thee, that although so far remote,
 He yet compassionates and thinks on thee
 With kind solicitude. He bids thee arm
 Thy universal host; for that the time                           80
 When the Achaians shall at length possess
 Wide Ilium, hath arrived. The Gods above
 No longer dwell at variance. The requests
 Of Juno have prevail'd. Now, wo to Troy
 From Jove himself! Her fate is on the wing.                     85
 Charge this on thy remembrance. Thus he spake,
 Then vanished suddenly, and I awoke.
 Haste therefore, let us arm, if arm we may,[4]
 The warlike sons of Greece; but first, myself
 Will prove them, recommending instant flight                    90
 With all our ships, and ye throughout the host
 Dispersed, shall, next, encourage all to stay.
   He ceased, and sat; when in the midst arose
 Of highest fame for wisdom, Nestor, King
 Of sandy Pylus, who them thus bespake.                          95
   Friends, Counsellors, and Leaders of the Greeks!
 Had any meaner Argive told his dream,
 We had pronounced it false, and should the more
 Have shrunk from battle; but the dream is his
 Who boasts himself our highest in command.                     100
 Haste, arm we, if we may, the sons of Greece.
   So saying, he left the council; him, at once
 The sceptred Chiefs, obedient to his voice,
 Arising, follow'd; and the throng began.
 As from the hollow rock bees stream abroad,                    105
 And in succession endless seek the fields,
 Now clustering, and now scattered far and near,
 In spring-time, among all the new-blown flowers,
 So they to council swarm'd, troop after troop,
 Grecians of every tribe, from camp and fleet                   110
 Assembling orderly o'er all the plain
 Beside the shore of Ocean. In the midst
 A kindling rumor, messenger of Jove,
 Impell'd them, and they went. Loud was the din
 Of the assembling thousands; groan'd the earth                 115
 When down they sat, and murmurs ran around.
 Nine heralds cried aloud--Will ye restrain
 Your clamors, that your heaven-taught Kings may speak?
 Scarce were they settled, and the clang had ceased,
 When Agamemnon, sovereign o'er them all,                       120
 Sceptre in hand, arose. (That sceptre erst
 Vulcan with labor forged, and to the hand
 Consign'd it of the King, Saturnian Jove;
 Jove to the vanquisher[5] of Ino's[6] guard,
 And he to Pelops; Pelops in his turn,                          125
 To royal Atreus; Atreus at his death
 Bequeath'd it to Thyestes rich in flocks,
 And rich Thyestes left it to be borne
 By Agamemnon, symbol of his right
 To empire over Argos and her isles)                            130
 On that he lean'd, and rapid, thus began.[7]
   Friends, Grecian Heroes, ministers of Mars!
 Ye see me here entangled in the snares
 Of unpropitious Jove. He promised once,
 And with a nod confirm'd it, that with spoils                  135
 Of Ilium laden, we should hence return;
 But now, devising ill, he sends me shamed,
 And with diminished numbers, home to Greece.
 So stands his sovereign pleasure, who hath laid
 The bulwarks of full many a city low,                          140
 And more shall level, matchless in his might.
 That such a numerous host of Greeks as we,
 Warring with fewer than ourselves, should find
 No fruit of all our toil, (and none appears)
 Will make us vile with ages yet to come.                       145
 For should we now strike truce, till Greece and Troy
 Might number each her own, and were the Greeks
 Distributed in bands, ten Greeks in each,
 Our banded decads should exceed so far
 Their units, that all Troy could not supply                    150
 For every ten, a man, to fill us wine;
 So far the Achaians, in my thought, surpass
 The native Trojans. But in Troy are those
 Who baffle much my purpose; aids derived
 From other states, spear-arm'd auxiliars, firm                 155
 In the defence of Ilium's lofty towers.
 Nine years have passed us over, nine long years;
 Our ships are rotted, and our tackle marr'd,
 And all our wives and little-ones at home
 Sit watching our return, while this attempt                    160
 Hangs still in doubt, for which that home we left.
 Accept ye then my counsel. Fly we swift
 With all our fleet back to our native land,
 Hopeless of Troy, not yet to be subdued.
   So spake the King, whom all the concourse heard              165
 With minds in tumult toss'd; all, save the few,
 Partners of his intent. Commotion shook
 The whole assembly, such as heaves the flood
 Of the Icarian Deep, when South and East
 Burst forth together from the clouds of Jove.                  170
 And as when vehement the West-wind falls
 On standing corn mature, the loaded ears
 Innumerable bow before the gale,
 So was the council shaken. With a shout
 All flew toward the ships; uprais'd, the dust                  175
 Stood o'er them; universal was the cry,
 "Now clear the passages, strike down the props,
 Set every vessel free, launch, and away!"
 Heaven rang with exclamation of the host
 All homeward bent, and launching glad the fleet.               180
 Then baffled Fate had the Achaians seen
 Returning premature, but Juno thus,
 With admonition quick to Pallas spake.
   Unconquer'd daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd!
 Ah foul dishonor! Is it thus at last                           185
 That the Achaians on the billows borne,
 Shall seek again their country, leaving here,
 To be the vaunt of Ilium and her King,
 Helen of Argos, in whose cause the Greeks
 Have numerous perish'd from their home remote?                 190
 Haste! Seek the mail-arm'd multitude, by force
 Detain them of thy soothing speech, ere yet
 All launch their oary barks into the flood.
   She spake, nor did Minerva not comply,
 But darting swift from the Olympian heights,                   195
 Reach'd soon Achaia's fleet. There, she perceived
 Prudent as Jove himself, Ulysses; firm
 He stood; he touch'd not even with his hand
 His sable bark, for sorrow whelm'd his soul.
 The Athenæan Goddess azure-eyed                                200
 Beside him stood, and thus the Chief bespake.
   Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!
 Why seek ye, thus precipitate, your ships?
 Intend ye flight? And is it thus at last,
 That the Achaians on the billows borne,                        205
 Shall seek again their country, leaving here,
 To be the vaunt of Ilium and her King,
 Helen of Argos, in whose cause the Greeks
 Have numerous perish'd from their home remote?
 Delay not. Rush into the throng; by force                      210
 Detain them of thy soothing speech, ere yet
 All launch their oary barks into the flood.
   She ceased, whom by her voice Ulysses knew,
 Casting his mantle from him, which his friend
 Eurybates the Ithacensian caught,                              215
 He ran; and in his course meeting the son
 Of Atreus, Agamemnon, from his hand
 The everlasting sceptre quick received,
 Which bearing, through Achaia's fleet he pass'd.
 What King soever, or distinguish'd Greek                       220
 He found, approaching to his side, in terms
 Of gentle sort he stay'd him. Sir, he cried,
 It is unseemly that a man renown'd
 As thou, should tremble. Go--Resume the seat
 Which thou hast left, and bid the people sit.                  225
 Thou know'st not clearly yet the monarch's mind.
 He proves us now, but soon he will chastize.
 All were not present; few of us have heard
 His speech this day in council. Oh, beware,
 Lest in resentment of this hasty course                        230
 Irregular, he let his anger loose.
 Dread is the anger of a King; he reigns
 By Jove's own ordinance, and is dear to Jove,
   But what plebeian base soe'er he heard
 Stretching his throat to swell the general cry,                235
 He laid the sceptre smartly on his back,
 With reprimand severe. Fellow, he said,
 Sit still; hear others; thy superiors hear.
 For who art thou? A dastard and a drone,
 Of none account in council, or in arms.                        240
 By no means may we all alike bear sway
 At Ilium; such plurality of Kings
 Were evil. One suffices. One, to whom
 The son of politic Saturn hath assign'd
 The sceptre, and inforcement of the laws,                      245
 That he may rule us as a monarch ought.[8]
   With such authority the troubled host
 He sway'd; they, quitting camp and fleet again
 Rush'd back to council; deafening was the sound
 As when a billow of the boisterous deep                        250
 Some broad beach dashes, and the Ocean roars.
   The host all seated, and the benches fill'd,
 Thersites only of loquacious tongue
 Ungovern'd, clamor'd mutinous; a wretch
 Of utterance prompt, but in coarse phrase obscene              255
 Deep learn'd alone, with which to slander Kings.
 Might he but set the rabble in a roar,
 He cared not with what jest; of all from Greece
 To Ilium sent, his country's chief reproach.
 Cross-eyed he was, and halting moved on legs                   260
 Ill-pair'd; his gibbous shoulders o'er his breast
 Contracted, pinch'd it; to a peak his head
 Was moulded sharp, and sprinkled thin with hair
 Of starveling length, flimsy and soft as down.
 Achilles and Ulysses had incurr'd                              265
 Most his aversion; them he never spared;
 But now, imperial Agamemnon 'self
 In piercing accents stridulous he charged
 With foul reproach. The Grecians with contempt
 Listen'd, and indignation, while with voice                    270
 At highest pitch, he thus the monarch mock'd.
   What wouldst thou now? Whereof is thy complaint
 Now, Agamemnon? Thou hast fill'd thy tents
 With treasure, and the Grecians, when they take
 A city, choose the loveliest girls for thee.                   275
 Is gold thy wish? More gold? A ransom brought
 By some chief Trojan for his son's release
 Whom I, or other valiant Greek may bind?
 Or wouldst thou yet a virgin, one, by right
 Another's claim, but made by force thine own?                  280
 It was not well, great Sir, that thou shouldst bring
 A plague on the Achaians, as of late.
 But come, my Grecian sisters, soldiers named
 Unfitly, of a sex too soft for war,
 Come, let us homeward: let him here digest                     285
 What he shall gorge, alone; that he may learn
 If our assistance profit him or not.
 For when he shamed Achilles, he disgraced
 A Chief far worthier than himself, whose prize
 He now withholds. But tush,--Achilles lacks                    290
 Himself the spirit of a man; no gall
 Hath he within him, or his hand long since
 Had stopp'd that mouth,[9] that it should scoff no more.
   Thus, mocking royal Agamemnon, spake
 Thersites. Instant starting to his side,                       295
 Noble Ulysses with indignant brows
 Survey'd him, and him thus reproved severe.
   Thersites! Railer!--peace. Think not thyself,
 Although thus eloquent, alone exempt
 From obligation not to slander Kings.                          300
 I deem thee most contemptible, the worst
 Of Agamemnon's followers to the war;
 Presume not then to take the names revered
 Of Sovereigns on thy sordid lips, to asperse
 Their sacred character, and to appoint                         305
 The Greeks a time when they shall voyage home.
 How soon, how late, with what success at last
 We shall return, we know not: but because
 Achaia's heroes numerous spoils allot
 To Agamemnon, Leader of the host,                              310
 Thou therefore from thy seat revilest the King.
 But mark me. If I find thee, as even now,
 Raving and foaming at the lips again,
 May never man behold Ulysses' head
 On these my shoulders more, and may my son                     315
 Prove the begotten of another Sire,
 If I not strip thee to that hide of thine
 As bare as thou wast born, and whip thee hence
 Home to thy galley, sniveling like a boy.
   He ceased, and with his sceptre on the back                  320
 And shoulders smote him. Writhing to and fro,
 He wept profuse, while many a bloody whelk
 Protuberant beneath the sceptre sprang.
 Awe-quell'd he sat, and from his visage mean,
 Deep-sighing, wiped the rheums. It was no time                 325
 For mirth, yet mirth illumined every face,
 And laughing, thus they spake. A thousand acts
 Illustrious, both by well-concerted plans
 And prudent disposition of the host
 Ulysses hath achieved, but this by far                         330
 Transcends his former praise, that he hath quell'd
 Such contumelious rhetoric profuse.
 The valiant talker shall not soon, we judge,
 Take liberties with royal names again.[10]
 So spake the multitude. Then, stretching forth                 335
 The sceptre, city-spoiler Chief, arose
 Ulysses. Him beside, herald in form,
 Appeared Minerva. Silence she enjoined
 To all, that all Achaia's sons might hear,
 Foremost and rearmost, and might weigh his words.              340
 He then his counsel, prudent, thus proposed.
   Atrides! Monarch! The Achaians seek
 To make thee ignominious above all
 In sight of all mankind. None recollects
 His promise more in steed-famed Argos pledged,                 345
 Here to abide till Ilium wall'd to heaven
 Should vanquish'd sink, and all her wealth be ours.
 No--now, like widow'd women, or weak boys,
 They whimper to each other, wishing home.
 And home, I grant, to the afflicted soul                       350
 Seems pleasant.[11] The poor seaman from his wife
 One month detain'd, cheerless his ship and sad
 Possesses, by the force of wintry blasts,
 And by the billows of the troubled deep
 Fast lock'd in port. But us the ninth long year                355
 Revolving, finds camp'd under Ilium still.
 I therefore blame not, if they mourn beside
 Their sable barks, the Grecians. Yet the shame
 That must attend us after absence long
 Returning unsuccessful, who can bear?                          360
 Be patient, friends! wait only till we learn
 If Calchas truly prophesied, or not;
 For well we know, and I to all appeal,
 Whom Fate hath not already snatch'd away,
 (It seems but yesterday, or at the most                        365
 A day or two before) that when the ships
 Wo-fraught for Priam, and the race of Troy,
 At Aulis met, and we beside the fount
 With perfect hecatombs the Gods adored
 Beneath the plane-tree, from whose root a stream               370
 Ran crystal-clear, there we beheld a sign
 Wonderful in all eyes. A serpent huge,
 Tremendous spectacle! with crimson spots
 His back all dappled, by Olympian Jove
 Himself protruded, from the altar's foot                       375
 Slipp'd into light, and glided to the tree.
 There on the topmost bough, close-cover'd sat
 With foliage broad, eight sparrows, younglings all,
 Then newly feather'd, with their dam, the ninth.
 The little ones lamenting shrill he gorged,                    380
 While, wheeling o'er his head, with screams the dam
 Bewail'd her darling brood. Her also next,
 Hovering and clamoring, he by the wing
 Within his spiry folds drew, and devoured.
 All eaten thus, the nestlings and the dam,                     385
 The God who sent him, signalized him too,
 For him Saturnian Jove transform'd to stone.
 We wondering stood, to see that strange portent
 Intrude itself into our holy rites,
 When Calchas, instant, thus the sign explain'd.                390
   Why stand ye, Greeks, astonish'd? Ye behold
 A prodigy by Jove himself produced,
 An omen, whose accomplishment indeed
 Is distant, but whose fame shall never die.[12]
 E'en as this serpent in your sight devour'd                    395
 Eight youngling sparrows, with their dam, the ninth,
 So we nine years must war on yonder plain,
 And in the tenth, wide-bulwark'd Troy is ours.
   So spake the seer, and as he spake, is done.
 Wait, therefore, brave Achaians! go not hence                  400
 Till Priam's spacious city be your prize.
   He ceased, and such a shout ensued, that all
 The hollow ships the deafening roar return'd
 Of acclamation, every voice the speech
 Extolling of Ulysses, glorious Chief.                          405
   Then Nestor the Gerenian,[13] warrior old,
 Arising, spake; and, by the Gods, he said,
 Ye more resemble children inexpert
 In war, than disciplined and prudent men.
 Where now are all your promises and vows,                      410
 Councils, libations, right-hand covenants?[14]
 Burn them, since all our occupation here
 Is to debate and wrangle, whereof end
 Or fruit though long we wait, shall none be found.
 But, Sovereign, be not thou appall'd. Be firm.                 415
 Relax not aught of thine accustomed sway,
 But set the battle forth as thou art wont.
 And if there be a Grecian, here and there,
 One,[15] adverse to the general voice, let such
 Wither alone. He shall not see his wish                        420
 Gratified, neither will we hence return
 To Argos, ere events shall yet have proved
 Jove's promise false or true. For when we climb'd
 Our gallant barks full-charged with Ilium's fate,
 Saturnian Jove omnipotent, that day,                           425
 (Omen propitious!) thunder'd on the right.
 Let no man therefore pant for home, till each
 Possess a Trojan spouse, and from her lips
 Take sweet revenge for Helen's pangs of heart.
 Who then? What soldier languishes and sighs                    430
 To leave us? Let him dare to lay his hand
 On his own vessel, and he dies the first.
 But hear, O King! I shall suggest a course
 Not trivial. Agamemnon! sort the Greeks
 By districts and by tribes, that tribe may tribe               435
 Support, and each his fellow. This performed,
 And with consent of all, thou shalt discern
 With ease what Chief, what private man deserts,
 And who performs his part. The base, the brave,
 Such disposition made, shall both appear;                      440
 And thou shalt also know, if heaven or we,
 The Gods, or our supineness, succor Troy.
   To whom Atrides, King of men, replied.
 Old Chief! Thou passest all Achaia's sons
 In consultation; would to Jove our Sire,                       445
 To Athenæan Pallas, and Apollo!
 That I had ten such coadjutors, wise
 As thou art, and the royal city soon
 Of Priam, with her wealth, should all be ours.[16]
 But me the son of Saturn, Jove supreme                         450
 Himself afflicts, who in contentious broils
 Involves me, and in altercation vain.
 Thence all that wordy tempest for a girl
 Achilles and myself between, and I
 The fierce aggressor. Be that breach but heal'd!               455
 And Troy's reprieve thenceforth is at an end.
 Go--take refreshment now that we may march
 Forth to our enemies. Let each whet well
 His spear, brace well his shield, well feed his brisk
 High-mettled horses, well survey and search                    460
 His chariot on all sides, that no defect
 Disgrace his bright habiliments of war.
 So will we give the day from morn to eve
 To dreadful battle. Pause there shall be none
 Till night divide us. Every buckler's thong                    465
 Shall sweat on the toil'd bosom, every hand
 That shakes the spear shall ache, and every steed
 Shall smoke that whirls the chariot o'er the plain.
 Wo then to whom I shall discover here
 Loitering among the tents; let him escape                      470
 My vengeance if he can. The vulture's maw
 Shall have his carcase, and the dogs his bones.
   He spake; whom all applauded with a shout
 Loud as against some headland cliff the waves
 Roll'd by the stormy South o'er rocks that shoot               475
 Afar into the deep, which in all winds
 The flood still overspreads, blow whence they may.
 Arising, forth they rush'd, among the ships
 All scatter'd; smoke from every tent arose,
 The host their food preparing; next, his God                   480
 Each man invoked (of the Immortals him
 Whom he preferr'd) with sacrifice and prayer
 For safe escape from danger and from death.
 But Agamemnon to Saturnian Jove
 Omnipotent, an ox of the fifth year                            485
 Full-flesh'd devoted, and the Princes call'd
 Noblest of all the Grecians to his feast.
 First, Nestor with Idomeneus the King,
 Then either Ajax, and the son he call'd
 Of Tydeus, with Ulysses sixth and last,                        490
 Jove's peer in wisdom. Menelaus went,
 Heroic Chief! unbidden, for he knew
 His brother's mind with weight of care oppress'd.
 The ox encircling, and their hands with meal
 Of consecration fill'd, the assembly stood,                    495
 When Agamemnon thus his prayer preferred.
   Almighty Father! Glorious above all!
 Cloud-girt, who dwell'st in heaven thy throne sublime,
 Let not the sun go down, till Priam's roof
 Fall flat into the flames; till I shall burn                   500
 His gates with fire; till I shall hew away
 His hack'd and riven corslet from the breast
 Of Hector, and till numerous Chiefs, his friends,
 Around him, prone in dust, shall bite the ground.
   So prayed he, but with none effect, The God                  505
 Received his offering, but to double toil
 Doom'd them, and sorrow more than all the past.
   They then, the triturated barley grain
 First duly sprinkling, the sharp steel infix'd
 Deep in the victim's neck reversed, then stripp'd              510
 The carcase, and divided at their joint
 The thighs, which in the double caul involved
 They spread with slices crude, and burn'd with fire
 Ascending fierce from billets sere and dry.
 The spitted entrails next they o'er the coals                  515
 Suspended held. The thighs with fire consumed,
 They gave to each his portion of the maw,
 Then slash'd the remnant, pierced it with the spits,
 And managing with culinary skill
 The roast, withdrew it from the spits again.                   520
 Thus, all their task accomplished, and the board
 Set forth, they feasted, and were all sufficed.
 When neither hunger more nor thirst remain'd
 Unsatisfied, Gerenian Nestor spake.
   Atrides! Agamemnon! King of men!                             525
 No longer waste we time in useless words,
 Nor to a distant hour postpone the work
 To which heaven calls thee. Send thine heralds forth.
 Who shall convene the Achaians at the fleet,
 That we, the Chiefs assembled here, may range,                 530
 Together, the imbattled multitude,
 And edge their spirits for immediate fight.
   He spake, nor Agamemnon not complied.
 At once he bade his clear-voiced heralds call
 The Greeks to battle. They the summons loud                    535
 Gave forth, and at the sound the people throng'd.
 Then Agamemnon and the Kings of Greece
 Dispatchful drew them into order just,
 With whom Minerva azure-eyed advanced,
 The inestimable Ægis on her arm,                               540
 Immortal, unobnoxious to decay
 A hundred braids, close twisted, all of gold,
 Each valued at a hundred beeves,[17] around
 Dependent fringed it. She from side to side
 Her eyes cerulean rolled, infusing thirst                      545
 Of battle endless into every breast.
 War won them now, war sweeter now to each
 Than gales to waft them over ocean home.[18]
 As when devouring flames some forest seize
 On the high mountains, splendid from afar                      550
 The blaze appears, so, moving on the plain,
 The steel-clad host innumerous flash'd to heaven.
 And as a multitude of fowls in flocks
 Assembled various, geese, or cranes, or swans
 Lithe-neck'd, long hovering o'er Caÿster's banks               555
 On wanton plumes, successive on the mead
 Alight at last, and with a clang so loud
 That all the hollow vale of Asius rings;
 In number such from ships and tents effused,
 They cover'd the Scamandrian plain; the earth                  560
 Rebellow'd to the feet of steeds and men.
 They overspread Scamander's grassy vale,
 Myriads, as leaves, or as the flowers of spring.
 As in the hovel where the peasant milks
 His kine in spring-time, when his pails are fill'd,            565
 Thick clouds of humming insects on the wing
 Swarm all around him, so the Grecians swarm'd
 An unsumm'd multitude o'er all the plain,
 Bright arm'd, high crested, and athirst for war.
 As goat-herds separate their numerous flocks                   570
 With ease, though fed promiscuous, with like ease
 Their leaders them on every side reduced
 To martial order glorious;[19] among whom
 Stood Agamemnon "with an eye like Jove's,
 To threaten or command," like Mars in girth,                   575
 And with the port of Neptune. As the bull
 Conspicuous among all the herd appears,
 For he surpasses all, such Jove ordain'd
 That day the son of Atreus, in the midst
 Of Heroes, eminent above them all.                             580
   Tell me, (for ye are are heavenly, and beheld[20]
 A scene, whereof the faint report alone
 Hath reached our ears, remote and ill-informed,)
 Tell me, ye Muses, under whom, beneath
 What Chiefs of royal or of humbler note                        585
 Stood forth the embattled Greeks? The host at large;
 _They_ were a multitude in number more
 Than with ten tongues, and with ten mouths, each mouth
 Made vocal with a trumpet's throat of brass
 I might declare, unless the Olympian nine,                     590
 Jove's daughters, would the chronicle themselves
 Indite, of all assembled, under Troy.
 I will rehearse the Captains and their fleets.
   [21]Boeotia's sturdy sons Peneleus led,
 And Leïtus, whose partners in command                          595
 Arcesilaus and Prothoenor came,
 And Clonius. Them the dwellers on the rocks
 Of Aulis followed, with the hardy clans
 Of Hyrie, Schoenos, Scholos, and the hills
 Of Eteon; Thespia, Græa, and the plains                        600
 Of Mycalessus them, and Harma served,
 Eleon, Erythræ, Peteon; Hyle them,
 Hesius and Ocalea, and the strength
 Of Medeon; Copæ also in their train
 Marched, with Eutresis and the mighty men                      605
 Of Thisbe famed for doves; nor pass unnamed
 Whom Coronæa, and the grassy land
 Of Haliartus added to the war,
 Nor whom Platæa, nor whom Glissa bred,
 And Hypothebæ,[22] and thy sacred groves                       610
 To Neptune, dark Onchestus. Arne claims
 A record next for her illustrious sons,
 Vine-bearing Arne. Thou wast also there
 Mideia, and thou Nissa; nor be thine
 Though last, Anthedon, a forgotten name.                       615
 These in Boeotia's fair and gallant fleet
 Of fifty ships, each bearing o'er the waves
 Thrice forty warriors, had arrived at Troy.
   In thirty ships deep-laden with the brave,
 Aspledon and Orchomenos had sent                               620
 Their chosen youth; them ruled a noble pair,
 Sons of Astyoche; she, lovely nymph,
 Received by stealth, on Actor's stately roof,
 The embraces of a God, and bore to Mars
 Twins like himself, Ascalaphus the bold,                       625
 And bold Iälmenus, expert in arms.
   Beneath Epistrophus and Schedius, took
 Their destined station on Boeotia's left,
 The brave Phocensians; they in forty ships
 From Cyparissus came, and from the rocks                       630
 Of Python, and from Crissa the divine;
 From Anemoria, Daulis, Panopeus,
 And from Hyampolis, and from the banks
 Of the Cephissus, sacred stream, and from
 Lilæa, seated at its fountain-head.                            635
   Next from beyond Euboea's happy isle
 In forty ships conveyed, stood forth well armed
 The Locrians; dwellers in Augeia some
 The pleasant, some of Opoëis possessed,
 Some of Calliarus; these Scarpha sent,                         640
 And Cynus those; from Bessa came the rest,
 From Tarpha, Thronius, and from the brink
 Of loud Boagrius; Ajax them, the swift,
 Son of Oïleus led, not such as he
 From Telamon, big-boned and lofty built,                       645
 But small of limb, and of an humbler crest;
 Yet he, competitor had none throughout
 The Grecians of what land soe'er, for skill
 In ushering to its mark the rapid lance.
   Elphenor brought (Calchodon's mighty son)                    650
 The Euboeans to the field. In forty ships
 From Histrïæa for her vintage famed,
 From Chalcis, from Iretria, from the gates
 Of maritime Cerinthus, from the heights
 Of Dios rock-built citadel sublime,                            655
 And from Caristus and from Styra came
 His warlike multitudes, all named alike
 Abantes, on whose shoulders fell behind
 Their locks profuse,[23] and they were eager all
 To split the hauberk with the pointed spear.                   660
   Nor Athens had withheld her generous sons,
 The people of Erectheus. Him of old
 The teeming glebe produced, a wondrous birth!
 And Pallas rear'd him: her own unctuous fane
 She made his habitation, where with bulls                      665
 The youth of Athens, and with slaughter'd lambs
 Her annual worship celebrate. Then led
 Menestheus, whom, (sage Nestor's self except,
 Thrice school'd in all events of human life,)
 None rivall'd ever in the just array                           670
 Of horse and man to battle. Fifty ships
 Black-prowed, had borne them to the distant war.
   Ajax from Salamis twelve vessels brought,
 And where the Athenian band in phalanx stood
 Marshall'd compact, there station'd he his powers.             675
   The men of Argos and Tyrintha next,
 And of Hermione, that stands retired
 With Asine, within her spacious bay;
 Of Epidaurus, crown'd with purple vines,
 And of Troezena, with the Achaian youth                        680
 Of sea-begirt Ægina, and with thine,
 Maseta, and the dwellers on thy coast,
 Wave-worn Eïonæ; these all obeyed
 The dauntless Hero Diomede, whom served
 Sthenelus, son of Capaneus, a Chief                            685
 Of deathless fame, his second in command,
 And godlike man, Euryalus, the son
 Of King Mecisteus, Talaüs' son, his third.
 But Diomede controll'd them all, and him
 Twice forty sable ships their leader own'd.                    690
   Came Agamemnon with a hundred ships,
 Exulting in his powers; more numerous they,
 And more illustrious far than other Chief
 Could boast, whoever. Clad in burnish'd brass,
 And conscious of pre-eminence, he stood.                       695
 He drew his host from cities far renown'd,
 Mycenæ, and Corinthus, seat of wealth,
 Orneia, and Cleonæ bulwark'd strong,
 And lovely Aræthyria; Sicyon, where
 His seat of royal power held at the first                      700
 Adrastus: Hyperesia, and the heights
 Of Gonoëssa; Ægium, with the towns
 That sprinkle all that far-extended coast,
 Pellene also and wide Helice
 With all their shores, were number'd in his train.             705
   From hollow Lacedæmon's glen profound,
 From Phare, Sparta, and from Messa, still
 Resounding with the ring-dove's amorous moan,
 From Brysia, from Augeia, from the rocks
 Of Laas, from Amycla, Otilus,                                  710
 And from the towers of Helos, at whose foot
 The surf of Ocean falls, came sixty barks
 With Menelaus. From the monarch's host
 The royal brother ranged his own apart,
 and panted for revenge of Helen's wrongs,                      715
 And of her sighs and tears.[24] From rank to rank,
 Conscious of dauntless might he pass'd, and sent
 Into all hearts the fervor of his own.
   Gerenian Nestor in thrice thirty ships
 Had brought his warriors; they from Pylus came,                720
 From blithe Arene, and from Thryos, built
 Fast by the fords of Alpheus, and from steep
 And stately Æpy. Their confederate powers
 Sent Amphigenia, Cyparissa veiled
 With broad redundance of funereal shades,                      725
 Pteleos and Helos, and of deathless fame
 Dorion. In Dorion erst the Muses met
 Threïcian Thamyris, on his return
 From Eurytus, Oechalian Chief, and hush'd
 His song for ever; for he dared to vaunt                       730
 That he would pass in song even themselves
 The Muses, daughters of Jove Ægis-arm'd.
 They therefore, by his boast incensed, the bard
 Struck blind, and from his memory dash'd severe
 All traces of his once celestial strains.                      735
   Arcadia's sons, the dwellers at the foot
 Of mount Cyllene, where Æpytus sleeps
 Intomb'd; a generation bold in fight,
 And warriors hand to hand; the valiant men
 Of Pheneus, of Orchomenos by flocks                            740
 Grazed numberless, of Ripe, Stratia, bleak
 Enispe; Mantinea city fair,
 Stymphelus and Parrhasia, and the youth
 Of Tegea; royal Agapenor these,
 Ancæus' offspring, had in sixty ships                          745
 To Troy conducted; numerous was the crew,
 And skilled in arms, which every vessel brought,
 And Agamemnon had with barks himself
 Supplied them, for, of inland realms possessed,
 They little heeded maritime employs.[25]                       750
   The dwellers in Buprasium, on the shores
 Of pleasant Elis, and in all the land
 Myrsinus and the Hyrminian plain between,
 The rock Olenian, and the Alysian fount;
 These all obey'd four Chiefs, and galleys ten                  755
 Each Chief commanded, with Epeans filled.
 Amphimachus and Thalpius govern'd these,
 This, son of Cteatus, the other, sprung
 From Eurytus, and both of Actor's house.
 Diores, son of Amarynceus, those                               760
 Led on, and, for his godlike form renown'd,
 Polyxenus was Chieftain o'er the rest,
 Son of Agasthenes, Augeias' son.
   Dulichium, and her sister sacred isles
 The Echinades, whose opposite aspect                           765
 Looks toward Elis o'er the curling waves,
 Sent forth their powers with Meges at their head,
 Brave son of Phyleus, warrior dear to Jove.
 Phyleus in wrath, his father's house renounced,
 And to Dulichium wandering, there abode.                       770
 Twice twenty ships had follow'd Meges forth.
   Ulysses led the Cephallenians bold.
 From Ithaca, and from the lofty woods
 Of Neritus they came, and from the rocks
 Of rude Ægilipa. Crocylia these,                               775
 And these Zacynthus own'd; nor yet a few
 From Samos, from Epirus join'd their aid,
 And from the opposite Ionian shore.
 Them, wise as Jove himself, Ulysses led
 In twelve fair ships, with crimson prows adorn'd.              780
   From forty ships, Thoas, Andræmon's son,
 Had landed his Ætolians; for extinct
 Was Meleager, and extinct the house
 Of Oeneus all, nor Oeneus self survived;
 To Thoas therefore had Ætolia fallen;                          785
 Him Olenos, Pylene, Chalcis served,
 With Pleuro, and the rock-bound Calydon.
   Idomeneus, spear-practised warrior, led
 The numerous Cretans. In twice forty ships
 He brought his powers to Troy. The warlike bands               790
 Of Cnossus, of Gortyna wall'd around,
 Of Lyctus, of Lycastus chalky-white,
 Of Phæstus, of Miletus, with the youth
 Of Rhytius him obey'd; nor these were all,
 But others from her hundred cities Crete                       795
 Sent forth, all whom Idomeneus the brave
 Commanded, with Meriones in arms
 Dread as the God of battles blood-imbrued.
   Nine ships Tlepolemus, Herculean-born,
 For courage famed and for superior size,                       800
 Fill'd with his haughty Rhodians. They, in tribes
 Divided, dwelt distinct. Jelyssus these,
 Those Lindus, and the rest the shining soil
 Of white Camirus occupied. Him bore
 To Hercules, (what time he led the nymph                       805
 From Ephyre, and from Sellea's banks,
 After full many a city laid in dust.)
 Astyocheia. In his father's house
 Magnificent, Tlepolemus spear-famed
 Had scarce up-grown to manhood's lusty prime                   810
 When he his father's hoary uncle slew
 Lycimnius, branch of Mars. Then built he ships,
 And, pushing forth to sea, fled from the threats
 Of the whole house of Hercules. Huge toil
 And many woes he suffer'd, till at length                      815
 At Rhodes arriving, in three separate bands
 He spread himself abroad, Much was he loved
 Of all-commanding Jove, who bless'd him there,
 And shower'd abundant riches on them all.
   Nireus of Syma, with three vessels came;                     820
 Nireus, Aglæa's offspring, whom she bore
 To Charopus the King; Nireus in form,
 (The faultless son of Peleus sole except,)
 Loveliest of all the Grecians call'd to Troy.
 But he was heartless and his men were few.[26]                 825
   Nisyrus, Casus, Crapathus, and Cos
 Where reign'd Eurypylus, with all the isles
 Calydnæ named, under two valiant Chiefs
 Their troops disposed; Phidippus one, and one,
 His brother Antiphus, begotten both                            830
 By Thessalus, whom Hercules begat.
 In thirty ships they sought the shores of Troy.
   The warriors of Pelasgian Argos next,
 Of Alus, and Alope, and who held
 Trechina, Phthia, and for women fair                           835
 Distinguish'd, Hellas; known by various names
 Hellenes, Myrmidons, Achæans, them
 In fifty ships embark'd, Achilles ruled.
 But these were deaf to the hoarse-throated war,
 For there was none to draw their battle forth,                 840
 And give them just array. Close in his ships
 Achilles, after loss of the bright-hair'd
 Brisëis, lay, resentful; her obtained
 Not without labor hard, and after sack
 Of Thebes and of Lyrnessus, where he slew                      845
 Two mighty Chiefs, sons of Evenus both,
 Epistrophus and Mynes, her he mourn'd,
 And for her sake self-prison'd in his fleet
 And idle lay, though soon to rise again.
   From Phylace, and from the flowery fields                    850
 Of Pyrrhasus, a land to Ceres given
 By consecration, and from Iton green,
 Mother of flocks; from Antron by the sea,
 And from the grassy meads of Pteleus, came
 A people, whom while yet he lived, the brave                   855
 Protesilaüs led; but him the earth
 Now cover'd dark and drear. A wife he left,
 To rend in Phylace her bleeding cheeks,
 And an unfinish'd mansion. First he died
 Of all the Greeks; for as he leap'd to land                    860
 Foremost by far, a Dardan struck him dead.
 Nor had his troops, though filled with deep regret,
 No leader; them Podarces led, a Chief
 Like Mars in battle, brother of the slain,
 But younger born, and from Iphiclus sprung                     865
 Who sprang from Phylacus the rich in flocks.
 But him Protesilaüs, as in years,
 So also in desert of arms excell'd
 Heroic, whom his host, although they saw
 Podarces at their head, still justly mourn'd;                  870
 For he was fierce in battle, and at Troy
 With forty sable-sided ships arrived.
   Eleven galleys, Pheræ on the lake,
 And Boebe, and Iölchus, and the vale
 Of Glaphyræ supplied with crews robust                         875
 Under Eumelus; him Alcestis, praised
 For beauty above all her sisters fair,
 In Thessaly to King Admetus bore.
   Methone, and Olizon's craggy coast,
 With Meliboea and Thaumasia sent                               880
 Seven ships; their rowers were good archers all,
 And every vessel dipped into the wave
 Her fifty oars. Them Philoctetes, skill'd
 To draw with sinewy arm the stubborn bow,
 Commanded; but he suffering anguish keen                       885
 Inflicted by a serpent's venom'd tooth,
 Lay sick in Lemnos; him the Grecians there
 Had left sore-wounded, but were destined soon
 To call to dear remembrance whom they left.
 Meantime, though sorrowing for his sake, his troops            890
 Yet wanted not a chief; them Medon ruled,
 Whom Rhena to the far-famed conqueror bore
 Oïleus, fruit of their unsanction'd loves.
   From Tricca, from Ithome rough and rude
 With rocks and glens, and from Oechalia, town                  895
 Of Eurytus Oechalian-born, came forth
 Their warlike youth by Podalirius led
 And by Machaon, healers both expert
 Of all disease, and thirty ships were theirs.
   The men of Ormenus, and from beside                          900
 The fountain Hypereia, from the tops
 Of chalky Titan, and Asteria's band;
 Them ruled Eurypylus, Evæmon's son
 Illustrious, whom twice twenty ships obeyed.
   Orthe, Gyrtone, Oloösson white,                              905
 Argissa and Helone; they their youth
 Gave to control of Polypoetes, son
 Undaunted of Pirithoüs, son of Jove.
 Him, to Pirithoüs, (on the self-same day
 When he the Centaurs punish'd and pursued                      910
 Sheer to Æthicæ driven from Pelion's heights
 The shaggy race) Hippodamia bore.
 Nor he alone them led. With him was join'd
 Leonteus dauntless warrior, from the bold
 Coronus sprung, who Cæneus call'd his sire.                    915
 Twice twenty ships awaited their command.
   Guneus from Cyphus twenty and two ships
 Led forth; the Enienes him obey'd,
 And the robust Peroebi, warriors bold,
 And dwellers on Dodona's wintry brow.                          920
 To these were join'd who till the pleasant fields
 Where Titaresius winds; the gentle flood
 Pours into Peneus all his limpid stores,
 But with the silver-eddied Peneus flows
 Unmixt as oil;[27] for Stygian is his stream,                  925
 And Styx is the inviolable oath.
   Last with his forty ships, Tenthredon's son,
 The active Prothoüs came. From the green banks
 Of Peneus his Magnesians far and near
 He gather'd, and from Pelion forest-crown'd.                   930
   These were the princes and the Chiefs of Greece.
 Say, Muse, who most in personal desert
 Excell'd, and whose were the most warlike steeds
 And of the noblest strain. Their hue, their age,
 Their height the same, swift as the winds of heaven            935
 And passing far all others, were the mares
 Which drew Eumelus; on Pierian hills
 The heavenly Archer of the silver bow,
 Apollo, bred them. But of men, the chief
 Was Telamonian Ajax, while wrath-bound                         940
 Achilles lay; for he was worthier far,
 And more illustrious were the steeds which bore
 The noble son of Peleus; but revenge
 On Agamemnon leader of the host
 Was all his thought, while in his gallant ships                945
 Sharp-keel'd to cut the foaming flood, he lay.
 Meantime, along the margin of the deep
 His soldiers hurled the disk, or bent the bow.
 Or to its mark dispatch'd the quivering lance.
 Beside the chariots stood the unharness'd steeds               950
 Cropping the lotus, or at leisure browsed
 On celery wild, from watery freshes gleaned.
 Beneath the shadow of the sheltering tent
 The chariot stood, while they, the charioteers
 Roam'd here and there the camp, their warlike lord             955
 Regretting sad, and idle for his sake.
   As if a fire had burnt along the ground,
 Such seem'd their march; earth groan'd their steps beneath;
 As when in Arimi, where fame reports
 Typhoëus stretch'd, the fires of angry Jove                    960
 Down darted, lash the ground, so groan'd the earth
 Beneath them, for they traversed swift the plain.
   And now from Jove, with heavy tidings charged,
 Wind-footed Iris to the Trojans came.
 It was the time of council, when the throng                    965
 At Priam's gate assembled, young and old:
 Them, standing nigh, the messenger of heaven
 Accosted with the voice of Priam's son,
 Polites. He, confiding in his speed
 For sure deliverance, posted was abroad                        970
 On Æsyeta's tomb,[28] intent to watch
 When the Achaian host should leave the fleet.
 The Goddess in his form thus them address'd.
   Oh, ancient Monarch! Ever, evermore
 Speaking, debating, as if all were peace;                      975
 I have seen many a bright-embattled field,
 But never one so throng'd as this to-day.
 For like the leaves, or like the sands they come
 Swept by the winds, to gird the city round.
   But Hector! chiefly thee I shall exhort.                     980
 In Priam's spacious city are allies
 Collected numerous, and of nations wide
 Disseminated various are the tongues.
 Let every Chief his proper troop command,
 And marshal his own citizens to war.                           985
   She ceased; her Hector heard intelligent,
 And quick dissolved the council. All took arms.
 Wide flew the gates; forth rush'd the multitude,
 Horsemen and foot, and boisterous stir arose.
 In front of Ilium, distant on the plain,                       990
 Clear all around from all obstruction, stands
 An eminence high-raised, by mortal men
 Call'd Bateia, but the Gods the tomb
 Have named it of Myrinna swift in fight.
 Troy and her aids there set the battle forth.                  995
   Huge Priameian Hector, fierce in arms,
 Led on the Trojans; with whom march'd the most
 And the most valiant, dexterous at the spear.
   Æneas, (on the hills of Ida him
 The lovely Venus to Anchises bore,                            1000
 A Goddess by a mortal man embraced)
 Led the Dardanians; but not he alone;
 Archilochus with him and Acamas
 Stood forth, the offspring of Antenor, each,
 And well instructed in all forms of war.                      1005
   Fast by the foot of Ida, where they drank
 The limpid waters of Æsepus, dwelt
 The Trojans of Zeleia. Rich were they
 And led by Pandarus, Lycaon's son,
 Whom Phoebus self graced with the bow he bore.                1010
   Apæsus, Adrastea, Terie steep,
 And Pitueia--them, Amphius clad
 In mail thick-woven, and Adrastus, ruled.
 They were the sons of the Percosian seer
 Merops, expert in the soothsayers' art                        1015
 Above all other; he his sons forbad
 The bloody fight, but disobedient they
 Still sought it, for their destiny prevailed.
   The warriors of Percote, and who dwelt
 In Practius, in Arisba, city fair,                            1020
 In Sestus, in Abydus, march'd behind
 Princely Hyrtacides; his tawny steeds,
 Strong-built and tall, from Sellcentes' bank
 And from Arisba, had him borne to Troy.
   Hippothous and Pilmus, branch of Mars,                      1025
 Both sons of Lethus the Pelasgian, they,
 Forth from Larissa for her fertile soil
 Far-famed, the spear-expert Pelasgians brought.
   The Thracians (all whom Hellespont includes
 Within the banks of his swift-racing tide)                    1030
 Heroic Acamas and Pirous led.
 Euphemus, offspring of Troezenus, son
 Of Jove-protected Ceas, was the Chief
 Whom the spear-arm'd Ciconian band obey'd.
   Pæonia's archers follow'd to the field                      1035
 Pyræchmes; they from Amydon remote
 Were drawn, where Axius winds; broad Axius, stream
 Diffused delightful over all the vale.
   Pylæmenes, a Chief of giant might
 From the Eneti for forest-mules renowned                      1040
 March'd with his Paphlagonians; dwellers they
 In Sesamus and in Cytorus were,
 And by the stream Parthenius; Cromna these
 Sent forth, and those Ægialus on the lip
 And margin of the land, and some, the heights                 1045
 Of Erythini, rugged and abrupt.
   Epistrophus and Odius from the land
 Of Alybe, a region far remote,
 Where veins of silver wind, led to the field
 The Halizonians. With the Mysians came                        1050
 Chromis their Chief, and Ennomus; him skill'd
 In augury, but skill'd in vain, his art
 Saved not, but by Æacides[29] the swift,
 With others in the Xanthus[30] slain, he died.
 Ascanius, lovely youth, and Phorcis, led                      1055
 The Phrygians from Ascania far remote,
 Ardent for battle. The Moeonian race,
 (All those who at the foot of Tmolus dwelt,)
 Mesthles and Antiphus, fraternal pair,
 Sons of Pylæmenes commanded, both                             1060
 Of the Gygæan lake in Lydia born.
   Amphimachus and Nastes led to fight
 The Carians, people of a barbarous speech,[31]
 With the Milesians, and the mountain-race
 Of wood-crown'd Phthira, and who dwelt beside                 1065
 Mæander, or on Mycale sublime.
 Them led Amphimachus and Nastes, sons
 Renown'd of Nomion. Like a simple girl
 Came forth Amphimachus with gold bedight,
 But him his trappings from a woful death                      1070
 Saved not, when whirled beneath the bloody tide
 To Peleus' stormy son his spoils he left.
   Sarpedon with the noble Glaucus led
 Their warriors forth from farthest Lycia, where
 Xanthus deep-dimpled rolls his oozy tide.                     1075



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK III.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD BOOK.


The armies meet. Paris throws out a challenge to the Grecian Princes. Menelaus accepts it. The terms of the combat are adjusted solemnly by Agamemnon on the part of Greece, and by Priam on the part of Troy. The combat ensues, in which Paris is vanquished, whom yet Venus rescues. Agamemnon demands from the Trojans a performance of the covenant.



                             BOOK III.


 [1]Now marshall'd all beneath their several chiefs,
 With deafening shouts, and with the clang of arms,
 The host of Troy advanced. Such clang is heard
 Along the skies, when from incessant showers
 Escaping, and from winter's cold, the cranes                     5
 Take wing, and over Ocean speed away;[2]
 Wo to the land of dwarfs! prepared they fly
 For slaughter of the small Pygmæan race.
 Not so the Greeks; they breathing valor came,
 But silent all, and all with faithful hearts                    10
 On succor mutual to the last, resolved.
 As when the south wind wraps the mountain top
 In mist the shepherd's dread, but to the thief
 Than night itself more welcome, and the eye
 Is bounded in its ken to a stone's cast,                        15
 Such from beneath their footsteps dun and dense
 Uprose the dust, for swift they cross the plain.
   When, host to host opposed, full nigh they stood,
 Then Alexander[3] in the Trojan van
 Advanced was seen, all beauteous as a God;                      20
 His leopard's skin, his falchion and his bow
 Hung from his shoulder; bright with heads of brass
 He shook two spears, and challenged to the fight
 The bravest Argives there, defying all.
 Him, striding haughtily his host before                         25
 When Menelaus saw, such joy he felt
 As hunger-pinch'd the lion feels, by chance
 Conducted to some carcase huge, wild goat,
 Or antler'd stag; huntsmen and baying hounds
 Disturb not _him_, he gorges in their sight.                    30
 So Menelaus at the view rejoiced
 Of lovely Alexander, for he hoped
 His punishment at hand. At once, all armed,
 Down from his chariot to the ground he leap'd
   When godlike Paris him in front beheld                        35
 Conspicuous, his heart smote him, and his fate
 Avoiding, far within the lines he shrank.[4]
 As one, who in some woodland height descrying
 A serpent huge, with sudden start recoils,
 His limbs shake under him; with cautious step                   40
 He slow retires; fear blanches cold his cheeks;
 So beauteous Alexander at the sight
 Of Atreus' son dishearten'd sore, the ranks
 Of haughty Trojans enter'd deep again:
 Him Hector eyed, and thus rebuked severe.                       45
   Curst Paris! Fair deceiver! Woman-mad!
 I would to all in heaven that thou hadst died
 Unborn, at least unmated! happier far
 Than here to have incurr'd this public shame!
 Well may the Grecians taunt, and laughing loud,                 50
 Applaud the champion, slow indeed to fight
 And pusillanimous, but wondrous fair.
 Wast thou as timid, tell me, when with those
 Thy loved companions in that famed exploit,
 Thou didst consort with strangers, and convey                   55
 From distant lands a warrior's beauteous bride
 To be thy father's and his people's curse,
 Joy to our foes, but to thyself reproach?
 Behold her husband! Darest thou not to face
 The warlike prince? Now learn how brave a Chief                 60
 Thou hast defrauded of his blooming spouse.
 Thy lyre, thy locks, thy person, specious gifts
 Of partial Venus, will avail thee nought,
 Once mixt by Menelaus with the dust.
 But we are base ourselves, or long ago,                         65
 For all thy numerous mischiefs, thou hadst slept
 Secure beneath a coverlet[5] of stone.[6]
   Then godlike Alexander thus replied.
 Oh Hector, true in temper as the axe
 Which in the shipwright's hand the naval plank                  70
 Divides resistless, doubling all his force,
 Such is thy dauntless spirit whose reproach
 Perforce I own, nor causeless nor unjust.
 Yet let the gracious gifts uncensured pass
 Of golden Venus; man may not reject                             75
 The glorious bounty by the Gods bestow'd,
 Nor follows their beneficence our choice.
 But if thy pleasure be that I engage
 With Menelaus in decision fierce
 Of desperate combat bid the host of Troy                        80
 And bid the Grecians sit; then face to face
 Commit us, in the vacant field between,
 To fight for Helen and for all her wealth.
 Who strongest proves, and conquers, he, of her
 And hers possess'd shall bear them safe away;                   85
 While ye (peace sworn and firm accord) shall dwell
 At Troy, and these to Argos shall return
 And to Achaia praised for women fair.
   He ceased, whom Hector heard with joy; he moved
 Into the middle space, and with his spear                       90
 Advanced athwart push'd back the Trojan van,
 And all stood fast. Meantime at him the Greeks
 Discharged full volley, showering thick around
 From bow and sling;[7] when with a mighty voice
 Thus Agamemnon, leader of the host.                             95
   Argives! Be still--shoot not, ye sons of Greece!
 Hector bespeaks attention. Hear the Chief!
   He said, at once the Grecians ceased to shoot,
 And all sat silent. Hector then began.
   Hear me, ye Trojans, and ye Greeks mail-arm'd,               100
 While I shall publish in your ears the words
 Of Alexander, author of our strife.
 Trojans, he bids, and Grecians on the field
 Their arms dispose; while he, the hosts between,
 With warlike Menelaus shall in fight                           105
 Contend for Helen, and for all her wealth.
 Who strongest proves, and conquers, he, of her
 And hers possess'd, shall bear them safe away,
 And oaths of amity shall bind the rest.
   He ceased, and all deep silence held, amazed;                110
 When valiant Menelaus thus began.
   Hear now me also, on whose aching heart
 These woes have heaviest fallen. At last I hope
 Decision near, Trojans and Greeks between,
 For ye have suffer'd in my quarrel much,                       115
 And much by Paris, author of the war.
 Die he who must, and peace be to the rest.
 But ye shall hither bring two lambs, one white,
 The other black;[8] this to the Earth devote,
 That to the Sun. We shall ourselves supply                     120
 A third for Jove. Then bring ye Priam forth,
 Himself to swear the covenant, (for his sons
 Are faithless) lest the oath of Jove be scorn'd.
 Young men are ever of unstable mind;
 But when an elder interferes, he views                         125
 Future and past together, and insures
 The compact, to both parties, uninfringed.
   So Menelaus spake; and in all hearts
 Awaken'd joyful hope that there should end
 War's long calamities. Alighted each,                          130
 And drew his steeds into the lines. The field
 Glitter'd with arms put off, and side by side,
 Ranged orderly, while the interrupted war
 Stood front to front, small interval between.
   Then Hector to the city sent in haste                        135
 Two heralds for the lambs, and to invite
 Priam; while Agamemnon, royal Chief,
 Talthybius to the Grecian fleet dismiss'd
 For a third lamb to Jove; nor he the voice
 Of noble Agamemnon disobey'd.                                  140
   Iris, ambassadress of heaven, the while,
 To Helen came. Laödice she seem'd,
 Loveliest of all the daughters of the house
 Of Priam, wedded to Antenor's son,
 King Helicäon. Her she found within,                           145
 An ample web magnificent she wove,[9]
 Inwrought with numerous conflicts for her sake
 Beneath the hands of Mars endured by Greeks
 Mail-arm'd, and Trojans of equestrian fame.
 Swift Iris, at her side, her thus address'd.                   150
   Haste, dearest nymph! a wondrous sight behold!
 Greeks brazen-mail'd, and Trojans steed-renown'd.
 So lately on the cruel work of Mars
 Intent and hot for mutual havoc, sit
 Silent; the war hath paused, and on his shield                 155
 Each leans, his long spear planted at his side.
 Paris and Menelaus, warrior bold,
 With quivering lances shall contend for thee,
 And thou art his who conquers; his for ever.
   So saying, the Goddess into Helen's soul                     160
 Sweetest desire infused to see again
 Her former Lord, her parents, and her home.
 At once o'ermantled with her snowy veil
 She started forth, and as she went let fall
 A tender tear; not unaccompanied                               165
 She went, but by two maidens of her train
 Attended, Æthra, Pittheus' daughter fair,
 And soft-eyed Clymene. Their hasty steps
 Convey'd them quickly to the Scæan gate.
 There Priam, Panthous, Clytius, Lampus sat,                    170
 Thymoetes, Hicetaon, branch of Mars,
 Antenor and Ucalegon the wise,
 All, elders of the people; warriors erst,
 But idle now through age, yet of a voice
 Still indefatigable as the fly's[10]                           175
 Which perch'd among the boughs sends forth at noon
 Through all the grove his slender ditty sweet.
 Such sat those Trojan leaders on the tower,
 Who, soon as Helen on the steps they saw,
 In accents quick, but whisper'd, thus remark'd.                180
   Trojans and Grecians wage, with fair excuse,
 Long war for so much beauty.[11] Oh, how like
 In feature to the Goddesses above!
 Pernicious loveliness! Ah, hence away,
 Resistless as thou art and all divine,                         185
 Nor leave a curse to us, and to our sons.
   So they among themselves; but Priam call'd
 Fair Helen to his side.[12] My daughter dear!
 Come, sit beside me. Thou shalt hence discern
 Thy former Lord, thy kindred and thy friends.                  190
 I charge no blame on thee. The Gods have caused,
 Not thou, this lamentable war to Troy.[13]
 Name to me yon Achaian Chief for bulk
 Conspicuous, and for port. Taller indeed
 I may perceive than he; but with these eyes                    195
 Saw never yet such dignity, and grace.
 Declare his name. Some royal Chief he seems.
   To whom thus Helen, loveliest of her sex,
 My other Sire! by me for ever held
 In reverence, and with filial fear beloved!                    200
 Oh that some cruel death had been my choice,
 Rather than to abandon, as I did,
 All joys domestic, matrimonial bliss,
 Brethren, dear daughter, and companions dear,
 A wanderer with thy son. Yet I alas!                           205
 Died not, and therefore now, live but to weep.
 But I resolve thee. Thou behold'st the son
 Of Atreus, Agamemnon, mighty king,
 In arms heroic, gracious in the throne,
 And, (though it shame me now to call him such,)                210
 By nuptial ties a brother once to me.
   Then him the ancient King-admiring, said.
 Oh blest Atrides, happy was thy birth,
 And thy lot glorious, whom this gallant host
 So numerous, of the sons of Greece obey!                       215
 To vine-famed Phrygia, in my days of youth,
 I journey'd; many Phrygians there I saw,
 Brave horsemen, and expert; they were the powers
 Of Otreus and of Mygdon, godlike Chief,
 And on the banks of Sangar's stream encamp'd.                  220
 I march'd among them, chosen in that war
 Ally of Phrygia, and it was her day
 Of conflict with the man-defying race,
 The Amazons; yet multitudes like these
 Thy bright-eyed Greeks, I saw not even there.                  225
   The venerable King observing next
 Ulysses, thus inquired. My child, declare
 Him also. Shorter by the head he seems
 Than Agamemnon, Atreus' mighty son,
 But shoulder'd broader, and of ampler chest;                   230
 He hath disposed his armor on the plain,
 But like a ram, himself the warrior ranks
 Ranges majestic; like a ram full-fleeced
 By numerous sheep encompass'd snowy-white.
   To whom Jove's daughter Helen thus replied.                  235
 In him the son of old Laërtes know,
 Ulysses; born in Ithaca the rude,
 But of a piercing wit, and deeply wise.
   Then answer thus, Antenor sage return'd.
 Princess thou hast described him: hither once                  240
 The noble Ithacan, on thy behalf
 Ambassador with Menelaus, came:
 Beneath my roof, with hospitable fare
 Friendly I entertained them. Seeing then
 Occasion opportune, I closely mark'd                           245
 The genius and the talents of the Chiefs,
 And this I noted well; that when they stood
 Amid the assembled counsellors of Troy,
 Then Menelaus his advantage show'd,
 Who by the shoulders overtopp'd his friend.                    250
 But when both sat, Ulysses in his air
 Had more of state and dignity than he.
 In the delivery of a speech address'd
 To the full senate, Menelaus used
 Few words, but to the matter, fitly ranged,                    255
 And with much sweetness utter'd; for in loose
 And idle play of ostentatious terms
 He dealt not, though he were the younger man.
 But when the wise Ulysses from his seat
 Had once arisen, he would his downcast eyes                    260
 So rivet on the earth, and with a hand
 That seem'd untutor'd in its use, so hold
 His sceptre, swaying it to neither side,
 That hadst thou seen him, thou hadst thought him, sure,
 Some chafed and angry idiot, passion-fixt.                     265
 Yet, when at length, the clear and mellow base
 Of his deep voice brake forth, and he let fall
 His chosen words like flakes of feather'd snow,
 None then might match Ulysses; leisure, then,
 Found none to wonder at his noble form.                        270
   The third of whom the venerable king
 Inquired, was Ajax.--Yon Achaian tall,
 Whose head and shoulders tower above the rest,
 And of such bulk prodigious--who is he?
   Him answer'd Helen, loveliest of her sex.                    275
 A bulwark of the Greeks. In him thou seest
 Gigantic Ajax. Opposite appear
 The Cretans, and among the Chiefs of Crete
 stands, like a God, Idomeneus. Him oft
 From Crete arrived, was Menelaüs wont                          280
 To entertain; and others now I see,
 Achaians, whom I could recall to mind,
 And give to each his name; but two brave youths
 I yet discern not; for equestrian skill
 One famed, and one a boxer never foiled;                       285
 My brothers; born of Leda; sons of Jove;
 Castor and Pollux. Either they abide
 In lovely Sparta still, or if they came,
 Decline the fight, by my disgrace abash'd
 And the reproaches which have fallen on me.[14]                290
   She said; but they already slept inhumed
 In Lacedemon, in their native soil.
   And now the heralds, through the streets of Troy
 Charged with the lambs, and with a goat-skin filled
 With heart-exhilarating wine prepared                          295
 For that divine solemnity, return'd.
 Idæus in his hand a beaker bore
 Resplendent, with its fellow cups of gold,
 And thus he summon'd ancient Priam forth.
   Son of Laömedon, arise. The Chiefs                           300
 Call thee, the Chiefs of Ilium and of Greece.
 Descend into the plain. We strike a truce,
 And need thine oath to bind it. Paris fights
 With warlike Menelaüs for his spouse;
 Their spears decide the strife. The conqueror wins             305
 Helen and all her treasures. We, thenceforth,
 (Peace sworn and amity) shall dwell secure
 In Troy, while they to Argos shall return
 And to Achaia praised for women fair.
   He spake, and Priam, shuddering, bade his train              310
 Prepare his steeds; they sedulous obey'd.
 First, Priam mounting, backward stretch'd the reins;
 Antenor, next, beside him sat, and through
 The Scæan gate they drove into the plain.
 Arriving at the hosts of Greece and Troy                       315
 They left the chariot, and proceeded both
 Into the interval between the hosts.
 Then uprose Agamemnon, and uprose
 All-wise Ulysses. Next, the heralds came
 Conspicuous forward, expediting each                           320
 The ceremonial; they the beaker fill'd
 With wine, and to the hands of all the kings
 Minister'd water. Agamemnon then
 Drawing his dagger which he ever bore
 Appendant to his heavy falchion's sheath,                      325
 Cut off the forelocks of the lambs,[15] of which
 The heralds gave to every Grecian Chief
 A portion, and to all the Chiefs of Troy.
 Then Agamemnon raised his hands, and pray'd.
   Jove, Father, who from Ida stretchest forth                  330
 Thine arm omnipotent, o'erruling all,
 And thou, all-seeing and all-hearing Sun,
 Ye Rivers, and thou conscious Earth, and ye
 Who under earth on human kind avenge
 Severe, the guilt of violated oaths,                           335
 Hear ye, and ratify what now we swear!
 Should Paris slay the hero amber-hair'd,
 My brother Menelaüs, Helen's wealth
 And Helen's self are his, and all our host
 Shall home return to Greece; but should it chance              340
 That Paris fall by Menelaüs' hand,
 Then Troy shall render back what she detains,
 With such amercement as is meet, a sum
 To be remember'd in all future times.
 Which penalty should Priam and his sons                        345
 Not pay, though Paris fall, then here in arms
 I will contend for payment of the mulct
 My due, till, satisfied, I close the war.
   He said, and with his ruthless steel the lambs
 Stretch'd panting all, but soon they ceased to pant,           350
 For mortal was the stroke.[16] Then drawing forth
 Wine from the beaker, they with brimming cups
 Hail'd the immortal Gods, and pray'd again,
 And many a Grecian thus and Trojan spake.
   All-glorious Jove, and ye the powers of heaven,              355
 Whoso shall violate this contract first,
 So be the brains of them and of their sons
 Pour'd out, as we this wine pour on the earth,
 And may their wives bring forth to other men!
   So they: but them Jove heard not. Then arose                 360
 Priam, the son of Dardanus, and said,
   Hear me, ye Trojans and ye Greeks well-arm'd.
 Hence back to wind-swept Ilium I return,
 Unable to sustain the sight, my son
 With warlike Menelaüs match'd in arms.                         365
 Jove knows, and the immortal Gods, to whom
 Of both, this day is preordain'd the last.
   So spake the godlike monarch, and disposed
 Within the royal chariot all the lambs;
 Then, mounting, check'd the reins; Antenor next                370
 Ascended, and to Ilium both return'd.
   First, Hector and Ulysses, noble Chief,
 Measured the ground; then taking lots for proof
 Who of the combatants should foremost hurl
 His spear, they shook them in a brazen casque;                 375
 Meantime the people raised their hands on high,
 And many a Grecian thus and Trojan prayed.
   Jove, Father, who on Ida seated, seest
 And rulest all below, glorious in power!
 Of these two champions, to the drear abodes                    380
 Of Ades him appoint who furnish'd first
 The cause of strife between them, and let peace
 Oath-bound, and amity unite the rest!
   So spake the hosts; then Hector shook the lots,
 Majestic Chief, turning his face aside.                        385
 Forth sprang the lot of Paris. They in ranks
 Sat all, where stood the fiery steeds of each,
 And where his radiant arms lay on the field.
 Illustrious Alexander his bright arms
 Put on, fair Helen's paramour. [17]He clasp'd                  390
 His polish'd greaves with silver studs secured;
 His brother's corselet to his breast he bound,
 Lycaon's, apt to his own shape and size,
 And slung athwart his shoulders, bright emboss'd,
 His brazen sword; his massy buckler broad                      395
 He took, and to his graceful head his casque
 Adjusted elegant, which, as he moved,
 Its bushy crest waved dreadful; last he seized,
 Well fitted to his gripe, his ponderous spear.
 Meantime the hero Menelaüs made                                400
 Like preparation, and his arms put on.
   When thus, from all the multitude apart,
 Both combatants had arm'd, with eyes that flash'd
 Defiance, to the middle space they strode,
 Trojans and Greeks between. Astonishment                       405
 Seized all beholders. On the measured ground
 Full near they stood, each brandishing on high
 His massy spear, and each was fiery wroth.
   First, Alexander his long-shadow'd spear
 Sent forth, and on his smooth shield's surface struck          410
 The son of Atreus, but the brazen guard
 Pierced not, for at the disk, with blunted point
 Reflex, his ineffectual weapon stay'd.
 Then Menelaüs to the fight advanced
 Impetuous, after prayer offer'd to Jove.[18]                   415
   King over all! now grant me to avenge
 My wrongs on Alexander; now subdue
 The aggressor under me; that men unborn
 May shudder at the thought of faith abused,
 And hospitality with rape repaid.                              420
 He said, and brandishing his massy spear,
 Dismiss'd it. Through the burnish'd buckler broad
 Of Priam's son the stormy weapon flew,
 Transpierced his costly hauberk, and the vest
 Ripp'd on his flank; but with a sideward bend                  425
 He baffled it, and baulk'd the dreadful death.
   Then Menelaüs drawing his bright blade,
 Swung it aloft, and on the hairy crest
 Smote him; but shiver'd into fragments small
 The falchion at the stroke fell from his hand.                 430
 Vexation fill'd him; to the spacious heavens
 He look'd, and with a voice of wo exclaim'd--
   Jupiter! of all powers by man adored
 To me most adverse! Confident I hoped
 Revenge for Paris' treason, but my sword                       435
 Is shivered, and I sped my spear in vain.
   So saying, he sprang on him, and his long crest
 Seized fast; then, turning, drew him by that hold
 Toward the Grecian host. The broider'd band
 That underbraced his helmet at the chin,                       440
 Strain'd to his smooth neck with a ceaseless force,
 Chok'd him; and now had Menelaus won
 Deathless renown, dragging him off the field,
 But Venus, foam-sprung Goddess, feeling quick
 His peril imminent, snapp'd short the brace                    445
 Though stubborn, by a slaughter'd[19] ox supplied,
 And the void helmet follow'd as he pull'd.
 That prize the Hero, whirling it aloft,
 Threw to his Greeks, who caught it and secured,
 Then with vindictive strides he rush'd again                   450
 On Paris, spear in hand; but him involved
 In mist opaque Venus with ease divine
 Snatch'd thence, and in his chamber placed him, fill'd
 With scents odorous, spirit-soothing sweets.
 Nor stay'd the Goddess, but at once in quest                   455
 Of Helen went; her on a lofty tower
 She found, where many a damsel stood of Troy,
 And twitch'd her fragrant robe. In form she seem'd
 An ancient matron, who, while Helen dwelt
 In Lacedæmon, her unsullied wool                               460
 Dress'd for her, faithfullest of all her train.
 Like her disguised the Goddess thus began.
   Haste--Paris calls thee--on his sculptured couch,
 (Sparkling alike his looks and his attire)
 He waits thy wish'd return. Thou wouldst not dream             465
 That he had fought; he rather seems prepared
 For dance, or after dance, for soft repose.
   So saying, she tumult raised in Helen's mind.
 Yet soon as by her symmetry of neck,
 By her love-kindling breasts and luminous eyes                 470
 She knew the Goddess, her she thus bespake.
   Ah whence, deceitful deity! thy wish
 Now to ensnare me? Wouldst thou lure me, say,
 To some fair city of Mæonian name
 Or Phrygian, more remote from Sparta still?                    475
 Hast thou some human favorite also there?
 Is it because Atrides hath prevailed
 To vanquish Paris, and would bear me home
 Unworthy as I am, that thou attempt'st
 Again to cheat me? Go thyself--sit thou                        480
 Beside him--for his sake renounce the skies;
 Watch him, weep for him; till at length his wife
 He deign to make thee, or perchance his slave.
 I go not (now to go were shame indeed)
 To dress his couch; nor will I be the jest                     485
 Of all my sex in Ilium. Oh! my griefs
 Are infinite, and more than I can bear.
   To whom, the foam-sprung Goddess, thus incensed.
 Ah wretch! provoke not me; lest in my wrath
 Abandoning thee, I not hate thee less                          490
 Than now I fondly love thee, and beget
 Such detestation of thee in all hearts,
 Grecian and Trojan, that thou die abhorr'd.
   The Goddess ceased. Jove's daughter, Helen, fear'd,
 And, in her lucid veil close wrapt around,                     495
 Silent retired, of all those Trojan dames
 Unseen, and Venus led, herself, the way.
 Soon then as Alexander's fair abode
 They reach'd, her maidens quick their tasks resumed,
 And she to her own chamber lofty-roof'd                        500
 Ascended, loveliest of her sex. A seat
 For Helen, daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd,
 To Paris opposite, the Queen of smiles
 Herself disposed; but with averted eyes
 She sat before him, and him keen reproach'd.                   505
   Thou hast escaped.--Ah would that thou hadst died
 By that heroic arm, mine husband's erst!
 Thou once didst vaunt thee in address and strength
 Superior. Go then--challenge yet again
 The warlike Menelaüs forth in fight.                           510
 But hold. The hero of the amber locks
 Provoke no more so rashly, lest the point
 Of his victorious spear soon stretch thee dead.
   She ended, to whom Paris thus replied.
 Ah Helen, wound me not with taunt severe!                      515
 Me, Menelaüs, by Minerva's aid,
 Hath vanquish'd now, who may hereafter, him.
 We also have our Gods. But let us love.
 For never since the day when thee I bore
 From pleasant Lacedæmon o'er the waves                         520
 To Cranäe's fair isle, and first enjoy'd
 Thy beauty, loved I as I love thee now,
 Or felt such sweetness of intense desire.
   He spake, and sought his bed, whom follow'd soon
 Jove's daughter, reconciled to his embrace.                    525
   But Menelaüs like a lion ranged
 The multitude, inquiring far and near
 For Paris lost. Yet neither Trojan him
 Nor friend of Troy could show, whom, else, through love
 None had conceal'd, for him as death itself                    530
 All hated, but his going none had seen.
   Amidst them all then spake the King of men.
 Trojans, and Dardans, and allies of Troy!
 The warlike Menelaüs hath prevailed,
 As is most plain. Now therefore bring ye forth                 535
 Helen with all her treasures, also bring
 Such large amercement as is meet, a sum
 To be remember'd in all future times.
   So spake Atrides, and Achaia's host
 With loud applause confirm'd the monarch's claim.              540



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK IV.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTH BOOK.


In a Council of the Gods, a dispute arises between Jupiter and Juno, which is at last compromised, Jove consenting to dispatch Minerva with a charge to incite some Trojan to a violation of the truce. Minerva descends for that purpose, and in the form of Laodocus, a son of Priam, exhorts Pandarus to shoot at Menelaus, and succeeds. Menelaus is wounded, and Agamemnon having consigned him to the care of Machaon, goes forth to perform the duties of commander-in-chief, in the encouragement of his host to battle. The battle begins.



                              BOOK IV.


 Now, on the golden floor of Jove's abode
 The Gods all sat consulting; Hebe them,
 Graceful, with nectar served;[1] they pledging each
 His next, alternate quaff'd from cups of gold,
 And at their ease reclined, look'd down on Troy,                 5
 When, sudden, Jove essay'd by piercing speech
 Invidious, to enkindle Juno's ire.
   Two Goddesses on Menelaus' part
 Confederate stand, Juno in Argos known,
 Pallas in Alalcomene;[2] yet they                               10
 Sequester'd sit, look on, and are amused.
 Not so smile-loving Venus; she, beside
 Her champion station'd, saves him from his fate,
 And at this moment, by her aid, he lives.
 But now, since victory hath proved the lot                      15
 Of warlike Menelaus, weigh ye well
 The matter; shall we yet the ruinous strife
 Prolong between the nations, or consent
 To give them peace? should peace your preference win,
 And prove alike acceptable to all,                              20
 Stand Ilium, and let Menelaus bear
 Helen of Argos back to Greece again.
   He ended; Juno and Minerva heard,
 Low-murmuring deep disgust; for side by side
 They forging sat calamity to Troy.                              25
 Minerva through displeasure against Jove
 Nought utter'd, for with rage her bosom boil'd;
 But Juno check'd not hers, who thus replied.
   What word hath pass'd thy lips, Jove most severe!
 How? wouldst thou render fruitless all my pains?                30
 The sweat that I have pour'd? my steeds themselves
 Have fainted while I gather'd Greece in arms
 For punishment of Priam and his sons.
 Do it. But small thy praise shall be in heaven.
   Then her the Thunderer answer'd sore displeased.              35
 Ah shameless! how have Priam and his sons
 So much transgress'd against thee, that thou burn'st
 With ceaseless rage to ruin populous Troy?
 Go, make thine entrance at her lofty gates,
 Priam and all his house, and all his host                       40
 Alive devour; then, haply, thou wilt rest;
 Do even as thou wilt, that this dispute
 Live not between us a consuming fire
 For ever. But attend; mark well the word.
 When I shall also doom in future time                           45
 Some city to destruction, dear to thee,
 Oppose me not, but give my fury way
 As I give way to thine, not pleased myself,
 Yet not unsatisfied, so thou be pleased.
 For of all cities of the sons of men,                           50
 And which the sun and stars from heaven behold,
 Me sacred Troy most pleases, Priam me
 Most, and the people of the warrior King.
 Nor without cause. They feed mine altar well;
 Libation there, and steam of savory scent                       55
 Fail not, the tribute which by lot is ours.
   Him answer'd, then, the Goddess ample-eyed,[3]
 Majestic Juno: Three fair cities me,
 Of all the earth, most interest and engage,
 Mycenæ for magnificence renown'd,                               60
 Argos, and Sparta. Them, when next thy wrath
 Shall be inflamed against them, lay thou waste;
 I will not interpose on their behalf;
 Thou shalt not hear me murmur; what avail
 Complaint or force against thy matchless arm?                   65
 Yet were it most unmeet that even I
 Should toil in vain; I also boast a birth
 Celestial; Saturn deeply wise, thy Sire,
 Is also mine; our origin is one.
 Thee I acknowledge Sovereign, yet account                       70
 Myself entitled by a twofold claim
 To veneration both from Gods and men,
 The daughter of Jove's sire, and spouse of Jove.
 Concession mutual therefore both thyself
 Befits and me, whom when the Gods perceive                      75
 Disposed to peace, they also shall accord.
 Come then.--To yon dread field dispatch in haste
 Minerva, with command that she incite
 The Trojans first to violate their oath
 By some fresh insult on the exulting Greeks.                    80
   So Juno; nor the sire of all refused,
 But in wing'd accents thus to Pallas spake.
   Begone; swift fly to yonder field; incite
 The Trojans first to violate their oath
 By some fresh insult on the exulting Greeks.                    85
   The Goddess heard, and what she wish'd, enjoin'd,
 Down-darted swift from the Olympian heights,
 In form a meteor, such as from his hand
 Not seldom Jove dismisses, beaming bright
 And breaking into stars, an omen sent                           90
 To mariners, or to some numerous host.
 Such Pallas seem'd, and swift descending, dropp'd
 Full in the midst between them. They with awe
 That sign portentous and with wonder view'd,
 Achaians both and Trojans, and his next                         95
 The soldier thus bespake. Now either war
 And dire hostility again shall flame,
 Or Jove now gives us peace. Both are from Jove.
   So spake the soldiery; but she the form
 Taking of brave Laodocus, the son                              100
 Of old Antenor, throughout all the ranks
 Sought godlike Pandarus.[4] Ere long she found
 The valiant son illustrious of Lycaon,
 Standing encompass'd by his dauntless troops,
 Broad-shielded warriors, from Æsepus' stream                   105
 His followers; to his side the Goddess came,
 And in wing'd accents ardent him bespake.
   Brave offspring of Lycaon, is there hope
 That thou wilt hear my counsel? darest thou slip
 A shaft at Menelaus? much renown                               110
 Thou shalt and thanks from all the Trojans win,
 But most of all, from Paris, prince of Troy.
 From him illustrious gifts thou shalt receive
 Doubtless, when Menelaus he shall see
 The martial son of Atreus by a shaft                           115
 Subdued of thine, placed on his funeral pile.
 Come. Shoot at Menelaus, glorious Chief!
 But vow to Lycian Phoebus bow-renown'd
 A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock,
 To fair Zeleia's[5] walls once safe restored.                  120
   So Pallas spake, to whom infatuate he
 Listening, uncased at once his polished bow.[6]
 That bow, the laden brows of a wild goat
 Salacious had supplied; him on a day
 Forth-issuing from his cave, in ambush placed                  125
 He wounded with an arrow to his breast
 Dispatch'd, and on the rock supine he fell.
 Each horn had from his head tall growth attain'd,
 Full sixteen palms; them shaven smooth the smith
 Had aptly join'd, and tipt their points with gold.             130
 That bow he strung, then, stooping, planted firm
 The nether horn, his comrades bold the while
 Screening him close with shields, lest ere the prince
 Were stricken, Menelaus brave in arms,
 The Greeks with fierce assault should interpose.               135
 He raised his quiver's lid; he chose a dart
 Unflown, full-fledged, and barb'd with pangs of death.
 He lodged in haste the arrow on the string,
 And vow'd to Lycian Phoebus bow-renown'd
 A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock,                       140
 To fair Zeleia's walls once safe restored.
 Compressing next nerve and notch'd arrow-head
 He drew back both together, to his pap
 Drew home the nerve, the barb home to his bow,
 And when the horn was curved to a wide arch,                   145
 He twang'd it. Whizz'd the bowstring, and the reed
 Leap'd off, impatient for the distant throng.
   Thee, Menelaus, then the blessed Gods
 Forgat not; Pallas huntress of the spoil,
 Thy guardian then, baffled the cruel dart.                     150
 Far as a mother wafts the fly aside[7]
 That haunts her slumbering babe, so far she drove
 Its course aslant, directing it herself
 Against the golden clasps that join'd his belt;
 For there the doubled hauberk interposed.                      155
 The bitter arrow plunged into his belt.
 It pierced his broider'd belt, stood fixt within
 His twisted hauberk, nor the interior quilt,
 Though penetrable least to arrow-points
 And his best guard, withheld it, but it pass'd                 160
 That also, and the Hero's skin inscribed.
 Quick flowed a sable current from the wound.
   As when a Carian or Mæonian maid
 Impurples ivory ordain'd to grace
 The cheek of martial steed; safe stored it lies,               165
 By many a Chief desired, but proves at last
 The stately trapping of some prince,[8] the pride
 Of his high pamper'd steed, nor less his own;
 Such, Menelaus, seem'd thy shapely thighs,
 Thy legs, thy feet, stained with thy trickling blood.          170
   Shudder'd King Agamemnon when he saw
 The blood fast trickling from the wound, nor less
 Shudder'd himself the bleeding warrior bold.
 But neck and barb observing from the flesh
 Extant, he gather'd heart, and lived again.                    175
 The royal Agamemnon, sighing, grasp'd
 The hand of Menelaus, and while all
 Their followers sigh'd around them, thus began.[9]
   I swore thy death, my brother, when I swore
 This truce, and set thee forth in sight of Greeks              180
 And Trojans, our sole champion; for the foe
 Hath trodden underfoot his sacred oath,
 And stained it with thy blood. But not in vain,
 The truce was ratified, the blood of lambs
 Poured forth, libation made, and right hands join'd            185
 In holy confidence. The wrath of Jove
 May sleep, but will not always; they shall pay
 Dear penalty; their own obnoxious heads
 Shall be the mulct, their children and their wives.
 For this I know, know surely; that a day                       190
 Shall come, when Ilium, when the warlike King
 Of Ilium and his host shall perish all.
 Saturnian Jove high-throned, dwelling in heaven,
 Resentful of this outrage, then shall shake
 His storm-clad Ægis over them. He will;                        195
 I speak no fable. Time shall prove me true.
 But, oh my Menelaus, dire distress
 Awaits me, if thy close of life be come,
 And thou must die. Then ignominy foul
 Shall hunt me back to Argos long-desired;                      200
 For then all here will recollect their home,
 And, hope abandoning, will Helen yield
 To be the boast of Priam, and of Troy.
 So shall our toils be vain, and while thy bones
 Shall waste these clods beneath, Troy's haughty sons           205
 The tomb of Menelaus glory-crown'd
 Insulting barbarous, shall scoff at me.
 So may Atrides, shall they say, perform
 His anger still as he performed it here,
 Whither he led an unsuccessful host,                           210
 Whence he hath sail'd again without the spoils,
 And where he left his brother's bones to rot.
 So shall the Trojan speak; then open earth
 Her mouth, and hide me in her deepest gulfs!
   But him, the hero of the golden locks                        215
 Thus cheer'd. My brother, fear not, nor infect
 With fear the Grecians; the sharp-pointed reed
 Hath touch'd no vital part. The broider'd zone,
 The hauberk, and the tough interior quilt,
 Work of the armorer, its force repress'd.                      220
   Him answer'd Agamemnon, King of men.
 So be it brother! but the hand of one
 Skilful to heal shall visit and shall dress
 The wound with drugs of pain-assuaging power.
   He ended, and his noble herald, next,                        225
 Bespake, Talthybius. Haste, call hither quick
 The son of Æsculapius, leech renown'd,
 The prince Machaon. Bid him fly to attend
 The warlike Chieftain Menelaus; him
 Some archer, either Lycian or of Troy,                         230
 A dexterous one, hath stricken with a shaft
 To his own glory, and to our distress.
   He spake, nor him the herald disobey'd,
 But through the Greeks bright-arm'd his course began
 The Hero seeking earnest on all sides                          235
 Machaon. Him, ere long, he station'd saw
 Amid the shielded-ranks of his brave band
 From steed-famed Tricca drawn, and at his side
 With accents ardor-wing'd, him thus address'd.
   Haste, Asclepiades! The King of men                          240
 Calls thee. Delay not. Thou must visit quick
 Brave Menelaus, Atreus' son, for him
 Some archer, either Lycian or of Troy,
 A dexterous one, hath stricken with a shaft
 To his own glory, and to our distress.                         245
   So saying, he roused Machaon, who his course
 Through the wide host began. Arriving soon
 Where wounded Menelaus stood, while all
 The bravest of Achaia's host around
 The godlike hero press'd, he strove at once                    250
 To draw the arrow from his cincture forth.
 But, drawing, bent the barbs. He therefore loosed
 His broider'd belt, his hauberk and his quilt,
 Work of the armorer, and laying bare
 His body where the bitter shaft had plow'd                     255
 His flesh, he suck'd the wound, then spread it o'er
 With drugs of balmy power, given on a time
 For friendship's sake by Chiron to his sire.
   While Menelaus thus the cares engross'd
 Of all those Chiefs, the shielded powers of Troy               260
 'Gan move toward them, and the Greeks again
 Put on their armor, mindful of the fight.
 Then hadst thou[10] not great Agamemnon seen
 Slumbering, or trembling, or averse from war,
 But ardent to begin his glorious task.                         265
 His steeds, and his bright chariot brass-inlaid
 He left; the snorting steeds Eurymedon,
 Offspring of Ptolemy Piraïdes
 Detain'd apart; for him he strict enjoin'd
 Attendance near, lest weariness of limbs                       270
 Should seize him marshalling his numerous host.
 So forth he went, and through the files on foot
 Proceeding, where the warrior Greeks he saw
 Alert, he roused them by his words the more.[11]
   Argives! abate no spark of all your fire.                    275
 Jove will not prosper traitors. Them who first
 Transgress'd the truce the vultures shall devour,
 But we (their city taken) shall their wives
 Lead captive, and their children home to Greece.
   So cheer'd he them. But whom he saw supine,                  280
 Or in the rugged work of war remiss,
 In terms of anger them he stern rebuked.
   Oh Greeks! The shame of Argos! Arrow-doom'd!
 Blush ye not? Wherefore stand ye thus aghast,
 Like fawns which wearied after scouring wide                   285
 The champain, gaze and pant, and can no more?
 Senseless like them ye stand, nor seek the fight.
 Is it your purpose patient here to wait
 Till Troy invade your vessels on the shore
 Of the grey deep, that ye may trial make                       290
 Of Jove, if he will prove, himself, your shield?
   Thus, in discharge of his high office, pass'd
 Atrides through the ranks, and now arrived
 Where, hardy Chief! Idomeneus in front
 Of his bold Cretans stood, stout as a boar                     295
 The van he occupied, while in the rear
 Meriones harangued the most remote.
 Them so prepared the King of men beheld
 With joyful heart, and thus in courteous terms
 Instant the brave Idomeneus address'd.                         300
   Thee fighting, feasting, howsoe'er employed,
 I most respect, Idomeneus, of all
 The well-horsed Danäi; for when the Chiefs
 Of Argos, banqueting, their beakers charge
 With rosy wine the honorable meed                              305
 Of valor, thou alone of all the Greeks
 Drink'st not by measure.[12] No--thy goblet stands
 Replenish'd still, and like myself thou know'st
 No rule or bound, save what thy choice prescribes.
 March. Seek the foe. Fight now as heretofore,                  310
   To whom Idomeneus of Crete replied,
 Atrides! all the friendship and the love
 Which I have promised will I well perform.
 Go; animate the rest, Chief after Chief
 Of the Achaians, that the fight begin.                         315
 For Troy has scatter'd to the winds all faith,
 All conscience; and for such her treachery foul
 Shall have large recompence of death and wo.
   He said, whom Agamemnon at his heart
 Exulting, pass'd, and in his progress came                     320
 Where stood each Ajax; them he found prepared
 With all their cloud of infantry behind.
 As when the goat-herd on some rocky point
 Advanced, a cloud sees wafted o'er the deep
 By western gales, and rolling slow along,                      325
 To him, who stands remote, pitch-black it seems,
 And comes with tempest charged; he at the sight
 Shuddering, his flock compels into a cave;
 So moved the gloomy phalanx, rough with spears,
 And dense with shields of youthful warriors bold,              330
 Close-following either Ajax to the fight.
   Them also, pleased, the King of men beheld,
 And in wing'd accents hail'd them as he pass'd.
   Brave leaders of the mail-clad host of Greece!
 I move not you to duty; ye yourselves                          335
 Move others, and no lesson need from me.
 Jove, Pallas, and Apollo! were but all
 Courageous as yourselves, soon Priam's towers
 Should totter, and his Ilium storm'd and sack'd
 By our victorious bands, stoop to the dust.                    340
   He ceased, and still proceeding, next arrived
 Where stood the Pylian orator, his band
 Marshalling under all their leaders bold
 Alastor, Chromius, Pelagon the vast,
 Hæmon the prince, and Bias, martial Chief.                     345
 Chariot and horse he station'd in the front;
 His numerous infantry, a strong reserve
 Right valiant, in the rear; the worst, and those
 In whom he trusted least, he drove between,
 That such through mere necessity might act.                    350
 First to his charioteers he gave in charge
 Their duty; bade them rein their horses hard,
 Shunning confusion. Let no warrior, vain
 And overweening of his strength or skill,
 Start from his rank to dare the fight alone,                   355
 Or fall behind it, weakening whom he leaves.
 [13]And if, dismounted from his own, he climb
 Another's chariot, let him not affect
 Perverse the reins, but let him stand, his spear
 Advancing firm, far better so employ'd.                        360
 Such was the discipline, in ancient times,
 Of our forefathers; by these rules they fought
 Successful, and laid many a city low.
   So counsell'd them the venerable Chief
 Long time expert in arms; him also saw                         365
 King Agamemnon with delight, and said,
   Old Chief! ah how I wish, that thy firm heart
 Were but supported by as firm a knee!
 But time unhinges all. Oh that some youth
 Had thine old age, and thou wast young again!                  370
 To whom the valiant Nestor thus replied.
   Atrides, I could also ardent wish
 That I were now robust as when I struck
 Brave Ereuthalion[14] breathless to the ground!
 But never all their gifts the Gods confer                      375
 On man at once; if then I had the force
 Of youth, I suffer now the effects of age.
 Yet ancient as I am, I will be seen
 Still mingling with the charioteers, still prompt
 To give them counsel; for to counsel youth                     380
 Is the old warrior's province. Let the green
 In years, my juniors, unimpaired by time,
 Push with the lance, for they have strength to boast.
   So he, whom Agamemnon joyful heard,
 And passing thence, the son of Peteos found                    385
 Menestheus, foremost in equestrian fame,
 Among the brave Athenians; near to him
 Ulysses held his station, and at hand
 The Cephallenians stood, hardy and bold;
 For rumor none of the approaching fight                        390
 Them yet had reach'd, so recent had the stir
 Arisen in either host; they, therefore, watch'd
 Till the example of some other band
 Marching, should prompt them to begin the fight,
 But Agamemnon, thus, the King of men                           395
 Them seeing, sudden and severe reproved.
   Menestheus, son of Peteos prince renown'd,
 And thou, deviser of all evil wiles!
 Adept in artifice! why stand ye here
 Appall'd? why wait ye on this distant spot                     400
 'Till others move? I might expect from you
 More readiness to meet the burning war,
 Whom foremost I invite of all to share
 The banquet, when the Princes feast with me.
 There ye are prompt; ye find it pleasant there                 405
 To eat your savory food, and quaff your wine
 Delicious 'till satiety ensue;
 But here you could be well content to stand
 Spectators only, while ten Grecian troops
 Should wage before you the wide-wasting war.                   410
   To whom Ulysses, with resentful tone
 Dark-frowning, thus replied. What words are these
 Which have escaped thy lips; and for what cause,
 Atrides, hast thou call'd me slow to fight?
 When we of Greece shall in sharp contest clash                 415
 With you steed-tamer Trojans, mark me then;
 Then thou shalt see (if the concerns of war
 So nearly touch thee, and thou so incline)
 The father of Telemachus, engaged
 Among the foremost Trojans. But thy speech                     420
 Was light as is the wind, and rashly made.
   When him thus moved he saw, the monarch smiled
 Complacent, and in gentler terms replied.
   Laërtes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!
 Short reprimand and exhortation short                          425
 Suffice for thee, nor did I purpose more.
 For I have known thee long, that thou art one
 Of kindest nature, and so much my friend
 That we have both one heart. Go therefore thou,
 Lead on, and if a word have fallen amiss,                      430
 We will hereafter mend it, and may heaven
 Obliterate in thine heart its whole effect!
   He ceased, and ranging still along the line,
 The son of Tydeus, Diomede, perceived,
 Heroic Chief, by chariots all around                           435
 Environ'd, and by steeds, at side of whom
 Stood Sthenelus, the son of Capaneus.
 Him also, Agamemnon, King of men,
 In accents of asperity reproved.
   Ah, son of Tydeus, Chief of dauntless heart                  440
 And of equestrian fame! why standest thou
 Appall'd, and peering through the walks of war?
 So did not Tydeus. In the foremost fight
 His favorite station was, as they affirm
 Who witness'd his exploits; I never saw                        445
 Or met him, but by popular report
 He was the bravest warrior of his day.
 Yet came he once, but not in hostile sort,
 To fair Mycenæ, by the godlike prince
 Attended, Polynices, at what time                              450
 The host was called together, and the siege
 Was purposed of the sacred city Thebes.
 Earnest they sued for an auxiliar band,
 Which we had gladly granted, but that Jove
 By unpropitious tokens interfered.                             455
 So forth they went, and on the reedy banks
 Arriving of Asopus, there thy sire
 By designation of the Greeks was sent
 Ambassador, and enter'd Thebes. He found
 In Eteocles' palace numerous guests,                           460
 The sons of Cadmus feasting, among whom,
 Although a solitary stranger, stood
 Thy father without fear, and challenged forth
 Their best to cope with him in manly games.
 Them Tydeus vanquish'd easily, such aid                        465
 Pallas vouchsafed him. Then the spur-arm'd race
 Of Cadmus was incensed, and fifty youths
 In ambush close expected his return.
 Them, Lycophontes obstinate in fight,
 Son of Autophonus, and Mæon, son                               470
 Of Hæmon, Chief of godlike stature, led.
 Those also Tydeus slew; Mæon except,
 (Whom, warned from heaven, he spared, and sent him home
 With tidings of the rest) he slew them all.
 Such was Ætolian Tydeus; who begat                             475
 A son in speech his better, not in arms.
   He ended, and his sovereign's awful voice
 Tydides reverencing, nought replied;
 But thus the son of glorious Capaneus.
   Atrides, conscious of the truth, speak truth.                480
 We with our sires compared, superior praise
 Claim justly.[15] We, confiding in the aid
 Of Jove, and in propitious signs from heaven,
 Led to the city consecrate to Mars
 Our little host, inferior far to theirs,                       485
 And took seven-gated Thebes, under whose walls
 Our fathers by their own imprudence fell.
 Their glory, then, match never more with ours.
   He spake, whom with a frowning brow the brave
 Tydides answer'd. Sthenelus, my friend!                        490
 I give thee counsel. Mark it. Hold thy peace.
 If Agamemnon, who hath charge of all,
 Excite his well-appointed host to war,
 He hath no blame from me. For should the Greeks
 (Her people vanquished) win imperial Troy,                     495
 The glory shall be his; or, if his host
 O'erpower'd in battle perish, his the shame.
 Come, therefore; be it ours to rouse at once
 To action all the fury of our might.
   He said, and from his chariot to the plain                   500
 Leap'd ardent; rang the armor on the breast
 Of the advancing Chief; the boldest heart
 Had felt emotion, startled at the sound.
   As when the waves by Zephyrus up-heaved
 Crowd fast toward some sounding shore, at first,               505
 On the broad bosom of the deep their heads
 They curl on high, then breaking on the land
 Thunder, and o'er the rocks that breast the flood
 Borne turgid, scatter far the showery spray;
 So moved the Greeks successive, rank by rank,                  510
 And phalanx after phalanx, every Chief
 His loud command proclaiming, while the rest,
 As voice in all those thousands none had been
 Heard mute; and, in resplendent armor clad,
 With martial order terrible advanced.                          515
 Not so the Trojans came. As sheep, the flock
 Of some rich man, by thousands in his court
 Penn'd close at milking time, incessant bleat,
 Loud answering all their bleating lambs without,
 Such din from Ilium's wide-spread host arose.                  520
 Nor was their shout, nor was their accent one,
 But mingled languages were heard of men
 From various climes. These Mars to battle roused,
 Those Pallas azure-eyed; nor Terror thence
 Nor Flight was absent, nor insatiate Strife,                   525
 Sister and mate of homicidal Mars,
 Who small at first, but swift to grow, from earth
 Her towering crest lifts gradual to the skies.
 She, foe alike to both, the brands dispersed
 Of burning hate between them, and the woes                     530
 Enhanced of battle wheresoe'er she pass'd.
   And now the battle join'd. Shield clash'd with shield[16]
 And spear with spear, conflicting corselets rang,
 Boss'd bucklers met, and tumult wild arose.
 Then, many a yell was heard, and many a shout                  535
 Loud intermix'd, the slayer o'er the maim'd
 Exulting, and the field was drench'd with blood.
 As when two winter torrents rolling down
 The mountains, shoot their floods through gulleys huge
 Into one gulf below, station'd remote                          540
 The shepherd in the uplands hears the roar;
 Such was the thunder of the mingling hosts.
 And first, Antilochus a Trojan Chief
 Slew Echepolus, from Thalysias sprung,
 Contending valiant in the van of Troy.                         545
 Him smiting on his crested casque, he drove
 The brazen lance into his front, and pierced
 The bones within; night overspread his eyes,
 And in fierce battle, like a tower, he fell.
 Him fallen by both feet Calchodon's son                        550
 Seized, royal Elephenor, leader brave
 Of the Abantes, and in haste to strip
 His armor, drew him from the fight aside.
 But short was that attempt. Him so employ'd
 Dauntless Agenor mark'd, and as he stoop'd,                    555
 In his unshielded flank a pointed spear
 Implanted deep; he languid sunk and died.
 So Elephenor fell, for whom arose
 Sharp conflict; Greeks and Trojans mutual flew
 Like wolves to battle, and man grappled man.                   560
 Then Telamonian Ajax, in his prime
 Of youthful vigor Simöisius slew,[17]
 Son of Anthemion. Him on Simoïs' banks
 His mother bore, when with her parents once
 She came from Ida down to view the flocks,                     565
 And thence they named him; but his parents'
 He lived not to requite, in early youth
 Slain by the spear of Ajax famed in arms.
 For him advancing Ajax at the pap
 Wounded; right through his shoulder driven the point           570
 Stood forth behind; he fell, and press'd the dust.
 So in some spacious marsh the poplar falls
 Smooth-skinn'd, with boughs unladen save aloft;
 Some chariot-builder with his axe the trunk
 Severs, that he may warp it to a wheel                         575
 Of shapely form; meantime exposed it lies
 To parching airs beside the running stream;
 Such Simöisius seemed, Anthemion's son,
 Whom noble Ajax slew. But soon at him
 Antiphus, son of Priam, bright in arms,                        580
 Hurl'd through the multitude his pointed spear.
 He erred from Ajax, but he pierced the groin
 Of Leucus, valiant warrior of the band
 Led by Ulysses. He the body dragg'd
 Apart, but fell beside it, and let fall,                       585
 Breathless himself, the burthen from his hand.
 Then burn'd Ulysses' wrath for Leucus slain,
 And through the foremost combatants, array'd
 In dazzling arms, he rush'd. Full near he stood,
 And, looking keen around him, hurl'd a lance.                  590
 Back fell the Trojans from before the face
 Dispersed of great Ulysses. Not in vain
 His weapon flew, but on the field outstretch'd
 A spurious son of Priam, from the shores
 Call'd of Abydus famed for fleetest mares,                     595
 Democoon; him, for Leucus' sake enraged,
 Ulysses through both temples with his spear
 Transpierced. The night of death hung on his eyes,
 And sounding on his batter'd arms he fell.
 Then Hector and the van of Troy retired;                       600
 Loud shout the Grecians; these draw off the dead,
 Those onward march amain, and from the heights
 Of Pergamus Apollo looking down
 In anger, to the Trojans called aloud.
   Turn, turn, ye Trojans! face your Grecian foes.              605
 They, like yourselves, are vulnerable flesh,
 Not adamant or steel. Your direst dread
 Achilles, son of Thetis radiant-hair'd,
 Fights not, but sullen in his fleet abides.[18]
   Such from the citadel was heard the voice                    610
 Of dread Apollo. But Minerva ranged
 Meantime, Tritonian progeny of Jove,
 The Grecians, rousing whom she saw remiss.
 Then Amarynceus' son, Diores, felt
 The force of fate, bruised by a rugged rock                    615
 At his right heel, which Pirus, Thracian Chief,
 The son of Imbrasus of Ænos, threw.
 Bones and both tendons in its fall the mass
 Enormous crush'd. He, stretch'd in dust supine,
 With palms outspread toward his warrior friends                620
 Lay gasping life away. But he who gave
 The fatal blow, Pirus, advancing, urged
 Into his navel a keen lance, and shed
 His bowels forth; then, darkness veil'd his eyes.
   Nor Pirus long survived; him through the breast              625
 Above the pap, Ætolian Thoas pierced,
 And in his lungs set fast the quivering spear.
 Then Thoas swift approach'd, pluck'd from the wound
 His stormy spear, and with his falchion bright
 Gashing his middle belly, stretch'd him dead.                  630
 Yet stripp'd he not the slain, whom with long spears
 His Thracians hairy-scalp'd[19] so round about
 Encompassed, that though bold and large of limb
 Were Thoas, from before them him they thrust
 Staggering and reeling in his forced retreat.                  635
   They therefore in the dust, the Epean Chief
 Diores, and the Thracian, Pirus lay
 Stretch'd side by side, with numerous slain around.
   Then had Minerva led through all that field
 Some warrior yet unhurt, him sheltering safe                   640
 From all annoyance dread of dart or spear,
 No cause of blame in either had he found
 That day, so many Greeks and Trojans press'd,
 Extended side by side, the dusty plain.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK V.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK.


Diomede is extraordinarily distinguished. He kills Pandarus, who had violated the truce, and wounds first Venus and then Mars.



                              BOOK V.


 Then Athenæan Pallas on the son
 Of Tydeus,[1] Diomede, new force conferr'd
 And daring courage, that the Argives all
 He might surpass, and deathless fame achieve.
 Fires on his helmet and his shield around                        5
 She kindled, bright and steady as the star
 Autumnal,[2] which in Ocean newly bathed
 Assumes fresh beauty; with such glorious beams
 His head encircling and his shoulders broad,
 She urged him forth into the thickest fight.                    10
   There lived a man in Troy, Dares his name,
 The priest of Vulcan; rich he was and good,
 The father of two sons, Idæus this,
 That, Phegeus call'd; accomplish'd warriors both.
 These, issuing from their phalanx, push'd direct                15
 Their steeds at Diomede, who fought on foot.
 When now small interval was left between,
 First Phegeus his long-shadow'd spear dismiss'd;
 But over Diomede's left shoulder pass'd
 The point, innocuous. Then his splendid lance                   20
 Tydides hurl'd; nor ineffectual flew
 The weapon from his hand, but Phegeus pierced
 His paps between, and forced him to the ground.
 At once, his sumptuous chariot left, down leap'd
 Idæsus, wanting courage to defend                               25
 His brother slain; nor had he scaped himself
 His louring fate, but Vulcan, to preserve
 His ancient priest from unmixt sorrow, snatch'd
 The fugitive in darkness wrapt, away.
 Then brave Tydides, driving off the steeds,                     30
 Consign'd them to his fellow-warriors' care,
 That they might lead them down into the fleet.
   The valiant Trojans, when they saw the sons
 Of Dares, one beside his chariot slain,
 And one by flight preserved, through all their host             35
 Felt consternation. Then Minerva seized
 The hand of fiery Mars, and thus she spake.
   Gore-tainted homicide, town-battering Mars!
 Leave we the Trojans and the Greeks to wage
 Fierce fight alone, Jove prospering whom he will,               40
 So shall we not provoke our father's ire.
   She said, and from the fight conducted forth
 The impetuous Deity, whom on the side
 She seated of Scamander deep-embank'd.[3]
   And now the host of Troy to flight inclined                   45
 Before the Grecians, and the Chiefs of Greece
 Each slew a warrior. Agamemnon first
 Gigantic Odius from his chariot hurl'd.
 Chief of the Halizonians. He to flight
 Turn'd foremost, when the monarch in his spine                  50
 Between the shoulder-bones his spear infixt,
 And urged it through his breast. Sounding he fell,
 And loud his batter'd armor rang around.
   By brave Idomeneus a Lydian died,
 Phæstus, from fruitful Tarne sent to Troy,                      55
 Son of Mæonian Borus; him his steeds
 Mounting, Idomeneus the spear-renown'd
 Through his right shoulder pierced; unwelcome night
 Involved him; from his chariot down he fell,[4]
 And the attendant Cretans stripp'd his arms.                    60
   But Menelaus, son of Atreus slew
 With his bright spear Scamandrius, Stropius' son,
 A skilful hunter; for Diana him,
 Herself, the slaughter of all savage kinds
 Had taught, on mountain or in forest bred.                      65
 But she, shaft-aiming Goddess, in that hour
 Avail'd him not, nor his own matchless skill;
 For Menelaus, Atreus son spear-famed,
 Him flying wounded in the spine between
 His shoulders, and the spear urged through his breast.          70
 Prone on his loud-resounding arms he fell.
   Next, by Meriones, Phereclus died,
 Son of Harmonides. All arts that ask
 A well-instructed hand his sire had learn'd,
 For Pallas dearly loved him. He the fleet,                      75
 Prime source of harm to Troy and to himself,
 For Paris built, unskill'd to spell aright
 The oracles predictive of the wo.
 Phereclus fled; Meriones his flight
 Outstripping, deep in his posterior flesh                       80
 A spear infix'd; sliding beneath the bone
 It grazed his bladder as it pass'd, and stood
 Protruded far before. Low on his knees
 Phereclus sank, and with a shriek expired.
 Pedæus, whom, although his spurious son,                        85
 Antenor's wife, to gratify her lord,
 Had cherish'd as her own--him Meges slew.
 Warlike Phylides[5] following close his flight,
 His keen lance drove into his poll, cut sheer
 His tongue within, and through his mouth enforced               90
 The glittering point. He, prostrate in the dust,
 The cold steel press'd between his teeth and died.
   Eurypylus, Evemon's son, the brave
 Hypsenor slew; Dolopion was his sire,
 Priest of Scamander, reverenced as a God.                       95
 In vain before Eurypylus he fled;
 He, running, with his falchion lopp'd his arm
 Fast by the shoulder; on the field his hand
 Fell blood-distained, and destiny severe
 With shades of death for ever veil'd his eyes.                 100
   Thus strenuous they the toilsome battle waged.
 But where Tydides fought, whether in aid
 Of Ilium's host, or on the part of Greece,
 Might none discern. For as a winter-flood
 Impetuous, mounds and bridges sweeps away;[6]                  105
 The buttress'd bridge checks not its sudden force,
 The firm inclosure of vine-planted fields
 Luxuriant, falls before it; finish'd works
 Of youthful hinds, once pleasant to the eye,
 Now levell'd, after ceaseless rain from Jove;                  110
 So drove Tydides into sudden flight
 The Trojans; phalanx after phalanx fled
 Before the terror of his single arm.
   When him Lycaon's son illustrious saw
 Scouring the field, and from before his face                   115
 The ranks dispersing wide, at once he bent
 Against Tydides his elastic bow.
 The arrow met him in his swift career
 Sure-aim'd; it struck direct the hollow mail
 Of his right shoulder, with resistless force                   120
 Transfix'd it, and his hauberk stain'd with blood.
 Loud shouted then Lycaon's son renown'd.
   Rush on, ye Trojans, spur your coursers hard.
 Our fiercest foe is wounded, and I deem
 His death not distant far, if me the King[7]                   125
 Jove's son, indeed, from Lycia sent to Troy.
   So boasted Pandarus. Yet him the dart
 Quell'd not. Retreating, at his coursers' heads
 He stood, and to the son of Capaneus
 His charioteer and faithful friend he said.                    130
   Arise, sweet son of Capaneus, dismount,
 And from my shoulder draw this bitter shaft.
   He spake; at once the son of Capaneus
 Descending, by its barb the bitter shaft
 Drew forth; blood spouted through his twisted mail             135
 Incontinent, and thus the Hero pray'd.
   Unconquer'd daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd!
 If ever me, propitious, or my sire
 Thou hast in furious fight help'd heretofore,
 Now aid me also. Bring within the reach                        140
 Of my swift spear, Oh grant me to strike through
 The warrior who hath check'd my course, and boasts
 The sun's bright beams for ever quench'd to me![8]
   He prayed, and Pallas heard; she braced his limbs,
 She wing'd him with alacrity divine,                           145
 And, standing at his side, him thus bespake.
   Now Diomede, be bold! Fight now with Troy.
 To thee, thy father's spirit I impart
 Fearless; shield-shaking Tydeus felt the same.
 I also from thine eye the darkness purge                       150
 Which dimm'd thy sight[9] before, that thou may'st know
 Both Gods and men; should, therefore, other God
 Approach to try thee, fight not with the powers
 Immortal; but if foam-born Venus come,
 Her spare not. Wound her with thy glittering spear.            155
   So spake the blue-eyed Deity, and went,
 Then with the champions in the van again
 Tydides mingled; hot before, he fights
 With threefold fury now, nor less enraged
 Than some gaunt lion whom o'erleaping light                    160
 The fold, a shepherd hath but gall'd, not kill'd,
 Him irritating more; thenceforth the swain
 Lurks unresisting; flies the abandon'd flock;
 Heaps slain on heaps he leaves, and with a bound
 Surmounting all impediment, escapes;                           165
 Such seem'd the valiant Diomede incensed
 To fury, mingling with the host of Troy.
   Astynoüs and Hypenor first he slew;
 One with his brazen lance above the pap
 He pierced, and one with his huge falchion smote               170
 Fast by the key-bone,[10] from the neck and spine
 His parted shoulder driving at a blow.
   Them leaving, Polyides next he sought
 And Abas, sons of a dream-dealing seer,
 Eurydamas; their hoary father's dreams                         175
 Or not interpreted, or kept concealed,
 Them saved not, for by Diomede they died.
 Xanthus and Thöon he encounter'd next,
 Both sons of Phænops, sons of his old age,
 Who other heir had none of all his wealth,                     180
 Nor hoped another, worn with many years.
 Tydides slew them both; nor aught remain'd
 To the old man but sorrow for his sons
 For ever lost, and strangers were his heirs.
 Two sons of Priam in one chariot borne                         185
 Echemon next, and Chromius felt his hand
 Resistless. As a lion on the herd
 Leaping, while they the shrubs and bushes browse,
 Breaks short the neck of heifer or of steer,
 So them, though clinging fast and loth to fall,                190
 Tydides hurl'd together to the ground,
 Then stripp'd their splendid armor, and the steeds
 Consigned and chariot to his soldiers' care.
   Æneas him discern'd scattering the ranks,
 And through the battle and the clash of spears                 195
 Went seeking godlike Pandarus; ere long
 Finding Lycaon's martial son renown'd,
 He stood before him, and him thus address'd.
   Thy bow, thy feather'd shafts, and glorious name
 Where are they, Pandarus? whom none of Troy                    200
 Could equal, whom of Lycia, none excel.
 Come. Lift thine hands to Jove, and at yon Chief
 Dispatch an arrow, who afflicts the host
 Of Ilium thus, conquering where'er he flies,
 And who hath slaughter'd numerous brave in arms,               205
 But him some Deity I rather deem
 Avenging on us his neglected rites,
 And who can stand before an angry God?
   Him answer'd then Lycaon's son renown'd.
 Brave leader of the Trojans brazen-mail'd,                     210
 Æneas! By his buckler which I know,
 And by his helmet's height, considering, too
 His steeds, I deem him Diomede the bold;
 Yet such pronounce him not, who seems a God.
 But if bold Diomede indeed he be                               215
 Of whom I speak, not without aid from heaven
 His fury thus prevails, but at his side
 Some God, in clouds enveloped, turns away
 From him the arrow to a devious course.
 Already, at his shoulder's hollow mail                         220
 My shaft hath pierced him through, and him I deem'd
 Dismiss'd full sure to Pluto ere his time
 But he survives; whom therefore I at last
 Perforce conclude some angry Deity.
 Steeds have I none or chariot to ascend,                       225
 Who have eleven chariots in the stands
 Left of Lycaon, with fair hangings all
 O'ermantled, strong, new finish'd, with their steeds
 In pairs beside them, eating winnow'd grain.
 Me much Lycaon my old valiant sire                             230
 At my departure from his palace gates
 Persuaded, that my chariot and my steeds
 Ascending, I should so conduct my bands
 To battle; counsel wise, and ill-refused!
 But anxious, lest (the host in Troy so long                    235
 Immew'd) my steeds, fed plenteously at home,
 Should here want food, I left them, and on foot
 To Ilium came, confiding in my bow
 Ordain'd at last to yield me little good.
 Twice have I shot, and twice I struck the mark,                240
 First Menelaus, and Tydides next;
 From each I drew the blood, true, genuine blood,
 Yet have but more incensed them. In an hour
 Unfortunate, I therefore took my bow
 Down from the wall that day, when for the sake                 245
 Of noble Hector, to these pleasant plains
 I came, a leader on the part of Troy.
 But should I once return, and with these eyes
 Again behold my native land, my sire,
 My wife, my stately mansion, may the hand,                     250
 That moment, of some adversary there
 Shorten me by the head, if I not snap
 This bow with which I charged myself in vain,
 And burn the unprofitable tool to dust.
   To whom Æneas, Trojan Chief, replied.                        255
 Nay, speak not so. For ere that hour arrive
 We will, with chariot and with horse, in arms
 Encounter him, and put his strength to proof.
 Delay not, mount my chariot. Thou shalt see
 With what rapidity the steeds of Troy                          260
 Pursuing or retreating, scour the field.
 If after all, Jove purpose still to exalt
 The son of Tydeus, these shall bear us safe
 Back to the city. Come then. Let us on.
 The lash take thou, and the resplendent reins,                 265
 While I alight for battle, or thyself
 Receive them, and the steeds shall be my care.
   Him answer'd then Lycaon's son renown'd.
 Æneas! manage thou the reins, and guide
 Thy proper steeds. If fly at last we must                      270
 The son of Tydeus, they will readier draw
 Directed by their wonted charioteer.
 Else, terrified, and missing thy control,
 They may refuse to bear us from the fight,
 And Tydeus' son assailing us, with ease                        275
 Shall slay us both, and drive thy steeds away.
 Rule therefore thou the chariot, and myself
 With my sharp spear will his assault receive.
   So saying, they mounted both, and furious drove
 Against Tydides. Them the noble son                            280
 Of Capaneus observed, and turning quick
 His speech to Diomede, him thus address'd.
   Tydides, Diomede, my heart's delight!
 Two warriors of immeasurable force
 In battle, ardent to contend with thee,                        285
 Come rattling on. Lycaon's offspring one,
 Bow-practised Pandarus; with whom appears
 Æneas; he who calls the mighty Chief
 Anchises father, and whom Venus bore.
 Mount--drive we swift away--lest borne so far                  290
 Beyond the foremost battle, thou be slain.
   To whom, dark-frowning, Diomede replied
 Speak not of flight to me, who am disposed
 To no such course. I am ashamed to fly
 Or tremble, and my strength is still entire;                   295
 I cannot mount. No. Rather thus, on foot,
 I will advance against them. Fear and dread
 Are not for me; Pallas forbids the thought.
 One falls, be sure; swift as they are, the steeds
 That whirl them on, shall never rescue both.                   300
 But hear my bidding, and hold fast the word.
 Should all-wise Pallas grant me my desire
 To slay them both, drive not my coursers hence,
 But hook the reins, and seizing quick the pair
 That draw Æneas, urge them from the powers                     305
 Of Troy away into the host of Greece.
 For they are sprung from those which Jove to Tros
 In compensation gave for Ganymede;
 The Sun himself sees not their like below.
 Anchises, King of men, clandestine them                        310
 Obtain'd, his mares submitting to the steeds
 Of King Laomedon. Six brought him foals;
 Four to himself reserving, in his stalls
 He fed them sleek, and two he gave his son:
 These, might we win them, were a noble prize.                  315
   Thus mutual they conferr'd; those Chiefs, the while,
 With swiftest pace approach'd, and first his speech
 To Diomede Lycaon's son address'd.
   Heroic offspring of a noble sire,
 Brave son of Tydeus! false to my intent                        320
 My shaft hath harm'd thee little. I will now
 Make trial with my spear, if that may speed.
   He said, and shaking his long-shadow'd spear,
 Dismiss'd it. Forceful on the shield it struck
 Of Diomede, transpierced it, and approach'd                    325
 With threatening point the hauberk on his breast.
 Loud shouted Pandarus--Ah nobly thrown!
 Home to thy bowels. Die, for die thou must,
 And all the glory of thy death is mine.
   Then answer thus brave Diomede return'd                      330
 Undaunted. I am whole. Thy cast was short.
 But ye desist not, as I plain perceive,
 Till one at least extended on the plain
 Shall sate the God of battles with his blood.
   He said and threw. Pallas the spear herself                  335
 Directed; at his eye fast by the nose
 Deep-entering, through his ivory teeth it pass'd,
 At its extremity divided sheer
 His tongue, and started through his chin below.
 He headlong fell, and with his dazzling arms                   340
 Smote full the plain. Back flew the fiery steeds
 With swift recoil, and where he fell he died.
 Then sprang Æneas forth with spear and shield,
 That none might drag the body;[11] lion-like
 He stalk'd around it, oval shield and spear                    345
 Advancing firm, and with incessant cries
 Terrific, death denouncing on his foes.
 But Diomede with hollow grasp a stone
 Enormous seized, a weight to overtask
 Two strongest men of such as now are strong,                   350
 Yet he, alone, wielded the rock with ease.
 Full on the hip he smote him, where the thigh
 Rolls in its cavity, the socket named.
 He crushed the socket, lacerated wide
 Both tendons, and with that rough-angled mass                  355
 Flay'd all his flesh, The Hero on his knees
 Sank, on his ample palm his weight upbore
 Laboring, and darkness overspread his eyes.
   There had Æneas perish'd, King of men,
 Had not Jove's daughter Venus quick perceived                  360
 His peril imminent, whom she had borne
 Herself to Anchises pasturing his herds.
 Her snowy arras her darling son around
 She threw maternal, and behind a fold
 Of her bright mantle screening close his breast                365
 From mortal harm by some brave Grecian's spear,
 Stole him with eager swiftness from the fight.
   Nor then forgat brave Sthenelus his charge
 Received from Diomede, but his own steeds
 Detaining distant from the boisterous war,                     370
 Stretch'd tight the reins, and hook'd them fast behind.
 The coursers of Æneas next he seized
 Ardent, and them into the host of Greece
 Driving remote, consign'd them to his care,
 Whom far above all others his compeers                         375
 He loved, Deipylus, his bosom friend
 Congenial. Him he charged to drive them thence
 Into the fleet, then, mounting swift his own,
 Lash'd after Diomede; he, fierce in arms,
 Pursued the Cyprian Goddess, conscious whom,                   380
 Not Pallas, not Enyo, waster dread
 Of cities close-beleaguer'd, none of all
 Who o'er the battle's bloody course preside,
 But one of softer kind and prone to fear.
 When, therefore, her at length, after long chase               385
 Through all the warring multitude he reach'd,
 With his protruded spear her gentle hand
 He wounded, piercing through her thin attire
 Ambrosial, by themselves the graces wrought,
 Her inside wrist, fast by the rosy palm.                       390
 Blood follow'd, but immortal; ichor pure,
 Such as the blest inhabitants of heaven
 May bleed, nectareous; for the Gods eat not
 Man's food, nor slake as he with sable wine
 Their thirst, thence bloodless and from death exempt.          395
 She, shrieking, from her arms cast down her son,
 And Phoebus, in impenetrable clouds
 Him hiding, lest the spear of some brave Greek
 Should pierce his bosom, caught him swift away.
 Then shouted brave Tydides after her--                         400
   Depart, Jove's daughter! fly the bloody field.
 Is't not enough that thou beguilest the hearts
 Of feeble women? If thou dare intrude
 Again into the war, war's very name
 Shall make thee shudder, wheresoever heard.                    405
   He said, and Venus with excess of pain
 Bewilder'd went; but Iris tempest-wing'd
 Forth led her through the multitude, oppress'd
 With anguish, her white wrist to livid changed.
 They came where Mars far on the left retired                   410
 Of battle sat, his horses and his spear
 In darkness veil'd. Before her brother's knees
 She fell, and with entreaties urgent sought
 The succor of his coursers golden-rein'd.
   Save me, my brother! Pity me! Thy steeds                     415
 Give me, that they may bear me to the heights
 Olympian, seat of the immortal Gods!
 Oh! I am wounded deep; a mortal man
 Hath done it, Diomede; nor would he fear
 This day in fight the Sire himself of all.                     420
   Then Mars his coursers gold-caparison'd
 Resign'd to Venus; she, with countenance sad,
 The chariot climb'd, and Iris at her side
 The bright reins seizing lash'd the ready steeds.
 Soon as the Olympian heights, seat of the Gods,                425
 They reach'd, wing-footed Iris loosing quick
 The coursers, gave them large whereon to browse
 Ambrosial food; but Venus on the knees
 Sank of Dione, who with folded arms
 Maternal, to her bosom straining close                         430
 Her daughter, stroked her cheek, and thus inquired.
   My darling child! who? which of all the Gods
 Hath rashly done such violence to thee
 As if convicted of some open wrong?
   Her then the Goddess of love-kindling smiles                 435
 Venus thus answer'd; Diomede the proud,
 Audacious Diomede; he gave the wound,
 For that I stole Æneas from the fight
 My son of all mankind my most beloved;
 Nor is it now the war of Greece with Troy,                     440
 But of the Grecians with the Gods themselves.
   Then thus Dione, Goddess all divine.
 My child! how hard soe'er thy sufferings seem
 Endure them patiently. Full many a wrong
 From human hands profane the Gods endure,                      445
 And many a painful stroke, mankind from ours.
 Mars once endured much wrong, when on a time
 Him Otus bound and Ephialtes fast,
 Sons of Alöeus, and full thirteen moons
 In brazen thraldom held him. There, at length,                 450
 The fierce blood-nourished Mars had pined away,
 But that Eëriboea, loveliest nymph,
 His step-mother, in happy hour disclosed
 To Mercury the story of his wrongs;
 He stole the prisoner forth, but with his woes                 455
 Already worn, languid and fetter-gall'd.
 Nor Juno less endured, when erst the bold
 Son of Amphytrion with tridental shaft
 Her bosom pierced; she then the misery felt
 Of irremediable pain severe.                                   460
 Nor suffer'd Pluto less, of all the Gods
 Gigantic most, by the same son of Jove
 Alcides, at the portals of the dead
 Transfix'd and fill'd with anguish; he the house
 Of Jove and the Olympian summit sought                         465
 Dejected, torture-stung, for sore the shaft
 Oppress'd him, into his huge shoulder driven.
 But Pæon[12] him not liable to death
 With unction smooth of salutiferous balms
 Heal'd soon. Presumptuous, sacrilegious man!                   470
 Careless what dire enormities he wrought,
 Who bent his bow against the powers of heaven!
 But blue-eyed Pallas instigated him
 By whom thou bleed'st. Infatuate! he forgets
 That whoso turns against the Gods his arm                      475
 Lives never long; he never, safe escaped
 From furious fight, the lisp'd caresses hears
 Of his own infants prattling at his knees.
 Let therefore Diomede beware, lest strong
 And valiant as he is, he chance to meet                        490
 Some mightier foe than thou, and lest his wife,
 Daughter of King Adrastus, the discrete
 Ægialea, from portentous dreams
 Upstarting, call her family to wail
 Her first-espoused, Achaia's proudest boast,                   485
 Diomede, whom she must behold no more.
   She said, and from her wrist with both hands wiped
 The trickling ichor; the effectual touch
 Divine chased all her pains, and she was heal'd.
 Them Juno mark'd and Pallas, and with speech                   490
 Sarcastic pointed at Saturnian Jove
 To vex him, blue-eyed Pallas thus began.
   Eternal father! may I speak my thought,
 And not incense thee, Jove? I can but judge
 That Venus, while she coax'd some Grecian fair                 495
 To accompany the Trojans whom she loves
 With such extravagance, hath heedless stroked
 Her golden clasps, and scratch'd her lily hand.
   So she; then smiled the sire of Gods and men,
 And calling golden Venus, her bespake.                         500
   War and the tented field, my beauteous child,
 Are not for thee. Thou rather shouldst be found
 In scenes of matrimonial bliss. The toils
 Of war to Pallas and to Mars belong.
   Thus they in heaven. But Diomede the while                   505
 Sprang on Æneas, conscious of the God
 Whose hand o'ershadow'd him, yet even him
 Regarding lightly; for he burn'd to slay
 Æneas, and to seize his glorious arms.
 Thrice then he sprang impetuous to the deed,                   510
 And thrice Apollo with his radiant shield
 Repulsed him. But when ardent as a God
 The fourth time he advanced, with thundering-voice
 Him thus the Archer of the skies rebuked.
   Think, and retire, Tydides! nor affect                       515
 Equality with Gods; for not the same
 Our nature is and theirs who tread the ground.
   He spake, and Diomede a step retired,
 Not more; the anger of the Archer-God
 Declining slow, and with a sullen awe.                         520
 Then Phoebus, far from all the warrior throng
 To his own shrine the sacred dome beneath
 Of Pergamus, Æneas bore; there him
 Latona and shaft-arm'd Diana heal'd
 And glorified within their spacious fane.                      525
 Meantime the Archer of the silver bow
 A visionary form prepared; it seem'd
 Himself Æneas, and was arm'd as he.
 At once, in contest for that airy form,
 Grecians and Trojans on each other's breasts                   530
 The bull-hide buckler batter'd and light targe.
   Then thus Apollo to the warrior God.
 Gore-tainted homicide, town-batterer Mars!
 Wilt thou not meet and from the fight withdraw
 This man Tydides, now so fiery grown                           535
 That he would even cope with Jove himself?
 First Venus' hand he wounded, and assail'd
 Impetuous as a God, next, even me.
 He ceased, and on the topmost turret sat
 Of Pergamus. Then all-destroyer Mars                           540
 Ranging the Trojan host, rank after rank
 Exhorted loud, and in the form assumed
 Of Acamas the Thracian leader bold,
 The godlike sons of Priam thus harangued.
   Ye sons of Priam, monarch Jove-beloved!                      545
 How long permit ye your Achaian foes
 To slay the people?--till the battle rage
 (Push'd home to Ilium) at her solid gates?
 Behold--a Chief disabled lies, than whom
 We reverence not even Hector more,                             550
 Æneas; fly, save from the roaring storm
 The noble Anchisiades your friend.
   He said; then every heart for battle glow'd;
 And thus Sarpedon with rebuke severe
 Upbraiding generous Hector, stern began.                       555
   Where is thy courage, Hector? for thou once
 Hadst courage. Is it fled? In other days
 Thy boast hath been that without native troops
 Or foreign aids, thy kindred and thyself
 Alone, were guard sufficient for the town.                     560
 But none of all thy kindred now appears;
 I can discover none; they stand aloof
 Quaking, as dogs that hear the lion's roar.
 We bear the stress, who are but Troy's allies;
 Myself am such, and from afar I came;                          565
 For Lycia lies far distant on the banks
 Of the deep-eddied Xanthus. There a wife
 I left and infant son, both dear to me,
 With plenteous wealth, the wish of all who want.
 Yet urge I still my Lycians, and am prompt                     570
 Myself to fight, although possessing here
 Nought that the Greeks can carry or drive hence.
 But there stand'st thou, neither employed thyself,
 Nor moving others to an active part
 For all their dearest pledges. Oh beware!                      575
 Lest, as with meshes of an ample net,
 At one huge draught the Grecians sweep you all,
 And desolate at once your populous Troy!
 By day, by night, thoughts such as these should still
 Thy conduct influence, and from Chief to Chief                 580
 Of the allies should send thee, praying each
 To make firm stand, all bickerings put away.
   So spake Sarpedon, and his reprimand
 Stung Hector; instant to the ground he leap'd
 All arm'd, and shaking his bright spears his host              585
 Ranged in all quarters animating loud
 His legions, and rekindling horrid war.
 Then, rolling back, the powers of Troy opposed
 Once more the Grecians, whom the Grecians dense
 Expected, unretreating, void of fear.                          590
   As flies the chaff wide scatter'd by the wind
 O'er all the consecrated floor, what time
 Ripe Ceres[13] with brisk airs her golden grain
 Ventilates, whitening with its husk the ground;
 So grew the Achaians white, a dusty cloud                      595
 Descending on their arms, which steeds with steeds
 Again to battle mingling, with their hoofs
 Up-stamp'd into the brazen vault of heaven;
 For now the charioteers turn'd all to fight.
 Host toward host with full collected force                     600
 They moved direct. Then Mars through all the field
 Took wide his range, and overhung the war
 With night, in aid of Troy, at the command
 Of Phoebus of the golden sword; for he
 Perceiving Pallas from the field withdrawn,                    605
 Patroness of the Greeks, had Mars enjoin'd
 To rouse the spirit of the Trojan host.
 Meantime Apollo from his unctuous shrine
 Sent forth restored and with new force inspired
 Æneas. He amidst his warriors stood,                           610
 Who him with joy beheld still living, heal'd,
 And all his strength possessing unimpair'd.
 Yet no man ask'd him aught. No leisure now
 For question was; far other thoughts had they;
 Such toils the archer of the silver bow,                       615
 Wide-slaughtering Mars, and Discord as at first
 Raging implacable, for them prepared.
   Ulysses, either Ajax, Diomede--
 These roused the Greeks to battle, who themselves
 The force fear'd nothing, or the shouts of Troy,               620
 But steadfast stood, like clouds by Jove amass'd
 On lofty mountains, while the fury sleeps
 Of Boreas, and of all the stormy winds
 Shrill-voiced, that chase the vapors when they blow,
 So stood the Greeks, expecting firm the approach               625
 Of Ilium's powers, and neither fled nor fear'd.
   Then Agamemnon the embattled host
 On all sides ranging, cheer'd them. Now, he cried,
 Be steadfast, fellow warriors, now be men!
 Hold fast a sense of honor. More escape                        630
 Of men who fear disgrace, than fall in fight,
 While dastards forfeit life and glory both.
   He said, and hurl'd his spear. He pierced a friend
 Of brave Æneas, warring in the van,
 Deicöon son of Pergasus, in Troy                               635
 Not less esteem'd than Priam's sons themselves,
 Such was his fame in foremost fight acquired.
 Him Agamemnon on his buckler smote,
 Nor stayed the weapon there, but through his belt
 His bowels enter'd, and with hideous clang                     640
 And outcry[14] of his batter'd arms he fell.
   Æneas next two mightiest warriors slew,
 Sons of Diocles, of a wealthy sire,
 Whose house magnificent in Phæræ stood,
 Orsilochus and Crethon. Their descent                          645
 From broad-stream'd Alpheus, Pylian flood, they drew.
 Alpheus begat Orsilochus, a prince
 Of numerous powers. Orsilochus begat
 Warlike Diodes. From Diodes sprang
 Twins, Crethon and Orsilochus, alike                           650
 Valiant, and skilful in all forms of war.
 Their boyish prime scarce past, they, with the Greeks
 Embarking, in their sable ships had sail'd
 To steed-fam'd Ilium; just revenge they sought
 For Atreus' sons, but perished first themselves.               655
   As two young lions, in the deep recess
 Of some dark forest on the mountain's brow
 Late nourished by their dam, forth-issuing, seize
 The fatted flocks and kine, both folds and stalls
 Wasting rapacious, till, at length, themselves                 660
 Deep-wounded perish by the hand of man,
 So they, both vanquish'd by Æneas, fell,
 And like two lofty pines uprooted, lay.
 Them fallen in battle Menelaus saw
 With pity moved; radiant in arms he shook                      665
 His brazen spear, and strode into the van.
 Mars urged him furious on, conceiving hope
 Of his death also by Æneas' hand.
   But him the son of generous Nestor mark'd
 Antilochus, and to the foremost fight                          670
 Flew also, fearing lest some dire mischance
 The Prince befalling, at one fatal stroke
 Should frustrate all the labors of the Greeks.
 They, hand to hand, and spear to spear opposed,
 Stood threatening dreadful onset, when beside                  675
 The Spartan chief Antilochus appear'd.
 Æneas, at the sight of two combined,
 Stood not, although intrepid. They the dead
 Thence drawing far into the Grecian host
 To their associates gave the hapless pair,                     680
 Then, both returning, fought in front again.
   Next, fierce as Mars, Pylæmenes they slew,
 Prince of the shielded band magnanimous
 Of Paphlagonia. Him Atrides kill'd
 Spear-practised Menelaus, with a lance                         685
 His throat transpiercing while erect he rode.
 Then, while his charioteer, Mydon the brave,
 Son of Atymnias, turn'd his steeds to flight,
 Full on his elbow-point Antilochus,
 The son of Nestor, dash'd him with a stone.                    690
 The slack reins, white as ivory,[15] forsook
 His torpid hand and trail'd the dust. At once
 Forth sprang Antilochus, and with his sword
 Hew'd deep his temples. On his head he pitch'd
 Panting, and on his shoulders in the sand                      695
 (For in deep sand he fell) stood long erect,
 Till his own coursers spread him in the dust;
 The son of Nestor seized, and with his scourge
 Drove them afar into the host of Greece.
   Them Hector through the ranks espying, flew                  700
 With clamor loud to meet them; after whom
 Advanced in phalanx firm the powers of Troy,
 Mars led them, with Enyo terror-clad;
 She by the maddening tumult of the fight
 Attended, he, with his enormous spear                          705
 in both hands brandish'd, stalking now in front
 Of Hector, and now following his steps.
   Him Diomede the bold discerning, felt
 Himself no small dismay; and as a man
 Wandering he knows not whither, far from home,                 710
 If chance a rapid torrent to the sea
 Borne headlong thwart his course, the foaming flood
 Obstreperous views awhile, then quick retires,
 So he, and his attendants thus bespake.
   How oft, my countrymen! have we admired                      715
 The noble Hector, skillful at the spear
 And unappall'd in fight? but still hath he
 Some God his guard, and even now I view
 In human form Mars moving at his side.
 Ye, then, with faces to the Trojans turn'd,                    720
 Ceaseless retire, and war not with the Gods.
   He ended; and the Trojans now approach'd.
 Then two bold warriors in one chariot borne,
 By valiant Hector died, Menesthes one,
 And one, Anchialus. Them fallen in fight                       725
 Ajax the vast, touch'd with compassion saw;
 Within small space he stood, his glittering spear
 Dismiss'd, and pierced Amphius. Son was he
 Of Selagus, and Pæsus was his home,
 Where opulent he dwelt, but by his fate                        730
 Was led to fight for Priam and his sons.
 Him Telamonian Ajax through his belt
 Wounded, and in his nether bowels deep
 Fix'd his long-shadow'd spear. Sounding he fell.
 Illustrious Ajax running to the slain                          735
 Prepared to strip his arms, but him a shower
 Of glittering-weapons keen from Trojan hands
 Assail'd, and numerous his broad shield received.
 He, on the body planting firm his heel,
 Forth drew the polish'd spear, but his bright arms             740
 Took not, by darts thick-flying sore annoy'd,
 Nor fear'd he little lest his haughty foes,
 Spear-arm'd and bold, should compass him around;
 Him, therefore, valiant though he were and huge,
 They push'd before them. Staggering he retired.                745
   Thus toil'd both hosts in that laborious field.
 And now his ruthless destiny impell'd
 Tlepolemus, Alcides' son, a Chief
 Dauntless and huge, against a godlike foe
 Sarpedon. They approaching face to face                        750
 Stood, son and grandson of high-thundering Jove,
 And, haughty, thus Tlepolemus began.
   Sarpedon, leader of the Lycian host,
 Thou trembler! thee what cause could hither urge
 A man unskill'd in arms? They falsely speak                    755
 Who call thee son of Ægis-bearing Jove,
 So far below their might thou fall'st who sprang
 From Jove in days of old. What says report
 Of Hercules (for him I boast my sire)
 All-daring hero with a lion's heart?                           760
 With six ships only, and with followers few,
 He for the horses of Laomedon
 Lay'd Troy in dust, and widow'd all her streets.
 But thou art base, and thy diminish'd powers
 Perish around thee; think not that thou earnest                765
 For Ilium's good, but rather, whatsoe'er
 Thy force in fight, to find, subdued by me,
 A sure dismission to the gates of hell.
   To whom the leader of the Lycian band.
 Tlepolemus! he ransack'd sacred Troy,                          770
 As thou hast said, but for her monarch's fault
 Laomedon, who him with language harsh
 Requited ill for benefits received,
 Nor would the steeds surrender, seeking which
 He voyaged from afar. But thou shalt take                      775
 Thy bloody doom from this victorious arm,
 And, vanquish'd by my spear, shalt yield thy fame
 To me, thy soul to Pluto steed-renown'd.
   So spake Sarpedon, and his ashen beam
 Tlepolemus upraised. Both hurl'd at once                       780
 Their quivering spears. Sarpedon's through the neck
 Pass'd of Tlepolemus, and show'd beyond
 Its ruthless point; thick darkness veil'd his eyes.
 Tlepolemus with his long lance the thigh
 Pierced of Sarpedon; sheer into his bone                       785
 He pierced him, but Sarpedon's father, Jove,
 Him rescued even on the verge of fate.
   His noble friends conducted from the field
 The godlike Lycian, trailing as he went
 The pendent spear, none thinking to extract                    790
 For his relief the weapon from his thigh,
 Through eagerness of haste to bear him thence.
 On the other side, the Grecians brazen-mail'd
 Bore off Tlepolemus. Ulysses fill'd
 With earnest thoughts tumultuous them observed,                795
 Danger-defying Chief! Doubtful he stood
 Or to pursue at once the Thunderer's son
 Sarpedon, or to take more Lycian lives.
 But not for brave Ulysses had his fate
 That praise reserved, that he should slay the son              800
 Renown'd of Jove; therefore his wavering mind
 Minerva bent against the Lycian band.
 Then Coeranus, Alastor, Chromius fell,
 Alcander, Halius, Prytanis, and brave
 Noëmon; nor had these sufficed the Chief                       805
 Of Ithaca, but Lycians more had fallen,
 Had not crest-tossing Hector huge perceived
 The havoc; radiant to the van he flew,
 Filling with dread the Grecians; his approach
 Sarpedon, son of Jove, joyful beheld,                          810
 And piteous thus address'd him as he came.
   Ah, leave not me, Priamides! a prey
 To Grecian hands, but in your city, at least,
 Grant me to die: since hither, doom'd, I came
 Never to gratify with my return                                815
 To Lycia, my loved spouse, or infant child.
   He spake; but Hector unreplying pass'd
 Impetuous, ardent to repulse the Greeks
 That moment, and to drench his sword in blood.
 Then, under shelter of a spreading beech                       820
 Sacred to Jove, his noble followers placed
 The godlike Chief Sarpedon, where his friend
 Illustrious Pelagon, the ashen spear
 Extracted. Sightless, of all thought bereft,
 He sank, but soon revived, by breathing airs                   825
 Refresh'd, that fann'd him gently from the North.
   Meantime the Argives, although press'd alike
 By Mars himself and Hector brazen-arm'd,
 Neither to flight inclined, nor yet advanced
 To battle, but inform'd that Mars the fight                    830
 Waged on the side of Ilium, slow retired.[16]
   Whom first, whom last slew then the mighty son
 Of Priam, Hector, and the brazen Mars!
 First godlike Teuthras, an equestrian Chief,
 Orestes, Trechus of Ætolian race,                              835
 OEnomaüs, Helenus from OEnops' sprung,
 And brisk[17] in fight Oresbius; rich was he,
 And covetous of more; in Hyla dwelt
 Fast by the lake Cephissus, where abode
 Boeotian Princes numerous, rich themselves                     840
 And rulers of a people wealth-renown'd.
 But Juno, such dread slaughter of the Greeks
 Noting, thus, ardent, to Minerva spake.
   Daughter of Jove invincible! Our word
 That Troy shall perish, hath been given in vain                845
 To Menelaus, if we suffer Mars
 To ravage longer uncontrol'd. The time
 Urges, and need appears that we ourselves
 Now call to mind the fury of our might.
   She spake; nor blue-eyed Pallas not complied.                850
 Then Juno, Goddess dread, from Saturn sprung,
 Her coursers gold-caparison'd prepared
 Impatient. Hebe to the chariot roll'd
 The brazen wheels,[18] and joined them to the smooth
 Steel axle; twice four spokes divided each                     855
 Shot from the centre to the verge. The verge
 Was gold by fellies of eternal brass
 Guarded, a dazzling show! The shining naves
 Were silver; silver cords and cords of gold
 The seat upbore; two crescents[19] blazed in front.            860
 The pole was argent all, to which she bound
 The golden yoke, and in their place disposed
 The breast-bands incorruptible of gold;
 But Juno to the yoke, herself, the steeds
 Led forth, on fire to reach the dreadful field.                865
   Meantime, Minerva, progeny of Jove,
 On the adamantine floor of his abode
 Let fall profuse her variegated robe,
 Labor of her own hands. She first put on
 The corselet of the cloud-assembler God,                       870
 Then arm'd her for the field of wo complete.
 She charged her shoulder with the dreadful shield
 The shaggy Ægis,[20] border'd thick around
 With terror; there was Discord, Prowess there,
 There hot Pursuit, and there the feature grim                  875
 Of Gorgon, dire Deformity, a sign
 Oft borne portentous on the arm of Jove.
 Her golden helm, whose concave had sufficed
 The legions of an hundred cities, rough
 With warlike ornament superb, she fix'd                        880
 On her immortal head. Thus arm'd, she rose
 Into the flaming chariot, and her spear
 Seized ponderous, huge, with which the Goddess sprung
 From an Almighty father, levels ranks
 Of heroes, against whom her anger burns.                       885
 Juno with lifted lash urged quick the steeds;
 At her approach, spontaneous roar'd the wide-
 Unfolding gates of heaven;[21] the heavenly gates
 Kept by the watchful Hours, to whom the charge
 Of the Olympian summit appertains,                             890
 And of the boundless ether, back to roll,
 And to replace the cloudy barrier dense.
 Spurr'd through the portal flew the rapid steeds;
 Apart from all, and seated on the point
 Superior of the cloven mount, they found                       895
 The Thunderer. Juno the white-arm'd her steeds
 There stay'd, and thus the Goddess, ere she pass'd,
 Question'd the son of Saturn, Jove supreme.
   Jove, Father, seest thou, and art not incensed,
 These ravages of Mars? Oh what a field,                        900
 Drench'd with what Grecian blood! All rashly spilt,
 And in despite of me. Venus, the while,
 Sits, and the Archer of the silver bow
 Delighted, and have urged, themselves, to this
 The frantic Mars within no bounds confined                     905
 Of law or order. But, eternal sire!
 Shall I offend thee chasing far away
 Mars deeply smitten from the field of war?
   To whom the cloud-assembler God replied.
 Go! but exhort thou rather to the task                         910
 Spoil-huntress Athenæan Pallas, him
 Accustom'd to chastise with pain severe.
   He spake, nor white-arm'd Juno not obey'd.
 She lash'd her steeds; they readily their flight
 Began, the earth and starry vault between.                     915
 Far as from his high tower the watchman kens
 O'er gloomy ocean, so far at one bound
 Advance the shrill-voiced coursers of the Gods.
 But when at Troy and at the confluent streams
 Of Simoïs and Scamander they arrived,                          920
 There Juno, white-arm'd Goddess, from the yoke
 Her steeds releasing, them in gather'd shades
 Conceal'd opaque, while Simoïs caused to spring
 Ambrosia from his bank, whereon they browsed.
   Swift as her pinions waft the dove away                      925
 They sought the Grecians, ardent to begin:
 Arriving where the mightiest and the most
 Compass'd equestrian Diomede around,
 In aspect lion-like, or like wild boars
 Of matchless force, there white-arm'd Juno stood,              930
 And in the form of Stentor for his voice
 Of brass renown'd, audible as the roar
 Of fifty throats, the Grecians thus harangued.
   Oh shame, shame, shame! Argives in form alone,
 Beautiful but dishonorable race!                               935
 While yet divine Achilles ranged the field,
 No Trojan stepp'd from yon Dardanian gates
 Abroad; all trembled at his stormy spear;
 But now they venture forth, now at your ships
 Defy you, from their city far remote.                          940
   She ceased, and all caught courage from the sound.
 But Athenæan Pallas eager sought
 The son of Tydeus; at his chariot side
 She found the Chief cooling his fiery wound
 Received from Pandarus; for him the sweat                      945
 Beneath the broad band of his oval shield
 Exhausted, and his arm fail'd him fatigued;
 He therefore raised the band and wiped the blood
 Coagulate; when o'er his chariot yoke
 Her arm the Goddess threw, and thus began.                     950
   Tydeus, in truth, begat a son himself
 Not much resembling. Tydeus was of size
 Diminutive, but had a warrior's heart.
 When him I once commanded to abstain
 From furious fight (what time he enter'd Thebes                955
 Ambassador, and the Cadmeans found
 Feasting, himself the sole Achaian there)
 And bade him quietly partake the feast.
 He, fired with wonted ardor, challenged forth
 To proof of manhood the Cadmean youth,                         960
 Whom easily, through my effectual aid,
 In contests of each kind he overcame.
 But thou, whom I encircle with my power,
 Guard vigilant, and even bid thee forth
 To combat with the Trojans, thou, thy limbs                    965
 Feel'st wearied with the toils of war, or worse,
 Indulgest womanish and heartless fear.
 Henceforth thou art not worthy to be deem'd
 Son of Oenides, Tydeus famed in arms.
   To whom thus valiant Diomede replied.                        970
 I know thee well, oh Goddess sprung from Jove!
 And therefore willing shall, and plain, reply.
 Me neither weariness nor heartless fear
 Restrains, but thine injunctions which impress
 My memory, still, that I should fear to oppose                 975
 The blessed Gods in fight, Venus except,
 Whom in the battle found thou badest me pierce
 With unrelenting spear; therefore myself
 Retiring hither, I have hither call'd
 The other Argives also, for I know                             980
 That Mars, himself in arms, controls the war.
   Him answer'd then the Goddess azure-eyed.
 Tydides! Diomede, my heart's delight!
 Fear not this Mars,[22] nor fear thou other power
 Immortal, but be confident in me.                              985
 Arise. Drive forth. Seek Mars; him only seek;
 Him hand to hand engage; this fiery Mars
 Respect not aught, base implement of wrong
 And mischief, shifting still from side to side.
 He promised Juno lately and myself                             990
 That he would fight for Greece, yet now forgets
 His promise, and gives all his aid to Troy.
   So saying, she backward by his hand withdrew
 The son of Capaneus, who to the ground
 Leap'd instant; she, impatient to his place                    995
 Ascending, sat beside brave Diomede.
 Loud groan'd the beechen axle, under weight
 Unwonted, for it bore into the fight
 An awful Goddess, and the chief of men.
 Quick-seizing lash and reins Minerva drove                    1000
 Direct at Mars. That moment he had slain
 Periphas, bravest of Ætolia's sons,
 And huge of bulk; Ochesius was his sire.
 Him Mars the slaughterer had of life bereft
 Newly, and Pallas to elude his sight                          1005
 The helmet fixed of Ades on her head.[23]
 Soon as gore-tainted Mars the approach perceived
 Of Diomede, he left the giant length
 Of Periphas extended where he died,
 And flew to cope with Tydeus' valiant son.                    1010
 Full nigh they came, when Mars on fire to slay
 The hero, foremost with his brazen lance
 Assail'd him, hurling o'er his horses' heads.
 But Athenæan Pallas in her hand
 The flying weapon caught and turn'd it wide,                  1015
 Baffling his aim. Then Diomede on him
 Rush'd furious in his turn, and Pallas plunged
 The bright spear deep into his cinctured waist
 Dire was the wound, and plucking back the spear
 She tore him. Bellow'd brazen-throated Mars                   1020
 Loud as nine thousand warriors, or as ten
 Join'd in close combat. Grecians, Trojans shook
 Appall'd alike at the tremendous voice
 Of Mars insatiable with deeds of blood.
 Such as the dimness is when summer winds                      1025
 Breathe hot, and sultry mist obscures the sky,
 Such brazen Mars to Diomede appear'd
 By clouds accompanied in his ascent
 Into the boundless ether. Reaching soon
 The Olympian heights, seat of the Gods, he sat                1030
 Beside Saturnian Jove; wo fill'd his heart;
 He show'd fast-streaming from the wound his blood
 Immortal, and impatient thus complain'd.
   Jove, Father! Seest thou these outrageous acts
 Unmoved with anger? Such are day by day                       1035
 The dreadful mischiefs by the Gods contrived
 Against each other, for the sake of man.
 Thou art thyself the cause. Thou hast produced
 A foolish daughter petulant, addict
 To evil only and injurious deeds;                             1040
 There is not in Olympus, save herself,
 Who feels not thy control; but she her will
 Gratifies ever, and reproof from thee
 Finds none, because, pernicious as she is,
 She is thy daughter. She hath now the mind                    1045
 Of haughty Diomede with madness fill'd
 Against the immortal Gods; first Venus bled;
 Her hand he pierced impetuous, then assail'd,
 As if himself immortal, even me,
 But me my feet stole thence, or overwhelm'd                   1050
 Beneath yon heaps of carcases impure,
 What had I not sustain'd? And if at last
 I lived, had halted crippled by the sword.
   To whom with dark displeasure Jove replied.
 Base and side-shifting traitor! vex not me                    1055
 Here sitting querulous; of all who dwell
 On the Olympian heights, thee most I hate
 Contentious, whose delight is war alone.
 Thou hast thy mother's moods, the very spleen
 Of Juno, uncontrolable as she.                                1060
 Whom even I, reprove her as I may,
 Scarce rule by mere commands; I therefore judge
 Thy sufferings a contrivance all her own.
 But soft. Thou art my son whom I begat.
 And Juno bare thee. I can not endure                          1065
 That thou shouldst suffer long. Hadst thou been born
 Of other parents thus detestable,
 What Deity soe'er had brought thee forth,
 Thou shouldst have found long since a humbler sphere.
   He ceased, and to the care his son consign'd                1070
 Of Pæon; he with drugs of lenient powers,
 Soon heal'd whom immortality secured
 From dissolution. As the juice from figs
 Express'd what fluid was in milk before
 Coagulates, stirr'd rapidly around,                           1075
 So soon was Mars by Pæon skill restored.
 Him Hebe bathed, and with divine attire
 Graceful adorn'd; when at the side of Jove
 Again his glorious seat sublime he took.
   Meantime to the abode of Jove supreme                       1080
 Ascended Juno throughout Argos known
 And mighty Pallas; Mars the plague of man,
 By their successful force from slaughter driven.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK VI.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTH BOOK.


The battle is continued. The Trojans being closely pursued, Hector by the advice of Helenus enters Troy, and recommends it to Hecuba to go in solemn procession to the temple of Minerva; she with the matrons goes accordingly. Hector takes the opportunity to find out Paris, and exhorts him to return to the field of battle. An interview succeeds between Hector and Andromache, and Paris, having armed himself in the mean time, comes up with Hector at the close of it, when they sally from the gate together.



                              BOOK VI.


 Thus was the field forsaken by the Gods.
 And now success proved various; here the Greeks
 With their extended spears, the Trojans there
 Prevail'd alternate, on the champain spread
 The Xanthus and the Simoïs between.[1]                           5
   First Telamonian Ajax,[2] bulwark firm
 Of the Achaians, broke the Trojan ranks,
 And kindled for the Greeks a gleam of hope,
 Slaying the bravest of the Thracian band,
 Huge Acamas, Eusorus' son; him first                            10
 Full on the shaggy crest he smote, and urged
 The spear into his forehead; through his skull
 The bright point pass'd, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
 But Diomede, heroic Chief, the son
 Of Teuthras slew, Axylus.[3] Rich was he,                       15
 And in Arisba (where he dwelt beside
 The public road, and at his open door
 Made welcome all) respected and beloved.
 But of his numerous guests none interposed
 To avert his woful doom; nor him alone                          20
 He slew, but with him also to the shades
 Calesius sent, his friend and charioteer.
   Opheltius fell and Dresus, by the hand
 Slain of Euryalus, who, next, his arms
 On Pedasus and on Æsepus turned                                 25
 Brethren and twins. Them Abarbarea bore,
 A Naiad, to Bucolion, son renown'd
 Of King Laomedon, his eldest born,
 But by his mother, at his birth, conceal'd.
 Bucolion pasturing his flocks, embraced                         30
 The lovely nymph; she twins produced, both whom,
 Brave as they were and beautiful, thy son[4]
 Mecisteus! slew, and from their shoulders tore
 Their armor. Dauntless Polypoetes slew
 Astyalus. Ulysses with his spear                                35
 Transfixed Pydites, a Percosian Chief,
 And Teucer Aretaön; Nestor's pride
 Antilochus, with his bright lance, of life
 Bereft Ablerus, and the royal arm
 Of Agamemnon, Elatus; he dwelt                                  40
 Among the hills of lofty Pedasus,
 On Satnio's banks, smooth-sliding river pure
 Phylacus fled, whom Leïtus as swift
 Soon smote. Melanthius at the feet expired
 Of the renown'd Eurypylus, and, flush'd                         45
 With martial ardor, Menelaus seized
 And took alive Adrastus. As it chanced
 A thicket his affrighted steeds detain'd
 Their feet entangling; they with restive force
 At its extremity snapp'd short the pole,                        50
 And to the city, whither others fled,
 Fled also. From his chariot headlong hurl'd,
 Adrastus press'd the plain fast by his wheel.
 Flew Menelaus, and his quivering spear
 Shook over him; he, life imploring, clasp'd                     55
 Importunate his knees, and thus exclaim'd.
   Oh, son of Atreus, let me live! accept
 Illustrious ransom! In my father's house
 Is wealth abundant, gold, and brass, and steel
 Of truest temper, which he will impart                          60
 Till he have gratified thine utmost wish,
 Inform'd that I am captive in your fleet.
   He said, and Menelaus by his words
 Vanquish'd, him soon had to the fleet dismiss'd
 Given to his train in charge, but swift and stern               65
 Approaching, Agamemnon interposed.
   Now, brother, whence this milkiness of mind,
 These scruples about blood? Thy Trojan friends
 Have doubtless much obliged thee. Die the race!
 May none escape us! neither he who flies,                       70
 Nor even the infant in his mother's womb
 Unconscious. Perish universal Troy
 Unpitied, till her place be found no more![5]
   So saying, his brother's mind the Hero turn'd,
 Advising him aright; he with his hand                           75
 Thrust back Adrastus, and himself, the King,
 His bowels pierced. Supine Adrastus fell,
 And Agamemnon, with his foot the corse
 Impressing firm, pluck'd forth his ashen spear.
 Then Nestor, raising high his voice, exclaim'd.                 80
   Friends, Heroes, Grecians, ministers of Mars!
 Let none, desirous of the spoil, his time
 Devote to plunder now; now slay your foes,
 And strip them when the field shall be your own.[6]
   He said, and all took courage at his word.                    85
   Then had the Trojans enter'd Troy again
 By the heroic Grecians foul repulsed,
 So was their spirit daunted, but the son
 Of Priam, Helenus, an augur far
 Excelling all, at Hector's side his speech                      90
 To him and to Æneas thus address'd.
   Hector, and thou, Æneas, since on you
 The Lycians chiefly and ourselves depend,
 For that in difficult emprize ye show
 Most courage; give best counsel; stand yourselves,              95
 And, visiting all quarters, cause to stand
 Before the city-gates our scatter'd troops,
 Ere yet the fugitives within the arms
 Be slaughter'd of their wives, the scorn of Greece.
 When thus ye shall have rallied every band                     100
 And roused their courage, weary though we be,
 Yet since necessity commands, even here
 Will we give battle to the host of Greece.
 But, Hector! to the city thou depart;
 There charge our mother, that she go direct,                   105
 With the assembled matrons, to the fane
 Of Pallas in the citadel of Troy.
 Opening her chambers' sacred doors, of all
 Her treasured mantles there, let her select
 The widest, most magnificently wrought,                        110
 And which she values most; _that_ let her spread
 On Athenæan Pallas' lap divine.[7]
 Twelve heifers of the year yet never touch'd
 With puncture of the goad, let her alike
 Devote to her, if she will pity Troy,                          115
 Our wives and little ones, and will avert
 The son of Tydeus from these sacred towers,
 That dreadful Chief, terror of all our host,
 Bravest, in my account, of all the Greeks.
 For never yet Achilles hath himself                            120
 So taught our people fear, although esteemed
 Son of a Goddess. But this warrior's rage
 Is boundless, and his strength past all compare.
   So Helenus; nor Hector not complied.
 Down from his chariot instant to the ground                    125
 All arm'd he leap'd, and, shaking his sharp spears,
 Through every phalanx pass'd, rousing again
 Their courage, and rekindling horrid war.
 They, turning, faced the Greeks; the Greeks repulsed,
 Ceased from all carnage, nor supposed they less                130
 Than that some Deity, the starry skies
 Forsaken, help'd their foes, so firm they stood.
 But Hector to the Trojans call'd aloud.
 Ye dauntless Trojans and confederate powers
 Call'd from afar! now be ye men, my friends,                   135
 Now summon all the fury of your might!
 I go to charge our senators and wives
 That they address the Gods with prayers and vows
 For our success, and hecatombs devote.
   So saying the Hero went, and as he strode                    140
 The sable hide that lined his bossy shield
 Smote on his neck and on his ancle-bone.
   And now into the middle space between
 Both hosts, the son of Tydeus and the son
 Moved of Hippolochus, intent alike                             145
 On furious combat; face to face they stood,
 And thus heroic Diomede began.
   Most noble Champion! who of human kind
 Art thou,[8] whom in the man-ennobling fight
 I now encounter first? Past all thy peers                      150
 I must esteem thee valiant, who hast dared
 To meet my coming, and my spear defy.
 Ah! they are sons of miserable sires
 Who dare my might; but if a God from heaven
 Thou come, behold! I fight not with the Gods.                  155
 That war Lycurgus son of Dryas waged,
 And saw not many years. The nurses he
 Of brain-disturbing Bacchus down the steep
 Pursued of sacred Nyssa; they their wands
 Vine-wreathed cast all away, with an ox-goad                   160
 Chastised by fell Lycurgus. Bacchus plunged
 Meantime dismay'd into the deep, where him
 Trembling, and at the Hero's haughty threats
 Confounded, Thetis in her bosom hid.[9]
 Thus by Lycurgus were the blessed powers                       165
 Of heaven offended, and Saturnian Jove
 Of sight bereaved him, who not long that loss
 Survived, for he was curst by all above.
 I, therefore, wage no contest with the Gods;
 But if thou be of men, and feed on bread                       170
 Of earthly growth, draw nigh, that with a stroke
 Well-aim'd, I may at once cut short thy days.[10]
   To whom the illustrious Lycian Chief replied.
 Why asks brave Diomede of my descent?
 For, as the leaves, such is the race of man.[11]               175
 The wind shakes down the leaves, the budding grove
 Soon teems with others, and in spring they grow.
 So pass mankind. One generation meets
 Its destined period, and a new succeeds.
 But since thou seem'st desirous to be taught                   180
 My pedigree, whereof no few have heard,
 Know that in Argos, in the very lap
 Of Argos, for her steed-grazed meadows famed,
 Stands Ephyra;[12] there Sisyphus abode,
 Shrewdest of human kind; Sisyphus, named                       185
 Æolides. Himself a son begat,
 Glaucus, and he Bellerophon, to whom
 The Gods both manly force and beauty gave.
 Him Proetus (for in Argos at that time
 Proetus was sovereign, to whose sceptre Jove                   190
 Had subjected the land) plotting his death,
 Contrived to banish from his native home.
 For fair Anteia, wife of Proetus, mad
 Through love of young Bellerophon, him oft
 In secret to illicit joys enticed;                             195
 But she prevail'd not o'er the virtuous mind
 Discrete of whom she wooed; therefore a lie
 Framing, she royal Proetus thus bespake.
   Die thou, or slay Bellerophon, who sought
 Of late to force me to his lewd embrace.                       200
   So saying, the anger of the King she roused.
 Slay him himself he would not, for his heart
 Forbad the deed; him therefore he dismiss'd
 To Lycia, charged with tales of dire import
 Written in tablets,[13] which he bade him show,                205
 That he might perish, to Anteia's sire.
 To Lycia then, conducted by the Gods,
 He went, and on the shores of Xanthus found
 Free entertainment noble at the hands
 Of Lycia's potent King. Nine days complete                     210
 He feasted him, and slew each day an ox.
 But when the tenth day's ruddy morn appear'd,
 He asked him then his errand, and to see
 Those written tablets from his son-in-law.
 The letters seen, he bade him, first, destroy                  215
 Chimæra, deem'd invincible, divine
 In nature, alien from the race of man,
 Lion in front, but dragon all behind,
 And in the midst a she-goat breathing forth
 Profuse the violence of flaming fire.                          220
 Her, confident in signs from heaven, he slew.
 Next, with the men of Solymæ[14] he fought,
 Brave warriors far renown'd, with whom he waged,
 In his account, the fiercest of his wars.
 And lastly, when in battle he had slain                        225
 The man-resisting Amazons, the king
 Another stratagem at his return
 Devised against him, placing close-conceal'd
 An ambush for him from the bravest chosen
 In Lycia; but they saw their homes no more;                    230
 Bellerophon the valiant slew them all.
 The monarch hence collecting, at the last,
 His heavenly origin, him there detain'd,
 And gave him his own daughter, with the half
 Of all his royal dignity and power.                            235
 The Lycians also, for his proper use,
 Large lot assigned him of their richest soil,[15]
 Commodious for the vine, or for the plow.
 And now his consort fair three children bore
 To bold Bellerophon; Isandrus one,                             240
 And one, Hippolochus; his youngest born
 Laodamia was for beauty such
 That she became a concubine of Jove.
 She bore Sarpedon of heroic note.
 But when Bellerophon, at last, himself                         245
 Had anger'd all the Gods, feeding on grief
 He roam'd alone the Aleian field, exiled,
 By choice, from every cheerful haunt of man.
 Mars, thirsty still for blood, his son destroy'd
 Isandrus, warring with the host renown'd                       250
 Of Solymæ; and in her wrath divine
 Diana from her chariot golden-rein'd
 Laodamia slew. Myself I boast
 Sprung from Hippolochus; he sent me forth
 To fight for Troy, charging me much and oft                    255
 That I should outstrip always all mankind
 In worth and valor, nor the house disgrace
 Of my forefathers, heroes without peer
 In Ephyra, and in Lycia's wide domain.
 Such is my lineage; such the blood I boast.                    260
   He ceased. Then valiant Diomede rejoiced.
 He pitch'd his spear, and to the Lycian Prince
 In terms of peace and amity replied.
   Thou art my own hereditary friend,
 Whose noble grandsire was the guest of mine.[16]               265
 For Oeneus, on a time, full twenty days
 Regaled Bellerophon, and pledges fair
 Of hospitality they interchanged.
 Oeneus a belt radiant with purple gave
 To brave Bellerophon, who in return                            270
 Gave him a golden goblet. Coming forth
 I left the kind memorial safe at home.
 A child was I when Tydeus went to Thebes,
 Where the Achaians perish'd, and of him
 Hold no remembrance; but henceforth, my friend,                275
 Thine host am I in Argos, and thou mine
 In Lycia, should I chance to sojourn there.
 We will not clash. Trojans or aids of Troy
 No few the Gods shall furnish to my spear,
 Whom I may slaughter; and no want of Greeks                    280
 On whom to prove thy prowess, thou shalt find.
 But it were well that an exchange ensued
 Between us; take mine armor, give me thine,
 That all who notice us may understand
 Our patrimonial[17] amity and love.                            285
   So they, and each alighting, hand in hand
 Stood lock'd, faith promising and firm accord.
 Then Jove of sober judgment so bereft
 Infatuate Glaucus that with Tydeus' son
 He barter'd gold for brass, an hundred beeves                  290
 In value, for the value small of nine.
   But Hector at the Scæan gate and beech[18]
 Meantime arrived, to whose approach the wives
 And daughters flock'd of Troy, inquiring each
 The fate of husband, brother, son, or friend.                  295
 He bade them all with solemn prayer the Gods
 Seek fervent, for that wo was on the wing.
   But when he enter'd Priam's palace, built
 With splendid porticoes, and which within
 Had fifty chambers lined with polish'd stone,                  300
 Contiguous all, where Priam's sons reposed
 And his sons' wives, and where, on the other side.
 In twelve magnificent chambers also lined
 With polish'd marble and contiguous all,
 The sons-in-law of Priam lay beside                            305
 His spotless daughters, there the mother queen
 Seeking the chamber of Laodice,
 Loveliest of all her children, as she went
 Met Hector. On his hand she hung and said:
   Why leavest thou, O my son! the dangerous field?             310
 I fear that the Achaians (hateful name!)
 Compass the walls so closely, that thou seek'st
 Urged by distress the citadel, to lift
 Thine hands in prayer to Jove? But pause awhile
 Till I shall bring thee wine, that having pour'd               315
 Libation rich to Jove and to the powers
 Immortal, thou may'st drink and be refresh'd.
 For wine is mighty to renew the strength
 Of weary man, and weary thou must be
 Thyself, thus long defending us and ours.                      320
 To whom her son majestic thus replied.
   My mother, whom I reverence! cheering wine
 Bring none to me, lest I forget my might.[19]
 I fear, beside, with unwash'd hands to pour
 Libation forth of sable wine to Jove,                          325
 And dare on none account, thus blood-defiled,[20]
 Approach the tempest-stirring God in prayer.
 Thou, therefore, gathering all our matrons, seek
 The fane of Pallas, huntress of the spoil,
 Bearing sweet incense; but from the attire                     330
 Treasured within thy chamber, first select
 The amplest robe, most exquisitely wrought,
 And which thou prizest most--then spread the gift
 On Athenæan Pallas' lap divine.
 Twelve heifers also of the year, untouch'd                     335
 With puncture of the goad, promise to slay
 In sacrifice, if she will pity Troy,
 Our wives and little ones, and will avert
 The son of Tydeus from these sacred towers,
 That dreadful Chief, terror of all our host.                   340
 Go then, my mother, seek the hallowed fane
 Of the spoil-huntress Deity. I, the while,
 Seek Paris, and if Paris yet can hear,
 Shall call him forth. But oh that earth would yawn
 And swallow him, whom Jove hath made a curse                   345
 To Troy, to Priam, and to all his house;
 Methinks, to see him plunged into the shades
 For ever, were a cure for all my woes.
   He ceased; the Queen, her palace entering, charged
 Her maidens; they, incontinent, throughout                     350
 All Troy convened the matrons, as she bade.
 Meantime into her wardrobe incense-fumed,
 Herself descended; there her treasures lay,
 Works of Sidonian women,[21] whom her son
 The godlike Paris, when he cross'd the seas                    355
 With Jove-begotten Helen, brought to Troy.
 The most magnificent, and varied most
 With colors radiant, from the rest she chose
 For Pallas; vivid as a star it shone,
 And lowest lay of all. Then forth she went,                    360
 The Trojan matrons all following her steps.
   But when the long procession reach'd the fane
 Of Pallas in the heights of Troy, to them
 The fair Theano ope'd the portals wide,
 Daughter of Cisseus, brave Antenor's spouse,                   365
 And by appointment public, at that time,
 Priestess of Pallas. All with lifted hands[22]
 In presence of Minerva wept aloud.
 Beauteous Theano on the Goddess' lap
 Then spread the robe, and to the daughter fair                 370
 Of Jove omnipotent her suit address'd.
   Goddess[23] of Goddesses, our city's shield,
 Adored Minerva, hear! oh! break the lance
 Of Diomede, and give himself to fall
 Prone in the dust before the Scæan gate.                       375
 So will we offer to thee at thy shrine,
 This day twelve heifers of the year, untouch'd
 By yoke or goad, if thou wilt pity show
 To Troy, and save our children and our wives.
   Such prayer the priestess offer'd, and such prayer           380
 All present; whom Minerva heard averse.
 But Hector to the palace sped meantime
 Of Alexander, which himself had built,
 Aided by every architect of name
 Illustrious then in Troy. Chamber it had,                      385
 Wide hall, proud dome, and on the heights of Troy
 Near-neighboring Hector's house and Priam's stood.
 There enter'd Hector, Jove-beloved, a spear
 Its length eleven cubits in his hand,
 Its glittering head bound with a ring of gold.                 390
 He found within his chamber whom he sought,
 Polishing with exactest care his arms
 Resplendent, shield and hauberk fingering o'er
 With curious touch, and tampering with his bow.[24]
 Helen of Argos with her female train                           395
 Sat occupied, the while, to each in turn
 Some splendid task assigning. Hector fix'd
 His eyes on Paris, and him stern rebuked.
   Thy sullen humors, Paris, are ill-timed.
 The people perish at our lofty walls;                          400
 The flames of war have compass'd Troy around
 And thou hast kindled them; who yet thyself
 That slackness show'st which in another seen
 Thou would'st resent to death. Haste, seek the field
 This moment, lest, the next, all Ilium blaze.                  405
   To whom thus Paris, graceful as a God.
 Since, Hector, thou hast charged me with a fault,
 And not unjustly, I will answer make,
 And give thou special heed. That here I sit,
 The cause is sorrow, which I wish'd to soothe                  410
 In secret, not displeasure or revenge.
 I tell thee also, that even now my wife
 Was urgent with me in most soothing terms
 That I would forth to battle; and myself,
 Aware that victory oft changes sides,                          415
 That course prefer. Wait, therefore, thou awhile,
 'Till I shall dress me for the fight, or go
 Thou first, and I will overtake thee soon.
   He ceased, to whom brave Hector answer none
 Return'd, when Helen him with lenient speech                   420
 Accosted mild.[25] My brother! who in me
 Hast found a sister worthy of thy hate,
 Authoress of all calamity to Troy,
 Oh that the winds, the day when I was born,
 Had swept me out of sight, whirl'd me aloft                    425
 To some inhospitable mountain-top,
 Or plunged me in the deep; there I had sunk
 O'erwhelm'd, and all these ills had never been.
 But since the Gods would bring these ills to pass,
 I should, at least, some worthier mate have chosen,            430
 One not insensible to public shame.
 But this, oh this, nor hath nor will acquire
 Hereafter, aught which like discretion shows
 Or reason, and shall find his just reward.
 But enter; take this seat; for who as thou                     435
 Labors, or who hath cause like thee to rue
 The crime, my brother, for which Heaven hath doom'd
 Both Paris and my most detested self
 To be the burthens of an endless song?
   To whom the warlike Hector huge[26] replied.                 440
 Me bid not, Helen, to a seat, howe'er
 Thou wish my stay, for thou must not prevail.
 The Trojans miss me, and myself no less
 Am anxious to return. But urge in haste
 This loiterer forth; yea, let him urge himself                 445
 To overtake me ere I quit the town.
 For I must home in haste, that I may see
 My loved Andromache, my infant boy,
 And my domestics, ignorant if e'er
 I shall behold them more, or if my fate                        450
 Ordain me now to fall by Grecian hands.
   So spake the dauntless hero, and withdrew.
 But reaching soon his own well-built abode
 He found not fair Andromache; she stood
 Lamenting Hector, with the nurse who bore                      455
 Her infant, on a turret's top sublime.
 He then, not finding his chaste spouse within,
 Thus from the portal, of her train inquired.
   Tell me, ye maidens, whither went from home
 Andromache the fair?[27] Went she to see                       460
 Her female kindred of my father's house,
 Or to Minerva's temple, where convened
 The bright-hair'd matrons of the city seek
 To soothe the awful Goddess? Tell me true.
   To whom his household's governess discreet.                  465
 Since, Hector, truth is thy demand, receive
 True answer. Neither went she forth to see
 Her female kindred of thy father's house,
 Nor to Minerva's temple, where convened
 The bright-haired matrons of the city seek                     470
 To soothe the awful Goddess; but she went
 Hence to the tower of Troy: for she had heard
 That the Achaians had prevail'd, and driven
 The Trojans to the walls; she, therefore, wild
 With grief, flew thither, and the nurse her steps              475
 Attended, with thy infant in her arms.
   So spake the prudent governess; whose words
 When Hector heard, issuing from his door
 He backward trod with hasty steps the streets
 Of lofty Troy, and having traversed all                        480
 The spacious city, when he now approach'd
 The Scæan gate, whence he must seek the field,
 There, hasting home again his noble wife
 Met him, Andromache the rich-endow'd
 Fair daughter of Eëtion famed in arms.                         485
 Eëtion, who in Hypoplacian Thebes
 Umbrageous dwelt, Cilicia's mighty lord--
 His daughter valiant Hector had espoused.
 There she encounter'd him, and with herself
 The nurse came also, bearing in her arms                       490
 Hectorides, his infant darling boy,
 Beautiful as a star. Him Hector called
 Scamandrios, but Astyanax[28] all else
 In Ilium named him, for that Hector's arm
 Alone was the defence and strength of Troy.                    495
 The father, silent, eyed his babe, and smiled.
 Andromache, meantime, before him stood,
 With streaming cheeks, hung on his hand, and said.
   Thy own great courage will cut short thy days,
 My noble Hector! neither pitiest thou                          500
 Thy helpless infant, or my hapless self,
 Whose widowhood is near; for thou wilt fall
 Ere long, assail'd by the whole host of Greece.
 Then let me to the tomb, my best retreat
 When thou art slain. For comfort none or joy                   505
 Can I expect, thy day of life extinct,
 But thenceforth, sorrow. Father I have none;
 No mother. When Cilicia's city, Thebes
 The populous, was by Achilles sack'd.
 He slew my father; yet his gorgeous arms                       510
 Stripp'd not through reverence of him, but consumed,
 Arm'd as it was, his body on the pile,
 And heap'd his tomb, which the Oreades,
 Jove's daughters, had with elms inclosed around.[29]
 My seven brothers, glory of our house,                         515
 All in one day descended to the shades;
 For brave Achilles,[30] while they fed their herds
 And snowy flocks together, slew them all.
 My mother, Queen of the well-wooded realm
 Of Hypoplacian Thebes, her hither brought                      520
 Among his other spoils, he loosed again
 At an inestimable ransom-price,
 But by Diana pierced, she died at home.
 Yet Hector--oh my husband! I in thee
 Find parents, brothers, all that I have lost.                  525
 Come! have compassion on us. Go not hence,
 But guard this turret, lest of me thou make
 A widow, and an orphan of thy boy.
 The city walls are easiest of ascent
 At yonder fig-tree; station there thy powers;                  530
 For whether by a prophet warn'd, or taught
 By search and observation, in that part
 Each Ajax with Idomeneus of Crete,
 The sons of Atreus, and the valiant son
 Of Tydeus, have now thrice assail'd the town.                  535
   To whom the leader of the host of Troy.
   These cares, Andromache, which thee engage,
 All touch me also; but I dread to incur
 The scorn of male and female tongues in Troy,
 If, dastard-like, I should decline the fight.                  540
 Nor feel I such a wish. No. I have learn'd
 To be courageous ever, in the van
 Among the flower of Ilium to assert
 My glorious father's honor, and my own.
 For that the day shall come when sacred Troy,                  545
 When Priam, and the people of the old
 Spear-practised King shall perish, well I know.
 But for no Trojan sorrows yet to come
 So much I mourn, not e'en for Hecuba,
 Nor yet for Priam, nor for all the brave                       550
 Of my own brothers who shall kiss the dust,
 As for thyself, when some Achaian Chief
 Shall have convey'd thee weeping hence, thy sun
 Of peace and liberty for ever set.
 Then shalt thou toil in Argos at the loom                      555
 For a task-mistress, and constrain'd shalt draw
 From Hypereïa's fount,[31] or from the fount
 Messeïs, water at her proud command.
 Some Grecian then, seeing thy tears, shall say--
 "This was the wife of Hector, who excell'd                     560
 All Troy in fight when Ilium was besieged."
 Such he shall speak thee, and thy heart, the while,
 Shall bleed afresh through want of such a friend
 To stand between captivity and thee.
 But may I rest beneath my hill of earth                        565
 Or ere that day arrive! I would not live
 To hear thy cries, and see thee torn away.
   So saying, illustrious Hector stretch'd his arms
 Forth to his son, but with a scream, the child
 Fell back into the bosom of his nurse,                         570
 His father's aspect dreading, whose bright arms
 He had attentive mark'd and shaggy crest
 Playing tremendous o'er his helmet's height.
 His father and his gentle mother laugh'd,[32]
 And noble Hector lifting from his head                         575
 His dazzling helmet, placed it on the ground,
 Then kiss'd his boy and dandled him, and thus
 In earnest prayer the heavenly powers implored.
   Hear all ye Gods! as ye have given to me,
 So also on my son excelling might                              580
 Bestow, with chief authority in Troy.
 And be his record this, in time to come,
 When he returns from battle. Lo! how far
 The son excels the sire! May every foe
 Fall under him, and he come laden home                         585
 With spoils blood-stain'd to his dear mother's joy.
   He said, and gave his infant to the arms
 Of his Andromache, who him received
 Into her fragrant bosom, bitter tears
 With sweet smiles mingling; he with pity moved                 590
 That sight observed, soft touch'd her cheek, and said,
   Mourn not, my loved Andromache, for me
 Too much; no man shall send me to the shades
 Of Tartarus, ere mine allotted hour,
 Nor lives he who can overpass the date                         595
 By heaven assign'd him, be he base or brave.[33]
 Go then, and occupy content at home
 The woman's province; ply the distaff, spin
 And weave, and task thy maidens. War belongs
 To man; to all men; and of all who first                       600
 Drew vital breath in Ilium, most to me.[34]
   He ceased, and from the ground his helmet raised
 Hair-crested; his Andromache, at once
 Obedient, to her home repair'd, but oft
 Turn'd as she went, and, turning, wept afresh.                 605
 No sooner at the palace she arrived
 Of havoc-spreading Hector, than among
 Her numerous maidens found within, she raised
 A general lamentation; with one voice,
 In his own house, his whole domestic train                     610
 Mourn'd Hector, yet alive; for none the hope
 Conceived of his escape from Grecian hands,
 Or to behold their living master more.
   Nor Paris in his stately mansion long
 Delay'd, but, arm'd resplendent, traversed swift               615
 The city, all alacrity and joy.
 As some stall'd horse high-fed, his stable-cord
 Snapt short, beats under foot the sounding plain,
 Accustomed in smooth-sliding streams to lave
 Exulting; high he bears his head, his mane                     620
 Undulates o'er his shoulders, pleased he eyes
 His glossy sides, and borne on pliant knees
 Shoots to the meadow where his fellows graze;
 So Paris, son of Priam, from the heights
 Of Pergamus into the streets of Troy,                          625
 All dazzling as the sun, descended, flush'd
 With martial pride, and bounding in his course.
 At once he came where noble Hector stood
 Now turning, after conference with his spouse,
 When godlike Alexander thus began.                             630
   My hero brother, thou hast surely found
 My long delay most irksome. More dispatch
 Had pleased thee more, for such was thy command.
   To whom the warlike Hector thus replied.
 No man, judicious, and in feat of arms                         635
 Intelligent, would pour contempt on thee
 (For thou art valiant) wert thou not remiss
 And wilful negligent; and when I hear
 The very men who labor in thy cause
 Reviling thee, I make thy shame my own.                        640
 But let us on. All such complaints shall cease
 Hereafter, and thy faults be touch'd no more,
 Let Jove but once afford us riddance clear
 Of these Achaians, and to quaff the cup
 Of liberty, before the living Gods.                            645
                 *       *       *       *       *

It may be observed, that Hector begins to resume his hope of success, and his warlike spirit is roused again, as he approaches the field of action. The depressing effect of his sad interview is wearing away from his mind, and he is already prepared for the battle with Ajax, which awaits him.

The student who has once read this book, will read it again and again. It contains much that is addressed to the deepest feelings of our common nature, and, despite of the long interval of time which lies between our age and the Homeric--despite the manifold changes of customs, habits, pursuits, and the advances that have been made in civilization and art--despite of all these, the universal spirit of humanity will recognize in these scenes much of that true poetry which delights alike all ages, all nations, all men.--FELTON.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK VII.



                   ARGUMENT OF THE SEVENTH BOOK.


Ajax and Hector engage in single combat. The Grecians fortify their camp.



                             BOOK VII.


 So saying, illustrious Hector through the gates
 To battle rush'd, with Paris at his side,
 And both were bent on deeds of high renown.
 As when the Gods vouchsafe propitious gales
 To longing mariners, who with smooth oars                        5
 Threshing the waves have all their strength consumed,
 So them the longing Trojans glad received.
   At once each slew a Grecian. Paris slew
 Menesthius who in Arna dwelt, the son
 Of Areithoüs, club-bearing chief,                               10
 And of Philomedusa radiant-eyed.
 But Hector wounded with his glittering spear
 Eïoneus; he pierced his neck beneath
 His brazen morion's verge, and dead he fell.
 Then Glaucus, leader of the Lycian host,                        15
 Son of Hippolochus, in furious fight
 Iphinoüs son of Dexias assail'd,
 Mounting his rapid mares, and with his lance
 His shoulder pierced; unhorsed he fell and died.
   Such slaughter of the Grecians in fierce fight                20
 Minerva noting, from the Olympian hills
 Flew down to sacred Ilium; whose approach
 Marking from Pergamus, Apollo flew
 To meet her, ardent on the part of Troy.
 Beneath the beech they join'd, when first the King,             25
 The son of Jove, Apollo thus began.
   Daughter of Jove supreme! why hast thou left
 Olympus, and with such impetuous speed?
 Comest thou to give the Danaï success
 Decisive? For I know that pity none                             30
 Thou feel'st for Trojans, perish as they may
 But if advice of mine can influence thee
 To that which shall be best, let us compose
 This day the furious fight which shall again
 Hereafter rage, till Ilium be destroy'd.                        35
 Since such is Juno's pleasure and thy own.
   Him answer'd then Pallas cærulean-eyed.
 Celestial archer! be it so. I came
 Myself so purposing into the field
 From the Olympian heights. But by what means                    40
 Wilt thou induce the warriors to a pause?
   To whom the King, the son of Jove, replied.
 The courage of equestrian Hector bold
 Let us excite, that he may challenge forth
 To single conflict terrible some chief                          45
 Achaian. The Achaians brazen-mail'd
 Indignant, will supply a champion soon
 To combat with the noble Chief of Troy.
   So spake Apollo, and his counsel pleased
 Minerva; which when Helenus the seer,                           50
 Priam's own son, in his prophetic soul
 Perceived, approaching Hector, thus he spake.
   Jove's peer in wisdom, Hector, Priam's son!
 I am thy brother. Wilt thou list to me?
 Bid cease the battle. Bid both armies sit.                      55
 Call first, thyself, the mightiest of the Greeks
 To single conflict. I have heard the voice
 Of the Eternal Gods, and well-assured
 Foretell thee that thy death not now impends.
   He spake, whom Hector heard with joy elate.                   60
 Before his van striding into the space
 Both hosts between, he with his spear transverse[1]
 Press'd back the Trojans, and they sat. Down sat
 The well-greaved Grecians also at command
 Of Agamemnon; and in shape assumed                              65
 Of vultures, Pallas and Apollo perch'd
 High on the lofty beech sacred to Jove
 The father Ægis-arm'd; delighted thence
 They view'd the peopled plain horrent around
 With shields and helms and glittering spears erect.             70
 As when fresh-blowing Zephyrus the flood
 Sweeps first, the ocean blackens at the blast,
 Such seem'd the plain whereon the Achaians sat
 And Trojans, whom between thus Hector spake.
   Ye Trojans and Achaians brazen-greaved,                       75
 Attend while I shall speak! Jove high-enthroned
 Hath not fulfill'd the truce, but evil plans
 Against both hosts, till either ye shall take
 Troy's lofty towers, or shall yourselves in flight
 Fall vanquish'd at your billow-cleaving barks.                  80
 With you is all the flower of Greece.[2] Let him
 Whose heart shall move him to encounter sole
 Illustrious Hector, from among you all
 Stand forth, and Jove be witness to us both.
 If he, with his long-pointed lance, of life                     85
 Shall me bereave, my armor is his prize,
 Which he shall hence into your fleet convey;
 Not so my body; that he shall resign
 For burial to the men and wives of Troy.
 But if Apollo make the glory mine,                              90
 And he fall vanquish'd, him will I despoil,
 And hence conveying into sacred Troy
 His arms, will in the temple hang them high[3]
 Of the bow-bender God, but I will send
 His body to the fleet, that him the Greeks                      95
 May grace with rights funereal. On the banks
 Of wide-spread Hellespont ye shall upraise
 His tomb, and as they cleave with oary barks
 The sable deep, posterity shall say--
 "It is a warrior's tomb; in ancient days                       100
 The Hero died; him warlike Hector slew."
 So men shall speak hereafter, and my fame
 Who slew him, and my praise, shall never die.
   He ceased, and all sat mute. His challenge bold
 None dared accept, which yet they blush'd to shun,             105
 Till Menelaus, at the last, arose
 Groaning profound, and thus reproach'd the Greeks.
   Ah boasters! henceforth women--men no more--
 Eternal shame, shame infinite is ours,
 If none of all the Grecians dares contend                      110
 With Hector. Dastards--deaf to glory's call--
 Rot where ye sit! I will myself take arms
 Against him, for the gods alone dispose,
 At their own pleasure, the events of war.
   He ended, and put on his radiant arms.                       115
 Then, Menelaus, manifest appear'd
 Thy death approaching by the dreadful hands
 Of Hector, mightier far in arms than thou,
 But that the Chiefs of the Achaians all
 Upstarting stay'd thee, and himself the King,                  120
 The son of Atreus, on thy better hand
 Seizing affectionate, thee thus address'd.
   Thou ravest, my royal brother! and art seized
 With needless frenzy. But, however chafed,
 Restrain thy wrath, nor covet to contend                       125
 With Priameian Hector, whom in fight
 All dread, a warrior thy superior far.
 Not even Achilles, in the glorious field
 (Though stronger far than thou) this hero meets
 Undaunted. Go then, and thy seat resume                        130
 In thy own band; the Achaians shall for him,
 Doubtless, some fitter champion furnish forth.
 Brave though he be, and with the toils of war
 Insatiable, he shall be willing yet,
 Seated on his bent knees, to breathe a while,                  135
 Should he escape the arduous brunt severe.
   So saying, the hero by his counsel wise
 His brother's purpose alter'd; he complied,
 And his glad servants eased him of his arms.
 Then Nestor thus the Argive host bespake.                      140
   Great wo, ye Gods! hath on Achaia fallen.
 Now may the warlike Pelaus, hoary Chief,
 Who both with eloquence and wisdom rules
 The Myrmidons, our foul disgrace deplore.
 With him discoursing, erst, of ancient times,                  145
 When all your pedigrees I traced, I made
 His heart bound in him at the proud report.
 But now, when he shall learn how here we sat
 Cowering at the foot of Hector, he shall oft
 His hands uplift to the immortal Gods,                         150
 Praying a swift release into the shades.
 Jove! Pallas! Phoebus! Oh that I were young
 As when the Pylians in fierce fight engaged
 The Arcadians spear-expert, beside the stream
 Of rapid Celadon! Beneath the walls                            155
 We fought of Pheia, where the Jardan rolls.
 There Ereuthalion, Chief of godlike form,
 Stood forth before his van, and with loud voice
 Defied the Pylians. Arm'd he was in steel
 By royal Areïthous whilom worn;                                160
 Brave Areïthous, Corynetes[4] named
 By every tongue; for that in bow and spear
 Nought trusted he, but with an iron mace
 The close-embattled phalanx shatter'd wide.
 Him by address, not by superior force,                         165
 Lycurgus vanquish'd, in a narrow pass,
 Where him his iron whirl-bat[5] nought avail'd.
 Lycurgus stealing on him, with his lance
 Transpierced and fix'd him to the soil supine.
 Him of his arms, bright gift of brazen Mars,                   170
 He stripp'd, which after, in the embattled field
 Lycurgus wore himself, but, growing old,
 Surrender'd them to Ereuthalion's use
 His armor-bearer, high in his esteem,
 And Ereuthalion wore them on the day                           175
 When he defied our best. All hung their heads
 And trembled; none dared meet him; till at last
 With inborn courage warm'd, and nought dismayed,
 Though youngest of them all, I undertook
 That contest, and, by Pallas' aid, prevail'd.                  180
 I slew the man in height and bulk all men
 Surpassing, and much soil he cover'd slain.
 Oh for the vigor of those better days!
 Then should not Hector want a champion long,
 Whose call to combat, ye, although the prime                   185
 And pride of all our land, seem slow to hear.
   He spake reproachful, when at once arose
 Nine heroes. Agamemnon, King of men,
 Foremost arose; then Tydeus' mighty son,
 With either Ajax in fierce prowess clad;                       190
 The Cretan next, Idomeneus, with whom
 Uprose Meriones his friend approved,
 Terrible as the man-destroyer Mars.
 Evæmon's noble offspring next appear'd
 Eurypylus; Andræmon's son the next                             195
 Thoas; and last, Ulysses, glorious Chief.
 All these stood ready to engage in arms
 With warlike Hector, when the ancient King,
 Gerenian Nestor, thus his speech resumed.
   Now cast the lot for all. Who wins the chance                200
 Shall yield Achaia service, and himself
 Serve also, if successful he escape
 This brunt of hostile hardiment severe.
   So Nestor. They, inscribing each his lot,
 Into the helmet cast it of the son                             205
 Of Atreus, Agamemnon. Then the host
 Pray'd all, their hands uplifting, and with eyes
 To the wide heavens directed, many said[6]--
   Eternal sire! choose Ajax, or the son
 Of Tydeus, or the King himself[7] who sways                    210
 The sceptre in Mycenæ wealth-renown'd!
   Such prayer the people made; then Nestor shook
 The helmet, and forth leaped, whose most they wished,
 The lot of Ajax. Throughout all the host
 To every chief and potentate of Greece,                        215
 From right to left the herald bore the lot
 By all disown'd; but when at length he reach'd
 The inscriber of the lot, who cast it in,
 Illustrious Ajax, in his open palm
 The herald placed it, standing at his side.                    220
 He, conscious, with heroic joy the lot
 Cast at his foot, and thus exclaim'd aloud.
   My friends! the lot is mine,[8] and my own heart
 Rejoices also; for I nothing doubt
 That noble Hector shall be foil'd by me.                       225
 But while I put mine armor on, pray all
 In silence to the King Saturnian Jove,
 Lest, while ye pray, the Trojans overhear.
 Or pray aloud, for whom have we to dread?
 No man shall my firm standing by his strength                  230
 Unsettle, or for ignorance of mine
 Me vanquish, who, I hope, brought forth and train'd
 In Salamis, have, now, not much to learn.
   He ended. They with heaven-directed eyes
 The King in prayer address'd, Saturnian Jove.                  235
   Jove! glorious father! who from Ida's height
 Controlest all below, let Ajax prove
 Victorious; make the honor all his own!
 Or, if not less than Ajax, Hector share
 Thy love and thy regard, divide the prize                      240
 Of glory, and let each achieve renown!
   Then Ajax put his radiant armor on,
 And, arm'd complete, rush'd forward. As huge Mars
 To battle moves the sons of men between
 Whom Jove with heart-devouring thirst inspires                 245
 Of war, so moved huge Ajax to the fight,
 Tower of the Greeks, dilating with a smile
 His martial features terrible; on feet,
 Firm-planted, to the combat he advanced
 Stride after stride, and shook his quivering spear.            250
 Him viewing, Argos' universal host
 Exulted, while a panic loosed the knees
 Of every Trojan; even Hector's heart
 Beat double, but escape for him remain'd
 None now, or to retreat into his ranks                         255
 Again, from whom himself had challenged forth.
 Ajax advancing like a tower his shield
 Sevenfold, approach'd. It was the labor'd work
 Of Tychius, armorer of matchless skill,
 Who dwelt in Hyla; coated with the hides                       260
 Of seven high-pamper'd bulls that shield he framed
 For Ajax, and the disk plated with brass.
 Advancing it before his breast, the son
 Of Telamon approach'd the Trojan Chief,
 And face to face, him threatening, thus began.                 265
   Now, Hector, prove, by me alone opposed,
 What Chiefs the Danaï can furnish forth
 In absence of the lion-hearted prince
 Achilles, breaker of the ranks of war.
 He, in his billow-cleaving barks incensed                      270
 Against our leader Agamemnon, lies;
 But warriors of my measure, who may serve
 To cope with thee, we want not; numerous such
 Are found amongst us. But begin the fight.
   To whom majestic Hector fierce in arms.                      275
 Ajax! heroic leader of the Greeks!
 Offspring of Telamon! essay not me
 With words to terrify, as I were boy.
 Or girl unskill'd in war;[9] I am a man
 Well exercised in battle, who have shed                        280
 The blood of many a warrior, and have learn'd,
 From hand to hand shifting my shield, to fight
 Unwearied; I can make a sport of war,
 In standing fight adjusting all my steps
 To martial measures sweet, or vaulting light                   285
 Into my chariot, thence can urge the foe.
 Yet in contention with a Chief like thee
 I will employ no stratagem, or seek
 To smite thee privily, but with a stroke
 (If I may reach thee) visible to all.                          290
   So saying, he shook, then hurl'd his massy spear
 At Ajax, and his broad shield sevenfold
 On its eighth surface of resplendent brass
 Smote full; six hides the unblunted weapon pierced,
 But in the seventh stood rooted. Ajax, next,                   295
 Heroic Chief, hurl'd his long shadow'd spear
 And struck the oval shield of Priam's son.
 Through his bright disk the weapon tempest-driven
 Glided, and in his hauberk-rings infixt
 At his soft flank, ripp'd wide his vest within.                300
 Inclined oblique he 'scaped the dreadful doom
 Then each from other's shield his massy spear
 Recovering quick, like lions hunger-pinch'd
 Or wild boars irresistible in force,
 They fell to close encounter. Priam's son                      305
 The shield of Ajax at its centre smote,
 But fail'd to pierce it, for he bent his point.
 Sprang Ajax then, and meeting full the targe
 Of Hector, shock'd him; through it and beyond
 He urged the weapon with its sliding edge                      310
 Athwart his neck, and blood was seen to start.
 But still, for no such cause, from battle ceased
 Crest-tossing Hector, but retiring, seized
 A huge stone angled sharp and black with age
 That on the champain lay. The bull-hide guard                  315
 Sevenfold of Ajax with that stone he smote
 Full on its centre; sang the circling brass.
 Then Ajax far a heavier stone upheaved;
 He whirled it, and with might immeasurable
 Dismiss'd the mass, which with a mill-stone weight             320
 Sank through the shield of Hector, and his knees
 Disabled; with his shield supine he fell,
 But by Apollo raised, stood soon again.
 And now, with swords they had each other hewn,
 Had not the messengers of Gods and men                         325
 The heralds wise, Idæus on the part
 Of Ilium, and Talthybius for the Greeks,
 Advancing interposed. His sceptre each
 Between them held, and thus Idæus spake.[10]
   My children, cease! prolong not still the fight.             330
 Ye both are dear to cloud-assembler Jove,
 Both valiant, and all know it. But the Night
 Hath fallen, and Night's command must be obeyed.
   To him the son of Telamon replied.
 Idæus! bid thy master speak as thou.                           335
 He is the challenger. If such his choice,
 Mine differs not; I wait but to comply.
   Him answer'd then heroic Hector huge.
 Since, Ajax, the immortal powers on thee
 Have bulk pre-eminent and strength bestow'd,                   340
 With such address in battle, that the host
 Of Greece hath not thine equal at the spear,
 Now let the combat cease. We shall not want
 More fair occasion; on some future day
 We will not part till all-disposing heaven                     345
 Shall give thee victory, or shall make her mine.
 But Night hath fallen, and Night must be obey'd,
 That them may'st gratify with thy return
 The Achaians, and especially thy friends
 And thy own countrymen. I go, no less                          350
 To exhilarate in Priam's royal town
 Men and robed matrons, who shall seek the Gods
 For me, with pious ceremonial due.
 But come. We will exchange, or ere we part,
 Some princely gift, that Greece and Troy may say               355
 Hereafter, with soul-wasting rage they fought,
 But parted with the gentleness of friends.
   So saying, he with his sheath and belt a sword
 Presented bright-emboss'd, and a bright belt
 Purpureal[11] took from Ajax in return.                        360
 Thus separated, one the Grecians sought,
 And one the Trojans; they when him they saw
 From the unconquer'd hands return'd alive
 Of Ajax, with delight their Chief received,
 And to the city led him, double joy                            365
 Conceiving all at his unhoped escape.
 On the other side, the Grecians brazen-mail'd
 To noble Agamemnon introduced
 Exulting Ajax, and the King of men
 In honor of the conqueror slew an ox                           370
 Of the fifth year to Jove omnipotent.
 Him flaying first, they carved him next and spread
 The whole abroad, then, scoring deep the flesh,
 They pierced it with the spits, and from the spits
 (Once roasted well) withdrew it all again.                     375
 Their labor thus accomplish'd, and the board
 Furnish'd with plenteous cheer, they feasted all
 Till all were satisfied; nor Ajax miss'd
 The conqueror's meed, to whom the hero-king
 Wide-ruling Agamemnon, gave the chine[12]                      380
 Perpetual,[13] his distinguish'd portion due.
 The calls of hunger and of thirst at length
 Both well sufficed, thus, foremost of them all
 The ancient Nestor, whose advice had oft
 Proved salutary, prudent thus began.                           385
   Chiefs of Achaia, and thou, chief of all,
 Great Agamemnon! Many of our host
 Lie slain, whose blood sprinkles, in battle shed,
 The banks of smooth Scamander, and their souls
 Have journey'd down into the realms of death.                  390
 To-morrow, therefore, let the battle pause
 As need requires, and at the peep of day
 With mules and oxen, wheel ye from all parts
 The dead, that we may burn them near the fleet.
 So, home to Greece returning, will we give                     395
 The fathers' ashes to the children's care.
 Accumulating next, the pile around,
 One common tomb for all, with brisk dispatch
 We will upbuild for more secure defence
 Of us and of our fleet, strong towers and tall                 400
 Adjoining to the tomb, and every tower
 Shall have its ponderous gate, commodious pass
 Affording to the mounted charioteer.
 And last, without those towers and at their foot,
 Dig we a trench, which compassing around                       405
 Our camp, both steeds and warriors shall exclude,
 And all fierce inroad of the haughty foe.
   So counsell'd he, whom every Chief approved.
 In Troy meantime, at Priam's gate beside
 The lofty citadel, debate began                                410
 The assembled senators between, confused,
 Clamorous, and with furious heat pursued,
 When them Antenor, prudent, thus bespake.
   Ye Trojans, Dardans, and allies of Troy,
 My counsel hear! Delay not. Instant yield                      415
 To the Atridæ, hence to be convey'd,
 Helen of Greece with all that is her own.
 For charged with violated oaths we fight,
 And hope I none conceive that aught by us
 Design'd shall prosper, unless so be done.                     420
   He spake and sat; when from his seat arose
 Paris, fair Helen's noble paramour,
 Who thus with speech impassion'd quick replied.
   Antenor! me thy counsel hath not pleased;
 Thou could'st have framed far better; but if this              425
 Be thy deliberate judgment, then the Gods
 Make thy deliberate judgment nothing worth.
 But I will speak myself. Ye Chiefs of Troy,
 I tell you plain. I will not yield my spouse.
 But all her treasures to our house convey'd                    430
 From Argos, those will I resign, and add
 Still other compensation from my own.
   Thus Paris said and sat; when like the Gods
 Themselves in wisdom, from his seat uprose
 Dardanian Priam, who them thus address'd.                      435
   Trojans, Dardanians, and allies of Troy!
 I shall declare my sentence; hear ye me.
 Now let the legions, as at other times,
 Take due refreshment; let the watch be set,
 And keep ye vigilant guard. At early dawn                      440
 We will dispatch Idæus to the fleet,
 Who shall inform the Atridæ of this last
 Resolve of Paris, author of the war.
 Discreet Idæus also shall propose
 A respite (if the Atridæ so incline)                           445
 From war's dread clamor, while we burn the dead.
 Then will we clash again, till heaven at length
 Shall part us, and the doubtful strife decide.
   He ceased, whose voice the assembly pleased, obey'd.
 Then, troop by troop, the army took repast,                    450
 And at the dawn Idæus sought the fleet.
 He found the Danaï, servants of Mars,
 Beside the stern of Agamemnon's ship
 Consulting; and amid the assembled Chiefs
 Arrived, with utterance clear them thus address'd.             455
   Ye sons of Atreus, and ye Chiefs, the flower
 Of all Achaia! Priam and the Chiefs
 Of Ilium, bade me to your ear impart
 (If chance such embassy might please your ear)
 The mind of Paris, author of the war.                          460
 The treasures which on board his ships he brought
 From Argos home (oh, had he perish'd first!)
 He yields them with addition from his own.
 Not so the consort of the glorious prince
 Brave Menelaus; her (although in Troy                          465
 All counsel otherwise) he still detains.
 Thus too I have in charge. Are ye inclined
 That the dread sounding clamors of the field
 Be caused to cease till we shall burn the dead?
 Then will we clash again, 'till heaven at length               470
 Shall part us, and the doubtful strife decide.
   So spake Idæus, and all silent sat;
 Till at the last brave Diomede replied.
   No. We will none of Paris' treasures now,
 Nor even Helen's self. A child may see                         475
 Destruction winging swift her course to Troy.
   He said. The admiring Greeks with loud applause
 All praised the speech of warlike Diomede,
 And answer thus the King of men return'd.
   Idæus! thou hast witness'd the resolve                       480
 Of the Achaian Chiefs, whose choice is mine.
 But for the slain, I shall not envy them
 A funeral pile; the spirit fled, delay
 Suits not. Last rites can not too soon be paid.
 Burn them. And let high-thundering Jove attest                 485
 Himself mine oath, that war shall cease the while.
   So saying, he to all the Gods upraised
 His sceptre, and Idæus homeward sped
 To sacred Ilium. The Dardanians there
 And Trojans, all assembled, his return                         490
 Expected anxious. He amid them told
 Distinct his errand, when, at once dissolved,
 The whole assembly rose, these to collect
 The scatter'd bodies, those to gather wood;
 While on the other side, the Greeks arose                      495
 As sudden, and all issuing from the fleet
 Sought fuel, some, and some, the scatter'd dead.
   Now from the gently-swelling flood profound
 The sun arising, with his earliest rays
 In his ascent to heaven smote on the fields.                   500
 When Greeks and Trojans met. Scarce could the slain
 Be clear distinguish'd, but they cleansed from each
 His clotted gore with water, and warm tears
 Distilling copious, heaved them to the wains.
 But wailing none was heard, for such command                   505
 Had Priam issued; therefore heaping high
 The bodies, silent and with sorrowing hearts
 They burn'd them, and to sacred Troy return'd.
 The Grecians also, on the funeral pile
 The bodies heaping sad, burn'd them with fire                  510
 Together, and return'd into the fleet.
 Then, ere the peep of dawn, and while the veil
 Of night, though thinner, still o'erhung the earth,
 Achaians, chosen from the rest, the pile
 Encompass'd. With a tomb (one tomb for all)                    515
 They crown'd the spot adust, and to the tomb
 (For safety of their fleet and of themselves)
 Strong fortress added of high wall and tower,
 With solid gates affording egress thence
 Commodious to the mounted charioteer;                          520
 Deep foss and broad they also dug without,
 And planted it with piles. So toil'd the Greeks.
   The Gods, that mighty labor, from beside
 The Thunderer's throne with admiration view'd,
 When Neptune, shaker of the shores, began.                     525
   Eternal father! is there on the face
 Of all the boundless earth one mortal man
 Who will, in times to come, consult with heaven?
 See'st thou yon height of wall, and yon deep trench
 With which the Grecians have their fleet inclosed,             530
 And, careless of our blessing, hecatomb
 Or invocation have presented none?
 Far as the day-spring shoots herself abroad,
 So far the glory of this work shall spread,
 While Phoebus and myself, who, toiling hard,                   535
 Built walls for king Laomedon, shall see
 Forgotten all the labor of our hands.
   To whom, indignant, thus high-thundering Jove.
 Oh thou, who shakest the solid earth at will,
 What hast thou spoken? An inferior power,                      540
 A god of less sufficiency than thou,
 Might be allowed some fear from such a cause.
 Fear not. Where'er the morning shoots her beams,
 Thy glory shall be known; and when the Greeks
 Shall seek their country through the waves again,              545
 Then break this bulwark down, submerge it whole,
 And spreading deep with sand the spacious shore
 As at the first, leave not a trace behind.
   Such conference held the Gods; and now the sun
 Went down, and, that great work perform'd, the Greeks          550
 From tent to tent slaughter'd the fatted ox
 And ate their evening cheer. Meantime arrived
 Large fleet with Lemnian wine; Euneus, son
 Of Jason and Hypsipile, that fleet
 From Lemnos freighted, and had stow'd on board                 555
 A thousand measures from the rest apart
 For the Atridæ; but the host at large
 By traffic were supplied; some barter'd brass,
 Others bright steel; some purchased wine with hides,
 These with their cattle, with their captives those,            560
 And the whole host prepared a glad regale.
 All night the Grecians feasted, and the host
 Of Ilium, and all night deep-planning Jove
 Portended dire calamities to both,
 Thundering tremendous!--Pale was every cheek;                  565
 Each pour'd his goblet on the ground, nor dared
 The hardiest drink, 'till he had first perform'd
 Libation meet to the Saturnian King
 Omnipotent; then, all retiring, sought
 Their couches, and partook the gift of sleep.                  570



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK VIII.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE EIGHTH BOOK.


Jove calls a council, in which he forbids all interference of the Gods between the Greeks and Trojans. He repairs to Ida, where, having consulted the scales of destiny, he directs his lightning against the Grecians. Nestor is endangered by the death of one of his horses. Diomede delivers him. In the chariot of Diomede they both hasten to engage Hector, whose charioteer is slain by Diomede. Jupiter again interposes by his thunders, and the whole Grecian host, discomfited, is obliged to seek refuge within the rampart. Diomede, with others, at sight of a favorable omen sent from Jove in answer to Agamemnon's prayer, sallies. Teucer performs great exploits, but is disabled by Hector. Juno and Pallas set forth from Olympus in aid of the Grecians, but are stopped by Jupiter, who reascends from Ida, and in heaven foretells the distresses which await the Grecians.

Hector takes measures for the security of Troy during the night, and prepares his host for an assault to be made on the Grecian camp in the morning.



                             BOOK VIII.


 The saffron-mantled morning[1] now was spread
 O'er all the nations, when the Thunderer Jove
 On the deep-fork'd Olympian topmost height
 Convened the Gods in council, amid whom
 He spake himself; they all attentive heard.                      5
   Gods! Goddesses! Inhabitants of heaven!
 Attend; I make my secret purpose known.
 Let neither God nor Goddess interpose
 My counsel to rescind, but with one heart
 Approve it, that it reach, at once, its end.                    10
 Whom I shall mark soever from the rest
 Withdrawn, that he may Greeks or Trojans aid,
 Disgrace shall find him; shamefully chastised
 He shall return to the Olympian heights,
 Or I will hurl him deep into the gulfs                          15
 Of gloomy Tartarus, where Hell shuts fast
 Her iron gates, and spreads her brazen floor,
 As far below the shades, as earth from heaven.
 There shall he learn how far I pass in might
 All others; which if ye incline to doubt,                       20
 Now prove me. Let ye down the golden chain[2]
 From heaven, and at its nether links pull all,
 Both Goddesses and Gods. But me your King,
 Supreme in wisdom, ye shall never draw
 To earth from heaven, toil adverse as ye may.                   25
 Yet I, when once I shall be pleased to pull,
 The earth itself, itself the sea, and you
 Will lift with ease together, and will wind
 The chain around the spiry summit sharp
 Of the Olympian, that all things upheaved                       30
 Shall hang in the mid heaven. So far do I,
 Compared with all who live, transcend them all.
   He ended, and the Gods long time amazed
 Sat silent, for with awful tone he spake:
 But at the last Pallas blue-eyed began.                         35
   Father! Saturnian Jove! of Kings supreme!
 We know thy force resistless; but our hearts
 Feel not the less, when we behold the Greeks
 Exhausting all the sorrows of their lot.
 If thou command, we, doubtless, will abstain                    40
 From battle, yet such counsel to the Greeks
 Suggesting still, as may in part effect
 Their safety, lest thy wrath consume them all.
   To whom with smiles answer'd cloud-gatherer Jove.
 Fear not, my child! stern as mine accent was,                   45
 I forced a frown--no more. For in mine heart
 Nought feel I but benevolence to thee.
   He said, and to his chariot join'd his steeds
 Swift, brazen-hoof'd, and mailed with wavy gold;
 He put on golden raiment, his bright scourge                    50
 Of gold receiving rose into his seat,
 And lash'd his steeds; they not unwilling flew
 Midway the earth between and starry heaven.
 To spring-fed Ida, mother of wild beasts,
 He came, where stands in Gargarus[3] his shrine                 55
 Breathing fresh incense! there the Sire of all
 Arriving, loosed his coursers, and around
 Involving them in gather'd clouds opaque,
 Sat on the mountain's head, in his own might
 Exulting, with the towers of Ilium all                          60
 Beneath his eye, and the whole fleet of Greece.
   In all their tents, meantime, Achaia's sons
 Took short refreshment, and for fight prepared.
 On the other side, though fewer, yet constrain'd
 By strong necessity, throughout all Troy,                       65
 In the defence of children and wives
 Ardent, the Trojans panted for the field.
 Wide flew the city gates: forth rush'd to war
 Horsemen and foot, and tumult wild arose.
 They met, they clash'd; loud was the din of spears              70
 And bucklers on their bosoms brazen-mail'd
 Encountering, shields in opposition from
 Met bossy shields, and tumult wild arose.[4]
   There many a shout and many a dying groan
 Were heard, the slayer and the maim'd aloud                     75
 Clamoring, and the earth was drench'd with blood.
 'Till sacred morn[5] had brighten'd into noon,
 The vollied weapons on both sides their task
 Perform'd effectual, and the people fell.
 But when the sun had climb'd the middle skies,                  80
 The Sire of all then took his golden scales;[6]
 Doom against doom he weigh'd, the eternal fates
 In counterpoise, of Trojans and of Greeks.
 He rais'd the beam; low sank the heavier lot
 Of the Achaians; the Achaian doom                               85
 Subsided, and the Trojan struck the skies.
   Then roar'd the thunders from the summit hurl'd
 of Ida, and his vivid lightnings flew
 Into Achaia's host. They at the sight
 Astonish'd stood; fear whiten'd every cheek.[7]                 90
 Idomeneus dared not himself abide
 That shock, nor Agamemnon stood, nor stood
 The heroes Ajax, ministers of Mars.
 Gerenian Nestor, guardian of the Greeks,
 Alone fled not, nor he by choice remain'd,                      95
 But by his steed retarded, which the mate
 Of beauteous Helen, Paris, with a shaft
 Had stricken where the forelock grows, a part
 Of all most mortal. Tortured by the wound
 Erect he rose, the arrow in his brain,                         100
 And writhing furious, scared his fellow-steeds.
 Meantime, while, strenuous, with his falchion's edge
 The hoary warrior stood slashing the reins,
 Through multitudes of fierce pursuers borne
 On rapid wheels, the dauntless charioteer                      105
 Approach'd him, Hector. Then, past hope, had died
 The ancient King, but Diomede discern'd
 His peril imminent, and with a voice
 Like thunder, called Ulysses to his aid.
   Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!                      110
 Art thou too fugitive, and turn'st thy back
 Like the base multitude? Ah! fear a lance
 Implanted ignominious in thy spine.
 Stop--Nestor dies. Fell Hector is at hand.
   So shouted Diomede, whose summons loud,                      115
 Ulysses yet heard not, but, passing, flew
 With headlong haste to the Achaian fleet.
 Then, Diomede, unaided as he was,
 Rush'd ardent to the vanward, and before
 The steeds of the Neleian sovereign old                        120
 Standing, in accents wing'd, him thus address'd.
   Old Chief! these youthful warriors are too brisk
 For thee, press'd also by encroaching age,
 Thy servant too is feeble, and thy steeds
 Are tardy. Mount my chariot. Thou shalt see                    125
 With what rapidity the steeds of Troy,
 Pursuing or retreating, scour the field.
 I took them from that terror of his foes,
 Æneas. Thine to our attendants leave,
 While these against the warlike powers of Troy                 130
 We push direct; that Hector's self may know
 If my spear rage not furious as his own.
   He said, nor the Gerenian Chief refused.
 Thenceforth their servants, Sthenelus and good
 Eurymedon, took charge of Nestor's steeds,                     135
 And they the chariot of Tydides both
 Ascended; Nestor seized the reins, plied well
 The scourge, and soon they met. Tydides hurl'd
 At Hector first, while rapid he advanced;
 But missing Hector, wounded in the breast                      140
 Eniopeus his charioteer, the son
 Of brave Thebæus, managing the steeds.
 He fell; his fiery coursers at the sound
 Startled, recoil'd, and where he fell he died.
 Deep sorrow for his charioteer o'erwhelm'd                     145
 The mind of Hector; yet, although he mourn'd
 He left him, and another sought as brave.
 Nor wanted long his steeds a charioteer,
 For finding soon the son of Iphitus,
 Bold Archeptolemus, he bade him mount                          150
 His chariot, and the reins gave to his hand.
 Then deeds of bloodiest note should have ensued,
 Penn'd had the Trojans been, as lambs, in Troy,
 But for quick succor of the sire of all.
 Thundering, he downward hurled his candent bolt                155
 To the horse-feet of Diomede; dire fumed
 The flaming sulphur, and both horses drove
 Under the axle, belly to the ground.
 Forth flew the splendid reins from Nestor's hand,
 And thus to Diomede, appall'd, he spake.                       160
   Back to the fleet, Tydides! Can'st not see
 That Jove ordains not, now, the victory thine?
 The son of Saturn glorifies to-day
 This Trojan, and, if such his will, can make
 The morrow ours; but vain it is to thwart                      165
 The mind of Jove, for he is Lord of all.
   To him the valiant Diomede replied.
 Thou hast well said, old warrior! but the pang
 That wrings my soul, is this. The public ear
 In Ilium shall from Hector's lips be told--                    170
 I drove Tydides--fearing me he fled.
 So shall he vaunt, and may the earth her jaws
 That moment opening swallow me alive!
   Him answer'd the Gerenian warrior old.
 What saith the son of Tydeus, glorious Chief?                  175
 Should Hector so traduce thee as to call
 Thee base and timid, neither Trojan him
 Nor Dardan would believe, nor yet the wives
 Of numerous shielded warriors brave of Troy,
 Widow'd by thy unconquerable arm.                              180
   So saying, he through the fugitives his steeds
 Turn'd swift to flight. Then Hector and his host
 With clamor infinite their darts wo-wing'd
 Shower'd after them, and Hector, mighty Chief
 Majestic, from afar, thus call'd aloud.                        185
   Tydides! thee the Danaï swift-horsed
 Were wont to grace with a superior seat,
 The mess of honor, and the brimming cup,
 But now will mock thee. Thou art woman now.
 Go, timorous girl! Thou never shalt behold                     190
 Me flying, climb our battlements, or lead
 Our women captive. I will slay thee first.
   He ceased. Then Diomede in dread suspense
 Thrice purposed, turning, to withstand the foe,
 And thrice in thunder from the mountain-top                    195
 Jove gave the signal of success to Troy.
 When Hector thus the Trojans hail'd aloud.
   Trojans and Lycians, and close-warring sons
 Of Dardanus, oh summon all your might,
 Now, now be men! I know that from his heart                    200
 Saturnian Jove glory and bright success
 For me prepares, but havoc for the Greeks.
 Fools! they shall find this wall which they have raised
 Too weak to check my course, a feeble guard
 Contemptible; such also is the trench;                         205
 My steeds shall slight it with an easy leap.
 But when ye see me in their fleet arrived,
 Remember fire. Then bring me flaming brands
 That I may burn their galleys and themselves
 Slaughter beside them, struggling in the smoke.[8]             210
   He spake, and thus encouraged next his steeds.
 Xanthus! Podargus! and ye generous pair
 Æthon and glossy Lampus! now requite
 Mine, and the bounty of Andromache,
 Far-famed Eëtion's daughter; she your bowl                     215
 With corn fresh-flavor'd and with wine full oft
 Hath mingled, your refreshment seeking first
 Ere mine, who have a youthful husband's claim.[9]
 Now follow! now be swift; that we may seize
 The shield of Nestor, bruited to the skies                     220
 As golden all, trappings and disk alike.
 Now from the shoulders of the equestrian Chief
 Tydides tear we off his splendid mail,
 The work of Vulcan.[10] May we take but these,
 I have good hope that, ere this night be spent,                225
 The Greeks shall climb their galleys and away.
   So vaunted he, but Juno with disdain
 His proud boast heard, and shuddering in her throne,
 Rock'd the Olympian; turning then toward
 The Ocean's mighty sovereign, thus she spake.                  230
   Alas! earth-shaking sovereign of the waves,
 Feel'st thou no pity of the perishing Greeks?
 Yet Greece, in Helice, with gifts nor few
 Nor sordid, and in Ægæ, honors thee,
 Whom therefore thou shouldst prosper. Would we all             235
 Who favor Greece associate to repulse
 The Trojans, and to check loud-thundering Jove,
 On Ida seated he might lour alone.
   To whom the Sovereign, Shaker of the Shores,
 Indignant. Juno! rash in speech! what word                     240
 Hath 'scaped thy lips? never, with my consent,
 Shall we, the powers subordinate, in arms
 With Jove contend. He far excels us all.
   So they. Meantime, the trench and wall between,[11]
 The narrow interval with steeds was fill'd                     245
 Close throng'd and shielded warriors. There immew'd
 By Priameian Hector, fierce as Mars,
 They stood, for Hector had the help of Jove.
 And now with blazing fire their gallant barks
 He had consumed, but Juno moved the mind                       250
 Of Agamemnon, vigilant himself,
 To exhortation of Achaia's host.
 Through camp and fleet the monarch took his way,
 And, his wide robe imperial in his hand,
 High on Ulysses' huge black galley stood,                      255
 The central ship conspicuous; thence his voice
 Might reach the most remote of all the line
 At each extreme, where Ajax had his tent
 Pitch'd, and Achilles, fearless of surprise.
 Thence, with loud voice, the Grecians thus he hail'd.          260
   Oh shame to Greece! Warriors in show alone!
 Where is your boasted prowess? Ye profess'd
 Vain-glorious erst in Lemnos, while ye fed
 Plenteously on the flesh of beeves full-grown,
 And crown'd your beakers high, that ye would face              265
 Each man a hundred Trojans in the field--
 Ay, twice a hundred--yet are all too few
 To face one Hector now; nor doubt I aught
 But he shall soon fire the whole fleet of Greece.
 Jove! Father! what great sovereign ever felt                   270
 Thy frowns as I? Whom hast thou shamed as me?
 Yet I neglected not, through all the course
 Of our disasterous voyage (in the hope
 That we should vanquish Troy) thy sacred rites,
 But where I found thine altar, piled it high                   275
 With fat and flesh of bulls, on every shore.
 But oh, vouchsafe to us, that we at least
 Ourselves, deliver'd, may escape the sword,
 Nor let their foes thus tread the Grecians down!
   He said. The eternal father pitying saw                      280
 His tears, and for the monarch's sake preserved
 The people. Instant, surest of all signs,
 He sent his eagle; in his pounces strong
 A fawn he bore, fruit of the nimble hind,
 Which fast beside the beauteous altar raised                   285
 To Panomphæan[12] Jove sudden he dropp'd.[13]
   They, conscious, soon, that sent from Jove he came,
 More ardent sprang to fight. Then none of all
 Those numerous Chiefs could boast that he outstripp'd
 Tydides, urging forth beyond the foss                          290
 His rapid steeds, and rushing to the war.
 He, foremost far, a Trojan slew, the son
 Of Phradmon, Ageläus; as he turn'd
 His steeds to flight, him turning with his spear
 Through back and bosom Diomede transpierced.                   295
 And with loud clangor of his arms he fell.
 Then, royal Agamemnon pass'd the trench
 And Menelaus; either Ajax, then,
 Clad with fresh prowess both; them follow'd, next,
 Idomeneus, with his heroic friend                              300
 In battle dread as homicidal Mars,
 Meriones; Evæmon's son renown'd
 Succeeded, bold Eurypylus; and ninth
 Teucer, wide-straining his impatient bow.
 He under covert fought of the broad shield                     305
 Of Telamonian Ajax; Ajax high
 Upraised his shield; the hero from beneath
 Took aim, and whom his arrow struck, he fell;
 Then close as to his mother's side a child
 For safety creeps, Teucer to Ajax' side                        310
 Retired, and Ajax shielded him again.
 Whom then slew Teucer first, illustrious Chief?
 Orsilochus, and Ophelestes, first,
 And Ormenus he slew, then Dætor died,
 Chromius and Lycophontes brave in fight                        315
 With Amopaon Polyæmon's son,
 And Melanippus. These, together heap'd,
 All fell by Teucer on the plain of Troy.
 The Trojan ranks thinn'd by his mighty bow
 The King of armies Agamemnon saw                               320
 Well-pleased, and him approaching, thus began.
   Brave Telamonian Teucer, oh, my friend,
 Thus shoot, that light may visit once again
 The Danaï, and Telamon rejoice!
 Thee Telamon within his own abode                              325
 Rear'd although spurious; mount him, in return,
 Although remote, on glory's heights again.
 I tell thee, and the effect shall follow sure,
 Let but the Thunderer and Minerva grant
 The pillage of fair Ilium to the Greeks,                       330
 And I will give to thy victorious hand,
 After my own, the noblest recompense,
 A tripod or a chariot with its steeds,
 Or some fair captive to partake thy bed.
   To whom the generous Teucer thus replied.                    335
 Atrides! glorious monarch! wherefore me
 Exhortest thou to battle? who myself
 Glow with sufficient ardor, and such strength
 As heaven affords me spare not to employ.
 Since first we drove them back, with watchful eye              340
 Their warriors I have mark'd; eight shafts my bow
 Hath sent long-barb'd, and every shaft, well-aim'd.
 The body of some Trojan youth robust
 Hath pierced, but still you ravening wolf escapes.
   He said, and from the nerve another shaft                    345
 Impatient sent at Hector; but it flew
 Devious, and brave Gorgythion struck instead.
 Him beautiful Castianira, brought
 By Priam from Æsyma, nymph of form
 Celestial, to the King of Ilium bore.                          350
 As in the garden, with the weight surcharged
 Of its own fruit, and drench'd by vernal rains
 The poppy falls oblique, so he his head
 Hung languid, by his helmet's weight depress'd.[14]
 Then Teucer yet an arrow from the nerve                        355
 Dispatch'd at Hector, with impatience fired
 To pierce him; but again his weapon err'd
 Turn'd by Apollo, and the bosom struck
 Of Archeptolemus, his rapid steeds
 To battle urging, Hector's charioteer.                         360
 He fell, his fiery coursers at the sound
 Recoil'd, and lifeless where he fell he lay.
 Deep sorrow for his charioteer the mind
 O'erwhelm'd of Hector, yet he left the slain,
 And seeing his own brother nigh at hand,                       365
 Cebriones, him summon'd to the reins,
 Who with alacrity that charge received.
 Then Hector, leaping with a dreadful shout
 From his resplendent chariot, grasp'd a stone,
 And rush'd on Teucer, vengeance in his heart.                  370
 Teucer had newly fitted to the nerve
 An arrow keen selected from the rest,
 And warlike Hector, while he stood the cord
 Retracting, smote him with that rugged rock
 Just where the key-bone interposed divides                     375
 The neck and bosom, a most mortal part.
 It snapp'd the bow-string, and with numbing force
 Struck dead his hand; low on his knees he dropp'd,
 And from his opening grasp let fall the bow.
 Then not unmindful of a brother fallen                         380
 Was Ajax, but, advancing rapid, stalk'd
 Around him, and his broad shield interposed,
 Till brave Alaster and Mecisteus, son
 Of Echius, friends of Teucer, from the earth
 Upraised and bore him groaning to the fleet.                   385
 And now again fresh force Olympian Jove
 Gave to the Trojans; right toward the foss
 They drove the Greeks, while Hector in the van
 Advanced, death menacing in every look.
   As some fleet hound close-threatening flank or haunch        390
 Of boar or lion, oft as he his head
 Turns flying, marks him with a steadfast eye,
 So Hector chased the Grecians, slaying still
 The hindmost of the scatter'd multitude.
 But when, at length, both piles and hollow foss                395
 They had surmounted, and no few had fallen
 By Trojan hands, within their fleet they stood
 Imprison'd, calling each to each, and prayer
 With lifted hands, loud offering to the Gods.
 With Gorgon looks, meantime, and eyes of Mars,                 400
 Hector impetuous his mane-tossing steeds
 From side to side before the rampart drove,
 When white-arm'd Juno pitying the Greeks,
 In accents wing'd her speech to Pallas turn'd.
   Alas, Jove's daughter! shall not we at least                 405
 In this extremity of their distress
 Care for the Grecians by the fatal force
 Of this one Chief destroy'd? I can endure
 The rage of Priameïan Hector now
 No longer; such dire mischiefs he hath wrought.                410
   Whom answer'd thus Pallas, cærulean-eyed.
 --And Hector had himself long since his life
 Resign'd and rage together, by the Greeks
 Slain under Ilium's walls, but Jove, my sire,
 Mad counsels executing and perverse,                           415
 Me counterworks in all that I attempt,
 Nor aught remembers how I saved ofttimes
 His son enjoin'd full many a task severe
 By King Eurystheus; to the Gods he wept,
 And me Jove sent in haste to his relief.                       420
 But had I then foreseen what now I know,
 When through the adamantine gates he pass'd
 To bind the dog of hell, by the deep floods
 Hemm'd in of Styx, he had return'd no more.
 But Thetis wins him now; her will prevails,                    425
 And mine he hates; for she hath kiss'd his knees
 And grasp'd his beard, and him in prayer implored
 That he would honor her heroic son
 Achilles, city-waster prince renown'd.
 'Tis well--the day shall come when Jove again                  430
 Shall call me darling, and his blue-eyed maid
 As heretofore;--but thou thy steeds prepare,
 While I, my father's mansion entering, arm
 For battle. I would learn by trial sure,
 If Hector, Priam's offspring famed in fight                    435
 (Ourselves appearing in the walks of war)
 Will greet us gladly. Doubtless at the fleet
 Some Trojan also, shall to dogs resign
 His flesh for food, and to the fowls of heaven.
   So counsell'd Pallas, nor the daughter dread                 440
 Of mighty Saturn, Juno, disapproved,
 But busily and with dispatch prepared
 The trappings of her coursers golden-rein'd.
 Meantime, Minerva progeny of Jove,
 On the adamantine floor of his abode                           445
 Let fall profuse her variegated robe,
 Labor of her own hands. She first put on
 The corslet of the cloud-assembler God,
 Then arm'd her for the field of wo, complete.
 Mounting the fiery chariot, next she seized                    450
 Her ponderous spear, huge, irresistible,
 With which Jove's awful daughter levels ranks
 Of heroes against whom her anger burns.
 Juno with lifted lash urged on the steeds.
 At their approach, spontaneous roar'd the wide-                455
 Unfolding gates of heaven; the heavenly gates
 Kept by the watchful Hours, to whom the charge
 Of the Olympian summit appertains,
 And of the boundless ether, back to roll,
 And to replace the cloudy barrier dense.                       460
 Spurr'd through the portal flew the rapid steeds:
 Which when the Eternal Father from the heights
 Of Ida saw, kindling with instant ire
 To golden-pinion'd Iris thus he spake.
   Haste, Iris, turn them thither whence they came;             465
 Me let them not encounter; honor small
 To them, to me, should from that strife accrue.
 Tell them, and the effect shall sure ensue,
 That I will smite their steeds, and they shall halt
 Disabled; break their chariot, dash themselves                 470
 Headlong, and ten whole years shall not efface
 The wounds by my avenging bolts impress'd.
 So shall my blue-eyed daughter learn to dread
 A father's anger; but for the offence
 Of Juno, I resent it less; for she                             475
 Clashes[15] with all my counsels from of old.
 He ended; Iris with a tempest's speed
 From the Idæan summit soar'd at once
 To the Olympian; at the open gates
 Exterior of the mountain many-valed                            480
 She stayed them, and her coming thus declared.
   Whither, and for what cause? What rage is this?
 Ye may not aid the Grecians; Jove forbids;
 The son of Saturn threatens, if ye force
 His wrath by perseverance into act,                            485
 That he will smite your steeds, and they shall halt
 Disabled; break your chariot, dash yourselves
 Headlong, and ten whole years shall not efface
 The wounds by his avenging bolts impress'd.
 So shall his blue-eyed daughter learn to dread                 490
 A father's anger; but for the offence
 Of Juno, he resents it less; for she
 Clashes with all his counsels from of old.
 But thou, Minerva, if thou dare indeed
 Lift thy vast spear against the breast of Jove,                495
 Incorrigible art and dead to shame.
   So saying, the rapid Iris disappear'd,
 And thus her speech to Pallas Juno turn'd.
   Ah Pallas, progeny of Jove! henceforth
 No longer, in the cause of mortal men,                         500
 Contend we against Jove. Perish or live
 Grecians or Trojans as he wills; let him
 Dispose the order of his own concerns,
 And judge between them, as of right he may.
   So saying, she turn'd the coursers; them the Hours           505
 Released, and to ambrosial mangers bound,
 Then thrust their chariot to the luminous wall.
 They, mingling with the Gods, on golden thrones
 Dejected sat, and Jove from Ida borne
 Reach'd the Olympian heights, seat of the Gods.                510
 His steeds the glorious King of Ocean loosed,
 And thrust the chariot, with its veil o'erspread.
 Into its station at the altar's side.
 Then sat the Thunderer on his throne of gold
 Himself, and the huge mountain shook. Meantime                 515
 Juno and Pallas, seated both apart,
 Spake not or question'd him. Their mute reserve
 He noticed, conscious of the cause, and said.
   Juno and Pallas, wherefore sit ye sad?
 Not through fatigue by glorious fight incurr'd                 520
 And slaughter of the Trojans whom ye hate.
 Mark now the difference. Not the Gods combined
 Should have constrain'd _me_ back, till all my force,
 Superior as it is, had fail'd, and all
 My fortitude. But ye, ere ye beheld                            525
 The wonders of the field, trembling retired.
 And ye did well--Hear what had else befallen.
 My bolts had found you both, and ye had reach'd,
 In your own chariot borne, the Olympian height,
 Seat of the blest Immortals, never more.                       530
   He ended; Juno and Minerva heard
 Low murmuring deep disgust, and side by side
 Devising sat calamity to Troy.
 Minerva, through displeasure against Jove,
 Nought utter'd, for her bosom boil'd with rage;                535
 But Juno check'd not hers, who thus replied.
   What word hath pass'd thy lips, Jove most severe?
 We know thy force resistless; yet our hearts
 Feel not the less when we behold the Greeks
 Exhausting all the sorrows of their lot.                       540
 If thou command, we doubtless will abstain
 From battle, yet such counsel to the Greeks
 Suggesting still, as may in part effect
 Their safety, lest thy wrath consume them all.
   Then answer, thus, cloud-gatherer Jove return'd.             545
 Look forth, imperial Juno, if thou wilt,
 To-morrow at the blush of earliest dawn,
 And thou shalt see Saturn's almighty son
 The Argive host destroying far and wide.
 For Hector's fury shall admit no pause                         550
 Till he have roused Achilles, in that day
 When at the ships, in perilous straits, the hosts
 Shall wage fierce battle for Patroclus slain.
 Such is the voice of fate. But, as for thee--
 Withdraw thou to the confines of the abyss                     555
 Where Saturn and Iäpetus retired,
 Exclusion sad endure from balmy airs
 And from the light of morn, hell-girt around,
 I will not call thee thence. No. Should thy rage
 Transport thee thither, there thou may'st abide,               560
 There sullen nurse thy disregarded spleen
 Obstinate as thou art, and void of shame.
   He ended; to whom Juno nought replied.
 And now the radiant Sun in Ocean sank,
 Drawing night after him o'er all the earth;                    565
 Night, undesired by Troy, but to the Greeks
 Thrice welcome for its interposing gloom.
   Then Hector on the river's brink fast by
 The Grecian fleet, where space he found unstrew'd
 With carcases convened the Chiefs of Troy.                     570
 They, there dismounting, listen'd to the words
 Of Hector Jove-beloved; he grasp'd a spear
 In length eleven cubits, bright its head
 Of brass, and color'd with a ring of gold.
 He lean'd on it, and ardent thus began.                        575
   Trojans, Dardanians, and allies of Troy!
 I hoped, this evening (every ship consumed,
 And all the Grecians slain) to have return'd
 To wind-swept Ilium. But the shades of night
 Have intervened, and to the night they owe,                    580
 In chief, their whole fleet's safety and their own.
 Now, therefore, as the night enjoins, all take
 Needful refreshment. Your high-mettled steeds
 Release, lay food before them, and in haste
 Drive hither from the city fatted sheep                        585
 And oxen; bring ye from your houses bread,
 Make speedy purchase of heart-cheering wine,
 And gather fuel plenteous; that all night,
 E'en till Aurora, daughter of the morn
 Shall look abroad, we may with many fires                      590
 Illume the skies; lest even in the night,
 Launching, they mount the billows and escape.
 Beware that they depart not unannoy'd,
 But, as he leaps on board, give each a wound
 With shaft or spear, which he shall nurse at home.             595
 So shall the nations fear us, and shall vex
 With ruthless war Troy's gallant sons no more.
 Next, let the heralds, ministers of Jove,
 Loud notice issue that the boys well-grown,
 And ancients silver-hair'd on the high towers                  600
 Built by the Gods, keep watch; on every hearth
 In Troy, let those of the inferior sex
 Make sprightly blaze, and place ye there a guard
 Sufficient, lest in absence of the troops
 An ambush enter, and surprise the town.                        605
 Act thus, ye dauntless Trojans; the advice
 Is wholesome, and shall serve the present need,
 And so much for the night; ye shall be told
 The business of the morn when morn appears.
 It is my prayer to Jove and to all heaven                      610
 (Not without hope) that I may hence expel
 These dogs, whom Ilium's unpropitious fates
 Have wafted hither in their sable barks.
 But we will also watch this night, ourselves,
 And, arming with the dawn, will at their ships                 615
 Give them brisk onset. Then shall it appear
 If Diomede the brave shall me compel
 Back to our walls, or I, his arms blood-stain'd,
 Torn from his breathless body, bear away.
 To-morrow, if he dare but to abide                             620
 My lance, he shall not want occasion meet
 For show of valor. But much more I judge
 That the next rising sun shall see him slain
 With no few friends around him. Would to heaven!
 I were as sure to 'scape the blight of age                     625
 And share their honors with the Gods above,
 As comes the morrow fraught with wo to Greece.
   So Hector, whom his host with loud acclaim
 All praised. Then each his sweating steeds released,
 And rein'd them safely at his chariot-side.                    630
 And now from Troy provision large they brought,
 Oxen, and sheep, with store of wine and bread,
 And fuel much was gather'd. [16]Next the Gods
 With sacrifice they sought, and from the plain
 Upwafted by the winds the smoke aspired                        635
 Savoury, but unacceptable to those
 Above; such hatred in their hearts they bore
 To Priam, to the people of the brave
 Spear-practised Priam, and to sacred Troy.
   Big with great purposes and proud, they sat,                 640
 Not disarray'd, but in fair form disposed
 Of even ranks, and watch'd their numerous fires,
 As when around the clear bright moon, the stars
 Shine in full splendor, and the winds are hush'd,
 The groves, the mountain-tops, the headland-heights            645
 Stand all apparent, not a vapor streaks
 The boundless blue, but ether open'd wide
 All glitters, and the shepherd's heart is cheer'd;[17]
 So numerous seem'd those fires the bank between
 Of Xanthus, blazing, and the fleet of Greece,                  650
 In prospect all of Troy; a thousand fires,
 Each watch'd by fifty warriors seated near.
 The steeds beside the chariots stood, their corn
 Chewing, and waiting till the golden-throned
 Aurora should restore the light of day.                        655



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK IX.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE NINTH BOOK.


By advice of Nestor, Agamemnon sends Ulysses, Phoenix, and Ajax to the tent of Achilles with proposals of reconciliation. They execute their commission, but without effect. Phoenix remains with Achilles; Ulysses and Ajax return.



                              BOOK IX.


 So watch'd the Trojan host; but thoughts of flight,
 Companions of chill fear, from heaven infused,
 Possess'd the Grecians; every leader's heart
 Bled, pierced with anguish insupportable.
 As when two adverse winds blowing from Thrace,                   5
 Boreas and Zephyrus, the fishy Deep
 Vex sudden, all around, the sable flood
 High curl'd, flings forth the salt weed on the shore
 Such tempest rent the mind of every Greek.
   Forth stalk'd Atrides with heart-riving wo                    10
 Transfixt; he bade his heralds call by name
 Each Chief to council, but without the sound
 Of proclamation; and that task himself
 Among the foremost sedulous perform'd.
 The sad assembly sat; when weeping fast                         15
 As some deep[1] fountain pours its rapid stream
 Down from the summit of a lofty rock,
 King Agamemnon in the midst arose,
 And, groaning, the Achaians thus address'd.
   Friends, counsellors and leaders of the Greeks!               20
 In dire perplexity Saturnian Jove
 Involves me, cruel; he assured me erst,
 And solemnly, that I should not return
 Till I had wasted wall-encircled Troy;
 But now (ah fraudulent and foul reverse!)                       25
 Commands me back inglorious to the shores
 Of distant Argos, with diminish'd troops.
 So stands the purpose of almighty Jove,
 Who many a citadel hath laid in dust,
 And shall hereafter, matchless in his power.                    30
 Haste therefore. My advice is, that we all
 Fly with our fleet into our native land,
 For wide-built Ilium shall not yet be ours.
   He ceased, and all sat silent; long the sons
 Of Greece, o'erwhelm'd with sorrow, silent sat,                 35
 When thus, at last, bold Diomede began.
   Atrides! foremost of the Chiefs I rise
 To contravert thy purpose ill-conceived,
 And with such freedom as the laws, O King!
 Of consultation and debate allow.                               40
 Hear patient. Thou hast been thyself the first
 Who e'er reproach'd me in the public ear
 As one effeminate and slow to fight;
 How truly, let both young and old decide.
 The son of wily Saturn hath to thee                             45
 Given, and refused; he placed thee high in power,
 Gave thee to sway the sceptre o'er us all,
 But courage gave thee not, his noblest gift.[2]
 Art thou in truth persuaded that the Greeks
 Are pusillanimous, as thou hast said?                           50
 If thy own fears impel thee to depart,
 Go thou, the way is open; numerous ships,
 Thy followers from Mycenæ, line the shore.
 But we, the rest, depart not, 'till the spoil
 Of Troy reward us. Or if all incline                            55
 To seek again their native home, fly all;
 Myself and Sthenelus will persevere
 Till Ilium fall, for with the Gods we came.
   He ended; all the admiring sons of Greece
 With shouts the warlike Diomede extoll'd,                       60
 When thus equestrian Nestor next began.
   Tydides, thou art eminently brave
 In fight, and all the princes of thy years
 Excell'st in council. None of all the Greeks
 Shall find occasion just to blame thy speech                    65
 Or to gainsay; yet thou hast fallen short.
 What wonder? Thou art young; and were myself
 Thy father, thou should'st be my latest born.
 Yet when thy speech is to the Kings of Greece,
 It is well-framed and prudent. Now attend!                      70
 Myself will speak, who have more years to boast
 Than thou hast seen, and will so closely scan
 The matter, that Atrides, our supreme,
 Himself shall have no cause to censure _me_.
 He is a wretch, insensible and dead                             75
 To all the charities of social life,
 Whose pleasure is in civil broils alone.[3]
 But Night is urgent, and with Night's demands
 Let all comply. Prepare we now repast,
 And let the guard be stationed at the trench                    80
 Without the wall; the youngest shall supply
 That service; next, Atrides, thou begin
 (For thou art here supreme) thy proper task.
 Banquet the elders; it shall not disgrace
 Thy sovereignty, but shall become thee well.                    85
 Thy tents are fill'd with wine which day by day
 Ships bring from Thrace; accommodation large
 Hast thou, and numerous is thy menial train.
 Thy many guests assembled, thou shalt hear
 Our counsel, and shalt choose the best; great need              90
 Have all Achaia's sons, now, of advice
 Most prudent; for the foe, fast by the fleet
 Hath kindled numerous fires, which who can see
 Unmoved? This night shall save us or destroy.[4]
   He spake, whom all with full consent approved.                95
 Forth rush'd the guard well-arm'd; first went the son
 Of Nestor, Thrasymedes, valiant Chief;
 Then, sons of Mars, Ascalaphus advanced,
 And brave Iälmenus; whom follow'd next
 Deipyrus, Aphareus, Meriones,                                  100
 And Lycomedes, Creon's son renown'd.
 Seven were the leaders of the guard, and each
 A hundred spearmen headed, young and bold.
 Between the wall and trench their seat they chose,
 There kindled fires, and each his food prepared.               105
   Atrides, then, to his pavilion led
 The thronging Chiefs of Greece, and at his board
 Regaled them; they with readiness and keen
 Dispatch of hunger shared the savory feast,
 And when nor thirst remain'd nor hunger more                   110
 Unsated, Nestor then, arising first,
 Whose counsels had been ever wisest deem'd,
 Warm for the public interest, thus began.
   Atrides! glorious sovereign! King of men!
 Thou art my first and last, proem and close,                   115
 For thou art mighty, and to thee are given
 From Jove the sceptre and the laws in charge,
 For the advancement of the general good.
 Hence, in peculiar, both to speak and hear
 Become thy duty, and the best advice,                          120
 By whomsoever offer'd, to adopt
 And to perform, for thou art judge alone.
 I will promulge the counsel which to me
 Seems wisest; such, that other Grecian none
 Shall give thee better; neither is it new,                     125
 But I have ever held it since the day
 When, most illustrious! thou wast pleased to take
 By force the maid Briseïs from the tent
 Of the enraged Achilles; not, in truth,
 By my advice, who did dissuade thee much;                      130
 But thou, complying with thy princely wrath,
 Hast shamed a Hero whom themselves the Gods
 Delight to honor, and his prize detain'st.
 Yet even now contrive we, although late,
 By lenient gifts liberal, and by speech                        135
 Conciliatory, to assuage his ire.
   Then answer'd Agamemnon, King of men.
 Old Chief! there is no falsehood in thy charge;
 I have offended, and confess the wrong.
 The warrior is alone a host, whom Jove                         140
 Loves as he loves Achilles, for whose sake
 He hath Achaia's thousands thus subdued.
 But if the impulse of a wayward mind
 Obeying, I have err'd, behold me, now,
 Prepared to soothe him with atonement large                    145
 Of gifts inestimable, which by name
 I will propound in presence of you all.
 Seven tripods, never sullied yet with fire;
 Of gold ten talents; twenty cauldrons bright;
 Twelve coursers, strong, victorious in the race;               150
 No man possessing prizes such as mine
 Which they have won for me, shall feel the want
 Of acquisitions splendid or of gold.
 Seven virtuous female captives will I give
 Expert in arts domestic, Lesbians all,                         155
 Whom, when himself took Lesbos, I received
 My chosen portion, passing womankind
 In perfect loveliness of face and form.
 These will I give, and will with these resign
 Her whom I took, Briseïs, with an oath                         160
 Most solemn, that unconscious as she was
 Of my embraces, such I yield her his.
 All these I give him now; and if at length
 The Gods vouchsafe to us to overturn
 Priam's great city, let him heap his ships                     165
 With gold and brass, entering and choosing first
 When we shall share the spoil. Let him beside
 Choose twenty from among the maids of Troy,
 Helen except, loveliest of all their sex.
 And if once more, the rich milk-flowing land                   170
 We reach of Argos, he shall there become
 My son-in-law, and shall enjoy like state
 With him whom I in all abundance rear,
 My only son Orestes. At my home
 I have three daughters; let him thence conduct                 175
 To Phthia, her whom he shall most approve.
 Chrysothemis shall be his bride, or else
 Laodice; or if she please him more,
 Iphianassa; and from him I ask
 No dower;[5] myself will such a dower bestow                   180
 As never father on his child before.
 Seven fair well-peopled cities I will give
 Cardamyle and Enope, and rich
 In herbage, Hira; Pheræ stately-built,
 And for her depth of pasturage renown'd                        185
 Antheia; proud Æpeia's lofty towers,
 And Pedasus impurpled dark with vines.
 All these are maritime, and on the shore
 They stand of Pylus, by a race possess'd
 Most rich in flocks and herds, who tributes large,             190
 And gifts presenting to his sceptred hand,
 Shall hold him high in honor as a God.
 These will I give him if from wrath he cease.
 Let him be overcome. Pluto alone
 Is found implacable and deaf to prayer,                        195
 Whom therefore of all Gods men hate the most.
 My power is greater, and my years than his
 More numerous, therefore let him yield to me.
   To him Gerenian Nestor thus replied.
 Atrides! glorious sovereign! King of men!                      200
 No sordid gifts, or to be view'd with scorn,
 Givest thou the Prince Achilles. But away!
 Send chosen messengers, who shall the son
 Of Peleus, instant, in his tent address.
 Myself will choose them, be it theirs to obey.                 205
 Let Phoenix lead, Jove loves him. Be the next
 Huge Ajax; and the wise Ulysses third.
 Of heralds, Odius and Eurybates
 Shall them attend. Bring water for our hands;
 Give charge that every tongue abstain from speech              210
 Portentous, and propitiate Jove by prayer.
   He spake, and all were pleased. The heralds pour'd
 Pure water on their hands;[6] attendant youths
 The beakers crown'd, and wine from right to left
 Distributed to all. Libation made,                             215
 All drank, and in such measure as they chose,
 Then hasted forth from Agamemnon's tent.
 Gerenian Nestor at their side them oft
 Instructed, each admonishing by looks
 Significant, and motion of his eyes,                           220
 But most Ulysses, to omit no means
 By which Achilles likeliest might be won.
 Along the margin of the sounding deep
 They pass'd, to Neptune, compasser of earth,
 Preferring vows ardent with numerous prayers,                  225
 That they might sway with ease the mighty mind
 Of fierce Æacides. And now they reach'd
 The station where his Myrmidons abode.
 Him solacing they found his heart with notes
 Struck from his silver-framed harmonious lyre;                 230
 Among the spoils he found it when he sack'd
 Eëtion's city; with that lyre his cares
 He sooth'd, and glorious heroes were his theme.[7]
 Patroclus silent sat, and he alone,
 Before him, on Æacides intent,                                 235
 Expecting still when he should cease to sing.
 The messengers advanced (Ulysses first)
 Into his presence; at the sight, his harp
 Still in his hand, Achilles from his seat
 Started astonish'd; nor with less amaze                        240
 Patroclus also, seeing them, arose.
 Achilles seized their hands, and thus he spake.[8]
   Hail friends! ye all are welcome. Urgent cause
 Hath doubtless brought you, whom I dearest hold
 (Though angry still) of all Achaia's host.                     245
   So saying, he introduced them, and on seats
 Placed them with purple arras overspread,
 Then thus bespake Patroclus standing nigh.
   Son of Menætius! bring a beaker more
 Capacious, and replenish it with wine                          250
 Diluted[9] less; then give to each his cup;
 For dearer friends than these who now arrive
 My roof beneath, or worthier, have I none.
   He ended, and Patroclus quick obey'd,
 Whom much he loved. Achilles, then, himself                    255
 Advancing near the fire an ample[10] tray,
 Spread goats' flesh on it, with the flesh of sheep
 And of a fatted brawn; of each a chine.
 Automedon attending held them fast,
 While with sharp steel Achilles from the bone                  260
 Sliced thin the meat, then pierced it with the spits.
 Meantime the godlike Menætiades
 Kindled fierce fire, and when the flame declined,
 Raked wide the embers, laid the meat to roast,
 And taking sacred salt from the hearth-side                    265
 Where it was treasured, shower'd it o'er the feast.
 When all was finish'd, and the board set forth,
 Patroclus furnish'd it around with bread
 In baskets, and Achilles served the guests.
 Beside the tent-wall, opposite, he sat                         270
 To the divine Ulysses; first he bade
 Patroclus make oblation; he consign'd
 The consecrated morsel to the fire,
 And each, at once, his savoury mess assail'd.
 When neither edge of hunger now they felt                      275
 Nor thirsted longer, Ajax with a nod
 Made sign to Phoenix, which Ulysses mark'd,
 And charging high his cup, drank to his host.
   Health to Achilles! hospitable cheer
 And well prepared, we want not at the board                    280
 Of royal Agamemnon, or at thine,
 For both are nobly spread; but dainties now,
 Or plenteous boards, are little our concern.[11]
 Oh godlike Chief! tremendous ills we sit
 Contemplating with fear, doubtful if life                      285
 Or death, with the destruction of our fleet,
 Attend us, unless thou put on thy might.
 For lo! the haughty Trojans, with their friends
 Call'd from afar, at the fleet-side encamp,
 Fast by the wall, where they have kindled fires                290
 Numerous, and threaten that no force of ours
 Shall check their purposed inroad on the ships.
 Jove grants them favorable signs from heaven,
 Bright lightnings; Hector glares revenge, with rage
 Infuriate, and by Jove assisted, heeds                         295
 Nor God nor man, but prays the morn to rise
 That he may hew away our vessel-heads,
 Burn all our fleet with fire, and at their sides
 Slay the Achaians struggling in the smoke.
 Horrible are my fears lest these his threats                   300
 The Gods accomplish, and it be our doom
 To perish here, from Argos far remote.
 Up, therefore! if thou canst, and now at last
 The weary sons of all Achaia save
 From Trojan violence. Regret, but vain,                        305
 Shall else be thine hereafter, when no cure
 Of such great ill, once suffer'd, can be found.
 Thou therefore, seasonably kind, devise
 Means to preserve from such disast'rous fate
 The Grecians. Ah, my friend! when Peleus thee                  310
 From Phthia sent to Agamemnon's aid,
 On that same day he gave thee thus in charge.
 "Juno, my son, and Pallas, if they please,
 Can make thee valiant; but thy own big heart
 Thyself restrain. Sweet manners win respect.                   315
 Cease from pernicious strife, and young and old
 Throughout the host shall honor thee the more."
 Such was thy father's charge, which thou, it seems,
 Remember'st not. Yet even now thy wrath
 Renounce; be reconciled; for princely gifts                    320
 Atrides gives thee if thy wrath subside.
 Hear, if thou wilt, and I will tell thee all,
 How vast the gifts which Agamemnon made
 By promise thine, this night within his tent.
 Seven tripods never sullied yet with fire;                     325
 Of gold ten talents; twenty cauldrons bright;
 Twelve steeds strong-limb'd, victorious in the race;
 No man possessing prizes such as those
 Which they have won for him, shall feel the want
 Of acquisitions splendid, or of gold.                          330
 Seven virtuous female captives he will give,
 Expert in arts domestic, Lesbians all,
 Whom when thou conquer'dst Lesbos, he received
 His chosen portion, passing woman-kind
 In perfect loveliness of face and form.                        335
 These will he give, and will with these resign
 Her whom he took, Briseïs, with an oath
 Most solemn, that unconscious as she was
 Of his embraces, such he yields her back.
 All these he gives thee now! and if at length                  340
 The Gods vouchsafe to us to overturn
 Priam's great city, thou shalt heap thy ships
 With gold and brass, entering and choosing first,
 When we shall share the spoil; and shalt beside
 Choose twenty from among the maids of Troy,                    345
 Helen except, loveliest of all their sex.
 And if once more the rich milk-flowing land
 We reach of Argos, thou shalt there become
 His son-in-law, and shalt enjoy like state
 With him, whom he in all abundance rears,                      350
 His only son Orestes. In his house
 He hath three daughters; thou may'st home conduct
 To Phthia, her whom thou shalt most approve.
 Chrysothemis shall be thy bride; or else
 Laodice; or if she please thee more                            355
 Iphianassa; and from thee he asks
 No dower; himself will such a dower bestow
 As never father on his child before.
 Seven fair well-peopled cities will he give;
 Cardamyle and Enope; and rich                                  360
 In herbage, Hira; Pheræ stately-built,
 And for her depth of pasturage renown'd,
 Antheia; proud Æpeia's lofty towers,
 And Pedasus impurpled dark with vines.
 All these are maritime, and on the shore                       365
 They stand of Pylus, by a race possess'd
 Most rich in flocks and herds, who tribute large
 And gifts presenting to thy sceptred hand,
 Shall hold thee high in honor as a God.
 These will he give thee, if thy wrath subside.                 370
   But should'st thou rather in thine heart the more
 Both Agamemnon and his gifts detest,
 Yet oh compassionate the afflicted host
 Prepared to adore thee. Thou shalt win renown
 Among the Grecians that shall never die.                       375
 Now strike at Hector. He is here;--himself
 Provokes thee forth; madness is in his heart,
 And in his rage he glories that our ships
 Have hither brought no Grecian brave as he.
   Then thus Achilles matchless in the race.                    380
 Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!
 I must with plainness speak my fixt resolve
 Unalterable; lest I hear from each
 The same long murmur'd melancholy tale.
 For I abhor the man, not more the gates                        385
 Of hell itself, whose words belie his heart.
 So shall not mine. My judgment undisguised
 Is this; that neither Agamemnon me
 Nor all the Greeks shall move; for ceaseless toil
 Wins here no thanks; one recompense awaits                     390
 The sedentary and the most alert,
 The brave and base in equal honor stand,
 And drones and heroes fall unwept alike.
 I after all my labors, who exposed
 My life continual in the field, have earn'd                    395
 No very sumptuous prize. As the poor bird
 Gives to her unfledged brood a morsel gain'd
 After long search, though wanting it herself,
 So I have worn out many sleepless nights,
 And waded deep through many a bloody day                       400
 In battle for their wives.[12] I have destroy'd
 Twelve cities with my fleet, and twelve, save one,
 On foot contending in the fields of Troy.
 From all these cities, precious spoils I took
 Abundant, and to Agamemnon's hand                              405
 Gave all the treasure. He within his ships
 Abode the while, and having all received,
 Little distributed, and much retained;
 He gave, however, to the Kings and Chiefs
 A portion, and they keep it. Me alone                          410
 Of all the Grecian host he hath despoil'd;
 My bride, my soul's delight is in his hands,
 And let him, couch'd with her, enjoy his fill
 Of dalliance. What sufficient cause, what need
 Have the Achaians to contend with Troy?                        415
 Why hath Atrides gather'd such a host,
 And led them hither? Was't not for the sake
 Of beauteous Helen? And of all mankind
 Can none be found who love their proper wives
 But the Atridæ? There is no good man                           420
 Who loves not, guards not, and with care provides
 For his own wife, and, though in battle won,
 I loved the fair Briseïs at my heart.
 But having dispossess'd me of my prize
 So foully, let him not essay me now,                           425
 For I am warn'd, and he shall not prevail.
 With thee and with thy peers let him advise,
 Ulysses! how the fleet may likeliest 'scape
 Yon hostile fires; full many an arduous task
 He hath accomplished without aid of mine;                      430
 So hath he now this rampart and the trench
 Which he hath digg'd around it, and with stakes
 Planted contiguous--puny barriers all
 To hero-slaughtering Hector's force opposed.
 While I the battle waged, present myself                       435
 Among the Achaians, Hector never fought
 Far from his walls, but to the Scæan gate
 Advancing and the beech-tree, there remain'd.
 Once, on that spot he met me, and my arm
 Escaped with difficulty even there.                            440
 But, since I feel myself not now inclined
 To fight with noble Hector, yielding first
 To Jove due worship, and to all the Gods,
 To-morrow will I launch, and give my ships
 Their lading. Look thou forth at early dawn,                   445
 And, if such spectacle delight thee aught,
 Thou shalt behold me cleaving with my prows
 The waves of Hellespont, and all my crews
 Of lusty rowers active in their task.
 So shall I reach (if Ocean's mighty God                        450
 Prosper my passage) Phthia the deep-soil'd
 On the third day. I have possessions there,
 Which hither roaming in an evil hour
 I left abundant. I shall also hence
 Convey much treasure, gold and burnish'd brass,                455
 And glittering steel, and women passing fair
 My portion of the spoils. But he, your King,
 The prize he gave, himself resumed,
 And taunted at me. Tell him my reply,
 And tell it him aloud, that other Greeks                       460
 May indignation feel like me, if arm'd
 Always in impudence, he seek to wrong
 Them also. Let him not henceforth presume,
 Canine and hard in aspect though he be,
 To look me in the face. I will not share                       465
 His counsels, neither will I aid his works.
 Let it suffice him, that he wrong'd me once,
 Deceived me once, henceforth his glozing arts
 Are lost on me. But let him rot in peace
 Crazed as he is, and by the stroke of Jove                     470
 Infatuate. I detest his gifts, and him
 So honor as the thing which most I scorn.
 And would he give me twenty times the worth
 Of this his offer, all the treasured heaps
 Which he possesses, or shall yet possess,                      475
 All that Orchomenos within her walls,
 And all that opulent Egyptian Thebes
 Receives, the city with a hundred gates,
 Whence twenty thousand chariots rush to war,
 And would he give me riches as the sands,                      480
 And as the dust of earth, no gifts from him
 Should soothe me, till my soul were first avenged
 For all the offensive license of his tongue.
 I will not wed the daughter of your Chief,
 Of Agamemnon. Could she vie in charms                          485
 With golden Venus, had she all the skill
 Of blue-eyed Pallas, even so endow'd
 She were no bride for me. No. He may choose
 From the Achaians some superior Prince,
 One more her equal. Peleus, if the Gods                        490
 Preserve me, and I safe arrive at home,
 Himself, ere long, shall mate me with a bride.
 In Hellas and in Phthia may be found
 Fair damsels many, daughters of the Chiefs
 Who guard our cities; I may choose of them,                    495
 And make the loveliest of them all my own.
 There, in my country, it hath ever been
 My dearest purpose, wedded to a wife
 Of rank convenient, to enjoy in peace
 Such wealth as ancient Peleus hath acquired.                   500
 For life, in my account, surpasses far
 In value all the treasures which report
 Ascribed to populous Ilium, ere the Greeks
 Arrived, and while the city yet had peace;
 Those also which Apollo's marble shrine                        505
 In rocky Pytho boasts. Fat flocks and beeves
 May be by force obtain'd, tripods and steeds
 Are bought or won, but if the breath of man
 Once overpass its bounds, no force arrests
 Or may constrain the unbodied spirit back.                     510
 Me, as my silver-footed mother speaks
 Thetis, a twofold consummation waits.
 If still with battle I encompass Troy,
 I win immortal glory, but all hope
 Renounce of my return. If I return                             515
 To my beloved country, I renounce
 The illustrious meed of glory, but obtain
 Secure and long immunity from death.
 And truly I would recommend to all
 To voyage homeward, for the fall as yet                        520
 Ye shall not see of Ilium's lofty towers,
 For that the Thunderer with uplifted arm
 Protects her, and her courage hath revived.
 Bear ye mine answer back, as is the part
 Of good ambassadors, that they may frame                       525
 Some likelier plan, by which both fleet and host
 May be preserved; for, my resentment still
 Burning, this project is but premature.
 Let Phoenix stay with us, and sleep this night
 Within my tent, that, if he so incline,                        530
 He may to-morrow in my fleet embark,
 And hence attend me; but I leave him free.
   He ended; they astonish'd at his tone
 (For vehement he spake) sat silent all,
 Till Phoenix, aged warrior, at the last                        535
 Gush'd into tears (for dread his heart o'erwhelm'd
 Lest the whole fleet should perish) and replied.
   If thou indeed have purposed to return,
 Noble Achilles! and such wrath retain'st
 That thou art altogether fixt to leave                         540
 The fleet a prey to desolating fires,
 How then, my son! shall I at Troy abide
 Forlorn of thee? When Peleus, hoary Chief,
 Sent thee to Agamemnon, yet a child,[13]
 Unpractised in destructive fight, nor less                     545
 Of councils ignorant, the schools in which
 Great minds are form'd, he bade me to the war
 Attend thee forth, that I might teach thee all,
 Both elocution and address in arms.
 Me therefore shalt thou not with my consent                    550
 Leave here, my son! no, not would Jove himself
 Promise me, reaping smooth this silver beard,
 To make me downy-cheek'd as in my youth;
 Such as when erst from Hellas beauty-famed
 I fled, escaping from my father's wrath                        555
 Amyntor, son of Ormenus, who loved
 A beauteous concubine, and for her sake
 Despised his wife and persecuted me.
 My mother suppliant at my knees, with prayer
 Perpetual importuned me to embrace                             560
 The damsel first, that she might loathe my sire.
 I did so; and my father soon possess'd
 With hot suspicion of the fact, let loose
 A storm of imprecation, in his rage
 Invoking all the Furies to forbid                              565
 That ever son of mine should press his knees.
 Tartarian Jove[14] and dread Persephone
 Fulfill'd his curses; with my pointed spear
 I would have pierced his heart, but that my wrath
 Some Deity assuaged, suggesting oft                            570
 What shame and obloquy I should incur,
 Known as a parricide through all the land.
 At length, so treated, I resolved to dwell
 No longer in his house. My friends, indeed,
 And all my kindred compass'd me around                         575
 With much entreaty, wooing me to stay;
 Oxen and sheep they slaughter'd, many a plump
 Well-fatted brawn extended in the flames,
 And drank the old man's vessels to the lees.
 Nine nights continual at my side they slept,                   580
 While others watch'd by turns, nor were the fires
 Extinguish'd ever, one, beneath the porch
 Of the barr'd hall, and one that from within
 The vestibule illumed my chamber door.
 But when the tenth dark night at length arrived,               585
 Sudden the chamber doors bursting I flew
 That moment forth, and unperceived alike
 By guards and menial woman, leap'd the wall.
 Through spacious Hellas flying thence afar,
 I came at length to Phthia the deep-soil'd,                    590
 Mother of flocks, and to the royal house
 Of Peleus; Peleus with a willing heart
 Receiving, loved me as a father loves
 His only son, the son of his old age,
 Inheritor of all his large demesnes.                           595
 He made me rich; placed under my control
 A populous realm, and on the skirts I dwelt
 Of Phthia, ruling the Dolopian race.
 Thee from my soul, thou semblance of the Gods,
 I loved, and all illustrious as thou art,                      600
 Achilles! such I made thee. For with me,
 Me only, would'st thou forth to feast abroad,
 Nor would'st thou taste thy food at home, 'till first
 I placed thee on my knees, with my own hand
 Thy viands carved and fed thee, and the wine                   605
 Held to thy lips; and many a time, in fits
 Of infant frowardness, the purple juice
 Rejecting thou hast deluged all my vest,
 And fill'd my bosom. Oh, I have endured
 Much, and have also much perform'd for thee,                   610
 Thus purposing, that since the Gods vouchsaf'd
 No son to me, thyself shouldst be my son,
 Godlike Achilles! who shouldst screen perchance
 From a foul fate my else unshelter'd age.
 Achilles! bid thy mighty spirit down.                          615
 Thou shouldst not be thus merciless; the Gods,
 Although more honorable, and in power
 And virtue thy superiors, are themselves
 Yet placable; and if a mortal man
 Offend them by transgression of their laws,                    620
 Libation, incense, sacrifice, and prayer,
 In meekness offer'd turn their wrath away.
 Prayers are Jove's daughters,[15] wrinkled,[16] lame, slant-eyed,
 Which though far distant, yet with constant pace
 Follow Offence. Offence, robust of limb,                       625
 And treading firm the ground, outstrips them all,
 And over all the earth before them runs
 Hurtful to man. They, following, heal the hurt.
 Received respectfully when they approach,
 They help us, and our prayers hear in return.                  630
 But if we slight, and with obdurate heart
 Resist them, to Saturnian Jove they cry
 Against us, supplicating that Offence
 May cleave to us for vengeance of the wrong.
 Thou, therefore, O Achilles! honor yield                       635
 To Jove's own daughters, vanquished, as the brave
 Have ofttimes been, by honor paid to thee.
 For came not Agamemnon as he comes
 With gifts in hand, and promises of more
 Hereafter; burn'd his anger still the same,                    640
 I would not move thee to renounce thy own,
 And to assist us, howsoe'er distress'd.
 But now, not only are his present gifts
 Most liberal, and his promises of more
 Such also, but these Princes he hath sent                      645
 Charged with entreaties, thine especial friends,
 And chosen for that cause, from all the host.
 Slight not their embassy, nor put to shame
 Their intercession. We confess that once
 Thy wrath was unreprovable and just.                           650
 Thus we have heard the heroes of old times
 Applauded oft, whose anger, though intense,
 Yet left them open to the gentle sway
 Of reason and conciliatory gifts.
 I recollect an ancient history,                                655
 Which, since all here are friends, I will relate.
 The brave Ætolians and Curetes met
 Beneath the walls of Calydon, and fought
 With mutual slaughter; the Ætolian powers
 In the defence of Calydon the fair,                            660
 And the Curetes bent to lay it waste:
 That strife Diana of the golden throne
 Kindled between them, with resentment fired
 That Oeneus had not in some fertile spot
 The first fruits of his harvest set apart                      665
 To her; with hecatombs he entertained
 All the Divinities of heaven beside,
 And her alone, daughter of Jove supreme,
 Or through forgetfulness, or some neglect,
 Served not; omission careless and profane!                     670
 She, progeny of Jove, Goddess shaft-arm'd,
 A savage boar bright-tusk'd in anger sent,
 Which haunting Oeneus' fields much havoc made.
 Trees numerous on the earth in heaps he cast
 Uprooting them, with all their blossoms on.                    675
 But Meleager, Oeneus' son, at length
 Slew him, the hunters gathering and the hounds
 Of numerous cities; for a boar so vast
 Might not be vanquish'd by the power of few,
 And many to their funeral piles he sent.                       680
 Then raised Diana clamorous dispute,
 And contest hot between them, all alike,
 Curetes and Ætolians fierce in arms
 The boar's head claiming, and his bristly hide.
 So long as warlike Meleager fought,                            685
 Ætolia prosper'd, nor with all their powers
 Could the Curetes stand before the walls.
 But when resentment once had fired the heart
 Of Meleager, which hath tumult oft
 Excited in the breasts of wisest men,                          690
 (For his own mother had his wrath provoked
 Althæa) thenceforth with his wedded wife
 He dwelt, fair Cleopatra, close retired.
 She was Marpessa's daughter, whom she bore
 To Idas, bravest warrior in his day                            695
 Of all on earth. He fear'd not 'gainst the King
 Himself Apollo, for the lovely nymph
 Marpessa's sake, his spouse, to bend his bow.
 Her, therefore, Idas and Marpessa named
 Thenceforth Alcyone, because the fate                          700
 Of sad Alcyone Marpessa shared,
 And wept like her, by Phoebus forced away.
 Thus Meleager, tortured with the pangs
 Of wrath indulged, with Cleopatra dwelt,
 Vex'd that his mother cursed him; for, with grief              705
 Frantic, his mother importuned the Gods
 To avenge her slaughter'd brothers[17] on his head.
 Oft would she smite the earth, while on her knees
 Seated, she fill'd her bosom with her tears,
 And call'd on Pluto and dread Proserpine                       710
 To slay her son; nor vain was that request,
 But by implacable Erynnis heard
 Roaming the shades of Erebus. Ere long
 The tumult and the deafening din of war
 Roar'd at the gates, and all the batter'd towers               715
 Resounded. Then the elders of the town
 Dispatch'd the high-priests of the Gods to plead
 With Meleager for his instant aid,
 With strong assurances of rich reward.
 Where Calydon afforded fattest soil                            720
 They bade him choose to his own use a farm
 Of fifty measured acres, vineyard half,
 And half of land commodious for the plow.
 Him Oeneus also, warrior grey with age,
 Ascending to his chamber, and his doors                        725
 Smiting importunate, with earnest prayers
 Assay'd to soften, kneeling to his son.
 Nor less his sisters woo'd him to relent,
 Nor less his mother; but in vain; he grew
 Still more obdurate. His companions last,                      730
 The most esteem'd and dearest of his friends,
 The same suit urged, yet he persisted still
 Relentless, nor could even they prevail.
 But when the battle shook his chamber-doors
 And the Curetes climbing the high towers                       735
 Had fired the spacious city, then with tears
 The beauteous Cleopatra, and with prayers
 Assail'd him; in his view she set the woes
 Numberless of a city storm'd--the men
 Slaughter'd, the city burnt to dust, the chaste                740
 Matrons with all their children dragg'd away.
 That dread recital roused him, and at length
 Issuing, he put his radiant armor on.
 Thus Meleager, gratifying first
 His own resentment from a fatal day                            745
 Saved the Ætolians, who the promised gift
 Refused him, and his toils found no reward.
 But thou, my son, be wiser; follow thou
 No demon who would tempt thee to a course
 Like his; occasion more propitious far                         750
 Smiles on thee now, than if the fleet were fired.
 Come, while by gifts invited, and receive
 From all the host, the honors of a God;
 For shouldst thou, by no gifts induced, at last
 Enter the bloody field, although thou chase                    755
 The Trojans hence, yet less shall be thy praise.
   Then thus Achilles, matchless in the race.
 Phoenix, my guide, wise, noble and revered!
 I covet no such glory! the renown
 Ordain'd by Jove for me, is to resist                          760
 All importunity to quit my ships
 While I have power to move, or breath to draw.
 Hear now, and mark me well. Cease thou from tears.
 Confound me not, pleading with sighs and sobs
 In Agamemnon's cause; O love not him,                          765
 Lest I renounce thee, who am now thy friend.
 Assist me rather, as thy duty bids,
 Him to afflict, who hath afflicted me,
 So shalt thou share my glory and my power.
 These shall report as they have heard, but here                770
 Rest thou this night, and with the rising morn
 We will decide, to stay or to depart.
   He ceased, and silent, by a nod enjoin'd
 Patroclus to prepare an easy couch
 For Phoenix, anxious to dismiss the rest                       775
 Incontinent; when Ajax, godlike son
 Of Telamon, arising, thus began.
   Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd:
 Depart we now; for I perceive that end
 Or fruit of all our reasonings shall be none.                  780
 It is expedient also that we bear
 Our answer back (unwelcome as it is)
 With all dispatch, for the assembled Greeks
 Expect us. Brave Achilles shuts a fire
 Within his breast; the kindness of his friends,                785
 And the respect peculiar by ourselves
 Shown to him, on his heart work no effect.
 Inexorable man! others accept
 Even for a brother slain, or for a son
 Due compensation;[18] the delinquent dwells                    790
 Secure at home, and the receiver, soothed
 And pacified, represses his revenge.
 But thou, resentful of the loss of one,
 One virgin (such obduracy of heart
 The Gods have given thee) can'st not be appeased               795
 Yet we assign thee seven in her stead,
 The most distinguish'd of their sex, and add
 Large gifts beside. Ah then, at last relent!
 Respect thy roof; we are thy guests; we come
 Chosen from the multitude of all the Greeks,                   800
 Beyond them all ambitious of thy love.
   To whom Achilles, swiftest of the swift.
 My noble friend, offspring of Telamon!
 Thou seem'st sincere, and I believe thee such.
 But at the very mention of the name                            805
 Of Atreus' son, who shamed me in the sight
 Of all Achaia's host, bearing me down
 As I had been some vagrant at his door,
 My bosom boils. Return ye and report
 Your answer. I no thought will entertain                       810
 Of crimson war, till the illustrious son
 Of warlike Priam, Hector, blood-embrued,
 Shall in their tents the Myrmidons assail
 Themselves, and fire my fleet. At my own ship,
 And at my own pavilion it may chance                           815
 That even Hector's violence shall pause.[19]
   He ended; they from massy goblets each
 Libation pour'd, and to the fleet their course
 Resumed direct, Ulysses at their head.
 Patroclus then his fellow-warriors bade,                       820
 And the attendant women spread a couch
 For Phoenix; they the couch, obedient, spread
 With fleeces, with rich arras, and with flax
 Of subtlest woof. There hoary Phoenix lay
 In expectation of the sacred dawn.                             825
 Meantime Achilles in the interior tent,
 With beauteous Diomeda by himself
 From Lesbos brought, daughter of Phorbas, lay.
 Patroclus opposite reposed, with whom
 Slept charming Iphis; her, when he had won                     830
 The lofty towers of Scyros, the divine
 Achilles took, and on his friend bestow'd.
   But when those Chiefs at Agamemnon's tent
 Arrived, the Greeks on every side arose
 With golden cups welcoming their return.                       835
 All question'd them, but Agamemnon first.
   Oh worthy of Achaia's highest praise,
 And her chief ornament, Ulysses, speak!
 Will he defend the fleet? or his big heart
 Indulging wrathful, doth he still refuse?                      840
   To whom renown'd Ulysses thus replied.
 Atrides, Agamemnon, King of men!
 He his resentment quenches not, nor will,
 But burns with wrath the more, thee and thy gifts
 Rejecting both. He bids thee with the Greeks                   845
 Consult by what expedient thou may'st save
 The fleet and people, threatening that himself
 Will at the peep of day launch all his barks,
 And counselling, beside, the general host
 To voyage homeward, for that end as yet                        850
 Of Ilium wall'd to heaven, ye shall not find,
 Since Jove the Thunderer with uplifted arm
 Protects her, and her courage hath revived.
 Thus speaks the Chief, and Ajax is prepared,
 With the attendant heralds to report                           855
 As I have said. But Phoenix in the tent
 Sleeps of Achilles, who his stay desired,
 That on the morrow, if he so incline,
 The hoary warrior may attend him hence
 Home to his country, but he leaves him free.                   860
   He ended. They astonish'd at his tone
 (For vehement he spake) sat silent all.
 Long silent sat the afflicted sons of Greece,
 When thus the mighty Diomede began.
   Atrides, Agamemnon, King of men!                             865
 Thy supplications to the valiant son
 Of Peleus, and the offer of thy gifts
 Innumerous, had been better far withheld.
 He is at all times haughty, and thy suit
 Hath but increased his haughtiness of heart                    870
 Past bounds: but let him stay or let him go
 As he shall choose. He will resume the fight
 When his own mind shall prompt him, and the Gods
 Shall urge him forth. Now follow my advice.
 Ye have refresh'd your hearts with food and wine               875
 Which are the strength of man; take now repose.
 And when the rosy-finger'd morning fair
 Shall shine again, set forth without delay
 The battle, horse and foot, before the fleet,
 And where the foremost fight, fight also thou.                 880
   He ended; all the Kings applauded warm
 His counsel, and the dauntless tone admired
 Of Diomede. Then, due libation made,
 Each sought his tent, and took the gift of sleep.
               *        *        *        *        *

There is much in this book which is worthy of close attention. The consummate genius, the varied and versatile power, the eloquence, truth, and nature displayed in it, will always be admired. Perhaps there is no portion of the poem more remarkable for these attributes.--FELTON.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK X.



                    ARGUMENT OF THE TENTH BOOK.


Diomede and Ulysses enter the Trojan host by night, and slay Rhesus.



                              BOOK X.


 All night the leaders of the host of Greece
 Lay sunk in soft repose, all, save the Chief,[1]
 The son of Atreus; him from thought to thought
 Roving solicitous, no sleep relieved.
 As when the spouse of beauteous Juno, darts                      5
 His frequent fires, designing heavy rain
 Immense, or hail-storm, or field-whitening snow,
 Or else wide-throated war calamitous,
 So frequent were the groans by Atreus' son
 Heaved from his inmost heart, trembling with dread.             10
 For cast he but his eye toward the plain
 Of Ilium, there, astonish'd he beheld
 The city fronted with bright fires, and heard
 Pipes, and recorders, and the hum of war;
 But when again the Grecian fleet he view'd,                     15
 And thought on his own people, then his hair
 Uprooted elevating to the Gods,
 He from his generous bosom groan'd again.
 At length he thus resolved; of all the Greeks
 To seek Neleian Nestor first, with whom                         20
 He might, perchance, some plan for the defence
 Of the afflicted Danaï devise.
 Rising, he wrapp'd his tunic to his breast,
 And to his royal feet unsullied bound
 His sandals; o'er his shoulders, next, he threw                 25
 Of amplest size a lion's tawny skin
 That swept his footsteps, dappled o'er with blood,
 Then took his spear. Meantime, not less appall'd
 Was Menelaus, on whose eyelids sleep
 Sat not, lest the Achaians for his sake                         30
 O'er many waters borne, and now intent
 On glorious deeds, should perish all at Troy.
 With a pard's spotted hide his shoulders broad
 He mantled over; to his head he raised
 His brazen helmet, and with vigorous hand                       35
 Grasping his spear, forth issued to arouse
 His brother, mighty sovereign of the host,
 And by the Grecians like a God revered.
 He found him at his galley's stern, his arms
 Assuming radiant; welcome he arrived                            40
 To Agamemnon, whom he thus address'd.
   Why arm'st thou, brother? Wouldst thou urge abroad
 Some trusty spy into the Trojan camp?[2]
 I fear lest none so hardy shall be found
 As to adventure, in the dead still night,                       45
 So far, alone; valiant indeed were he!
   To whom great Agamemnon thus replied.
 Heaven-favor'd Menelaus! We have need,
 Thou and myself, of some device well-framed,
 Which both the Grecians and the fleet of Greece                 50
 May rescue, for the mind of Jove hath changed,
 And Hector's prayers alone now reach his ear.
 I never saw, nor by report have learn'd
 From any man, that ever single chief
 Such awful wonders in one day perform'd                         55
 As he with ease against the Greeks, although
 Nor from a Goddess sprung nor from a God.
 Deeds he hath done, which, as I think, the Greeks
 Shall deep and long lament, such numerous ills
 Achaia's host hath at his hands sustain'd.                      60
 But haste, begone, and at their several ships
 Call Ajax and Idomeneus; I go
 To exhort the noble Nestor to arise,
 That he may visit, if he so incline,
 The chosen band who watch, and his advice                       65
 Give them; for him most prompt they will obey,
 Whose son, together with Meriones,
 Friend of Idomeneus, controls them all,
 Entrusted by ourselves with that command.
   Him answer'd Menelaus bold in arms.                           70
 Explain thy purpose. Wouldst thou that I wait
 Thy coming, there, or thy commands to both
 Given, that I incontinent return?
   To whom the Sovereign of the host replied.
 There stay; lest striking into different paths                  75
 (For many passes intersect the camp)
 We miss each other; summon them aloud
 Where thou shalt come; enjoin them to arise;
 Call each by his hereditary name,
 Honoring all. Beware of manners proud,                          80
 For we ourselves must labor, at our birth
 By Jove ordain'd to suffering and to toil.
   So saying, he his brother thence dismiss'd
 Instructed duly, and himself, his steps
 Turned to the tent of Nestor. Him he found                      85
 Amid his sable galleys in his tent
 Reposing soft, his armor at his side,
 Shield, spears, bright helmet, and the broider'd belt
 Which, when the Senior arm'd led forth his host
 To fight, he wore; for he complied not yet                      90
 With the encroachments of enfeebling age.
 He raised his head, and on his elbow propp'd,
 Questioning Agamemnon, thus began.
   But who art thou, who thus alone, the camp
 Roamest, amid the darkness of the night,                        95
 While other mortals sleep? Comest thou abroad
 Seeking some friend or soldier of the guard?
 Speak--come not nearer mute. What is thy wish?
   To whom the son of Atreus, King of men.
 Oh Nestor, glory of the Grecian name,                          100
 Offspring of Neleus! thou in me shalt know
 The son of Atreus, Agamemnon, doom'd
 By Jove to toil, while life shall yet inform
 These limbs, or I shall draw the vital air.
 I wander thus, because that on my lids                         105
 Sweet sleep sits not, but war and the concerns
 Of the Achaians occupy my soul.
 Terrible are the fears which I endure
 For these my people; such as supersede
 All thought; my bosom can no longer hold                       110
 My throbbing heart, and tremors shake my limbs.
 But if thy mind, more capable, project
 Aught that may profit us (for thee it seems
 Sleep also shuns) arise, and let us both
 Visit the watch, lest, haply, overtoil'd                       115
 They yield to sleep, forgetful of their charge.
 The foe is posted near, and may intend
 (None knows his purpose) an assault by night.
   To him Gerenian Nestor thus replied.
 Illustrious Agamemnon, King of men!                            120
 Deep-planning Jove the imaginations proud
 Of Hector will not ratify, nor all
 His sanguine hopes effectuate; in his turn
 He also (fierce Achilles once appeased)
 Shall trouble feel, and haply, more than we.                   125
 But with all readiness I will arise
 And follow thee, that we may also rouse
 Yet others; Diomede the spear-renown'd,
 Ulysses, the swift Ajax, and the son
 Of Phyleus, valiant Meges. It were well                        130
 Were others also visited and call'd,
 The godlike Ajax, and Idomeneus,
 Whose ships are at the camp's extremest bounds.
 But though I love thy brother and revere,
 And though I grieve e'en thee, yet speak I must,               135
 And plainly censure him, that thus he sleeps
 And leaves to thee the labor, who himself
 Should range the host, soliciting the Chiefs
 Of every band, as utmost need requires.
   Him answer'd Agamemnon, King of men.                         140
 Old warrior, times there are, when I could wish
 Myself thy censure of him, for in act
 He is not seldom tardy and remiss.
 Yet is not sluggish indolence the cause,
 No, nor stupidity, but he observes                             145
 Me much, expecting till I lead the way.
 But he was foremost now, far more alert
 This night than I, and I have sent him forth
 Already, those to call whom thou hast named.
 But let us hence, for at the guard I trust                     150
 To find them, since I gave them so in charge.[3]
   To whom the brave Gerenian Chief replied.
 Him none will censure, or his will dispute,
 Whom he shall waken and exhort to rise.
   So saying, he bound his corselet to his breast,              155
 His sandals fair to his unsullied feet,
 And fastening by its clasps his purple cloak
 Around him, double and of shaggy pile,
 Seized, next, his sturdy spear headed with brass,
 And issued first into the Grecian fleet.                       160
 There, Nestor, brave Gerenian, with a voice
 Sonorous roused the godlike counsellor
 From sleep, Ulysses; the alarm came o'er
 His startled ear, forth from his tent he sprang
 Sudden, and of their coming, quick, inquired.                  165
   Why roam ye thus the camp and fleet alone
 In darkness? by what urgent need constrain'd?
   To whom the hoary Pylian thus replied.
 Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!
 Resent it not, for dread is our distress.                      170
 Come, therefore, and assist us to convene
 Yet others, qualified to judge if war
 Be most expedient, or immediate flight.
   He ended, and regaining, quick, his tent,
 Ulysses slung his shield, then coming forth                    175
 Join'd them. The son of Tydeus first they sought.
 Him sleeping arm'd before his tent they found,
 Encompass'd by his friends also asleep;
 His head each rested on his shield, and each
 Had planted on its nether point[4] erect                       180
 His spear beside him; bright their polish'd heads,
 As Jove's own lightning glittered from afar.
 Himself, the Hero, slept. A wild bull's hide
 Was spread beneath him, and on arras tinged
 With splendid purple lay his head reclined.                    185
 Nestor, beside him standing, with his heel
 Shook him, and, urgent, thus the Chief reproved.
   Awake, Tydides! wherefore givest the night
 Entire to balmy slumber? Hast not heard
 How on the rising ground beside the fleet                      190
 The Trojans sit, small interval between?
   He ceased; then up sprang Diomede alarm'd
 Instant, and in wing'd accents thus replied.
   Old wakeful Chief! thy toils are never done.
 Are there not younger of the sons of Greece,                   195
 Who ranging in all parts the camp, might call
 The Kings to council? But no curb controls
 Or can abate activity like thine.
   To whom Gerenian Nestor in return.
 My friend! thou hast well spoken. I have sons,                 200
 And they are well deserving; I have here
 A numerous people also, one of whom
 Might have sufficed to call the Kings of Greece.
 But such occasion presses now the host
 As hath not oft occurr'd; the overthrow                        205
 Complete, or full deliverance of us all,
 In balance hangs, poised on a razor's edge.
 But haste, and if thy pity of my toils
 Be such, since thou art younger, call, thyself,
 Ajax the swift, and Meges to the guard.                        210
   Then Diomede a lion's tawny skin
 Around him wrapp'd, dependent to his heels,
 And, spear in hand, set forth. The Hero call'd
 Those two, and led them whither Nestor bade.
   They, at the guard arrived, not sleeping found               215
 The captains of the guard, but sitting all
 In vigilant posture with their arms prepared.
 As dogs that, careful, watch the fold by night,
 Hearing some wild beast in the woods,[5] which hounds
 And hunters with tumultuous clamor drive                       220
 Down from the mountain-top, all sleep forego;
 So, sat not on their eyelids gentle sleep
 That dreadful night, but constant to the plain
 At every sound of Trojan feet they turn'd.
 The old Chief joyful at the sight, in terms                    225
 Of kind encouragement them thus address'd.
   So watch, my children! and beware that sleep
 Invade none here, lest all become a prey.
   So saying, he traversed with quick pace the trench
 By every Chief whom they had thither call'd                    230
 Attended, with whom Nestor's noble son
 Went, and Meriones, invited both
 To join their consultation. From the foss
 Emerging, in a vacant space they sat,
 Unstrew'd with bodies of the slain, the spot,                  235
 Whence furious Hector, after slaughter made
 Of numerous Greeks, night falling, had return'd.
 There seated, mutual converse close they held,
 And Nestor, brave Gerenian, thus began.
   Oh friends! hath no Achaian here such trust                  240
 In his own prowess, as to venture forth
 Among yon haughty Trojans? He, perchance,
 Might on the borders of their host surprise
 Some wandering adversary, or might learn
 Their consultations, whether they propose                      245
 Here to abide in prospect of the fleet,
 Or, satiate with success against the Greeks
 So signal, meditate retreat to Troy.
 These tidings gain'd, should he at last return
 Secure, his recompense will be renown                          250
 Extensive as the heavens, and fair reward.
 From every leader of the fleet, his gift
 Shall be a sable[6] ewe, and sucking lamb,
 Rare acquisition! and at every board
 And sumptuous banquet, he shall be a guest.                    255
   He ceased, and all sat silent, when at length
 The mighty son of Tydeus thus replied.
   Me, Nestor, my courageous heart incites
 To penetrate into the neighbor host
 Of enemies; but went some other Chief                          260
 With me, far greater would my comfort prove,
 And I should dare the more. Two going forth,
 One quicker sees than other, and suggests
 Prudent advice; but he who single goes,
 Mark whatsoe'er he may, the occasion less                      265
 Improves, and his expedients soon exhausts.
   He ended, and no few willing arose
 To go with Diomede. Servants of Mars
 Each Ajax willing stood; willing as they
 Meriones; most willing Nestor's son;                           270
 Willing the brother of the Chief of all,
 Nor willing less Ulysses to explore
 The host of Troy, for he possess'd a heart
 Delighted ever with some bold exploit.
   Then Agamemnon, King of men, began.                          275
 Now Diomede, in whom my soul delights!
 Choose whom thou wilt for thy companion; choose
 The fittest here; for numerous wish to go.
 Leave not through deference to another's rank,
 The more deserving, nor prefer a worse,                        280
 Respecting either pedigree or power.
   Such speech he interposed, fearing his choice
 Of Menelaus; then, renown'd in arms
 The son of Tydeus, rising, spake again.
   Since, then, ye bid me my own partner choose                 285
 Free from constraint, how can I overlook
 Divine Ulysses, whose courageous heart
 With such peculiar cheerfulness endures
 Whatever toils, and whom Minerva loves?
 Let _him_ attend me, and through fire itself                   290
 We shall return; for none is wise as he.[7]
   To him Ulysses, hardy Chief, replied.
 Tydides! neither praise me much, nor blame,
 For these are Grecians in whose ears thou speak'st,
 And know me well. But let us hence! the night                  295
 Draws to a close; day comes apace; the stars
 Are far advanced; two portions have elapsed
 Of darkness, but the third is yet entire.
   So they; then each his dreadful arms put on.
 To Diomede, who at the fleet had left                          300
 His own, the dauntless Thrasymedes gave
 His shield and sword two-edged, and on his head
 Placed, crestless, unadorn'd, his bull-skin casque.
 It was a stripling's helmet, such as youths
 Scarce yet confirm'd in lusty manhood, wear.                   305
 Meriones with quiver, bow and sword
 Furnish'd Ulysses, and his brows enclosed
 In his own casque of hide with many a thong
 Well braced within;[8] guarded it was without
 With boar's teeth ivory-white inherent firm                    310
 On all sides, and with woolen head-piece lined.
 That helmet erst Autolycus[9] had brought
 From Eleon, city of Amyntor son
 Of Hormenus, where he the solid walls
 Bored through, clandestine, of Amyntor's house.                315
 He on Amphidamas the prize bestow'd
 In Scandia;[10] from Amphidamas it pass'd
 To Molus as a hospitable pledge;
 He gave it to Meriones his son,
 And now it guarded shrewd Ulysses' brows.                      320
 Both clad in arms terrific, forth they sped,
 Leaving their fellow Chiefs, and as they went
 A heron, by command of Pallas, flew
 Close on the right beside them; darkling they
 Discern'd him not, but heard his clanging plumes.[11]          325
 Ulysses in the favorable sign
 Exulted, and Minerva thus invoked.[12]
   Oh hear me, daughter of Jove Ægis-arm'd!
 My present helper in all straits, whose eye
 Marks all my ways, oh with peculiar care                       330
 Now guard me, Pallas! grant that after toil
 Successful, glorious, such as long shall fill
 With grief the Trojans, we may safe return
 And with immortal honors to the fleet.
   Valiant Tydides, next, his prayer preferr'd.                 335
 Hear also me, Jove's offspring by the toils
 Of war invincible! me follow now
 As my heroic father erst to Thebes
 Thou followedst, Tydeus; by the Greeks dispatch'd
 Ambassador, he left the mail-clad host                         340
 Beside Asopus, and with terms of peace
 Entrusted, enter'd Thebes; but by thine aid
 Benevolent, and in thy strength, perform'd
 Returning, deeds of terrible renown.
 Thus, now, protect me also! In return                          345
 I vow an offering at thy shrine, a young
 Broad-fronted heifer, to the yoke as yet
 Untamed, whose horns I will incase with gold.
   Such prayer they made, and Pallas heard well pleased.
 Their orisons ended to the daughter dread                      350
 Of mighty Jove, lion-like they advanced
 Through shades of night, through carnage, arms and blood.
   Nor Hector to his gallant host indulged
 Sleep, but convened the leaders; leader none
 Or senator of all his host he left                             355
 Unsummon'd, and his purpose thus promulged.
   Where is the warrior who for rich reward,
 Such as shall well suffice him, will the task
 Adventurous, which I propose, perform?
 A chariot with two steeds of proudest height,                  360
 Surpassing all in the whole fleet of Greece
 Shall be his portion, with immortal praise,
 Who shall the well-appointed ships approach
 Courageous, there to learn if yet a guard
 As heretofore, keep them, or if subdued                        365
 Beneath us, the Achaians flight intend,
 And worn with labor have no will to watch.
   So Hector spake, but answer none return'd.
 There was a certain Trojan, Dolon named,[13]
 Son of Eumedes herald of the Gods,                             370
 Rich both in gold and brass, but in his form
 Unsightly; yet the man was swift of foot,
 Sole brother of five sisters; he his speech
 To Hector and the Trojans thus address'd.
   My spirit, Hector, prompts me, and my mind                   375
 Endued with manly vigor, to approach
 Yon gallant ships, that I may tidings hear.
 But come. For my assurance, lifting high
 Thy sceptre, swear to me, for my reward,
 The horses and the brazen chariot bright                       380
 Which bear renown'd Achilles o'er the field.
 I will not prove a useless spy, nor fall
 Below thy best opinion; pass I will
 Their army through, 'till I shall reach the ship
 Of Agamemnon, where the Chiefs, perchance,                     385
 Now sit consulting, or to fight, or fly.[14]
   Then raising high his sceptre, Hector sware
 Know, Jove himself, Juno's high-thundering spouse!
 That Trojan none shall in that chariot ride
 By those steeds drawn, save Dolon; on my oath                  390
 I make them thine; enjoy them evermore.
   He said, and falsely sware, yet him assured.
 Then Dolon, instant, o'er his shoulder slung
 His bow elastic, wrapp'd himself around
 With a grey wolf-skin, to his head a casque                    395
 Adjusted, coated o'er with ferret's felt,
 And seizing his sharp javelin, from the host
 Turn'd right toward the fleet, but was ordain'd
 To disappoint his sender, and to bring
 No tidings thence. The throng of Trojan steeds                 400
 And warriors left, with brisker pace he moved,
 When brave Ulysses his approach perceived,
 And thus to Diomede his speech address'd.
   Tydides! yonder man is from the host;
 Either a spy he comes, or with intent                          405
 To spoil the dead. First, freely let him pass
 Few paces, then pursuing him with speed,
 Seize on him suddenly; but should he prove
 The nimbler of the three, with threatening spear
 Enforce him from his camp toward the fleet,                    410
 Lest he elude us, and escape to Troy.
   So they; then, turning from the road oblique,
 Among the carcases each laid him down.
 Dolon, suspecting nought, ran swiftly by.
 [15]But when such space was interposed as mules                415
 Plow in a day (for mules the ox surpass
 Through fallows deep drawing the ponderous plow)
 Both ran toward him. Dolon at the sound
 Stood; for he hoped some Trojan friends at hand
 From Hector sent to bid him back again.                        420
 But when within spear's cast, or less they came,
 Knowing them enemies he turn'd to flight
 Incontinent, whom they as swift pursued.
 As two fleet hounds sharp fang'd, train'd to the chase,
 Hang on the rear of flying hind or hare,                       425
 And drive her, never swerving from the track,
 Through copses close; she screaming scuds before;
 So Diomede and dread Ulysses him
 Chased constant, intercepting his return.
 And now, fast-fleeting to the ships, he soon                   430
 Had reach'd the guard, but Pallas with new force
 Inspired Tydides, lest a meaner Greek
 Should boast that he had smitten Dolon first,
 And Diomede win only second praise.
 He poised his lifted spear, and thus exclaim'd.                435
   Stand! or my spear shall stop thee. Death impends
 At every step; thou canst not 'scape me long.
   He said, and threw his spear, but by design,
 Err'd from the man. The polish'd weapon swift
 O'er-glancing his right shoulder, in the soil                  440
 Stood fixt, beyond him. Terrified he stood,
 Stammering, and sounding through his lips the clash
 Of chattering teeth, with visage deadly wan.
 They panting rush'd on him, and both his hands
 Seized fast; he wept, and suppliant them bespake.              445
   Take me alive, and I will pay the price
 Of my redemption. I have gold at home,
 Brass also, and bright steel, and when report
 Of my captivity within your fleet
 Shall reach my father, treasures he will give                  450
 Not to be told, for ransom of his son.
   To whom Ulysses politic replied.
 Take courage; entertain no thought of death.[16]
 But haste! this tell me, and disclose the truth.
 Why thus toward the ships comest thou alone                    455
 From yonder host, by night, while others sleep?
 To spoil some carcase? or from Hector sent
 A spy of all that passes in the fleet?
 Or by thy curiosity impell'd?
   Then Dolon, his limbs trembling, thus replied.               460
 To my great detriment, and far beyond
 My own design, Hector trepann'd me forth,
 Who promised me the steeds of Peleus' son
 Illustrious, and his brazen chariot bright.
 He bade me, under night's fast-flitting shades                 465
 Approach our enemies, a spy, to learn
 If still as heretofore, ye station guards
 For safety of your fleet, or if subdued
 Completely, ye intend immediate flight,
 And worn with labor, have no will to watch.                    470
   To whom Ulysses, smiling, thus replied.
 Thou hadst, in truth, an appetite to gifts
 Of no mean value, coveting the steeds
 Of brave Æacides; but steeds are they
 Of fiery sort, difficult to be ruled                           475
 By force of mortal man, Achilles' self
 Except, whom an immortal mother bore.
 But tell me yet again; use no disguise;
 Where left'st thou, at thy coming forth, your Chief,
 The valiant Hector? where hath he disposed                     480
 His armor battle-worn, and where his steeds?
 What other quarters of your host are watch'd?
 Where lodge the guard, and what intend ye next?
 Still to abide in prospect of the fleet?
 Or well-content that ye have thus reduced                      485
 Achaia's host, will ye retire to Troy?
   To whom this answer Dolon straight returned
 Son of Eumedes. With unfeigning truth
 Simply and plainly will I utter all.
 Hector, with all the Senatorial Chiefs,                        490
 Beside the tomb of sacred Ilius sits
 Consulting, from the noisy camp remote.
 But for the guards, Hero! concerning whom
 Thou hast inquired, there is no certain watch
 And regular appointed o'er the camp;                           495
 The native[17] Trojans (for _they_ can no less)
 Sit sleepless all, and each his next exhorts
 To vigilance; but all our foreign aids,
 Who neither wives nor children hazard here,
 Trusting the Trojans for that service, sleep.                  500
   To whom Ulysses, ever wise, replied.
 How sleep the strangers and allies?--apart?
 Or with the Trojans mingled?--I would learn.
   So spake Ulysses; to whom Dolon thus,
 Son of Eumedes. I will all unfold,                             505
 And all most truly. By the sea are lodged
 The Carians, the Pæonians arm'd with bows,
 The Leleges, with the Pelasgian band,
 And the Caucones. On the skirts encamp
 Of Thymbra, the Mæonians crested high,                         510
 The Phrygian horsemen, with the Lycian host,
 And the bold troop of Mysia's haughty sons.
 But wherefore these inquiries thus minute?
 For if ye wish to penetrate the host,
 These who possess the borders of the camp                      515
 Farthest removed of all, are Thracian powers
 Newly arrived; among them Rhesus sleeps,
 Son of Eïoneus, their Chief and King.
 His steeds I saw, the fairest by these eyes
 Ever beheld, and loftiest; snow itself                         520
 They pass in whiteness, and in speed the winds,
 With gold and silver all his chariot burns,
 And he arrived in golden armor clad
 Stupendous! little suited to the state
 Of mortal man--fit for a God to wear!                          525
 Now, either lead me to your gallant fleet,
 Or where ye find me leave me straitly bound
 Till ye return, and after trial made,
 Shall know if I have spoken false or true.
   But him brave Diomede with aspect stern                      530
 Answer'd. Since, Dolon! thou art caught, although
 Thy tidings have been good, hope not to live;
 For should we now release thee and dismiss,
 Thou wilt revisit yet again the fleet
 A spy or open foe; but smitten once                            535
 By this death-dealing arm, thou shall return
 To render mischief to the Greeks no more.
   He ceased, and Dolon would have stretch'd his hand
 Toward his beard, and pleaded hard for life,
 But with his falchion, rising to the blow,                     540
 On the mid-neck he smote him, cutting sheer
 Both tendons with a stroke so swift, that ere
 His tongue had ceased, his head was in the dust.[18]
 They took his helmet clothed with ferret's felt,
 Stripp'd off his wolf-skin, seized his bow and spear,          545
 And brave Ulysses lifting in his hand
 The trophy to Minerva, pray'd and said:
   Hail Goddess; these are thine! for thee of all
 Who in Olympus dwell, we will invoke
 First to our aid. Now also guide our steps,                    550
 Propitious, to the Thracian tents and steeds.
   He ceased, and at arm's-length the lifted spoils
 Hung on a tamarisk; but mark'd the spot,
 Plucking away with handful grasp the reeds
 And spreading boughs, lest they should seek the prize          555
 Themselves in vain, returning ere the night,
 Swift traveller, should have fled before the dawn.
 Thence, o'er the bloody champain strew'd with arms
 Proceeding, to the Thracian lines they came.
 They, wearied, slept profound; beside them lay,                560
 In triple order regular arranged,
 Their radiant armor, and their steeds in pairs.
 Amid them Rhesus slept, and at his side
 His coursers, to the outer chariot-ring
 Fasten'd secure. Ulysses saw him first,                        565
 And, seeing, mark'd him out to Diomede.
   Behold the man, Tydides! Lo! the steeds
 By Dolon specified whom we have slain.
 Be quick. Exert thy force. Arm'd as thou art,
 Sleep not. Loose thou the steeds, or slaughter thou            570
 The Thracians, and the steeds shall be my care.
   He ceased; then blue-eyed Pallas with fresh force
 Invigor'd Diomede. From side to side
 He slew; dread groans arose of dying men
 Hewn with the sword, and the earth swam with blood.            575
 As if he find a flock unguarded, sheep
 Or goats, the lion rushes on his prey,
 With such unsparing force Tydides smote
 The men of Thrace, till he had slaughter'd twelve;
 And whom Tydides with his falchion struck                      580
 Laertes' son dragg'd by his feet abroad,
 Forecasting that the steeds might pass with ease,
 Nor start, as yet uncustom'd to the dead.
 But when the son of Tydeus found the King,
 Him also panting forth his last, last, breath,                 585
 He added to the twelve; for at his head
 An evil dream that night had stood, the form
 Of Diomede, by Pallas' art devised.
 Meantime, the bold Ulysses loosed the steeds,
 Which, to each other rein'd, he drove abroad,                  590
 Smiting them with his bow (for of the scourge
 He thought not in the chariot-seat secured)
 And as he went, hiss'd, warning Diomede.
 But he, projecting still some hardier deed,
 Stood doubtful, whether by the pole to draw                    595
 The chariot thence, laden with gorgeous arms,
 Or whether heaving it on high, to bear
 The burthen off, or whether yet to take
 More Thracian lives; when him with various thoughts
 Perplex'd, Minerva, drawing near, bespake.                     600
   Son of bold Tydeus! think on thy return
 To yonder fleet, lest thou depart constrain'd.
 Some other God may rouse the powers of Troy.
   She ended, and he knew the voice divine.
 At once he mounted. With his bow the steeds                    605
 Ulysses plyed, and to the ships they flew.
   Nor look'd the bender of the silver bow,
 Apollo, forth in vain, but at the sight
 Of Pallas following Diomede incensed,
 Descended to the field where numerous most                     610
 He saw the Trojans, and the Thracian Chief
 And counsellor, Hippocoön aroused,[19]
 Kinsman of Rhesus, and renown'd in arms.
 He, starting from his sleep, soon as he saw
 The spot deserted where so lately lay                          615
 Those fiery coursers, and his warrior friends
 Gasping around him, sounded loud the name
 Of his loved Rhesus. Instant, at the voice,
 Wild stir arose and clamorous uproar
 Of fast-assembling Trojans. Deeds they saw--                   620
 Terrible deeds, and marvellous perform'd,
 But not their authors--they had sought the ships.
   Meantime arrived where they had slain the spy
 Of Hector, there Ulysses, dear to Jove,
 The coursers stay'd, and, leaping to the ground,               625
 The son of Tydeus in Ulysses' hands
 The arms of Dolon placed foul with his blood,
 Then vaulted light into his seat again.
 He lash'd the steeds, they, not unwilling, flew
 To the deep-bellied barks, as to their home.                   630
 First Nestor heard the sound, and thus he said.
   Friends! Counsellors! and leaders of the Greeks!
 False shall I speak, or true?--but speak I must.
 The echoing sound of hoofs alarms my ear.
 Oh, that Ulysses, and brave Diomede                            635
 This moment might arrive drawn into camp
 By Trojan steeds! But, ah, the dread I feel!
 Lest some disaster have for ever quell'd
 In yon rude host those noblest of the Greeks.
   He hath not ended, when themselves arrived,                  640
 Both quick dismounted; joy at their return
 Fill'd every bosom; each with kind salute
 Cordial, and right-hand welcome greeted them,
 And first Gerenian Nestor thus inquired.
   Oh Chief by all extoll'd, glory of Greece,                   645
 Ulysses! how have ye these steeds acquired?
 In yonder host? or met ye as ye went
 Some God who gave them to you? for they show
 A lustre dazzling as the beams of day.
 Old as I am, I mingle yet in fight                             650
 With Ilium's sons--lurk never in the fleet--
 Yet saw I at no time, or have remark'd
 Steeds such as these; which therefore I believe
 Perforce, that ye have gained by gift divine;
 For cloud-assembler Jove, and azure-eyed                       655
 Minerva, Jove's own daughter, love you both.
   To whom Ulysses, thus, discreet, replied.
 Neleian Nestor, glory of the Greeks!
 A God, so willing, could have given us steeds
 Superior, for their bounty knows no bounds.                    660
 But, venerable Chief! these which thou seest
 Are Thracians new-arrived. Their master lies
 Slain by the valiant Diomede, with twelve
 The noblest of his warriors at his side,
 A thirteenth[20] also, at small distance hence                 665
 We slew, by Hector and the Chiefs of Troy
 Sent to inspect the posture of our host.
   He said; then, high in exultation, drove
 The coursers o'er the trench, and with him pass'd
 The glad Achaians; at the spacious tent                        670
 Of Diomede arrived, with even thongs
 They tied them at the cribs where stood the steeds
 Of Tydeus' son, with winnow'd wheat supplied.
 Ulysses in his bark the gory spoils
 Of Dolon placed, designing them a gift                         675
 To Pallas. Then, descending to the sea,
 Neck, thighs, and legs from sweat profuse they cleansed,
 And, so refresh'd and purified, their last
 Ablution in bright tepid baths perform'd.
 Each thus completely laved, and with smooth oil                680
 Anointed, at the well-spread board they sat,
 And quaff'd, in honor of Minerva, wine
 Delicious, from the brimming beaker drawn.
               *        *        *        *        *

The vividness of the scenes presented to us in this Book constitute its chief beauty. The reader sees the most natural night-scene in the world. He is led step by step with the adventurers, and made the companion of all their expectations and uncertainties. We see the very color of the sky; know the time to a minute; are impatient while the heroes are arming; our imagination follows them, knows all their doubts, and even the secret wishes of their hearts sent up to Minerva. We are alarmed at the approach of Dolon, hear his very footsteps, assist the two chiefs in pursuing him, and stop just with the spear that arrests him. We are perfectly acquainted with the situation of all the forces, with the figure in which they lie, with the disposition of Rhesus and the Thracians, with the posture of his chariot and horses. The marshy spot of ground where Dolon is killed, the tamarisk, or aquatic plant upon which they hung his spoils, and the reeds that are heaped together to mark the place, are circumstances the most picturesque imaginable.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK XI.



                   ARGUMENT OF THE ELEVENTH BOOK.


Agamemnon distinguishes himself. He is wounded, and retires. Diomede is wounded by Paris; Ulysses by Socus. Ajax with Menelaus flies to the relief of Ulysses, and Eurypylus, soon after, to the relief of Ajax. While he is employed in assisting Ajax, he is shot in the thigh by Paris, who also wounds Machaon. Nestor conveys Machaon from the field. Achilles dispatches Patroclus to the tent of Nestor, and Nestor takes that occasion to exhort Patroclus to engage in battle, clothed in the armor of Achilles.



                              BOOK XI.


 Aurora from Tithonus' side arose
 With light for heaven and earth, when Jove dispatch'd
 Discord, the fiery signal in her hand
 Of battle bearing, to the Grecian fleet.
 High on Ulysses' huge black ship she stood                       5
 The centre of the fleet, whence all might hear,
 The tent of Telamon's huge son between,
 And of Achilles; for confiding they
 In their heroic fortitude, their barks
 Well-poised had station'd utmost of the line.                   10
 There standing, shrill she sent a cry abroad
 Among the Achaians, such as thirst infused
 Of battle ceaseless into every breast.
 All deem'd, at once, war sweeter, than to seek
 Their native country through the waves again.                   15
 Then with loud voice Atrides bade the Greeks
 Gird on their armor, and himself his arms
 Took radiant. First around his legs he clasp'd
 His shining greaves with silver studs secured,
 Then bound his corselet to his bosom, gift                      20
 Of Cynyras long since;[1] for rumor loud
 Had Cyprus reached of an Achaian host
 Assembling, destined to the shores of Troy:
 Wherefore, to gratify the King of men,
 He made the splendid ornament his own.                          25
 Ten rods of steel coerulean all around
 Embraced it, twelve of gold, twenty of tin;
 Six[2] spiry serpents their uplifted heads
 Coerulean darted at the wearer's throat,
 Splendor diffusing as the various bow                           30
 Fix'd by Saturnian Jove in showery clouds,
 A sign to mortal men.[3] He slung his sword
 Athwart his shoulders; dazzling bright it shone
 With gold emboss'd, and silver was the sheath
 Suspended graceful in a belt of gold.                           35
 His massy shield o'ershadowing him whole,
 High-wrought and beautiful, he next assumed.
 Ten circles bright of brass around its field
 Extensive, circle within circle, ran;
 The central boss was black, but hemm'd about                    40
 With twice ten bosses of resplendent tin.
 There, dreadful ornament! the visage dark
 Of Gorgon scowl'd, border'd by Flight and Fear.
 The loop was silver, and a serpent form
 Coerulean over all its surface twined,                          45
 Three heads erecting on one neck, the heads
 Together wreath'd into a stately crown.
 His helmet quâtre-crested,[4] and with studs
 Fast riveted around he to his brows
 Adjusted, whence tremendous waved his crest                     50
 Of mounted hair on high. Two spears he seized
 Ponderous, brass-pointed, and that flash'd to heaven.
 Sounds[5] like clear thunder, by the spouse of Jove
 And by Minerva raised to extol the King
 Of opulent Mycenæ, roll'd around.                               55
 At once each bade his charioteer his steeds
 Hold fast beside the margin of the trench
 In orderly array; the foot all arm'd
 Rush'd forward, and the clamor of the host
 Rose infinite into the dawning skies.                           60
 First, at the trench, the embattled infantry[6]
 Stood ranged; the chariots follow'd close behind;
 Dire was the tumult by Saturnian Jove
 Excited, and from ether down he shed
 Blood-tinctured dews among them, for he meant                   65
 That day to send full many a warrior bold
 To Pluto's dreary realm, slain premature.
   Opposite, on the rising-ground, appear'd
 The Trojans; them majestic Hector led,
 Noble Polydamas, Æneas raised                                   70
 To godlike honors in all Trojan hearts,
 And Polybus, with whom Antenor's sons
 Agenor, and young Acamas advanced.
 Hector the splendid orb of his broad shield
 Bore in the van, and as a comet now                             75
 Glares through the clouds portentous, and again,
 Obscured by gloomy vapors, disappears,
 So Hector, marshalling his host, in front
 Now shone, now vanish'd in the distant rear.
 All-cased he flamed in brass, and on the sight                  80
 Flash'd as the lightnings of Jove Ægis-arm'd.
 As reapers, toiling opposite,[7] lay bare
 Some rich man's furrows, while the sever'd grain,
 Barley or wheat, sinks as the sickle moves,
 So Greeks and Trojans springing into fight                      85
 Slew mutual; foul retreat alike they scorn'd,
 Alike in fierce hostility their heads
 Both bore aloft, and rush'd like wolves to war.
 Discord, spectatress terrible, that sight
 Beheld exulting; she, of all the Gods,                          90
 Alone was present; not a Power beside
 There interfered, but each his bright abode
 Quiescent occupied wherever built
 Among the windings of the Olympian heights;
 Yet blamed they all the storm-assembler King                    95
 Saturnian, for his purposed aid to Troy.
 The eternal father reck'd not; he, apart,
 Seated in solitary pomp, enjoy'd
 His glory, and from on high the towers survey'd
 Of Ilium and the fleet of Greece, the flash                    100
 Of gleaming arms, the slayer and the slain.
   While morning lasted, and the light of day
 Increased, so long the weapons on both sides
 Flew in thick vollies, and the people fell.
 But, what time his repast the woodman spreads                  105
 In some umbrageous vale, his sinewy arms
 Wearied with hewing many a lofty tree,
 And his wants satisfied, he feels at length
 The pinch of appetite to pleasant food,[8]
 Then was it, that encouraging aloud                            110
 Each other, in their native virtue strong,
 The Grecians through the phalanx burst of Troy.
 Forth sprang the monarch first; he slew the Chief
 Bianor, nor himself alone, but slew
 Oïleus also driver of his steeds.                              115
 Oïleus, with a leap alighting, rush'd
 On Agamemnon; he his fierce assault
 Encountering, with a spear met full his front.
 Nor could his helmet's ponderous brass sustain
 That force, but both his helmet and his skull                  120
 It shatter'd, and his martial rage repress'd.
 The King of men, stripping their corselets, bared
 Their shining breasts, and left them. Isus, next,
 And Antiphus he flew to slay, the sons
 Of Priam both, and in one chariot borne,                       125
 This spurious, genuine that. The bastard drove,
 And Antiphus, a warrior high-renown'd,
 Fought from the chariot; them Achilles erst
 Feeding their flocks on Ida had surprised
 And bound with osiers, but for ransom loosed.                  130
 Of these, imperial Agamemnon, first,
 Above the pap pierced Isus; next, he smote
 Antiphus with his sword beside the ear,
 And from his chariot cast him to the ground.
 Conscious of both, their glittering arms he stripp'd,          135
 For he had seen them when from Ida's heights
 Achilles led them to the Grecian fleet.
 As with resistless fangs the lion breaks
 The young in pieces of the nimble hind,
 Entering her lair, and takes their feeble lives;               140
 She, though at hand, can yield them no defence,
 But through the thick wood, wing'd with terror, starts
 Herself away, trembling at such a foe;
 So them the Trojans had no power to save,
 Themselves all driven before the host of Greece.               145
 Next, on Pisandrus, and of dauntless heart
 Hippolochus he rush'd; they were the sons
 Of brave Antimachus, who with rich gifts
 By Paris bought, inflexible withheld
 From Menelaus still his lovely bride.                          150
 His sons, the monarch, in one chariot borne
 Encounter'd; they (for they had lost the reins)
 With trepidation and united force
 Essay'd to check the steeds; astonishment
 Seized both; Atrides with a lion's rage                        155
 Came on, and from the chariot thus they sued.
   Oh spare us! son of Atreus, and accept
 Ransom immense. Antimachus our sire
 Is rich in various treasure, gold and brass,
 And temper'd steel, and, hearing the report                    160
 That in Achaia's fleet his sons survive,
 He will requite thee with a glorious price.
   So they, with tears and gentle terms the King
 Accosted, but no gentle answer heard.
   Are ye indeed the offspring of the Chief                     165
 Antimachus, who when my brother once
 With godlike Laertiades your town
 Enter'd ambassador, his death advised
 In council, and to let him forth no more?
 Now rue ye both the baseness of your sire.                     170
   He said, and from his chariot to the plain
 Thrust down Pisandrus, piercing with keen lance
 His bosom, and supine he smote the field.
 Down leap'd Hippolochus, whom on the ground
 He slew, cut sheer his hands, and lopp'd his head,             175
 And roll'd it like a mortar[9] through the ranks.
 He left the slain, and where he saw the field
 With thickest battle cover'd, thither flew
 By all the Grecians follow'd bright in arms.
 The scatter'd infantry constrained to fly,                     180
 Fell by the infantry; the charioteers,
 While with loud hoofs their steeds the dusty soil
 Excited, o'er the charioteers their wheels
 Drove brazen-fellied, and the King of men
 Incessant slaughtering, called his Argives[10] on.             185
 As when fierce flames some ancient forest seize,
 From side to side in flakes the various wind
 Rolls them, and to the roots devour'd, the trunks
 Fall prostrate under fury of the fire,
 So under Agamemnon fell the heads                              190
 Of flying Trojans. Many a courser proud
 The empty chariots through the paths of war
 Whirl'd rattling, of their charioteers deprived;
 They breathless press'd the plain, now fitter far
 To feed the vultures than to cheer their wives.                195
   Conceal'd, meantime, by Jove, Hector escaped
 The dust, darts, deaths, and tumult of the field;
 And Agamemnon to the swift pursuit
 Call'd loud the Grecians. Through the middle plain
 Beside the sepulchre of Ilus, son                              200
 Of Dardanus, and where the fig-tree stood,
 The Trojans flew, panting to gain the town,
 While Agamemnon pressing close the rear,
 Shout after shout terrific sent abroad,
 And his victorious hands reek'd, red with gore.                205
 But at the beech-tree and the Scæan gate
 Arrived, the Trojans halted, waiting there
 The rearmost fugitives; they o'er the field
 Came like a herd, which in the dead of night
 A lion drives; all fly, but one is doom'd                      210
 To death inevitable; her with jaws
 True to their hold he seizes, and her neck
 Breaking, embowels her, and laps the blood;
 So, Atreus' royal son, the hindmost still
 Slaying, and still pursuing, urged them on.                    215
 Many supine, and many prone, the field
 Press'd, by the son of Atreus in their flight
 Dismounted; for no weapon raged as his.
 But now, at last, when he should soon have reach'd
 The lofty walls of Ilium, came the Sire                        220
 Of Gods and men descending from the skies,
 And on the heights of Ida fountain-fed,
 Sat arm'd with thunders. Calling to his foot
 Swift Iris golden-pinion'd, thus he spake.
   Iris! away. Thus speak in Hector's ears.                     225
 While yet he shall the son of Atreus see
 Fierce warring in the van, and mowing down
 The Trojan ranks, so long let him abstain
 From battle, leaving to his host the task
 Of bloody contest furious with the Greeks.                     230
 But soon as Atreus' son by spear or shaft
 Wounded shall climb his chariot, with such force
 I will endue Hector, that he shall slay
 Till he have reach'd the ships, and till, the sun
 Descending, sacred darkness cover all.                         235
   He spake, nor rapid Iris disobey'd
 Storm-wing'd ambassadress, but from the heights
 Of Ida stoop'd to Ilium. There she found
 The son of royal Priam by the throng
 Of chariots and of steeds compass'd about                      240
 She, standing at his side, him thus bespake.
   Oh, son of Priam! as the Gods discreet!
 I bring thee counsel from the Sire of all.
 While yet thou shalt the son of Atreus see
 Fierce warring in the van, and mowing down                     245
 The warrior ranks, so long he bids thee pause
 From battle, leaving to thy host the task
 Of bloody contest furious with the Greeks.
 But soon as Atreus' son, by spear or shaft
 Wounded, shall climb his chariot, Jove will then               250
 Endue thee with such force, that thou shalt slay
 Till thou have reach'd the ships, and till, the sun
 Descending, sacred darkness cover all.
   So saying, swift-pinion'd Iris disappear'd.
 Then Hector from his chariot at a leap                         255
 Came down all arm'd, and, shaking his bright spears,
 Ranged every quarter, animating loud
 The legions, and rekindling horrid war.
 Back roll'd the Trojan ranks, and faced the Greeks;
 The Greeks their host to closer phalanx drew;                  260
 The battle was restored, van fronting van
 They stood, and Agamemnon into fight
 Sprang foremost, panting for superior fame.
   Say now, ye Nine, who on Olympus dwell!
 What Trojan first, or what ally of Troy                        265
 Opposed the force of Agamemnon's arm?
 Iphidamas, Antenor's valiant son,
 Of loftiest stature, who in fertile Thrace
 Mother of flocks was nourish'd, Cisseus him
 His grandsire, father of Theano praised                        270
 For loveliest features, in his own abode
 Rear'd yet a child, and when at length he reach'd
 The measure of his glorious manhood firm
 Dismiss'd him not, but, to engage him more,
 Gave him his daughter. Wedded, he his bride                    275
 As soon deserted, and with galleys twelve
 Following the rumor'd voyage of the Greeks,
 The same course steer'd; but at Percope moor'd,
 And marching thence, arrived on foot at Troy.
 He first opposed Atrides. They approach'd.                     280
 The spear of Agamemnon wander'd wide;
 But him Iphidamas on his broad belt
 Beneath the corselet struck, and, bearing still
 On his spear-beam, enforced it; but ere yet
 He pierced the broider'd zone, his point, impress'd            285
 Against the silver, turn'd, obtuse as lead.
 Then royal Agamemnon in his hand
 The weapon grasping, with a lion's rage
 Home drew it to himself, and from his gripe
 Wresting it, with his falchion keen his neck                   290
 Smote full, and stretch'd him lifeless at his foot.
 So slept Iphidamas among the slain;
 Unhappy! from his virgin bride remote,
 Associate with the men of Troy in arms
 He fell, and left her beauties unenjoy'd.                      295
 He gave her much, gave her a hundred beeves,
 And sheep and goats a thousand from his flocks
 Promised, for numberless his meadows ranged;
 But Agamemnon, son of Atreus, him
 Slew and despoil'd, and through the Grecian host               300
 Proceeded, laden with his gorgeous arms.
 Coön that sight beheld, illustrious Chief,
 Antenor's eldest born, but with dim eyes
 Through anguish for his brother's fall. Unseen
 Of noble Agamemnon, at his side                                305
 He cautious stood, and with a spear his arm,
 Where thickest flesh'd, below his elbow, pierced,
 Till opposite the glittering point appear'd.
 A thrilling horror seized the King of men
 So wounded; yet though wounded so, from fight                  310
 He ceased not, but on Coön rush'd, his spear
 Grasping, well-thriven growth[11] of many a wind.
 He by the foot drew off Iphidamas,
 His brother, son of his own sire, aloud
 Calling the Trojan leaders to his aid;                         315
 When him so occupied with his keen point
 Atrides pierced his bossy shield beneath.
 Expiring on Iphidamas he fell
 Prostrate, and Agamemnon lopp'd his head.
 Thus, under royal Agamemnon's hand,                            320
 Antenor's sons their destiny fulfill'd,
 And to the house of Ades journey'd both.
 Through other ranks of warriors then he pass'd,
 Now with his spear, now with his falchion arm'd,
 And now with missile force of massy stones,                    325
 While yet his warm blood sallied from the wound.
 But when the wound grew dry, and the blood ceased,
 Anguish intolerable undermined
 Then all the might of Atreus' royal son.
 As when a laboring woman's arrowy throes                       330
 Seize her intense, by Juno's daughters dread
 The birth-presiding Ilithyæ deep
 Infixt, dispensers of those pangs severe;
 So, anguish insupportable subdued
 Then all the might of Atreus' royal son.                       335
 Up-springing to his seat, instant he bade
 His charioteer drive to the hollow barks,
 Heart-sick himself with pain; yet, ere he went,
 With voice loud-echoing hail'd the Danaï.
   Friends! counsellors and leaders of the Greeks!              340
 Now drive, yourselves, the battle from your ships.
 For me the Gods permit not to employ
 In fight with Ilium's host the day entire.
   He ended, and the charioteer his steeds
 Lash'd to the ships; they not unwilling flew,                  345
 Bearing from battle the afflicted King
 With foaming chests and bellies grey with dust.
 Soon Hector, noting his retreat, aloud
 Call'd on the Trojans and allies of Troy.
   Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting sons                 350
 Of Dardanus! oh summon all your might;
 Now, now be men! Their bravest is withdrawn!
 Glory and honor from Saturnian Jove
 On me attend; now full against the Greeks
 Drive all your steeds, and win a deathless name.               355
   He spake--and all drew courage from his word.
 As when his hounds bright-tooth'd some hunter cheers
 Against the lion or the forest-boar,
 So Priameïan Hector cheer'd his host
 Magnanimous against the sons of Greece,                        360
 Terrible as gore-tainted Mars. Among
 The foremost warriors, with success elate
 He strode, and flung himself into the fight
 Black as a storm which sudden from on high
 Descending, furrows deep the gloomy flood.                     365
   Then whom slew Priameïan Hector first,
 Whom last, by Jove, that day, with glory crown'd?
 Assæus, Dolops, Orus, Agelaüs,
 Autonoüs, Hipponoüs, Æsymnus,
 Opheltius and Opites first he slew,                            370
 All leaders of the Greeks, and, after these,
 The people. As when whirlwinds of the West
 A storm encounter from the gloomy South,
 The waves roll multitudinous, and the foam
 Upswept by wandering gusts fills all the air,                  375
 So Hector swept the Grecians. Then defeat
 Past remedy and havoc had ensued,
 Then had the routed Grecians, flying, sought
 Their ships again, but that Ulysses[12] thus
 Summon'd the brave Tydides to his aid.                         380
   Whence comes it, Diomede, that we forget
 Our wonted courage? Hither, O my friend!
 And, fighting at my side, ward off the shame
 That must be ours, should Hector seize the fleet.
   To whom the valiant Diomede replied.                         385
 I will be firm; trust me thou shalt not find
 Me shrinking; yet small fruit of our attempts
 Shall follow, for the Thunderer, not to us,
 But to the Trojan, gives the glorious day.
   The Hero spake, and from his chariot cast                    390
 Thymbræus to the ground pierced through the pap,
 While by Ulysses' hand his charioteer
 Godlike Molion, fell. The warfare thus
 Of both for ever closed, them there they left,
 And plunging deep into the warrior-throng                      395
 Troubled the multitude. As when two boars
 Turn desperate on the close-pursuing hounds,
 So they, returning on the host of Troy,
 Slew on all sides, and overtoil'd with flight
 From Hector's arm, the Greeks meantime respired.               400
 Two warriors, next, their chariot and themselves
 They took, plebeians brave, sons of the seer
 Percosian Merops in prophetic skill
 Surpassing all; he both his sons forbad
 The mortal field, but disobedient they                         405
 Still sought it, for their destiny prevail'd.
 Spear-practised Diomede of life deprived
 Both these, and stripp'd them of their glorious arms,
 While by Ulysses' hand Hippodamus
 Died and Hypeirochus. And now the son                          410
 Of Saturn, looking down from Ida, poised
 The doubtful war, and mutual deaths they dealt.
 Tydides plunged his spear into the groin
 Of the illustrious son of Pæon, bold
 Agastrophus. No steeds at his command                          415
 Had he, infatuate! but his charioteer
 His steeds detain'd remote, while through the van
 Himself on foot rush'd madly till he fell.
 But Hector through the ranks darting his eye
 Perceived, and with ear-piercing cries advanced                420
 Against them, follow'd by the host of Troy.
 The son of Tydeus, shuddering, his approach
 Discern'd, and instant to Ulysses spake.[13]
   Now comes the storm! This way the mischief rolls!
 Stand and repulse the Trojan. Now be firm.                     425
   He said, and hurling his long-shadow'd beam
 Smote Hector. At his helmet's crown he aim'd,
 Nor err'd, but brass encountering brass, the point
 Glanced wide, for he had cased his youthful brows
 In triple brass, Apollo's glorious gift.                       430
 Yet with rapidity at such a shock
 Hector recoil'd into the multitude
 Afar, where sinking to his knees, he lean'd
 On his broad palm, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
 But while Tydides follow'd through the van                     435
 His stormy spear, which in the distant soil
 Implanted stood, Hector his scatter'd sense
 Recovering, to his chariot sprang again,
 And, diving deep into his host, escaped.
 The noble son of Tydeus, spear in hand,                        440
 Rush'd after him, and as he went, exclaim'd.
   Dog! thou hast now escaped; but, sure the stroke
 Approach'd thee nigh, well-aim'd. Once more thy prayers
 Which ever to Apollo thou prefer'st
 Entering the clash of battle, have prevail'd,                  445
 And he hath rescued thee. But well beware
 Our next encounter, for if also me
 Some God befriend, thou diest. Now will I seek
 Another mark, and smite whom next I may.
   He spake, and of his armor stripp'd the son                  450
 Spear-famed of Pæon. Meantime Paris, mate
 Of beauteous Helen, drew his bow against
 Tydides; by a pillar of the tomb
 Of Ilus, ancient senator revered,
 Conceal'd he stood, and while the Hero loosed                  455
 His corselet from the breast of Pæon's son
 Renown'd, and of his helmet and his targe
 Despoil'd him; Paris, arching quick his bow,
 No devious shaft dismiss'd, but his right foot
 Pierced through the sole, and fix'd it to the ground.          460
 Transported from his ambush forth he leap'd
 With a loud laugh, and, vaunting, thus exclaim'd:
   Oh shaft well shot! it galls thee. Would to heaven
 That it had pierced thy heart, and thou hadst died!
 So had the Trojans respite from their toils                    465
 Enjoy'd, who, now, shudder at sight of thee
 Like she-goats when the lion is at hand.
   To whom, undaunted, Diomede replied.
 Archer shrew-tongued! spie-maiden! man of curls![14]
 Shouldst thou in arms attempt me face to face,                 470
 Thy bow and arrows should avail thee nought.
 Vain boaster! thou hast scratch'd my foot--no more--
 And I regard it as I might the stroke
 Of a weak woman or a simple child.
 The weapons of a dastard and a slave                           475
 Are ever such. More terrible are mine,
 And whom they pierce, though slightly pierced, he dies.
 His wife her cheeks rends inconsolable,
 His babes are fatherless, his blood the glebe
 Incarnadines, and where he bleeds and rots                     480
 More birds of prey than women haunt the place.
   He ended, and Ulysses, drawing nigh,
 Shelter'd Tydides; he behind the Chief
 Of Ithaca sat drawing forth the shaft,
 But pierced with agonizing pangs the while.                    485
 Then, climbing to his chariot-seat, he bade
 Sthenelus hasten to the hollow ships,
 Heart-sick with pain. And now alone was seen
 Spear-famed Ulysses; not an Argive more
 Remain'd, so universal was the rout,                           490
 And groaning, to his own great heart he said.
   Alas! what now awaits me? If, appall'd
 By multitudes, I fly, much detriment;
 And if alone they intercept me here,
 Still more; for Jove hath scatter'd all the host,              495
 Yet why these doubts! for know I not of old
 That only dastards fly, and that the voice
 Of honor bids the famed in battle stand,
 Bleed they themselves, or cause their foes to bleed?
   While busied in such thought he stood, the ranks             500
 Of Trojans fronted with broad shields, enclosed
 The hero with a ring, hemming around
 Their own destruction. As when dogs, and swains
 In prime of manhood, from all quarters rush
 Around a boar, he from his thicket bolts,                      505
 The bright tusk whetting in his crooked jaws:
 They press him on all sides, and from beneath
 Loud gnashings hear, yet firm, his threats defy;
 Like them the Trojans on all sides assail'd
 Ulysses dear to Jove. First with his spear                     510
 He sprang impetuous on a valiant chief,
 Whose shoulder with a downright point he pierced,
 Deïopites; Thoön next he slew,
 And Ennomus, and from his coursers' backs
 Alighting quick, Chersidamas; beneath                          515
 His bossy shield the gliding weapon pass'd
 Right through his navel; on the plain he fell
 Expiring, and with both hands clench'd the dust.
 Them slain he left, and Charops wounded next,
 Brother of Socus, generous Chief, and son                      520
 Of Hippasus; brave Socus to the aid
 Of Charops flew, and, godlike, thus began.
   Illustrious chief, Ulysses! strong to toil
 And rich in artifice! Or boast to-day
 Two sons of Hippasus, brave warriors both,                     525
 Of armor and of life bereft by thee,
 Or to my vengeful spear resign thy own!
   So saying, Ulysses' oval disk he smote.
 Through his bright disk the stormy weapon flew,
 Transpierced his twisted mail, and from his side               530
 Drove all the skin, but to his nobler parts
 Found entrance none, by Pallas turn'd aslant.[15]
 Ulysses, conscious of his life untouch'd,
 Retired a step from Socus, and replied.
   Ah hapless youth; thy fate is on the wing;                   535
 Me thou hast forced indeed to cease a while
 From battle with the Trojans, but I speak
 Thy death at hand; for vanquish'd by my spear,
 This self-same day thou shalt to me resign
 Thy fame, thy soul to Pluto steed-renown'd.                    540
   He ceased; then Socus turn'd his back to fly,
 But, as he turn'd, his shoulder-blades between
 He pierced him, and the spear urged through his breast.
 On his resounding arms he fell, and thus
 Godlike Ulysses gloried in his fall.                           545
   Ah, Socus, son of Hippasus, a chief
 Of fame equestrian! swifter far than thou
 Death follow'd thee, and thou hast not escaped.
 Ill-fated youth! thy parents' hands thine eyes
 Shall never close, but birds of ravenous maw                   550
 Shall tear thee, flapping thee with frequent wing,
 While me the noble Grecians shall entomb!
   So saying, the valiant Socus' spear he drew
 From his own flesh, and through his bossy shield.
 The weapon drawn, forth sprang the blood, and left             555
 His spirit faint. Then Ilium's dauntless sons,
 Seeing Ulysses' blood, exhorted glad
 Each other, and, with force united, all
 Press'd on him. He, retiring, summon'd loud
 His followers. Thrice, loud as mortal may,                     560
 He call'd, and valiant Menelaus thrice
 Hearing the voice, to Ajax thus remark'd.
   Illustrious son of Telamon! The voice
 Of Laertiades comes o'er my ear
 With such a sound, as if the hardy chief,                      565
 Abandon'd of his friends, were overpower'd
 By numbers intercepting his retreat.
 Haste! force we quick a passage through the ranks.
 His worth demands our succor, for I fear
 Lest sole conflicting with the host of Troy,                   570
 Brave as he is, he perish, to the loss
 Unspeakable and long regret of Greece.
   So saying, he went, and Ajax, godlike Chief,
 Follow'd him. At the voice arrived, they found
 Ulysses Jove-beloved compass'd about                           575
 By Trojans, as the lynxes in the hills,
 Adust for blood, compass an antler'd stag
 Pierced by an archer; while his blood is warm
 And his limbs pliable, from him he 'scapes;
 But when the feather'd barb hath quell'd his force,            580
 In some dark hollow of the mountain's side,
 The hungry troop devour him; chance, the while,
 Conducts a lion thither, before whom
 All vanish, and the lion feeds alone;
 So swarm'd the Trojan powers, numerous and bold,               585
 Around Ulysses, who with wary skill
 Heroic combated his evil day.
 But Ajax came, cover'd with his broad shield
 That seem'd a tower, and at Ulysses' side
 Stood fast; then fled the Trojans wide-dispersed,              590
 And Menelaus led him by the hand
 Till his own chariot to his aid approach'd.
 But Ajax, springing on the Trojans, slew
 Doryclus, from the loins of Priam sprung,
 But spurious. Pandocus he wounded next,                        595
 Then wounded Pyrasus, and after him
 Pylartes and Lysander. As a flood
 Runs headlong from the mountains to the plain
 After long showers from Jove; many a dry oak
 And many a pine the torrent sweeps along,                      600
 And, turbid, shoots much soil into the sea,
 So, glorious Ajax troubled wide the field,
 Horse and man slaughtering, whereof Hector yet
 Heard not; for on the left of all the war
 He fought beside Scamander, where around                       605
 Huge Nestor, and Idomeneus the brave,
 Most deaths were dealt, and loudest roar'd the fight.
 There Hector toil'd, feats wonderful of spear
 And horsemanship achieving, and the lines
 Of many a phalanx desolating wide.                             610
 Nor even then had the bold Greeks retired,
 But that an arrow triple-barb'd, dispatch'd
 By Paris, Helen's mate, against the Chief
 Machaon warring with distinguish'd force,
 Pierced his right shoulder. For his sake alarm'd,              615
 The valor-breathing Grecians fear'd, lest he
 In that disast'rous field should also fall.[16]
 At once, Idomeneus of Crete approach'd
 The noble Nestor, and him thus bespake.
   Arise, Neleian Nestor! Pride of Greece!                      620
 Ascend thy chariot, and Machaon placed
 Beside thee, bear him, instant to the fleet.
 For one, so skill'd in medicine, and to free
 The inherent barb, is worth a multitude.
   He said, nor the Gerenian hero old                           625
 Aught hesitated, but into his seat
 Ascended, and Machaon, son renown'd
 Of Æsculapius, mounted at his side.
 He lash'd the steeds, they not unwilling sought
 The hollow ships, long their familiar home.                    630
   Cebriones, meantime, the charioteer
 Of Hector, from his seat the Trojan ranks
 Observing sore discomfited, began.
   Here are we busied, Hector! on the skirts
 Of roaring battle, and meantime I see                          635
 Our host confused, their horses and themselves
 All mingled. Telamonian Ajax there
 Routs them; I know the hero by his shield.
 Haste, drive we thither, for the carnage most
 Of horse and foot conflicting furious, there                   640
 Rages, and infinite the shouts arise.
   He said, and with shrill-sounding scourge the steeds
 Smote ample-maned; they, at the sudden stroke
 Through both hosts whirl'd the chariot, shields and men
 Trampling; with blood the axle underneath                      645
 All redden'd, and the chariot-rings with drops
 From the horse-hoofs, and from the fellied wheels.
 Full on the multitude he drove, on fire
 To burst the phalanx, and confusion sent
 Among the Greeks, for nought[17] he shunn'd the spear.         650
 All quarters else with falchion or with lance,
 Or with huge stones he ranged, but cautious shunn'd
 The encounter of the Telamonian Chief.
   But the eternal father throned on high
 With fear fill'd Ajax; panic-fixt he stood,                    655
 His seven-fold shield behind his shoulder cast,
 And hemm'd by numbers, with an eye askant,
 Watchful retreated. As a beast of prey
 Retiring, turns and looks, so he his face
 Turn'd oft, retiring slow, and step by step.                   660
 As when the watch-dogs and assembled swains
 Have driven a tawny lion from the stalls,
 Then, interdicting him his wish'd repast,
 Watch all the night, he, famish'd, yet again
 Comes furious on, but speeds not, kept aloof                   665
 By frequent spears from daring hands, but more
 By flash of torches, which, though fierce, he dreads,
 Till, at the dawn, sullen he stalks away;
 So from before the Trojans Ajax stalk'd
 Sullen, and with reluctance slow retired.                      670
 His brave heart trembling for the fleet of Greece.
 As when (the boys o'erpower'd) a sluggish ass,
 On whose tough sides they have spent many a staff,
 Enters the harvest, and the spiry ears
 Crops persevering; with their rods the boys                    675
 Still ply him hard, but all their puny might
 Scarce drives him forth when he hath browsed his fill,
 So, there, the Trojans and their foreign aids
 With glittering lances keen huge Ajax urged,
 His broad shield's centre smiting.[18] He, by turns,           680
 With desperate force the Trojan phalanx dense
 Facing, repulsed them, and by turns he fled,
 But still forbad all inroad on the fleet.
 Trojans and Greeks between, alone, he stood
 A bulwark. Spears from daring hands dismiss'd                  685
 Some, piercing his broad shield, there planted stood,
 While others, in the midway falling, spent
 Their disappointed rage deep in the ground.
   Eurypylus, Evæmon's noble son,
 Him seeing, thus, with weapons overwhelmed                     690
 Flew to his side, his glittering lance dismiss'd,
 And Apisaon, son of Phausias, struck
 Under the midriff; through his liver pass'd
 The ruthless point, and, falling, he expired.
 Forth sprang Eurypylus to seize the spoil;                     695
 Whom soon as godlike Alexander saw
 Despoiling Apisaon of his arms,
 Drawing incontinent his bow, he sent
 A shaft to his right thigh; the brittle reed
 Snapp'd, and the rankling barb stuck fast within.              700
 Terrified at the stroke, the wounded Chief
 To his own band retired, but, as he went,
 With echoing voice call'd on the Danaï--
   Friends! Counsellors, and leaders of the Greeks!
 Turn ye and stand, and from his dreadful lot                   705
 Save Ajax whelm'd with weapons; 'scape, I judge,
 He cannot from the roaring fight, yet oh
 Stand fast around him; if save ye may,
 Your champion huge, the Telamonian Chief!
   So spake the wounded warrior. They at once                   710
 With sloping bucklers, and with spears erect,
 To his relief approach'd. Ajax with joy
 The friendly phalanx join'd, then turn'd and stood.
   Thus burn'd the embattled field as with the flames
 Of a devouring fire. Meantime afar                             715
 From all that tumult the Neleian mares
 Bore Nestor, foaming as they ran, with whom
 Machaon also rode, leader revered.
 Achilles mark'd him passing; for he stood
 Exalted on his huge ship's lofty stern,                        720
 Spectator of the toil severe, and flight
 Deplorable of the defeated Greeks.
 He call'd his friend Patroclus. He below
 Within his tent the sudden summons heard
 And sprang like Mars abroad, all unaware                       725
 That in that sound he heard the voice of fate.
 Him first Menoetius' gallant son address'd.
   What would Achilles? Wherefore hath he call'd?
 To whom Achilles swiftest of the swift:
   Brave Menoetiades! my soul's delight!                        730
 Soon will the Grecians now my knees surround
 Suppliant, by dread extremity constrain'd.
 But fly Patroclus, haste, oh dear to Jove!
 Inquire of Nestor, whom he hath convey'd
 From battle, wounded? Viewing him behind,                      735
 I most believed him Æsculapius' son
 Machaon, but the steeds so swiftly pass'd
 My galley, that his face escaped my note.[19]
   He said, and prompt to gratify his friend,
 Forth ran Patroclus through the camp of Greece.                740
   Now when Neleian Nestor to his tent
 Had brought Machaon, they alighted both,
 And the old hero's friend Eurymedon
 Released the coursers. On the beach awhile
 Their tunics sweat-imbued in the cool air                      745
 They ventilated, facing full the breeze,
 Then on soft couches in the tent reposed.
 Meantime, their beverage Hecamede mix'd,
 The old King's bright-hair'd captive, whom he brought
 From Tenedos, what time Achilles sack'd                        750
 The city, daughter of the noble Chief
 Arsinoüs, and selected from the rest
 For Nestor, as the honorable meed
 Of counsels always eminently wise.
 She, first, before them placed a table bright,                 755
 With feet coerulean; thirst-provoking sauce
 She brought them also in a brazen tray,
 Garlic[20] and honey new, and sacred meal.
 Beside them, next, she placed a noble cup
 Of labor exquisite, which from his home                        760
 The ancient King had brought with golden studs
 Embellish'd; it presented to the grasp
 Four ears; two golden turtles, perch'd on each,
 Seem'd feeding, and two turtles[21] form'd the base.
 That cup once fill'd, all others must have toil'd              765
 To move it from the board, but it was light
 In Nestor's hand; he lifted it with ease.[22]
 The graceful virgin in that cup a draught
 Mix'd for them, Pramnian wine and savory cheese
 Of goat's milk, grated with a brazen rasp,                     770
 Then sprinkled all with meal. The draught prepared,
 She gave it to their hand; they, drinking, slaked
 Their fiery thirst, and with each other sat
 Conversing friendly, when the godlike youth
 By brave Achilles sent, stood at the door.                     775
   Him seeing, Nestor from his splendid couch
 Arose, and by the hand leading him in,
 Entreated him to sit, but that request
 Patroclus, on his part refusing, said,
   Oh venerable King! no seat is here                           780
 For me, nor may thy courtesy prevail.
 He is irascible, and to be fear'd
 Who bade me ask what Chieftain thou hast brought
 From battle, wounded; but untold I learn;
 I see Machaon, and shall now report                            785
 As I have seen; oh ancient King revered!
 Thou know'st Achilles fiery, and propense
 Blame to impute even where blame is none.
   To whom the brave Gerenian thus replied.
 Why feels Achilles for the wounded Greeks                      790
 Such deep concern? He little knows the height
 To which our sorrows swell. Our noblest lie
 By spear or arrow wounded in the fleet.
 Diomede, warlike son of Tydeus, bleeds,
 Gall'd by a shaft; Ulysses, glorious Chief,                    795
 And Agamemnon[23] suffer by the spear;
 Eurypylus is shot into the thigh,
 And here lies still another newly brought
 By me from fight, pierced also by a shaft.
 What then? How strong soe'er to give them aid,                 800
 Achilles feels no pity of the Greeks.
 Waits he till every vessel on the shore
 Fired, in despite of the whole Argive host,
 Be sunk in its own ashes, and ourselves
 All perish, heaps on heaps? For in my limbs                    805
 No longer lives the agility of my youth.
 Oh, for the vigor of those days again,
 When Elis, for her cattle which we took,
 Strove with us and Itymoneus I slew,
 Brave offspring of Hypirochus; he dwelt                        810
 In Elis, and while I the pledges drove,
 Stood for his herd, but fell among the first
 By a spear hurl'd from my victorious arm.
 Then fled the rustic multitude, and we
 Drove off abundant booty from the plain,                       815
 Herds fifty of fat beeves, large flocks of goats
 As many, with as many sheep and swine,
 And full thrice fifty mares of brightest hue,
 All breeders, many with their foals beneath.
 All these, by night returning safe, we drove                   820
 Into Neleian Pylus, and the heart
 Rejoiced of Neleus, in a son so young
 A warrior, yet enrich'd with such a prize.
 At early dawn the heralds summon'd loud
 The citizens, to prove their just demands                      825
 On fruitful Elis, and the assembled Chiefs
 Division made (for numerous were the debts
 Which the Epeans, in the weak estate
 Of the unpeopled Pylus, had incurr'd;
 For Hercules, few years before, had sack'd[24]                 830
 Our city, and our mightiest slain. Ourselves
 The gallant sons of Neleus, were in all
 Twelve youths, of whom myself alone survived;
 The rest all perish'd; whence, presumptuous grown,
 The brazen-mail'd Epeans wrong'd us oft).                      835
 A herd of beeves my father for himself
 Selected, and a numerous flock beside,
 Three hundred sheep, with shepherds for them all.
 For he a claimant was of large arrears
 From sacred Elis. Four unrivall'd steeds                       840
 With his own chariot to the games he sent,
 That should contend for the appointed prize
 A tripod; but Augeias, King of men,
 Detain'd the steeds, and sent the charioteer
 Defrauded home. My father, therefore, fired                    845
 At such foul outrage both of deeds and words,
 Took much, and to the Pylians gave the rest
 For satisfaction of the claims of all.
 While thus we busied were in these concerns,
 And in performance of religious rites                          850
 Throughout the city, came the Epeans arm'd,
 Their whole vast multitude both horse and foot
 On the third day; came also clad in brass
 The two Molions, inexpert as yet
 In feats of arms, and of a boyish age.                         855
 There is a city on a mountain's head,
 Fast by the banks of Alpheus, far remote,
 The utmost town which sandy Pylus owns,
 Named Thryoëssa, and, with ardor fired
 To lay it waste, that city they besieged.                      860
 Now when their host had traversed all the plain,
 Minerva from Olympus flew by night
 And bade us arm; nor were the Pylians slow
 To assemble, but impatient for the fight.
 Me, then, my father suffer'd not to arm,                       865
 But hid my steeds, for he supposed me raw
 As yet, and ignorant how war is waged.
 Yet, even thus, unvantaged and on foot,
 Superior honors I that day acquired
 To theirs who rode, for Pallas led me on                       870
 Herself to victory. There is a stream
 Which at Arena falls into the sea,
 Named Minuëius; on that river's bank
 The Pylian horsemen waited day's approach,
 And thither all our foot came pouring down.                    875
 The flood divine of Alpheus thence we reach'd
 At noon, all arm'd complete; there, hallow'd rites
 We held to Jove omnipotent, and slew
 A bull to sacred Alpheus, with a bull
 To Neptune, and a heifer of the herd                           880
 To Pallas; then, all marshall'd as they were,
 From van to rear our legions took repast,
 And at the river's side slept on their arms.
 Already the Epean host had round
 Begirt the city, bent to lay it waste,                         885
 A task which cost them, first, both blood and toil,
 For when the radiant sun on the green earth
 Had risen, with prayer to Pallas and to Jove,
 We gave them battle. When the Pylian host
 And the Epeans thus were close engaged,                        890
 I first a warrior slew, Mulius the brave,
 And seized his coursers. He the eldest-born
 Of King Augeias' daughters had espoused
 The golden Agamede; not an herb
 The spacious earth yields but she knew its powers,             895
 Him, rushing on me, with my brazen lance
 I smote, and in the dust he fell; I leap'd
 Into his seat, and drove into the van.
 A panic seized the Epeans when they saw
 The leader of their horse o'erthrown, a Chief                  900
 Surpassing all in fight. Black as a cloud
 With whirlwind fraught, I drove impetuous on,
 Took fifty chariots, and at side of each
 Lay two slain warriors, with their teeth the soil
 Grinding, all vanquish'd by my single arm.                     905
 I had slain also the Molions, sons
 Of Actor, but the Sovereign of the deep
 Their own authentic Sire, in darkness dense
 Involving both, convey'd them safe away.
 Then Jove a victory of prime renown                            910
 Gave to the Pylians; for we chased and slew
 And gather'd spoil o'er all the champain spread
 With scatter'd shields, till we our steeds had driven
 To the Buprasian fields laden with corn,
 To the Olenian rock, and to a town                             915
 In fair Colona situate, and named
 Alesia. There it was that Pallas turn'd
 Our people homeward; there I left the last
 Of all the slain, and he was slain by me.
 Then drove the Achaians from Buprasium home                    920
 Their coursers fleet, and Jove, of Gods above,
 Received most praise, Nestor of men below.
   Such once was I. But brave Achilles shuts
 His virtues close, an unimparted store;
 Yet even he shall weep, when all the host,                     925
 His fellow-warriors once, shall be destroy'd.
 But recollect, young friend! the sage advice
 Which when thou earnest from Phthia to the aid
 Of Agamemnon, on that selfsame day
 Menoetius gave thee. We were present there,                    930
 Ulysses and myself, both in the house,
 And heard it all; for to the house we came
 Of Peleus in our journey through the land
 Of fertile Greece, gathering her states to war.
 We found thy noble sire Menoetius there,                       935
 Thee and Achilles; ancient Peleus stood
 To Jove the Thunderer offering in his court
 Thighs of an ox, and on the blazing rites
 Libation pouring from a cup of gold.
 While ye on preparation of the feast                           940
 Attended both, Ulysses and myself
 Stood in the vestibule; Achilles flew
 Toward us, introduced us by the hand,
 And, seating us, such liberal portion gave
 To each, as hospitality requires.                              945
 Our thirst, at length, and hunger both sufficed,
 I, foremost speaking, ask'd you to the wars,
 And ye were eager both, but from your sires
 Much admonition, ere ye went, received.
 Old Peleus charged Achilles to aspire                          950
 To highest praise, and always to excel.
 But thee, thy sire Menoetius thus advised.
 "My son! Achilles boasts the nobler birth,
 But thou art elder; he in strength excels
 Thee far; thou, therefore, with discretion rule                955
 His inexperience; thy advice impart
 With gentleness; instruction wise suggest
 Wisely, and thou shalt find him apt to learn."
 So thee thy father taught, but, as it seems,
 In vain. Yet even now essay to move                            960
 Warlike Achilles; if the Gods so please,
 Who knows but that thy reasons may prevail
 To rouse his valiant heart? men rarely scorn
 The earnest intercession of a friend.
 But if some prophecy alarm his fears,                          965
 And from his Goddess mother he have aught
 Received, who may have learnt the same from Jove,
 Thee let him send at least, and order forth
 With thee the Myrmidons; a dawn of hope
 Shall thence, it may be, on our host arise.                    970
 And let him send thee to the battle clad
 In his own radiant armor; Troy, deceived
 By such resemblance, shall abstain perchance
 From conflict, and the weary Greeks enjoy
 Short respite; it is all that war allows.                      975
 Fresh as ye are, ye, by your shouts alone,
 May easily repulse an army spent
 With labor from the camp and from the fleet.
   Thus Nestor, and his mind bent to his words.
 Back to Æacides through all the camp                           980
 He ran; and when, still running, he arrived
 Among Ulysses' barks, where they had fix'd
 The forum, where they minister'd the laws,
 And had erected altars to the Gods,
 There him Eurypylus, Evæmon's son,                             985
 Illustrious met, deep-wounded in his thigh,
 And halting-back from battle. From his head
 The sweat, and from his shoulders ran profuse,
 And from his perilous wound the sable blood
 Continual stream'd; yet was his mind composed.                 990
 Him seeing, Menoetiades the brave
 Compassion felt, and mournful, thus began.
   Ah hapless senators and Chiefs of Greece!
 Left ye your native country that the dogs
 Might fatten on your flesh at distant Troy?                    995
 But tell me, Hero! say, Eurypylus!
 Have the Achaians power still to withstand
 The enormous force of Hector, or is this
 The moment when his spear must pierce us all?
   To whom Eurypylus, discreet, replied.                       1000
 Patroclus, dear to Jove! there is no help,
 No remedy. We perish at our ships.
 The warriors, once most strenuous of the Greeks,
 Lie wounded in the fleet by foes whose might
 Increases ever. But thyself afford                            1005
 To me some succor; lead me to my ship;
 Cut forth the arrow from my thigh; the gore
 With warm ablution cleanse, and on the wound
 Smooth unguents spread, the same as by report
 Achilles taught thee; taught, himself, their use              1010
 By Chiron, Centaur, justest of his kind
 For Podalirius and Machaon both
 Are occupied. Machaon, as I judge,
 Lies wounded in his tent, needing like aid
 Himself, and Podalirius in the field                          1015
 Maintains sharp conflict with the sons of Troy.
   To whom Menoetius' gallant son replied.
 Hero! Eurypylus! how shall we act
 In this perplexity? what course pursue?
 I seek the brave Achilles, to whose ear                       1020
 I bear a message from the ancient chief
 Gerenian Nestor, guardian of the Greeks.
 Yet will I not, even for such a cause,
 My friend! abandon thee in thy distress.
   He ended, and his arms folding around                       1025
 The warrior bore him thence into his tent.
 His servant, on his entrance, spread the floor
 With hides, on which Patroclus at his length
 Extended him, and with his knife cut forth
 The rankling point; with tepid lotion, next,                  1030
 He cleansed the gore, and with a bitter root
 Bruised small between his palms, sprinkled the wound.
 At once, the anodyne his pain assuaged,
 The wound was dried within, and the blood ceased.
               *        *        *        *        *

It will be well here to observe the position of the Greeks. All human aid is cut off by the wounds of their heroes, and all assistance from the Gods forbidden by Jupiter. On the contrary, the Trojans see their general at their head, and Jupiter himself fights on their side. Upon this hinge turns the whole poem. The distress of the Greeks occasions first the assistance of Patroclus, and then the death of that hero brings back Achilles.

The poet shows great skill in conducting these incidents. He gives Achilles the pleasure of seeing that the Greeks could not carry on the war without his assistance, and upon this depends the great catastrophe of the poem.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XII.



                   ARGUMENT OF THE TWELFTH BOOK.


   The Trojans assail the ramparts, and Hector forces the gates.



                             BOOK XII.


 So was Menoetius' gallant son employ'd
 Healing Eurypylus. The Greeks, meantime,
 And Trojans with tumultuous fury fought.
 Nor was the foss ordain'd long time to exclude
 The host of Troy, nor yet the rampart built                      5
 Beside it for protection of the fleet;
 For hecatomb the Greeks had offer'd none,
 Nor prayer to heaven, that it might keep secure
 Their ships with all their spoils. The mighty work
 As in defiance of the Immortal Powers                           10
 Had risen, and could not therefore long endure.
 While Hector lived, and while Achilles held
 His wrathful purpose; while the city yet
 Of royal Priam was unsack'd, so long
 The massy structure stood; but when the best                    15
 And bravest of the Trojan host were slain,
 And of the Grecian heroes, some had fallen
 And some survived, when Priam's towers had blazed
 In the tenth year, and to their native shores
 The Grecians with their ships, at length, return'd,             20
 Then Neptune, with Apollo leagued, devised
 Its ruin; every river that descends
 From the Idæan heights into the sea
 They brought against it, gathering all their force.
 Rhesus, Caresus, Rhodius, the wide-branch'd                     25
 Heptaporus, Æsepus, Granicus,
 Scamander's sacred current, and thy stream
 Simöis, whose banks with helmets and with shields
 Were strew'd, and Chiefs of origin divine;
 All these with refluent course Apollo drove                     30
 Nine days against the rampart, and Jove rain'd
 Incessant, that the Grecian wall wave-whelm'd
 Through all its length might sudden disappear.
 Neptune with his tridental mace, himself,
 Led them, and beam and buttress to the flood                    35
 Consigning, laid by the laborious Greeks,
 Swept the foundation, and the level bank
 Of the swift-rolling Hellespont restored.
 The structure thus effaced, the spacious beach
 He spread with sand as at the first; then bade                  40
 Subside the streams, and in their channels wind
 With limpid course, and pleasant as before,
   Apollo thus and Neptune, from the first,
 Design'd its fall; but now the battle raved
 And clamors of the warriors all around                          45
 The strong-built turrets, whose assaulted planks
 Rang, while the Grecians, by the scourge of Jove
 Subdued, stood close within their fleet immured,
 At Hector's phalanx-scattering force appall'd.
 He, as before, with whirlwind fury fought.                      50
 As when the boar or lion fiery-eyed
 Turns short, the hunters and the hounds among,
 The close-embattled troop him firm oppose,
 And ply him fast with spears; he no dismay
 Conceives or terror in his noble heart,                         55
 But by his courage falls; frequent he turns
 Attempting bold the ranks, and where he points
 Direct his onset, there the ranks retire;
 So, through the concourse on his rolling wheels
 Borne rapid, Hector animated loud                               60
 His fellow-warriors to surpass the trench.
 But not his own swift-footed steeds would dare
 That hazard; standing on the dangerous brink
 They neigh'd aloud, for by its breadth the foss
 Deterr'd them; neither was the effort slight                    65
 To leap that gulf, nor easy the attempt
 To pass it through; steep were the banks profound
 On both sides, and with massy piles acute
 Thick-planted, interdicting all assault.
 No courser to the rapid chariot braced                          70
 Had enter'd there with ease; yet strong desires
 Possess'd the infantry of that emprize,
 And thus Polydamas the ear address'd
 Of dauntless Hector, standing at his side.
   Hector, and ye the leaders of our host,                       75
 Both Trojans and allies! rash the attempt
 I deem, and vain, to push our horses through,
 So dangerous is the pass; rough is the trench
 With pointed stakes, and the Achaian wall
 Meets us beyond. No chariot may descend                         80
 Or charioteer fight there; strait are the bounds,
 And incommodious, and his death were sure.
 If Jove, high-thundering Ruler of the skies,
 Will succor Ilium, and nought less intend
 Than utter devastation of the Greeks,                           85
 I am content; now perish all their host
 Inglorious, from their country far remote.
 But should they turn, and should ourselves be driven
 Back from the fleet impeded and perplex'd
 In this deep foss, I judge that not a man,                      90
 'Scaping the rallied Grecians, should survive
 To bear the tidings of our fate to Troy.
 Now, therefore, act we all as I advise.
 Let every charioteer his coursers hold
 Fast-rein'd beside the foss, while we on foot,                  95
 With order undisturb'd and arms in hand,
 Shall follow Hector. If destruction borne
 On wings of destiny this day approach
 The Grecians, they will fly our first assault.
   So spake Polydamas, whose safe advice                        100
 Pleased Hector; from his chariot to the ground
 All arm'd he leap'd, nor would a Trojan there
 (When once they saw the Hero on his feet)
 Ride into battle, but unanimous
 Descending with a leap, all trod the plain.                    105
 Each gave command that at the trench his steeds
 Should stand detain'd in orderly array;
 Then, suddenly, the parted host became
 Five bands, each following its appointed chief.
 The bravest and most numerous, and whose hearts                110
 Wish'd most to burst the barrier and to wage
 The battle at the ships, with Hector march'd
 And with Polydamas, whom follow'd, third,
 Cebriones; for Hector had his steeds
 Consign'd and chariot to inferior care.                        115
 Paris, Alcathoüs, and Agenor led
 The second band, and, sons of Priam both,
 Deïphobus and Helenus, the third;
 With them was seen partner of their command;
 The Hero Asius; from Arisba came                               120
 Asius Hyrtacides, to battle drawn
 From the Selleïs banks by martial steeds
 Hair'd fiery-red and of the noblest size.
 The fourth, Anchises' mighty son controll'd,
 Æneas; under him Antenor's sons,                               125
 Archilochus and Acamas, advanced,
 Adept in all the practice of the field.
 Last came the glorious powers in league with Troy
 Led by Sarpedon; he with Glaucus shared
 His high control, and with the warlike Chief                   130
 Asteropæus; for of all his host
 Them bravest he esteem'd, himself except
 Superior in heroic might to all.
 And now (their shields adjusted each to each)
 With dauntless courage fired, right on they moved              135
 Against the Grecians; nor expected less
 Than that beside their sable ships, the host
 Should self-abandon'd fall an easy prey.
   The Trojans, thus with their confederate powers,
 The counsel of the accomplish'd Prince pursued,                140
 Polydamas, one Chief alone except,
 Asius Hyrtacides. He scorn'd to leave
 His charioteer and coursers at the trench,
 And drove toward the fleet. Ah, madly brave!
 His evil hour was come; he was ordain'd                        145
 With horse and chariot and triumphant shout
 To enter wind-swept Ilium never more.
 Deucalion's offspring, first, into the shades
 Dismiss'd him; by Idomeneus he died.
 Leftward he drove furious, along the road                      150
 By which the steeds and chariots of the Greeks
 Return'd from battle; in that track he flew,
 Nor found the portals by the massy bar
 Secured, but open for reception safe
 Of fugitives, and to a guard consign'd.                        155
 Thither he drove direct, and in his rear
 His band shrill-shouting follow'd, for they judged
 The Greeks no longer able to withstand
 Their foes, but sure to perish in the camp.
 Vain hope! for in the gate two Chiefs they found               160
 Lapithæ-born, courageous offspring each
 Of dauntless father; Polypoetes, this,
 Sprung from Pirithöus; that, the warrior bold
 Leonteus, terrible as gore-tainted Mars.
 These two, defenders of the lofty gates,                       165
 Stood firm before them. As when two tall oaks
 On the high mountains day by day endure
 Rough wind and rain, by deep-descending roots
 Of hugest growth fast-founded in the soil;
 So they, sustain'd by conscious valor, saw,                    170
 Unmoved, high towering Asius on his way,
 Nor fear'd him aught, nor shrank from his approach
 Right on toward the barrier, lifting high
 Their season'd bucklers and with clamor loud
 The band advanced, King Asius at their head,                   175
 With whom Iämenus, expert in arms,
 Orestes, Thöon, Acamas the son
 Of Asius, and Oenomäus, led them on.
 Till now, the warlike pair, exhorting loud
 The Grecians to defend the fleet, had stood                    180
 Within the gates; but soon as they perceived
 The Trojans swift advancing to the wall,
 And heard a cry from all the flying Greeks,
 Both sallying, before the gates they fought
 Like forest-boars, which hearing in the hills                  185
 The crash of hounds and huntsmen nigh at hand,
 With start oblique lay many a sapling flat
 Short-broken by the root, nor cease to grind
 Their sounding tusks, till by the spear they die;
 So sounded on the breasts of those brave two                   190
 The smitten brass; for resolute they fought,
 Embolden'd by their might who kept the wall,
 And trusting in their own; they, in defence
 Of camp and fleet and life, thick battery hurl'd
 Of stones precipitated from the towers;                        195
 Frequent as snows they fell, which stormy winds,
 Driving the gloomy clouds, shake to the ground,
 Till all the fertile earth lies cover'd deep.
 Such volley pour'd the Greeks, and such return'd
 The Trojans; casques of hide, arid and tough,                  200
 And bossy shields rattled, by such a storm
 Assail'd of millstone masses from above.
 Then Asius, son of Hyrtacus, a groan
 Indignant utter'd; on both thighs he smote
 With disappointment furious, and exclaim'd,                    205
   Jupiter! even thou art false become,
 And altogether such. Full sure I deem'd
 That not a Grecian hero should abide
 One moment force invincible as ours,
 And lo! as wasps ring-streaked,[1] or bees that build          210
 Their dwellings in the highway's craggy side
 Leave not their hollow home, but fearless wait
 The hunter's coming, in their brood's defence,
 So these, although two only, from the gates
 Move not, nor will, till either seized or slain.               215
   So Asius spake, but speaking so, changed not
 The mind of Jove on Hector's glory bent.
 Others, as obstinate, at other gates
 Such deeds perform'd, that to enumerate all
 Were difficult, unless to power divine.                        220
 For fierce the hail of stones from end to end
 Smote on the barrier; anguish fill'd the Greeks.
 Yet, by necessity constrain'd, their ships
 They guarded still; nor less the Gods themselves,
 Patrons of Greece, all sorrow'd at the sight.                  225
   At once the valiant Lapithæ began
 Terrible conflict, and Pirithous' son
 Brave Polypoetes through his helmet pierced
 Damasus; his resplendent point the brass
 Sufficed not to withstand; entering, it crush'd                230
 The bone within, and mingling all his brain
 With his own blood, his onset fierce repress'd.
 Pylon and Ormenus he next subdued.
 Meantime Leonteus, branch of Mars, his spear
 Hurl'd at Hippomachus, whom through his belt                   235
 He pierced; then drawing forth his falchion keen,
 Through all the multitude he flew to smite
 Antiphates, and with a downright stroke
 Fell'd him. Iämenus and Menon next
 He slew, with brave Orestes, whom he heap'd,                   240
 All three together, on the fertile glebe.
   While them the Lapithæ of their bright arms
 Despoil'd, Polydamas and Hector stood
 (With all the bravest youths and most resolved
 To burst the barrier and to fire the fleet)                    245
 Beside the foss, pondering the event.
 For, while they press'd to pass, they spied a bird
 Sublime in air, an eagle. Right between
 Both hosts he soar'd (the Trojan on his left)
 A serpent bearing in his pounces clutch'd                      250
 Enormous, dripping blood, but lively still
 And mindful of revenge; for from beneath
 The eagle's breast, updarting fierce his head,
 Fast by the throat he struck him; anguish-sick
 The eagle cast him down into the space                         255
 Between the hosts, and, clanging loud his plumes
 As the wind bore him, floated far away.
 Shudder'd the Trojans viewing at their feet
 The spotted serpent ominous, and thus
 Polydamas to dauntless Hector spake.                           260
   Ofttimes in council, Hector, thou art wont
 To censure me, although advising well;
 Nor ought the private citizen, I confess,
 Either in council or in war to indulge
 Loquacity, but ever to employ                                  265
 All his exertions in support of thine.
 Yet hear my best opinion once again.
 Proceed we not in our attempt against
 The Grecian fleet. For if in truth the sign
 Respect the host of Troy ardent to pass,                       270
 Then, as the eagle soar'd both hosts between,
 With Ilium's on his left, and clutch'd a snake
 Enormous, dripping blood, but still alive,
 Which yet he dropp'd suddenly, ere he reach'd
 His eyry, or could give it to his young,                       275
 So we, although with mighty force we burst
 Both gates and barrier, and although the Greeks
 Should all retire, shall never yet the way
 Tread honorably back by which we came.
 No. Many a Trojan shall we leave behind                        280
 Slain by the Grecians in their fleet's defence.
 An augur skill'd in omens would expound
 This omen thus, and faith would win from all.
   To whom, dark-louring, Hector thus replied.
 Polydamas! I like not thy advice;                              285
 Thou couldst have framed far better; but if this
 Be thy deliberate judgment, then the Gods
 Make thy deliberate judgment nothing worth,
 Who bidd'st me disregard the Thunderer's[2] firm
 Assurance to myself announced, and make                        290
 The wild inhabitants of air my guides,
 Which I alike despise, speed they their course
 With right-hand flight toward the ruddy East,
 Or leftward down into the shades of eve.
 Consider _we_ the will of Jove alone,                          295
 Sovereign of heaven and earth. Omens abound,
 But the best omen is our country's cause.[3]
 Wherefore should fiery war _thy_ soul alarm?
 For were we slaughter'd, one and all, around
 The fleet of Greece, _thou_ need'st not fear to die,           300
 Whose courage never will thy flight retard.
 But if thou shrink thyself, or by smooth speech
 Seduce one other from a soldier's part,
 Pierced by this spear incontinent thou diest.
   So saying he led them, who with deafening roar               305
 Follow'd him. Then, from the Idæan hills
 Jove hurl'd a storm which wafted right the dust
 Into the fleet; the spirits too he quell'd
 Of the Achaians, and the glory gave
 To Hector and his host; they, trusting firm                    310
 In signs from Jove, and in their proper force,
 Assay'd the barrier; from the towers they tore
 The galleries, cast the battlements to ground,
 And the projecting buttresses adjoin'd
 To strengthen the vast work, with bars upheaved.               315
 All these, with expectation fierce to break
 The rampart, down they drew; nor yet the Greeks
 Gave back, but fencing close with shields the wall,
 Smote from behind them many a foe beneath.
 Meantime from tower to tower the Ajaces moved                  320
 Exhorting all; with mildness some, and some
 With harsh rebuke, whom they observed through fear
 Declining base the labors of the fight,
   Friends! Argives! warriors of whatever rank!
 Ye who excel, and ye of humbler note!                          325
 And ye the last and least! (for such there are,
 All have not magnanimity alike)
 Now have we work for all, as all perceive.
 Turn not, retreat not to your ships, appall'd
 By sounding menaces, but press the foe;                        330
 Exhort each other, and e'en now perchance
 Olympian Jove, by whom the lightnings burn,
 Shall grant us to repulse them, and to chase
 The routed Trojans to their gates again.
   So they vociferating to the Greeks,                          335
 Stirr'd them to battle. As the feathery snows
 Fall frequent, on some wintry day, when Jove
 Hath risen to shed them on the race of man,
 And show his arrowy stores; he lulls the winds,
 Then shakes them down continual, covering thick                340
 Mountain tops, promontories, flowery meads,
 And cultured valleys rich; the ports and shores
 Receive it also of the hoary deep,
 But there the waves bound it, while all beside
 Lies whelm'd beneath Jove's fast-descending shower,            345
 So thick, from side to side, by Trojans hurl'd
 Against the Greeks, and by the Greeks return'd
 The stony vollies flew; resounding loud
 Through all its length the battered rampart roar'd.
 Nor yet had Hector and his host prevail'd                      350
 To burst the gates, and break the massy bar,
 Had not all-seeing Jove Sarpedon moved
 His son, against the Greeks, furious as falls
 The lion on some horned herd of beeves.
 At once his polish'd buckler he advanced                       355
 With leafy brass o'erlaid; for with smooth brass
 The forger of that shield its oval disk
 Had plated, and with thickest hides throughout
 Had lined it, stitch'd with circling wires of gold.
 That shield he bore before him; firmly grasp'd                 360
 He shook two spears, and with determined strides
 March'd forward. As the lion mountain-bred,
 After long fast, by impulse of his heart
 Undaunted urged, seeks resolute the flock
 Even in the shelter of their guarded home;                     365
 He finds, perchance, the shepherds arm'd with spears,
 And all their dogs awake, yet can not leave
 Untried the fence, but either leaps it light,
 And entering tears the prey, or in the attempt
 Pierced by some dexterous peasant, bleeds himself;             370
 So high his courage to the assault impell'd
 Godlike Sarpedon, and him fired with hope
 To break the barrier; when to Glaucus thus,
 Son of Hippolochus, his speech he turn'd.
   Why, Glaucus, is the seat of honor ours,                     375
 Why drink we brimming cups, and feast in state?
 Why gaze they all on us as we were Gods
 In Lycia, and why share we pleasant fields
 And spacious vineyards, where the Xanthus winds?
 Distinguished thus in Lycia, we are call'd                     380
 To firmness here, and to encounter bold
 The burning battle, that our fair report
 Among the Lycians may be blazon'd thus--
 No dastards are the potentates who rule
 The bright-arm'd Lycians; on the fatted flock                  385
 They banquet, and they drink the richest wines;
 But they are also valiant, and the fight
 Wage dauntless in the vanward of us all.
 Oh Glaucus, if escaping safe the death
 That threats us here, we also could escape                     390
 Old age, and to ourselves secure a life
 Immortal, I would neither in the van
 Myself expose, nor would encourage thee
 To tempt the perils of the glorious field.
 But since a thousand messengers of fate                        395
 Pursue us close, and man is born to die--
 E'en let us on; the prize of glory yield,
 If yield we must, or wrest it from the foe.
   He said, nor cold refusal in return
 Received from Glaucus, but toward the wall                     400
 Their numerous Lycian host both led direct.
 Menestheus, son of Peteos, saw appall'd
 Their dread approach, for to his tower they bent;
 Their threatening march. An eager look he cast,
 On the embodied Greeks, seeking some Chief                     405
 Whose aid might turn the battle from his van:
 He saw, where never sated with exploits
 Of war, each Ajax fought, near whom his eye
 Kenn'd Teucer also, newly from his tent;
 But vain his efforts were with loudest call                    410
 To reach their ears, such was the deafening din
 Upsent to heaven, of shields and crested helms,
 And of the batter'd gates; for at each gate
 They thundering' stood, and urged alike at each
 Their fierce attempt by force to burst the bars.               415
 To Ajax therefore he at once dispatch'd
 A herald, and Thöotes thus enjoin'd.
   My noble friend, Thöotes! with all speed
 Call either Ajax; bid them hither both;
 Far better so; for havoc is at hand.                           420
 The Lycian leaders, ever in assault
 Tempestuous, bend their force against this tower
 My station. But if also there they find
 Laborious conflict pressing them severe,
 At least let Telamonian Ajax come,                             425
 And Teucer with his death-dispensing bow.
   He spake, nor was Thöotes slow to hear;
 Beside the rampart of the mail-clad Greeks
 Rapid he flew, and, at their side arrived,
 To either Ajax, eager, thus began.                             430
   Ye leaders of the well-appointed Greeks,
 The son of noble Peteos calls; he begs
 With instant suit, that ye would share his toils,
 However short your stay; the aid of both
 Will serve him best, for havoc threatens there                 435
 The Lycian leaders, ever in assault
 Tempestuous, bend their force toward the tower
 His station. But if also here ye find
 Laborious conflict pressing you severe,
 At least let Telamonian Ajax come,                             440
 And Teucer with his death-dispensing bow.
   He spake, nor his request the towering son
 Of Telamon denied, but quick his speech
 To Ajax Oïliades address'd.
   Ajax! abiding here, exhort ye both                           445
 (Heroic Lycomedes and thyself)
 The Greeks to battle. Thither I depart
 To aid our friends, which service once perform'd
 Duly, I will incontinent return.
   So saying, the Telamonian Chief withdrew                     450
 With whom went Teucer, son of the same sire,
 Pandion also, bearing Teucer's bow.
 Arriving at the turret given in charge
 To the bold Chief Menestheus, and the wall
 Entering, they found their friends all sharply tried.          455
 Black as a storm the senators renown'd
 And leaders of the Lycian host assail'd
 Buttress and tower, while opposite the Greeks
 Withstood them, and the battle-shout began.
 First, Ajax, son of Telamon, a friend                          460
 And fellow-warrior of Sarpedon slew,
 Epicles. With a marble fragment huge
 That crown'd the battlement's interior side,
 He smote him. No man of our puny race,
 Although in prime of youth, had with both hands                465
 That weight sustain'd; but he the cumberous mass
 Uplifted high, and hurl'd it on his head.
 It burst his helmet, and his batter'd skull
 Dash'd from all form. He from the lofty tower
 Dropp'd downright, with a diver's plunge, and died.            470
 But Teucer wounded Glaucus with a shaft
 Son of Hippolochus; he, climbing, bared
 His arm, which Teucer, marking, from the wall
 Transfix'd it, and his onset fierce repress'd;
 For with a backward leap Glaucus withdrew                      475
 Sudden and silent, cautious lest the Greeks
 Seeing him wounded should insult his pain.
 Grief seized, at sight of his retiring friend,
 Sarpedon, who forgat not yet the fight,
 But piercing with his lance Alcmaon, son                       480
 Of Thestor, suddenly reversed the beam,
 Which following, Alcmaon to the earth
 Fell prone, with clangor of his brazen arms.
 Sarpedon, then, strenuous with both hands
 Tugg'd, and down fell the battlement entire;                   485
 The wall, dismantled at the summit, stood
 A ruin, and wide chasm was open'd through.
 Then Ajax him and Teucer at one time
 Struck both; an arrow struck from Teucer's bow
 The belt that cross'd his bosom, by which hung                 490
 His ample shield; yet lest his son should fall
 Among the ships, Jove turn'd the death aside.
 But Ajax, springing to his thrust, a spear
 Drove through his shield. Sarpedon at the shock
 With backward step short interval recoil'd,                    495
 But not retired, for in his bosom lived
 The hope of glory still, and, looking back
 On all his godlike Lycians, he exclaim'd,
   Oh Lycians! where is your heroic might?
 Brave as I boast myself, I feel the task                       500
 Arduous, through the breach made by myself
 To win a passage to the ships, alone.
 Follow me all--Most laborers, most dispatch.[4]
   So he; at whose sharp reprimand abash'd
 The embattled host to closer conflict moved,                   505
 Obedient to their counsellor and King.
 On the other side the Greeks within the wall
 Made firm the phalanx, seeing urgent need;
 Nor could the valiant Lycians through the breach
 Admittance to the Grecian fleet obtain,                        510
 Nor since they first approach'd it, had the Greeks
 With all their efforts, thrust the Lycians back.
 But as two claimants of one common field,
 Each with his rod of measurement in hand,
 Dispute the boundaries, litigating warm                        515
 Their right in some small portion of the soil,
 So they, divided by the barrier, struck
 With hostile rage the bull-hide bucklers round,
 And the light targets on each other's breast.
 Then many a wound the ruthless weapons made.                   520
 Pierced through the unarm'd back, if any turn'd,
 He died, and numerous even through the shield.
 The battlements from end to end with blood
 Of Grecians and of Trojans on both sides
 Were sprinkled; yet no violence could move                     525
 The stubborn Greeks, or turn their powers to flight.
 So hung the war in balance, as the scales
 Held by some woman scrupulously just,
 A spinner; wool and weight she poises nice,
 Hard-earning slender pittance for her babes,[5]                530
 Such was the poise in which the battle hung
 Till Jove himself superior fame, at length,
 To Priamëian Hector gave, who sprang
 First through the wall. In lofty sounds that reach'd
 Their utmost ranks, he call'd on all his host.                 535
   Now press them, now ye Trojans steed-renown'd
 Rush on! break through the Grecian rampart, hurl
 At once devouring flames into the fleet.
 Such was his exhortation; they his voice
 All hearing, with close-order'd ranks direct                   540
 Bore on the barrier, and up-swarming show'd
 On the high battlement their glittering spears.
 But Hector seized a stone; of ample base
 But tapering to a point, before the gate
 It stood. No two men, mightiest of a land                      545
 (Such men as now are mighty) could with ease
 Have heaved it from the earth up to a wain;
 He swung it easily alone; so light
 The son of Saturn made it in his hand.
 As in one hand with ease the shepherd bears                    550
 A ram's fleece home, nor toils beneath the weight,
 So Hector, right toward the planks of those
 Majestic folding-gates, close-jointed, firm
 And solid, bore the stone. Two bars within
 Their corresponding force combined transvere                   555
 To guard them, and one bolt secured the bars.
 He stood fast by them, parting wide his feet
 For 'vantage sake, and smote them in the midst.
 He burst both hinges; inward fell the rock
 Ponderous, and the portals roar'd; the bars                    560
 Endured not, and the planks, riven by the force
 Of that huge mass, flew scatter'd on all sides.
 In leap'd the godlike Hero at the breach,
 Gloomy as night in aspect, but in arms
 All-dazzling, and he grasp'd two quivering spears.             565
 Him entering with a leap the gates, no force
 Whate'er of opposition had repress'd,
 Save of the Gods alone. Fire fill'd his eyes;
 Turning, he bade the multitude without
 Ascend the rampart; they his voice obey'd;                     570
 Part climb'd the wall, part pour'd into the gate;
 The Grecians to their hollow galleys flew
 Scatter'd, and tumult infinite arose.[6]



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XIII.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE THIRTEENTH BOOK.


Neptune engages on the part of the Grecians. The battle proceeds. Deiphobus advances to combat, but is repulsed by Meriones, who losing his spear, repairs to his tent for another. Teucer slays Imbrius, and Hector Amphimachus. Neptune, under the similitude of Thoas, exhorts Idomeneus. Idomeneus having armed himself in his tent, and going forth to battle, meets Meriones. After discourse held with each other, Idomeneus accommodates Meriones with a spear, and they proceed to battle. Idomeneus slays Othryoneus, and Asius. Deiphobus assails Idomeneus, but, his spear glancing over him, kills Hypsenor. Idomeneus slays Alcathoüs, son-in-law of Anchises. Deiphobus and Idomeneus respectively summon their friends to their assistance, and a contest ensues for the body of Alcathoüs.



                             BOOK XIII.


 [1]When Jove to Hector and his host had given
 Such entrance to the fleet, to all the woes
 And toils of unremitting battle there
 He them abandon'd, and his glorious eyes
 Averting, on the land look'd down remote                         5
 Of the horse-breeding Thracians, of the bold
 Close-fighting Mysian race, and where abide
 On milk sustain'd, and blest with length of days,
 The Hippemolgi,[2] justest of mankind.
 No longer now on Troy his eyes he turn'd,                       10
 For expectation none within his breast
 Survived, that God or Goddess would the Greeks
 Approach with succor, or the Trojans more.
   Nor Neptune, sovereign of the boundless Deep,
 Look'd forth in vain; he on the summit sat                      15
 Of Samothracia forest-crown'd, the stir
 Admiring thence and tempest of the field;
 For thence appear'd all Ida, thence the towers
 Of lofty Ilium, and the fleet of Greece.
 There sitting from the deeps uprisen, he mourn'd                20
 The vanquished Grecians, and resentment fierce
 Conceived and wrath against all-ruling Jove.
 Arising sudden, down the rugged steep
 With rapid strides he came; the mountains huge
 And forests under the immortal feet                             25
 Trembled of Ocean's Sovereign as he strode.
 Three strides he made, the fourth convey'd him home
 To Ægæ. At the bottom of the abyss,
 There stands magnificent his golden fane,
 A dazzling, incorruptible abode.                                30
 Arrived, he to his chariot join'd his steeds
 Swift, brazen-hoof'd, and maned with wavy gold;
 Himself attiring next in gold, he seized
 His golden scourge, and to his seat sublime
 Ascending, o'er the billows drove; the whales                   35
 Leaving their caverns, gambol'd on all sides
 Around him, not unconscious of their King;
 He swept the surge that tinged not as he pass'd
 His axle, and the sea parted for joy.
 His bounding coursers to the Grecian fleet                      40
 Convey'd him swift. There is a spacious cave
 Deep in the bottom of the flood, the rocks
 Of Imbrus rude and Tenedos between;
 There Neptune, Shaker of the Shores, his steeds
 Station'd secure; he loosed them from the yoke,                 45
 Gave them ambrosial food, and bound their feet
 With golden tethers not to be untied
 Or broken, that unwandering they might wait
 Their Lord's return, then sought the Grecian host.
 The Trojans, tempest-like or like a flame,                      50
 Now, following Priameïan Hector, all
 Came furious on and shouting to the skies.
 Their hope was to possess the fleet, and leave
 Not an Achaian of the host unslain.
 But earth-encircler Neptune from the gulf                       55
 Emerging, in the form and with the voice
 Loud-toned of Calchas, roused the Argive ranks
 To battle--and his exhortation first
 To either Ajax turn'd, themselves prepared.
   Ye heroes Ajax! your accustomed force                         60
 Exert, oh! think not of disastrous flight,
 And ye shall save the people. Nought I fear
 Fatal elsewhere, although Troy's haughty sons
 Have pass'd the barrier with so fierce a throng
 Tumultuous; for the Grecians brazen-greaved                     65
 Will check them there. Here only I expect
 And with much dread some dire event forebode,
 Where Hector, terrible as fire, and loud
 Vaunting his glorious origin from Jove,
 Leads on the Trojans. Oh that from on high                      70
 Some God would form the purpose in your hearts
 To stand yourselves firmly, and to exhort
 The rest to stand! so should ye chase him hence
 All ardent as he is, and even although
 Olympian Jove himself his rage inspire.                         75
   So Neptune spake, compasser of the earth,
 And, with his sceptre smiting both, their hearts
 Fill'd with fresh fortitude; their limbs the touch
 Made agile, wing'd their feet and nerved their arms.
 Then, swift as stoops a falcon from the point                   80
 Of some rude rock sublime, when he would chase
 A fowl of other wing along the meads,
 So started Neptune thence, and disappear'd.
 Him, as he went, swift Oïliades
 First recognized, and, instant, thus his speech                 85
 To Ajax, son of Telamon, address'd.
   Since, Ajax, some inhabitant of heaven
 Exhorts us, in the prophet's form to fight
 (For prophet none or augur we have seen;
 This was not Calchas; as he went I mark'd                       90
 His steps and knew him; Gods are known with ease)
 I feel my spirit in my bosom fired
 Afresh for battle; lightness in my limbs,
 In hands and feet a glow unfelt before.
   To whom the son of Telamon replied.                           95
 I also with invigorated hands
 More firmly grasp my spear; my courage mounts,
 A buoyant animation in my feet
 Bears me along, and I am all on fire
 To cope with Priam's furious son, alone.                       100
   Thus they, with martial transport to their souls
 Imparted by the God, conferr'd elate.
 Meantime the King of Ocean roused the Greeks,
 Who in the rear, beside their gallant barks
 Some respite sought. They, spent with arduous toil,            105
 Felt not alone their weary limbs unapt
 To battle, but their hearts with grief oppress'd,
 Seeing the numerous multitude of Troy
 Within the mighty barrier; sad they view'd
 That sight, and bathed their cheeks with many a tear,          110
 Despairing of escape. But Ocean's Lord
 Entering among them, soon the spirit stirr'd
 Of every valiant phalanx to the fight.
 Teucer and Leïtus, and famed in arms
 Peneleus, Thoas and Deipyrus,                                  115
 Meriones, and his compeer renown'd,
 Antilochus; all these in accents wing'd
 With fierce alacrity the God address'd.
   Oh shame, ye Grecians! vigorous as ye are
 And in life's prime, to your exertions most                    120
 I trusted for the safety of our ships.
 If _ye_ renounce the labors of the field,
 Then hath the day arisen of our defeat
 And final ruin by the powers of Troy.
 Oh! I behold a prodigy, a sight                                125
 Tremendous, deem'd impossible by me,
 The Trojans at our ships! the dastard race
 Fled once like fleetest hinds the destined prey
 Of lynxes, leopards, wolves; feeble and slight
 And of a nature indisposed to war                              130
 They rove uncertain; so the Trojans erst
 Stood not, nor to Achaian prowess dared
 The hindrance of a moment's strife oppose.
 But now, Troy left afar, even at our ships
 They give us battle, through our leader's fault                135
 And through the people's negligence, who fill'd
 With fierce displeasure against _him_, prefer
 Death at their ships, to war in their defence.
 But if the son of Atreus, our supreme,
 If Agamemnon, have indeed transgress'd                         140
 Past all excuse, dishonoring the swift
 Achilles, ye at least the fight decline
 Blame-worthy, and with no sufficient plea.
 But heal we speedily the breach; brave minds
 Easily coalesce. It is not well                                145
 That thus your fury slumbers, for the host
 Hath none illustrious as yourselves in arms.
 I can excuse the timid if he shrink,
 But am incensed at _you_. My friends, beware!
 Your tardiness will prove ere long the cause                   150
 Of some worse evil. Let the dread of shame
 Affect your hearts; oh tremble at the thought
 Of infamy! Fierce conflict hath arisen;
 Loud shouting Hector combats at the ships
 Nobly, hath forced the gates and burst the bar.                155
   With such encouragement those Grecian chiefs
 The King of Ocean roused. Then, circled soon
 By many a phalanx either Ajax stood,
 Whose order Mars himself arriving there
 Had praised, or Pallas, patroness of arms.                     160
 For there the flower of all expected firm
 Bold Hector and his host; spear crowded spear,
 Shield, helmet, man, press'd helmet, man and shield;[3]
 The hairy crests of their resplendent casques
 Kiss'd close at every nod, so wedged they stood;               165
 No spear was seen but in the manly grasp
 It quiver'd, and their every wish was war.
 The powers of Ilium gave the first assault
 Embattled close; them Hector led himself[4]
 Right on, impetuous as a rolling rock                          170
 Destructive; torn by torrent waters off
 From its old lodgment on the mountain's brow,
 It bounds, it shoots away; the crashing wood
 Falls under it; impediment or check
 None stays its fury, till the level found,                     175
 There, settling by degrees, it rolls no more;
 So after many a threat that he would pass
 Easily through the Grecian camp and fleet
 And slay to the sea-brink, when Hector once
 Had fallen on those firm ranks, standing, he bore              180
 Vehement on them; but by many a spear
 Urged and bright falchion, soon, reeling, retired,
 And call'd vociferous on the host of Troy.
   Trojans, and Lycians, and close-fighting sons
 Of Dardanus, oh stand! not long the Greeks                     185
 Will me confront, although embodied close
 In solid phalanx; doubt it not; my spear
 Shall chase and scatter them, if Jove, in truth,
 High-thundering mate of Juno, bid me on.
   So saying he roused the courage of them all                  190
 Foremost of whom advanced, of Priam's race
 Deiphobus, ambitious of renown.
 Tripping he came with shorten'd steps,[5] his feet
 Sheltering behind his buckler; but at him
 Aiming, Meriones his splendid lance                            195
 Dismiss'd, nor err'd; his bull-hide targe he struck
 But ineffectual; where the hollow wood
 Receives the inserted brass, the quivering beam
 Snapp'd; then, Deiphobus his shield afar
 Advanced before him, trembling at a spear                      200
 Hurl'd by Meriones. He, moved alike
 With indignation for the victory lost
 And for his broken spear, into his band
 At first retired, but soon set forth again
 In prowess through the Achaian camp, to fetch                  205
 Its fellow-spear within his tent reserved.
   The rest all fought, and dread the shouts arose
 On all sides. Telamonian Teucer, first,
 Slew valiant Imbrius, son of Mentor, rich
 In herds of sprightly steeds. He ere the Greeks                210
 Arrived at Ilium, in Pedæus dwelt,
 And Priam's spurious daughter had espoused
 Medesicasta. But the barks well-oar'd
 Of Greece arriving, he return'd to Troy,
 Where he excell'd the noblest, and abode                       215
 With Priam, loved and honor'd as his own.
 Him Teucer pierced beneath his ear, and pluck'd
 His weapon home; he fell as falls an ash
 Which on some mountain visible afar,
 Hewn from its bottom by the woodman's axe,                     220
 With all its tender foliage meets the ground
 So Imbrius fell; loud rang his armor bright
 With ornamental brass, and Teucer flew
 To seize his arms, whom hasting to the spoil
 Hector with his resplendent spear assail'd;                    225
 He, marking opposite its rapid flight,
 Declined it narrowly and it pierced the breast,
 As he advanced to battle, of the son
 Of Cteatus of the Actorian race,
 Amphimachus; he, sounding, smote the plain,                    230
 And all his batter'd armor rang aloud.
 Then Hector swift approaching, would have torn
 The well-forged helmet from the brows away
 Of brave Amphimachus; but Ajax hurl'd
 Right forth at Hector hasting to the spoil                     235
 His radiant spear; no wound the spear impress'd,
 For he was arm'd complete in burnish'd brass
 Terrific; but the solid boss it pierced
 Of Hector's shield, and with enormous force
 So shock'd him, that retiring he resign'd                      240
 Both bodies,[6] which the Grecians dragg'd away.
 Stichius and Menestheus, leaders both
 Of the Athenians, to the host of Greece
 Bore off Amphimachus, and, fierce in arms
 The Ajaces, Imbrius. As two lions bear                         245
 Through thick entanglement of boughs and brakes
 A goat snatch'd newly from the peasants' cogs,
 Upholding high their prey above the ground,
 So either Ajax terrible in fight,
 Upholding Imbrius high, his brazen arms                        250
 Tore off, and Oïliades his head
 From his smooth neck dissevering in revenge
 For slain Amphimachus, through all the host
 Sent it with swift rotation like a globe,
 Till in the dust at Hector's feet it fell.                     255
   Then anger fill'd the heart of Ocean's King,
 His grandson[7] slain in battle; forth he pass'd
 Through the Achaian camp and fleet, the Greeks
 Rousing, and meditating wo to Troy.
 It chanced that brave Idomeneus return'd                       260
 That moment from a Cretan at the knee
 Wounded, and newly borne into his tent;
 His friends had borne him off, and when the Chief
 Had given him into skilful hands, he sought
 The field again, still coveting renown.                        265
 Him therefore, meeting him on his return,
 Neptune bespake, but with the borrow'd voice
 Of Thoas, offspring of Andræmon, King
 In Pleuro and in lofty Calydon,
 And honor'd by the Ætolians as a God.                          270
   Oh counsellor of Crete! our threats denounced
 Against the towers of Troy, where are they now?
   To whom the leader of the Cretans, thus,
 Idomeneus. For aught that I perceive
 Thoas! no Grecian is this day in fault!                        275
 For we are all intelligent in arms,
 None yields by fear oppress'd, none lull'd by sloth
 From battle shrinks; but such the pleasure seems
 Of Jove himself, that we should perish here
 Inglorious, from our country far remote                        280
 But, Thoas! (for thine heart was ever firm
 In battle, and thyself art wont to rouse
 Whom thou observ'st remiss) now also fight
 As erst, and urge each leader of the host.
   Him answered, then, the Sovereign of the Deep.               285
 Return that Grecian never from the shores
 Of Troy, Idomeneus! but may the dogs
 Feast on him, who shall this day intermit
 Through wilful negligence his force in fight!
 But haste, take arms and come; we must exert                   290
 All diligence, that, being only two,
 We yet may yield some service. Union much
 Emboldens even the weakest, and our might
 Hath oft been proved on warriors of renown.
   So Neptune spake, and, turning, sought again                 295
 The toilsome field. Ere long, Idomeneus
 Arriving in his spacious tent, put on
 His radiant armor, and, two spears in hand,
 Set forth like lightning which Saturnian Jove
 From bright Olympus shakes into the air,                       300
 A sign to mortal men, dazzling all eyes;
 So beam'd the Hero's armor as he ran.
 But him not yet far distant from his tent
 Meriones, his fellow-warrior met,
 For he had left the fight, seeking a spear,                    305
 When thus the brave Idomeneus began.
   Swift son of Molus! chosen companion dear!
 Wherefore, Meriones, hast thou the field
 Abandon'd? Art thou wounded? Bring'st thou home
 Some pointed mischief in thy flesh infixt?                     310
 Or comest thou sent to me, who of myself
 The still tent covet not, but feats of arms?
   To whom Meriones discreet replied,
 Chief leader of the Cretans, brazen-mail'd
 Idomeneus! if yet there be a spear                             315
 Left in thy tent, I seek one; for I broke
 The spear, even now, with which erewhile I fought,
 Smiting the shield of fierce Deiphobus.
   Then answer thus the Cretan Chief return'd,
 Valiant Idomeneus. If spears thou need,                        320
 Within my tent, leaning against the wall,
 Stand twenty spears and one, forged all in Troy,
 Which from the slain I took; for distant fight
 Me suits not; therefore in my tent have I
 Both spears and bossy shields, with brazen casques             325
 And corselets bright that smile against the sun.
   Him answer'd, then, Meriones discreet.
 I also, at my tent and in my ship
 Have many Trojan spoils, but they are hence
 Far distant. I not less myself than thou                       330
 Am ever mindful of a warrior's part,
 And when the din of glorious arms is heard,
 Fight in the van. If other Greeks my deeds
 Know not, at least I judge them known to thee.
   To whom the leader of the host of Crete                      335
 Idomeneus. I know thy valor well,
 Why speakest thus to me? Choose we this day
 An ambush forth of all the bravest Greeks,
 (For in the ambush is distinguish'd best
 The courage; there the timorous and the bold                   340
 Plainly appear; the dastard changes hue
 And shifts from place to place, nor can he calm
 The fears that shake his trembling limbs, but sits
 Low-crouching on his hams, while in his breast
 Quick palpitates his death-foreboding heart,                   345
 And his teeth chatter; but the valiant man
 His posture shifts not; no excessive fears
 Feels he, but seated once in ambush, deems
 Time tedious till the bloody fight begin;)
 Even there, thy courage should no blame incur.[8]              350
 For should'st thou, toiling in the fight, by spear
 Or falchion bleed, not on thy neck behind
 Would fall the weapon, or thy back annoy,
 But it would meet thy bowels or thy chest
 While thou didst rush into the clamorous van.                  355
 But haste--we may not longer loiter here
 As children prating, lest some sharp rebuke
 Reward us. Enter quick, and from within
 My tent provide thee with a noble spear.
   Then, swift as Mars, Meriones produced                       360
 A brazen spear of those within the tent
 Reserved, and kindling with heroic fire
 Follow'd Idomeneus. As gory Mars
 By Terror follow'd, his own dauntless son
 Who quells the boldest heart, to battle moves;                 365
 From Thrace against the Ephyri they arm,
 Or hardy Phlegyans, and by both invoked,
 Hear and grant victory to which they please;
 Such, bright in arms Meriones, and such
 Idomeneus advanced, when foremost thus                         370
 Meriones his fellow-chief bespake.
   Son of Deucalion! where inclinest thou most
 To enter into battle? On the right
 Of all the host? or through the central ranks?
 Or on the left? for nowhere I account                          375
 The Greeks so destitute of force as there.
   Then answer thus Idomeneus return'd
 Chief of the Cretans. Others stand to guard
 The middle fleet; there either Ajax wars,
 And Teucer, noblest archer of the Greeks,                      380
 Nor less in stationary fight approved.
 Bent as he is on battle, they will task
 And urge to proof sufficiently the force
 Of Priameïan Hector; burn his rage
 How fierce soever, he shall find it hard,                      385
 With all his thirst of victory, to quell
 Their firm resistance, and to fire the fleet,
 Let not Saturnian Jove cast down from heaven
 Himself a flaming brand into the ships.
 High towering Telamonian Ajax yields                           390
 To no mere mortal by the common gift
 Sustain'd of Ceres, and whose flesh the spear
 Can penetrate, or rocky fragment bruise;
 In standing fight Ajax would not retire
 Even before that breaker of the ranks                          395
 Achilles, although far less swift than he.
 But turn we to the left, that we may learn
 At once, if glorious death, or life be ours.
   Then, rapid as the God of war, his course
 Meriones toward the left began,                                400
 As he enjoin'd. Soon as the Trojans saw
 Idomeneus advancing like a flame,
 And his compeer Meriones in arms
 All-radiant clad, encouraging aloud
 From rank to rank each other, on they came                     405
 To the assault combined. Then soon arose
 Sharp contest on the left of all the fleet.
 As when shrill winds blow vehement, what time
 Dust deepest spreads the ways, by warring blasts
 Upborne a sable cloud stands in the air,                       410
 Such was the sudden conflict; equal rage
 To stain with gore the lance ruled every breast.
 Horrent with quivering spears the fatal field
 Frown'd on all sides; the brazen flashes dread
 Of numerous helmets, corselets furbish'd bright,               415
 And shields refulgent meeting, dull'd the eye,
 And turn'd it dark away. Stranger indeed
 Were he to fear, who could that strife have view'd
 With heart elate, or spirit unperturb'd.
   Two mighty sons of Saturn adverse parts                      420
 Took in that contest, purposing alike
 To many a valiant Chief sorrow and pain.
 Jove, for the honor of Achilles, gave
 Success to Hector and the host of Troy,
 Not for complete destruction of the Greeks                     425
 At Ilium, but that glory might redound
 To Thetis thence, and to her dauntless son.
 On the other side, the King of Ocean risen
 Secretly from the hoary Deep, the host
 Of Greece encouraged, whom he grieved to see                   430
 Vanquish'd by Trojans, and with anger fierce
 Against the Thunderer burn'd on their behalf.
 Alike from one great origin divine
 Sprang they, but Jove was elder, and surpass'd
 In various knowledge; therefore when he roused                 435
 Their courage, Neptune traversed still the ranks
 Clandestine, and in human form disguised.
 Thus, these Immortal Two, straining the cord
 Indissoluble of all-wasting war,
 Alternate measured with it either host,                        440
 And loosed the joints of many a warrior bold.
 Then, loud exhorting (though himself with age
 Half grey) the Achaians, into battle sprang
 Idomeneus, and scatter'd, first, the foe,
 Slaying Othryoneus, who, by the lure                           445
 Of martial glory drawn, had left of late
 Cabesus. He Priam's fair daughter woo'd
 Cassandra, but no nuptial gift vouchsafed
 To offer, save a sounding promise proud
 To chase, himself, however resolute                            450
 The Grecian host, and to deliver Troy.
 To him assenting, Priam, ancient King,
 Assured to him his wish, and in the faith
 Of that assurance confident, he fought.
 But brave Idomeneus his splendid lance                         455
 Well-aim'd dismissing, struck the haughty Chief.
 Pacing elate the field; his brazen mail
 Endured not; through his bowels pierced, with clang
 Of all his arms he fell, and thus with joy
 Immense exulting, spake Idomeneus.                             460
   I give thee praise, Othryoneus! beyond
 All mortal men, if truly thou perform
 Thy whole big promise to the Dardan king,
 Who promised thee his daughter. Now, behold,
 We also promise: doubt not the effect.                         465
 We give into thy arms the most admired
 Of Agamemnon's daughters, whom ourselves
 Will hither bring from Argos, if thy force
 With ours uniting, thou wilt rase the walls
 Of populous Troy. Come--follow me; that here                   470
 Among the ships we may adjust the terms
 Of marriage, for we take not scanty dower.
   So saying, the Hero dragg'd him by his heel
 Through all the furious fight. His death to avenge
 Asius on foot before his steeds advanced,                      475
 For them, where'er he moved, his charioteer
 Kept breathing ever on his neck behind.
 With fierce desire the heart of Asius burn'd
 To smite Idomeneus, who with his lance
 Him reaching first, pierced him beneath the chin               480
 Into his throat, and urged the weapon through.
 He fell, as some green poplar falls, or oak,
 Or lofty pine, by naval artists hewn
 With new-edged axes on the mountain's side.
 So, his teeth grinding, and the bloody dust                    485
 Clenching, before his chariot and his steeds
 Extended, Asius lay. His charioteer
 (All recollection lost) sat panic-stunn'd,
 Nor dared for safety turn his steeds to flight.
 Him bold Antilochus right through the waist                    490
 Transpierced; his mail sufficed not, but the spear
 Implanted in his midmost bowels stood.
 Down from his seat magnificent he fell
 Panting, and young Antilochus the steeds
 Drove captive thence into the host of Greece.                  495
 Then came Deiphobus by sorrow urged
 For Asius, and, small interval between,
 Hurl'd at Idomeneus his glittering lance;
 But he, foreseeing its approach, the point
 Eluded, cover'd whole by his round shield                      500
 Of hides and brass by double belt sustain'd,
 And it flew over him, but on his targe
 Glancing, elicited a tinkling sound.
 Yet left it not in vain his vigorous grasp,
 But pierced the liver of Hypsenor, son                         505
 Of Hippasus; he fell incontinent,
 And measureless exulting in his fall
 Deiphobus with mighty voice exclaim'd.
   Not unavenged lies Asius; though he seek
 Hell's iron portals, yet shall he rejoice,                     510
 For I have given him a conductor home.
   So he, whose vaunt the Greeks indignant heard!
 But of them all to anger most he roused
 Antilochus, who yet his breathless friend[9]
 Left not, but hasting, fenced him with his shield,             515
 And brave Alastor with Mecisteus son
 Of Echius, bore him to the hollow ships
 Deep-groaning both, for of their band was he.
 Nor yet Idomeneus his warlike rage
 Remitted aught, but persevering strove                         520
 Either to plunge some Trojan in the shades,
 Or fall himself, guarding the fleet of Greece.
 Then slew he brave Alcathoüs the son
 Of Æsyeta, and the son-in-law
 Of old Anchises, who to him had given                          525
 The eldest-born of all his daughters fair,
 Hippodamia; dearly loved was she
 By both her parents in her virgin state,[10]
 For that in beauty she surpass'd, in works
 Ingenious, and in faculties of mind                            530
 All her coëvals; wherefore she was deem'd
 Well worthy of the noblest prince of Troy.
 Him in that moment, Neptune by the arm
 Quell'd of Idomeneus, his radiant eyes
 Dimming, and fettering his proportion'd limbs.                 535
 All power of flight or to elude the stroke
 Forsook him, and while motionless he stood
 As stands a pillar tall or towering oak,
 The hero of the Cretans with a spear
 Transfix'd his middle chest. He split the mail                 540
 Erewhile his bosom's faithful guard; shrill rang
 The shiver'd brass; sounding he fell; the beam
 Implanted in his palpitating heart
 Shook to its topmost point, but, its force spent,
 At last, quiescent, stood. Then loud exclaim'd                 545
 Idomeneus, exulting in his fall.
   What thinks Deiphobus? seems it to thee
 Vain boaster, that, three warriors slain for one,
 We yield thee just amends? else, stand thyself
 Against me; learn the valor of a Chief                         550
 The progeny of Jove; Jove first begat
 Crete's guardian, Minos, from which Minos sprang
 Deucalion, and from famed Deucalion, I;
 I, sovereign of the numerous race of Crete's
 Extensive isle, and whom my galleys brought                    555
 To these your shores at last, that I might prove
 Thy curse, thy father's, and a curse to Troy.
   He spake; Deiphobus uncertain stood
 Whether, retreating, to engage the help
 Of some heroic Trojan, or himself                              560
 To make the dread experiment alone.
 At length, as his discreeter course, he chose
 To seek Æneas; him he found afar
 Station'd, remotest of the host of Troy,
 For he resented evermore his worth                             565
 By Priam[11] recompensed with cold neglect.
 Approaching him, in accents wing'd he said.
   Æneas! Trojan Chief! If e'er thou lov'dst
 Thy sister's husband, duty calls thee now
 To prove it. Haste--defend with me the dead                    570
 Alcathoüs, guardian of thy tender years,
 Slain by Idomeneus the spear-renown'd.
   So saying, he roused his spirit, and on fire
 To combat with the Cretan, forth he sprang.
 But fear seized not Idomeneus as fear                          575
 May seize a nursling boy; resolved he stood
 As in the mountains, conscious of his force,
 The wild boar waits a coming multitude
 Of boisterous hunters to his lone retreat;
 Arching his bristly spine he stands, his eyes                  580
 Beam fire, and whetting his bright tusks, he burns
 To drive, not dogs alone, but men to flight;
 So stood the royal Cretan, and fled not,
 Expecting brave Æneas; yet his friends
 He summon'd, on Ascalaphus his eyes                            585
 Fastening, on Aphareus, Deipyrus,
 Meriones, and Antilochus, all bold
 In battle, and in accents wing'd exclaim'd.
   Haste ye, my friends! to aid me, for I stand
 Alone, nor undismay'd the coming wait                          590
 Of swift Æneas, nor less brave than swift,
 And who possesses fresh his flower of youth,
 Man's prime advantage; were we match'd in years
 As in our spirits, either he should earn
 At once the meed of deathless fame, or I.                      595
   He said; they all unanimous approach'd,
 Sloping their shields, and stood. On the other side
 His aids Æneas call'd, with eyes toward
 Paris, Deiphobus, Agenor, turn'd,
 His fellow-warriors bold; them follow'd all                    600
 Their people as the pastured flock the ram
 To water, by the shepherd seen with joy;
 Such joy Æneas felt, seeing, so soon,
 That numerous host attendant at his call.
 Then, for Alcathoüs, into contest close                        605
 Arm'd with long spears they rush'd; on every breast
 Dread rang the brazen corselet, each his foe
 Assailing opposite; but two, the rest
 Surpassing far, terrible both as Mars,
 Æneas and Idomeneus, alike                                     610
 Panted to pierce each other with the spear.
 Æneas, first, cast at Idomeneus,
 But, warn'd, he shunn'd the weapon, and it pass'd.
 Quivering in the soil Æneas' lance
 Stood, hurl'd in vain, though by a forceful arm.               615
 Not so the Cretan; at his waist he pierced
 Oenomaüs, his hollow corselet clave,
 And in his midmost bowels drench'd the spear;
 Down fell the Chief, and dying, clench'd the dust.
 Instant, his massy spear the King of Crete                     620
 Pluck'd from the dead, but of his radiant arms
 Despoil'd him not, by numerous weapons urged;
 For now, time-worn, he could no longer make
 Brisk sally, spring to follow his own spear,
 Or shun another, or by swift retreat                           625
 Vanish from battle, but the evil day
 Warded in stationary fight alone.
 At him retiring, therefore, step by step
 Deiphobus, who had with bitterest hate
 Long time pursued him, hurl'd his splendid lance,              630
 But yet again erroneous, for he pierced
 Ascalaphus instead, offspring of Mars;
 Right through his shoulder flew the spear; he fell
 Incontinent, and dying, clench'd the dust.
 But tidings none the brazen-throated Mars                      635
 Tempestuous yet received, that his own son
 In bloody fight had fallen, for on the heights
 Olympian over-arch'd with clouds of gold
 He sat, where sat the other Powers divine,
 Prisoners together of the will of Jove.                        640
 Meantime, for slain Ascalaphus arose
 Conflict severe; Deiphobus his casque
 Resplendent seized, but swift as fiery Mars
 Assailing him, Meriones his arm
 Pierced with a spear, and from his idle hand                   645
 Fallen, the casque sonorous struck the ground.
 Again, as darts the vulture on his prey,
 Meriones assailing him, the lance
 Pluck'd from his arm, and to his band retired.
 Then, casting his fraternal arms around                        650
 Deiphobus, him young Polites led
 From the hoarse battle to his rapid steeds
 And his bright chariot in the distant rear,
 Which bore him back to Troy, languid and loud-
 Groaning, and bleeding from his recent wound.                  655
 Still raged the war, and infinite arose
 The clamor. Aphareus, Caletor's son,
 Turning to face Æneas, in his throat
 Instant the hero's pointed lance received.
 With head reclined, and bearing to the ground                  660
 Buckler and helmet with him, in dark shades
 Of soul-divorcing death involved, he fell.
 Antilochus, observing Thoön turn'd
 To flight, that moment pierced him; from his back
 He ripp'd the vein which through the trunk its course          665
 Winds upward to the neck; that vein he ripp'd
 All forth; supine he fell, and with both hands
 Extended to his fellow-warriors, died.
 Forth sprang Antilochus to strip his arms,
 But watch'd, meantime, the Trojans, who in crowds              670
 Encircling him, his splendid buckler broad
 Smote oft, but none with ruthless point prevail'd
 Even to inscribe the skin of Nestor's son,
 Whom Neptune, shaker of the shores, amid
 Innumerable darts kept still secure.                           675
 Yet never from his foes he shrank, but faced
 From side to side, nor idle slept his spear,
 But with rotation ceaseless turn'd and turn'd
 To every part, now levell'd at a foe
 Far-distant, at a foe, now, near at hand.                      680
 Nor he, thus occupied, unseen escaped
 By Asius' offspring Adamas, who close
 Advancing, struck the centre of his shield.
 But Neptune azure-hair'd so dear a life
 Denied to Adamas, and render'd vain                            685
 The weapon; part within his disk remain'd
 Like a seer'd stake, and part fell at his feet.
 Then Adamas, for his own life alarm'd,
 Retired, but as he went, Meriones
 Him reaching with his lance, the shame between                 690
 And navel pierced him, where the stroke of Mars
 Proves painful most to miserable man.
 There enter'd deep the weapon; down he fell,
 And in the dust lay panting as an ox
 Among the mountains pants by peasants held                     695
 In twisted bands, and dragg'd perforce along;
 So panted dying Adamas, but soon
 Ceased, for Meriones, approaching, pluck'd
 The weapon forth, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
 Helenus, with his heavy Thracian blade                         700
 Smiting the temples of Deipyrus,
 Dash'd off his helmet; from his brows remote
 It fell, and wandering roll'd, till at his feet
 Some warrior found it, and secured; meantime
 The sightless shades of death him wrapp'd around.              705
 Grief at that spectacle the bosom fill'd
 Of valiant Menelaus; high he shook
 His radiant spear, and threatening him, advanced
 On royal Helenus, who ready stood
 With his bow bent. They met; impatient, one,                   710
 To give his pointed lance its rapid course,
 And one, to start his arrow from the nerve.
 The arrow of the son of Priam struck
 Atrides' hollow corselet, but the reed
 Glanced wide. As vetches or as swarthy beans                   715
 Leap from the van and fly athwart the floor,
 By sharp winds driven, and by the winnower's force,
 So from the corselet of the glorious Greek
 Wide-wandering flew the bitter shaft away.
 But Menelaus the left-hand transpierced                        720
 Of Helenus, and with the lance's point
 Fasten'd it to his bow; shunning a stroke
 More fatal, Helenus into his band
 Retired, his arm dependent at his side,
 And trailing, as he went, the ashen beam;                      725
 There, bold Agenor from his hand the lance
 Drew forth, then folded it with softest wool
 Around, sling-wool, and borrow'd from the sling
 Which his attendant into battle bore.
 Then sprang Pisander on the glorious Chief                     730
 The son of Atreus, but his evil fate
 Beckon'd him to his death in conflict fierce,
 Oh Menelaus, mighty Chief! with thee.
 And now they met, small interval between.
 Atrides hurl'd his weapon, and it err'd.                       735
 Pisander with his spear struck full the shield
 Of glorious Menelaus, but his force
 Resisted by the stubborn buckler broad
 Fail'd to transpierce it, and the weapon fell
 Snapp'd at the neck. Yet, when he struck, the heart            740
 Rebounded of Pisander, full of hope.
 But Menelaus, drawing his bright blade,
 Sprang on him, while Pisander from behind
 His buckler drew a brazen battle-axe
 By its long haft of polish'd olive-wood,                       745
 And both Chiefs struck together. He the crest
 That crown'd the shaggy casque of Atreus' son
 Hew'd from its base, but Menelaus him
 In his swift onset smote full on the front
 Above his nose; sounded the shatter'd bone,                    750
 And his eyes both fell bloody at his feet.
 Convolved with pain he lay; then, on his breast
 Atrides setting fast his heel, tore off
 His armor, and exulting thus began.
   So shall ye leave at length the Grecian fleet,               755
 Traitors, and never satisfied with war!
 Nor want ye other guilt, dogs and profane!
 But me have injured also, and defied
 The hot displeasure of high-thundering Jove
 The hospitable, who shall waste in time,                       760
 And level with the dust your lofty Troy.
 I wrong'd not you, yet bore ye far away
 My youthful bride who welcomed you, and stole
 My treasures also, and ye now are bent
 To burn Achaia's gallant fleet with fire                       765
 And slay her heroes; but your furious thirst
 Of battle shall hereafter meet a check.
 Oh, Father Jove! Thee wisest we account
 In heaven or earth, yet from thyself proceed
 All these calamities, who favor show'st                        770
 To this flagitious race the Trojans, strong
 In wickedness alone, and whose delight
 In war and bloodshed never can be cloy'd.
 All pleasures breed satiety, sweet sleep,
 Soft dalliance, music, and the graceful dance,                 775
 Though sought with keener appetite by most
 Than bloody war; but Troy still covets blood.
   So spake the royal Chief, and to his friends
 Pisander's gory spoils consigning, flew
 To mingle in the foremost fight again.                         780
 Him, next, Harpalion, offspring of the King
 Pylæmenes assail'd; to Troy he came
 Following his sire, but never thence return'd.
 He, from small distance, smote the central boss
 Of Menelaus' buckler with his lance,                           785
 But wanting power to pierce it, with an eye
 Of cautious circumspection, lest perchance
 Some spear should reach him, to his band retired.
 But him retiring with a brazen shaft
 Meriones pursued; swift flew the dart                          790
 To his right buttock, slipp'd beneath the bone,
 His bladder grazed, and started through before.
 There ended his retreat; sudden he sank
 And like a worm lay on the ground, his life
 Exhaling in his fellow-warrior's arms,                         795
 And with his sable blood soaking the plain.
 Around him flock'd his Paphlagonians bold,
 And in his chariot placed drove him to Troy,
 With whom his father went, mourning with tears
 A son, whose death he never saw avenged.                       800
   Him slain with indignation Paris view'd,
 For he, with numerous Paphlagonians more
 His guest had been; he, therefore, in the thirst
 Of vengeance, sent a brazen arrow forth.
 There was a certain Greek, Euchenor, son                       805
 Of Polyides the soothsayer, rich
 And brave in fight, and who in Corinth dwelt
 He, knowing well his fate, yet sail'd to Troy
 For Polyides oft, his reverend sire,
 Had prophecied that he should either die                       810
 By some dire malady at home, or, slain
 By Trojan hands, amid the fleet of Greece.
 He, therefore, shunning the reproach alike
 Of the Achaians, and that dire disease,
 Had join'd the Grecian host; him Paris pierced                 815
 The ear and jaw beneath; life at the stroke
 Left him, and darkness overspread his eyes.
   So raged the battle like devouring fire.
 But Hector dear to Jove not yet had learn'd,
 Nor aught surmised the havoc of his host                       820
 Made on the left, where victory crown'd well-nigh
 The Grecians animated to the fight
 By Neptune seconding himself their arms.
 He, where he first had started through the gate
 After dispersion of the shielded Greeks                        825
 Compact, still persevered. The galleys there
 Of Ajax and Protesilaüs stood
 Updrawn above the hoary Deep; the wall
 Was there of humblest structure, and the steeds
 And warriors there conflicted furious most.                    830
 The Epeans there and Iäonians[12] robed-
 Prolix, the Phthians,[13] Locrians, and the bold
 Boetians check'd the terrible assault
 Of Hector, noble Chief, ardent as flame,
 Yet not repulsed him. Chosen Athenians form'd                  835
 The van, by Peteos' son, Menestheus, led,
 Whose high command undaunted Bias shared,
 Phidas and Stichius. The Epean host
 Under Amphion, Dracius, Meges, fought.
 Podarces brave in arms the Phthians ruled,                     840
 And Medon (Medon was by spurious birth
 Brother of Ajax Oïliades,
 And for his uncle's death, whom he had slain,
 The brother of Oïleus' wife, abode
 In Phylace; but from Iphiclus sprang                           845
 Podarces;) these, all station'd in the front
 Of Phthias' hardy sons, together strove
 With the Boeotians for the fleet's defence.
 Ajax the swift swerved never from the side
 Of Ajax son of Telamon a step,                                 850
 But as in some deep fallow two black steers
 Labor combined, dragging the ponderous plow,
 The briny sweat around their rooted horns
 Oozes profuse; they, parted as they toil
 Along the furrow, by the yoke alone,                           855
 Cleave to its bottom sheer the stubborn glebe,
 So, side by side, they, persevering fought.[14]
 The son of Telamon a people led
 Numerous and bold, who, when his bulky limbs
 Fail'd overlabor'd, eased him of his shield.                   860
 Not so attended by his Locrians fought
 Oïleus' valiant son; pitch'd battle them
 Suited not, unprovided with bright casques
 Of hairy crest, with ashen spears, and shields
 Of ample orb; for, trusting in the bow                         865
 And twisted sling alone, they came to Troy,
 And broke with shafts and volley'd stones the ranks.
 Thus occupying, clad in burnish'd arms,
 The van, these two with Hector and his host
 Conflicted, while the Locrians from behind                     870
 Vex'd them with shafts, secure; nor could the men
 Of Ilium stand, by such a shower confused.
 Then, driven with dreadful havoc thence, the foe
 To wind-swept Ilium had again retired.
 Had not Polydamas, at Hector's side                            875
 Standing, the dauntless hero thus address'd.
   Hector! Thou ne'er canst listen to advice;
 But think'st thou, that if heaven in feats of arms
 Give thee pre-eminence, thou must excel
 Therefore in council also all mankind?                         880
 No. All-sufficiency is not for thee.
 To one, superior force in arms is given,
 Skill to another in the graceful dance,
 Sweet song and powers of music to a third,
 And to a fourth loud-thundering Jove imparts                   885
 Wisdom, which profits many, and which saves
 Whole cities oft, though reverenced but by few.
 Yet hear; I speak as wisest seems to me.
 War, like a fiery circle, all around
 Environs thee; the Trojans, since they pass'd                  890
 The bulwark, either hold themselves aloof,
 Or, wide-dispersed among the galleys, cope
 With numbers far superior to their own.
 Retiring, therefore, summon all our Chiefs
 To consultation on the sum of all,                             895
 Whether (should heaven so prosper us) to rush
 Impetuous on the gallant barks of Greece,
 Or to retreat secure; for much I dread
 Lest the Achaians punctually refund
 All yesterday's arrear, since yonder Chief[15]                 900
 Insatiable with battle still abides
 Within the fleet, nor longer, as I judge,
 Will rest a mere spectator of the field.
   So spake Polydamas, whose safe advice
 Pleased Hector; from his chariot down he leap'd                905
 All arm'd, and in wing'd accents thus replied.
   Polydamas! here gather all the Chiefs;
 I haste into the fight, and my commands
 Once issued there, incontinent return.
   He ended, and conspicuous as the height                      910
 Of some snow-crested mountain, shouting ranged
 The Trojans and confederates of Troy.
 They swift around Polydamas, brave son
 Of Panthus, at the voice of Hector, ran.
 Himself with hasty strides the front, meantime,                915
 Of battle roam'd, seeking from rank to rank
 Asius Hyrtacides, with Asius' son
 Adamas, and Deiphobus, and the might
 Of Helenus, his royal brother bold.
 Them neither altogether free from hurt                         920
 He found, nor living all. Beneath the sterns
 Of the Achaian ships some slaughter'd lay
 By Grecian hands; some stricken by the spear
 Within the rampart sat, some by the sword.
 But leftward of the woful field he found,                      925
 Ere long, bright Helen's paramour his band
 Exhorting to the fight. Hector approach'd,
 And him, in fierce displeasure, thus bespake.
   Curst Paris, specious, fraudulent and lewd!
 Where is Deiphobus, and where the might                        930
 Of royal Helenus? Where Adamas
 Offspring of Asius, and where Asius, son
 Of Hyrtacus, and where Othryoneus?
 Now lofty Ilium from her topmost height
 Falls headlong, now is thy own ruin sure!                      935
   To whom the godlike Paris thus replied.
 Since Hector! thou art pleased with no just cause
 To censure me, I may decline, perchance,
 Much more the battle on some future day,
 For I profess some courage, even I.                            940
 Witness our constant conflict with the Greeks
 Here, on this spot, since first led on by thee
 The host of Troy waged battle at the ships.
 But those our friends of whom thou hast inquired
 Are slain, Deiphobus alone except                              945
 And royal Helenus, who in the hand
 Bear each a wound inflicted by the spear,
 And have retired; but Jove their life preserved.
 Come now--conduct us whither most thine heart
 Prompts thee, and thou shalt find us ardent all                950
 To face like danger; what we can, we will,
 The best and most determined can no more.
   So saying, the hero soothed his brother's mind.
 Then moved they both toward the hottest war
 Together, where Polydamas the brave,                           955
 Phalces, Cebriones, Orthæus fought,
 Palmys and Polyphoetes, godlike Chief,
 And Morys and Ascanius, gallant sons
 Both of Hippotion. They at Troy arrived
 From fair Ascania the preceding morn,                          960
 In recompense for aid[16] by Priam lent
 Erewhile to Phrygia, and, by Jove impell'd,
 Now waged the furious battle side by side.
 The march of these at once, was as the sound
 Of mighty winds from deep-hung thunder-clouds                  965
 Descending; clamorous the blast and wild
 With ocean mingles; many a billow, then,
 Upridged rides turbulent the sounding flood,
 Foam-crested billow after billow driven,
 So moved the host of Troy, rank after rank                     970
 Behind their Chiefs, all dazzling bright in arms.
 Before them Priameian Hector strode
 Fierce as gore-tainted Mars, and his broad shield
 Advancing came, heavy with hides, and thick-
 Plated with brass; his helmet on his brows                     975
 Refulgent shook, and in its turn he tried
 The force of every phalanx, if perchance
 Behind his broad shield pacing he might shake
 Their steadfast order; but he bore not down
 The spirit of the firm Achaian host.                           980
 Then Ajax striding forth, him, first, defied.
   Approach. Why temptest thou the Greeks to fear?
 No babes are we in aught that appertains
 To arms, though humbled by the scourge of Jove.
 Thou cherishest the foolish hope to burn                       985
 Our fleet with fire; but even we have hearts
 Prepared to guard it, and your populous Troy,
 By us dismantled and to pillage given,
 Shall perish sooner far. Know this thyself
 Also; the hour is nigh when thou shalt ask                     990
 In prayer to Jove and all the Gods of heaven,
 That speed more rapid than the falcon's flight
 May wing thy coursers, while, exciting dense
 The dusty plain, they whirl thee back to Troy.
   While thus he spake, sublime on the right-hand               995
 An eagle soar'd; confident in the sign
 The whole Achaian host with loud acclaim
 Hail'd it. Then glorious Hector thus replied.
   Brainless and big, what means this boast of thine,
 Earth-cumberer Ajax? Would I were the son                     1000
 As sure, for ever, of almighty Jove
 And Juno, and such honor might receive
 Henceforth as Pallas and Apollo share,
 As comes this day with universal wo
 Fraught for the Grecians, among whom thyself                  1005
 Shalt also perish if thou dare abide
 My massy spear, which shall thy pamper'd flesh
 Disfigure, and amid the barks of Greece
 Falling, thou shalt the vultures with thy bulk
 Enormous satiate, and the dogs of Troy.                       1010
   He spake, and led his host; with clamor loud
 They follow'd him, and all the distant rear
 Came shouting on. On the other side the Greeks
 Re-echoed shout for shout, all undismay'd,
 And waiting firm the bravest of their foes.                   1015
 Upwent the double roar into the heights
 Ethereal, and among the beams of Jove.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XIV.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTEENTH BOOK.


Agamemnon and the other wounded Chiefs taking Nestor with them, visit the battle. Juno having borrowed the Cestus of Venus, first engages the assistance of Sleep, then hastens to Ida to inveigle Jove. She prevails. Jove sleeps; and Neptune takes that opportunity to succor the Grecians.



                             BOOK XIV.


 Nor was that cry by Nestor unperceived
 Though drinking, who in words wing'd with surprise
 The son of Æsculapius thus address'd.
   Divine Machaon! think what this may bode.
 The cry of our young warriors at the ships                       5
 Grows louder; sitting here, the sable wine
 Quaff thou, while bright-hair'd Hecamede warms
 A bath, to cleanse thy crimson stains away.
 I from yon eminence will learn the cause.
   So saying, he took a shield radiant with brass                10
 There lying in the tent, the shield well-forged
 Of valiant Thrasymedes, his own son
 (For he had borne to fight his father's shield)
 And arming next his hand with a keen lance
 Stood forth before the tent. Thence soon he saw                 15
 Foul deeds and strange, the Grecian host confused,
 Their broken ranks flying before the host
 Of Ilium, and the rampart overthrown.
 As when the wide sea, darken'd over all
 Its silent flood, forebodes shrill winds to blow,               20
 The doubtful waves roll yet to neither side,
 Till swept at length by a decisive gale;[1]
 So stood the senior, with distressful doubts
 Conflicting anxious, whether first to seek
 The Grecian host, or Agamemnon's self                           25
 The sovereign, and at length that course preferr'd.
 Meantime with mutual carnage they the field
 Spread far and wide, and by spears double-edged
 Smitten, and by the sword their corselets rang.
   The royal Chiefs ascending from the fleet,                    30
 Ulysses, Diomede, and Atreus' son
 Imperial Agamemnon, who had each
 Bled in the battle, met him on his way.
 For from the war remote they had updrawn
 Their galleys on the shore of the gray Deep,                    35
 The foremost to the plain, and at the sterns
 Of that exterior line had built the wall.
 For, spacious though it were, the shore alone
 That fleet sufficed not, incommoding much
 The people; wherefore they had ranged the ships                 40
 Line above line gradual, and the bay
 Between both promontories, all was fill'd.
 They, therefore, curious to survey the fight,
 Came forth together, leaning on the spear,
 When Nestor met them; heavy were their hearts,                  45
 And at the sight of him still more alarm'd,
 Whom royal Agamemnon thus bespake.
   Neleian Nestor, glory of the Greeks!
 What moved thee to forsake yon bloody field,
 And urged thee hither? Cause I see of fear,                     50
 Lest furious Hector even now his threat
 Among the Trojans publish'd, verify,
 That he would never enter Ilium more
 Till he had burn'd our fleet, and slain ourselves.
 So threaten'd Hector, and shall now perform.                    55
 Alas! alas! the Achaians brazen-greaved
 All, like Achilles, have deserted me
 Resentful, and decline their fleet's defence.
   To whom Gerenian Nestor thus replied.
 Those threats are verified; nor Jove himself                    60
 The Thunderer can disappoint them now;
 For our chief strength in which we trusted most
 That it should guard impregnably secure
 Our navy and ourselves, the wall hath fallen.
 Hence all this conflict by our host sustain'd                   65
 Among the ships; nor could thy keenest sight
 Inform thee where in the Achaian camp
 Confusion most prevails, such deaths are dealt
 Promiscuous, and the cry ascends to heaven.
 But come--consult we on the sum of all,                         70
 If counsel yet may profit. As for you,
 Ye shall have exhortation none from me
 To seek the fight; the wounded have excuse.
   Whom Agamemnon answer'd, King of men.
 Ah Nestor! if beneath our very sterns                           75
 The battle rage, if neither trench nor wall
 Constructed with such labor, and supposed
 Of strength to guard impregnably secure
 Our navy and ourselves, avail us aught,
 It is because almighty Jove hath will'd                         80
 That the Achaian host should perish here
 Inglorious, from their country far remote.
 When he vouchsafed assistance to the Greeks,
 I knew it well; and now, not less I know
 That high as the immortal Gods he lifts                         85
 Our foes to glory, and depresses us.
 Haste therefore all, and act as I advise.
 Our ships--all those that nearest skirt the Deep,
 Launch we into the sacred flood, and moor
 With anchors safely, till o'ershadowing night                   90
 (If night itself may save us) shall arrive.
 Then may we launch the rest; for I no shame
 Account it, even by 'vantage of the night
 To fly destruction. Wiser him I deem
 Who 'scapes his foe, than whom his foe enthralls.               95
   But him Ulysses, frowning stern, reproved.
 What word, Atrides, now hath pass'd thy lips?
 Counsellor of despair! thou should'st command
 (And would to heaven thou didst) a different host,
 Some dastard race, not ours; whom Jove ordains                 100
 From youth to hoary age to weave the web
 Of toilsome warfare, till we perish all.
 Wilt thou the spacious city thus renounce
 For which such numerous woes we have endured?
 Hush! lest some other hear; it is a word                       105
 Which no man qualified by years mature
 To speak discreetly, no man bearing rule
 O'er such a people as confess thy sway,
 Should suffer to contaminate his lips.
 I from my soul condemn thee, and condemn                       110
 Thy counsel, who persuad'st us in the heat
 Of battle terrible as this, to launch
 Our fleet into the waves, that we may give
 Our too successful foes their full desire,
 And that our own prepondering scale                            115
 May plunge us past all hope; for while they draw
 Their galleys down, the Grecians shall but ill
 Sustain the fight, seaward will cast their eyes
 And shun the battle, bent on flight alone.
 Then, shall they rue thy counsel, King of men!                 120
   To whom the imperial leader of the Greeks.
 Thy sharp reproof, Ulysses, hath my soul
 Pierced deeply. Yet I gave no such command
 That the Achaians should their galleys launch,
 Would they, or would they not. No. I desire                    125
 That young or old, some other may advice
 More prudent give, and he shall please me well.
   Then thus the gallant Diomede replied.
 That man is near, and may ye but be found
 Tractable, our inquiry shall be short.                         130
 Be patient each, nor chide me nor reproach
 Because I am of greener years than ye,
 For I am sprung from an illustrious Sire,
 From Tydeus, who beneath his hill of earth
 Lies now entomb'd at Thebes. Three noble sons                  135
 Were born to Portheus, who in Pleuro dwelt,
 And on the heights of Calydon; the first
 Agrius; the second Melas; and the third
 Brave Oeneus, father of my father, famed
 For virtuous qualities above the rest.                         140
 Oeneus still dwelt at home; but wandering thence
 My father dwelt in Argos; so the will
 Of Jove appointed, and of all the Gods.
 There he espoused the daughter of the King
 Adrastus, occupied a mansion rich                              145
 In all abundance; many a field possess'd
 Of wheat, well-planted gardens, numerous flocks,
 And was expert in spearmanship esteem'd
 Past all the Grecians. I esteem'd it right
 That ye should hear these things, for they are true.           150
 Ye will not, therefore, as I were obscure
 And of ignoble origin, reject
 What I shall well advise. Expedience bids
 That, wounded as we are, we join the host.
 We will preserve due distance from the range                   155
 Of spears and arrows, lest already gall'd,
 We suffer worse; but we will others urge
 To combat, who have stood too long aloof,
 Attentive only to their own repose.
   He spake, whom all approved, and forth they went,            160
 Imperial Agamemnon at their head.
   Nor watch'd the glorious Shaker of the shores
 In vain, but like a man time-worn approach'd,
 And, seizing Agamemnon's better hand,
 In accents wing'd the monarch thus address'd.                  165
   Atrides! now exults the vengeful heart
 Of fierce Achilles, viewing at his ease
 The flight and slaughter of Achaia's host;
 For he is mad, and let him perish such,
 And may his portion from the Gods be shame!                    170
 But as for thee, not yet the powers of heaven
 Thee hate implacable; the Chiefs of Troy
 Shall cover yet with cloudy dust the breadth
 Of all the plain, and backward from the camp
 To Ilium's gates thyself shalt see them driven.                175
   He ceased, and shouting traversed swift the field.
 Loud as nine thousand or ten thousand shout
 In furious battle mingled, Neptune sent
 His voice abroad, force irresistible
 Infusing into every Grecian heart,                             180
 And thirst of battle not to be assuaged.
   But Juno of the golden throne stood forth
 On the Olympian summit, viewing thence
 The field, where clear distinguishing the God
 Of ocean, her own brother, sole engaged                        185
 Amid the glorious battle, glad was she.
 Seeing Jove also on the topmost point
 Of spring-fed Ida seated, she conceived
 Hatred against him, and thenceforth began
 Deliberate how best she might deceive                          190
 The Thunderer, and thus at last resolved;
 Attired with skill celestial to descend
 On Ida, with a hope to allure him first
 Won by her beauty to a fond embrace,
 Then closing fast in balmy sleep profound                      195
 His eyes, to elude his vigilance, secure.
 She sought her chamber; Vulcan her own son
 That chamber built. He framed the solid doors,
 And to the posts fast closed them with a key
 Mysterious, which, herself except, in heaven                   200
 None understood. Entering she secured
 The splendid portal. First, she laved all o'er
 Her beauteous body with ambrosial lymph,
 Then polish'd it with richest oil divine
 Of boundless fragrance;[2] oil that in the courts              205
 Eternal only shaken, through the skies
 Breathed odors, and through all the distant earth.
 Her whole fair body with those sweets bedew'd,
 She passed the comb through her ambrosial hair,
 And braided her bright locks streaming profuse                 210
 From her immortal brows; with golden studs
 She made her gorgeous mantle fast before,
 Ethereal texture, labor of the hands
 Of Pallas beautified with various art,
 And braced it with a zone fringed all around                   215
 A hundred fold; her pendants triple-gemm'd
 Luminous, graceful, in her ears she hung,
 And covering all her glories with a veil
 Sun-bright, new-woven, bound to her fair feet
 Her sandals elegant. Thus full attired,                        220
 In all her ornaments, she issued forth,
 And beckoning Venus from the other powers
 Of heaven apart, the Goddess thus bespake.
   Daughter beloved! shall I obtain my suit,
 Or wilt thou thwart me, angry that I aid                       225
 The Grecians, while thine aid is given to Troy?
   To whom Jove's daughter Venus thus replied.
 What would majestic Juno, daughter dread
 Of Saturn, sire of Jove? I feel a mind
 Disposed to gratify thee, if thou ask                          230
 Things possible, and possible to me.
   Then thus with wiles veiling her deep design
 Imperial Juno. Give me those desires,
 That love-enkindling power by which thou sway'st
 Immortal hearts and mortal, all alike;                         235
 For to the green earth's utmost bounds I go,
 To visit there the parent of the Gods,
 Oceanus, and Tethys his espoused,
 Mother of all. They kindly from the hands
 Of Rhea took, and with parental care                           240
 Sustain'd and cherish'd me, what time from heaven
 The Thunderer hurled down Saturn, and beneath
 The earth fast bound him and the barren Deep.
 Them go I now to visit, and their feuds
 Innumerable to compose; for long                               245
 They have from conjugal embrace abstain'd
 Through mutual wrath, whom by persuasive speech
 Might I restore into each other's arms,
 They would for ever love me and revere.
   Her, foam-born Venus then, Goddess of smiles,                250
 Thus answer'd. Thy request, who in the arms
 Of Jove reposest the omnipotent,
 Nor just it were nor seemly to refuse.
   So saying, the cincture from her breast she loosed
 Embroider'd, various, her all-charming zone.                   255
 It was an ambush of sweet snares, replete
 With love, desire, soft intercourse of hearts,
 And music of resistless whisper'd sounds
 That from the wisest steal their best resolves;
 She placed it in her hands and thus she said.                  260
   Take this--this girdle fraught with every charm.
 Hide this within thy bosom, and return,
 Whate'er thy purpose, mistress of it all.
   She spake; imperial Juno smiled, and still
 Smiling complacent, bosom'd safe the zone.                     265
 Then Venus to her father's court return'd,
 And Juno, starting from the Olympian height,
 O'erflew Pieria and the lovely plains
 Of broad Emathia; soaring thence she swept
 The snow-clad summits of the Thracian hills                    270
 Steed-famed, nor printed, as she passed, the soil.
 From Athos o'er the foaming billows borne
 She came to Lemnos, city and abode
 Of noble Thoas, and there meeting Sleep,
 Brother of Death, she press'd his hand, and said,              275
   Sleep, over all, both Gods and men, supreme!
 If ever thou hast heard, hear also now
 My suit; I will be grateful evermore.
 Seal for me fast the radiant eyes of Jove
 In the instant of his gratified desire.                        280
 Thy recompense shall be a throne of gold,
 Bright, incorruptible; my limping son,
 Vulcan, shall fashion it himself with art
 Laborious, and, beneath, shall place a stool[3]
 For thy fair feet, at the convivial board.                     285
   Then answer thus the tranquil Sleep returned
 Great Saturn's daughter, awe-inspiring Queen!
 All other of the everlasting Gods
 I could with ease make slumber, even the streams
 Of Ocean, Sire of all.[4] Not so the King                      290
 The son of Saturn: him, unless himself
 Give me command, I dare not lull to rest,
 Or even approach him, taught as I have been
 Already in the school of thy commands
 That wisdom. I forget not yet the day                          295
 When, Troy laid waste, that valiant son[5] of his
 Sail'd homeward: then my influence I diffused
 Soft o'er the sovereign intellect of Jove;
 While thou, against the Hero plotting harm,
 Didst rouse the billows with tempestuous blasts,               300
 And separating him from all his friend,
 Brought'st him to populous Cos. Then Jove awoke,
 And, hurling in his wrath the Gods about,
 Sought chiefly me, whom far below all ken
 He had from heaven cast down into the Deep,                    305
 But Night, resistless vanquisher of all,
 Both Gods and men, preserved me; for to her
 I fled for refuge. So the Thunderer cool'd,
 Though sore displeased, and spared me through a fear
 To violate the peaceful sway of Night.[6]                      310
 And thou wouldst now embroil me yet again!
   To whom majestic Juno thus replied.
 Ah, wherefore, Sleep! shouldst thou indulge a fear
 So groundless?  Chase it from thy mind afar.
 Think'st thou the Thunderer as intent to serve                 315
 The Trojans, and as jealous in their cause
 As erst for Hercules, his genuine son?
 Come then, and I will bless thee with a bride;
 One of the younger Graces shall be thine,
 Pasithea, day by day still thy desire.                         320
   She spake; Sleep heard delighted, and replied.
 By the inviolable Stygian flood
 Swear to me; lay thy right hand on the glebe
 All-teeming, lay thy other on the face
 Of the flat sea, that all the Immortal Powers                  325
 Who compass Saturn in the nether realms
 May witness, that thou givest me for a bride
 The younger Grace whom thou hast named, divine
 Pasithea, day by day still my desire.
   He said, nor beauteous Juno not complied,                    330
 But sware, by name invoking all the powers
 Titanian call'd who in the lowest gulf
 Dwell under Tartarus, omitting none.
 Her oath with solemn ceremonial sworn,
 Together forth they went; Lemnos they left                     335
 And Imbrus, city of Thrace, and in dark clouds
 Mantled, with gliding ease swam through the air
 To Ida's mount with rilling waters vein'd,
 Parent of savage beasts; at Lectos[7] first
 They quitted Ocean, overpassing high                           340
 The dry land, while beneath their feet the woods
 Their spiry summits waved. There, unperceived
 By Jove, Sleep mounted Ida's loftiest pine
 Of growth that pierced the sky, and hidden sat
 Secure by its expanded boughs, the bird                        345
 Shrill-voiced resembling in the mountains seen,[8]
 Chalcis in heaven, on earth Cymindis named.
   But Juno swift to Gargarus the top
 Of Ida, soar'd, and there Jove saw his spouse.
 --Saw her--and in his breast the same love felt                350
 Rekindled vehement, which had of old
 Join'd them, when, by their parents unperceived,
 They stole aside, and snatch'd their first embrace.
 Soon he accosted her, and thus inquired.
   Juno! what region seeking hast thou left                     355
 The Olympian summit, and hast here arrived
 With neither steed nor chariot in thy train?
   To whom majestic Juno thus replied
 Dissembling. To the green earth's end I go,
 To visit there the parent of the Gods                          360
 Oceanus, and Tethys his espoused,
 Mother of all. They kindly from the hands
 Of Rhea took, and with parental care
 Sustain'd and cherish'd me;[9] to them I haste
 Their feuds innumerable to compose,                            365
 Who disunited by intestine strife
 Long time, from conjugal embrace abstain.
 My steeds, that lightly over dank and dry
 Shall bear me, at the rooted base I left
 Of Ida river-vein'd. But for thy sake                          370
 From the Olympian summit I arrive,
 Lest journeying remote to the abode
 Of Ocean, and with no consent of thine
 Entreated first, I should, perchance, offend.
   To whom the cloud-assembler God replied.                     375
 Juno! thy journey thither may be made
 Hereafter. Let us turn to dalliance now.
 For never Goddess pour'd, nor woman yet
 So full a tide of love into my breast;
 I never loved Ixion's consort thus                             380
 Who bore Pirithoüs, wise as we in heaven;
 Nor sweet Acrisian Danäe, from whom
 Sprang Perseus, noblest of the race of man;
 Nor Phoenix' daughter fair,[10] of whom were born
 Minos unmatch'd but by the powers above,                       385
 And Rhadamanthus; nor yet Semele,
 Nor yet Alcmena, who in Thebes produced
 The valiant Hercules; and though my son
 By Semele were Bacchus, joy of man;
 Nor Ceres golden-hair'd, nor high-enthroned                    390
 Latona in the skies, no--nor thyself
 As now I love thee, and my soul perceive
 O'erwhelm'd with sweetness of intense desire.
   Then thus majestic Juno her reply
 Framed artful. Oh unreasonable haste!                          395
 What speaks the Thunderer? If on Ida's heights.
 Where all is open and to view exposed
 Thou wilt that we embrace, what must betide,
 Should any of the everlasting Gods
 Observe us, and declare it to the rest?                        400
 Never could I, arising, seek again,
 Thy mansion, so unseemly were the deed.
 But if thy inclinations that way tend,
 Thou hast a chamber; it is Vulcan's work,
 Our son's; he framed and fitted to its posts                   405
 The solid portal; thither let us his,
 And there repose, since such thy pleasure seems.
   To whom the cloud-assembler Deity.
 Fear thou not, Juno, lest the eye of man
 Or of a God discern us; at my word                             410
 A golden cloud shall fold us so around,
 That not the Sun himself shall through that veil
 Discover aught, though keenest-eyed of all.
   So spake the son of Saturn, and his spouse
 Fast lock'd within his arms. Beneath them earth                415
 With sudden herbage teem'd; at once upsprang
 The crocus soft, the lotus bathed in dew,
 And the crisp hyacinth with clustering bells;
 Thick was their growth, and high above the ground
 Upbore them. On that flowery couch they lay,                   420
 Invested with a golden cloud that shed
 Bright dew-drops all around.[11] His heart at ease,
 There lay the Sire of all, by Sleep and Love
 Vanquish'd on lofty Gargarus, his spouse
 Constraining still with amorous embrace.                       425
 Then, gentle Sleep to the Achaian camp
 Sped swift away, with tidings for the ear
 Of earth-encircler Neptune charged; him soon
 He found, and in wing'd accents thus began.
   Now Neptune, yield the Greeks effectual aid,                 430
 And, while the moment lasts of Jove's repose,
 Make victory theirs; for him in slumbers soft
 I have involved, while Juno by deceit
 Prevailing, lured him with the bait of love.
   He said, and swift departed to his task                      435
 Among the nations; but his tidings urged
 Neptune with still more ardor to assist
 The Danaï; he leap'd into the van
 Afar, and thus exhorted them aloud.
   Oh Argives! yield we yet again the day                       440
 To Priameian Hector? Shall he seize
 Our ships, and make the glory all his own?
 Such is his expectation, so he vaunts,
 For that Achilles leaves not yet his camp,
 Resentful; but of him small need, I judge,                     445
 Should here be felt, could once the rest be roused
 To mutual aid. Act, then, as I advise.
 The best and broadest bucklers of the host,
 And brightest helmets put we on, and arm'd
 With longest spears, advance; myself will lead;                450
 And trust me, furious though he be, the son
 Of Priam flies. Ye then who feel your hearts
 Undaunted, but are arm'd with smaller shields,
 Them give to those who fear, and in exchange
 Their stronger shields and broader take yourselves.            455
   So he, whom, unreluctant, all obey'd.
 Then, wounded as they were, themselves the Kings,
 Tydides, Agamemnon and Ulysses
 Marshall'd the warriors, and from rank to rank
 Made just exchange of arms, giving the best                    460
 To the best warriors, to the worse, the worst.
 And now in brazen armor all array'd
 Refulgent on they moved, by Neptune led
 With firm hand grasping his long-bladed sword
 Keen as Jove's bolt; with him may none contend                 465
 In dreadful fight; but fear chains every arm.
   Opposite, Priameian Hector ranged
 His Trojans; then they stretch'd the bloody cord
 Of conflict tight, Neptune coerulean-hair'd,
 And Hector, pride of Ilium; one, the Greeks                    470
 Supporting firm, and one, the powers of Troy;
 A sea-flood dash'd the galleys, and the hosts
 Join'd clamorous. Not so the billows roar
 The shores among, when Boreas' roughest blast
 Sweeps landward from the main the towering surge;              475
 Not so, devouring fire among the trees
 That clothe the mountain, when the sheeted flames
 Ascending wrap the forest in a blaze;
 Nor howl the winds through leafy boughs of oaks
 Upgrown aloft (though loudest there they rave)                 480
 With sounds so awful as were heard of Greeks
 And Trojans shouting when the clash began.
   At Ajax, first (for face to face they stood)
 Illustrious Hector threw a spear well-aim'd,
 But smote him where the belts that bore his shield             485
 And falchion cross'd each other on his breast.
 The double guard preserved him unannoy'd.
 Indignant that his spear had bootless flown,
 Yet fearing death at hand, the Trojan Chief
 Toward the phalanx of his friends retired.                     490
 But, as he went, huge Ajax with a stone
 Of those which propp'd the ships (for numerous such
 Lay rolling at the feet of those who fought)
 Assail'd him. Twirling like a top it pass'd
 The shield of Hector, near the neck his breast                 495
 Struck full, then plough'd circuitous the dust.
 As when Jove's arm omnipotent an oak
 Prostrates uprooted on the plain, a fume
 Rises sulphureous from the riven trunk,
 And if, perchance, some traveller nigh at hand                 500
 See it, he trembles at the bolt of Jove,
 So fell the might of Hector, to the earth
 Smitten at once. Down dropp'd his idle spear,
 And with his helmet and his shield himself
 Also; loud thunder'd all his gorgeous arms.                    505
 Swift flew the Grecians shouting to the skies,
 And showering darts, to drag his body thence,
 But neither spear of theirs nor shaft could harm
 The fallen leader, with such instant aid
 His princely friends encircled him around,                     510
 Sarpedon, Lycian Chief, Glaucus the brave,
 Polydamas, Æneas, and renown'd
 Agenor; neither tardy were the rest,
 But with round shields all shelter'd Hector fallen.
 Him soon uplifted from the plain his friends                   515
 Bore thence, till where his fiery coursers stood,
 And splendid chariot in the rear, they came,
 Then Troy-ward drove him groaning as he went.
 Ere long arriving at the pleasant stream
 Of eddied Xanthus, progeny of Jove,                            520
 They laid him on the bank, and on his face
 Pour'd water; he, reviving, upward gazed,
 And seated on his hams black blood disgorged
 Coagulate, but soon relapsing, fell
 Supine, his eyes with pitchy darkness veil'd,                  525
 And all his powers still torpid by the blow.
   Then, seeing Hector borne away, the Greeks
 Rush'd fiercer on, all mindful of the fight,
 And far before the rest, Ajax the swift,
 The Oïlean Chief, with pointed spear                           530
 On Satnius springing, pierced him. Him a nymph
 A Naiad, bore to Enops, while his herd
 Feeding, on Satnio's grassy verge he stray'd.
 But Oïliades the spear-renown'd
 Approaching, pierced his flank; supine he fell,                535
 And fiery contest for the dead arose.
 In vengeance of his fall, spear-shaking Chief
 The son of Panthus into fight advanced
 Polydamas, who Prothöenor pierced
 Offspring of Areïlocus, and urged                              540
 Through his right shoulder sheer the stormy lance.
 He, prostrate, clench'd the dust, and with loud voice
 Polydamas exulted at his fall.
   Yon spear, methinks, hurl'd from the warlike hand
 Of Panthus' noble son, flew not in vain,                       545
 But some Greek hath it, purposing, I judge,
 To lean on it in his descent to hell.
   So he, whose vaunt the Greeks indignant heard.
 But most indignant, Ajax, offspring bold
 Of Telamon, to whom he nearest fell.                           550
 He, quick, at the retiring conqueror cast
 His radiant spear; Polydamas the stroke
 Shunn'd, starting sideward; but Antenor's son
 Archilochus the mortal dint received,
 Death-destined by the Gods; where neck and spine               555
 Unite, both tendons he dissever'd wide,
 And, ere his knees, his nostrils met the ground.
   Then Ajax in his turn vaunting aloud
 Against renown'd Polydamas, exclaim'd.
 Speak now the truth, Polydamas, and weigh                      560
 My question well. His life whom I have slain
 Makes it not compensation for the loss
 Of Prothöenor's life! To me he seems
 Nor base himself; nor yet of base descent,
 But brother of Atenor steed-renown'd,                          565
 Or else perchance his son; for in my eyes
 Antenor's lineage he resembles most.
   So he, well knowing him, and sorrow seized
 Each Trojan heart. Then Acamas around
 His brother stalking, wounded with his spear                   570
 Boeotian Promachus, who by the feet
 Dragg'd off the slain. Acamas in his fall
 Aloud exulted with a boundless joy.
   Vain-glorious Argives, archers inexpert!
 War's toil and trouble are not ours alone,                     575
 But ye shall perish also; mark the man--
 How sound he sleeps tamed by my conquering arm,
 Your fellow-warrior Promachus! the debt
 Of vengeance on my brother's dear behalf
 Demanded quick discharge; well may the wish                    580
 Of every dying warrior be to leave
 A brother living to avenge his fall.
   He ended, whom the Greeks indignant heard,
 But chiefly brave Peneleus; swift he rush'd
 On Acamas; but from before the force                           585
 Of King Peneleus Acamas retired,
 And, in his stead, Ilioneus he pierced,
 Offspring of Phorbas, rich in flocks; and blest
 By Mercury with such abundant wealth
 As other Trojan none, nor child to him                         590
 His spouse had borne, Ilioneus except.
 Him close beneath the brow to his eye-roots
 Piercing, he push'd the pupil from its seat,
 And through his eye and through his poll the spear
 Urged furious. He down-sitting on the earth                    595
 Both hands extended; but, his glittering blade
 Forth-drawn, Peneleus through his middle neck
 Enforced it; head and helmet to the ground
 He lopp'd together, with the lance infixt
 Still in his eye; then like a poppy's head                     600
 The crimson trophy lifting, in the ears
 He vaunted loud of Ilium's host, and cried.
   Go, Trojans! be my messengers! Inform
 The parents of Ilioneus the brave
 That they may mourn their son through all their house,         605
 For so the wife of Alegenor's son
 Boeotian Promachus must him bewail,
 Nor shall she welcome his return with smiles
 Of joy affectionate, when from the shores
 Of Troy the fleet shall bear us Grecians home.                 610
   He said; fear whiten'd every Trojan cheek,
 And every Trojan eye with earnest look
 Inquired a refuge from impending fate.
   Say now, ye Muses, blest inhabitants
 Of the Olympian realms! what Grecian first                     615
 Fill'd his victorious hand with armor stript
 From slaughter'd Trojans, after Ocean's God
 Had, interposing, changed the battle's course?
   First, Telamonian Ajax Hyrtius slew,
 Undaunted leader of the Mysian band.                           620
 Phalces and Mermerus their arms resign'd
 To young Antilochus; Hyppotion fell
 And Morys by Meriones; the shafts
 Right-aim'd of Teucer to the shades dismiss'd
 Prothöus and Periphetes, and the prince                        625
 Of Sparta, Menelaus, in his flank
 Pierced Hyperenor; on his entrails prey'd
 The hungry steel, and, through the gaping wound
 Expell'd, his spirit flew; night veil'd his eyes.
 But Ajax Oïliades the swift                                    630
 Slew most; him none could equal in pursuit
 Of tremblers scatter'd by the frown of Jove.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK XV.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTEENTH BOOK.


Jove, awaking and seeing the Trojans routed, threatens Juno. He sends Iris to admonish Neptune to relinquish the battle, and Apollo to restore health to Hector. Apollo armed with the Ægis, puts to flight the Grecians; they are pursued home to their fleet, and Telamonian Ajax slays twelve Trojans bringing fire to burn it.



                              BOOK XV.


 But when the flying Trojans had o'erpass'd
 Both stakes and trench, and numerous slaughtered lay
 By Grecian hands, the remnant halted all
 Beside their chariots, pale, discomfited.
 Then was it that on Ida's summit Jove                            5
 At Juno's side awoke; starting, he stood
 At once erect; Trojans and Greeks he saw,
 These broken, those pursuing and led on
 By Neptune; he beheld also remote
 Encircled by his friends, and on the plain                      10
 Extended, Hector; there he panting lay,
 Senseless, ejecting blood, bruised by a blow
 From not the feeblest of the sons of Greece.
 Touch'd with compassion at that sight, the Sire
 Of Gods and men, frowning terrific, fix'd                       15
 His eyes on Juno, and her thus bespake.
   No place for doubt remains. Oh, versed in wiles,
 Juno! thy mischief-teeming mind perverse
 Hath plotted this; thou hast contrived the hurt
 Of Hector, and hast driven his host to flight.                  20
 I know not but thyself mayst chance to reap
 The first-fruits of thy cunning, scourged[1] by me.
 Hast thou forgotten how I once aloft
 Suspended thee, with anvils at thy feet,
 And both thy wrists bound with a golden cord                    25
 Indissoluble? In the clouds of heaven
 I hung thee, while from the Olympian heights
 The Gods look'd mournful on, but of them all
 None could deliver thee, for whom I seized,
 Hurl'd through the gates of heaven on earth he fell,            30
 Half-breathless. Neither so did I resign
 My hot resentment of the hero's wrongs
 Immortal Hercules, whom thou by storms
 Call'd from the North, with mischievous intent
 Hadst driven far distant o'er the barren Deep                   35
 To populous Cos. Thence I deliver'd him,
 And after numerous woes severe, he reach'd
 The shores of fruitful Argos, saved by me.
 I thus remind thee now, that thou mayst cease
 Henceforth from artifice, and mayst be taught                   40
 How little all the dalliance and the love
 Which, stealing down from heaven, thou hast by fraud
 Obtain'd from me, shall profit thee at last.
   He ended, whom imperial Juno heard
 Shuddering, and in wing'd accents thus replied.                 45
   Be witness Earth, the boundless Heaven above,
 And Styx beneath, whose stream the blessed Gods
 Even tremble to adjure;[2] be witness too
 Thy sacred life, and our connubial bed,
 Which by a false oath I will never wrong,                       50
 That by no art induced or plot of mine
 Neptune, the Shaker of the shores, inflicts
 These harms on Hector and the Trojan host
 Aiding the Grecians, but impell'd alone
 By his own heart with pity moved at sight                       55
 Of the Achaians at the ships subdued.
 But even him, oh Sovereign of the storms!
 I am prepared to admonish that he quit
 The battle, and retire where thou command'st.
   So she; then smiled the Sire of Gods and men,                 60
 And in wing'd accents answer thus return'd.[3]
   Juno! wouldst thou on thy celestial throne
 Assist my counsels, howso'er in heart
 He differ now, Neptune should soon his will
 Submissive bend to thy desires and mine.                        65
 But if sincerity be in thy words
 And truth, repairing to the blest abodes
 Send Iris hither, with the archer God
 Apollo; that she, visiting the host
 Of Greece, may bid the Sovereign of the Deep                    70
 Renounce the fight, and seek his proper home.
 Apollo's part shall be to rouse again
 Hector to battle, to inspire his soul
 Afresh with courage, and all memory thence
 To banish of the pangs which now he feels.                      75
 Apollo also shall again repulse
 Achaia's host, which with base panic fill'd,
 Shall even to Achilles' ships be driven.
 Achilles shall his valiant friend exhort
 Patroclus forth; him under Ilium's walls                        80
 Shall glorious Hector slay; but many a youth
 Shall perish by Patroclus first, with whom,
 My noble son Sarpedon. Peleus' son,
 Resentful of Patroclus' death, shall slay
 Hector, and I will urge ceaseless, myself,                      85
 Thenceforth the routed Trojans back again,
 Till by Minerva's aid the Greeks shall take
 Ilium's proud city; till that day arrive
 My wrath shall burn, nor will I one permit
 Of all the Immortals to assist the Greeks,                      90
 But will perform Achilles' whole desire.
 Such was my promise to him at the first,
 Ratified by a nod that self-same day
 When Thetis clasp'd my knees, begging revenge
 And glory for her city-spoiler son.                             95
   He ended; nor his spouse white-arm'd refused
 Obedience, but from the Idæan heights
 Departing, to the Olympian summit soar'd.
 Swift as the traveller's thought,[4] who, many a land
 Traversed, deliberates on his future course                    100
 Uncertain, and his mind sends every way,
 So swift updarted Juno to the skies.
 Arrived on the Olympian heights, she found
 The Gods assembled; they, at once, their seats
 At her approach forsaking, with full cups                      105
 Her coming hail'd; heedless of all beside,
 She took the cup from blooming Themis' hand,
 For she first flew to welcome her, and thus
 In accents wing'd of her return inquired.
   Say, Juno, why this sudden re-ascent?                        110
 Thou seem'st dismay'd; hath Saturn's son, thy spouse,
 Driven thee affrighted to the skies again?
   To whom the white-arm'd Goddess thus replied.
 Themis divine, ask not. Full well thou know'st
 How harshly temper'd is the mind of Jove,                      115
 And how untractable. Resume thy seat;
 The banquet calls thee; at our board preside,
 Thou shalt be told, and all in heaven shall hear
 What ills he threatens; such as shall not leave
 All minds at ease, I judge, here or on earth,                  120
 However tranquil some and joyous now.
   So spake the awful spouse of Jove, and sat.
 Then, all alike, the Gods displeasure felt
 Throughout the courts of Jove, but she, her lips
 Gracing with smiles from which her sable brows                 125
 Dissented,[5] thus indignant them address'd.
   Alas! how vain against the Thunderer's will
 Our anger, and the hope to supersede
 His purpose, by persuasion or by force!
 He solitary sits, all unconcern'd                              130
 At our resentment, and himself proclaims
 Mightiest and most to be revered in heaven.
 Be patient, therefore, and let each endure
 Such ills as Jove may send him. Mars, I ween,
 Already hath his share; the warrior God                        135
 Hath lost Ascalaphus, of all mankind
 His most beloved, and whom he calls his own.
   She spake, and with expanded palms his thighs
 Smiling, thus, sorrowful, the God exclaim'd.
   Inhabitants of the Olympian heights!                         140
 Oh bear with me, if to avenge my son
 I seek Achaia's fleet, although my doom
 Be thunder-bolts from Jove, and with the dead
 Outstretch'd to lie in carnage and in dust.
   He spake, and bidding Horror and Dismay                      145
 Lead to the yoke his rapid steeds, put on
 His all-refulgent armor. Then had wrath
 More dreadful, some strange vengeance on the Gods
 From Jove befallen, had not Minerva, touch'd
 With timely fears for all, upstarting sprung                   150
 From where she sat, right through the vestibule.
 She snatch'd the helmet from his brows, the shield
 From his broad shoulder, and the brazen spear
 Forced from his grasp into its place restored.
 Then reprimanding Mars, she thus began.                        155
   Frantic, delirious! thou art lost for ever!
 Is it in vain that thou hast ears to hear,
 And hast thou neither shame nor reason left?
 How? hear'st thou not the Goddess? the report
 Of white-arm'd Juno from Olympian Jove                         160
 Return'd this moment? or perfer'st thou rather,
 Plagued with a thousand woes, and under force
 Of sad necessity to seek again
 Olympus, and at thy return to prove
 Author of countless miseries to us all?                        165
 For He at once Grecians and Trojans both
 Abandoning, will hither haste prepared
 To tempest[6] us in heaven, whom he will seize,
 The guilty and the guiltless, all alike.
 I bid thee, therefore, patient bear the death                  170
 Of thy Ascalaphus; braver than he
 And abler have, ere now, in battle fallen,
 And shall hereafter; arduous were the task
 To rescue from the stroke of fate the race
 Of mortal men, with all their progeny.                         175
   So saying, Minerva on his throne replaced
 The fiery Mars. Then, summoning abroad
 Apollo from within the hall of Jove,
 With Iris, swift ambassadress of heaven,
 Them in wing'd accents Juno thus bespake.                      180
   Jove bids you hence with undelaying speed
 To Ida; in his presence once arrived,
 See that ye execute his whole command.
   So saying, the awful Goddess to her throne
 Return'd and sat. They, cleaving swift the air,                185
 Alighted soon on Ida fountain-fed,
 Parent of savage kinds. High on the point
 Seated of Gargarus, and wrapt around
 With fragrant clouds, they found Saturnian Jove
 The Thunderer, and in his presence stood.                      190
 He, nought displeased that they his high command
 Had with such readiness obey'd, his speech
 To Iris, first, in accents wing'd address'd
   Swift Iris, haste--to royal Neptune bear
 My charge entire; falsify not the word.                        195
 Bid him, relinquishing the fight, withdraw
 Either to heaven, or to the boundless Deep.
 But should he disobedient prove, and scorn
 My message, let him, next, consider well
 How he will bear, powerful as he is,                           200
 My coming. Me I boast superior far
 In force, and elder-born; yet deems he slight
 The danger of comparison with me,
 Who am the terror of all heaven beside.
   He spake, nor storm-wing'd Iris disobey'd,                   205
 But down from the Idæan summit stoop'd
 To sacred Ilium. As when snow or hail
 Flies drifted by the cloud-dispelling North,
 So swiftly, wing'd with readiness of will,
 She shot the gulf between, and standing soon                   210
 At glorious Neptune's side, him thus address'd.
   To thee, O Neptune azure-hair'd! I come
 With tidings charged from Ægis-bearing Jove.
 He bids thee cease from battle, and retire
 Either to heaven, or to the boundless Deep.                    215
 But shouldst thou, disobedient, set at nought
 His words, he threatens that himself will haste
 To fight against thee; but he bids thee shun
 That strife with one superior far to thee,
 And elder-born; yet deem'st thou slight, he saith,             220
 The danger of comparison with Him,
 Although the terror of all heaven beside.
   Her then the mighty Shaker of the shores
 Answer'd indignant. Great as is his power,
 Yet he hath spoken proudly, threatening me                     225
 With force, high-born and glorious as himself.
 We are three brothers; Saturn is our sire,
 And Rhea brought us forth; first, Jove she bore;
 Me next; then, Pluto, Sovereign of the shades.
 By distribution tripart we received                            230
 Each his peculiar honors; me the lots
 Made Ruler of the hoary floods, and there
 I dwell for ever. Pluto, for his part,
 The regions took of darkness; and the heavens,
 The clouds, and boundless æther, fell to Jove.                 235
 The Earth and the Olympian heights alike
 Are common to the three. My life and being
 I hold not, therefore, at his will, whose best
 And safest course, with all his boasted power,
 Were to possess in peace his proper third.                     240
 Let him not seek to terrify with force
 Me like a dastard; let him rather chide
 His own-begotten; with big-sounding words
 His sons and daughters govern, who perforce
 Obey his voice, and shrink at his commands.                    245
   To whom thus Iris tempest-wing'd replied,
 Coerulean-tress'd Sovereign of the Deep!
 Shall I report to Jove, harsh as it is,
 Thy speech, or wilt thou soften it? The wise
 Are flexible, and on the elder-born                            250
 Erynnis, with her vengeful sisters, waits.[7]
   Her answer'd then the Shaker of the shores.
 Prudent is thy advice, Iris divine!
 Discretion in a messenger is good
 At all times. But the cause that fires me thus,                255
 And with resentment my whole heart and mind
 Possesses, is the license that he claims
 To vex with provocation rude of speech
 Me his compeer, and by decree of Fate
 Illustrious as himself; yet, though incensed,                  260
 And with just cause, I will not now persist.
 But hear--for it is treasured in my heart
 The threat that my lips utter. If he still
 Resolve to spare proud Ilium in despite
 Of me, of Pallas, Goddess of the spoils,                       265
 Of Juno, Mercury, and the King of fire,
 And will not overturn her lofty towers,
 Nor grant immortal glory to the Greeks,
 Then tell him thus--hostility shall burn,
 And wrath between us never to be quench'd.                     270
   So saying, the Shaker of the shores forsook
 The Grecian host, and plunged into the deep,
 Miss'd by Achaia's heroes. Then, the cloud-Assembler
 God thus to Apollo spake.
   Hence, my Apollo! to the Trojan Chief                        275
 Hector; for earth-encircler Neptune, awed
 By fear of my displeasure imminent,
 Hath sought the sacred Deep. Else, all the Gods
 Who compass Saturn in the nether realms,
 Had even there our contest heard, I ween,                      280
 And heard it loudly. But that he retreats
 Although at first incensed, shunning my wrath,
 Is salutary both for him and me,
 Whose difference else had not been healed with ease.
 Take thou my shaggy Ægis, and with force                       285
 Smiting it, terrify the Chiefs of Greece.
 As for illustrious Hector, him I give
 To thy peculiar care; fail not to rouse
 His fiercest courage, till he push the Greeks
 To Hellespont, and to their ships again;                       290
 Thenceforth to yield to their afflicted host
 Some pause from toil, shall be my own concern.
   He ended, nor Apollo disobey'd
 His father's voice; from the Idæan heights,
 Swift as the swiftest of the fowls of air,                     295
 The dove-destroyer falcon, down he flew.
 The noble Hector, valiant Priam's son
 He found, not now extended on the plain,
 But seated; newly, as from death, awaked,
 And conscious of his friends; freely he breathed               300
 Nor sweated more, by Jove himself revived.
 Apollo stood beside him, and began.
   Say, Hector, Priam's son! why sittest here
 Feeble and spiritless, and from thy host
 Apart? what new disaster hath befall'n?                        305
   To whom with difficulty thus replied
 The warlike Chief.--But tell me who art Thou,
 Divine inquirer! best of powers above!
 Know'st not that dauntless Ajax me his friends
 Slaughtering at yonder ships, hath with a stone                310
 Surceased from fight, smiting me on the breast?
 I thought to have beheld, this day, the dead
 In Ades, every breath so seem'd my last.
   Then answer thus the Archer-God return'd.
 Courage this moment! such a helper Jove                        315
 From Ida sends thee at thy side to war
 Continual, Phoebus of the golden sword,
 Whose guardian aid both thee and lofty Troy
 Hath succor'd many a time. Therefore arise!
 Instant bid drive thy numerous charioteers                     320
 Their rapid steeds full on the Grecian fleet;
 I, marching at their head, will smooth, myself,
 The way before them, and will turn again
 To flight the heroes of the host of Greece.
   He said and with new strength the Chief inspired.            325
 As some stall'd horse high pamper'd, snapping short
 His cord, beats under foot the sounding soil,
 Accustom'd in smooth-sliding streams to lave
 Exulting; high he bears his head, his mane
 Wantons around his shoulders; pleased, he eyes                 330
 His glossy sides, and borne on pliant knees
 Soon finds the haunts where all his fellows graze;
 So bounded Hector, and his agile joints
 Plied lightly, quicken'd by the voice divine,
 And gather'd fast his charioteers to battle.                   335
 But as when hounds and hunters through the woods
 Rush in pursuit of stag or of wild goat,
 He, in some cave with tangled boughs o'erhung,
 Lies safe conceal'd, no destined prey of theirs,
 Till by their clamors roused, a lion grim                      340
 Starts forth to meet them; then, the boldest fly;
 Such hot pursuit the Danaï, with swords
 And spears of double edge long time maintain'd.
 But seeing Hector in his ranks again
 Occupied, felt at once their courage fall'n.                   345
   Then, Thoas them, Andræmon's son, address'd,
 Foremost of the Ætolians, at the spear
 Skilful, in stationary combat bold,
 And when the sons of Greece held in dispute
 The prize of eloquence, excell'd by few.                       350
 Prudent advising them, he thus began.
   Ye Gods! what prodigy do I behold?
 Hath Hector, 'scaping death, risen again?
 For him, with confident persuasion all
 Believed by Telamonian Ajax slain.                             355
 But some Divinity hath interposed
 To rescue and save Hector, who the joints
 Hath stiffen'd of full many a valiant Greek,
 As surely now he shall; for, not without
 The Thunderer's aid, he flames in front again.                 360
 But take ye all my counsel. Send we back
 The multitude into the fleet, and first
 Let us, who boast ourselves bravest in fight,
 Stand, that encountering him with lifted spears,
 We may attempt to give his rage a check.                       365
 To thrust himself into a band like ours
 Will, doubtless, even in Hector move a fear.
   He ceased, with whose advice all, glad, complied.
 Then Ajax with Idomeneus of Crete,
 Teucer, Meriones, and Meges fierce                             370
 As Mars in battle, summoning aloud
 The noblest Greeks, in opposition firm
 To Hector and his host their bands prepared,
 While others all into the fleet retired.
 Troy's crowded host[8] struck first. With awful strides        375
 Came Hector foremost; him Apollo led,
 His shoulders wrapt in clouds, and, on his arm,
 The Ægis shagg'd terrific all around,
 Tempestuous, dazzling-bright; it was a gift
 To Jove from Vulcan, and design'd to appall,                   380
 And drive to flight the armies of the earth.
 Arm'd with that shield Apollo led them on.
 Firm stood the embodied Greeks; from either host
 Shrill cries arose; the arrows from the nerve
 Leap'd, and, by vigorous arms dismiss'd, the spears            385
 Flew frequent; in the flesh some stood infixt
 Of warlike youths, but many, ere they reach'd
 The mark they coveted, unsated fell
 Between the hosts, and rested in the soil.
 Long as the God unagitated held                                390
 The dreadful disk, so long the vollied darts
 Made mutual slaughter, and the people fell;
 But when he look'd the Grecian charioteers
 Full in the face and shook it, raising high
 Himself the shout of battle, then he quell'd                   395
 Their spirits, then he struck from every mind
 At once all memory of their might in arms.
 As when two lions in the still, dark night
 A herd of beeves scatter or numerous flock
 Suddenly, in the absence of the guard,                         400
 So fled the heartless Greeks, for Phoebus sent
 Terrors among them, but renown conferr'd
 And triumph proud on Hector and his host.
 Then, in that foul disorder of the field,
 Man singled man. Arcesilaüs died                               405
 By Hector's arm, and Stichius; one, a Chief[9]
 Of the Boeotians brazen-mail'd, and one,
 Menestheus' faithful follower to the fight.
 Æneas Medon and Iäsus slew.
 Medon was spurious offspring of divine                         410
 Oïleus Ajax' father, and abode
 In Phylace; for he had slain a Chief
 Brother of Eriopis the espoused
 Of brave Oïleus; but Iäsus led
 A phalanx of Athenians, and the son                            415
 Of Sphelus, son of Bucolus was deem'd.
 Pierced by Polydamas Mecisteus fell,
 Polites, in the van of battle, slew
 Echion, and Agenor Clonius;
 But Paris, while Deïochus to flight                            420
 Turn'd with the routed van, pierced him beneath
 His shoulder-blade, and urged the weapon through.
   While them the Trojans spoil'd, meantime the Greeks,
 Entangled in the piles of the deep foss,
 Fled every way, and through necessity                          425
 Repass'd the wall. Then Hector with a voice
 Of loud command bade every Trojan cease
 From spoil, and rush impetuous on the fleet.
 [10]And whom I find far lingering from the ships
 Wherever, there he dies; no funeral fires                      430
 Brother on him, or sister, shall bestow,
 But dogs shall rend him in the sight of Troy.
   So saying, he lash'd the shoulders of his steeds,
 And through the ranks vociferating, call'd
 His Trojans on; they, clamorous as he,                         435
 All lash'd their steeds, and menacing, advanced.
 Before them with his feet Apollo push'd
 The banks into the foss, bridging the gulf
 With pass commodious, both in length and breadth
 A lance's flight, for proof of vigor hurl'd.                   440
 There, phalanx after phalanx, they their host
 Pour'd dense along, while Phoebus in the van
 Display'd the awful ægis, and the wall
 Levell'd with ease divine. As, on the shore
 Some wanton boy with sand builds plaything walls,              445
 Then, sportive spreads them with his feet abroad,
 So thou, shaft-arm'd Apollo! that huge work
 Laborious of the Greeks didst turn with ease
 To ruin, and themselves drovest all to flight.
 They, thus enforced into the fleet, again                      450
 Stood fast, with mutual exhortation each
 His friend encouraging, and all the Gods
 With lifted hands soliciting aloud.
 But, more than all, Gerenian Nestor pray'd
 Fervent, Achaia's guardian, and with arms                      455
 Outstretch'd toward the starry skies, exclaim'd.
   Jove, Father! if in corn-clad Argos, one,
 One Greek hath ever, burning at thy shrine
 Fat thighs of sheep or oxen, ask'd from thee
 A safe return, whom thou hast gracious heard,                  460
 Olympian King! and promised what he sought,
 Now, in remembrance of it, give us help
 In this disastrous day, nor thus permit
 Their Trojan foes to tread the Grecians down!
   So Nestor pray'd, and Jove thunder'd aloud                   465
 Responsive to the old Neleïan's prayer.
 But when that voice of Ægis-bearing Jove
 The Trojans heard, more furious on the Greeks
 They sprang, all mindful of the fight. As when
 A turgid billow of some spacious sea,                          470
 While the wind blow that heaves its highest, borne
 Sheer o'er the vessel's side, rolls into her,
 With such loud roar the Trojans pass'd the wall;
 In rush'd the steeds, and at the ships they waged
 Fierce battle hand to hand, from chariots, these,              475
 With spears of double edge, those, from the decks
 Of many a sable bark, with naval poles
 Long, ponderous, shod with steel; for every ship
 Had such, for conflict maritime prepared.
   While yet the battle raged only without                      480
 The wall, and from the ships apart, so long
 Patroclus quiet in the tent and calm
 Sat of Eurypylus, his generous friend
 Consoling with sweet converse, and his wound
 Sprinkling with drugs assuasive of his pains.                  485
 But soon as through the broken rampart borne
 He saw the Trojans, and the clamor heard
 And tumult of the flying Greeks, a voice
 Of loud lament uttering, with open palms
 His thighs he smote, and, sorrowful, exclaim'd.                490
   Eurypylus! although thy need be great,
 No longer may I now sit at thy side,
 Such contest hath arisen; thy servant's voice
 Must soothe thee now, for I will to the tent
 Haste of Achilles, and exhort him forth;                       495
 Who knows? if such the pleasure of the Gods,
 I may prevail; friends rarely plead in vain.
   So saying, he went. Meantime the Greeks endured
 The Trojan onset, firm, yet from the ships
 Repulsed them not, though fewer than themselves,               500
 Nor could the host of Troy, breaking the ranks
 Of Greece, mix either with the camp or fleet;
 But as the line divides the plank aright,
 Stretch'd by some naval architect, whose hand
 Minerva hath accomplish'd in his art,                          505
 So stretch'd on them the cord of battle lay.
 Others at other ships the conflict waged,
 But Hector to the ship advanced direct
 Of glorious Ajax; for one ship they strove;
 Nor Hector, him dislodging thence, could fire                  510
 The fleet, nor Ajax from the fleet repulse
 Hector, conducted thither by the Gods.
 Then, noble Ajax with a spear the breast
 Pierced of Caletor, son of Clytius, arm'd
 With fire to burn his bark; sounding he fell,                  515
 And from his loosen'd grasp down dropp'd the brand.
 But Hector seeing his own kinsman fallen
 Beneath the sable bark, with mighty voice
 Call'd on the hosts of Lycia and of Troy.
   Trojans and Lycians, and close-fighting sons                 520
 Of Dardanus, within this narrow pass
 Stand firm, retreat not, but redeem the son
 Of Clytius, lest the Grecians of his arms
 Despoil him slain in battle at the ships.
   So saying, at Ajax his bright spear he cast                  525
 Him pierced he not, but Lycophron the son
 Of Mastor, a Cytherian, who had left
 Cytheras, fugitive for blood, and dwelt
 With Ajax. Him standing at Ajax' side,
 He pierced above his ear; down from the stern                  530
 Supine he fell, and in the dust expired.
 Then, shuddering, Ajax to his brother spake.
   Alas, my Teucer! we have lost our friend;
 Mastorides is slain, whom we received
 An inmate from Cytheræ, and with love                          535
 And reverence even filial, entertain'd;
 By Hector pierced, he dies. Where are thy shafts
 Death-wing'd, and bow, by gift from Phoebus thine?
   He said, whom Teucer hearing, instant ran
 With bow and well-stored quiver to his side,                   540
 Whence soon his arrows sought the Trojan host.
 He struck Pisenor's son Clytus, the friend
 And charioteer of brave Polydamas,
 Offspring of Panthus, toiling with both hands
 To rule his fiery steeds; for more to please                   545
 The Trojans and their Chief, where stormy most
 He saw the battle, thither he had driven.
 But sudden mischief, valiant as he was,
 Found him, and such as none could waft aside,
 For right into his neck the arrow plunged,                     550
 And down he fell; his startled coursers shook
 Their trappings, and the empty chariot rang.
 That sound alarm'd Polydamas; he turn'd,
 And flying to their heads, consign'd them o'er
 To Protiaön's son, Astynoüs,                                   555
 Whom he enjoin'd to keep them in his view;
 Then, turning, mingled with the van again.
 But Teucer still another shaft produced
 Design'd for valiant Hector, whose exploits
 (Had that shaft reach'd him) at the ships of Greece            560
 Had ceased for ever. But the eye of Jove,
 Guardian of Hector's life, slept not; he took
 From Telamonian Teucer that renown,
 And while he stood straining the twisted nerve
 Against the Trojan, snapp'd it. Devious flew                   565
 The steel-charged[11] arrow, and he dropp'd his bow.
 Then shuddering, to his brother thus he spake.
   Ah! it is evident. Some Power divine
 Makes fruitless all our efforts, who hath struck
 My bow out of my hand, and snapt the cord                      570
 With which I strung it new at dawn of day,
 That it might bear the bound of many a shaft.
   To whom the towering son of Telamon.
 Leave then thy bow, and let thine arrows rest,
 Which, envious of the Greeks, some God confounds,              575
 That thou may'st fight with spear and buckler arm'd,
 And animate the rest. Such be our deeds
 That, should they conquer us, our foes may find
 Our ships, at least a prize not lightly won.
   So Ajax spake; then Teucer, in his tent                      580
 The bow replacing, slung his fourfold shield,
 Settled on his illustrious brows his casque
 With hair high-crested, waving, as he moved,
 Terrible from above, took forth a spear
 Tough-grain'd, acuminated sharp with brass,                    585
 And stood, incontinent, at Ajax' side.
 Hector perceived the change, and of the cause
 Conscious, with echoing voice call'd to his host.
   Trojans and Lycians and close-fighting sons
 Of Dardanus, oh now, my friends, be men;                       590
 Now, wheresoever through the fleet dispersed,
 Call into mind the fury of your might!
 For I have seen, myself, Jove rendering vain
 The arrows of their mightiest. Man may know
 With ease the hand of interposing Jove,                        595
 Both whom to glory he ordains, and whom
 He weakens and aids not; so now he leaves
 The Grecians, but propitious smiles on us.
 Therefore stand fast, and whosoever gall'd
 By arrow or by spear, dies--let him die;                       600
 It shall not shame him that he died to serve
 His country,[12] but his children, wife and home,
 With all his heritage, shall be secure,
 Drive but the Grecians from the shores of Troy.
   So saying, he animated each. Meantime,                       605
 Ajax his fellow-warriors thus address'd.
   Shame on you all! Now, Grecians, either die,
 Or save at once your galley and yourselves.
 Hope ye, that should your ships become the prize
 Of warlike Hector, ye shall yet return                         610
 On foot? Or hear ye not the Chief aloud
 Summoning all his host, and publishing
 His own heart's wish to burn your fleet with fire?
 Not to a dance, believe me, but to fight
 He calls them; therefore wiser course for us                   615
 Is none, than that we mingle hands with hands
 In contest obstinate, and force with force.
 Better at once to perish, or at once
 To rescue life, than to consume the time
 Hour after hour in lingering conflict vain                     620
 Here at the ships, with an inferior foe.
   He said, and by his words into all hearts
 Fresh confidence infused. Then Hector smote
 Schedius, a Chief of the Phocensian powers
 And son of Perimedes; Ajax slew,                               625
 Meantime, a Chief of Trojan infantry,
 Laodamas, Antenor's noble son
 While by Polydamas, a leader bold
 Of the Epeans, and Phylides'[13] friend,
 Cyllenian Otus died. Meges that sight                          630
 Viewing indignant on the conqueror sprang,
 But, starting wide, Polydamas escaped,
 Saved by Apollo, and his spear transpierced
 The breast of Cræsmus; on his sounding shield
 Prostrate he fell, and Meges stripp'd his arms.                635
 Him so employ'd Dolops assail'd, brave son
 Of Lampus, best of men and bold in fight,
 Offspring of King Laomedon; he stood
 Full near, and through his middle buckler struck
 The son of Phyleus, but his corselet thick                     640
 With plates of scaly brass his life secured.
 That corselet Phyleus on a time brought home
 From Ephyre, where the Selleïs winds,
 And it was given him for his life's defence
 In furious battle by the King of men,                          645
 Euphetes. Many a time had it preserved
 Unharm'd the sire, and now it saved the son.
 Then Meges, rising, with his pointed lance
 The bushy crest of Dolops' helmet drove
 Sheer from its base; new-tinged with purple bright             650
 Entire it fell and mingled with the dust.
 While thus they strove, each hoping victory,
 Came martial Menelaus to the aid
 Of Meges; spear in hand apart he stood
 By Dolops unperceived, through his back drove                  655
 And through his breast the spear, and far beyond.
 And down fell Dolops, forehead to the ground.
 At once both flew to strip his radiant arms,
 Then, Hector summoning his kindred, call'd
 Each to his aid, and Melanippus first,                         660
 Illustrious Hicetaon's son, reproved.
 Ere yet the enemies of Troy arrived
 He in Percote fed his wandering beeves;
 But when the Danaï with all their fleet
 Came thither, then returning, he outshone                      665
 The noblest Trojans, and at Priam's side
 Dwelling, was honor'd by him as a son.
 Him Hector reprimanding, stern began.
   Are we thus slack? Can Melanippus view
 Unmoved a kinsman slain? Seest not the Greeks                  670
 How busy there with Dolops and his arms?
 Come on. It is no time for distant war,
 But either our Achaian foes must bleed,
 Or Ilium taken, from her topmost height
 Must stoop, and all her citizens be slain.                     675
   So saying he went, whose steps the godlike Chief
 Attended; and the Telamonian, next,
 Huge Ajax, animated thus the Greeks.
   Oh friends, be men! Deep treasure in your hearts
 An honest shame, and, fighting bravely, fear                   680
 Each to incur the censure of the rest.
 Of men so minded more survive than die,
 While dastards forfeit life and glory both.
   So moved he them, themselves already bent
 To chase the Trojans; yet his word they bore                   685
 Faithful in mind, and with a wall of brass
 Fenced firm the fleet, while Jove impell'd the foe.
 Then Menelaus, brave in fight, approach'd
 Antilochus, and thus his courage roused.
   Antilochus! in all the host is none                          690
 Younger, or swifter, or of stronger limb
 Than thou. Make trial, therefore, of thy might,
 Spring forth and prove it on some Chief of Troy.
   He ended and retired, but him his praise
 Effectual animated; from the van                               695
 Starting, he cast a wistful eye around
 And hurl'd his glittering spear; back fell the ranks
 Of Troy appall'd; nor vain his weapon flew,
 But Melanippus pierced heroic son
 Of Hicetaon, coming forth to fight,                            700
 Full in the bosom, and with dreadful sound
 Of all his batter'd armor down he fell.
 Swift flew Antilochus as flies the hound
 Some fawn to seize, which issuing from her lair
 The hunter with his lance hath stricken dead,                  705
 So thee, O Melanippus! to despoil
 Of thy bright arms valiant Antilochus
 Sprang forth, but not unnoticed by the eye
 Of noble Hector, who through all the war
 Ran to encounter him; his dread approach                       710
 Antilochus, although expert in arms,
 Stood not, but as some prowler of the wilds,
 Conscious of injury that he hath done,
 Slaying the watchful herdsman or his dog,
 Escapes, ere yet the peasantry arise,                          715
 So fled the son of Nestor, after whom
 The Trojans clamoring and Hector pour'd
 Darts numberless; but at the front arrived
 Of his own phalanx, there he turn'd and stood.
 Then, eager as voracious lions, rush'd                         720
 The Trojans on the fleet of Greece, the mind
 Of Jove accomplishing who them impell'd
 Continual, calling all their courage forth,
 While, every Grecian heart he tamed, and took
 Their glory from them, strengthening Ilium's host.             725
 For Jove's unalter'd purpose was to give
 Success to Priameian Hector's arms,[14]
 That he might cast into the fleet of Greece
 Devouring flames, and that no part might fail
 Of Thetis' ruthless prayer; that sight alone                   730
 He watch'd to see, one galley in a blaze,
 Ordaining foul repulse, thenceforth, and flight
 To Ilium's host, but glory to the Greeks.
 Such was the cause for which, at first, he moved
 To that assault Hector, himself prepared                       735
 And ardent for the task; nor less he raged
 Than Mars while fighting, or than flames that seize
 Some forest on the mountain-tops; the foam
 Hung at his lips, beneath his awful front
 His keen eyes glisten'd, and his helmet mark'd                 740
 The agitation wild with which he fought.
 For Jove omnipotent, himself, from heaven
 Assisted Hector, and, although alone
 With multitudes he strove, gave him to reach
 The heights of glory, for that now his life                    745
 Waned fast, and, urged by Pallas on,[15] his hour
 To die by Peleus' mighty son approach'd.
 He then, wherever richest arms he saw
 And thickest throng, the warrior-ranks essay'd
 To break, but broke them not, though fierce resolved,          750
 In even square compact so firm they stood.
 As some vast rock beside the hoary Deep
 The stress endures of many a hollow wind,
 And the huge billows tumbling at his base,
 So stood the Danaï, nor fled nor fear'd.                       755
 But he, all-fiery bright in arms, the host
 Assail'd on every side, and on the van
 Fell, as a wave by wintry blasts upheaved
 Falls ponderous on the ship; white clings the foam
 Around her, in her sail shrill howls the storm,                760
 And every seaman trembles at the view
 Of thousand deaths from which he scarce escapes,
 Such anguish rent the bosom of the Greeks.
 But he, as leaps a famish'd lion fell
 On beeves that graze some marshy meadow's breadth,             765
 A countless herd, tended by one unskill'd
 To cope with savage beasts in their defence,
 Beside the foremost kine or with the last
 He paces heedless, but the lion, borne
 Impetuous on the midmost, one devours                          770
 And scatters all the rest,[16] so fled the Greeks,
 Terrified from above, before the arm
 Of Hector, and before the frown of Jove.
 All fled, but of them all alone he slew
 The Mycenæan Periphetes, son                                   775
 Of Copreus custom'd messenger of King
 Eurystheus to the might of Hercules.
 From such a sire inglorious had arisen
 A son far worthier, with all virtue graced,
 Swift-footed, valiant, and by none excell'd                    780
 In wisdom of the Mycenæan name;
 Yet all but served to ennoble Hector more.
 For Periphetes, with a backward step
 Retiring, on his buckler's border trod,
 Which swept his heels; so check'd, he fell supine,             785
 And dreadful rang the helmet on his brows.
 Him Hector quick noticing, to his side
 Hasted, and, planting in his breast a spear,
 Slew him before the phalanx of his friends.
 But they, although their fellow-warrior's fate                 790
 They mourn'd, no succor interposed, or could,
 Themselves by noble Hector sore appall'd.
   And now behind the ships (all that updrawn
 Above the shore, stood foremost of the fleet)
 The Greeks retired; in rush'd a flood of foes;                 795
 Then, through necessity, the ships in front
 Abandoning, amid the tents they stood
 Compact, not disarray'd, for shame and fear
 Fast held them, and vociferating each
 Aloud, call'd ceaseless on the rest to stand.                  800
 But earnest more than all, guardian of all,
 Gerenian Nestor in their parents' name
 Implored them, falling at the knees of each.
   Oh friends! be men. Now dearly prize your place
 Each in the estimation of the rest.                            805
 Now call to memory your children, wives,
 Possessions, parents; ye whose parents live,
 And ye whose parents are not, all alike!
 By them as if here present, I entreat
 That ye stand fast--oh be not turn'd to flight!                810
   So saying he roused the courage of the Greeks;
 Then, Pallas chased the cloud fall'n from above
 On every eye; great light the plain illumed
 On all sides, both toward the fleet, and where
 The undiscriminating battle raged.                             815
 Then might be seen Hector and Hector's host
 Distinct, as well the rearmost who the fight
 Shared not, as those who waged it at the ships.
   To stand aloof where other Grecians stood
 No longer now would satisfy the mind                           820
 Of Ajax, but from deck to deck with strides
 Enormous marching, to and fro he swung
 With iron studs emboss'd a battle-pole
 Unwieldy, twenty and two cubits long.
 As one expert to spring from horse to horse,                   825
 From many steeds selecting four, toward
 Some noble city drives them from the plain
 Along the populous road; him many a youth
 And many a maiden eyes, while still secure
 From steed to steed he vaults; they rapid fly;                 830
 So Ajax o'er the decks of numerous ships
 Stalk'd striding large, and sent his voice to heaven.
 Thus, ever clamoring, he bade the Greeks
 Stand both for camp and fleet. Nor could himself
 Hector, contented, now, the battle wage                        835
 Lost in the multitude of Trojans more,
 But as the tawny eagle on full wing
 Assails the feather'd nations, geese or cranes
 Or swans lithe-neck'd grazing the river's verge,
 So Hector at a galley sable-prow'd                             840
 Darted; for, from behind, Jove urged him on
 With mighty hand, and his host after him.
 And now again the battle at the ships
 Grew furious; thou hadst deem'd them of a kind
 By toil untameable, so fierce they strove,                     845
 And, striving, thus they fought. The Grecians judged
 Hope vain, and the whole host's destruction sure;
 But nought expected every Trojan less
 Than to consume the fleet with fire, and leave
 Achaia's heroes lifeless on the field.                         850
 With such persuasions occupied, they fought.
   Then Hector seized the stern of a brave bark
 Well-built, sharp-keel'd, and of the swiftest sail,
 Which had to Troy Protesiläus brought,
 But bore him never thence. For that same ship                  855
 Contending, Greeks and Trojans hand to hand
 Dealt slaughter mutual. Javelins now no more
 Might serve them, or the arrow-starting bow,
 But close conflicting and of one mind all
 With bill and battle-axe, with ponderous swords,               860
 And with long lances double-edged they fought.
 Many a black-hilted falchion huge of haft
 Fell to the ground, some from the grasp, and some
 From shoulders of embattled warriors hewn,
 And pools of blood soak'd all the sable glebe.                 865
 Hector that ship once grappled by the stern
 Left not, but griping fast her upper edge
 With both hands, to his Trojans call'd aloud.
   Fire! Bring me fire! Stand fast and shout to heaven!
 Jove gives us now a day worth all the past;                    870
 The ships are ours which, in the Gods' despite
 Steer'd hither, such calamities to us
 Have caused, for which our seniors most I blame
 Who me withheld from battle at the fleet
 And check'd the people; but if then the hand                   875
 Of Thunderer Jove our better judgment marr'd,
 Himself now urges and commands us on.
   He ceased; they still more violent assail'd
 The Grecians. Even Ajax could endure,
 Whelm'd under weapons numberless, that storm                   880
 No longer, but expecting death retired
 Down from the decks to an inferior stand,
 Where still he watch'd, and if a Trojan bore
 Fire thither, he repulsed him with his spear,
 Roaring continual to the host of Greece.                       885
   Friends! Grecian heroes! ministers of Mars!
 Be men, my friends! now summon all your might!
 Think we that we have thousands at our backs
 To succor us, or yet some stronger wall
 To guard our warriors from the battle's force?                 890
 Not so. No tower'd city is at hand,
 None that presents us with a safe retreat
 While others occupy our station here,
 But from the shores of Argos far remote
 Our camp is, where the Trojans arm'd complete                  895
 Swarm on the plain, and Ocean shuts us in.
 Our hands must therefore save us, not our heels
   He said, and furious with his spear again
 Press'd them, and whatsoever Trojan came,
 Obsequious to the will of Hector, arm'd                        900
 With fire to burn the fleet, on his spear's point
 Ajax receiving pierced him, till at length
 Twelve in close fight fell by his single arm.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XVI.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTEENTH BOOK.


Achilles, at the suit of Patroclus, grants him his own armor, and permission to lead the Myrmidons to battle. They, sallying, repulse the Trojans. Patroclus slays Sarpedon, and Hector, when Apollo had first stripped off his armor and Euphorbus wounded him, slays Patroclus.



                             BOOK XVI.


 Such contest for that gallant bark they waged.
 Meantime Patroclus, standing at the side
 Of the illustrious Chief Achilles, wept
 Fast as a crystal fountain from the height
 Of some rude rock pours down its rapid[1] stream.                5
 Divine Achilles with compassion moved
 Mark'd him, and in wing'd accents thus began.[2]
   Who weeps Patroclus like an infant girl
 Who, running at her mother's side, entreats
 To be uplifted in her arms? She grasps                          10
 Her mantle, checks her haste, and looking up
 With tearful eyes, pleads earnest to be borne;
 So fall, Patroclus! thy unceasing tears.
 Bring'st thou to me or to my people aught
 Afflictive? Hast thou mournful tidings learn'd                  15
 Prom Phthia, trusted to thy ear alone?
 Menoetius, son of Actor, as they say,
 Still lives; still lives his Myrmidons among
 Peleus Æacides; whom, were they dead,
 With cause sufficient we should both deplore.                   20
 Or weep'st thou the Achaians at the ships
 Perishing, for their outrage done to me?
 Speak. Name thy trouble. I would learn the cause
   To whom, deep-sorrowing, thou didst reply,
 Patroclus! Oh Achilles, Peleus' son!                            25
 Noblest of all our host! bear with my grief,
 Since such distress hath on the Grecians fallen.
 The bravest of their ships disabled lie,
 Some wounded from afar, some hand to hand.
 Diomede, warlike son of Tydeus, bleeds,                         30
 Gall'd by a shaft; Ulysses, glorious Chief,
 And Agamemnon suffer by the spear,
 And brave Eurypylus an arrow-point
 Bears in his thigh. These all, are now the care
 Of healing hands. Oh thou art pity-proof,                       35
 Achilles! be my bosom ever free
 From anger such as harbor finds in thine,
 Scorning all limits! whom, of men unborn,
 Hereafter wilt thou save, from whom avert
 Disgrace, if not from the Achaians now?                         40
 Ah ruthless! neither Peleus thee begat,
 Nor Thetis bore, but rugged rocks sublime,
 And roaring billows blue gave birth to thee,
 Who bear'st a mind that knows not to relent,
 But, if some prophecy alarm thy fears,                          45
 If from thy Goddess-mother thou have aught
 Received, and with authority of Jove,
 Me send at least, me quickly, and with me
 The Myrmidons. A dawn of cheerful hope
 Shall thence, it may be, on the Greeks arise.                   50
 Grant me thine armor also, that the foe
 Thyself supposing present, may abstain
 From battle, and the weary Greeks enjoy
 Short respite; it is all that war allows.
 We, fresh and vigorous, by our shouts alone                     55
 May easily repulse an army spent
 With labor from the camp, and from the fleet,
   Such suit he made, alas! all unforewarn'd
 That his own death should be the bitter fruit,
 And thus Achilles, sorrowful, replied.                          60
   Patroclus, noble friend! what hast thou spoken?
 Me neither prophesy that I have heard
 Holds in suspense, nor aught that I have learn'd
 From Thetis with authority of Jove!
 Hence springs, and hence alone, my grief of heart;              65
 If one, in nought superior to myself
 Save in his office only, should by force
 Amerce me of my well-earn'd recompense--
 How then? There lies the grief that stings my soul.
 The virgin chosen for me by the sons                            70
 Of Greece, my just reward, by my own spear
 Obtain'd when I Eëtion's city took,
 Her, Agamemnon, leader of the host
 From my possession wrung, as I had been
 Some alien wretch, unhonor'd and unknown.                       75
 But let it pass; anger is not a flame
 To feed for ever; I affirm'd, indeed,
 Mine inextinguishable till the shout
 Of battle should invade my proper barks;
 But thou put on my glorious arms, lead forth                    80
 My valiant Myrmidons, since such a cloud,
 So dark, of dire hostility surrounds
 The fleet, and the Achaians, by the waves
 Hemm'd in, are prison'd now in narrow space.
 Because the Trojans meet not in the field                       85
 My dazzling helmet, therefore bolder grown
 All Ilium comes abroad; but had I found
 Kindness at royal Agamemnon's hands,
 Soon had they fled, and with their bodies chok'd
 The streams, from whom ourselves now suffer siege               90
 For in the hands of Diomede his spear
 No longer rages rescuing from death
 The afflicted Danaï, nor hear I more
 The voice of Agamemnon issuing harsh
 From his detested throat, but all around                        95
 The burst[3] of homicidal Hector's cries,
 Calling his Trojans on; they loud insult
 The vanquish'd Greeks, and claim the field their own.
 Go therefore, my Patroclus; furious fall
 On these assailants, even now preserve                         100
 From fire the only hope of our return.
 But hear the sum of all; mark well my word;
 So shalt thou glorify me in the eyes
 Of all the Danaï, and they shall yield
 Brisëis mine, with many a gift beside.                         105
 The Trojans from the fleet expell'd, return.
 Should Juno's awful spouse give thee to win
 Victory, be content; seek not to press
 The Trojans without me, for thou shalt add
 Still more to the disgrace already mine.[4]                    110
 Much less, by martial ardor urged, conduct
 Thy slaughtering legions to the walls of Troy,
 Lest some immortal power on her behalf
 Descend, for much the Archer of the skies
 Loves Ilium. No--the fleet once saved, lead back               115
 Thy band, and leave the battle to themselves.
 For oh, by all the powers of heaven I would
 That not one Trojan might escape of all,
 Nor yet a Grecian, but that we, from death
 Ourselves escaping, might survive to spread                    120
 Troy's sacred bulwarks on the ground, alone.
   Thus they conferr'd. [5]But Ajax overwhelm'd
 Meantime with darts, no longer could endure,
 Quell'd both by Jupiter and by the spears
 Of many a noble Trojan; hideous rang                           125
 His batter'd helmet bright, stroke after stroke
 Sustaining on all sides, and his left arm
 That had so long shifted from side to side
 His restless shield, now fail'd; yet could not all
 Displace him with united force, or move.                       130
 Quick pantings heaved his chest, copious the sweat
 Trickled from all his limbs, nor found he time,
 However short, to breathe again, so close
 Evil on evil heap'd hemm'd him around.
   Olympian Muses! now declare, how first                       135
 The fire was kindled in Achaia's fleet?
   Hector the ashen lance of Ajax smote
 With his broad falchion, at the nether end,
 And lopp'd it sheer. The Telamonian Chief
 His mutilated beam brandish'd in vain,                         140
 And the bright point shrill-sounding-fell remote.
 Then Ajax in his noble mind perceived,
 Shuddering with awe, the interposing power
 Of heaven, and that, propitious to the arms
 Of Troy, the Thunderer had ordain'd to mar                     145
 And frustrate all the counsels of the Greeks.
 He left his stand; they fired the gallant bark;
 Through all her length the conflagration ran
 Incontinent, and wrapp'd her stern in flames.
 Achilles saw them, smote his thighs, and said,                 150
   Patroclus, noble charioteer, arise!
 I see the rapid run of hostile fires
 Already in the fleet--lest all be lost,
 And our return impossible, arm, arm
 This moment; I will call, myself, the band.                    155
   Then put Patroclus on his radiant arms.
 Around his legs his polish'd greaves he clasp'd,
 With argent studs secured; the hauberk rich
 Star-spangled to his breast he bound of swift
 Æacides; he slung his brazen sword                             160
 With silver bright emboss'd, and his broad shield
 Ponderous; on his noble head his casque
 He settled elegant, whose lofty crest
 Waved dreadful o'er his brows, and last he seized
 Well fitted to his gripe two sturdy spears.                    165
 Of all Achilles' arms his spear alone
 He took not; that huge beam, of bulk and length
 Enormous, none, Æacides except,
 In all Achaia's host had power to wield.
 It was that Pelian ash which from the top                      170
 Of Pelion hewn that it might prove the death
 Of heroes, Chiron had to Peleus given.
 He bade Automedon his coursers bind
 Speedily to the yoke, for him he loved
 Next to Achilles most, as worthiest found                      175
 Of trust, what time the battle loudest roar'd.
 Then led Automedon the fiery steeds
 Swift as wing'd tempests to the chariot-yoke,
 Xanthus and Balius. Them the harpy bore
 Podarge, while in meadows green she fed                        180
 On Ocean's side, to Zephyrus the wind.
 To these he added, at their side, a third,
 The noble Pedasus; him Peleus' son,
 Eëtion's city taken, thence had brought,
 Though mortal, yet a match for steeds divine.                  185
 Meantime from every tent Achilles call'd
 And arm'd his Myrmidons. As wolves that gorge
 The prey yet panting, terrible in force,
 When on the mountains wild they have devour'd
 An antler'd stag new-slain, with bloody jaws                   190
 Troop all at once to some clear fountain, there
 To lap with slender tongues the brimming wave;
 No fears have they, but at their ease eject
 From full maws flatulent the clotted gore;
 Such seem'd the Myrmidon heroic Chiefs                         195
 Assembling fast around the valiant friend
 Of swift Æacides. Amid them stood
 Warlike Achilles, the well-shielded ranks
 Exhorting, and the steeds, to glorious war.
   The galleys by Achilles dear to Jove                         200
 Commanded, when to Ilium's coast he steer'd,
 Were fifty; fifty rowers sat in each,
 And five, in whom he trusted, o'er the rest
 He captains named, but ruled, himself, supreme.
 One band Menestheus swift in battle led,                       205
 Offspring of Sperchius heaven-descended stream.
 Him Polydora, Peleus' daughter, bore
 To ever-flowing Sperchius, compress'd,
 Although a mortal woman, by a God.
 But his reputed father was the son                             210
 Of Perieres, Borus, who with dower
 Enrich'd, and made her openly his bride.
 Warlike Eudorus led the second band.
 Him Polymela, graceful in the dance,
 And daughter beautiful of Phylas, bore,                        215
 A mother unsuspected of a child.
 Her worshiping the golden-shafted Queen
 Diana, in full choir, with song and dance,
 The valiant Argicide[6] beheld and loved.
 Ascending with her to an upper room,                           220
 All-bounteous Mercury[7] clandestine there
 Embraced her, who a noble son produced
 Eudorus, swift to run, and bold in fight.
 No sooner Ilithya, arbitress
 Of pangs puerperal, had given him birth,                       225
 And he beheld the beaming sun, than her
 Echechleus, Actor's mighty son, enrich'd
 With countless dower, and led her to his home;
 While ancient Phylas, cherishing her boy
 With fond affection, reared him as his own.                    230
 The third brave troop warlike Pisander led,
 Offspring of Maimalus; he far excell'd
 In spear-fight every Myrmidon, the friend
 Of Peleus' dauntless son alone except.
 The hoary Phoenix of equestrian fame                           235
 The fourth band led to battle, and the fifth
 Laërceus' offspring, bold Alcimedon.
 Thus, all his bands beneath their proper Chiefs
 Marshall'd, Achilles gave them strict command--
   Myrmidons! all that vengeance now inflict,                   240
 Which in this fleet ye ceased not to denounce
 Against the Trojans while my wrath endured.
 Me censuring, ye have proclaim'd me oft
 Obdurate. Oh Achilles! ye have said,
 Thee not with milk thy mother but with bile                    245
 Suckled, who hold'st thy people here in camp
 Thus long imprison'd. Unrelenting Chief!
 Even let us hence in our sea-skimming barks
 To Phthia, since thou can'st not be appeased--
 Thus in full council have ye spoken oft.                       250
 Now, therefore, since a day of glorious toil
 At last appears, such as ye have desired,
 There lies the field--go--give your courage proof.
   So them he roused, and they, their leader's voice
 Hearing elate, to closest order drew.                          255
 As when an architect some palace wall
 With shapely stones upbuilds, cementing close
 A barrier against all the winds of heaven,
 So wedged, the helmets and boss'd bucklers stood;
 Shield, helmet, man, press'd helmet, man, and shield,          260
 And every bright-arm'd warrior's bushy crest
 Its fellow swept, so dense was their array.
 In front of all, two Chiefs their station took,
 Patroclus and Automedon; one mind
 In both prevail'd, to combat in the van                        265
 Of all the Myrmidons. Achilles, then,
 Retiring to his tent, displaced the lid
 Of a capacious chest magnificent
 By silver-footed Thetis stow'd on board
 His bark, and fill'd with tunics, mantles warm,                270
 And gorgeous arras; there he also kept
 Secure a goblet exquisitely wrought,
 Which never lip touched save his own, and whence
 He offer'd only to the Sire of all.
 That cup producing from the chest, he first                    275
 With sulphur fumed it, then with water rinsed
 Pellucid of the running stream, and, last
 (His hands clean laved) he charged it high with wine.
 And now, advancing to his middle court,
 He pour'd libation, and with eyes to heaven                    280
 Uplifted pray'd,[8] of Jove not unobserved.
   Pelasgian, Dodonæan Jove supreme,
 Dwelling remote, who on Dodona's heights
 Snow-clad reign'st Sovereign, by thy seers around
 Compass'd the Selli, prophets vow-constrain'd                  285
 To unwash'd feet and slumbers on the ground!
 Plain I behold my former prayer perform'd,
 Myself exalted, and the Greeks abased.
 Now also grant me, Jove, this my desire!
 Here, in my fleet, I shall myself abide,                       290
 But lo! with all these Myrmidons I send
 My friend to battle. Thunder-rolling Jove,
 Send glory with him, make his courage firm!
 That even Hector may himself be taught,
 If my companion have a valiant heart                           295
 When he goes forth alone, or only then
 The noble frenzy feels that Mars inspires
 When I rush also to the glorious field.
 But when he shall have driven the battle-shout
 Once from the fleet, grant him with all his arms,              300
 None lost, himself unhurt, and my whole band
 Of dauntless warriors with him, safe return!
   Such prayer Achilles offer'd, and his suit
 Jove hearing, part confirm'd, and part refused;
 To chase the dreadful battle from the fleet                    305
 He gave him, but vouchsafed him no return.
 Prayer and libation thus perform'd to Jove
 The Sire of all, Achilles to his tent
 Return'd, replaced the goblet in his chest,
 And anxious still that conflict to behold                      310
 Between the hosts, stood forth before his tent.
   Then rush'd the bands by brave Patroclus led,
 Full on the Trojan host. As wasps forsake
 Their home by the way-side, provoked by boys
 Disturbing inconsiderate their abode,                          315
 Not without nuisance sore to all who pass,
 For if, thenceforth, some traveller unaware
 Annoy them, issuing one and all they swarm
 Around him, fearless in their broods' defence,
 So issued from their fleet the Myrmidons                       320
 Undaunted; clamor infinite arose,
 And thus Patroclus loud his host address'd.
   Oh Myrmidons, attendants in the field
 On Peleus' son, now be ye men, my friends!
 Call now to mind the fury of your might;                       325
 That we, close-fighting servants of the Chief
 Most excellent in all the camp of Greece,
 May glory gain for him, and that the wide-
 Commanding Agamemnon, Atreus' son,
 May learn his fault, that he dishonor'd foul                   330
 The prince in whom Achaia glories most.
   So saying he fired their hearts, and on the van
 Of Troy at once they fell; loud shouted all
 The joyful Grecians, and the navy rang.
 Then, soon as Ilium's host the valiant son                     335
 Saw of Menoetius and his charioteer
 In dazzling armor clad, all courage lost,
 Their closest ranks gave way, believing sure
 That, wrath renounced, and terms of friendship chosen,
 Achilles' self was there; thus thinking, each                  340
 Look'd every way for refuge from his fate.
   Patroclus first, where thickest throng he saw
 Gather'd tumultuous around the bark
 Of brave Protesilaüs, hurl'd direct
 At the whole multitude his glittering spear.                   345
 He smote Pyræchmes; he his horsemen band
 Poeonian led from Amydon, and from
 Broad-flowing Axius. In his shoulder stood
 The spear, and with loud groans supine he fell.
 At once fled all his followers, on all sides                   350
 With consternation fill'd, seeing their Chief
 And their best warrior, by Patroclus slain.
 Forth from the fleet he drove them, quench'd the flames,
 And rescued half the ship. Then scatter'd fled
 With infinite uproar the host of Troy,                         355
 While from between their ships the Danaï
 Pour'd after them, and hideous rout ensued.
 As when the king of lightnings, Jove, dispels
 From some huge eminence a gloomy cloud,
 The groves, the mountain-tops, the headland heights            360
 Shine all, illumined from the boundless heaven,
 So when the Danaï those hostile fires
 Had from their fleet expell'd, awhile they breathed,
 Yet found short respite, for the battle yet
 Ceased not, nor fled the Trojans in all parts                  365
 Alike, but still resisted, from the ships
 Retiring through necessity alone.
 Then, in that scatter'd warfare, every Chief
 Slew one. While Areïlochus his back
 Turn'd on Patroclus, sudden with a lance                       370
 His thigh he pierced, and urged the weapon through,
 Shivering the bone; he headlong smote the ground.
 The hero Menelaus, where he saw
 The breast of Thoas by his slanting shield
 Unguarded, struck and stretch'd him at his feet.               375
 Phylides,[9] meeting with preventive spear
 The furious onset of Amphiclus, gash'd
 His leg below the knee, where brawny most
 The muscles swell in man; disparted wide
 The tendons shrank, and darkness veil'd his eyes.              380
 The two Nestoridæ slew each a Chief.
 Of these, Antilochus Atymnius pierced
 Right through his flank, and at his feet he fell.
 With fierce resentment fired Maris beheld
 His brother's fall, and guarding, spear in hand,               385
 The slain, impetuous on the conqueror flew;
 But godlike Thrasymedes[10] wounded first
 Maris, ere he Antilochus; he pierced
 His upper arm, and with the lance's point
 Rent off and stript the muscles to the bone.                   390
 Sounding he fell, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
 They thus, two brothers by two brothers slain,
 Went down to Erebus, associates both
 Of brave Sarpedon, and spear-practised sons
 Of Amisodarus; of him who fed                                  395
 Chimæra,[11] monster, by whom many died.
 Ajax the swift on Cleobulus sprang,
 Whom while he toil'd entangled in the crowd,
 He seized alive, but smote him where he stood
 With his huge-hafted sword full on the neck;                   400
 The blood warm'd all his blade, and ruthless fate
 Benighted dark the dying warrior's eyes.
 Peneleus into close contention rush'd
 And Lycon. Each had hurl'd his glittering spear,
 But each in vain, and now with swords they met.                405
 He smote Peneleus on the crested casque,
 But snapp'd his falchion; him Peneleus smote
 Beneath his ear; the whole blade entering sank
 Into his neck, and Lycon with his head
 Depending by the skin alone, expired.                          410
 Meriones o'ertaking Acamas
 Ere yet he could ascend his chariot, thrust
 A lance into his shoulder; down he fell
 In dreary death's eternal darkness whelm'd.
 Idomeneus his ruthless spear enforced                          415
 Into the mouth of Erymas. The point
 Stay'd not, but gliding close beneath the brain,
 Transpierced his spine,[12] and started forth beyond.
 It wrench'd his teeth, and fill'd his eyes with blood;
 Blood also blowing through his open mouth                      420
 And nostrils, to the realms of death he pass'd.
 Thus slew these Grecian leaders, each, a foe.
   Sudden as hungry wolves the kids purloin
 Or lambs, which haply some unheeding swain
 Hath left to roam at large the mountains wild;                 425
 They, seeing, snatch them from beside the dams,
 And rend incontinent the feeble prey,
 So swift the Danaï the host assail'd
 Of Ilium; they, into tumultuous flight
 Together driven, all hope, all courage lost.                   430
   Huge Ajax ceaseless sought his spear to cast
 At Hector brazen-mail'd, who, not untaught
 The warrior's art, with bull-hide buckler stood
 Sheltering his ample shoulders, while he mark'd
 The hiss of flying shafts and crash of spears.                 435
 Full sure he saw the shifting course of war
 Now turn'd, but scorning flight, bent all his thoughts
 To rescue yet the remnant of his friends.
   As when the Thunderer spreads a sable storm
 O'er ether, late serene, the cloud that wrapp'd                440
 Olympus' head escapes into the skies,
 So fled the Trojans from the fleet of Greece
 Clamoring in their flight, nor pass'd the trench
 In fair array; the coursers fleet indeed
 Of Hector, him bore safe with all his arms                     445
 Right through, but in the foss entangled foul
 He left his host, and struggling to escape.
 Then many a chariot-whirling steed, the pole
 Broken at its extremity, forsook
 His driver, while Patroclus with the shout                     450
 Of battle calling his Achaians on,
 Destruction purposed to the powers of Troy.
 They, once dispersed, with clamor and with flight
 Fill'd all the ways, the dust beneath the clouds
 Hung like a tempest, and the steeds firm-hoof'd                455
 Whirl'd off at stretch the chariots to the town.
 He, wheresoe'er most troubled he perceived
 The routed host, loud-threatening thither drove,
 While under his own axle many a Chief
 Fell prone, and the o'ertumbled chariots rang.                 460
 Right o'er the hollow foss the coursers leap'd
 Immortal, by the Gods to Peleus given,
 Impatient for the plain, nor less desire
 Felt he who drove to smite the Trojan Chief,
 But him his fiery steeds caught swift away.                    465
   As when a tempest from autumnal skies
 Floats all the fields, what time Jove heaviest pours
 Impetuous rain, token of wrath divine
 Against perverters of the laws by force,
 Who drive forth justice, reckless of the Gods;                 470
 The rivers and the torrents, where they dwell,
 Sweep many a green declivity away,
 And plunge at length, groaning, into the Deep
 From the hills headlong, leaving where they pass'd
 No traces of the pleasant works of man,                        475
 So, in their flight, loud groan'd the steeds of Troy.
 And now, their foremost intercepted all,
 Patroclus back again toward the fleet
 Drove them precipitate, nor the ascent
 Permitted them to Troy for which they strove,                  480
 But in the midway space between the ships
 The river and the lofty Trojan wall
 Pursued them ardent, slaughtering whom he reached,
 And vengeance took for many a Grecian slain.
 First then, with glittering spear the breast he pierced        485
 Of Pronöus, undefended by his shield,
 And stretch'd him dead; loud rang his batter'd arms.
 The son of Enops, Thestor next he smote.
 He on his chariot-seat magnificent
 Low-cowering sat, a fear-distracted form,                      490
 And from his palsied grasp the reins had fallen.
 Then came Patroclus nigh, and through his cheek
 His teeth transpiercing, drew him by his lance
 Sheer o'er the chariot front. As when a man
 On some projecting rock seated, with line                      495
 And splendid hook draws forth a sea-fish huge,
 So him wide-gaping from his seat he drew
 At his spear-point, then shook him to the ground
 Prone on his face, where gasping he expired.
 At Eryalus, next, advancing swift                              500
 He hurl'd a rock; full on the middle front
 He smote him, and within the ponderous casque
 His whole head open'd into equal halves.
 With deadliest night surrounded, prone he fell.
 Epaltes, Erymas, Amphoterus,                                   505
 Echius, Tlepolemus Damastor's son,
 Evippus, Ipheus, Pyres, Polymelus,
 All these he on the champain, corse on corse
 Promiscuous flung. Sarpedon, when he saw
 Such havoc made of his uncinctured[13] friends                 510
 By Menoetiades, with sharp rebuke
 His band of godlike Lycians loud address'd.
   Shame on you, Lycians! whither would ye fly?
 Now are ye swift indeed! I will oppose
 Myself this conqueror, that I may learn                        515
 Who thus afflicts the Trojan host, of life
 Bereaving numerous of their warriors bold.
   He said, and with his arms leap'd to the ground.
 On the other side, Patroclus at that sight
 Sprang from his chariot. As two vultures clash                 520
 Bow-beak'd, crook-talon'd, on some lofty rock
 Clamoring both, so they together rush'd
 With clamors loud; whom when the son observed
 Of wily Saturn, with compassion moved
 His sister and his spouse he thus bespake.                     525
   Alas, he falls! my most beloved of men
 Sarpedon, vanquished by Patroclus, falls!
 So will the Fates. Yet, doubtful, much I muse
 Whether to place him, snatch'd from furious fight
 In Lycia's wealthy realm, or to permit                         530
 His death by valiant Menoetiades.
   To whom his awful spouse, displeased, replied.
 How speaks the terrible Saturnian Jove!
 Wouldst thou again from pangs of death exempt
 A mortal man, destined long since to die?                      535
 Do it. But small thy praise shall be in heaven,
 Mark thou my words, and in thy inmost breast
 Treasure them. If thou send Sarpedon safe
 To his own home, how many Gods _their_ sons
 May also send from battle? Weigh it well.                      540
 For under yon great city fight no few
 Sprung from Immortals whom thou shalt provoke.
 But if thou love him, and thine heart his lot
 Commiserate, leave him by the hands to fall
 Of Menoetiades in conflict dire;                               545
 But give command to Death and gentle Sleep
 That him of life bereft at once they bear
 To Lycia's ample realm,[14] where, with due rites
 Funereal, his next kindred and his friends
 Shall honor him, a pillar and a tomb                           550
 (The dead man's portion) rearing to his name.
   She said, from whom the Sire of Gods and men
 Dissented not, but on the earth distill'd
 A sanguine shower in honor of a son
 Dear to him, whom Patroclus on the field                       555
 Of fruitful Troy should slay, far from his home.
   Opposite now, small interval between,
 Those heroes stood. Patroclus at his waist
 Pierced Thrasymelus the illustrious friend
 Of King Sarpedon, and his charioteer.                          560
 Spear'd through the lower bowels, dead he fell.
 Then hurl'd Sarpedon in his turn a lance,
 But miss'd Patroclus and the shoulder pierced
 Of Pedasus the horse; he groaning heaved
 His spirit forth, and fallen on the field                      565
 In long loud moanings sorrowful expired.
 Wide started the immortal pair; the yoke
 Creak'd, and entanglement of reins ensued
 To both, their fellow slaughter'd at their side.
 That mischief soon Automedon redress'd.                        570
 He rose, and from beside his sturdy thigh
 Drawing his falchion, with effectual stroke
 Cut loose the side-horse; then the pair reduced
 To order, in their traces stood composed,
 And the two heroes fierce engaged again.                       575
   Again his radiant spear Sarpedon hurl'd,
 But miss'd Patroclus; the innocuous point,
 O'erflying his left shoulder, pass'd beyond.
 Then with bright lance Patroclus in his turn
 Assail'd Sarpedon, nor with erring course                      580
 The weapon sped or vain, but pierced profound
 His chest, enclosure of the guarded heart.
 As falls an oak, poplar, or lofty pine
 With new-edged axes on the mountains hewn
 Right through, for structure of some gallant bark,             585
 So fell Sarpedon stretch'd his steeds before
 And gnash'd his teeth and clutch'd the bloody dust,
 And as a lion slays a tawny bull
 Leader magnanimous of all the herd;
 Beneath the lion's jaws groaning he dies;                      590
 So, leader of the shielded Lycians groan'd
 Indignant, by Patroclus slain, the bold
 Sarpedon, and his friend thus, sad, bespake.
   Glaucus, my friend, among these warring Chiefs
 Thyself a Chief illustrious! thou hast need                    595
 Of all thy valor now; now strenuous fight,
 And, if thou bear within thee a brave mind,
 Now make the war's calamities thy joy.
 First, marching through the host of Lycia, rouse
 Our Chiefs to combat for Sarpedon slain,                       600
 Then haste, thyself, to battle for thy friend.
 For shame and foul dishonor which no time
 Shall e'er obliterate, I must prove to thee,
 Should the Achaians of my glorious arms
 Despoil me in full prospect[15] of the fleet.                  605
 Fight, therefore, thou, and others urge to fight.
   He said, and cover'd by the night of death,
 Nor look'd nor breath'd again; for on his chest
 Implanting firm his heel, Patroclus drew
 The spear enfolded with his vitals forth,                      610
 Weapon and life at once. Meantime his steeds
 Snorted, by Myrmidons detain'd, and, loosed
 From their own master's chariot, foam'd to fly.
 Terrible was the grief by Glaucus felt,
 Hearing that charge, and troubled was his heart                615
 That all power fail'd him to protect the dead.
 Compressing his own arm he stood, with pain
 Extreme tormented which the shaft had caused
 Of Teucer, who while Glaucus climb'd the wall,
 Had pierced him from it, in the fleet's defence.               620
 Then, thus, to Phoebus, King shaft-arm'd, he pray'd.
   Hear now, O King! For whether in the land
 Of wealthy Lycia dwelling, or in Troy,
 Thou hear'st in every place alike the prayer
 Of the afflicted heart, and such is mine;                      625
 Behold my wound; it fills my useless hand
 With anguish, neither can my blood be stay'd,
 And all my shoulder suffers. I can grasp
 A spear, or rush to conflict with the Greeks
 No longer now; and we have also lost                           630
 Our noblest Chief, Sarpedon, son of Jove,
 Who guards not his own son. But thou, O King!
 Heal me, assuage my anguish, give me strength,
 That I may animate the Lycian host
 To fight, and may, myself, defend the dead!                    635
   Such prayer he offer'd, whom Apollo heard;
 He eased at once his pain, the sable blood
 Staunch'd, and his soul with vigor new inspired.
 Then Glaucus in his heart that prayer perceived
 Granted, and joyful for the sudden aid                         640
 Vouchsafed to him by Phoebus, first the lines
 Of Lycia ranged, summoning every Chief
 To fight for slain Sarpedon; striding next
 With eager haste into the ranks of Troy,
 Renown'd Agenor and the son he call'd                          645
 Of Panthus, brave Polydamas, with whom
 Æneas also, and approaching last
 To Hector brazen-mail'd him thus bespake.
   Now, Hector! now, thou hast indeed resign'd
 All care of thy allies, who, for thy sake,                     650
 Lost both to friends and country, on these plains
 Perish, unaided and unmiss'd by thee.
 Sarpedon breathless lies, who led to fight
 Our shielded bands, and from whose just control
 And courage Lycia drew her chief defence.                      655
 Him brazen Mars hath by the spear subdued
 Of Menoetiades. But stand ye firm!
 Let indignation fire you, O my friends!
 Lest, stripping him of his resplendent arms,
 The Myrmidons with foul dishonor shame                         660
 His body, through resentment of the deaths
 Of numerous Grecians slain by spears of ours.
   He ceased; then sorrow every Trojan heart
 Seized insupportable and that disdain'd
 All bounds, for that, although a stranger born,                665
 Sarpedon ever had a bulwark proved
 To Troy, the leader of a numerous host,
 And of that host by none in fight excell'd.
 Right on toward the Danaï they moved
 Ardent for battle all, and at their head                       670
 Enraged for slain Sarpedon, Hector came.
 Meantime, stout-hearted[16] Chief, Patroclus roused
 The Grecians, and exhorting first (themselves
 Already prompt) the Ajaces, thus began.
   Heroic pair! now make it all your joy                        675
 To chase the Trojan host, and such to prove
 As erst, or even bolder, if ye may.
 The Chief lies breathless who ascended first
 Our wall, Sarpedon. Let us bear him hence,
 Strip and dishonor him, and in the blood                       680
 Of his protectors drench the ruthless spear.
   So Menoetiades his warriors urged,
 Themselves courageous. Then the Lycian host
 And Trojan here, and there the Myrmidons
 With all the host of Greece, closing the ranks                 685
 Rush'd into furious contest for the dead,
 Shouting tremendous; clang'd their brazen arms,
 And Jove with Night's pernicious shades[17] o'erhung
 The bloody field, so to enhance the more
 Their toilsome strife for his own son. First then              690
 The Trojans from their place and order shock'd
 The bright-eyed Grecians, slaying not the least
 Nor worst among the Myrmidons, the brave
 Epigeus from renown'd Agacles sprung.
 He, erst, in populous Budeum ruled,                            695
 But for a valiant kinsman of his own
 Whom there he slew, had thence to Peleus fled
 And to his silver-footed spouse divine,
 Who with Achilles, phalanx-breaker Chief,
 Sent him to fight beneath the walls of Troy.                   700
 Him seizing fast the body, with a stone
 Illustrious Hector smote full on the front,
 And his whole skull within the ponderous casque
 Split sheer; he prostrate on the body fell
 In shades of soul-divorcing death involved.                    705
 Patroclus, grieving for his slaughter'd friend,
 Rush'd through the foremost warriors. As the hawk
 Swift-wing'd before him starlings drives or daws,
 So thou, Patroclus, of equestrian fame!
 Full on the Lycian ranks and Trojan drov'st,                   710
 Resentful of thy fellow-warrior's fall.
 At Sthenelaüs a huge stone he cast,
 Son of Ithæmenes, whom on the neck
 He smote and burst the tendons; then the van
 Of Ilium's host, with Hector, all retired.                     715
 Far as the slender javelin cuts the air
 Hurl'd with collected force, or in the games,
 Or even in battle at a desperate foe,
 So far the Greeks repulsed the host of Troy.
 Then Glaucus first, Chief of the shielded bands                720
 Of Lycia, slew Bathycles, valiant son
 Of Calchon; Hellas was his home, and far
 He pass'd in riches all the Myrmidons.
 Him chasing Glaucus whom he now attain'd,
 The Lycian, turning sudden, with his lance                     725
 Pierced through the breast, and, sounding, down he fell
 Grief fill'd Achaia's sons for such a Chief
 So slain, but joy the Trojans; thick they throng'd
 The conqueror around, nor yet the Greeks
 Forgat their force, but resolute advanced.                     730
 Then, by Meriones a Trojan died
 Of noble rank, Laogonus, the son
 Undaunted of Onetor great in Troy,
 Priest of Idæan Jove. The ear and jaw
 Between, he pierced him with a mortal force;                   735
 Swift flew the life, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
 Æneas, in return, his brazen spear
 Hurl'd at Meriones with ardent hope
 To pierce him, while, with nimble[18] steps and short
 Behind his buckler made, he paced the field;                   740
 But, warn'd of its approach, Meriones
 Bow'd low his head, shunning it, and the spear
 Behind him pierced the soil; there quivering stood
 The weapon, vain, though from a vigorous arm,
 Till spent by slow degrees its fury slept.                     745
        *        *        *        *        *
        *        *        *        *        *[19]
 Indignant then Æneas thus exclaim'd.
   Meriones! I sent thee such a spear
 As reaching thee, should have for ever marr'd                  750
 Thy step, accomplish'd dancer as thou art.
   To whom Meriones spear-famed replied.
 Æneas! thou wilt find the labor hard
 How great soe'er thy might, to quell the force
 Of all opposers. Thou art also doom'd                          755
 Thyself to die; and may but spear of mine
 Well-aim'd once strike thee full, what strength soe'er
 Or magnanimity be thine to boast,
 Thy glory in that moment thou resign'st
 To me, thy soul to Pluto steed-renown'd.                       760
   He said, but him Patroclus sharp reproved.
 Why speaks Meriones, although in fight
 Approved, thus proudly? Nay, my gallant friend!
 The Trojans will not for reproach of ours
 Renounce the body. Blood must first be spilt.                  765
 Tongues in debate, but hands in war decide;
 Deeds therefore now, not wordy vaunts, we need.
   So saying he led the way, whom follow'd close
 Godlike Meriones. As from the depth
 Of some lone wood that clothes the mountain's side             770
 The fellers at their toil are heard remote,
 So, from the face of Ilium's ample plain
 Reverberated, was the din of brass
 And of tough targets heard by falchions huge
 Hard-smitten, and by spears of double-edge.                    775
 None then, no, not the quickest to discern,
 Had known divine Sarpedon, from his head
 To his foot-sole with mingled blood and dust
 Polluted, and o'erwhelm'd with weapons. They
 Around the body swarm'd. As hovel-flies                        780
 In spring-time buzz around the brimming pails
 With milk bedew'd, so they around the dead.
 Nor Jove averted once his glorious eyes
 From that dread contest, but with watchful note
 Marked all, the future death in battle deep                    785
 Pondering of Patroclus, whether him
 Hector should even now slay on divine
 Sarpedon, and despoil him of his arms,
 Or he should still that arduous strife prolong.
 This counsel gain'd as eligible most                           790
 At length his preference: that the valiant friend
 Of Peleus' son should yet again compel
 The Trojan host with Hector brazen-mail'd
 To Ilium, slaughtering numerous by the way.
 First then, with fears unmanly he possess'd                    795
 The heart of Hector; mounting to his seat
 He turn'd to flight himself, and bade his host
 Fly also; for he knew Jove's purpose[20] changed.
 Thenceforth, no longer even Lycia's host
 Endured, but all fled scatter'd, seeing pierced                800
 Their sovereign through his heart, and heap'd with dead;
 For numerous, while Saturnian Jove the fight
 Held in suspense, had on his body fallen.
 At once the Grecians of his dazzling arms
 Despoil'd Sarpedon, which the Myrmidons                        805
 By order of Menoetius' valiant son
 Bore thence into the fleet. Meantime his will
 The Thunderer to Apollo thus express'd.
   Phoebus, my son, delay not; from beneath
 Yon hill of weapons drawn cleanse from his blood               810
 Sarpedon's corse; then, bearing him remote,
 Lave him in waters of the running stream,
 With oils divine anoint, and in attire
 Immortal clothe him. Last, to Death and Sleep,
 Swift bearers both, twin-born, deliver him;                    815
 For hence to Lycia's opulent abodes
 They shall transport him quickly, where, with rites
 Funereal, his next kindred and his friends
 Shall honor him, a pillar and a tomb
 (The dead man's portion) rearing to his name.                  820
   He ceased; nor was Apollo slow to hear
 His father's will, but, from the Idæan heights
 Descending swift into the dreadful field,
 Godlike Sarpedon's body from beneath
 The hill of weapons drew, which, borne remote,                 825
 He laved in waters of the running stream,
 With oils ambrosial bathed, and clothed in robes
 Immortal. Then to Death and gentle Sleep,
 Swift-bearers both, twin-born, he gave the charge,
 Who placed it soon in Lycia's wealthy realm.                   830
   Meantime Patroclus, calling to his steeds,
 And to Automedon, the Trojans chased
 And Lycians, on his own destruction bent
 Infatuate; heedless of his charge received
 From Peleus' son, which, well perform'd, had saved             835
 The hero from his miserable doom.
 But Jove's high purpose evermore prevails
 Against the thoughts of man; he turns to flight
 The bravest, and the victory takes with ease
 E'en from the Chief whom he impels himself                     840
 To battle, as he now this Chief impell'd.
 Who, then, Patroclus! first, who last by thee
 Fell slain, what time thyself was call'd to die?
 Adrastus first, then Perimus he slew,
 Offspring of Megas, then Autonoüs,                             845
 Echechlus, Melanippus, and Epistor,
 Pylartes, Mulius, Elasus. All these
 He slew, and from the field chased all beside.
 Then, doubtless, had Achaia's sons prevail'd
 To take proud-gated Troy, such havoc made                      850
 He with his spear, but that the son of Jove
 Apollo, on a tower's conspicuous height
 Station'd, devoted him for Ilium's sake.
 Thrice on a buttress of the lofty wall
 Patroclus mounted, and him thrice the God                      855
 With hands immortal his resplendent shield
 Smiting, struck down again; but when he rush'd
 A fourth time, demon-like, to the assault,
 The King of radiant shafts him, stern, rebuked.
   Patroclus, warrior of renown, retire!                        860
 The fates ordain not that imperial Troy
 Stoop to thy spear, nor to the spear itself
 Of Peleus' son, though mightier far than thou.
   He said, and Menoetiades the wrath
 Of shaft-arm'd Phoebus shunning, far retired.                  865
 But in the Scæan gate Hector his steeds
 Detain'd, uncertain whether thence to drive
 Amid the warring multitude again,
 Or, loud commandment issuing, to collect
 His host within the walls. Him musing long                     870
 Apollo, clad in semblance of a Chief
 Youthful and valiant, join'd. Asius he seem'd
 Equestrian Hector's uncle, brother born
 Of Hecuba the queen, and Dymas' son,
 Who on the Sangar's banks in Phrygia dwelt.                    875
 Apollo, so disguised, him thus bespake.
   Why, Hector, hast thou left the fight? this sloth
 Not well befits thee. Oh that I as far
 Thee pass'd in force as thou transcendest me,
 Then, not unpunish'd long, should'st thou retire;              880
 But haste, and with thy coursers solid-hoof'd
 Seek out Patroclus, him perchance to slay,
 Should Phoebus have decreed that glory thine.
   So saying, Apollo join'd the host again.
 Then noble Hector bade his charioteer                          885
 Valiant Cebriones his coursers lash
 Back into battle, while the God himself
 Entering the multitude confounded sore
 The Argives, victory conferring proud
 And glory on Hector and the host of Troy.                      890
 But Hector, leaving all beside unslain,
 Furious impell'd his coursers solid-hoof'd
 Against Patroclus; on the other side
 Patroclus from his chariot to the ground
 Leap'd ardent; in his left a spear he bore,                    895
 And in his right a marble fragment rough,
 Large as his grasp. With full collected might
 He hurl'd it; neither was the weapon slow
 To whom he had mark'd, or sent in vain.
 He smote the charioteer of Hector, bold                        900
 Cebriones, King Priam's spurious son,
 Full on the forehead, while he sway'd the reins.
 The bone that force withstood not, but the rock
 With ragged points beset dash'd both his brows
 In pieces, and his eyes fell at his feet.                      905
 He diver-like, from his exalted stand
 Behind the steeds pitch'd headlong, and expired;
 O'er whom, Patroclus of equestrian fame!
 Thou didst exult with taunting speech severe.
   Ye Gods, with what agility he dives!                         910
 Ah! it were well if in the fishy deep
 This man were occupied; he might no few
 With oysters satisfy, although the waves
 Were churlish, plunging headlong from his bark
 As easily as from his chariot here.                            915
 So then--in Troy, it seems, are divers too!
   So saying, on bold Cebriones he sprang
 With all a lion's force, who, while the folds
 He ravages, is wounded in the breast,
 And, victim of his own fierce courage, dies.                   920
 So didst thou spring, Patroclus! to despoil
 Cebriones, and Hector opposite
 Leap'd also to the ground. Then contest such
 For dead Cebriones those two between
 Arose, as in the lofty mountain-tops                           925
 Two lions wage, contending for a deer
 New-slain, both hunger-pinch'd and haughty both.
 So for Cebriones, alike in arms
 Expert, brave Hector and Patroclus strove
 To pierce each other with the ruthless spear.                  930
 First, Hector seized his head, nor loosed his hold,
 Patroclus, next, his feet, while all beside
 Of either host in furious battle join'd.
   As when the East wind and the South contend
 To shake some deep wood on the mountain's side,                935
 Or beech, or ash, or rugged cornel old.
 With stormy violence the mingled boughs
 Smite and snap short each other, crashing loud;
 So, Trojans and Achaians, mingling, slew
 Mutual, while neither felt a wish to fly.                      940
 Around Cebriones stood many a spear,
 And many a shaft sent smartly from the nerve
 Implanted deep, and many a stone of grasp
 Enormous sounded on their batter'd shields
 Who fought to gain him. He, in eddies lost                     945
 Of sable dust, with his huge trunk huge space
 O'erspread, nor steeds nor chariots heeded more.
   While yet the sun ascending climb'd the heavens,
 Their darts flew equal, and the people fell;
 But when he westward journey'd, by a change                    950
 Surpassing hope the Grecians then prevail'd.
 They drew Cebriones the hero forth
 From all those weapons, and his armor stripp'd
 At leisure, distant from the battle's roar.
 Then sprang Patroclus on the Trojan host;                      955
 Thrice, like another Mars, he sprang with shouts
 Tremendous, and nine warriors thrice he slew.
 But when the fourth time, demon-like, he rush'd
 Against them, then, oh then, too manifest
 The consummation of thy days approach'd                        960
 Patroclus! whom Apollo, terror-clad
 Met then in battle. He the coming God
 Through all that multitude knew not, such gloom
 Impenetrable him involved around.
 Behind him close he stood, and with his palms                  965
 Expanded on the spine and shoulders broad
 Smote him; his eyes swam dizzy at the stroke.
 Then Phoebus from his head his helmet dash'd
 To earth; sonorous at the feet it roll'd
 Of many a prancing steed, and all the crest                    970
 Defilement gather'd gross of dust and blood,
 Then first; till then, impossible; for how
 Should dust the tresses of that helmet shame
 With which Achilles fighting fenced his head
 Illustrious, and his graceful brows divine?                    975
 But Jove now made it Hector's; he awhile
 Bore it, himself to swift perdition doom'd
 His spear brass-mounted, ponderous, huge and long,
 Fell shiver'd from his grasp. His shield that swept
 His ancle, with its belt dropp'd from his arm,                 980
 And Phoebus loosed the corselet from his breast.
 Confusion seized his brain; his noble limbs
 Quaked under him, and panic-stunn'd he stood.
 Then came a Dardan Chief, who from behind
 Enforced a pointed lance into his back                         985
 Between the shoulders; Panthus' son was he,
 Euphorbus, famous for equestrian skill,
 For spearmanship, and in the rapid race
 Past all of equal age. He twenty men
 (Although a learner yet of martial feats,                      990
 And by his steeds then first to battle borne)
 Dismounted. He, Patroclus, mighty Chief!
 First threw a lance at thee, which yet life
 Quell'd not; then snatching hasty from the wound
 His ashen beam, he ran into the crowd,                         995
 Nor dared confront in fight even the unarm'd
 Patroclus. But Patroclus, by the lance,
 And by the stroke of an immortal hand
 Subdued, fell back toward his ranks again.
 Then, soon as Hector the retreat perceived                    1000
 Of brave Patroclus wounded, issuing forth
 From his own phalanx, he approach'd and drove
 A spear right through his body at the waist.
 Sounding he fell. Loud groan'd Achaia's host.
 As when the lion and the sturdy boar                          1005
 Contend in battle on the mountain-tops
 For some scant rivulet, thirst-parch'd alike,
 Ere long the lion quells the panting boar;
 So Priameian Hector, spear in hand,
 Slew Menoetiades the valiant slayer                           1010
 Of multitudes, and thus in accents wing'd,
 With fierce delight exulted in his fall.
   It was thy thought, Patroclus, to have laid
 Our city waste, and to have wafted hence
 Our wives and daughters to thy native land,                   1015
 Their day of liberty for ever set.
 Fool! for their sakes the feet of Hector's steeds
 Fly into battle, and myself excel,
 For their sakes, all our bravest of the spear,
 That I may turn from them that evil hour                      1020
 Necessitous. But thou art vulture's food,
 Unhappy youth! all valiant as he is,
 Achilles hath no succor given to thee,
 Who when he sent the forth whither himself
 Would not, thus doubtless gave thee oft in charge:            1025
 Ah, well beware, Patroclus, glorious Chief!
 That thou revisit not these ships again,
 Till first on hero-slaughterer Hector's breast
 Thou cleave his bloody corselet. So he spake,
 And with vain words thee credulous beguiled.                  1030
   To whom Patroclus, mighty Chief, with breath
 Drawn faintly, and dying, thou didst thus reply.
 Now, Hector, boast! now glory! for the son
 Of Saturn and Apollo, me with ease
 Vanquishing, whom they had themselves disarm'd,               1035
 Have made the victory thine; else, twenty such
 As thou, had fallen by my victorious spear.
 Me Phoebus and my ruthless fate combined
 To slay; these foremost; but of mortal men
 Euphorbus, and thy praise is only third.                      1040
 I tell thee also, and within thy heart
 Repose it deep--thou shalt not long survive;
 But, even now, fate, and a violent death
 Attend thee by Achilles' hands ordain'd
 To perish, by Æacides the brave.[21]                          1045
   So saying, the shades of death him wrapp'd around.
 Down into Ades from his limbs dismiss'd,
 His spirit fled sorrowful, of youth's prime
 And vigorous manhood suddenly bereft
 Then, him though dead, Hector again bespake.                  1050
   Patroclus! these prophetic strains of death
 At hand, and fate, why hast thou sung to me?
 May not the son of Thetis azure-hair'd,
 Achilles, perish first by spear of mine?
   He said; then pressing with his heel the trunk              1055
 Supine, and backward thursting it, he drew
 His glittering weapon from the wound, nor stay'd,
 But lance in hand, the godlike charioteer
 Pursued of swift Æacides, on fire
 To smite Automedon; but him the steeds                        1060
 Immortal, rapid, by the Gods conferr'd
 (A glorious gift) on Peleus, snatch'd away.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XVII.



                 ARGUMENT OF THE SEVENTEENTH BOOK.


Sharp contest ensues around the body of Patroclus. Hector puts on the armor of Achilles. Menelaus, having dispatched Antilochus to Achilles with news of the death of Patroclus, returns to the battle, and, together with Meriones, bears Patroclus off the field, while the Ajaces cover their retreat.



                             BOOK XVII.


 Nor Menelaus, Atreus' valiant son,
 Knew not how Menoetiades had fallen
 By Trojan hands in battle; forth he rush'd
 All bright in burnish'd armor through his van,
 And as some heifer with maternal fears                           5
 Now first acquainted, compasses around
 Her young one murmuring, with tender moan,
 So moved the hero of the amber locks
 Around Patroclus, before whom his spear
 Advancing and broad shield, he death denounced                  10
 On all opposers; neither stood the son
 Spear-famed of Panthus inattentive long
 To slain Patroclus, but approach'd the dead,
 And warlike Menelaus thus bespake.
   Prince! Menelaus! Atreus' mighty son!                         15
 Yield. Leave the body and these gory spoils;
 For of the Trojans or allies of Troy
 None sooner made Patroclus bleed than I.
 Seek not to rob me, therefore, of my praise
 Among the Trojans, lest my spear assail                         20
 Thee also, and thou perish premature.[1]
   To whom, indignant, Atreus' son replied.
 Self-praise, the Gods do know, is little worth.
 But neither lion may in pride compare
 Nor panther, nor the savage boar whose heart's                  25
 High temper flashes in his eyes, with these
 The spear accomplish'd youths of Panthus' house.
 Yet Hyperenor of equestrian fame
 Lived not his lusty manhood to enjoy,
 Who scoffingly defied my force in arms,                         30
 And call'd me most contemptible in fight
 Of all the Danaï. But him, I ween,
 His feet bore never hence to cheer at home
 His wife and parents with his glad return.
 So also shall thy courage fierce be tamed,                      35
 If thou oppose me. I command thee, go--
 Mix with the multitude; withstand not me,
 Lest evil overtake thee! To be taught
 By sufferings only, is the part of fools.
   He said, but him sway'd not, who thus replied.                40
 Now, even now, Atrides! thou shalt rue
 My brother's blood which thou hast shed, and mak'st
 His death thy boast. Thou hast his blooming bride
 Widow'd, and thou hast fill'd his parents' hearts
 With anguish of unutterable wo;                                 45
 But bearing hence thy armor and thy head
 To Troy, and casting them at Panthus' feet,
 And at the feet of Phrontis, his espoused,
 I shall console the miserable pair.
 Nor will I leave that service unessay'd                         50
 Longer, nor will I fail through want of force,
 Of courage, or of terrible address.
   He ceased, and smote his shield, nor pierced the disk,
 But bent his point against the stubborn brass.
 Then Menelaus, prayer preferring first                          55
 To Jove,[2] assail'd Euphorbus in his turn,
 Whom pacing backward in the throat he struck,
 And both hands and his full force the spear
 Impelled, urged it through his neck behind.
 Sounding he fell; loud rang his batter'd arms.                  60
 His locks, which even the Graces might have own'd,
 Blood-sullied, and his ringlets wound about
 With twine of gold and silver, swept the dust.
 As the luxuriant olive by a swain
 Rear'd in some solitude where rills abound,                     65
 Puts forth her buds, and fann'd by genial airs
 On all sides, hangs her boughs with whitest flowers,
 But by a sudden whirlwind from its trench
 Uptorn, it lies extended on the field;
 Such, Panthus' warlike son Euphorbus seem'd,                    70
 By Menelaus, son of Atreus, slain
 Suddenly, and of all his arms despoil'd.
 But as the lion on the mountains bred,
 Glorious in strength, when he hath seized the best
 And fairest of the herd, with savage fangs                      75
 First breaks her neck, then laps the bloody paunch
 Torn wide; meantime, around him, but remote,
 Dogs stand and swains clamoring, yet by fear
 Repress'd, annoy him not nor dare approach;
 So there all wanted courage to oppose                           80
 The force of Menelaus, glorious Chief.
 Then, easily had Menelaus borne
 The armor of the son of Panthus thence,
 But that Apollo the illustrious prize
 Denied him, who in semblance of the Chief                       85
 Of the Ciconians, Mentes, prompted forth
 Against him Hector terrible as Mars,
 Whose spirit thus in accents wing'd he roused.
   Hector! the chase is vain; here thou pursuest
 The horses of Æacides the brave,                                90
 Which thou shalt never win, for they are steeds
 Of fiery nature, such as ill endure
 To draw or carry mortal man, himself
 Except, whom an immortal mother bore.
 Meantime, bold Menelaus, in defence                             95
 Of dead Patroclus, hath a Trojan slain
 Of highest note, Euphorbus, Panthus' son,
 And hath his might in arms for ever quell'd.
   So spake the God and to the fight return'd.
 But grief intolerable at that word                             100
 Seized Hector; darting through the ranks his eye,
 He knew at once who stripp'd Euphorbus' arms,
 And him knew also lying on the field,
 And from his wide wound bleeding copious still.
 Then dazzling bright in arms, through all the van              105
 He flew, shrill-shouting, fierce as Vulcan's fire
 Unquenchable; nor were his shouts unheard
 By Atreus' son, who with his noble mind
 Conferring sad, thus to himself began.
   Alas! if I forsake these gorgeous spoils,                    110
 And leave Patroclus for my glory slain,
 I fear lest the Achaians at that sight
 Incensed, reproach me; and if, urged by shame,
 I fight with Hector and his host, alone,
 Lest, hemm'd around by multitudes, I fall;                     115
 For Hector, by his whole embattled force
 Attended, comes. But whither tend my thoughts?
 No man may combat with another fenced
 By power divine and whom the Gods exalt,
 But he must draw down wo on his own head.                      120
 Me, therefore, none of all Achaia's host
 Will blame indignant, seeing my retreat
 From Hector, whom themselves the Gods assist.
 But might the battle-shout of Ajax once
 Reach me, with force united we would strive,                   125
 Even in opposition to a God,
 To rescue for Achilles' sake, his friend.
 Task arduous! but less arduous than this.
   While he thus meditated, swift advanced
 The Trojan ranks, with Hector at their head.                   130
 He then, retiring slow, and turning oft,
 Forsook the body. As by dogs and swains
 With clamors loud and spears driven from the stalls
 A bearded lion goes, his noble heart
 Abhors retreat, and slow he quits the prey;                    135
 So Menelaus with slow steps forsook
 Patroclus, and arrived in front, at length,
 Of his own phalanx, stood, with sharpen'd eyes
 Seeking vast Ajax, son of Telamon.
 Him leftward, soon, of all the field he mark'd                 140
 Encouraging aloud his band, whose hearts
 With terrors irresistible himself
 Phoebus had fill'd. He ran, and at his side
 Standing, incontinent him thus bespake.
   My gallant Ajax, haste--come quickly--strive                 145
 With me to rescue for Achilles' sake
 His friend, though bare, for Hector hath his arms.
   He said, and by his words the noble mind
 Of Ajax roused; issuing through the van
 He went, and Menelaus at his side.                             150
 Hector the body of Patroclus dragg'd,
 Stript of his arms, with falchion keen erelong
 Purposing to strike off his head, and cast
 His trunk, drawn distant, to the dogs of Troy.
 But Ajax, with broad shield tower-like, approach'd.            155
 Then Hector, to his bands retreating, sprang
 Into his chariot, and to others gave
 The splendid arms in charge, who into Troy
 Should bear the destined trophy of his praise,
 But Ajax with his broad shield guarding stood                  160
 Slain Menoetiades, as for his whelps
 The lion stands; him through some forest drear
 Leading his little ones, the hunters meet;
 Fire glimmers in his looks, and down he draws
 His whole brow into frowns, covering his eyes;                 165
 So, guarding slain Patroclus, Ajax lour'd.
 On the other side, with tender grief oppress'd
 Unspeakable, brave Menelaus stood.
 But Glaucus, leader of the Lycian band,
 Son of Hippolochus, in bitter terms                            170
 Indignant, reprimanded Hector thus,
   Ah, Hector, Chieftain of excelling form,
 But all unfurnish'd with a warrior's heart!
 Unwarranted I deem thy great renown
 Who art to flight addicted. Think, henceforth,                 175
 How ye shall save city and citadel
 Thou and thy people born in Troy, alone.
 No Lycian shall, at least, in your defence
 Fight with the Grecians, for our ceaseless toil
 In arms, hath ever been a thankless task.                      180
 Inglorious Chief! how wilt thou save a worse
 From warring crowds, who hast Sarpedon left
 Thy guest, thy friend, to be a spoil, a prey
 To yonder Argives? While he lived he much
 Thee and thy city profited, whom dead                          185
 Thou fear'st to rescue even from the dogs.
 Now, therefore, may but my advice prevail,
 Back to your country, Lycians! so, at once,
 Shall remediless ruin fall on Troy.
 For had the Trojans now a daring heart                         190
 Intrepid, such as in the breast resides
 Of laborers in their country's dear behalf,
 We soon should drag Patroclus into Troy;
 And were his body, from the battle drawn,
 In Priam's royal city once secured,                            195
 As soon, the Argives would in ransom give
 Sarpedon's body with his splendid arms
 To be conducted safe into the town.
 For when Patroclus fell, the friend was slain
 Of such a Chief as is not in the fleet                         200
 For valor, and his bands are dauntless all.
 But thou, at the first glimpse of Ajax' eye
 Confounded, hast not dared in arms to face
 That warrior bold, superior far to thee.
   To whom brave Hector, frowning stern, replied,               205
 Why, Glaucus! should a Chief like thee his tongue
 Presume to employ thus haughtily? My friend!
 I thee accounted wisest, once, of all
 Who dwell in fruitful Lycia, but thy speech
 Now utter'd altogether merits blame,                           210
 In which thou tell'st me that I fear to stand
 Against vast Ajax. Know that I from fight
 Shrink not, nor yet from sound of prancing steeds;
 But Jove's high purpose evermore prevails
 Against the thoughts of man; he turns to flight                215
 The bravest, and the victory takes with ease
 Even from those whom once he favor'd most.
 But hither, friend! stand with me; mark my deed;
 Prove me, if I be found, as thou hast said,
 An idler all the day, or if by force                           220
 I not compel some Grecian to renounce
 Patroclus, even the boldest of them all.
   He ceased, and to his host exclaim'd aloud.
 Trojans, and Lycians, and close-fighting sons
 Of Dardanus, oh be ye men, my friends!                         225
 Now summon all your fortitude, while I
 Put on the armor of Achilles, won
 From the renown'd Patroclus slain by me.
   So saying, illustrious Hector from the clash
 Of spears withdrew, and with his swiftest pace                 230
 Departing, overtook, not far remote,
 The bearers of Achilles' arms to Troy.
 Apart from all the horrors of the field
 Standing, he changed his armor; gave his own
 To be by them to sacred Ilium borne,                           235
 And the immortal arms of Peleus' son
 Achilles, by the ever-living Gods
 To Peleüs given, put on. Those arms the Sire,
 Now old himself, had on his son conferr'd
 But in those arms his son grew never old.                      240
   Him, therefore, soon as cloud-assembler Jove
 Saw glittering in divine Achilles' arms,
 Contemplative he shook his brows, and said,
   Ah hapless Chief! thy death, although at hand,
 Nought troubles thee. Thou wear'st his heavenly                245
 Who all excels, terror of Ilium's host.
 His friend, though bold yet gentle, thou hast slain
 And hast the brows and bosom of the dead
 Unseemly bared: yet, bright success awhile
 I give thee; so compensating thy lot,                          250
 From whom Andromache shall ne'er receive
 Those glorious arms, for thou shalt ne'er return.
   So spake the Thunderer, and his sable brows
 Shaking, confirm'd the word. But Hector found
 The armor apt; the God of war his soul                         255
 With fury fill'd, he felt his limbs afresh
 Invigorated, and with loudest shouts
 Return'd to his illustrious allies.
 To them he seem'd, clad in those radiant arms,
 Himself Achilles; rank by rank he pass'd                       260
 Through all the host, exhorting every Chief,
 Asteropæus, Mesthles, Phorcys, Medon,
 Thersilochus, Deisenor, augur Ennomus,
 Chromius, Hippothoüs; all these he roused
 To battle, and in accents wing'd began.                        265
   Hear me, ye myriads, neighbors and allies!
 For not through fond desire to fill the plain
 With multitudes, have I convened you here
 Each from his city, but that well-inclined
 To Ilium, ye might help to guard our wives                     270
 And little ones against the host of Greece.
 Therefore it is that forage large and gifts
 Providing for you, I exhaust the stores
 Of Troy, and drain our people for your sake.
 Turn then direct against them, and his life                    275
 Save each, or lose; it is the course of war.
 Him who shall drag, though dead, Patroclus home
 Into the host of Troy, and shall repulse
 Ajax, I will reward with half the spoils
 And half shall be my own; glory and praise                     280
 Shall also be his meed, equal to mine.
   He ended; they compact with lifted spears
 Bore on the Danaï, conceiving each
 Warm expectation in his heart to wrest
 From Ajax son of Telamon, the dead.                            285
 Vain hope! he many a lifeless Trojan heap'd
 On slain Patroclus, but at length his speech
 To warlike Menelaus thus address'd.
   Ah, Menelaus, valiant friend! I hope
 No longer, now, that even we shall 'scape                      290
 Ourselves from fight; nor fear I so the loss
 Of dead Patroclus, who shall soon the dogs
 Of Ilium, and the fowls sate with his flesh,
 As for my life I tremble and for thine,
 That cloud of battle, Hector, such a gloom                     295
 Sheds all around; death manifest impends.
 Haste--call our best, if even they can hear.
   He spake, nor Menelaus not complied,
 But call'd aloud on all the Chiefs of Greece.
   Friends, senators, and leaders of the powers                 300
 Of Argos! who with Agamemnon drink
 And Menelaus at the public feast,
 Each bearing rule o'er many, by the will
 Of Jove advanced to honor and renown!
 The task were difficult to single out                          305
 Chief after Chief by name amid the blaze
 Of such contention; but oh, come yourselves
 Indignant forth, nor let the dogs of Troy
 Patroclus rend, and gambol with his bones!
   He ceased, whom Oïliades the swift                           310
 Hearing incontinent, of all the Chiefs
 Ran foremost, after whom Idomeneus
 Approach'd, and dread as homicidal Mars
 Meriones. But never mind of man
 Could even in silent recollection name                         315
 The whole vast multitude who, following these
 Renew'd the battle on the part of Greece.
 The Trojans first, with Hector at their head,
 Wedged in close phalanx, rush'd to the assault
   As when within some rapid river's mouth                      320
 The billows and stream clash, on either shore[3]
 Loud sounds the roar[3] of waves ejected wide,
 Such seem'd the clamors of the Trojan host.
 But the Achaians, one in heart, around
 Patroclus stood, bulwark'd with shields of brass               325
 And over all their glittering helmets Jove
 Darkness diffused, for he had loved Patroclus
 While yet he lived friend of Æacides,
 And now, abhorring that the dogs of Troy
 Should eat him, urged the Greeks to his defence,               330
 The host of Troy first shook the Grecian host;
 The body left, they fled; yet of them all,
 The Trojan powers, determined as they were,
 Slew none, but dragg'd the body. Neither stood
 The Greeks long time aloof, soon as repulsed                   335
 Again led on by Ajax, who in form
 And in exploits all others far excell'd.
 Peerless Æacides alone except.
 Right through the foremost combatants he rush'd,
 In force resembling most some savage boar                      340
 That in the mountains bursting through the brakes,
 The swains disperses and their hounds with ease;
 Like him, illustrious Ajax, mighty son
 Of Telamon, at his assault dispersed
 With ease the close imbattled ranks who fought                 345
 Around Patroclus' body, strong in hope
 To achieve it, and to make the glory theirs.
 Hippothoüs, a youth of high renown,
 Son of Pelasgian Lethus, by a noose
 Around his ancle cast dragg'd through the fight                350
 Patroclus, so to gratify the host
 Of Ilium and their Chief; but evil him
 Reached suddenly, by none of all his friends
 (Though numerous wish'd to save him) turn'd aside.
 For swift advancing on him through the crowd                   355
 The son of Telamon pierced, spear in hand,
 His helmet brazen-cheek'd; the crested casque,
 So smitten, open'd wide, for huge the hand
 And ponderous was the spear that gave the blow
 And all around its neck, mingled with blood                    360
 Gush'd forth the brain. There, lifeless, down he sank,
 Let fall the hero's foot, and fell himself
 Prone on the dead, never to see again?
 Deep-soil'd Larissa, never to require
 Their kind solicitudes who gave him birth,                     365
 In bloom of life by dauntless Ajax slain.
 Then Hector hurl'd at Ajax his bright spear,
 But he, forewarn'd of its approach, escaped
 Narrowly, and it pierced Schedius instead,
 Brave son of Iphitus; he, noblest Chief                        370
 Of the Phocensians, over many reign'd,
 Dwelling in Panopeus the far-renown'd.
 Entering beneath the clavicle[4] the point
 Right through his shoulder's summit pass'd behind,
 And on his loud-resounding arms he fell.                       375
 But Ajax at his waist wounded the son
 Of Phoenops, valiant Phorcys, while he stood
 Guarding Hippothöus; through his hollow mail
 Enforced the weapon drank his inmost life,
 And in his palm, supine, he clench'd the dust.                 380
 Then, Hector with the foremost Chiefs of Troy
 Fell back; the Argives sent a shout to heaven,
 And dragging Phorcys and Hippothöus thence
 Stripp'd both. In that bright moment Ilium's host
 Fear-quell'd before Achaia's warlike sons                      385
 Had Troy re-enter'd, and the host of Greece
 By matchless might and fortitude their own
 Had snatch'd a victory from the grasp of fate,
 But that, himself, the King of radiant shafts
 Æneas roused; Epytis' son he seem'd                            390
 Periphas, ancient in the service grown
 Of old Anchises whom he dearly loved;
 His form assumed, Apollo thus began.
   How could ye save, Æneas, were the Gods
 Your enemies, the towers of lofty Troy?                        395
 As I have others seen, warriors who would,
 Men fill'd with might and valor, firm themselves
 And Chiefs of multitudes disdaining fear.
 But Jove to us the victory far more
 Than to the Grecians wills; therefore the fault                400
 Is yours, who tremble and refuse the fight.
   He ended, whom Æneas marking, knew
 At once the glorious Archer of the skies,
 And thus to distant Hector call'd aloud.
   Oh, Hector, and ye other Chiefs of Troy                      405
 And of her brave confederates! Shame it were
 Should we re-enter Ilium, driven to flight
 By dastard fear before the host of Greece.
 A God assured me even now, that Jove,
 Supreme in battle, gives his aid to Troy.                      410
 Rush, therefore, on the Danaï direct,
 Nor let them, safe at least and unannoy'd,
 Bear hence Patroclus' body to the fleet.
   He spake, and starting far into the van
 Stood foremost forth; they, wheeling, faced the Greeks.        415
 Then, spear in hand, Æneas smote the friend
 Of Lycomedes, brave Leocritus,
 Son of Arisbas. Lycomedes saw
 Compassionate his death, and drawing nigh
 First stood, then hurling his resplendent lance,               420
 Right through the liver Apisaon pierced
 Offspring of Hippasus, his chest beneath,
 And, lifeless, instant, on the field he fell.
 He from Pæonia the deep soil'd to Troy
 Came forth, Asteropæus sole except,                            425
 Bravest of all Pæonia's band in arms.
 Asteropæus saw, and to the van
 Sprang forth for furious combat well prepared,
 But room for fight found none, so thick a fence
 Of shields and ported spears fronted secure                    430
 The phalanx guarding Menoetiades.
 For Ajax ranging all the ranks, aloud
 Admonish'd them that no man yielding ground
 Should leave Patroclus, or advance before
 The rest, but all alike fight and stand fast.                  435
 Such order gave huge Ajax; purple gore
 Drench'd all the ground; in slaughter'd heaps they fell
 Trojans and Trojan aids of dauntless hearts
 And Grecians; for not even they the fight
 Waged bloodless, though with far less cost of blood,           440
 Each mindful to avert his fellow's fate.
   Thus burn'd the battle; neither hadst thou deem'd
 The sun himself in heaven unquench'd, or moon,
 Beneath a cope so dense of darkness strove
 Unceasing all the most renown'd in arms                        445
 For Menoetiades. Meantime the war,
 Wherever else, the bright-arm'd Grecians waged
 And Trojans under skies serene. The sun
 On them his radiance darted; not a cloud,
 From mountain or from vale rising, allay'd                     450
 His fervor; there at distance due they fought
 And paused by turns, and shunn'd the cruel dart.
 But in the middle field not war alone
 They suffer'd, but night also; ruthless raged
 The iron storm, and all the mightiest bled.                    455
 Two glorious Chiefs, the while, Antilochus
 And Thrasymedes, had no tidings heard
 Of brave Patroclus slain, but deem'd him still
 Living, and troubling still the host of Troy;
 For watchful[5] only to prevent the flight                     460
 Or slaughter of their fellow-warriors, they
 Maintain'd a distant station, so enjoin'd
 By Nestor when he sent them to the field.
 But fiery conflict arduous employ'd
 The rest all day continual; knees and legs,                    465
 Feet, hands, and eyes of those who fought to guard
 The valiant friend of swift Æacides
 Sweat gather'd foul and dust. As when a man
 A huge ox-hide drunken with slippery lard
 Gives to be stretch'd, his servants all around                 470
 Disposed, just intervals between, the task
 Ply strenuous, and while many straining hard
 Extend it equal on all sides, it sweats
 The moisture out, and drinks the unction in,[6]
 So they, in narrow space struggling, the dead                  475
 Dragg'd every way, warm hope conceiving, these
 To drag him thence to Troy, those, to the ships.
 Wild tumult raged around him; neither Mars,
 Gatherer of hosts to battle, nor herself
 Pallas, however angry, had beheld                              480
 That conflict with disdain, Jove to such length
 Protracted on that day the bloody toil
 Of steeds and men for Menoetiades.
 Nor knew divine Achilles or had aught
 Heard of Patroclus slain, for from the ships                   485
 Remote they fought, beneath the walls of Troy.
 He, therefore, fear'd not for his death, but hope
 Indulged much rather, that, the battle push'd
 To Ilium's gates, he should return alive.
 For that his friend, unaided by himself                        490
 Or ever aided, should prevail to lay
 Troy waste, he nought supposed; by Thetis warn'd
 In secret conference oft, he better knew
 Jove's purpose; yet not even she had borne
 Those dreadful tidings to his ear, the loss                    495
 Immeasurable of his dearest friend.
   They all around the dead fought spear in hand
 With mutual slaughter ceaseless, and amid
 Achaia's host thus spake a Chief mail-arm'd.
   Shame were it, Grecians! should we seek by flight            500
 Our galleys now; yawn earth our feet beneath
 And here ingulf us rather! Better far
 Than to permit the steed-famed host of Troy
 To drag Patroclus hence into the town,
 And make the glory of this conflict theirs.                    505
   Thus also of the dauntless Trojans spake
 A certain warrior. Oh, my friends! although
 The Fates ordain us, one and all, to die
 Around this body, stand! quit not the field.
   So spake the warrior prompting into act                      510
 The courage of his friends, and such they strove
 On both sides; high into the vault of heaven
 The iron din pass'd through the desart air.
 Meantime the horses of Æacides
 From fight withdrawn, soon as they understood                  515
 Their charioteer fallen in the dust beneath
 The arm of homicidal Hector, wept.
 Them oft with hasty lash Diores' son
 Automedon impatient smote, full oft
 He stroked them gently, and as oft he chode;[7]                520
 Yet neither to the fleet ranged on the shore
 Of spacious Hellespont would they return,
 Nor with the Grecians seek the fight, but stood
 As a sepulchral pillar stands, unmoved
 Between their traces;[8] to the earth they hung                525
 Their heads, with plenteous tears their driver mourn'd,
 And mingled their dishevell'd manes with dust.
 Jove saw their grief with pity, and his brows
 Shaking, within himself thus, pensive, said.
   Ah hapless pair! Wherefore by gift divine                    530
 Were ye to Peleus given, a mortal king,
 Yourselves immortal and from age exempt?
 Was it that ye might share in human woes?
 For, of all things that breathe or creep the earth,
 No creature lives so mere a wretch as man.                     535
 Yet shall not Priameian Hector ride
 Triumphant, drawn by you. Myself forbid.
 Suffice it that he boasts vain-gloriously
 Those arms his own. Your spirit and your limbs
 I will invigorate, that ye may bear                            540
 Safe hence Automedon into the fleet.
 For I ordain the Trojans still to spread
 Carnage around victorious, till they reach
 The gallant barks, and till the sun at length
 Descending, sacred darkness cover all.                         545
   He said, and with new might the steeds inspired.
 They, shaking from their hair profuse the dust,
 Between the van of either army whirl'd
 The rapid chariot. Fighting as he pass'd,
 Though fill'd with sorrow for his slaughter'd friend,          550
 Automedon high-mounted swept the field
 Impetuous as a vulture scattering geese;
 Now would he vanish, and now, turn'd again,
 Chase through a multitude his trembling foe;
 But whomsoe'er he follow'd, none he slew,                      555
 Nor was the task possible to a Chief
 Sole in the sacred chariot, both to aim
 The spear aright and guide the fiery steeds.
 At length Alcimedon, his friend in arms,
 Son of Laerceus son of Æmon, him                               560
 Observing, from behind the chariot hail'd
 The flying warrior, whom he thus bespake.
   What power, Automedon! hath ta'en away
 Thy better judgment, and thy breast inspired
 With this vain purpose to assail alone                         565
 The Trojan van? Thy partner in the fight
 Is slain, and Hector on his shoulders bears,
 Elate, the armor of Æacides.
   Then, answer thus Automedon return'd,
 Son of Diores. Who of all our host                             570
 Was ever skill'd, Alcimedon! as thou
 To rule the fire of these immortal steeds,
 Save only while he lived, peer of the Gods
 In that great art, Patroclus, now no more?
 Thou, therefore, the resplendent reins receive                 575
 And scourge, while I, dismounting, wage the fight.
   He ceased; Alcimedon without delay
 The battle-chariot mounting, seized at once
 The lash and reins, and from his seat down leap'd
 Automedon. Them noble Hector mark'd,                           580
 And to Æneas at his side began.
   Illustrious Chief of Trojans brazen-mail'd
 Æneas! I have noticed yonder steeds
 Of swift Achilles rushing into fight
 Conspicuous, but under sway of hands                           585
 Unskilful; whence arises a fair hope
 That we might seize them, wert thou so inclined;
 For never would those two dare to oppose
 In battle an assault dreadful as ours.
   He ended, nor the valiant son refused                        590
 Of old Anchises, but with targets firm
 Of season'd hide brass-plated thrown athwart
 Their shoulders, both advanced direct, with whom
 Of godlike form Aretus also went
 And Chromius. Ardent hope they all conceived                   595
 To slay those Chiefs, and from the field to drive
 Achilles' lofty steeds. Vain hope! for them
 No bloodless strife awaited with the force
 Of brave Automedon; he, prayer to Jove
 First offering, felt his angry soul with might                 600
 Heroic fill'd, and thus his faithful friend
 Alcimedon, incontinent, address'd.
   Alcimedon! hold not the steeds remote
 But breathing on my back; for I expect
 That never Priameïan Hector's rage                             605
 Shall limit know, or pause, till, slaying us,
 He shall himself the coursers ample-maned
 Mount of Achilles, and to flight compel
 The Argive host, or perish in the van.
   So saying, he call'd aloud on Menelaus                       610
 With either Ajax. Oh, illustrious Chiefs
 Of Argos, Menelaus, and ye bold
 Ajaces![9] leaving all your best to cope
 With Ilium's powers and to protect the dead,
 From friends still living ward the bitter day.                 615
 For hither borne, two Chiefs, bravest of all
 The Trojans, Hector and Æneas rush
 Right through the battle. The events of war
 Heaven orders; therefore even I will give
 My spear its flight, and Jove dispose the rest!                620
   He said, and brandishing his massy spear
 Dismiss'd it at Aretus; full he smote
 His ample shield, nor stay'd the pointed brass,
 But penetrating sheer the disk, his belt
 Pierced also, and stood planted in his waist.                  625
 As when some vigorous youth with sharpen'd axe
 A pastured bullock smites behind the horns
 And hews the muscle through; he, at the stroke
 Springs forth and falls, so sprang Aretus forth,
 Then fell supine, and in his bowels stood                      630
 The keen-edged lance still quivering till he died.
 Then Hector, in return, his radiant spear
 Hurl'd at Automedon, who of its flight
 Forewarn'd his body bowing prone, the stroke
 Eluded, and the spear piercing the soil                        635
 Behind him, shook to its superior end,
 Till, spent by slow degrees, its fury slept.
 And now, with hand to hilt, for closer war
 Both stood prepared, when through the multitude
 Advancing at their fellow-warrior's call,                      640
 The Ajaces suddenly their combat fierce
 Prevented. Awed at once by their approach
 Hector retired, with whom Æneas went
 Also and godlike Chromius, leaving there
 Aretus with his vitals torn, whose arms,                       645
 Fierce as the God of war Automedon
 Stripp'd off, and thus exulted o'er the slain.
   My soul some portion of her grief resigns
 Consoled, although by slaughter of a worse,
 For loss of valiant Menoetiades.                               650
   So saying, within his chariot he disposed
 The gory spoils, then mounted it himself
 With hands and feet purpled, as from a bull
 His bloody prey, some lion newly-gorged.
   And now around Patroclus raged again                         655
 Dread strife deplorable! for from the skies
 Descending at the Thunderer's command
 Whose purpose now was to assist the Greeks,
 Pallas enhanced the fury of the fight.
 As when from heaven, in view of mortals, Jove                  660
 Exhibits bright his bow, a sign ordain'd
 Of war, or numbing frost which all the works
 Suspends of man and saddens all the flocks;
 So she, all mantled with a radiant cloud
 Entering Achaia's host, fired every breast.                    665
 But meeting Menelaus first, brave son
 Of Atreus, in the form and with the voice
 Robust of Phoenix, him she thus bespake.
   Shame, Menelaus, shall to thee redound
 For ever, and reproach, should dogs devour                     670
 The faithful friend of Peleus' noble son
 Under Troy's battlements; but stand, thyself,
 Undaunted, and encourage all the host.
   To whom the son of Atreus bold in arms.
 Ah, Phoenix, friend revered, ancient and sage!                 675
 Would Pallas give me might and from the dint
 Shield me of dart and spear, with willing mind
 I would defend Patroclus, for his death
 Hath touch'd me deep. But Hector with the rage
 Burns of consuming fire, nor to his spear                      680
 Gives pause, for him Jove leads to victory.
   He ceased, whom Pallas, Goddess azure-eyed
 Hearing, rejoiced that of the heavenly powers
 He had invoked _her_ foremost to his aid.
 His shoulders with new might, and limbs she fill'd,            685
 And persevering boldness to his breast
 Imparted, such as prompts the fly, which oft
 From flesh of man repulsed, her purpose yet
 To bite holds fast, resolved on human blood.
 His stormy bosom with such courage fill'd                      690
 By Pallas, to Patroclus he approach'd
 And hurl'd, incontinent, his glittering spear.
 There was a Trojan Chief, Podes by name,
 Son of Eëtion, valorous and rich;
 Of all Troy's citizens him Hector most                         695
 Respected, in convivial pleasures sweet
 His chosen companion. As he sprang to flight,
 The hero of the golden locks his belt
 Struck with full force and sent the weapon through.
 Sounding he fell, and from the Trojan ranks                    700
 Atrides dragg'd the body to his own.
 Then drew Apollo near to Hector's side,
 And in the form of Phoenops, Asius' son,
 Of all the foreign guests at Hector's board
 His favorite most, the hero thus address'd.                    705
   What Chief of all the Grecians shall henceforth
 Fear Hector, who from Menelaus shrinks
 Once deem'd effeminate, but dragging now
 The body of thy valiant friend approved
 Whom he hath slain, Podes, Eëtion's son?                       710
   He spake, and at his words grief like a cloud
 Involved the mind of Hector dark around;
 Right through the foremost combatants he rush'd
 All clad in dazzling brass. Then, lifting high
 His tassel'd Ægis radiant, Jove with storms                    715
 Enveloped Ida; flash'd his lightnings, roar'd
 His thunders, and the mountain shook throughout.
 Troy's host he prosper'd, and the Greeks dispersed.
   First fled Peneleus, the Boeotian Chief,
 Whom facing firm the foe Polydamas                             720
 Struck on his shoulder's summit with a lance
 Hurl'd nigh at hand, which slight inscribed the bone.
 [10]Leïtus also, son of the renown'd
 Alectryon, pierced by Hector in the wrist,
 Disabled left the fight; trembling he fled                     725
 And peering narrowly around, nor hoped
 To lift a spear against the Trojans more.
 Hector, pursuing Leïtus, the point
 Encounter'd of the brave Idomeneus
 Full on his chest; but in his mail the lance                   730
 Snapp'd, and the Trojans shouted to the skies.
 He, in his turn, cast at Deucalion's son
 Idomeneus, who in that moment gain'd[11]
 A chariot-seat; but him the erring spear
 Attain'd not, piercing Coeranus instead                        735
 The friend and follower of Meriones
 From wealthy Lyctus, and his charioteer.
 For when he left, that day, the gallant barks
 Idomeneus had sought the field on foot,
 And triumph proud, full sure, to Ilium's host                  740
 Had yielded now, but that with rapid haste
 Coeranus drove to his relief, from him
 The fate averting which himself incurr'd
 Victim of Hector's homicidal arm.
 Him Hector smiting between ear and jaw                         745
 Push'd from their sockets with the lance's point
 His firm-set teeth, and sever'd sheer his tongue.
 Dismounted down he fell, and from his hand
 Let slide the flowing reins, which, to the earth
 Stooping, Meriones in haste resumed,                           750
 And briefly thus Idomeneus address'd.
   Now drive, and cease not, to the fleet of Greece!
 Thyself see'st victory no longer ours.
   He said; Idomeneus whom, now, dismay
 Seized also, with his lash plying severe                       755
 The coursers ample-maned, flew to the fleet.
 Nor Ajax, dauntless hero, not perceived,
 Nor Menelaus, by the sway of Jove
 The victory inclining fast to Troy,
 And thus the Telamonian Chief began.                           760
   Ah! who can be so blind as not to see
 The eternal Father, now, with his own hand
 Awarding glory to the Trojan host,
 Whose every spear flies, instant, to the mark
 Sent forth by brave or base? Jove guides them all,             765
 While, ineffectual, ours fall to the ground.
 But haste, devise we of ourselves the means
 How likeliest we may bear Patroclus hence,
 And gladden, safe returning, all our friends,
 Who, hither looking anxious, hope have none                    770
 That we shall longer check the unconquer'd force
 Of hero-slaughtering Hector, but expect
 [12]To see him soon amid the fleet of Greece.
 Oh for some Grecian now to carry swift
 The tidings to Achilles' ear, untaught,                        775
 As I conjecture, yet the doleful news
 Of his Patroclus slain! but no such Greek
 May I discern, such universal gloom
 Both men and steeds envelops all around.
 Father of heaven and earth! deliver thou                       780
 Achaia's host from darkness; clear the skies;
 Give day; and (since thy sovereign will is such)
 Destruction with it--but oh give us day![13]
   He spake, whose tears Jove saw with pity moved,
 And chased the untimely shades; bright beam'd the sun          785
 And the whole battle was display'd. Then spake
 The hero thus to Atreus' mighty son.
   Now noble Menelaus! looking forth,
 See if Antilochus be yet alive,
 Brave son of Nestor, whom exhort to fly                        790
 With tidings to Achilles, of the friend
 Whom most he loved, of his Patroclus slain.
   He ceased, nor Menelaus, dauntless Chief,
 That task refused, but went; yet neither swift
 Nor willing. As a lion leaves the stalls                       795
 Wearied himself with harassing the guard,
 Who, interdicting him his purposed prey,
 Watch all the night; he famish'd, yet again
 Comes furious on, but speeds not, kept aloof
 By spears from daring hands dismissed, but more                800
 By flash of torches which, though fierce, he dreads,
 Till at the dawn, sullen he stalks away;
 So from Patroclus Menelaus went
 Heroic Chief! reluctant; for he fear'd
 Lest the Achaians should resign the dead,                      805
 Through consternation, to the host of Troy.
 Departing, therefore, he admonish'd oft
 Meriones and the Ajaces, thus.
   Ye two brave leaders of the Argive host,
 And thou, Meriones! now recollect                              810
 The gentle manners of Patroclus fallen
 Hapless in battle, who by carriage mild
 Well understood, while yet he lived, to engage
 All hearts, through prisoner now of death and fate.
   So saying, the hero amber-hair'd his steps                   815
 Turn'd thence, the field exploring with an eye
 Sharp as the eagle's, of all fowls beneath
 The azure heavens for keenest sight renown'd,
 Whom, though he soar sublime, the leveret
 By broadest leaves conceal'd 'scapes not, but swift            820
 Descending, even her he makes his prey;
 So, noble Menelaus! were thine eyes
 Turn'd into every quarter of the host
 In search of Nestor's son, if still he lived.
 Him, soon, encouraging his band to fight,                      825
 He noticed on the left of all the field,
 And sudden standing at his side, began.
   Antilochus! oh hear me, noble friend!
 And thou shalt learn tidings of such a deed
 As best had never been. Thou know'st, I judge,                 830
 And hast already seen, how Jove exalts
 To victory the Trojan host, and rolls
 Distress on ours; but ah! Patroclus lies,
 Our chief Achaian, slain, whose loss the Greeks
 Fills with regret. Haste, therefore, to the fleet,             835
 Inform Achilles; bid him haste to save,
 If save he can, the body of his friend;
 He can no more, for Hector hath his arms.
   He ceased. Antilochus with horror heard
 Those tidings; mute long time he stood, his eyes               840
 Swam tearful, and his voice, sonorous erst,
 Found utterance none. Yet even so distress'd,
 He not the more neglected the command
 Of Menelaus. Setting forth to run,
 He gave his armor to his noble friend                          845
 Laodocus, who thither turn'd his steeds,
 And weeping as he went, on rapid feet
 Sped to Achilles with that tale of wo.
   Nor could the noble Menelaus stay
 To give the weary Pylian band, bereft                          850
 Of their beloved Antilochus, his aid,
 But leaving them to Thrasymedes' care,
 He flew to Menoetiades again,
 And the Ajaces, thus, instant bespake.
   He goes. I have dispatch'd him to the fleet                  855
 To seek Achilles; but his coming naught
 Expect I now, although with rage he burn
 Against illustrious Hector; for what fight
 Can he, unarm'd, against the Trojans wage?
 Deliberating, therefore, frame we means                        860
 How best to save Patroclus, and to 'scape
 Ourselves unslain from this disastrous field.
   Whom answer'd the vast son of Telamon.
 Most noble Menelaus! good is all
 Which thou hast spoken. Lift ye from the earth                 865
 Thou and Meriones, at once, and bear
 The dead Patroclus from the bloody field.
 To cope meantime with Hector and his host
 Shall be our task, who, one in name, nor less
 In spirit one, already have the brunt                          870
 Of much sharp conflict, side by side, sustain'd.
   He ended; they enfolding in their arms
 The dead, upbore him high above the ground
 With force united; after whom the host
 Of Troy, seeing the body borne away,                           875
 Shouted, and with impetuous onset all
 Follow'd them. As the hounds, urged from behind
 By youthful hunters, on the wounded boar
 Make fierce assault; awhile at utmost speed
 They stretch toward him hungering, for the prey,               880
 But oft as, turning sudden, the stout brawn
 Faces them, scatter'd on all sides escape;
 The Trojans so, thick thronging in the rear,
 Ceaseless with falchions and spears double-edged
 Annoy'd them sore, but oft as in retreat                       885
 The dauntless heroes, the Ajaces turn'd
 To face them, deadly wan grew every cheek,
 And not a Trojan dared with onset rude
 Molest them more in conflict for the dead.
   Thus they, laborious, forth from battle bore                 890
 Patroclus to the fleet, tempestuous war
 Their steps attending, rapid as the flames
 Which, kindled suddenly, some city waste;
 Consumed amid the blaze house after house
 Sinks, and the wind, meantime, roars through the fire;         895
 So them a deafening tumult as they went
 Pursued, of horses and of men spear-arm'd.
 And as two mules with strength for toil endued,
 Draw through rough ways down from the distant hills
 Huge timber, beam or mast; sweating they go,                   900
 And overlabor'd to faint weariness;
 So they the body bore, while, turning oft,
 The Ajaces check'd the Trojans. As a mound
 Planted with trees and stretch'd athwart the mead
 Repels an overflow; the torrents loud                          905
 Baffling, it sends them far away to float
 The level land, nor can they with the force
 Of all their waters burst a passage through;
 So the Ajaces, constant, in the rear
 Repress'd the Trojans; but the Trojans them                    910
 Attended still, of whom Æneas most
 Troubled them, and the glorious Chief of Troy.
 They as a cloud of starlings or of daws
 Fly screaming shrill, warn'd timely of the kite
 Or hawk, devourers of the smaller kinds,                       915
 So they shrill-clamoring toward the fleet,
 Hasted before Æneas and the might
 Of Hector, nor the battle heeded more.
 Much radiant armor round about the foss
 Fell of the flying Grecians, or within                         920
 Lay scatter'd, and no pause of war they found.



                             THE ILIAD.
                            BOOK XVIII.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE EIGHTEENTH BOOK.


Achilles, by command of Juno, shows himself to the Trojans, who fly at his appearance; Vulcan, at the insistence of Thetis, forges for him a suit of armor.



                            BOOK XVIII.


 Thus burn'd the battle like devouring fire.
 Meantime, Antilochus with rapid steps
 Came to Achilles. Him he found before
 His lofty barks, occupied, as he stood,
 With boding fears of all that had befall'n.                      5
 He groan'd, and to his noble self he said.
   Ah! wo is me--why falls Achaia's host,
 With such disorder foul, back on the fleet?
 I tremble lest the Gods my anxious thoughts
 Accomplish and my mother's words, who erst                      10
 Hath warn'd me, that the bravest and the best
 Of all my Myrmidons, while yet I live,
 Slain under Troy, must view the sun no more.
 Brave Menoetiades is, doubtless, slain.
 Unhappy friend! I bade thee oft, our barks                      15
 Deliver'd once from hostile fires, not seek
 To cope in arms with Hector, but return.
   While musing thus he stood, the son approach'd
 Of noble Nestor, and with tears his cheeks
 Bedewing copious, his sad message told.                         20
   Oh son of warlike Peleus! thou shalt hear
 Tidings of deeds which best had never been.
 Patroclus is no more. The Grecians fight
 For his bare corse, and Hector hath his arms.[1]
   Then clouds of sorrow fell on Peleus' son,                    25
 And, grasping with both hands the ashes, down
 He pour'd them on his head, his graceful brows
 Dishonoring, and thick the sooty shower
 Descending settled on his fragrant vest.
 Then, stretch'd in ashes, at the vast extent                    30
 Of his whole length he lay, disordering wild
 With his own hands, and rending off his hair.
 The maidens, captived by himself in war
 And by Patroclus, shrieking from the tent
 Ran forth, and hemm'd the glorious Chief around.[2]             35
 All smote their bosoms, and all, fainting, fell.
 On the other side, Antilochus the hands
 Held of Achilles, mourning and deep groans
 Uttering from his noble heart, through fear
 Lest Peleus' son should perish self-destroy'd.                  40
 Loud groan'd the hero, whose loud groans within
 The gulfs of ocean, where she sat beside
 Her ancient sire, his Goddess-mother heard,
 And hearing shriek'd; around her at the voice
 Assembled all the Nereids of the deep                           45
 Cymodoce, Thalia, Glauca came,
 Nisæa, Spio, Thoa, and with eyes
 Protuberant beauteous Halia; came with these
 Cymothöe, and Actæa, and the nymph
 Of marshes, Limnorea, nor delay'd                               50
 Agave, nor Amphithöe the swift,
 Iæra, Doto, Melita, nor thence
 Was absent Proto or Dynamene,
 Callianira, Doris, Panope,
 Pherusa or Amphinome, or fair                                   55
 Dexamene, or Galatea praised
 For matchless form divine; Nemertes pure
 Came also, with Apseudes crystal-bright,
 Callianassa, Mæra, Clymene,
 Janeira and Janassa, sister pair,                               60
 And Orithya and with azure locks
 Luxuriant, Amathea; nor alone
 Came these, but every ocean-nymph beside,
 The silver cave was fill'd; each smote her breast,
 And Thetis, loud lamenting, thus began.                         65
   Ye sister Nereids, hear! that ye may all
 From my own lips my boundless sorrow learn.
 Ah me forlorn! ah me, parent in vain
 Of an illustrious birth! who, having borne
 A noble son magnanimous, the chief                              70
 Of heroes, saw him like a thriving plant
 Shoot vigorous under my maternal care,
 And sent him early in his gallant fleet
 Embark'd, to combat with the sons of Troy.
 But him from fight return'd I shall receive                     75
 Beneath the roof of Peleus, never more;
 And while he lives, and on the sun his eyes
 Opens, he mourns, nor, going, can I aught
 Assist him; yet I go, that I may see
 My darling son, and from his lips be taught                     80
 What grief hath now befallen him, who close
 Abiding in his tent shares not the war.
 So saying she left the cave, whom all her nymphs
 Attended weeping, and where'er they pass'd
 The breaking billows open'd wide a way.                         85
 At fruitful Troy arrived, in order fair
 They climb'd the beach, where by his numerous barks
 Encompass'd, swift Achilles sighing lay.
 Then, drawing nigh to her afflicted son,
 The Goddess-mother press'd between her palms                    90
 His temples, and in accents wing'd inquired.
   Why weeps my son? what sorrow wrings thy soul?
 Speak, hide it not. Jove hath fulfill'd the prayer
 Which erst with lifted hands thou didst prefer,
 That all Achaia's host, wanting thy aid,                        95
 Might be compell'd into the fleet, and foul
 Disgrace incur, there prison'd for thy sake.
   To whom Achilles, groaning deep, replied.
 My mother! it is true; Olympian Jove
 That prayer fulfils; but thence, what joy to me,               100
 Patroclus slain? the friend of all my friends
 Whom most I loved, dear to me as my life--
 Him I have lost. Slain and despoil'd he lies
 By Hector of his glorious armor bright,
 The wonder of all eyes, a matchless gift                       105
 Given by the Gods to Peleus on that day
 When thee they doom'd into a mortal's arms.
 Oh that with these thy deathless ocean-nymphs
 Dwelling content, thou hadst my father left
 To espouse a mortal bride, so hadst thou 'scaped               110
 Pangs numberless which thou must now endure
 For thy son's death, whom thou shalt never meet
 From Troy return'd, in Peleus' mansion more!
 For life I covet not, nor longer wish
 To mix with human kind, unless my spear                        115
 May find out Hector, and atonement take
 By slaying him, for my Patroclus slain.
   To whom, with streaming tears, Thetis replied.
 Swift comes thy destiny as thou hast said,
 For after Hector's death thine next ensues.                    120
   Then answer, thus, indignant he return'd.
 Death, seize me now! since when my friend was slain,
 My doom was, not to succor him. He died
 From home remote, and wanting me to save him.
 Now, therefore, since I neither visit more                     125
 My native land, nor, present here, have aught
 Avail'd Patroclus or my many friends
 Whom noble Hector hath in battle slain,
 But here I sit unprofitable grown,
 Earth's burden, though of such heroic note,                    130
 If not in council foremost (for I yield
 That prize to others) yet in feats of arms,
 Such as none other in Achaia's host,
 May fierce contention from among the Gods
 Perish, and from among the human race,                         135
 With wrath, which sets the wisest hearts on fire;
 Sweeter than dropping honey to the taste,
 But in the bosom of mankind, a smoke![3]
 Such was my wrath which Agamemnon roused,
 The king of men. But since the past is fled                    140
 Irrevocable, howsoe'er distress'd,
 Renounce we now vain musings on the past,
 Content through sad necessity. I go
 In quest of noble Hector, who hath slain
 My loved Patroclus, and such death will take                   145
 As Jove ordains me and the Powers of Heaven
 At their own season, send it when they may.
 For neither might the force of Hercules,
 Although high-favored of Saturnian Jove,
 From death escape, but Fate and the revenge                    150
 Restless of Juno vanquish'd even Him.
 I also, if a destiny like his
 Await me, shall, like him, find rest in death;
 But glory calls me now; now will I make
 Some Trojan wife or Dardan with both hands                     155
 Wipe her soft cheeks, and utter many a groan.
 Long time have I been absent from the field,
 And they shall know it. Love me as thou may'st,
 Yet thwart me not, for I am fixt to go.
   Whom Thetis answer'd, Goddess of the Deep.                   160
 Thou hast well said, my son! it is no blame
 To save from threaten'd death our suffering friends.
 But thy magnificent and dazzling arms
 Are now in Trojan hands; them Hector wears
 Exulting, but ordain'd not long to exult,                      165
 So habited; his death is also nigh.
 But thou with yonder warring multitudes
 Mix not till thou behold me here again;
 For with the rising sun I will return
 To-morrow, and will bring thee glorious arms,                  170
 By Vulcan forged himself, the King of fire.[4]
   She said, and turning from her son aside,
 The sisterhood of Ocean thus address'd.
   Plunge ye again into the briny Deep,
 And to the hoary Sovereign of the floods                       175
 Report as ye have heard. I to the heights
 Olympian haste, that I may there obtain
 From Vulcan, glorious artist of the skies,
 Arms of excelling beauty for my son.
   She said; they plunged into the waves again,                 180
 And silver-footed Thetis, to the heights
 Olympian soaring swiftly to obtain
 Arms for renown'd Achilles, disappear'd.
   Meantime, with infinite uproar the Greeks
 From Hector's hero-slaying arm had fled                        185
 Home to their galleys station'd on the banks
 Of Hellespont. Nor yet Achaia's sons
 Had borne the body of Patroclus clear
 From flight of darts away, but still again
 The multitude of warriors and of steeds                        190
 Came on, by Priameian Hector led
 Rapid as fire. Thrice noble Hector seized
 His ancles from behind, ardent to drag
 Patroclus, calling to his host the while;
 But thrice, the two Ajaces, clothed with might,                195
 Shock'd and repulsed him reeling. He with force
 Fill'd indefatigable, through his ranks
 Issuing, by turns assail'd them, and by turns
 Stood clamoring, yet not a step retired;
 But as the hinds deter not from his prey                       200
 A tawny lion by keen hunger urged,
 So would not both Ajaces, warriors bold,
 Intimidate and from the body drive
 Hector; and he had dragg'd him thence and won
 Immortal glory, but that Iris, sent                            205
 Unseen by Jove and by the powers of heaven,
 From Juno, to Achilles brought command
 That he should show himself. Full near she drew,
 And in wing'd accents thus the Chief address'd.
   Hero! most terrible of men, arise!                           210
 protect Patroclus, for whose sake the war
 Stands at the fleet of Greece. Mutual prevails
 The slaughter, these the dead defending, those
 Resolute hence to drag him to the gates
 Of wind-swept Ilium. But beyond them all                       215
 Illustrious Hector, obstinate is bent
 To win him, purposing to lop his head,
 And to exhibit it impaled on high.
 Thou then arise, nor longer on the ground
 Lie stretch'd inactive; let the thought with shame             220
 Touch thee, of thy Patroclus made the sport
 Of Trojan dogs, whose corse, if it return
 Dishonored home, brings with it thy reproach.
   To whom Achilles matchless in the race.
 Iris divine! of all the Gods, who sent thee?                   225
   Then, thus, the swift ambassadress of heaven.
 By Juno sent I come, consort of Jove.
 Nor knows Saturnian Jove high-throned, himself,
 My flight, nor any of the Immortal Powers,
 Tenants of the Olympian heights snow-crown'd.                  230
   Her answer'd then Pelides, glorious Chief.
 How shall I seek the fight? they have my arms.
 My mother charged me also to abstain
 From battle, till she bring me armor new
 Which she hath promised me from Vulcan's hand.                 235
 Meantime, whose armor else might serve my need
 I know not, save perhaps alone the shield
 Of Telamonian Ajax, whom I deem
 Himself now busied in the stormy van,
 Slaying the Trojans in my friend's defence.                    240
   To whom the swift-wing'd messenger of heaven,
 Full well we know thine armor Hector's prize
 Yet, issuing to the margin of the foss,
 Show thyself only. Panic-seized, perchance,
 The Trojans shall from fight desist, and yield                 245
 To the o'ertoil'd though dauntless sons of Greece
 Short respite; it is all that war allows.
   So saying, the storm-wing'd Iris disappear'd.
 Then rose at once Achilles dear to Jove,
 Athwart whose shoulders broad Minerva cast                     250
 Her Ægis fringed terrific, and his brows
 Encircled with a golden cloud that shot
 Fires insupportable to sight abroad.
 As when some island, situate afar
 On the wide waves, invested all the day                        255
 By cruel foes from their own city pour'd,
 Upsends a smoke to heaven, and torches shows
 On all her turrets at the close of eve
 Which flash against the clouds, kindled in hope
 Of aid from neighbor maritime allies,                          260
 So from Achilles' head light flash'd to heaven.
 Issuing through the wall, beside the foss
 He stood, but mix'd not with Achaia's host,
 Obedient to his mother's wise command.
 He stood and shouted; Pallas also raised                       265
 A dreadful shout and tumult infinite
 Excited throughout all the host of Troy.
 Clear as the trumpet's note when it proclaims
 A numerous host approaching to invest
 Some city close around, so clear the voice                     270
 Rang of Æacides, and tumult-toss'd
 Was every soul that heard the brazen tone.
 With swift recoil the long-maned coursers thrust
 The chariots back, all boding wo at hand,
 And every charioteer astonish'd saw                            275
 Fires that fail'd not, illumining the brows
 Of Peleus' son, by Pallas kindled there.
 Thrice o'er the trench Achilles sent his voice
 Sonorous, and confusion at the sound
 Thrice seized the Trojans, and their famed allies.             280
 Twelve in that moment of their noblest died
 By their own spears and chariots, and with joy
 The Grecians from beneath a hill of darts
 Dragging Patroclus, placed him on his bier.
 Around him throng'd his fellow-warriors bold,                  285
 All weeping, after whom Achilles went
 Fast-weeping also at the doleful sight
 Of his true friend on his funereal bed
 Extended, gash'd with many a mortal wound,
 Whom he had sent into the fight with steeds                    290
 And chariot, but received him thence no more.
   And now majestic Juno sent the sun,
 Unwearied minister of light, although
 Reluctant, down into the Ocean stream.[5]
 So the sun sank, and the Achaians ceased                       295
 From the all-wasting labors of the war.
 On the other side, the Trojans, from the fight
 Retiring, loosed their steeds, but ere they took
 Thought of refreshment, in full council met.
 It was a council at which no man sat,                          300
 Or dared; all stood; such terror had on all
 Fallen, for that Achilles had appear'd,
 After long pause from battle's arduous toil.
 First rose Polydamas the prudent son
 Of Panthus, above all the Trojans skill'd                      305
 Both in futurity and in the past.
 He was the friend of Hector, and one night
 Gave birth to both. In council one excell'd
 And one still more in feats of high renown.
 Thus then, admonishing them, he began.                         310
   My friends! weigh well the occasion. Back to Troy
 By my advice, nor wait the sacred morn
 Here, on the plain, from Ilium's walls remote
 So long as yet the anger of this Chief
 'Gainst noble Agamemnon burn'd, so long                        315
 We found the Greeks less formidable foes,
 And I rejoiced, myself, spending the night
 Beside their oary barks, for that I hoped
 To seize them; but I now tremble at thought
 Of Peleus' rapid son again in arms.                            320
 A spirit proud as his will scorn to fight
 Here, on the plain, where Greeks and Trojans take
 Their common share of danger and of toil,
 And will at once strike at your citadel,
 Impatient till he make your wives his prey.                    325
 Haste--let us home--else thus shall it befall;
 Night's balmy influence in his tent detains
 Achilles now, but rushing arm'd abroad
 To-morrow, should he find us lingering here,
 None shall mistake him then; happy the man                     330
 Who soonest, then, shall 'scape to sacred Troy!
 Then, dogs shall make and vultures on our flesh
 Plenteous repast. Oh spare mine ears the tale!
 But if, though troubled, ye can yet receive
 My counsel, thus assembled we will keep                        335
 Strict guard to-night; meantime, her gates and towers
 With all their mass of solid timbers, smooth
 And cramp'd with bolts of steel, will keep the town.
 But early on the morrow we will stand
 All arm'd on Ilium's towers. Then, if he choose,               340
 His galleys left, to compass Troy about,
 He shall be task'd enough; his lofty steeds
 Shall have their fill of coursing to and fro
 Beneath, and gladly shall to camp return.
 But waste the town he shall not, nor attempt                   345
 With all the utmost valor that he boasts
 To force a pass; dogs shall devour him first.
   To whom brave Hector louring, and in wrath.
 Polydamas, I like not thy advice
 Who bidd'st us in our city skulk, again                        350
 Imprison'd there. Are ye not yet content?
 Wish ye for durance still in your own towers?
 Time was, when in all regions under heaven
 Men praised the wealth of Priam's city stored
 With gold and brass; but all our houses now                    355
 Stand emptied of their hidden treasures rare.
 Jove in his wrath hath scatter'd them; our wealth
 Is marketed, and Phrygia hath a part
 Purchased, and part Mæonia's lovely land.
 But since the son of wily Saturn old                           360
 Hath given me glory now, and to inclose
 The Grecians in their fleet hemm'd by the sea,
 Fool! taint not with such talk the public mind.
 For not a Trojan here will thy advice
 Follow, or shall; it hath not my consent.                      365
 But thus I counsel. Let us, band by band,
 Throughout the host take supper, and let each,
 Guarded against nocturnal danger, watch.
 And if a Trojan here be rack'd in mind
 Lest his possessions perish, let him cast                      370
 His golden heaps into the public maw,[6]
 Far better so consumed than by the Greeks.
 Then, with the morrow's dawn, all fair array'd
 In battle, we will give them at their fleet
 Sharp onset, and if Peleus' noble son                          375
 Have risen indeed to conflict for the ships,
 The worse for him. I shall not for his sake
 Avoid the deep-toned battle, but will firm
 Oppose his utmost. Either he shall gain
 Or I, great glory. Mars his favors deals                       380
 Impartial, and the slayer oft is slain.
 So counsell'd Hector, whom with shouts of praise
 The Trojans answer'd:--fools, and by the power
 Of Pallas of all sober thought bereft!
 For all applauded Hector, who had given                        385
 Advice pernicious, and Polydamas,
 Whose counsel was discreet and wholesome none.
 So then they took repast. But all night long
 The Grecians o'er Patroclus wept aloud,
 While, standing in the midst, Pelides led                      390
 The lamentation, heaving many a groan,
 And on the bosom of his breathless friend
 Imposing, sad, his homicidal hands.
 As the grim lion, from whose gloomy lair
 Among thick trees the hunter hath his whelps                   395
 Purloin'd, too late returning mourns his loss,
 Then, up and down, the length of many a vale
 Courses, exploring fierce the robber's foot,
 Incensed as he, and with a sigh deep-drawn
 Thus to his Myrmidons Achilles spake.                          400
   How vain, alas! my word spoken that day
 At random, when to soothe the hero's fears
 Menoetius, then our guest, I promised him
 His noble son at Opoeis again,
 Living and laden with the spoils of Troy!                      405
 But Jove performs not all the thoughts of man,
 For we were both destined to tinge the soil
 Of Ilium with our blood, nor I shall see,
 Myself, my father in his mansion more
 Or Thetis, but must find my burial here.                       410
 Yet, my Patroclus! since the earth expects
 Me next, I will not thy funereal rites
 Finish, till I shall bring both head and arms
 Of that bold Chief who slew thee, to my tent.
 I also will smite off, before thy pile,                        415
 The heads of twelve illustrious sons of Troy,
 Resentful of thy death. Meantime, among
 My lofty galleys thou shalt lie, with tears
 Mourn'd day and night by Trojan captives fair
 And Dardan compassing thy bier around,                         420
 Whom we, at price of labor hard, ourselves
 With massy spears toiling in battle took
 From many an opulent city, now no more.
   So saying, he bade his train surround with fire
 A tripod huge, that they might quickly cleanse                 425
 Patroclus from all stain of clotted gore.
 They on the blazing hearth a tripod placed
 Capacious, fill'd with water its wide womb,
 And thrust dry wood beneath, till, fierce, the flames
 Embraced it round, and warm'd the flood within.                430
 Soon as the water in the singing brass
 Simmer'd, they bathed him, and with limpid oil
 Anointed; filling, next, his ruddy wounds
 With unguent mellow'd by nine circling years,
 They stretch'd him on his bed, then cover'd him                435
 From head to feet with linen texture light,
 And with a wide unsullied mantle, last.[7]
 All night the Myrmidons around the swift
 Achilles stood, deploring loud his friend,
 And Jove his spouse and sister thus bespake.                   440
   So then, Imperial Juno! not in vain
 Thou hast the swift Achilles sought to rouse
 Again to battle; the Achaians, sure,
 Are thy own children, thou hast borne them all.
   To whom the awful Goddess ample-eyed.                        445
 What word hath pass'd thy lips, Jove, most severe?
 A man, though mortal merely, and to me
 Inferior in device, might have achieved
 That labor easily. Can I who boast
 Myself the chief of Goddesses, and such                        450
 Not by birth only, but as thine espoused,
 Who art thyself sovereign of all the Gods,
 Can I with anger burn against the house
 Of Priam, and want means of just revenge?
   Thus they in heaven their mutual conference                  455
 Meantime, the silver-footed Thetis reach'd
 The starr'd abode eternal, brazen wall'd
 Of Vulcan, by the builder lame himself
 Uprear'd, a wonder even in eyes divine.
 She found him sweating, at his bellows huge                    460
 Toiling industrious; tripods bright he form'd
 Twenty at once, his palace-wall to grace
 Ranged in harmonious order. Under each
 Two golden wheels he set, on which (a sight
 Marvellous!) into council they should roll                     465
 Self-moved, and to his house, self-moved, return.
 Thus far the work was finish'd, but not yet
 Their ears of exquisite design affixt,
 For them he stood fashioning, and prepared
 The rivets. While he thus his matchless skill                  470
 Employ'd laborious, to his palace-gate
 The silver-footed Thetis now advanced,
 Whom Charis, Vulcan's well-attired spouse,
 Beholding from the palace portal, flew
 To seize the Goddess' hand, and thus inquired.                 475
   Why, Thetis! worthy of all reverence
 And of all love, comest thou to our abode,
 Unfrequent here? But enter, and accept
 Such welcome as to such a guest is due.
   So saying, she introduced and to a seat                      480
 Led her with argent studs border'd around
 And foot-stool'd sumptuously;[8] then, calling forth
 Her spouse, the glorious artist, thus she said.
   Haste, Vulcan! Thetis wants thee; linger not.
 To whom the artist of the skies replied.                       485
   A Goddess then, whom with much cause I love
 And venerate is here, who when I fell
 Saved me, what time my shameless mother sought
 To cast me, because lame, out of all sight;
 Then had I been indeed forlorn, had not                        490
 Eurynome the daughter of the Deep
 And Thetis in their laps received me fallen.
 Nine years with them residing, for their use
 I form'd nice trinkets, clasps, rings, pipes, and chains,
 While loud around our hollow cavern roar'd                     495
 The surge of the vast deep, nor God nor man,
 Save Thetis and Eurynome, my life's
 Preservers, knew where I was kept conceal'd.
 Since, therefore, she is come, I cannot less
 Than recompense to Thetis amber-hair'd                         500
 With readiness the boon of life preserved.
 Haste, then, and hospitably spread the board
 For her regale, while with my best dispatch
 I lay my bellows and my tools aside.
   He spake, and vast in bulk and hot with toil                 505
 Rose limping from beside his anvil-stock
 Upborne, with pain on legs tortuous and weak.
 First, from the forge dislodged he thrust apart
 His bellows, and his tools collecting all
 Bestow'd them, careful, in a silver chest,                     510
 Then all around with a wet sponge he wiped
 His visage, and his arms and brawny neck
 Purified, and his shaggy breast from smutch;
 Last, putting on his vest, he took in hand
 His sturdy staff, and shuffled through the door.               515
 Beside the King of fire two golden forms
 Majestic moved, that served him in the place
 Of handmaids; young they seem'd, and seem'd alive,
 Nor want they intellect, or speech, or force,
 Or prompt dexterity by the Gods inspired.                      520
 These his supporters were, and at his side
 Attendant diligent, while he, with gait
 Uncouth, approaching Thetis where she sat
 On a bright throne, seized fast her hand and said,
   Why, Thetis! worthy as thou art of love                      525
 And of all reverence, hast thou arrived,
 Unfrequent here? Speak--tell me thy desire,
 Nor doubt my services, if thou demand
 Things possible, and possible to me.
   Then Thetis, weeping plenteously, replied.                   530
 Oh Vulcan! Is there on Olympius' heights
 A Goddess with such load of sorrow press'd
 As, in peculiar, Jove assigns to me?
 Me only, of all ocean-nymphs, he made
 Spouse to a man, Peleus Æacides,                               535
 Whose bed, although reluctant and perforce,
 I yet endured to share. He now, the prey
 Of cheerless age, decrepid lies, and Jove
 Still other woes heaps on my wretched head.
 He gave me to bring forth, gave me to rear                     540
 A son illustrious, valiant, and the chief
 Of heroes; he, like a luxuriant plant
 Upran[9] to manhood, while his lusty growth
 I nourish'd as the husbandman his vine
 Set in a fruitful field, and being grown                       545
 I sent him early in his gallant fleet
 Embark'd, to combat with the sons of Troy;
 But him from fight return'd I shall receive,
 Beneath the roof of Peleus, never more,
 And while he lives and on the sun his eyes                     550
 Opens, affliction is his certain doom,
 Nor aid resides or remedy in me.
 The virgin, his own portion of the spoils,
 Allotted to him by the Grecians--her
 Atrides, King of men, resumed, and grief                       555
 Devour'd Achilles' spirit for her sake.
 Meantime, the Trojans shutting close within
 Their camp the Grecians, have forbidden them
 All egress, and the senators of Greece
 Have sought with splendid gifts to soothe my son.              560
 He, indisposed to rescue them himself
 From ruin, sent, instead, Patroclus forth,
 Clad in his own resplendent armor, Chief
 Of the whole host of Myrmidons. Before
 The Scæan gate from morn to eve they fought,                   565
 And on that self-same day had Ilium fallen,
 But that Apollo, to advance the fame
 Of Hector, slew Menoetius' noble son
 Full-flush'd with victory. Therefore at thy knees
 Suppliant I fall, imploring from thine art                     570
 A shield and helmet, greaves of shapely form
 With clasps secured, and corselet for my son.
 For those, once his, his faithful friend hath lost,
 Slain by the Trojans, and Achilles lies,
 Himself, extended mournful on the ground.                      575
   Her answer'd then the artist of the skies.
 Courage! Perplex not with these cares thy soul.
 I would that when his fatal hour shall come,
 I could as sure secrete him from the stroke
 Of destiny, as he shall soon have arms                         580
 Illustrious, such as each particular man
 Of thousands, seeing them, shall wish his own.
   He said, and to his bellows quick repair'd,
 Which turning to the fire he bade them heave.
 Full twenty bellows working all at once                        595
 Breathed on the furnace, blowing easy and free
 The managed winds, now forcible, as best
 Suited dispatch, now gentle, if the will
 Of Vulcan and his labor so required.
 Impenetrable brass, tin, silver, gold,                         590
 He cast into the forge, then, settling firm
 His ponderous anvil on the block, one hand
 With his huge hammer fill'd, one with the tongs.
   [10]He fashion'd first a shield massy and broad
 Of labor exquisite, for which he form'd                        595
 A triple border beauteous, dazzling bright,
 And loop'd it with a silver brace behind.
 The shield itself with five strong folds he forged,
 And with devices multiform the disk
 Capacious charged, toiling with skill divine.                  600
   There he described the earth, the heaven, the sea,
 The sun that rests not, and the moon full-orb'd.
 There also, all the stars which round about
 As with a radiant frontlet bind the skies,
 The Pleiads and the Hyads, and the might                       605
 Of huge Orion, with him Ursa call'd,
 Known also by his popular name, the Wain,
 That spins around the pole looking toward
 Orion, only star of these denied
 To slake his beams in ocean's briny baths.                     610
   Two splendid cities also there he form'd
 Such as men build. In one were to be seen
 Rites matrimonial solemnized with pomp
 Of sumptuous banquets; from their chambers forth
 Leading the brides they usher'd them along                     615
 With torches through the streets, and sweet was heard
 The voice around of Hymenæal song.
 Here striplings danced in circles to the sound
 Of pipe and harp, while in the portals stood
 Women, admiring, all, the gallant show.                        620
 Elsewhere was to be seen in council met
 The close-throng'd multitude. There strife arose.
 Two citizens contended for a mulct
 The price of blood. This man affirm'd the fine
 All paid,[11] haranguing vehement the crowd,                   625
 That man denied that he had aught received,
 And to the judges each made his appeal
 Eager for their award. Meantime the people,
 As favor sway'd them, clamor'd loud for each.
 The heralds quell'd the tumult; reverend sat                   630
 On polish'd stones the elders in a ring,
 Each with a herald's sceptre in his hand,
 Which holding they arose, and all in turn
 Gave sentence. In the midst two talents lay
 Of gold, his destined recompense whose voice                   635
 Decisive should pronounce the best award.
 The other city by two glittering hosts
 Invested stood, and a dispute arose
 Between the hosts, whether to burn the town
 And lay all waste, or to divide the spoil.                     640
 Meantime, the citizens, still undismay'd,
 Surrender'd not the town, but taking arms
 Secretly, set the ambush in array,
 And on the walls their wives and children kept
 Vigilant guard, with all the ancient men.                      645
 They sallied; at their head Pallas and Mars
 Both golden and in golden vests attired
 Advanced, proportion each showing divine,
 Large, prominent, and such as Gods beseem'd.
 Not such the people, but of humbler size.                      650
 Arriving at the spot for ambush chosen,
 A river's side, where cattle of each kind
 Drank, down they sat, all arm'd in dazzling brass.
 Apart from all the rest sat also down
 Two spies, both looking for the flocks and herds.              655
 Soon they appear'd, and at their side were seen
 Two shepherd swains, each playing on his pipe
 Careless, and of the danger nought apprized,
 Swift ran the spies, perceiving their approach,
 And intercepting suddenly the herds                            660
 And flocks of silver fleece, slew also those
 Who fed them. The besiegers, at that time
 In council, by the sound alarm'd, their steeds
 Mounted, and hasted, instant, to the place;
 Then, standing on the river's brink they fought                665
 And push'd each other with the brazen lance.
 There Discord raged, there Tumult, and the force
 Of ruthless Destiny; she now a Chief
 Seized newly wounded, and now captive held
 Another yet unhurt, and now a third                            670
 Dragg'd breathless through the battle by his feet
 And all her garb was dappled thick with blood
 Like living men they traversed and they strove,
 And dragg'd by turns the bodies of the slain.
   He also graved on it a fallow field                          675
 Rich, spacious, and well-till'd. Plowers not few,
 There driving to and fro their sturdy teams,
 Labor'd the land; and oft as in their course
 They came to the field's bourn, so oft a man
 Met them, who in their hands a goblet placed                   680
 Charged with delicious wine. They, turning, wrought
 Each his own furrow, and impatient seem'd
 To reach the border of the tilth, which black
 Appear'd behind them as a glebe new-turn'd,
 Though golden. Sight to be admired by all!                     685
   There too he form'd the likeness of a field
 Crowded with corn, in which the reapers toil'd
 Each with a sharp-tooth'd sickle in his hand.
 Along the furrow here, the harvest fell
 In frequent handfuls, there, they bound the sheaves.           690
 Three binders of the sheaves their sultry task
 All plied industrious, and behind them boys
 Attended, filling with the corn their arms
 And offering still their bundles to be bound.
 Amid them, staff in hand, the master stood                     695
 Silent exulting, while beneath an oak
 Apart, his heralds busily prepared
 The banquet, dressing a well-thriven ox
 New slain, and the attendant maidens mix'd
 Large supper for the hinds of whitest flour.                   700
   There also, laden with its fruit he form'd
 A vineyard all of gold; purple he made
 The clusters, and the vines supported stood
 By poles of silver set in even rows.
 The trench he color'd sable, and around                        705
 Fenced it with tin. One only path it show'd
 By which the gatherers when they stripp'd the vines
 Pass'd and repass'd. There, youths and maidens blithe
 In frails of wicker bore the luscious fruit,
 While, in the midst, a boy on his shrill harp                  710
 Harmonious play'd, still as he struck the chord
 Carolling to it with a slender voice.
 They smote the ground together, and with song
 And sprightly reed came dancing on behind.[12]
   There too a herd he fashion'd of tall beeves                 715
 Part gold, part tin. They, lowing, from the stalls
 Rush'd forth to pasture by a river-side
 Rapid, sonorous, fringed with whispering reeds.
 Four golden herdsmen drove the kine a-field
 By nine swift dogs attended. Dreadful sprang                   720
 Two lions forth, and of the foremost herd
 Seized fast a bull. Him bellowing they dragg'd,
 While dogs and peasants all flew to his aid.
 The lions tore the hide of the huge prey
 And lapp'd his entrails and his blood. Meantime                725
 The herdsmen, troubling them in vain, their hounds
 Encouraged; but no tooth for lions' flesh
 Found they, and therefore stood aside and bark'd.
   There also, the illustrious smith divine
 Amidst a pleasant grove a pasture form'd                       730
 Spacious, and sprinkled o'er with silver sheep
 Numerous, and stalls and huts and shepherds' tents.
   To these the glorious artist added next,
 With various skill delineated exact,
 A labyrinth for the dance, such as of old                      735
 In Crete's broad island Dædalus composed
 For bright-hair'd Ariadne.[13] There the youths
 And youth-alluring maidens, hand in hand,
 Danced jocund, every maiden neat-attired
 In finest linen, and the youths in vests                       740
 Well-woven, glossy as the glaze of oil.
 These all wore garlands, and bright falchions, those,
 Of burnish'd gold in silver trappings hung:--[14]
 They with well-tutor'd step, now nimbly ran
 The circle, swift, as when, before his wheel                   745
 Seated, the potter twirls it with both hands
 For trial of its speed,[15] now, crossing quick
 They pass'd at once into each other's place.
 On either side spectators numerous stood
 Delighted, and two tumblers roll'd themselves                  750
 Between the dancers, singing as they roll'd.
   Last, with the might of ocean's boundless flood
 He fill'd the border of the wondrous shield.
   When thus the massy shield magnificent
 He had accomplish'd, for the hero next                         755
 He forged, more ardent than the blaze of fire,
 A corselet; then, a ponderous helmet bright
 Well fitted to his brows, crested with gold,
 And with laborious art divine adorn'd.
 He also made him greaves of molten tin.                        760
   The armor finish'd, bearing in his hand
 The whole, he set it down at Thetis' feet.
 She, like a falcon from the snowy top
 Stoop'd of Olympus, bearing to the earth
 The dazzling wonder, fresh from Vulcan's hand.                 765



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XIX.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE NINETEENTH BOOK.


Achilles is reconciled to Agamemnon, and clothed in new armor forged by Vulcan, leads out the Myrmidons to battle.



                             BOOK XIX.


 Now rose the morn in saffron vest attired
 From ocean, with new day for Gods and men,
 When Thetis at the fleet of Greece arrived,
 Bearing that gift divine. She found her son
 All tears, and close enfolding in his arms                       5
 Patroclus, while his Myrmidons around
 Wept also;[1] she amid them, graceful, stood,
 And seizing fast his hand, him thus bespake.
   Although our loss be great, yet, oh my son!
 Leave we Patroclus lying on the bier                            10
 To which the Gods ordain'd him from the first.
 Receive from Vulcan's hands these glorious arms,
 Such as no mortal shoulders ever bore.
   So saying, she placed the armor on the ground
 Before him, and the whole bright treasure rang.                 15
 A tremor shook the Myrmidons; none dared
 Look on it, but all fled. Not so himself.
 In him fresh vengeance kindled at the view,
 And, while he gazed, a splendor as of fire
 Flash'd from his eyes. Delighted, in his hand                   20
 He held the glorious bounty of the God,
 And, wondering at those strokes of art divine,
 His eager speech thus to his mother turn'd.[2]
   The God, my mother! hath bestow'd in truth
 Such armor on me as demanded skill                              25
 Like his, surpassing far all power of man.
 Now, therefore, I will arm. But anxious fears
 Trouble me, lest intrusive flies, meantime,
 Breed worms within the spear-inflicted wounds
 Of Menoetiades, and fill with taint                             30
 Of putrefaction his whole breathless form.[3]
   But him the silver-footed Goddess fair
 Thus answer'd. Oh, my son! chase from thy mind
 All such concern. I will, myself, essay
 To drive the noisome swarms which on the slain                  35
 In battle feed voracious. Should he lie
 The year complete, his flesh shall yet be found
 Untainted, and, it may be, fragrant too.
 But thou the heroes of Achaia's host
 Convening, in their ears thy wrath renounce                     40
 Against the King of men, then, instant, arm
 For battle, and put on thy glorious might.
   So saying, the Goddess raised his courage high.
 Then, through the nostrils of the dead she pour'd
 Ambrosia, and the ruddy juice divine                            45
 Of nectar, antidotes against decay.
   And now forth went Achilles by the side
 Of ocean, calling with a dreadful shout
 To council all the heroes of the host.[4]
 Then, even they who in the fleet before                         50
 Constant abode, helmsmen and those who held
 In stewardship the food and public stores,
 All flock'd to council, for that now at length
 After long abstinence from dread exploits
 Of war, Achilles had once more appear'd.                        55
 Two went together, halting on the spear,
 (For still they felt the anguish of their wounds)
 Noble Ulysses and brave Diomede,
 And took an early seat; whom follow'd last
 The King of men, by Coön in the field                           60
 Of furious battle wounded with a lance.
 The Grecians all assembled, in the midst
 Upstood the swift Achilles, and began.
   Atrides! we had doubtless better sped
 Both thou and I, thus doing, when at first                      65
 With cruel rage we burn'd, a girl the cause.
 I would that Dian's shaft had in the fleet
 Slain her that self-same day when I destroy'd
 Lyrnessus, and by conquest made her mine!
 Then had not many a Grecian, lifeless now,                      70
 Clench'd with his teeth the ground, victim, alas!
 Of my revenge; whence triumph hath accrued
 To Hector and his host, while ours have cause
 For long remembrance of our mutual strife.
 But evils past let pass, yielding perforce                      75
 To sad necessity. My wrath shall cease
 Now; I resign it; it hath burn'd too long.
 Thou therefore summon forth the host to fight,
 That I may learn meeting them in the field,
 If still the Trojans purpose at our fleet                       80
 To watch us this night also. But I judge
 That driven by my spear to rapid flight,
 They shall escape with weary limbs[5] at least.
   He ended, and the Grecians brazen-greaved
 Rejoiced that Peleus' mighty son had cast                       85
 His wrath aside. Then not into the midst
 Proceeding, but at his own seat, upstood
 King Agamemnon, and them thus bespake.
   Friends! Grecian heroes! Ministers of Mars!
 Arise who may to speak, he claims your ear;                     90
 All interruption wrongs him, and distracts,
 Howe'er expert the speaker. Who can hear
 Amid the roar of tumult, or who speak?
 The clearest voice, best utterance, both are vain
 I shall address Achilles. Hear my speech                        95
 Ye Argives, and with understanding mark.
 I hear not now the voice of your reproach[6]
 First; ye have oft condemn'd me. Yet the blame
 Rests not with me; Jove, Destiny, and she
 Who roams the shades, Erynnis, caused the offence.             100
 She fill'd my soul with fury on that day
 In council, when I seized Achilles' prize.
 For what could I? All things obey the Gods.
 Ate, pernicious Power, daughter of Jove,
 By whom all suffer, challenges from all                        105
 Reverence and fear. Delicate are her feet
 Which scorn the ground, and over human heads
 She glides, injurious to the race of man,
 Of two who strive, at least entangling one.
 She injured, on a day, dread Jove himself                      110
 Most excellent of all in earth or heaven,
 When Juno, although female, him deceived,
 What time Alcmena should have brought to light
 In bulwark'd Thebes the force of Hercules.
 Then Jove, among the gods glorying, spake.                     115
   Hear all! both Gods and Goddesses, attend!
 That I may make my purpose known. This day
 Birth-pang-dispensing Ilithya brings
 An hero forth to light, who, sprung from those
 That sprang from me, his empire shall extend                   120
 Over all kingdoms bordering on his own.
   To whom, designing fraud, Juno replied.
 Thou wilt be found false, and this word of thine
 Shall want performance. But Olympian Jove!
 Swear now the inviolable oath, that he                         125
 Who shall, this day, fall from between the feet
 Of woman, drawing his descent from thee,
 Shall rule all kingdoms bordering on his own.
   She said, and Jove, suspecting nought her wiles,
 The great oath swore, to his own grief and wrong.              130
 At once from the Olympian summit flew
 Juno, and to Achaian Argos borne,
 There sought the noble wife[7] of Sthenelus,
 Offspring of Perseus. Pregnant with a son
 Six months, she now the seventh saw at hand,                   135
 But him the Goddess premature produced,
 And check'd Alcmena's pangs already due.
 Then joyful to have so prevail'd, she bore
 Herself the tidings to Saturnian Jove.
   Lord of the candent lightnings! Sire of all!                 140
 I bring thee tidings. The great prince, ordain'd
 To rule the Argive race, this day is born,
 Eurystheus, son of Sthenelus, the son
 Of Perseus; therefore he derives from thee,
 Nor shall the throne of Argos shame his birth.                 145
   She spake; then anguish stung the heart of Jove
 Deeply, and seizing by her glossy locks
 The Goddess Ate, in his wrath he swore
 That never to the starry skies again
 And the Olympian heights he would permit                       150
 The universal mischief to return.
 Then, whirling her around, he cast her down
 To earth. She, mingling with all works of men,
 Caused many a pang to Jove, who saw his son
 Laborious tasks servile, and of his birth                      155
 Unworthy, at Eurystheus' will enjoin'd.
   So when the hero Hector at our ships
 Slew us, I then regretted my offence
 Which Ate first impell'd me to commit.
 But since, infatuated by the Gods                              160
 I err'd, behold me ready to appease
 With gifts of price immense whom I have wrong'd.
 Thou, then, arise to battle, and the host
 Rouse also. Not a promise yesternight
 Was made thee by Ulysses in thy tent                           165
 On my behalf, but shall be well perform'd.
 Or if it please thee, though impatient, wait
 Short season, and my train shall bring the gifts
 Even now; that thou may'st understand and know
 That my peace-offerings are indeed sincere.                    170
   To whom Achilles, swiftest of the swift.
 Atrides! Agamemnon! passing all
 In glory! King of men! recompense just
 By gifts to make me, or to make me none,
 That rests with thee. But let us to the fight                  175
 Incontinent. It is no time to play
 The game of rhetoric, and to waste the hours
 In speeches. Much remains yet unperform'd.
 Achilles must go forth. He must be seen
 Once more in front of battle, wasting wide                     180
 With brazen spear, the crowded ranks of Troy.
 Mark him--and as he fights, fight also ye.
   To whom Ulysses ever-wise replied.
 Nay--urge not, valiant as thou art thyself,
 Achaia's sons up to the battlements                            185
 Of Ilium, by repast yet unrefresh'd,
 Godlike Achilles!--For when phalanx once
 Shall clash with phalanx, and the Gods with rage
 Both hosts inspire, the contest shall not then
 Prove short. Bid rather the Achaians take                      190
 Both food and wine, for they are strength and might.
 To stand all day till sunset to a foe
 Opposed in battle, fasting, were a task
 Might foil the best; for though his will be prompt
 To combat, yet the power must by degrees                       195
 Forsake him; thirst and hunger he must feel,
 And his limbs failing him at every step.
 But he who hath his vigor to the full
 Fed with due nourishment, although he fight
 All day, yet feels his courage unimpair'd,                     200
 Nor weariness perceives till all retire.
 Come then--dismiss the people with command
 That each prepare replenishment. Meantime
 Let Agamemnon, King of men, his gifts
 In presence here of the assembled Greeks                       205
 Produce, that all may view them, and that thou
 May'st feel thine own heart gladden'd at the sight.
 Let the King also, standing in the midst,
 Swear to thee, that he renders back the maid
 A virgin still, and strange to his embrace,                    210
 And let thy own composure prove, the while,
 That thou art satisfied. Last, let him spread
 A princely banquet for thee in his tent,
 That thou may'st want no part of just amends.
 Thou too, Atrides, shalt hereafter prove                       215
 More just to others; for himself, a King,
 Stoops not too low, soothing whom he hath wrong'd.
   Him Agamemnon answer'd, King of men.
 Thou hast arranged wisely the whole concern,
 O Läertiades, and I have heard                                 220
 Thy speech, both words and method with delight.
 Willing I am, yea more, I wish to swear
 As thou hast said, for by the Gods I can
 Most truly. Let Achilles, though of pause
 Impatient, suffer yet a short delay                            225
 With all assembled here, till from my tent
 The gifts arrive, and oaths of peace be sworn.
 To thee I give it in peculiar charge
 That choosing forth the most illustrious youths
 Of all Achaia, thou produce the gifts                          230
 from my own ship, all those which yesternight
 We promised, nor the women leave behind.
 And let Talthybius throughout all the camp
 Of the Achaians, instant, seek a boar
 For sacrifice to Jove and to the Sun.                          235
   Then thus Achilles matchless in the race.
 Atrides! most illustrious! King of men!
 Expedience bids us to these cares attend
 Hereafter, when some pause, perchance, of fight
 Shall happen, and the martial rage which fires                 240
 My bosom now, shall somewhat less be felt.
 Our friends by Priameian Hector slain,
 Now strew the field mangled, for him hath Jove
 Exalted high, and given him great renown.
 But haste, now take refreshment; though, in truth              245
 Might I direct, the host should by all means
 Unfed to battle, and at set of sun
 All sup together, this affront revenged.
 But as for me, no drop shall pass my lips
 Or morsel, whose companion lies with feet                      250
 Turn'd to the vestibule, pierced by the spear,
 And compass'd by my weeping train around.
 No want of food feel I. My wishes call
 For carnage, blood, and agonies and groans.
   But him, excelling in all wisdom, thus                       255
 Ulysses answer'd. Oh Achilles! son
 Of Peleus! bravest far of all our host!
 Me, in no scanty measure, thou excell'st
 Wielding the spear, and thee in prudence, I
 Not less. For I am elder, and have learn'd                     260
 What thou hast yet to learn. Bid then thine heart
 Endure with patience to be taught by me.
 Men, satiate soon with battle, loathe the field
 On which the most abundant harvest falls,
 Reap'd by the sword; and when the hand of Jove                 265
 Dispenser of the great events of war,
 Turns once the scale, then, farewell every hope
 Of more than scanty gleanings. Shall the Greeks
 Abstain from sustenance for all who die?
 That were indeed severe, since day by day                      270
 No few expire, and respite could be none.
 The dead, die whoso may, should be inhumed.
 This, duty bids, but bids us also deem
 One day sufficient for our sighs and tears.
 Ourselves, all we who still survive the war,                   275
 Have need of sustenance, that we may bear
 The lengthen'd conflict with recruited might,
 Case in enduring brass.--Ye all have heard
 Your call to battle; let none lingering stand
 In expectation of a farther call,                              280
 Which if it sound, shall thunder prove to him
 Who lurks among the ships. No. Rush we all
 Together forth, for contest sharp prepared,
 And persevering with the host of Troy.
   So saying, the sons of Nestor, glorious Chief,               285
 He chose, with Meges Phyleus' noble son,
 Thoas, Meriones, and Melanippus
 And Lycomedes. These, together, sought
 The tent of Agamemnon, King of men.
 They ask'd, and they received. Soon they produced              290
 The seven promised tripods from the tent,
 Twice ten bright caldrons, twelve high-mettled steeds,
 Seven lovely captives skill'd alike in arts
 Domestic, of unblemish'd beauty rare,
 And last, Brisëis with the blooming cheeks.                    295
 Before them went Ulysses, bearing weigh'd
 Ten golden talents, whom the chosen Greeks
 Attended laden with the remnant gifts.
 Full in the midst they placed them. Then arose
 King Agamemnon, and Talthybius                                 300
 The herald, clear in utterance as a God,
 Beside him stood, holding the victim boar.
 Atrides, drawing forth his dagger bright,
 Appendant ever to his sword's huge sheath,
 Sever'd the bristly forelock of the boar,                      305
 A previous offering. Next, with lifted hands
 To Jove he pray'd, while, all around, the Greeks
 Sat listening silent to the Sovereign's voice.
 He look'd to the wide heaven, and thus he pray'd.
   First, Jove be witness! of all Powers above                  310
 Best and supreme; Earth next, and next the Sun!
 And last, who under Earth the guilt avenge
 Of oaths sworn falsely, let the Furies hear!
 For no respect of amorous desire
 Or other purpose, have I laid mine hand                        315
 On fair Brisëis, but within my tent
 Untouch'd, immaculate she hath remain'd.
 And if I falsely swear, then may the Gods
 The many woes with which they mark the crime
 Of men forsworn, pour also down on me!                         320
   So saying, he pierced the victim in his throat
 And, whirling him around, Talthybius, next,
 Cast him into the ocean, fishes' food.[8]
 Then, in the centre of Achaia's sons
 Uprose Achilles, and thus spake again.                         325
   Jove! Father! dire calamities, effects
 Of thy appointment, fall on human-kind.
 Never had Agamemnon in my breast
 Such anger kindled, never had he seized,
 Blinded by wrath, and torn my prize away,                      330
 But that the slaughter of our numerous friends
 Which thence ensued, thou hadst, thyself, ordained.
 Now go, ye Grecians, eat, and then to battle.
   So saying, Achilles suddenly dissolved
 The hasty council, and all flew dispersed                      335
 To their own ships. Then took the Myrmidons
 Those splendid gifts which in the tent they lodged
 Of swift Achilles, and the damsels led
 Each to a seat, while others of his train
 Drove forth the steeds to pasture with his herd.               340
 But when Brisëis, bright as Venus, saw
 Patroclus lying mangled by the spear,
 Enfolding him around, she shriek'd and tore
 Her bosom, her smooth neck and beauteous cheeks.
 Then thus, divinely fair, with tears she said.                 345
   Ah, my Patroclus! dearest friend of all
 To hapless me, departing from this tent
 I left thee living, and now, generous Chief!
 Restored to it again, here find thee dead.
 How rapid in succession are my woes!                           350
 I saw, myself, the valiant prince to whom
 My parents had betroth'd me, slain before
 Our city walls; and my three brothers, sons
 Of my own mother, whom with long regret
 I mourn, fell also in that dreadful field.                     355
 But when the swift Achilles slew the prince
 Design'd my spouse, and the fair city sack'd
 Of noble Mynes, thou by every art
 Of tender friendship didst forbid my tears,
 Promising oft that thou would'st make me bride                 360
 Of Peleus' godlike son, that thy own ship
 Should waft me hence to Phthia, and that thyself
 Would'st furnish forth among the Myrmidons
 Our nuptial feast. Therefore thy death I mourn
 Ceaseless, for thou wast ever kind to me.                      365
   She spake, and all her fellow-captives heaved
 Responsive sighs, deploring each, in show,
 The dead Patroclus, but, in truth, herself.[9]
 Then the Achaian Chiefs gather'd around
 Achilles, wooing him to eat, but he                            370
 Groan'd and still resolute, their suit refused--
   If I have here a friend on whom by prayers
 I may prevail, I pray that ye desist,
 Nor longer press me, mourner as I am,
 To eat or drink, for till the sun go down                      375
 I am inflexible, and _will_ abstain.
   So saying, the other princes he dismiss'd
 Impatient, but the sons of Atreus both,
 Ulysses, Nestor and Idomeneus,
 With Phoenix, hoary warrior, in his tent                       380
 Abiding still, with cheerful converse kind
 Essay'd to soothe him, whose afflicted soul
 All soothing scorn'd till he should once again
 Rush on the ravening edge of bloody war.
 Then, mindful of his friend, groaning he said                  385
   Time was, unhappiest, dearest of my friends!
 When even thou, with diligent dispatch,
 Thyself, hast spread a table in my tent,
 The hour of battle drawing nigh between
 The Greeks and warlike Trojans. But there lies                 390
 Thy body now, gored by the ruthless steel,
 And for thy sake I neither eat nor drink,
 Though dearth be none, conscious that other wo
 Surpassing this I can have none to fear.
 No, not if tidings of my father's death                        395
 Should reach me, who, this moment, weeps, perhaps,
 In Phthia tears of tenderest regret
 For such a son; while I, remote from home
 Fight for detested Helen under Troy.
 Nor even were _he_ dead, whom, if he live,                     400
 I rear in Scyros, my own darling son,
 My Neoptolemus of form divine.[10]
 For still this hope I cherish'd in my breast
 Till now, that, of us two, myself alone
 Should fall at Ilium, and that thou, restored                  405
 To Phthia, should'st have wafted o'er the waves
 My son from Scyros to his native home,
 That thou might'st show him all his heritage,
 My train of menials, and my fair abode.
 For either dead already I account                              410
 Peleus, or doubt not that his residue
 Of miserable life shall soon be spent,
 Through stress of age and expectation sad
 That tidings of my death shall, next, arrive.
   So spake Achilles weeping, around whom                       415
 The Chiefs all sigh'd, each with remembrance pain'd
 Of some loved object left at home. Meantime
 Jove, with compassion moved, their sorrow saw,
 And in wing'd accents thus to Pallas spake.
   Daughter! thou hast abandon'd, as it seems,                  420
 Yon virtuous Chief for ever; shall no care
 Thy mind engage of brave Achilles more?
 Before his gallant fleet mourning he sits
 His friend, disconsolate; the other Greeks
 Sat and are satisfied; he only fasts.                          425
 Go then--instil nectar into his breast,
 And sweets ambrosial, that he hunger not.
   So saying, he urged Minerva prompt before.
 In form a shrill-voiced Harpy of long wing
 Through ether down she darted, while the Greeks                430
 In all their camp for instant battle arm'd.
 Ambrosial sweets and nectar she instill'd
 Into his breast, lest he should suffer loss
 Of strength through abstinence, then soar'd again
 To her great Sire's unperishing abode.                         435
 And now the Grecians from their gallant fleet
 All pour'd themselves abroad. As when thick snow
 From Jove descends, driven by impetuous gusts
 Of the cloud-scattering North, so frequent shone
 Issuing from the fleet the dazzling casques,                   440
 Boss'd bucklers, hauberks strong, and ashen spears.
 Upwent the flash to heaven; wide all around
 The champain laugh'd with beamy brass illumed,
 And tramplings of the warriors on all sides
 Resounded, amidst whom Achilles arm'd.                         445
 He gnash'd his teeth, fire glimmer'd in his eyes,
 Anguish intolerable wrung his heart
 And fury against Troy, while he put on
 His glorious arms, the labor of a God.
 First, to his legs his polish'd greaves he clasp'd             450
 Studded with silver, then his corselet bright
 Braced to his bosom, his huge sword of brass
 Athwart his shoulder slung, and his broad shield
 Uplifted last, luminous as the moon.
 Such as to mariners a fire appears,                            455
 Kindled by shepherds on the distant top
 Of some lone hill; they, driven by stormy winds,
 Reluctant roam far off the fishy deep,
 Such from Achilles' burning shield divine
 A lustre struck the skies; his ponderous helm                  460
 He lifted to his brows; starlike it shone,
 And shook its curling crest of bushy gold,
 By Vulcan taught to wave profuse around.
 So clad, godlike Achilles trial made
 If his arms fitted him, and gave free scope                    465
 To his proportion'd limbs; buoyant they proved
 As wings, and high upbore his airy tread.
 He drew his father's spear forth from his case,
 Heavy and huge and long. That spear, of all
 Achaia's sons, none else had power to wield;                   470
 Achilles only could the Pelian spear
 Brandish, by Chiron for his father hewn
 From Pelion's top for slaughter of the brave.
 His coursers, then, Automedon prepared
 And Alcimus, adjusting diligent                                475
 The fair caparisons; they thrust the bits
 Into their mouths, and to the chariot seat
 Extended and made fast the reins behind.
 The splendid scourge commodious to the grasp
 Seizing, at once Automedon upsprang                            480
 Into his place; behind him, arm'd complete
 Achilles mounted, as the orient sun
 All dazzling, and with awful tone his speech
 Directed to the coursers of his Sire.
   Xanthus, and Balius of Podarges' blood                       485
 Illustrious! see ye that, the battle done,
 Ye bring whom now ye bear back to the host
 Of the Achaians in far other sort,
 Nor leave him, as ye left Patroclus, dead.[11]
 Him then his steed unconquer'd in the race,                    490
 Xanthus answer'd from beneath his yoke,
 But, hanging low his head, and with his mane
 Dishevell'd all, and streaming to the ground.
 Him Juno vocal made, Goddess white-arm'd.
   And doubtless so we will. This day at least                  495
 We bear thee safe from battle, stormy Chief!
 But thee the hour of thy destruction swift
 Approaches, hasten'd by no fault of ours,
 But by the force of fate and power divine.
 For not through sloth or tardiness on us                       500
 Aught chargeable, have Ilium's sons thine arms
 Stript from Patroclus' shoulders, but a God
 Matchless in battle, offspring of bright-hair'd
 Latona, him contending in the van
 Slew, for the glory of the Chief of Troy.                      505
 We, Zephyrus himself, though by report
 Swiftest of all the winds of heaven, in speed
 Could equal, but the Fates thee also doom
 By human hands to fall, and hands divine.
   The interposing Furies at that word                          510
 Suppress'd his utterance,[12] and indignant, thus,
 Achilles, swiftest of the swift, replied.
   Why, Xanthus, propheciest thou my death?
 It ill beseems thee. I already know
 That from my parents far remote my doom                        515
 Appoints me here to die; yet not the more
 Cease I from feats if arms, till Ilium's host
 Shall have received, at length, their fill of war.
   He said, and with a shout drove forth to battle.



                             THE ILIAD.
                              BOOK XX.



                  ARGUMENT OF THE TWENTIETH BOOK.


By permission of Jupiter the Gods descend into the battle, and range themselves on either side respectively. Neptune rescues Æneas from death by the hand of Achilles, from whom Apollo, soon after, rescues Hector. Achilles slays many Trojans.



                              BOOK XX.


 The Grecians, thus, before their lofty ships
 Stood arm'd around Achilles, glorious Chief
 Insatiable with war, and opposite
 The Trojans on the rising-ground appear'd.[1]
 Meantime, Jove order'd Themis, from the head                     5
 Of the deep-fork'd Olympian to convene
 The Gods in council. She to every part
 Proceeding, bade them to the courts of Jove.[2]
 Nor of the Floods was any absent thence
 Oceanus except, or of the Nymphs                                10
 Who haunt the pleasant groves, or dwell beside
 Stream-feeding fountains, or in meadows green.
 Within the courts of cloud-assembler Jove
 Arrived, on pillar'd thrones radiant they sat,
 With ingenuity divine contrived                                 15
 By Vulcan for the mighty Sire of all.
 Thus they within the Thunderer's palace sat
 Assembled; nor was Neptune slow to hear
 The voice of Themis, but (the billows left)
 Came also; in the midst his seat he took,                       20
 And ask'd, incontinent, the mind of Jove.[3]
   King of the lightnings! wherefore hast thou call'd
 The Gods to council? Hast thou aught at heart
 Important to the hosts of Greece and Troy?
 For on the battle's fiery edge they stand.                      25
   To whom replied Jove, Sovereign of the storms,
 Thou know'st my council, Shaker of the shores!
 And wherefore ye are call'd. Although ordain'd
 So soon to die, they interest me still.
 Myself, here seated on Olympus' top,                            30
 With contemplation will my mind indulge
 Of yon great spectacle; but ye, the rest,
 Descend into the field, Trojan or Greek
 Each to assist, as each shall most incline.
 For should Achilles in the field no foe                         35
 Find save the Trojans, quickly should they fly
 Before the rapid force of Peleus' son.
 They trembled ever at his look, and since
 Such fury for his friend hath fired his heart,
 I fear lest he anticipate the will                              40
 Of Fate, and Ilium perish premature.
   So spake the son of Saturn kindling war
 Inevitable, and the Gods to fight
 'Gan move with minds discordant. Juno sought
 And Pallas, with the earth-encircling Power                     45
 Neptune, the Grecian fleet, with whom were join'd
 Mercury, teacher of all useful arts,
 And Vulcan, rolling on all sides his eyes
 Tremendous, but on disproportion'd legs,
 Not without labor hard, halting uncouth.                        50
 Mars, warrior-God, on Ilium's part appear'd
 With Phoebus never-shorn, Dian shaft-arm'd,
 Xanthus, Latona, and the Queen of smiles,
 Venus. So long as the immortal Gods
 Mixed not with either host, Achaia's sons                       55
 Exulted, seeing, after tedious pause,
 Achilles in the field, and terror shook
 The knees of every Trojan, at the sight
 Of swift Achilles like another Mars
 Panting for blood, and bright in arms again.                    60
 But when the Olympian Powers had enter'd once
 The multitude, then Discord, at whose voice
 The million maddens, vehement arose;
 Then, Pallas at the trench without the wall
 By turns stood shouting, and by turns a shout                   65
 Sent terrible along the sounding shore,
 While, gloomy as a tempest, opposite,
 Mars from the lofty citadel of Troy
 Now yell'd aloud, now running o'er the hill
 Callicolone, on the Simois' side.                               70
   Thus the Immortals, ever-blest, impell'd
 Both hosts to battle, and dire inroad caused
 Of strife among them. Sudden from on high
 The Sire of Gods and men thunder'd; meantime,
 Neptune the earth and the high mountains shook;                 75
 Through all her base and to her topmost peak
 Ida spring-fed the agitation felt
 Reeling, all Ilium and the fleet of Greece.
 Upstarted from his throne, appall'd, the King
 Of Erebus, and with a cry his fears                             80
 Through hell proclaim'd, lest Neptune, o'er his head
 Shattering the vaulted earth, should wide disclose
 To mortal and immortal eyes his realm
 Terrible, squalid, to the Gods themselves
 A dreaded spectacle; with such a sound                          85
 The Powers eternal into battle rush'd.[4]
 Opposed to Neptune, King of the vast Deep,
 Apollo stood with his wing'd arrows arm'd;
 Pallas to Mars; Diana shaft-expert,
 Sister of Phoebus, in her golden bow                            90
 Rejoicing, with whose shouts the forests ring
 To Juno; Mercury, for useful arts
 Famed, to Latona; and to Vulcan's force
 The eddied River broad by mortal men
 Scamander call'd, but Xanthus by the Gods.                      95
   So Gods encounter'd Gods. But most desire
 Achilles felt, breaking the ranks, to rush
 On Priameian Hector, with whose blood
 Chiefly his fury prompted him to sate
 The indefatigable God of war.                                  100
 But, the encourager of Ilium's host
 Apollo, urged Æneas to assail
 The son of Peleus, with heroic might
 Inspiring his bold heart. He feign'd the voice
 Of Priam's son Lycaon, and his form                            105
 Assuming, thus the Trojan Chief address'd.
   Æneas! Trojan leader! where are now
 Thy vaunts, which, banqueting erewhile among
 Our princes, o'er thy brimming cups thou mad'st,
 That thou would'st fight, thyself, with Peleus' son?           110
   To whom Æneas answer thus returned.
 Offspring of Priam! why enjoin'st thou me
 Not so inclined, that arduous task, to cope
 With the unmatch'd Achilles? I have proved
 His force already, when he chased me down                      115
 From Ida with his spear, what time he made
 Seizure of all our cattle, and destroy'd
 Pedasus and Lyrnessus; but I 'scaped
 Unslain, by Jove himself empower'd to fly,
 Else had I fallen by Achilles' hand,                           120
 And by the hand of Pallas, who his steps
 Conducted, and exhorted him to slay
 Us and the Leleges.[5] Vain, therefore, proves
 All mortal force to Peleus' son opposed;
 For one, at least, of the Immortals stands                     125
 Ever beside him, guardian of his life,
 And, of himself, he hath an arm that sends
 His rapid spear unerring to the mark.
 Yet, would the Gods more equal sway the scales
 Of battle, not with ease should he subdue                      130
 Me, though he boast a panoply of brass.
   Him, then, Apollo answer'd, son of Jove.
 Hero! prefer to the immortal Gods
 Thy Prayer, for thee men rumor Venus' son
 Daughter of Jove; and Peleus' son his birth                    135
 Drew from a Goddess of inferior note.
 Thy mother is from Jove; the offspring, his,
 Less noble of the hoary Ocean old.
 Go, therefore, and thy conquering spear uplift
 Against him, nor let aught his sounding words                  140
 Appal thee, or his threats turn thee away.
   So saying, with martial force the Chief he fill'd,
 Who through the foremost combatants advanced
 Radiant in arms. Nor pass'd Anchises' son
 Unseen of Juno, through the crowded ranks                      145
 Seeking Achilles, but the Powers of heaven
 Convened by her command, she thus address'd.
   Neptune, and thou, Minerva! with mature
 Deliberation, ponder the event.
 Yon Chief, Æneas, dazzling bright in arms;                     150
 Goes to withstand Achilles, and he goes
 Sent by Apollo; in despite of whom
 Be it our task to give him quick repulse,
 Or, of ourselves, let some propitious Power
 Strengthen Achilles with a mind exempt                         155
 From terror, and with force invincible.
 So shall he know that of the Gods above
 The mightiest are his friends, with whom compared
 The favorers of Ilium in time past,
 Who stood her guardians in the bloody strife,                  160
 Are empty boasters all, and nothing worth.
 For therefore came we down, that we may share
 This fight, and that Achilles suffer nought
 Fatal to-day, though suffer all he must
 Hereafter, with his thread of life entwined                    165
 By Destiny, the day when he was born.
 But should Achilles unapprized remain
 Of such advantage by a voice divine,
 When he shall meet some Deity in the field,
 Fear then will seize him, for celestial forms                  170
 Unveil'd are terrible to mortal eyes.
   To whom replied the Shaker of the shores.
 Juno! thy hot impatience needs control;
 It ill befits thee. No desire I feel
 To force into contention with ourselves                        175
 Gods, our inferiors. No. Let us, retired
 To yonder hill, distant from all resort,
 There sit, while these the battle wage alone.
 But if Apollo, or if Mars the fight
 Entering, begin, themselves, to interfere                      180
 Against Achilles, then will we at once
 To battle also; and, I much misdeem,
 Or glad they shall be soon to mix again
 Among the Gods on the Olympian heights,
 By strong coercion of our arms subdued.                        185
   So saying, the God of Ocean azure-hair'd
 Moved foremost to the lofty mound earth-built
 Of noble Hercules, by Pallas raised
 And by the Trojans for his safe escape,
 What time the monster of the deep pursued                      190
 The hero from the sea-bank o'er the plain.
 There Neptune sat, and his confederate Gods,
 Their shoulders with impenetrable clouds
 O'ermantled, while the city-spoiler Mars
 Sat with Apollo opposite on the hill                           195
 Callicolone, with their aids divine.
 So, Gods to Gods in opposite aspect
 Sat ruminating, and alike the work
 All fearing to begin of arduous war,
 While from his seat sublime Jove urged them on.                200
 The champain all was fill'd, and with the blaze
 Illumined wide of men and steeds brass-arm'd,
 And the incumber'd earth jarr'd under foot
 Of the encountering hosts. Then, two, the rest
 Surpassing far, into the midst advanced                        205
 Impatient for the fight, Anchises' son
 Æneas and Achilles, glorious Chief!
 Æneas first, under his ponderous casque
 Nodding and menacing, advanced; before
 His breast he held the well-conducted orb                      210
 Of his broad shield, and shook his brazen spear.
 On the other side, Achilles to the fight
 Flew like a ravening lion, on whose death
 Resolved, the peasants from all quarters meet;
 He, viewing with disdain the foremost, stalks                  215
 Right on, but smitten by some dauntless youth
 Writhes himself, and discloses his huge fangs
 Hung with white foam; then, growling for revenge,
 Lashes himself to battle with his tail,
 Till with a burning eye and a bold heart                       220
 He springs to slaughter, or himself is slain;
 So, by his valor and his noble mind
 Impell'd, renown'd Achilles moved toward
 Æneas, and, small interval between,
 Thus spake the hero matchless in the race.                     225
   Why stand'st thou here, Æneas! thy own band
 Left at such distance? Is it that thine heart
 Glows with ambition to contend with me
 In hope of Priam's honors, and to fill
 His throne hereafter in Troy steed-renown'd?                   230
 But shouldst thou slay me, not for that exploit
 Would Priam such large recompense bestow,
 For he hath sons, and hath, beside, a mind
 And disposition not so lightly changed.
 Or have the Trojans of their richest soil                      235
 For vineyard apt or plow assign'd thee part
 If thou shalt slay me? Difficult, I hope,
 At least, thou shalt experience that emprize.
 For, as I think, I have already chased
 Thee with my spear. Forgettest thou the day                    240
 When, finding thee alone, I drove thee down
 Headlong from Ida, and, thy cattle left
 Afar, thou didst not dare in all thy flight
 Turn once, till at Lyrnessus safe arrived,
 Which city by Jove's aid and by the aid                        245
 Of Pallas I destroy'd, and captive led
 Their women? Thee, indeed, the Gods preserved
 But they shall not preserve thee, as thou dream'st
 Now also. Back into thy host again;
 Hence, I command thee, nor oppose in fight                     250
 My force, lest evil find thee. To be taught
 By suffering only is the part of fools.
   To whom Æneas answer thus return'd.
 Pelides! hope not, as I were a boy,
 With words to scare me. I have also taunts                     255
 At my command, and could be sharp as thou.
 By such reports as from the lips of men
 We oft have heard, each other's birth we know
 And parents; but my parents to behold
 Was ne'er thy lot, nor have I thine beheld.                    260
 Thee men proclaim from noble Peleus sprung
 And Thetis, bright hair'd Goddess of the Deep;
 I boast myself of lovely Venus born
 To brave Anchises; and his son this day
 In battle slain thy sire shall mourn, or mine;                 265
 For I expect not that we shall depart
 Like children, satisfied with words alone.
 But if it please thee more at large to learn
 My lineage (thousands can attest it true)
 Know this. Jove, Sovereign of the storms, begat                270
 Dardanus, and ere yet the sacred walls
 Of Ilium rose, the glory of this plain,
 He built Dardania; for at Ida's foot
 Dwelt our progenitors in ancient days.
 Dardanus was the father of a son,                              275
 King Ericthonius, wealthiest of mankind.
 Three thousand mares of his the marish grazed,
 Each suckling with delight her tender foal.
 Boreas, enamor'd of no few of these,
 The pasture sought, and cover'd them in form                   280
 Of a steed azure-maned. They, pregnant thence,
 Twelve foals produced, and all so light of foot,
 That when they wanton'd in the fruitful field
 They swept, and snapp'd it not, the golden ear;
 And when they wanton'd on the boundless deep,                  285
 They skimm'd the green wave's frothy ridge, secure.
 From Ericthonius sprang Tros, King of Troy,
 And Tros was father of three famous sons,
 Ilus, Assaracus, and Ganymede
 Loveliest of human kind, whom for his charms                   290
 The Gods caught up to heaven, there to abide
 With the immortals, cup-bearer of Jove.
 Ilus begat Laomedon, and he
 Five sons, Tithonus, Priam, Clytius,
 Lampus, and Hicetaon, branch of Mars.                          295
 Assaracus a son begat, by name
 Capys, and Capys in due time his son
 Warlike Anchises, and Anchises me.
 But Priam is the noble Hector's sire.[6]
 Such is my lineage, and such blood I boast;                    300
 But valor is from Jove; he, as he wills,
 Increases or reduces it in man,
 For he is lord of all. Therefore enough--
 Too long like children we have stood, the time
 Consuming here, while battle roars around.                     305
 Reproach is cheap. Easily might we cast
 Gibes at each other, till a ship that asks
 A hundred oars should sink beneath the load.
 The tongue of man is voluble, hath words
 For every theme, nor wants wide field and long,                310
 And as he speaks so shall he hear again.
 But we--why should we wrangle, and with taunts
 Assail each other, as the practice is
 Of women, who with heart-devouring strife
 On fire, start forth into the public way                       315
 To mock each other, uttering, as may chance,
 Much truth, much falsehood, as their anger bids?
 The ardor of my courage will not slack
 For all thy speeches; we must combat first;
 Now, therefore, without more delay, begin,                     320
 That we may taste each other's force in arms.[7]
   So spake Æneas, and his brazen lance
 Hurl'd with full force against the dreadful shield.
 Loud roar'd its ample concave at the blow.
 Not unalarm'd, Pelides his broad disk                          325
 Thrust farther from him, deeming that the force
 Of such an arm should pierce his guard with ease.
 Vain fear! he recollected not that arms
 Glorious as his, gifts of the immortal Gods,
 Yield not so quickly to the force of man.                      330
 The stormy spear by brave Æneas sent,
 No passage found; the golden plate divine
 Repress'd its vehemence; two folds it pierced,
 But three were still behind, for with five folds
 Vulcan had fortified it; two were brass;                       335
 The two interior, tin; the midmost, gold;
 And at the golden one the weapon stood.[8]
 Achilles next, hurl'd his long shadow'd spear,
 And struck Æneas on the utmost verge
 Of his broad shield, where thinnest lay the brass,             340
 And thinnest the ox-hide. The Pelian ash
 Started right through the buckler, and it rang.
 Æneas crouch'd terrified, and his shield
 Thrust farther from him; but the rapid beam
 Bursting both borders of the ample disk,                       345
 Glanced o'er his back, and plunged into the soil.
 He 'scaped it, and he stood; but, as he stood,
 With horror infinite the weapon saw
 Planted so near him. Then, Achilles drew
 His falchion keen, and with a deafening shout                  350
 Sprang on him; but Æneas seized a stone
 Heavy and huge, a weight to overcharge
 Two men (such men as are accounted strong
 Now) but he wielded it with ease, alone.
 Then had Æneas, as Achilles came                               355
 Impetuous on, smitten, although in vain,
 His helmet or his shield, and Peleus' son
 Had with his falchion him stretch'd at his feet,
 But that the God of Ocean quick perceived
 His peril, and the Immortals thus bespake.                     360
   I pity brave Æneas, who shall soon,
 Slain by Achilles, see the realms below,
 By smooth suggestions of Apollo lured
 To danger, such as he can ne'er avert.
 But wherefore should the Chief, guiltless himself,             365
 Die for the fault of others? at no time
 His gifts have fail'd, grateful to all in heaven.
 Come, therefore, and let us from death ourselves
 Rescue him, lest if by Achilles' arm
 This hero perish, Jove himself be wroth;                       370
 For he is destined to survive, lest all
 The house of Dardanus (whom Jove beyond
 All others loved, his sons of woman born)
 Fail with Æneas, and be found no more.
 Saturnian Jove hath hated now long time                        375
 The family of Priam, and henceforth
 Æneas and his son, and his sons' sons,
 Shall sway the sceptre o'er the race of Troy.
   To whom, majestic thus the spouse of Jove.
 Neptune! deliberate thyself, and choose                        380
 Whether to save Æneas, or to leave
 The hero victim of Achilles' ire.
 For Pallas and myself ofttimes have sworn
 In full assembly of the Gods, to aid
 Troy never, never to avert the day                             385
 Of her distress, not even when the flames
 Kindled by the heroic sons of Greece,
 Shall climb with fury to her topmost towers.
   She spake; then Neptune, instant, through the throng
 Of battle flying, and the clash of spears,                     390
 Came where Achilles and Æneas fought.
 At once with shadows dim he blurr'd the sight
 Of Peleus' son, and from the shield, himself,
 Of brave Æneas the bright-pointed ash
 Retracting, placed it at Achilles' feet.                       395
 Then, lifting high Æneas from the ground,
 He heaved him far remote; o'er many a rank
 Of heroes and of bounding steeds he flew,
 Launch'd into air from the expanded palm
 Of Neptune, and alighted in the rear                           400
 Of all the battle where the Caucons stood.
 Neptune approach'd him there, and at his side
 Standing, in accents wing'd, him thus bespake.
   What God, Æneas! tempted thee to cope
 Thus inconsiderately with the son                              405
 Of Peleus, both more excellent in fight
 Than thou, and more the favorite of the skies?
 From him retire hereafter, or expect
 A premature descent into the shades.
 But when Achilles shall have once fulfill'd                    410
 His destiny, in battle slain, then fight
 Fearless, for thou canst fall by none beside.
   So saying, he left the well-admonish'd Chief,
 And from Achilles' eyes scatter'd the gloom
 Shed o'er them by himself. The hero saw                        415
 Clearly, and with his noble heart incensed
 By disappointment, thus conferring, said.
   Gods! I behold a prodigy. My spear
 Lies at my foot, and he at whom I cast
 The weapon with such deadly force, is gone!                    420
 Æneas therefore, as it seems, himself
 Interests the immortal Gods, although
 I deem'd his boast of their protection vain.
 I reck not. Let him go. So gladly 'scaped
 From slaughter now, he shall not soon again                    425
 Feel an ambition to contend with me.
 Now will I rouse the Danaï, and prove
 The force in fight of many a Trojan more.
   He said, and sprang to battle with loud voice,
 Calling the Grecians after him.--Ye sons                       430
 Of the Achaians! stand not now aloof,
 My noble friends! but foot to foot let each
 Fall on courageous, and desire the fight.
 The task were difficult for me alone,
 Brave as I boast myself, to chase a foe                        435
 So numerous, and to combat with them all.
 Not Mars himself, immortal though he be,
 Nor Pallas, could with all the ranks contend
 Of this vast multitude, and drive the whole.
 With hands, with feet, with spirit and with might,             440
 All that I can I will; right through I go,
 And not a Trojan who shall chance within
 Spear's reach of me, shall, as I judge, rejoice.
   Thus he the Greeks exhorted. Opposite,
 Meantime, illustrious Hector to his host                       445
 Vociferated, his design to oppose
 Achilles publishing in every ear.
   Fear not, ye valiant men of Troy! fear not
 The son of Peleus. In a war of words
 I could, myself, cope even with the Gods;                      450
 But not with spears; there they excel us all.
 Nor shall Achilles full performance give
 To all his vaunts, but, if he some fulfil,
 Shall others leave mutilate in the midst.
 I will encounter him, though his hands be fire,                455
 Though fire his hands, and his heart hammer'd steel.
   So spake he them exhorting. At his word
 Uprose the Trojan spears, thick intermixt
 The battle join'd, and clamor loud began.
 Then thus, approaching Hector, Phoebus spake.                  460
   Henceforth, advance not Hector! in the front
 Seeking Achilles, but retired within
 The stormy multitude his coming wait,
 Lest his spear reach thee, or his glittering sword.
   He said, and Hector far into his host                        465
 Withdrew, admonish'd by the voice divine.
 Then, shouting terrible, and clothed with might,
 Achilles sprang to battle. First, he slew
 The valiant Chief Iphition, whom a band
 Numerous obey'd. Otrynteus was his sire.                       470
 Him to Otrynteus, city-waster Chief,
 A Naiad under snowy Tmolus bore
 In fruitful Hyda.[9] Right into his front
 As he advanced, Achilles drove his spear,
 And rived his skull; with thundering sound he fell,            475
 And thus the conqueror gloried in his fall.
   Ah Otryntides! thou art slain. Here lies
 The terrible in arms, who born beside
 The broad Gygæan lake, where Hyllus flows
 And Hermus, call'd the fertile soil his own.                   480
   Thus gloried he. Meantime the shades of death
 Cover'd Iphition, and Achaian wheels
 And horses ground his body in the van.
 Demoleon next, Antenor's son, a brave
 Defender of the walls of Troy, he slew.                        485
 Into his temples through his brazen casque
 He thrust the Pelian ash, nor could the brass
 Such force resist, but the huge weapon drove
 The shatter'd bone into his inmost brain,
 And his fierce onset at a stroke repress'd.                    490
 Hippodamas his weapon next received
 Within his spine, while with a leap he left
 His steeds and fled. He, panting forth his life,
 Moan'd like a bull, by consecrated youths
 Dragg'd round the Heliconian King,[10] who views               495
 That victim with delight. So, with loud moans
 The noble warrior sigh'd his soul away.
 Then, spear in hand, against the godlike son
 Of Priam, Polydorus, he advanced.
 Not yet his father had to him indulged                         500
 A warrior's place, for that of all his sons
 He was the youngest-born, his hoary sire's
 Chief darling, and in speed surpass'd them all.
 Then also, in the vanity of youth,
 For show of nimbleness, he started oft                         505
 Into the vanward, till at last he fell.
 Him gliding swiftly by, swifter than he
 Achilles with a javelin reach'd; he struck
 His belt behind him, where the golden clasps
 Met, and the double hauberk interposed.                        510
 The point transpierced his bowels, and sprang through
 His navel; screaming, on his knees he fell,
 Death-shadows dimm'd his eyes, and with both hands,
 Stooping, he press'd his gather'd bowels back.
 But noble Hector, soon as he beheld                            515
 His brother Polydorus to the earth
 Inclined, and with his bowels in his hands,
 Sightless well-nigh with anguish could endure
 No longer to remain aloof; flame-like
 He burst abroad,[11] and shaking his sharp spear,              520
 Advanced to meet Achilles, whose approach
 Seeing, Achilles bounded with delight,
 And thus, exulting, to himself he said.
   Ah! he approaches, who hath stung my soul
 Deepest, the slayer of whom most I loved!                      525
 Behold, we meet! Caution is at an end,
 And timid skulking in the walks of war.
   He ceased, and with a brow knit into frowns,
 Call'd to illustrious Hector. Haste, approach,
 That I may quick dispatch thee to the shades.                  530
   Whom answer'd warlike Hector, nought appall'd.
 Pelides! hope not, as I were a boy,
 With words to scare me. I have also taunts
 At my command, and can be sharp as thou.
 I know thee valiant, and myself I know                         535
 Inferior far; yet, whether thou shalt slay
 Me, or, inferior as I am, be slain
 By me, is at the pleasure of the Gods,
 For I wield also not a pointless beam.
   He said, and, brandishing it, hurl'd his spear,              540
 Which Pallas, breathing softly, wafted back
 From the renown'd Achilles, and it fell
 Successless at illustrious Hector's feet.
 Then, all on fire to slay him, with a shout
 That rent the air Achilles rapid flew                          545
 Toward him; but him wrapt in clouds opaque
 Apollo caught with ease divine away.
 Thrice, swift Achilles sprang to the assault
 Impetuous, thrice the pitchy cloud he smote,
 And at his fourth assault, godlike in act,                     550
 And terrible in utterance, thus exclaim'd.
   Dog! thou art safe, and hast escaped again;
 But narrowly, and by the aid once more
 Of Phoebus, without previous suit to whom
 Thou venturest never where the javelin sings.                  555
 But when we next encounter, then expect,
 If one of all in heaven aid also me,
 To close thy proud career. Meantime I seek
 Some other, and assail e'en whom I may.
   So saying, he pierced the neck of Dryops through,            560
 And at his feet he fell. Him there he left,
 And turning on a valiant warrior huge,
 Philetor's son, Demuchus, in the knee
 Pierced, and detain'd him by the planted spear,
 Till with his sword he smote him, and he died.                 565
 Laogonus and Dardanus he next
 Assaulted, sons of Bias; to the ground
 Dismounting both, one with his spear he slew,
 The other with his falchion at a blow.
 Tros too, Alastor's son--he suppliant clasp'd                  570
 Achilles' knees, and for his pity sued,
 Pleading equality of years, in hope
 That he would spare, and send him thence alive.
 Ah dreamer! ignorant how much in vain
 That suit he urged; for not of milky mind,                     575
 Or placable in temper was the Chief
 To whom he sued, but fiery. With both hands
 His knees he clasp'd importunate, and he
 Fast by the liver gash'd him with his sword.
 His liver falling forth, with sable blood                      580
 His bosom fill'd, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
 Then, drawing close to Mulius, in his ear
 He set the pointed brass, and at a thrust
 Sent it, next moment, through his ear beyond.
 Then, through the forehead of Agenor's son                     585
 Echechlus, his huge-hafted blade he drove,
 And death and fate forever veil'd his eyes.
 Next, where the tendons of the elbow meet,
 Striking Deucalion, through his wrist he urged
 The brazen point; he all defenceless stood,                    590
 Expecting death; down came Achilles' blade
 Full on his neck; away went head and casque
 Together; from his spine the marrow sprang,
 And at his length outstretch'd he press'd the plain.
 From him to Rhigmus, Pireus' noble son,                        595
 He flew, a warrior from the fields of Thrace.
 Him through the loins he pierced, and with the beam
 Fixt in his bowels, to the earth he fell;
 Then piercing, as he turn'd to flight, the spine
 Of Areithöus his charioteer,                                   600
 He thrust him from his seat; wild with dismay
 Back flew the fiery coursers at his fall.
 As a devouring fire within the glens
 Of some dry mountain ravages the trees,
 While, blown around, the flames roll to all sides,             605
 So, on all sides, terrible as a God,
 Achilles drove the death-devoted host
 Of Ilium, and the champain ran with blood.
 As when the peasant his yoked steers employs
 To tread his barley, the broad-fronted pair                    610
 With ponderous hoofs trample it out with ease,
 So, by magnanimous Achilles driven,
 His coursers solid-hoof'd stamp'd as they ran
 The shields, at once, and bodies of the slain;
 Blood spatter'd all his axle, and with blood                   615
 From the horse-hoofs and from the fellied wheels
 His chariot redden'd, while himself, athirst
 For glory, his unconquerable hands
 Defiled with mingled carnage, sweat, and dust.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XXI.



                 ARGUMENT OF THE TWENTY-FIRST BOOK.


Achilles having separated the Trojans, and driven one part of them to the city and the other into the Scamander, takes twelve young men alive, his intended victims to the manes of Patroclus. The river overflowing his banks with purpose to overwhelm him, is opposed by Vulcan, and gladly relinquishes the attempt. The battle of the gods ensues. Apollo, in the form of Agenor, decoys Achilles from the town, which in the mean time the Trojans enter and shut the gates against him.



                             BOOK XXI.


 [1]But when they came, at length, where Xanthus winds
 His stream vortiginous from Jove derived,
 There, separating Ilium's host, he drove
 Part o'er the plain to Troy in the same road
 By which the Grecians had so lately fled                         5
 The fury of illustrious Hector's arm.
 That way they fled pouring themselves along
 Flood-like, and Juno, to retard them, threw
 Darkness as night before them. Other part,
 Push'd down the sides of Xanthus, headlong plunged              10
 With dashing sound into his dizzy stream,
 And all his banks re-echoed loud the roar.
 They, struggling, shriek'd in silver eddies whirl'd.
 As when, by violence of fire expell'd,
 Locusts uplifted on the wing escape                             15
 To some broad river, swift the sudden blaze
 Pursues them, they, astonish'd, strew the flood,[2]
 So, by Achilles driven, a mingled throng
 Of horses and of warriors overspread
 Xanthus, and glutted all his sounding course                    20
 He, chief of heroes, leaving on the bank
 His spear against a tamarisk reclined,
 Plunged like a God, with falchion arm'd alone
 But fill'd with thoughts of havoc. On all sides
 Down came his edge; groans follow'd dread to hear               25
 Of warriors smitten by the sword, and all
 The waters as they ran redden'd with blood.
 As smaller fishes, flying the pursuit
 Of some huge dolphin, terrified, the creeks
 And secret hollows of a haven fill,                             30
 For none of all that he can seize he spares,
 So lurk'd the trembling Trojans in the caves
 Of Xanthus' awful flood. But he (his hands
 Wearied at length with slaughter) from the rest
 Twelve youths selected whom to death he doom'd,                 35
 In vengeance for his loved Patroclus slain.
 Them stupified with dread like fawns he drove
 Forth from the river, manacling their hands
 Behind them fast with their own tunic-strings,
 And gave them to his warrior train in charge.                   40
 Then, ardent still for blood, rushing again
 Toward the stream, Dardanian Priam's son
 He met, Lycaon, as he climb'd the bank.
 Him erst by night, in his own father's field
 Finding him, he had led captive away.                           45
 Lycaon was employ'd cutting green shoots
 Of the wild-fig for chariot-rings, when lo!
 Terrible, unforeseen, Achilles came.
 He seized and sent him in a ship afar
 To Lemnos; there the son of Jason paid                          50
 His price, and, at great cost, Eëtion
 The guest of Jason, thence redeeming him,
 Sent him to fair Arisba;[3] but he 'scaped
 Thence also and regain'd his father's house.
 Eleven days, at his return, he gave                             55
 To recreation joyous with his friends,
 And on the twelfth his fate cast him again
 Into Achilles' hands, who to the shades
 Now doom'd him, howsoever loth to go.
 Soon as Achilles swiftest of the swift                          60
 Him naked saw (for neither spear had he
 Nor shield nor helmet, but, when he emerged,
 Weary and faint had cast them all away)
 Indignant to his mighty self he said.
   Gods! I behold a miracle! Ere long                            65
 The valiant Trojans whom my self have slain
 Shall rise from Erebus, for he is here,
 The self-same warrior whom I lately sold
 At Lemnos, free, and in the field again.
 The hoary deep is prison strong enough                          70
 For most, but not for him. Now shall he taste
 The point of this my spear, that I may learn
 By sure experience, whether hell itself
 That holds the strongest fast, can him detain,
 Or whether he shall thence also escape.                         75
   While musing thus he stood, stunn'd with dismay
 The youth approach'd, eager to clasp his knees,
 For vehement he felt the dread of death
 Working within him; with his Pelian ash
 Uplifted high noble Achilles stood                              80
 Ardent to smite him; he with body bent
 Ran under it, and to his knees adhered;
 The weapon, missing him, implanted stood
 Close at his back, when, seizing with one hand
 Achilles' knees, he with the other grasp'd                      85
 The dreadful beam, resolute through despair,
 And in wing'd accents suppliant thus began.
   Oh spare me! pity me! Behold I clasp
 Thy knees, Achilles! Ah, illustrious Chief!
 Reject not with disdain a suppliant's prayer.                   90
 I am thy guest also, who at thy own board
 Have eaten bread, and did partake the gift
 Of Ceres with thee on the very day
 When thou didst send me in yon field surprised
 For sale to sacred Lemnos, far remote,                          95
 And for my price receiv'dst a hundred beeves.
 Loose me, and I will yield thee now that sum
 Thrice told. Alas! this morn is but the twelfth
 Since, after numerous hardships, I arrived
 Once more in Troy, and now my ruthless lot                     100
 Hath given me into thy hands again.
 Jove cannot less than hate me, who hath twice
 Made me thy prisoner, and my doom was death,
 Death in my prime, the day when I was born
 Son of Laothöe from Alta sprung,                               105
 From Alta, whom the Leleges obey
 On Satnio's banks in lofty Pedasus.
 His daughter to his other numerous wives
 King Priam added, and two sons she bore
 Only to be deprived by thee of both.                           110
 My brother hath already died, in front
 Of Ilium's infantry, by thy bright spear,
 The godlike Polydorus; and like doom
 Shall now be mine, for I despair to escape
 Thine hands, to which the Gods yield me again.                 115
 But hear and mark me well. My birth was not
 From the same womb as Hector's, who hath slain
 Thy valiant friend for clemency renown'd.
   Such supplication the illustrious son
 Of Priam made, but answer harsh received.                      120
   Fool! speak'st of ransom? Name it not to me.
 For till my friend his miserable fate
 Accomplish'd, I was somewhat given to spare,
 And numerous, whom I seized alive, I sold.
 But now, of all the Trojans whom the Gods                      125
 Deliver to me, none shall death escape,
 'Specially of the house of Priam, none.
 Die therefore, even thou, my friend! What mean
 Thy tears unreasonably shed and vain?
 Died not Patroclus. braver far than thou?                      130
 And look on me--see'st not to what a height
 My stature towers, and what a bulk I boast?
 A King begat me, and a Goddess bore.
 What then! A death by violence awaits
 Me also, and at morn, or eve, or noon,                         135
 I perish, whensoe'er the destined spear
 Shall reach me, or the arrow from the nerve.
   He ceased, and where the suppliant kneel'd, he died.
 Quitting the spear, with both hands spread abroad
 He sat, but swift Achilles with his sword                      140
 'Twixt neck and key-bone smote him, and his blade
 Of double edge sank all into the wound.
 He prone extended on the champain lay
 Bedewing with his sable blood the glebe,
 Till, by the foot, Achilles cast him far                       145
 Into the stream, and, as he floated down,
 Thus in wing'd accents, glorying, exclaim'd.
   Lie there, and feed the fishes, which shall lick
 Thy blood secure. Thy mother ne'er shall place
 Thee on thy bier, nor on thy body weep,                        150
 But swift Scamander on his giddy tide
 Shall bear thee to the bosom of the sea.
 There, many a fish shall through the crystal flood
 Ascending to the rippled surface, find
 Lycaon's pamper'd flesh delicious fare.                        155
 Die Trojans! till we reach your city, you
 Fleeing, and slaughtering, I. This pleasant stream
 Of dimpling silver which ye worship oft
 With victim bulls, and sate with living steeds[4]
 His rapid whirlpools, shall avail you nought,                  160
 But ye shall die, die terribly, till all
 Shall have requited me with just amends
 For my Patroclus, and for other Greeks
 Slain at the ships while I declined the war.
   He ended, at those words still more incensed                 165
 Scamander means devised, thenceforth to check
 Achilles, and avert the doom of Troy.
 Meantime the son of Peleus, his huge spear
 Grasping, assail'd Asteropæus son
 Of Pelegon, on fire to take his life.                          170
 Fair Periboea, daughter eldest-born
 Of Acessamenus, his father bore
 To broad-stream'd Axius, who had clasp'd the nymph
 In his embrace. On him Achilles sprang.
 He newly risen from the river, stood                           175
 Arm'd with two lances opposite, for him
 Xanthus embolden'd, at the deaths incensed
 Of many a youth, whom, mercy none vouchsafed,
 Achilles had in all his current slain.
 And now small distance interposed, they faced                  180
 Each other, when Achilles thus began.
   Who art and whence, who dar'st encounter me?
 Hapless the sires whose sons my force defy.
   To whom the noble son of Pelegon.
 Pelides, mighty Chief? Why hast thou ask'd                     185
 My derivation? From the land I come
 Of mellow-soil'd Poeonia far remote,
 Chief leader of Poenia's host spear-arm'd;
 This day hath also the eleventh risen
 Since I at Troy arrived. For my descent,                       190
 It is from Axius river wide-diffused,
 From Axius, fairest stream that waters earth,
 Sire of bold Pelegon whom men report
 My sire. Let this suffice. Now fight, Achilles!
   So spake he threatening, and Achilles raised                 195
 Dauntless the Pelian ash. At once two spears
 The hero bold, Asteropæus threw,
 With both hands apt for battle. One his shield
 Struck but pierced not, impeded by the gold,
 Gift of a God; the other as it flew                            200
 Grazed at his right elbow; sprang the sable blood;
 But, overflying him, the spear in earth
 Stood planted deep, still hungering for the prey.
 Then, full at the Poeonian Peleus' son
 Hurl'd forth his weapon with unsparing force                   205
 But vain; he struck the sloping river bank,
 And mid-length deep stood plunged the ashen beam.
 Then, with his falchion drawn, Achilles flew
 To smite him; he in vain, meantime, essay'd
 To pluck the rooted spear forth from the bank;                 210
 Thrice with full force he shook the beam, and thrice,
 Although reluctant, left it; at his fourth
 Last effort, bending it he sought to break
 The ashen spear-beam of Æacides,
 But perish'd by his keen-edged falchion first;                 215
 For on the belly at his navel's side
 He smote him; to the ground effused fell all
 His bowels, death's dim shadows veil'd his eyes.
 Achilles ardent on his bosom fix'd
 His foot, despoil'd him, and exulting cried.                   220
   Lie there; though River-sprung, thou find'st it hard
 To cope with sons of Jove omnipotent.
 Thou said'st, a mighty River is my sire--
 But my descent from mightier Jove I boast;
 My father, whom the Myrmidons obey,                            225
 Is son of Æacus, and he of Jove.
 As Jove all streams excels that seek the sea,
 So, Jove's descendants nobler are than theirs.
 Behold a River at thy side--let him
 Afford thee, if he can, some succor--No--                      230
 He may not fight against Saturnian Jove.
 Therefore, not kingly Acheloïus,
 Nor yet the strength of Ocean's vast profound,
 Although from him all rivers and all seas,
 All fountains and all wells proceed, may boast                 235
 Comparison with Jove, but even he
 Astonish'd trembles at his fiery bolt,
 And his dread thunders rattling in the sky.
 He said, and drawing from the bank his spear[5]
 Asteropæus left stretch'd on the sands,                        240
 Where, while the clear wave dash'd him, eels his flanks
 And ravening fishes numerous nibbled bare.
 The horsed Poeonians next he fierce assail'd,
 Who seeing their brave Chief slain by the sword
 And forceful arm of Peleus' son, beside                        245
 The eddy-whirling stream fled all dispersed.
 Thersilochus and Mydon then he slew,
 Thrasius, Astypylus and Ophelestes,
 Ænius and Mnesus; nor had these sufficed
 Achilles, but Poeonians more had fallen,                       250
 Had not the angry River from within
 His circling gulfs in semblance, of a man
 Call'd to him, interrupting thus his rage.
   Oh both in courage and injurious deeds
 Unmatch'd, Achilles! whom themselves the Gods                  255
 Cease not to aid, if Saturn's son have doom'd
 All Ilium's race to perish by thine arm,
 Expel them, first, from me, ere thou achieve
 That dread exploit; for, cumber'd as I am
 With bodies, I can pour my pleasant stream                     260
 No longer down into the sacred deep;
 All vanish where thou comest. But oh desist
 Dread Chief! Amazement fills me at thy deeds.
   To whom Achilles, matchless in the race.
 River divine! hereafter be it so.                              265
 But not from slaughter of this faithless host
 I cease, till I shall shut them fast in Troy
 And trial make of Hector, if his arm
 In single fight shall strongest prove, or mine
   He said, and like a God, furious, again                      270
 Assail'd the Trojans; then the circling flood
 To Phoebus thus his loud complaint address'd.
   Ah son of Jove, God of the silver bow!
 The mandate of the son of Saturn ill
 Hast thou perform'd, who, earnest, bade thee aid               275
 The Trojans, till (the sun sunk in the West)
 Night's shadow dim should veil the fruitful field.
   He ended, and Achilles spear-renown'd
 Plunged from the bank into the middle stream.
 Then, turbulent, the River all his tide                        280
 Stirr'd from the bottom, landward heaving off
 The numerous bodies that his current chok'd
 Slain by Achilles; them, as with the roar
 Of bulls, he cast aground, but deep within
 His oozy gulfs the living safe conceal'd.                      285
 Terrible all around Achilles stood
 The curling wave, then, falling on his shield
 Dash'd him, nor found his footsteps where to rest.
 An elm of massy trunk he seized and branch
 Luxuriant, but it fell torn from the root                      290
 And drew the whole bank after it; immersed
 It damm'd the current with its ample boughs,
 And join'd as with a bridge the distant shores,
 Upsprang Achilles from the gulf and turn'd
 His feet, now wing'd for flight, into the plain                295
 Astonish'd; but the God, not so appeased,
 Arose against him with a darker curl,[6]
 That he might quell him and deliver Troy.
 Back flew Achilles with a bound, the length
 Of a spear's cast, for such a spring he own'd                  300
 As bears the black-plumed eagle on her prey
 Strongest and swiftest of the fowls of air.
 Like her he sprang, and dreadful on his chest
 Clang'd his bright armor. Then, with course oblique
 He fled his fierce pursuer, but the flood,                     305
 Fly where he might, came thundering in his rear.
 As when the peasant with his spade a rill
 Conducts from some pure fountain through his grove
 Or garden, clearing the obstructed course,
 The pebbles, as it runs, all ring beneath,                     310
 And, as the slope still deepens, swifter still
 It runs, and, murmuring, outstrips the guide,
 So him, though swift, the river always reach'd
 Still swifter; who can cope with power divine?
 Oft as the noble Chief, turning, essay'd                       315
 Resistance, and to learn if all the Gods
 Alike rush'd after him, so oft the flood,
 Jove's offspring, laved his shoulders. Upward then
 He sprang distress'd, but with a sidelong sweep
 Assailing him, and from beneath his steps                      320
 Wasting the soil, the Stream his force subdued.
 Then looking to the skies, aloud he mourn'd.
   Eternal Sire! forsaken by the Gods
 I sink, none deigns to save me from the flood,
 From which once saved, I would no death decline.               325
 Yet blame I none of all the Powers of heaven
 As Thetis; she with falsehood sooth'd my soul,
 She promised me a death by Phoebus' shafts
 Swift-wing'd, beneath the battlements of Troy.
 I would that Hector, noblest of his race,                      330
 Had slain me, I had then bravely expired
 And a brave man had stripp'd me of my arms.
 But fate now dooms me to a death abhorr'd
 Whelm'd in deep waters, like a swine-herd's boy
 Drown'd in wet weather while he fords a brook.                 335
   So spake Achilles; then, in human form,
 Minerva stood and Neptune at his side;
 Each seized his hand confirming him, and thus
 The mighty Shaker of the shores began.
   Achilles! moderate thy dismay, fear nought.                  340
 In us behold, in Pallas and in me,
 Effectual aids, and with consent of Jove;
 For to be vanquish'd by a River's force
 Is not thy doom. This foe shall soon be quell'd;
 Thine eyes shall see it. Let our counsel rule                  345
 Thy deed, and all is well. Cease not from war
 Till fast within proud Ilium's walls her host
 Again be prison'd, all who shall escape;
 Then (Hector slain) to the Achaian fleet
 Return; we make the glorious victory thine.                    350
   So they, and both departing sought the skies.
 Then, animated by the voice divine,
 He moved toward the plain now all o'erspread
 By the vast flood on which the bodies swam
 And shields of many a youth in battle slain.                   355
 He leap'd, he waded, and the current stemm'd
 Right onward, by the flood in vain opposed,
 With such might Pallas fill'd him. Nor his rage
 Scamander aught repress'd, but still the more
 Incensed against Achilles, curl'd aloft                        360
 His waters, and on Simoïs call'd aloud.
   Brother! oh let us with united force
 Check, if we may, this warrior; he shall else
 Soon lay the lofty towers of Priam low,
 Whose host appall'd, defend them now no more.                  365
 Haste--succor me--thy channel fill with streams
 From all thy fountains; call thy torrents down;
 Lift high the waters; mingle trees and stones
 With uproar wild, that we may quell the force
 Of this dread Chief triumphant now, and fill'd                 370
 With projects that might more beseem a God.
 But vain shall be his strength, his beauty nought
 Shall profit him or his resplendent arms,
 For I will bury them in slime and ooze,
 And I will overwhelm himself with soil,                        375
 Sands heaping o'er him and around him sands
 Infinite, that no Greek shall find his bones
 For ever, in my bottom deep immersed.
 There shall his tomb be piled, nor other earth,
 At his last rites, his friends shall need for him.             380
   He said, and lifting high his angry tide
 Vortiginous, against Achilles hurl'd,
 Roaring, the foam, the bodies, and the blood;
 Then all his sable waves divine again
 Accumulating, bore him swift along.                            385
 Shriek'd Juno at that sight, terrified lest
 Achilles in the whirling deluge sunk
 Should perish, and to Vulcan quick exclaim'd.
   Vulcan, my son, arise; for we account
 Xanthus well able to contend with thee.                        390
 Give instant succor; show forth all thy fires.
 Myself will haste to call the rapid South
 And Zephyrus, that tempests from the sea
 Blowing, thou may'st both arms and dead consume
 With hideous conflagration. Burn along                         395
 The banks of Xanthus, fire his trees and him
 Seize also. Let him by no specious guile
 Of flattery soothe thee, or by threats appall,
 Nor slack thy furious fires 'till with a shout
 I give command, then bid them cease to blaze.                  400
   She spake, and Vulcan at her word his fires
 Shot dreadful forth; first, kindling on the field,
 He burn'd the bodies strew'd numerous around
 Slain by Achilles; arid grew the earth
 And the flood ceased. As when a sprightly breeze               405
 Autumnal blowing from the North, at once
 Dries the new-water'd garden,[7] gladdening him
 Who tills the soil, so was the champain dried;
 The dead consumed, against the River, next,
 He turn'd the fierceness of his glittering fires.              410
 Willows and tamarisks and elms he burn'd,
 Burn'd lotus, rushes, reeds; all plants and herbs
 That clothed profuse the margin of his flood.
 His eels and fishes, whether wont to dwell
 In gulfs beneath, or tumble in the stream,                     415
 All languish'd while the artist of the skies
 Breath'd on them; even Xanthus lost, himself,
 All force, and, suppliant, Vulcan thus address'd.
   Oh Vulcan! none in heaven itself may cope
 With thee. I yield to thy consuming fires.                     420
 Cease, cease. I reck not if Achilles drive
 Her citizens, this moment, forth from Troy,
 For what are war and war's concerns to me?
   So spake he scorch'd, and all his waters boil'd.
 As some huge caldron hisses urged by force                     425
 Of circling fires and fill'd with melted lard,
 The unctuous fluid overbubbling[8] streams
 On all sides, while the dry wood flames beneath,
 So Xanthus bubbled and his pleasant flood
 Hiss'd in the fire, nor could he longer flow                   430
 But check'd his current, with hot steams annoy'd
 By Vulcan raised. His supplication, then,
 Importunate to Juno thus he turn'd.
   Ah Juno! why assails thy son my streams,
 Hostile to me alone? Of all who aid                            435
 The Trojans I am surely least to blame,
 Yet even I desist if thou command;
 And let thy son cease also; for I swear
 That never will I from the Trojans turn
 Their evil day, not even when the host                         440
 Of Greece shall set all Ilium in a blaze.
   He said, and by his oath pacified, thus
 The white-arm'd Deity to Vulcan spake.
   Peace, glorious son! we may not in behalf
 Of mortal man thus longer vex a God.                           445
   Then Vulcan his tremendous fires repress'd,
 And down into his gulfy channel rush'd
 The refluent flood; for when the force was once
 Subdued of Xanthus, Juno interposed,
 Although incensed, herself to quell the strife.                450
   But contest vehement the other Gods
 Now waged, each breathing discord; loud they rush'd
 And fierce to battle, while the boundless earth
 Quaked under them, and, all around, the heavens
 Sang them together with a trumpet's voice.                     455
 Jove listening, on the Olympian summit sat
 Well-pleased, and, in his heart laughing for joy,
 Beheld the Powers of heaven in battle join'd.
 Not long aloof they stood. Shield-piercer Mars,
 His brazen spear grasp'd, and began the fight                  460
 Rushing on Pallas, whom he thus reproach'd.
   Wasp! front of impudence, and past all bounds
 Audacious! Why impellest thou the Gods
 To fight? Thy own proud spirit is the cause.
 Remember'st not, how, urged by thee, the son                   465
 Of Tydeus, Diomede, myself assail'd,
 When thou, the radiant spear with thy own hand
 Guiding, didst rend my body? Now, I ween,
 The hour is come in which I shall exact
 Vengeance for all thy malice shown to me.                      470
   So saying, her shield he smote tassell'd around
 Terrific, proof against the bolts of Jove;
 That shield gore-tainted Mars with fury smote.
 But she, retiring, with strong grasp upheaved
 A rugged stone, black, ponderous, from the plain,              475
 A land-mark fixt by men of ancient times,
 Which hurling at the neck of stormy Mars
 She smote him. Down he fell. Seven acres, stretch'd,
 He overspread, his ringlets in the dust
 Polluted lay, and dreadful rang his arms.                      480
 The Goddess laugh'd, and thus in accents wing'd
 With exultation, as he lay, exclaim'd.
   Fool! Art thou still to learn how far my force
 Surpasses thine, and darest thou cope with me?
 Now feel the furies of thy mother's ire                        485
 Who hates thee for thy treachery to the Greeks,
 And for thy succor given to faithless Troy.
   She said, and turn'd from Mars her glorious eyes.
 But him deep-groaning and his torpid powers
 Recovering slow, Venus conducted thence                        490
 Daughter of Jove, whom soon as Juno mark'd,
 In accents wing'd to Pallas thus she spake.
   Daughter invincible of glorious Jove!
 Haste--follow her--Ah shameless! how she leads
 Gore-tainted Mars through all the host of heaven.              495
   So she, whom Pallas with delight obey'd;
 To Venus swift she flew, and on the breast
 With such force smote her that of sense bereft
 The fainting Goddess fell. There Venus lay
 And Mars extended on the fruitful glebe,                       500
 And Pallas thus in accents wing'd exclaim'd.
   I would that all who on the part of Troy
 Oppose in fight Achaia's valiant sons,
 Were firm and bold as Venus in defence
 Of Mars, for whom she dared my power defy!                     505
 So had dissension (Ilium overthrown
 And desolated) ceased long since in heaven.
   So Pallas, and approving Juno smiled.
 Then the imperial Shaker of the shores
 Thus to Apollo. Phoebus! wherefore stand                       510
 _We_ thus aloof? Since others have begun,
 Begin we also; shame it were to both
 Should we, no combat waged, ascend again
 Olympus and the brass-built hall of Jove.
 Begin, for thou art younger; me, whose years                   515
 Alike and knowledge thine surpass so far,
 It suits not. Oh stupidity! how gross
 Art thou and senseless! Are no traces left
 In thy remembrance of our numerous wrongs
 Sustain'd at Ilium, when, of all the Gods                      520
 Ourselves alone, by Jove's commandment, served
 For stipulated hire, a year complete,
 Our task-master the proud Laomedon?
 Myself a bulwark'd town, spacious, secure
 Against assault, and beautiful as strong                       525
 Built for the Trojans, and thine office was
 To feed for King Laomedon his herds
 Among the groves of Ida many-valed.
 But when the gladsome hours the season brought
 Of payment, then the unjust King of Troy                       530
 Dismiss'd us of our whole reward amerced
 By violence, and added threats beside.
 Thee into distant isles, bound hand and foot,
 To sell he threatened, and to amputate
 The ears of both; we, therefore, hasted thence                 535
 Resenting deep our promised hire withheld.
 Aid'st thou for this the Trojans? Canst thou less
 Than seek, with us, to exterminate the whole
 Perfidious race, wives, children, husbands, all?
   To whom the King of radiant shafts Apollo.                   540
 Me, Neptune, thou wouldst deem, thyself, unwise
 Contending for the sake of mortal men
 With thee; a wretched race, who like the leaves
 Now flourish rank, by fruits of earth sustain'd,
 Now sapless fall. Here, therefore, us between                  545
 Let all strife cease, far better left to them.
   He said, and turn'd away, fearing to lift
 His hand against the brother of his sire.
 But him Diana of the woods with sharp
 Rebuke, his huntress sister, thus reproved.                    550
   Fly'st thou, Apollo! and to Neptune yield'st
 An unearn'd victory, the prize of fame
 Resigning patient and with no dispute?
 Fool! wherefore bearest thou the bow in vain?
 Ah, let me never in my father's courts                         555
 Hear thee among the immortals vaunting more
 That thou wouldst Neptune's self confront in arms.
   So she, to whom Apollo nought replied.[9]
 But thus the consort of the Thunderer, fired
 With wrath, reproved the Archeress of heaven.                  
  How hast thou dared, impudent, to oppose
 My will? Bow-practised as thou art, the task
 To match my force were difficult to thee.
 Is it, because by ordinance of Jove
 Thou art a lioness to womankind,                               565
 Killing them at thy pleasure? Ah beware--
 Far easier is it, on the mountain-heights
 To slay wild beasts and chase the roving hind,
 Than to conflict with mightier than ourselves.
 But, if thou wish a lesson on that theme,                      570
 Approach--thou shalt be taught with good effect
 How far my force in combat passes thine.
   She said, and with her left hand seizing both
 Diana's wrists, snatch'd suddenly the bow
 Suspended on her shoulder with the right,                      575
 And, smiling, smote her with it on the ears.
 She, writhing oft and struggling, to the ground
 Shook forth her rapid shafts, then, weeping, fled
 As to her cavern in some hollow rock
 The dove, not destined to his talons, flies                    580
 The hawk's pursuit, and left her arms behind.
   Then, messenger of heaven, the Argicide
 Address'd Latona. Combat none with thee,
 Latona, will I wage. Unsafe it were
 To cope in battle with a spouse of Jove.                       585
 Go, therefore, loudly as thou wilt, proclaim
 To all the Gods that thou hast vanquish'd me.
   Collecting, then, the bow and arrows fallen
 In wild disorder on the dusty plain,
 Latona with the sacred charge withdrew                         590
 Following her daughter; she, in the abode
 Brass-built arriving of Olympian Jove,
 Sat on his knees, weeping till all her robe
 Ambrosial shook. The mighty Father smiled,
 And to his bosom straining her, inquired.                      595
   Daughter beloved! who, which of all the Gods
 Hath raised his hand, presumptuous, against thee,
 As if convicted of some open wrong?
   To whom the clear-voiced Huntress crescent-crown'd.
 My Father! Juno, thy own consort fair                          600
 My sorrow caused, from whom dispute and strife
 Perpetual, threaten the immortal Powers.
   Thus they in heaven mutual conferr'd. Meantime
 Apollo into sacred Troy return'd
 Mindful to guard her bulwarks, lest the Greeks                 605
 Too soon for Fate should desolate the town.
 The other Gods, some angry, some elate
 With victory, the Olympian heights regain'd,
 And sat beside the Thunderer. But the son
 Of Peleus--He both Trojans slew and steeds.                    610
 As when in volumes slow smoke climbs the skies
 From some great city which the Gods have fired
 Vindictive, sorrow thence to many ensues
 With mischief, and to all labor severe,
 So caused Achilles labor on that day,                          615
 Severe, and mischief to the men of Troy.
   But ancient Priam from a sacred tower
 Stood looking forth, whence soon he noticed vast
 Achilles, before whom the Trojans fled
 All courage lost. Descending from the tower                    620
 With mournful cries and hasting to the wall
 He thus enjoin'd the keepers of the gates.
   Hold wide the portals till the flying host
 Re-enter, for himself is nigh, himself
 Achilles drives them home. Now, wo to Troy!                    625
 But soon as safe within the walls received
 They breathe again, shut fast the ponderous gates
 At once, lest that destroyer also pass.
   He said; they, shooting back the bars, threw wide
 The gates and saved the people, whom to aid                    630
 Apollo also sprang into the field,
 They, parch'd with drought and whiten'd all with dust,
 Flew right toward the town, while, spear in hand,
 Achilles press'd them, vengeance in his heart
 And all on fire for glory. Then, full sure,                    635
 Ilium, the city of lofty gates, had fallen
 Won by the Grecians, had not Phoebus roused
 Antenor's valiant son, the noble Chief
 Agenor; him with dauntless might he fill'd,
 And shielding him against the stroke of fate                   640
 Beside him stood himself, by the broad beech
 Cover'd and wrapt in clouds. Agenor then,
 Seeing the city-waster hero nigh
 Achilles, stood, but standing, felt his mind
 Troubled with doubts; he groan'd, and thus he mused.           645
   [10]Alas! if following the tumultuous flight
 Of these, I shun Achilles, swifter far
 He soon will lop my ignominious head.
 But if, these leaving to be thus dispersed
 Before him, from the city-wall I fly                           650
 Across the plain of Troy into the groves
 Of Ida, and in Ida's thickets lurk,
 I may, at evening, to the town return
 Bathed and refresh'd. But whither tend my thoughts?
 Should he my flight into the plain observe                     655
 And swift pursuing seize me, then, farewell
 All hope to scape a miserable death,
 For he hath strength passing the strength of man.
 How then--shall I withstand him here before
 The city? He hath also flesh to steel                          660
 Pervious, within it but a single life,
 And men report him mortal, howsoe'er
 Saturnian Jove lift him to glory now.
   So saying, he turn'd and stood, his dauntless heart
 Beating for battle. As the pard springs forth                  665
 To meet the hunter from her gloomy lair,
 Nor, hearing loud the hounds, fears or retires,
 But whether from afar or nigh at hand
 He pierce her first, although transfixt, the fight
 Still tries, and combats desperate till she fall,              670
 So, brave Antenor's son fled not, or shrank,
 Till he had proved Achilles, but his breast
 O'ershadowing with his buckler and his spear
 Aiming well-poised against him, loud exclaim'd.
   Renown'd Achilles! Thou art high in hope                     675
 Doubtless, that thou shalt this day overthrow
 The city of the glorious sons of Troy.
 Fool! ye must labor yet ere she be won,
 For numerous are her citizens and bold,
 And we will guard her for our parents' sake                    680
 Our wives and little ones. But here thou diest
 Terrible Chief and dauntless as thou art.
   He said, and with full force hurling his lance
 Smote, and err'd not, his greave beneath his knee
 The glittering tin, forged newly, at the stroke                685
 Tremendous rang, but quick recoil'd and vain
 The weapon, weak against that guard divine.
 Then sprang Achilles in his turn to assail
 Godlike Agenor, but Apollo took
 That glory from him, snatching wrapt in clouds                 690
 Agenor thence, whom calm he sent away.
   Then Phoebus from pursuit of Ilium's host
 By art averted Peleus' son; the form
 Assuming of Agenor, swift he fled
 Before him, and Achilles swift pursued.                        695
 While him Apollo thus lured to the chase
 Wide o'er the fruitful plain, inclining still
 Toward Scamander's dizzy stream his course
 Nor flying far before, but with false hope
 Always beguiling him, the scatter'd host                       700
 Meantime, in joyful throngs, regain'd the town.
 They fill'd and shut it fast, nor dared to wait
 Each other in the field, or to inquire
 Who lived and who had fallen, but all, whom flight
 Had rescued, like a flood pour'd into Troy.                    705
                 *       *       *       *       *

The Trojans being now within the city, excepting Hector, the field is cleared for the most important and decisive action in the poem; that is, the battle between Achilles and Hector, and the death of the latter. This part of the story is managed with singular skill. It seems as if the poet, feeling the importance of the catastrophe, wished to withdraw from view the personages of less consequence, and to concentrate our attention upon those two alone. The poetic action and description are narrowed in extent, but deepened in interest. The fate of Troy is impending; the irreversible decree of Jupiter is about to be executed; the heroes, whose bravery is to be the instrument of bringing about this consummation, are left together on the plain.--FELTON.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XXII.



                ARGUMENT OF THE TWENTY-SECOND BOOK.


                       Achilles slays Hector.



                             BOOK XXII.


 Thus they, throughout all Troy, like hunted fawns
 Dispersed, their trickling limbs at leisure cool'd,
 And, drinking, slaked their fiery thirst, reclined
 Against the battlements. Meantime, the Greeks
 Sloping their shields, approach'd the walls of Troy,             5
 And Hector, by his adverse fate ensnared,
 Still stood exposed before the Scæan gate.
 Then spake Apollo thus to Peleus' son.
   Wherefore, thyself mortal, pursuest thou me
 Immortal? oh Achilles! blind with rage,                         10
 Thou know'st not yet, that thou pursuest a God.
 Unmindful of thy proper task, to press
 The flying Trojans, thou hast hither turn'd
 Devious, and they are all now safe in Troy;
 Yet hope me not to slay; I cannot die.                          15
   To whom Achilles swiftest of the swift,
 Indignant. Oh, of all the Powers above
 To me most adverse, Archer of the skies!
 Thou hast beguiled me, leading me away
 From Ilium far, whence intercepted, else,                       20
 No few had at this moment gnaw'd the glebe.
 Thou hast defrauded me of great renown,
 And, safe thyself, hast rescued _them_ with ease.
 Ah--had I power, I would requite thee well.
   So saying, incensed he turned toward the town                 25
 His rapid course, like some victorious steed
 That whirls, at stretch, a chariot to the goal.
 Such seem'd Achilles, coursing light the field.
   Him, first, the ancient King of Troy perceived
 Scouring the plain, resplendent as the star                     30
 Autumnal, of all stars in dead of night
 Conspicous most, and named Orion's dog;
 Brightest it shines, but ominous, and dire
 Disease portends to miserable man;[1]
 So beam'd Achilles' armor as he flew.                           35
 Loud wail'd the hoary King; with lifted hands
 His head he smote, and, uttering doleful cries
 Of supplication, sued to his own son.
 He, fixt before the gate, desirous stood
 Of combat with Achilles, when his sire                          40
 With arms outstretch'd toward him, thus began.
   My Hector! wait not, oh my son! the approach
 Of this dread Chief, alone, lest premature
 Thou die, this moment by Achilles slain,
 For he is strongest far. Oh that the Gods                       45
 Him loved as I! then, soon should vultures rend
 And dogs his carcase, and my grief should cease.
 He hath unchilded me of many a son,
 All valiant youths, whom he hath slain or sold
 To distant isles, and even now, I miss                          50
 Two sons, whom since the shutting of the gates
 I find not, Polydorus and Lycaon,
 My children by Laothöe the fair.
 If they survive prisoners in yonder camp,
 I will redeem them with gold and brass                          55
 By noble Eltes to his daughter given,
 Large store, and still reserved. But should they both,
 Already slain, have journey'd to the shades,
 We, then, from whom they sprang have cause to mourn
 And mourn them long, but shorter shall the grief                60
 Of Ilium prove, if thou escape and live.
 Come then, my son! enter the city-gate
 That thou may'st save us all, nor in thy bloom
 Of life cut off, enhance Achilles' fame.
 Commiserate also thy unhappy sire                               65
 Ere yet distracted, whom Saturnian Jove
 Ordains to a sad death, and ere I die
 To woes innumerable; to behold
 Sons slaughter'd, daughters ravish'd, torn and stripp'd
 The matrimonial chamber, infants dash'd                         70
 Against the ground in dire hostility,[2]
 And matrons dragg'd by ruthless Grecian hands.
 Me, haply, last of all, dogs shall devour
 In my own vestibule, when once the spear
 Or falchion of some Greek hath laid me low.                     75
 The very dogs fed at my table-side,
 My portal-guards, drinking their master's blood
 To drunkenness, shall wallow in my courts.
 Fair falls the warlike youth in battle slain,
 And when he lies torn by the pointed steel,                     80
 His death becomes him well; he is secure,
 Though dead, from shame, whatever next befalls:
 But when the silver locks and silver beard
 Of an old man slain by the sword, from dogs
 Receive dishonor, of all ills that wait                         85
 On miserable man, that sure is worst.
   So spake the ancient King, and his grey hairs
 Pluck'd with both hands, but Hector firm endured.
 On the other side all tears his mother stood,
 And lamentation; with one hand she bared,                       90
 And with the other hand produced her breast,
 Then in wing'd accents, weeping, him bespake.
   My Hector! reverence this, and pity me
 If ever, drawing forth this breast, thy griefs
 Of infancy I soothed, oh now, my son!                           95
 Acknowledge it, and from within the walls
 Repulse this enemy; stand not abroad
 To cope with _him_, for he is savage-fierce,
 And should he slay thee, neither shall myself
 Who bore thee, nor thy noble spouse weep o'er                  100
 Thy body, but, where we can never come,
 Dogs shall devour it in the fleet of Greece.
   So they with prayers importuned, and with tears
 Their son, but him sway'd not; unmoved he stood,
 Expecting vast Achilles now at hand.                           105
 As some fell serpent in his cave expects
 The traveller's approach, batten'd with herbs
 Of baneful juice to fury,[3] forth he looks
 Hideous, and lies coil'd all around his den,
 So Hector, fill'd with confidence untamed,                     110
 Fled not, but placing his bright shield against
 A buttress, with his noble heart conferr'd.
   [4]Alas for me! should I repass the gate,
 Polydamas would be the first to heap
 Reproaches on me, for he bade me lead                          115
 The Trojans back this last calamitous night
 In which Achilles rose to arms again.
 But I refused, although to have complied,
 Had proved more profitable far; since then
 By rash resolves of mine I have destroy'd                      120
 The people, how can I escape the blame
 Of all in Troy? The meanest there will say--
 By his self-will he hath destroy'd us all.
 So shall they speak, and then shall I regret
 That I return'd ere I had slain in fight                       125
 Achilles, or that, by Achilles slain,
 I died not nobly in defence of Troy.
 But shall I thus? Lay down my bossy shield,
 Put off my helmet, and my spear recline
 Against the city wall, then go myself                          130
 To meet the brave Achilles, and at once
 Promise him Helen, for whose sake we strive
 With all the wealth that Paris in his fleet
 Brought home, to be restored to Atreus' sons,
 And to distribute to the Greeks at large                       135
 All hidden treasures of the town, an oath
 Taking beside from every senator,
 That he will nought conceal, but will produce
 And share in just equality what stores
 Soever our fair city still includes?                           140
 Ah airy speculations, questions vain!
 I may not sue to him: compassion none
 Will he vouchsafe me, or my suit respect.
 But, seeing me unarm'd, will sate at once
 His rage, and womanlike I shall be slain.                      145
 It is no time from oak or hollow rock
 With him to parley, as a nymph and swain,
 A nymph and swain[5] soft parley mutual hold,
 But rather to engage in combat fierce
 Incontinent; so shall we soonest learn                         150
 Whom Jove will make victorious, him or me.
   Thus pondering he stood; meantime approach'd
 Achilles, terrible as fiery Mars,
 Crest-tossing God, and brandish'd as he came
 O'er his right shoulder high the Pelian spear.                 155
 Like lightning, or like flame, or like the sun
 Ascending, beam'd his armor. At that sight
 Trembled the Trojan Chief, nor dared expect
 His nearer step, but flying left the gates
 Far distant, and Achilles swift pursued.                       160
 As in the mountains, fleetest fowl of air,
 The hawk darts eager at the dove; she scuds
 Aslant, he screaming, springs and springs again
 To seize her, all impatient for the prey,
 So flew Achilles constant to the track                         165
 Of Hector, who with dreadful haste beneath
 The Trojan bulwarks plied his agile limbs.
 Passing the prospect-mount where high in air
 The wild-fig waved,[6] they rush'd along the road,
 Declining never from the wall of Troy.                         170
 And now they reach'd the running rivulets clear,
 Where from Scamander's dizzy flood arise
 Two fountains,[7] tepid one, from which a smoke
 Issues voluminous as from a fire,
 The other, even in summer heats, like hail                     175
 For cold, or snow, or crystal-stream frost-bound.
 Beside them may be seen the broad canals
 Of marble scoop'd, in which the wives of Troy
 And all her daughters fair were wont to lave
 Their costly raiment,[8] while the land had rest,              180
 And ere the warlike sons of Greece arrived.
 By these they ran, one fleeing, one in chase.
 Valiant was he who fled, but valiant far
 Beyond him he who urged the swift pursuit;
 Nor ran they for a vulgar prize, a beast                       185
 For sacrifice, or for the hide of such,
 The swift foot-racer's customary meed,
 But for the noble Hector's life they ran.
 As when two steeds, oft conquerors, trim the goal
 For some illustrious prize, a tripod bright                    190
 Or beauteous virgin, at a funeral game,
 So they with nimble feet the city thrice
 Of Priam compass'd. All the Gods look'd on,
 And thus the Sire of Gods and men began.
   Ah--I behold a warrior dear to me                            195
 Around the walls of Ilium driven, and grieve
 For Hector, who the thighs of fatted bulls
 On yonder heights of Ida many-valed
 Burn'd oft to me, and in the heights of Troy:[9]
 But him Achilles, glorious Chief, around                       200
 The city walls of Priam now pursues.
 Consider this, ye Gods! weigh the event.
 Shall we from death save Hector? or, at length,
 Leave him, although in battle high renown'd,
 To perish by the might of Peleus' son?                         205
   Whom answer'd thus Pallas cerulean-eyed.
 Dread Sovereign of the storms! what hast thou said?
 Wouldst thou deliver from the stroke of fate
 A mortal man death-destined from of old?
 Do it; but small thy praise shall be in heaven.                210
   Then answer thus, cloud-gatherer Jove return'd.
 Fear not, Tritonia, daughter dear! that word
 Spake not my purpose; me thou shalt perceive
 Always to thee indulgent. What thou wilt
 That execute, and use thou no delay.                           215
   So roused he Pallas of herself prepared,
 And from the heights Olympian down she flew.
 With unremitting speed Achilles still
 Urged Hector. As among the mountain-height
 The hound pursues, roused newly from her lair                  220
 The flying fawn through many a vale and grove;
 And though she trembling skulk the shrubs beneath,
 Tracks her continual, till he find the prey,
 So 'scaped not Hector Peleus' rapid son.
 Oft as toward the Dardan gates he sprang                       225
 Direct, and to the bulwarks firm of Troy,
 Hoping some aid by volleys from the wall,
 So oft, outstripping him, Achilles thence
 Enforced him to the field, who, as he might,
 Still ever stretch'd toward the walls again.                   230
 As, in a dream,[10] pursuit hesitates oft,
 This hath no power to fly, that to pursue,
 So these--one fled, and one pursued in vain.
 How, then, had Hector his impending fate
 Eluded, had not Phoebus, at his last,                          235
 Last effort meeting him, his strength restored,
 And wing'd for flight his agile limbs anew?
 The son of Peleus, as he ran, his brows
 Shaking, forbad the people to dismiss
 A dart at Hector, lest a meaner hand                           240
 Piercing him, should usurp the foremost praise.
 But when the fourth time to those rivulets.
 They came, then lifting high his golden scales,
 Two lots the everlasting Father placed
 Within them, for Achilles one, and one                         245
 For Hector, balancing the doom of both.
 Grasping it in the midst, he raised the beam.
 Down went the fatal day of Hector, down
 To Ades, and Apollo left his side.
 Then blue-eyed Pallas hasting to the son                       250
 Of Peleus, in wing'd accents him address'd.
   Now, dear to Jove, Achilles famed in arms!
 I hope that, fierce in combat though he be,
 We shall, at last, slay Hector, and return
 Crown'd with great glory to the fleet of Greece.               255
 No fear of his deliverance now remains,
 Not even should the King of radiant shafts,
 Apollo, toil in supplication, roll'd
 And roll'd again[11] before the Thunderer's feet.
 But stand, recover breath; myself, the while,                  260
 Shall urge him to oppose thee face to face.
   So Pallas spake, whom joyful he obey'd,
 And on his spear brass-pointed lean'd. But she,
 (Achilles left) to noble Hector pass'd,
 And in the form, and with the voice loud-toned                 265
 Approaching of Deiphobus, his ear
 In accents, as of pity, thus address'd.
   Ah brother! thou art overtask'd, around
 The walls of Troy by swift Achilles driven;
 But stand, that we may chase him in his turn.[12]              270
   To whom crest-tossing Hector huge replied.
 Deiphobus! of all my father's sons
 Brought forth by Hecuba, I ever loved
 Thee most, but more than ever love thee now,
 Who hast not fear'd, seeing me, for my sake                    275
 To quit the town, where others rest content.
   To whom the Goddess, thus, cerulean-eyed.
 Brother! our parents with much earnest suit
 Clasping my knees, and all my friends implored me
 To stay in Troy, (such fear hath seized on all)                280
 But grief for thee prey'd on my inmost soul.
 Come--fight we bravely--spare we now our spears
 No longer; now for proof if Peleus' son
 Slaying us both, shall bear into the fleet
 Our arms gore-stain'd, or perish slain by thee.                285
   So saying, the wily Goddess led the way.
 They soon, approaching each the other, stood
 Opposite, and huge Hector thus began.
   Pelides! I will fly thee now no more.
 Thrice I have compass'd Priam's spacious walls                 290
 A fugitive, and have not dared abide
 Thy onset, but my heart now bids me stand
 Dauntless, and I will slay, or will be slain.
 But come. We will attest the Gods; for they
 Are fittest both to witness and to guard                       295
 Our covenant. If Jove to me vouchsafe
 The hard-earn'd victory, and to take thy life,
 I will not with dishonor foul insult
 Thy body, but, thine armor stripp'd, will give
 Thee to thy friends, as thou shalt me to mine.                 300
   To whom Achilles, lowering dark, replied.
 Hector! my bitterest foe! speak not to me
 Of covenants! as concord can be none
 Lions and men between, nor wolves and lambs
 Can be unanimous, but hate perforce                            305
 Each other by a law not to be changed,
 So cannot amity subsist between
 Thee and myself; nor league make I with thee
 Or compact, till thy blood in battle shed
 Or mine, shall gratify the fiery Mars.                         310
 Rouse all thy virtue; thou hast utmost need
 Of valor now, and of address in arms.
 Escape me more thou canst not; Pallas' hand
 By mine subdues thee; now will I avenge
 At once the agonies of every Greek                             315
 In thy unsparing fury slain by thee.
   He said, and, brandishing the Pelian ash,
 Dismiss'd it; but illustrious Hector warn'd,
 Crouched low, and, overflying him, it pierced
 The soil beyond, whence Pallas plucking it                     320
 Unseen, restored it to Achilles' hand,
 And Hector to his godlike foe replied.
   Godlike Achilles! thou hast err'd, nor know'st
 At all my doom from Jove, as thou pretend'st,
 But seek'st, by subtlety and wind of words,                    325
 All empty sounds, to rob me of my might.
 Yet stand I firm. Think not to pierce my back.
 Behold my bosom! if the Gods permit,
 Meet me advancing, and transpierce me there.
 Meantime avoid my glittering spear, but oh                     330
 May'st thou receive it all! since lighter far
 To Ilium should the toils of battle prove,
 Wert thou once slain, the fiercest of her foes.
   He said, and hurling his long spear with aim
 Unerring, smote the centre of the shield                       335
 Of Peleus' son, but his spear glanced away.
 He, angry to have sent it forth in vain,
 (For he had other none) with eyes downcast
 Stood motionless awhile, then with loud voice
 Sought from Deiphobus, white-shielded Chief,                   340
 A second; but Deiphobus was gone.
 Then Hector understood his doom, and said.
   Ah, it is plain; this is mine hour to die.
 I thought Deiphobus at hand, but me
 Pallas beguiled, and he is still in Troy.                      345
 A bitter death threatens me, it is nigh,
 And there is no escape; Jove, and Jove's son
 Apollo, from the first, although awhile
 My prompt deliverers, chose this lot for me,
 And now it finds me. But I will not fall                       350
 Inglorious; I will act some great exploit
 That shall be celebrated ages hence.
   So saying, his keen falchion from his side
 He drew, well-temper'd, ponderous, and rush'd
 At once to combat. As the eagle darts                          355
 Right downward through a sullen cloud to seize
 Weak lamb or timorous hare, so brandishing
 His splendid falchion, Hector rush'd to fight.
 Achilles, opposite, with fellest ire
 Full-fraught came on; his shield with various art              360
 Celestial form'd, o'erspread his ample chest,
 And on his radiant casque terrific waved
 The bushy gold of his resplendent crest,
 By Vulcan spun, and pour'd profuse around.
 Bright as, among the stars, the star of all                    365
 Most radiant, Hesperus, at midnight moves,
 So, in the right hand of Achilles beam'd
 His brandish'd spear, while, meditating wo
 To Hector, he explored his noble form,
 Seeking where he was vulnerable most.                          370
 But every part, his dazzling armor torn
 From brave Patroclus' body, well secured,
 Save where the circling key-bone from the neck
 Disjoins the shoulder; there his throat appear'd,
 Whence injured life with swiftest flight escapes;              375
 Achilles, plunging in that part his spear,
 Impell'd it through the yielding flesh beyond.
 The ashen beam his power of utterance left
 Still unimpair'd, but in the dust he fell,
 And the exulting conqueror exclaim'd.                          380
   But Hector! thou hadst once far other hopes,
 And, stripping slain Patroclus, thought'st thee safe,
 Nor caredst for absent me. Fond dream and vain!
 I was not distant far; in yonder fleet
 He left one able to avenge his death,                          385
 And he hath slain thee. Thee the dogs shall rend
 Dishonorably, and the fowls of air,
 But all Achaia's host shall him entomb.
   To whom the Trojan Chief languid replied.
 By thy own life, by theirs who gave thee birth,                390
 And by thy knees,[13] oh let not Grecian dogs
 Rend and devour me, but in gold accept
 And brass a ransom at my father's hands,
 And at my mother's an illustrious price;
 Send home my body, grant me burial rites                       395
 Among the daughters and the sons of Troy.
   To whom with aspect stern Achilles thus.
 Dog! neither knees nor parents name to me.
 I would my fierceness of revenge were such,
 That I could carve and eat thee, to whose arms                 400
 Such griefs I owe; so true it is and sure,
 That none shall save thy carcase from the dogs.
 No, trust me, would thy parents bring me weigh'd
 Ten--twenty ransoms, and engage on oath
 To add still more; would thy Dardanian Sire                    405
 Priam, redeem thee with thy weight in gold,
 Not even at that price would I consent
 That she who bare should place thee on thy bier
 With lamentation; dogs and ravening fowls
 Shall rend thy body while a scrap remains.                     410
   Then, dying, warlike Hector thus replied.
 Full well I knew before, how suit of mine
 Should speed preferr'd to thee. Thy heart is steel.
 But oh, while yet thou livest, think, lest the Gods
 Requite thee on that day, when pierced thyself                 415
 By Paris and Apollo, thou shalt fall,
 Brave as thou art, before the Scæan gate.
   He ceased, and death involved him dark around.
 His spirit, from his limbs dismiss'd, the house
 Of Ades sought, mourning in her descent                        420
 Youth's prime and vigor lost, disastrous doom!
 But him though dead, Achilles thus bespake.
   Die thou. My death shall find me at what hour
 Jove gives commandment, and the Gods above.
   He spake, and from the dead drawing away                     425
 His brazen spear, placed it apart, then stripp'd
 His arms gore-stain'd. Meantime the other sons
 Of the Achaians, gathering fast around,
 The bulk admired, and the proportion just
 Of Hector; neither stood a Grecian there                       430
 Who pierced him not, and thus the soldier spake.
   Ye Gods! how far more patient of the touch
 Is Hector now, than when he fired the fleet!
   Thus would they speak, then give him each a stab.
 And now, the body stripp'd, their noble Chief                  435
 The swift Achilles standing in the midst,
 The Grecians in wing'd accents thus address'd.
   Friends, Chiefs and Senators of Argos' host!
 Since, by the will of heaven, this man is slain
 Who harm'd us more than all our foes beside,                   440
 Essay we next the city, so to learn
 The Trojan purpose, whether (Hector slain)
 They will forsake the citadel, or still
 Defend it, even though of him deprived.
 But wherefore speak I thus? still undeplored,                  445
 Unburied in my fleet Patroclus lies;
 Him never, while alive myself, I mix
 With living men and move, will I forget.
 In Ades, haply, they forget the dead,
 Yet will not I Patroclus, even there.                          450
 Now chanting pæans, ye Achaian youths!
 Return we to the fleet with this our prize;
 We have achieved great glory,[14] we have slain
 Illustrious Hector, him whom Ilium praised
 In all her gates, and as a God revered.                        455
   He said; then purposing dishonor foul
 To noble Hector, both his feet he bored
 From heel to ancle, and, inserting thongs,
 Them tied behind his chariot, but his head
 Left unsustain'd to trail along the ground.                    460
 Ascending next, the armor at his side
 He placed, then lash'd the steeds; they willing flew
 Thick dust around the body dragg'd arose,
 His sable locks all swept the plain, and all
 His head, so graceful once, now track'd the dust,              465
 For Jove had given it into hostile hands
 That they might shame it in his native soil.[15]
 Thus, whelm'd in dust, it went. The mother Queen
 Her son beholding, pluck'd her hair away,
 Cast far aside her lucid veil, and fill'd                      470
 With shrieks the air. His father wept aloud,
 And, all around, long, long complaints were heard
 And lamentations in the streets of Troy,
 Not fewer or less piercing, than if flames
 Had wrapt all Ilium to her topmost towers.                     475
 His people scarce detain'd the ancient King
 Grief-stung, and resolute to issue forth
 Through the Dardanian gates; to all he kneel'd
 In turn, then roll'd himself in dust, and each
 By name solicited to give him way.                             480
   Stand off, my fellow mourners! I would pass
 The gates, would seek, alone, the Grecian fleet.
 I go to supplicate the bloody man,
 Yon ravager; he may respect, perchance,
 My years, may feel some pity of my age;                        485
 For, such as I am, his own father is,
 Peleus, who rear'd him for a curse to Troy,
 But chiefly rear'd him to myself a curse,
 So numerous have my sons in prime of youth
 Fall'n by his hand, all whom I less deplore                    490
 (Though mourning all) than one; my agonies
 For Hector soon shall send me to the shades.
 Oh had he but within these arms expired,
 The hapless Queen who bore him, and myself
 Had wept him, then, till sorrow could no more!                 495
   So spake he weeping, and the citizens
 All sigh'd around; next, Hecuba began
 Amid the women, thus, her sad complaint.
   Ah wherefore, oh my son! wretch that I am,
 Breathe I forlorn of thee? Thou, night and day,                500
 My glory wast in Ilium, thee her sons
 And daughters, both, hail'd as their guardian God,
 Conscious of benefits from thee received,
 Whose life prolong'd should have advanced them all
 To high renown. Vain boast! thou art no more.                  505
   So mourn'd the Queen. But fair Andromache
 Nought yet had heard, nor knew by sure report
 Hector's delay without the city gates.
 She in a closet of her palace sat,
 A twofold web weaving magnificent,                             510
 With sprinkled flowers inwrought of various hues,
 And to her maidens had commandment given
 Through all her house, that compassing with fire
 An ample tripod, they should warm a bath
 For noble Hector from the fight return'd.                      515
 Tenderness ill-inform'd! she little knew
 That in the field, from such refreshments far,
 Pallas had slain him by Achilles' hand.
 She heard a cry of sorrow from the tower;
 Her limbs shook under her, her shuttle fell,                   520
 And to her bright-hair'd train, alarm'd, she cried.
   Attend me two of you, that I may learn
 What hath befallen. I have heard the voice
 Of the Queen-mother; my rebounding heart
 Chokes me, and I seem fetter'd by a frost.                     525
 Some mischief sure o'er Priam's sons impends.
 Far be such tidings from me! but I fear
 Horribly, lest Achilles, cutting off
 My dauntless Hector from the gates alone,
 Enforce him to the field, and quell perhaps                    530
 The might, this moment, of that dreadful arm
 His hinderance long; for Hector ne'er was wont
 To seek his safety in the ranks, but flew
 First into battle, yielding place to none.
   So saying, she rush'd with palpitating heart                 535
 And frantic air abroad, by her two maids
 Attended; soon arriving at the tower,
 And at the throng of men, awhile she stood
 Down-looking wistful from the city-wall,
 And, seeing him in front of Ilium, dragg'd                     540
 So cruelly toward the fleet of Greece,
 O'erwhelm'd with sudden darkness at the view
 Fell backward, with a sigh heard all around.
 Far distant flew dispersed her head-attire,
 Twist, frontlet, diadem, and even the veil                     545
 By golden Venus given her on the day
 When Hector led her from Eëtion's house
 Enrich'd with nuptial presents to his home.
 Around her throng'd her sisters of the house
 Of Priam, numerous, who within their arms                      550
 Fast held her[16] loathing life; but she, her breath
 At length and sense recovering, her complaint
 Broken with sighs amid them thus began.
   Hector! I am undone; we both were born
 To misery, thou in Priam's house in Troy,                      555
 And I in Hypoplacian Thebes wood-crown'd
 Beneath Eëtion's roof. He, doom'd himself
 To sorrow, me more sorrowfully doom'd,
 Sustain'd in helpless infancy, whom oh
 That he had ne'er begotten! thou descend'st                    560
 To Pluto's subterraneous dwelling drear,
 Leaving myself destitute, and thy boy,
 Fruit of our hapless loves, an infant yet,
 Never to be hereafter thy delight,
 Nor love of thine to share or kindness more.                   565
 For should he safe survive this cruel war,
 With the Achaians penury and toil
 Must be his lot, since strangers will remove
 At will his landmarks, and possess his fields.
 Thee lost, he loses all, of father, both,                      570
 And equal playmate in one day deprived,
 To sad looks doom'd, and never-ceasing-tears.
 He seeks, necessitous his father's friends,
 One by his mantle pulls, one by his vest,
 Whose utmost pity yields to his parch'd lips                   575
 A thirst-provoking drop, and grudges more;
 Some happier child, as yet untaught to mourn
 A parent's loss, shoves rudely from the board
 My son, and, smiting him, reproachful cries--
 Away--thy father is no guest of ours--                         580
 Then, weeping, to his widow'd mother comes
 Astyanax, who on his father's lap
 Ate marrow only, once, and fat of lambs,[17]
 And when sleep took him, and his crying fit
 Had ceased, slept ever on the softest bed,                     585
 Warm in his nurse's arms, fed to his fill
 With delicacies, and his heart at rest.
 But now, Astyanax (so named in Troy
 For thy sake, guardian of her gates and towers)
 His father lost, must many a pang endure.                      590
 And as for thee, cast naked forth among
 Yon galleys, where no parent's eye of thine
 Shall find thee, when the dogs have torn thee once
 Till they are sated, worms shall eat thee next.
 Meantime, thy graceful raiment rich, prepared                  595
 By our own maidens, in thy palace lies;
 But I will burn it, burn it all, because
 Useless to thee, who never, so adorn'd,
 Shalt slumber more; yet every eye in Troy
 Shall see, how glorious once was thy attire.[18]               600
   So, weeping, she; to whom the multitude
 Of Trojan dames responsive sigh'd around.



                             THE ILIAD.
                            BOOK XXIII.



                 ARGUMENT OF THE TWENTY-THIRD BOOK.


   The body of Patroclus is burned, and the funeral games ensue.



                            BOOK XXIII.


 Such mourning was in Troy; meantime the Greeks
 Their galleys and the shores of Hellespont
 Regaining, each to his own ship retired.
 But not the Myrmidons; Achilles them
 Close rank'd in martial order still detain'd,                    5
 And thus his fellow-warriors brave address'd.
   Ye swift-horsed Myrmidons, associates dear!
 Release not from your chariots yet your steeds
 Firm-hoof'd, but steeds and chariots driving near,
 Bewail Patroclus, as the rites demand                           10
 Of burial; then, satiate with grief and tears,
 We will release our steeds, and take repast.
   He ended, and, himself leading the way,
 His numerous band all mourn'd at once the dead.
 Around the body thrice their glossy steeds,                     15
 Mourning they drove, while Thetis in their hearts
 The thirst of sorrow kindled; they with tears
 The sands bedew'd, with tears their radiant arms,
 Such deep regret of one so brave they felt.
 Then, placing on the bosom of his friend                        20
 His homicidal hands, Achilles thus
 The shade of his Patroclus, sad, bespake.
   Hail, oh Patroclus, even in Ades hail!
 For I will now accomplish to the full
 My promise pledged to thee, that I would give                   25
 Hector dragg'd hither to be torn by dogs
 Piecemeal, and would before thy funeral pile
 The necks dissever of twelve Trojan youths
 Of noblest rank, resentful of thy death.
   He said, and meditating foul disgrace                         30
 To noble Hector, stretch'd him prone in dust
 Beside the bier of Menoetiades.
 Then all the Myrmidons their radiant arms
 Put off, and their shrill-neighing steeds released.
 A numerous band beside the bark they sat                        35
 Of swift Æacides, who furnish'd forth
 Himself a feast funereal for them all.
 Many a white ox under the ruthless steel
 Lay bleeding, many a sheep and blatant goat,
 With many a saginated boar bright-tusk'd,                       40
 Amid fierce flames Vulcanian stretch'd to roast.
 Copious the blood ran all around the dead.
   And now the Kings of Greece conducted thence
 To Agamemnon's tent the royal son
 Of Peleus, loth to go, and won at last                          45
 With difficulty, such his anger was
 And deep resentment of his slaughter'd friend.
 Soon then as Agamemnon's tent they reach'd,
 The sovereign bade his heralds kindle fire
 Around an ample vase, with purpose kind                         50
 Moving Achilles from his limbs to cleanse
 The stains of battle; but he firm refused
 That suit, and bound refusal with an oath--
   No; by the highest and the best of all,
 By Jove I will not. Never may it be                             55
 That brazen bath approach this head of mine,
 Till I shall first Patroclus' body give
 To his last fires, till I shall pile his tomb,
 And sheer my locks in honor of my friend;
 For, like to this, no second wo shall e'er                      60
 My heart invade, while vital breath I draw.
 But, all unwelcome as it is, repast
 Now calls us. Agamemnon, King of men!
 Give thou command that at the dawn they bring
 Wood hither, such large portion as beseems                      65
 The dead, descending to the shades, to share,
 That hungry flames consuming out of sight
 His body soon, the host may war again.
   He spake; they, hearing, readily obey'd.
 Then, each his food preparing with dispatch,                    70
 They ate, nor wanted any of the guests
 Due portion, and their appetites sufficed
 To food and wine, all to their tents repair'd
 Seeking repose; but on the sands beside
 The billowy deep Achilles groaning lay                          75
 Amidst his Myrmidons, where space he found
 With blood unstain'd beside the dashing wave.[1]
 There, soon as sleep, deliverer of the mind,
 Wrapp'd him around (for much his noble limbs
 With chase of Hector round the battlements                      80
 Of wind-swept Ilium wearied were and spent)
 The soul came to him of his hapless friend,
 In bulk resembling, in expressive eyes
 And voice Patroclus, and so clad as he.
 Him, hovering o'er his head, the form address'd.                85
   Sleep'st thou, Achilles! of thy friend become
 Heedless? Him living thou didst not neglect
 Whom thou neglectest dead. Give me a tomb
 Instant, that I may pass the infernal gates.
 For now, the shades and spirits of the dead                     90
 Drive me afar, denying me my wish
 To mingle with them on the farthest shore,
 And in wide-portal'd Ades sole I roam.
 Give me thine hand, I pray thee, for the earth
 I visit never more, once burnt with fire;                       95
 We never shall again close council hold
 As we were wont, for me my fate severe,
 Mine even from my birth, hath deep absorb'd.
 And oh Achilles, semblance of the Gods!
 Thou too predestined art beneath the wall                      100
 To perish of the high-born Trojan race.
 But hear my last injunction! ah, my friend!
 My bones sepulchre not from thine apart,
 But as, together we were nourish'd both
 Beneath thy roof (what time from Opoëis                        105
 Menoetius led me to thy father's house,
 Although a child, yet fugitive for blood,
 Which, in a quarrel at the dice, I spilt,
 Killing my playmate by a casual blow,
 The offspring of Amphidamas, when, like                        110
 A father, Peleus with all tenderness
 Received and cherish'd me, and call'd me thine)
 So, let one vase inclose, at last, our bones,
 The golden vase, thy Goddess mother's gift.[2]
   To whom Achilles, matchless in the race.                     115
 Ah, loved and honor'd! wherefore hast thou come!
 Why thus enjoin'd me? I will all perform
 With diligence that thou hast now desired.
 But nearer stand, that we may mutual clasp
 Each other, though but with a short embrace,                   120
 And sad satiety of grief enjoy.
   He said, and stretch'd his arms toward the shade,
 But him seized not; shrill-clamoring and light
 As smoke, the spirit pass'd into the earth.
 Amazed, upsprang Achilles, clash'd aloud                       125
 His palms together, and thus, sad, exclaim'd.
   Ah then, ye Gods! there doubtless are below
 The soul and semblance both, but empty forms;
 For all night long, mourning, disconsolate,
 The soul of my Patroclus, hapless friend!                      130
 Hath hover'd o'er me, giving me in charge
 His last requests, just image of himself.
   So saying, he call'd anew their sorrow forth,
 And rosy-palm'd Aurora found them all
 Mourning afresh the pitiable dead.                             135
 Then royal Agamemnon call'd abroad
 Mules and mule-drivers from the tents in haste
 To gather wood. Uprose a valiant man,
 Friend of the virtuous Chief Idomeneus,
 Meriones, who led them to the task.                            140
 They, bearing each in hand his sharpen'd axe
 And twisted cord, thence journey'd forth, the mules
 Driving before them; much uneven space
 They measured, hill and dale, right onward now,
 And now circuitous; but at the groves                          145
 Arrived at length, of Ida fountain-fed,
 Their keen-edged axes to the towering oaks
 Dispatchful they applied; down fell the trees
 With crash sonorous. Splitting, next, the trunks,
 They bound them on the mules; they, with firm hoofs            150
 The hill-side stamping, through the thickets rush'd
 Desirous of the plain. Each man his log
 (For so the armor-bearer of the King
 Of Crete, Meriones, had them enjoin'd)
 Bore after them, and each his burthen cast                     155
 Down on the beach regular, where a tomb
 Of ample size Achilles for his friend
 Patroclus had, and for himself, design'd.
   Much fuel thrown together, side by side
 There down they sat, and his command at once                   160
 Achilles issued to his warriors bold,
 That all should gird their armor, and the steeds
 Join to their chariots; undelaying each
 Complied, and in bright arms stood soon array'd.
 Then mounted combatants and charioteers.                       165
 First, moved the chariots, next, the infantry
 Proceeded numerous, amid whom his friends,
 Bearing the body of Patroclus, went.
 They poll'd their heads, and cover'd him with hair
 Shower'd over all his body, while behind                       170
 Noble Achilles march'd, the hero's head
 Sustaining sorrowful, for to the realms
 Of Ades a distinguish'd friend he sent.
   And now, arriving on the ground erewhile
 Mark'd by Achilles, setting down the dead,                     175
 They heap'd the fuel quick, a lofty pile.[3]
 But Peleus' son, on other thoughts intent,
 Retiring from the funeral pile, shore off
 His amber ringlets,[4] whose exuberant growth
 Sacred to Sperchius he had kept unshorn,                       180
 And looking o'er the gloomy deep, he said.
   Sperchius! in vain Peleus my father vow'd
 That, hence returning to my native land,
 These ringlets shorn I should present to thee[5]
 With a whole hecatomb, and should, beside,                     185
 Rams offer fifty at thy fountain head
 In thy own field, at thy own fragrant shrine.
 So vow'd the hoary Chief, whose wishes thou
 Leavest unperform'd. Since, therefore, never more
 I see my native home, the hero these                           190
 Patroclus takes down with him to the shades.
   He said, and filling with his hair the hand
 Of his dead friend, the sorrows of his train
 Waken'd afresh. And now the lamp of day
 Westering[6] apace, had left them still in tears,              195
 Had not Achilles suddenly address'd
 King Agamemnon, standing at his side.
   Atrides! (for Achaia's sons thy word
 Will readiest execute) we may with grief
 Satiate ourselves hereafter; but, the host                     200
 Dispersing from the pile, now give command
 That they prepare repast; ourselves,[7] to whom
 These labors in peculiar appertain
 Will finish them; but bid the Chiefs abide.
   Which when imperial Agamemnon heard,                         205
 He scatter'd instant to their several ships
 The people; but the burial-dressers thence
 Went not; they, still abiding, heap'd the pile.
 A hundred feet of breadth from side to side
 They gave to it, and on the summit placed                      210
 With sorrowing hearts the body of the dead.
 Many a fat sheep, with many an ox full-horn'd
 They flay'd before the pile, busy their task
 Administering, and Peleus' son the fat
 Taking from every victim, overspread                           215
 Complete the body with it of his friend[8]
 Patroclus, and the flay'd beasts heap'd around.
 Then, placing flagons on the pile, replete
 With oil and honey, he inclined their mouths
 Toward the bier, and slew and added next,                      220
 Deep-groaning and in haste, four martial steeds.
 Nine dogs the hero at his table fed,
 Of which beheading two, their carcases
 He added also. Last, twelve gallant sons
 Of noble Trojans slaying (for his heart                        225
 Teem'd with great vengeance) he applied the force
 Of hungry flames that should devour the whole,
 Then, mourning loud, by name his friend invoked.
   Rejoice, Patroclus! even in the shades,
 Behold my promise to thee all fulfill'd!                       230
 Twelve gallant sons of Trojans famed in arms,
 Together with thyself, are all become
 Food for these fires: but fire shall never feed
 On Hector; him I destine to the dogs.
   So threaten'd he; but him no dogs devour'd;                  235
 Them, day and night, Jove's daughter Venus chased
 Afar, and smooth'd the hero o'er with oils
 Of rosy scent ambrosial, lest his corse,
 Behind Achilles' chariot dragg'd along
 So rudely, should be torn; and Phoebus hung                    240
 A veil of sable clouds from heaven to earth,
 O'ershadowing broad the space where Hector lay,
 Lest parching suns intense should stiffen him.
   But the pile kindled not. Then, Peleus' son
 Seeking a place apart, two Winds in prayer                     245
 Boreas invoked and Zephyrus, to each
 Vowing large sacrifice. With earnest suit
 (Libation pouring from a golden cup)
 Their coming he implored, that so the flames
 Kindling, incontinent might burn the dead.                     250
 Iris, his supplications hearing, swift
 Convey'd them to the Winds; they, in the hall
 Banqueting of the heavy-blowing West
 Sat frequent. Iris, sudden at the gate
 Appear'd; they, at the sight upstarting all,                   255
 Invited each the Goddess to himself.
 But she refused a seat and thus she spake.[9]
   I sit not here. Borne over Ocean's stream
 Again, to Æthiopia's land I go
 Where hecatombs are offer'd to the Gods,                       260
 Which, with the rest, I also wish to share.
 But Peleus' son, earnest, the aid implores
 Of Boreas and of Zephyrus the loud,
 Vowing large sacrifice if ye will fan
 Briskly the pile on which Patroclus lies                       265
 By all Achaia's warriors deep deplored.
   She said, and went. Then suddenly arose
 The Winds, and, roaring, swept the clouds along.
 First, on the sea they blew; big rose the waves
 Beneath the blast. At fruitful Troy arrived                    270
 Vehement on the pile they fell, and dread
 On all sides soon a crackling blaze ensued.
 All night, together blowing shrill, they drove
 The sheeted flames wide from the funeral pile,
 And all night long, a goblet in his hand                       275
 From golden beakers fill'd, Achilles stood
 With large libations soaking deep the soil,
 And calling on the spirit of his friend.
 As some fond father mourns, burning the bones
 Of his own son, who, dying on the eve                          280
 Of his glad nuptials, hath his parents left
 O'erwhelm'd with inconsolable distress,
 So mourn'd Achilles, his companion's bones
 Burning, and pacing to and fro the field
 Beside the pile with many a sigh profound.                     285
 But when the star, day's harbinger, arose,
 Soon after whom, in saffron vest attired
 The morn her beams diffuses o'er the sea,
 The pile, then wasted, ceased to flame, and then
 Back flew the Winds over the Thracian deep                     290
 Rolling the flood before them as they pass'd.
 And now Pelides lying down apart
 From the funereal pile, slept, but not long,
 Though weary; waken'd by the stir and din
 Of Agamemnon's train. He sat erect,                            295
 And thus the leaders of the host address'd.
   Atrides, and ye potentates who rule
 The whole Achaian host! first quench the pile
 Throughout with generous wine, where'er the fire
 Hath seized it. We will then the bones collect                 300
 Of Menoetiades, which shall with ease
 Be known, though many bones lie scatter'd near,
 Since in the middle pile Patroclus lay,
 But wide apart and on its verge we burn'd
 The steeds and Trojans, a promiscuous heap.                    305
 Them so collected in a golden vase
 We will dispose, lined with a double cawl,
 Till I shall, also, to my home below.
 I wish not now a tomb of amplest bounds,
 But such as may suffice, which yet in height                   310
 The Grecians and in breadth shall much augment
 Hereafter, who, survivors of my fate,
 Shall still remain in the Achaian fleet.
   So spake Pelides, and the Chiefs complied.
 Where'er the pile had blazed, with generous wine               315
 They quench'd it, and the hills of ashes sank.
 Then, weeping, to a golden vase, with lard
 Twice lined, they gave their gentle comrade's bones
 Fire-bleach'd, and lodging safely in his tent
 The relics, overspread them with a veil.                       320
 Designing, next, the compass of the tomb,
 They mark'd its boundary with stones, then fill'd
 The wide enclosure hastily with earth,
 And, having heap'd it to its height, return'd.
 But all the people, by Achilles still                          325
 Detain'd, there sitting, form'd a spacious ring,
 And he the destined prizes from his fleet
 Produced, capacious caldrons, tripods bright,
 Steeds, mules, tall oxen, women at the breast
 Close-cinctured, elegant, and unwrought[10] iron.              330
 First, to the chariot-drivers he proposed
 A noble prize; a beauteous maiden versed
 In arts domestic, with a tripod ear'd,
 Of twenty and two measures. These he made
 The conqueror's meed. The second should a mare                 335
 Obtain, unbroken yet, six years her age,
 Pregnant, and bearing in her womb a mule.
 A caldron of four measures, never smirch'd
 By smoke or flame, but fresh as from the forge
 The third awaited; to the fourth he gave                       340
 Two golden talents, and, unsullied yet
 By use, a twin-ear'd phial[11] to the fifth.
 He stood erect, and to the Greeks he cried.
   Atrides, and ye chiefs of all the host!
 These prizes, in the circus placed, attend                     345
 The charioteers. Held we the present games
 In honor of some other Grecian dead,
 I would myself bear hence the foremost prize;
 For ye are all witnesses well-inform'd
 Of the superior virtue of my steeds.                           350
 They are immortal; Neptune on my sire
 Peleus conferr'd them, and my sire on me.
 But neither I this contest share myself,
 Nor shall my steeds; for they would miss the force
 And guidance of a charioteer so kind                           355
 As they have lost, who many a time hath cleansed
 Their manes with water of the crystal brook,
 And made them sleek, himself, with limpid oil.
 Him, therefore, mourning, motionless they stand
 With hair dishevell'd, streaming to the ground.                360
 But ye, whoever of the host profess
 Superior skill, and glory in your steeds
 And well-built chariots, for the strife prepare!
   So spake Pelides, and the charioteers,
 For speed renown'd arose. Long ere the rest                    365
 Eumelus, King of men, Admetus' son
 Arose, accomplish'd in equestrian arts.
 Next, Tydeus' son, brave Diomede, arose;
 He yoked the Trojan coursers by himself
 In battle from Æneas won, what time                            370
 Apollo saved their master. Third, upstood
 The son of Atreus with the golden locks,
 Who to his chariot Agamemnon's mare
 Swift Æthe and his own Podargus join'd.
 Her Echepolus from Anchises sprung                             375
 To Agamemnon gave; she was the price
 At which he purchased leave to dwell at home
 Excused attendance on the King at Troy;
 For, by the gift of Jove, he had acquired
 Great riches, and in wide-spread Sicyon dwelt.                 380
 Her wing'd with ardor, Menelaus yoked.
 Antilochus, arising fourth, his steeds
 Bright-maned prepared, son of the valiant King
 Of Pylus, Nestor Neleïades.
 Of Pylian breed were they, and thus his sire,                  385
 With kind intent approaching to his side,
 Advised him, of himself not uninform'd.[12]
   Antilochus! Thou art, I know, beloved
 By Jove and Neptune both, from whom, though young
 Thou hast received knowledge of every art                      390
 Equestrian, and hast little need to learn.
 Thou know'st already how to trim the goal
 With nicest skill, yet wondrous slow of foot
 Thy coursers are, whence evil may ensue.
 But though their steeds be swifter, I account                  395
 Thee wise, at least, as they. Now is the time
 For counsel, furnish now thy mind with all
 Precaution, that the prize escape thee not.
 The feller of huge trees by skill prevails
 More than by strength; by skill the pilot guides               400
 His flying bark rock'd by tempestuous winds,
 And more by skill than speed the race is won.
 But he who in his chariot and his steeds
 Trusts only, wanders here and wanders there
 Unsteady, while his coursers loosely rein'd                    405
 Roam wide the field; not so the charioteer
 Of sound intelligence; he though he drive
 Inferior steeds, looks ever to the goal
 Which close he clips, not ignorant to check
 His coursers at the first but with tight rein                  410
 Ruling his own, and watching those before.
 Now mark; I will describe so plain the goal
 That thou shalt know it surely. A dry stump
 Extant above the ground an ell in height
 Stands yonder; either oak it is, or pine                       415
 More likely, which the weather least impairs.
 Two stones, both white, flank it on either hand.
 The way is narrow there, but smooth the course
 On both sides. It is either, as I think,
 A monument of one long since deceased,                         420
 Or was, perchance, in ancient days design'd,
 As now by Peleus' mighty son, a goal.
 That mark in view, thy steeds and chariot push
 Near to it as thou may'st; then, in thy seat
 Inclining gently to the left, prick smart                      425
 Thy right-hand horse challenging him aloud,
 And give him rein; but let thy left-hand horse
 Bear on the goal so closely, that the nave
 And felly[13] of thy wheel may seem to meet.
 Yet fear to strike the stone, lest foul disgrace               430
 Of broken chariot and of crippled steeds
 Ensue, and thou become the public jest.
 My boy beloved! use caution; for if once
 Thou turn the goal at speed, no man thenceforth
 Shall reach, or if he reach, shall pass thee by,               435
 Although Arion in thy rear he drove
 Adrastus' rapid horse of race divine,
 Or those, Troy's boast, bred by Laomedon.
   So Nestor spake, inculcating with care
 On his son's mind these lessons in the art,                    440
 And to his place retiring, sat again.
 Meriones his coursers glossy-maned
 Made ready last. Then to his chariot-seat
 Each mounted, and the lots were thrown; himself
 Achilles shook them. First, forth leap'd the lot               445
 Of Nestor's son Antilochus, after whom
 The King Eumelus took his destined place.
 The third was Menelaus spear-renown'd;
 Meriones the fourth; and last of all,
 Bravest of all, heroic Diomede                                 450
 The son of Tydeus took his lot to drive.
 So ranged they stood; Achilles show'd the goal
 Far on the champain, nigh to which he placed
 The godlike Phoenix servant of his sire,
 To mark the race and make a true report.                       455
   All raised the lash at once, and with the reins
 At once all smote their steeds, urging them on
 Vociferous; they, sudden, left the fleet
 Far, far behind them, scouring swift the plain.
 Dark, like a stormy cloud, uprose the dust                     460
 Their chests beneath, and scatter'd in the wind
 Their manes all floated; now the chariots swept
 The low declivity unseen, and now
 Emerging started into view; erect
 The drivers stood; emulous, every heart                        465
 Beat double; each encouraged loud his steeds;
 They, flying, fill'd with dust the darken'd air.
 But when returning to the hoary deep
 They ran their last career, then each display'd
 Brightest his charioteership, and the race                     470
 Lay stretch'd, at once, into its utmost speed.
 Then, soon the mares of Pheretiades[14]
 Pass'd all, but Diomede behind him came,
 Borne by his unemasculated steeds
 Of Trojan pedigree; they not remote,                           475
 But close pursued him; and at every pace
 Seem'd entering both; the chariot at their head,
 For blowing warm into Eumelus' neck
 Behind, and on his shoulders broad, they went,
 And their chins rested on him as they flew.                    480
 Then had Tydides pass'd him, or had made
 Decision dubious, but Apollo struck,
 Resentful,[15] from his hand the glittering scourge.
 Fast roll'd the tears indignant down his cheeks,
 For he beheld the mares with double speed,                     485
 Flying, and of the spur deprived, his own
 Retarded steeds continual thrown behind.
 But not unnoticed by Minerva pass'd
 The art by Phoebus practised to impede
 The son of Tydeus, whom with winged haste                      490
 Following, she gave to him his scourge again,
 And with new force his lagging steeds inspired.
 Eumelus, next, the angry Goddess, swift
 Pursuing, snapt his yoke; wide flew the mares
 Asunder, and the pole fell to the ground.                      495
 Himself, roll'd from his seat, fast by the wheel
 With lacerated elbows, nostrils, mouth,
 And batter'd brows lay prone; sorrow his eyes
 Deluged, and disappointment chok'd his voice.
 Then, far outstripping all, Tydides push'd                     500
 His steeds beyond, which Pallas fill'd with power
 That she might make the glorious prize his own.
 Him follow'd Menelaus amber-hair'd,
 The son of Atreus, and his father's steeds
 Encouraging, thus spake Antilochus.                            505
   Away--now stretch ye forward to the goal.
 I bid you not to an unequal strife
 With those of Diomede, for Pallas them
 Quickens that he may conquer, and the Chief
 So far advanced makes competition vain.                        510
 But reach the son of Atreus, fly to reach
 His steeds, incontinent; ah, be not shamed
 For ever, foil'd by Æthe, by a mare!
 Why fall ye thus behind, my noblest steeds?
 I tell you both, and ye shall prove me true,                   515
 No favor shall ye find at Nestor's hands,
 My valiant sire, but he will thrust his spear
 Right through you, should we lose, for sloth of yours,
 Or by your negligence, the nobler prize.
 Haste then--pursue him--reach the royal Chief--                520
 And how to pass him in yon narrow way
 Shall be my care, and not my care in vain.
   He ended; they, awhile, awed by his voice,
 With more exertion ran, and Nestor's son
 Now saw the hollow strait mark'd by his sire.                  525
 It was a chasm abrupt, where winter-floods,
 Wearing the soil, had gullied deep the way.
 Thither Atrides, anxious to avoid
 A clash of chariots drove, and thither drove
 Also, but somewhat devious from his track,                     530
 Antilochus. Then Menelaus fear'd,
 And with loud voice the son of Nestor hail'd.
   Antilochus, at what a madman's rate
 Drivest thou! stop--check thy steeds--the way is here
 Too strait, but widening soon, will give thee scope            535
 To pass me by; beware, lest chariot close
 To chariot driven, thou maim thyself and me.
   He said; but still more rapid and the scourge
 Plying continual, as he had not heard,
 Antilochus came on. Far as the quoit                           540
 By some broad-shoulder'd youth for trial hurl'd
 Of manhood flies, so far Antilochus
 Shot forward; but the coursers fell behind
 Of Atreus' son, who now abated much
 By choice his driving, lest the steeds of both                 545
 Jostling, should overturn with sudden shock
 Both chariots, and themselves in dust be roll'd,
 Through hot ambition of the foremost prize.
 Him then the hero golden-hair'd reproved.
   Antilochus! the man lives not on earth                       550
 Like thee for love of mischief. Go, extoll'd
 For wisdom falsely by the sons of Greece.
 Yet, trust me, not without an oath, the prize
 Thus foully sought shall even now be thine.
   He said, and to his coursers call'd aloud.                   555
 Ah be not tardy; stand not sorrow-check'd;
 Their feet will fail them sooner far than yours,
 For years have pass'd since they had youth to boast.
   So he; and springing at his voice, his steeds
 Regain'd apace the vantage lost. Meantime                      560
 The Grecians, in full circus seated, mark'd
 The steeds; they flying, fill'd with dust the air.
 Then, ere the rest, Idomeneus discern'd
 The foremost pair; for, on a rising ground
 Exalted, he without the circus sat,                            565
 And hearing, though remote, the driver's voice
 Chiding his steeds, knew it, and knew beside
 The leader horse distinguish'd by his hue,
 Chestnut throughout, save that his forehead bore
 A splendid blazon white, round as the moon.                    570
   He stood erect, and to the Greeks he cried.
 Friends! Chiefs and senators of Argos' host!
 Discern I sole the steeds, or also ye?
 The horses, foremost now, to me appear
 Other than erst, and I descry at hand                          575
 A different charioteer; the mares of late
 Victorious, somewhere distant in the race
 Are hurt; I plainly saw them at the first
 Turning the goal, but see them now no more;
 And yet with eyes inquisitive I range                          580
 From side to side the whole broad plain of Troy.
 Either the charioteer hath slipp'd the reins,
 Or rounded not successfully the goal
 Through want of guidance. Thrown, as it should seem,
 Forth from his seat, he hath his chariot maim'd,               585
 And his ungovern'd steeds have roam'd away.
 Arise and look ye forth yourselves, for I
 With doubtful ken behold him; yet the man
 Seems, in my view, Ætolian by descent,
 A Chief of prime renown in Argos' host,                        590
 The hero Tydeus' son, brave Diomede,
   But Ajax Oïliades the swift
 Him sharp reproved. Why art thou always given
 To prate, Idomeneus? thou seest the mares,
 Remote indeed, but posting to the goal.                        595
 Thou art not youngest of the Argives here
 So much, nor from beneath thy brows look forth
 Quick-sighted more than ours, thine eyes abroad.
 Yet still thou pratest, although silence more
 Should suit thee, among wiser far than thou.                   600
 The mares which led, lead still, and he who drives
 Eumelus is, the same who drove before.
   To whom the Cretan Chief, angry, replied.
 Ajax! whom none in wrangling can excel
 Or rudeness, though in all beside thou fall                    605
 Below the Argives, being boorish-rough,
 Come now--a tripod let us wager each,
 Or caldron, and let Agamemnon judge
 Whose horses lead, that, losing, thou may'st learn.
   He said; then sudden from his seat upsprang                  610
 Swift Ajax Oïliades, prepared
 For harsh retort, nor had the contest ceased
 Between them, but had grown from ill to worse,
 Had not himself, Achilles, interposed.
   Ajax--Idomeneus--abstain ye both                             615
 From bitter speech offensive, and such terms
 As ill become you. Ye would feel, yourselves,
 Resentment, should another act as ye.
 Survey the course, peaceable, from your seats;
 The charioteers, by competition wing'd,                        620
 Will soon themselves arrive, then shall ye know
 Distinctly, both who follows and who leads.
   He scarce had said, when nigh at hand appear'd
 Tydides, lashing, as he came, his steeds
 Continual; they with hoofs uplifted high                       625
 Their yet remaining ground shorten'd apace,
 Sprinkling with dusty drops at every stroke
 Their charioteer, while close upon their heels
 Radiant with tin and gold the chariot ran,
 Scarce tracking light the dust, so swift they flew.            630
 He stood in the mid-circus; there the sweat
 Rain'd under them from neck and chest profuse,
 And Diomede from his resplendent seat
 Leaping, reclined his scourge against the yoke.
 Nor was his friend brave Sthenelus remiss,                     635
 But, seizing with alacrity the prize,
 Consign'd the tripod and the virgin, first,
 To his own band in charge; then, loosed the steeds.
 Next came, by stratagem, not speed advanced
 To that distinction, Nestor's son, whom yet                    640
 The hero Menelaus close pursued
 Near as the wheel runs to a courser's heels,
 Drawing his master at full speed; his tail
 With its extremest hairs the felly sweeps
 That close attends him o'er the spacious plain,                645
 So near had Menelaus now approach'd
 Antilochus; for though at first he fell
 A full quoit's cast behind, he soon retrieved
 That loss, with such increasing speed the mare
 Bright-maned of Agamemnon, Æthe, ran;                          650
 She, had the course few paces more to both
 Afforded, should have clearly shot beyond
 Antilochus, nor dubious left the prize.
 But noble Menelaus threw behind
 Meriones, companion in the field,                              655
 Of King Idomeneus, a lance's flight,
 For slowest were his steeds, and he, to rule
 The chariot in the race, least skill'd of all.
 Last came Eumelus drawing to the goal,
 Himself, his splendid chariot, and his mares                   660
 Driving before him. Peleus' rapid son
 Beheld him with compassion, and, amid
 The Argives, in wing'd accents thus he spake.
   Here comes the most expert, driving his steeds
 Before him. Just it were that he received                      665
 The second prize; Tydides claims the first.
   He said, and all applauded the award.
 Then had Achilles to Eumelus given
 The mare (for such the pleasure seem'd of all)
 Had not the son of mighty Nestor risen,                        670
 Antilochus, who pleaded thus his right.
   Achilles! acting as thou hast proposed,
 Thou shalt offend me much, for thou shalt take
 The prize from me, because the Gods, his steeds
 And chariot-yoke disabling, render'd vain                      675
 His efforts, and no failure of his own.
 It was his duty to have sought the Gods
 In prayer, then had he not, following on foot
 His coursers, hindmost of us all arrived.
 But if thou pity him, and deem it good,                        680
 Thou hast much gold, much brass, and many sheep
 In thy pavilion; thou hast maidens fair,
 And coursers also. Of thy proper stores
 Hereafter give to him a richer prize
 Than this, or give it now, so shall the Greeks                 685
 Applaud thee; but this mare yield I to none;
 Stand forth the Grecian who desires to win
 That recompense, and let him fight with me.
   He ended, and Achilles, godlike Chief,
 Smiled on him, gratulating his success,                        690
 Whom much he loved; then, ardent, thus replied.
   Antilochus! if thou wouldst wish me give
 Eumelus of my own, even so I will.
 I will present to him my corslet bright
 Won from Asteropæus, edged around                              695
 With glittering tin; a precious gift, and rare.
   So saying, he bade Automedon his friend
 Produce it from the tent; he at his word
 Departing, to Achilles brought the spoil,
 Which at his hands Eumelus glad received.                      700
 Then, stung with grief, and with resentment fired
 Immeasurable, Menelaus rose
 To charge Antilochus. His herald gave
 The sceptre to his hand, and (silence bidden
 To all) the godlike hero thus began.                           705
   Antilochus! oh heretofore discreet!
 What hast thou done? Thou hast dishonor'd foul
 My skill, and wrong'd my coursers, throwing thine,
 Although inferior far, by fraud before them.
 Ye Chiefs and Senators of Argos' host!                         710
 Impartial judge between us, lest, of these,
 Some say hereafter, Menelaus bore
 Antilochus by falsehood down, and led
 The mare away, because, although his steeds
 Were worse, his arm was mightier, and prevail'd.               715
 Yet hold--myself will judge, and will to all
 Contentment give, for I will judge aright.
 Hither, Antilochus, illustrious youth!
 And, as the law prescribes, standing before
 Thy steeds and chariot, holding too the scourge                720
 With which thou drovest, lay hand on both thy steeds,
 And swear by Neptune, circler of the earth,
 That neither wilfully, nor yet by fraud
 Thou didst impede my chariot in its course.
   Then prudent, thus Antilochus replied.                       725
 Oh royal Menelaus! patient bear
 The fault of one thy junior far, in years
 Alike unequal and in worth to thee.
 Thou know'st how rash is youth, and how propense
 To pass the bounds by decency prescribed,                      730
 Quick, but not wise. Lay, then, thy wrath aside;
 The mare now given me I will myself
 Deliver to thee, and if thou require
 A larger recompense, will rather yield
 A larger much than from thy favor fall                         735
 Deservedly for ever, mighty Prince!
 And sin so heinously against the Gods.
   So saying, the son of valiant Nestor led
 The mare, himself, to Menelaus' hand,
 Who with heart-freshening joy the prize received.              740
 As on the ears of growing corn the dews
 Fall grateful, while the spiry grain erect
 Bristles the fields, so, Menelaus, felt
 Thy inmost soul a soothing pleasure sweet!
 Then answer thus the hero quick return'd.                      745
   Antilochus! exasperate though I were,
 Now, such no longer, I relinquish glad
 All strife with thee, for that at other times
 Thou never inconsiderate wast or light,
 Although by youthful heat misled to-day.                       750
 Yet safer is it not to over-reach
 Superiors, for no other Grecian here
 Had my extreme displeasure calm'd so soon;
 But thou hast suffer'd much, and much hast toil'd,
 As thy good father and thy brother have,                       755
 On my behalf; I, therefore, yield, subdued
 By thy entreaties, and the mare, though mine,
 Will also give thee, that these Grecians all
 May know me neither proud nor hard to appease.
   So saying, the mare he to Noëmon gave,                       760
 Friend of Antilochus, and, well-content,
 The polish'd caldron for _his_ prize received.
 The fourth awarded lot (for he had fourth
 Arrived) Meriones asserted next,
 The golden talents; but the phial still                        765
 Left unappropriated Achilles bore
 Across the circus in his hand, a gift
 To ancient Nestor, whom he thus bespake.
   Thou also, oh my father! this accept,
 Which in remembrance of the funeral rites                      770
 Of my Patroclus, keep, for him thou seest
 Among the Greeks no more. Receive a prize,
 Thine by gratuity; for thou shalt wield
 The cestus, wrestle, at the spear contend,
 Or in the foot-race (fallen as thou art                        775
 Into the wane of life) never again.
   He said, and placed it in his hands. He, glad,
 Receiving it, in accents wing'd replied.
   True, oh my son! is all which thou hast spoken.
 These limbs, these hands, young friend! (their vigor lost)     780
 No longer, darted from the shoulder, spring
 At once to battle. Ah that I could grow
 Young yet again, could feel again such force
 Athletic, as when in Buprasium erst
 The Epeans with sepulchral pomp entomb'd                       785
 King Amarynceus, where his sons ordain'd
 Funereal games in honor of their sire!
 Epean none or even Pylian there
 Could cope with me, or yet Ætolian bold.
 Boxing, I vanquish'd Clytomedes, son                           790
 Of Enops; wrestling, the Pleuronian Chief
 Ancæus; in the foot-race Iphiclus,
 Though a fleet runner; and I over-pitch'd
 Phyleus and Polydorus at the spear.
 The sons of Actor[16] in the chariot-race                      795
 Alone surpass'd me, being two for one,
 And jealous both lest I should also win
 That prize, for to the victor charioteer
 They had assign'd the noblest prize of all.
 They were twin-brothers, and one ruled the steeds,             800
 The steeds one ruled,[17] the other lash'd them on.
 Such once was I; but now, these sports I leave
 To younger; me submission most befits
 To withering age, who then outshone the best.
 But go. The funeral of thy friend with games                   805
 Proceed to celebrate; I accept thy gift
 With pleasure; and my heart is also glad
 That thou art mindful evermore of one
 Who loves thee, and such honor in the sight
 Yield'st me of all the Greeks, as is my due.                   810
 May the Gods bless thee for it more and more!
   He spake, and Peleus' son, when he had heard
 At large his commendation from the lips
 Of Nestor, through the assembled Greeks return'd.
 He next proposed, not lightly to be won,                       815
 The boxer's prize. He tether'd down a mule,
 Untamed and hard to tame, but strong to toil,
 And in her prime of vigor, in the midst;
 A goblet to the vanquish'd he assign'd,
 Then stood erect and to the Greeks exclaim'd.                  820
   Atridæ! and ye Argives brazen-greaved!
 I call for two bold combatants expert
 To wage fierce strife for these, with lifted fists
 Smiting each other. He, who by the aid
 Of Phoebus shall o'ertome, and whom the Greeks                 825
 Shall all pronounce victorious, leads the mule
 Hence to his tent; the vanquish'd takes the cup.
   He spake, and at his word a Greek arose
 Big, bold, and skillful in the boxer's art,
 Epeüs, son of Panopeus; his hand                               830
 He on the mule imposed, and thus he said.
   Approach the man ambitious of the cup!
 For no Achaian here shall with his fist
 Me foiling, win the mule. I boast myself
 To all superior. May it not suffice                            835
 That I to no pre-eminence pretend
 In battle? To attain to foremost praise
 Alike in every art is not for one.
 But this I promise, and will well perform--
 My blows shall lay him open, split him, crush                  840
 His bones to splinters, and let all his friends,
 Attendant on him, wait to bear him hence,
 Vanquish'd by my superior force in fight.
   He ended, and his speech found no reply.
 One godlike Chief alone, Euryalus,                             845
 Son of the King Mecisteus, who, himself,
 Sprang from Talaion, opposite arose.
 He, on the death of Oedipus, at Thebes
 Contending in the games held at his tomb,
 Had overcome the whole Cadmean race.                           850
 Him Diomede spear-famed for fight prepared,
 Giving him all encouragement, for much
 He wish'd him victory. First then he threw[18]
 His cincture to him; next, he gave him thongs[19]
 Cut from the hide of a wild buffalo.                           855
 Both girt around, into the midst they moved.
 Then, lifting high their brawny arms, and fists
 Mingling with fists, to furious fight they fell;
 Dire was the crash of jaws, and the sweat stream'd
 From every limb. Epeüs fierce advanced,                        860
 And while Euryalus with cautious eye
 Watch'd his advantage, pash'd him on the cheek
 He stood no longer, but, his shapely limbs,
 Unequal to his weight, sinking, he fell.
 As by the rising north-wind driven ashore                      865
 A huge fish flounces on the weedy beach,
 Which soon the sable flood covers again,
 So, beaten down, he bounded. But Epeüs,
 Heroic chief, upraised him by his hand,
 And his own comrades from the circus forth                     870
 Led him, step dragging after step, the blood
 Ejecting grumous, and at every pace
 Rolling his head languid from side to side.
 They placed him all unconscious on his seat
 In his own band, then fetch'd his prize, the cup.              875
   Still other prizes, then, Achilles placed
 In view of all, the sturdy wrestler's meed.
 A large hearth-tripod, valued by the Greeks
 At twice six beeves, should pay the victor's toil;
 But for the vanquish'd, in the midst he set                    880
 A damsel in variety expert
 Of arts domestic, valued at four beeves.
 He rose erect, and to the Greeks he cried.
   Arise ye, now, who shall this prize dispute.
 So spake the son of Peleus; then arose                         885
 Huge Telamonian Ajax, and upstood
 Ulysses also, in all wiles adept.
 Both girt around, into the midst they moved.
 With vigorous gripe each lock'd the other fast,
 Like rafters, standing, of some mansion built                  890
 By a prime artist proof against all winds.
 Their backs, tugg'd vehemently, creak'd,[20] the sweat
 Trickled, and on their flanks and shoulders, red
 The whelks arose; they bearing still in mind
 The tripod, ceased not struggling for the prize.               895
 Nor could Ulysses from his station move
 And cast down Ajax, nor could Ajax him
 Unsettle, fixt so firm Ulysses stood.
 But when, long time expectant, all the Greeks
 Grew weary, then, huge Ajax him bespake.                       900
   Laertes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!
 Lift, or be lifted, and let Jove decide.
   He said, and heaved Ulysses. Then, his wiles
 Forgat not he, but on the ham behind
 Chopp'd him; the limbs of Ajax at the stroke                   905
 Disabled sank; he fell supine, and bore
 Ulysses close adhering to his chest
 Down with him. Wonder riveted all eyes.
 Then brave Ulysses from the ground awhile
 Him lifted in his turn, but ere he stood,                      910
 Inserting his own knee the knees between[21]
 Of Ajax, threw him. To the earth they fell
 Both, and with dust defiled lay side by side.
 And now, arising to a third essay,
 They should have wrestled yet again, had not                   915
 Achilles, interfering, them restrain'd.
   Strive not together more; cease to exhaust
 Each other's force; ye both have earn'd the prize
 Depart alike requited, and give place
 To other Grecians who shall next contend.                      920
   He spake; they glad complied, and wiping off
 The dust, put on their tunics. Then again
 Achilles other prizes yet proposed,
 The rapid runner's meed. First, he produced
 A silver goblet of six measures; earth                         925
 Own'd not its like for elegance of form.
 Skilful Sidonian artists had around
 Embellish'd it,[22] and o'er the sable deep
 Phoenician merchants into Lemnos' port
 Had borne it, and the boon to Thoas[23] given;                 930
 But Jason's son, Euneüs, in exchange
 For Priam's son Lycaon, to the hand
 Had pass'd it of Patroclus famed in arms.
 Achilles this, in honor of his friend,
 Set forth, the swiftest runner's recompense.                   935
 The second should a fatted ox receive
 Of largest size, and he assign'd of gold
 A just half-talent to the worst and last.
 He stood erect, and to the Greeks he cried.
   Now stand ye forth who shall this prize dispute.             940
 He said, and at his word instant arose
 Swift Ajax Oïliades; upsprang
 The shrewd Ulysses next, and after him
 Brave Nestor's son Antilochus, with whom
 None vied in speed of all the youths of Greece.                945
 They stood prepared. Achilles show'd the goal.
 At once all started. Oïliades
 Led swift the course, and closely at his heels
 Ulysses ran. Near as some cinctured maid
 Industrious holds the distaff to her breast,                   950
 While to and fro with practised finger neat
 She tends the flax drawing it to a thread,
 So near Ulysses follow'd him, and press'd
 His footsteps, ere the dust fill'd them again,
 Pouring his breath into his neck behind,                       955
 And never slackening pace. His ardent thirst
 Of victory with universal shouts
 All seconded, and, eager, bade him on.
 And now the contest shortening to a close,
 Ulysses his request silent and brief                           960
 To azure-eyed Minerva thus preferr'd.
   Oh Goddess hear, prosper me in the race!
 Such was his prayer, with which Minerva pleased,
 Freshen'd his limbs, and made him light to run.
 And now, when in one moment they should both                   965
 Have darted on the prize, then Ajax' foot
 Sliding, he fell; for where the dung of beeves
 Slain by Achilles for his friend, had spread
 The soil, there[24] Pallas tripp'd him. Ordure foul
 His mouth, and ordure foul his nostrils fill'd.                970
 Then brave Ulysses, first arriving, seized
 The cup, and Ajax took his prize, the ox.
 He grasp'd his horn, and sputtering as he stood
 The ordure forth, the Argives thus bespake.
   Ah--Pallas tripp'd my footsteps; she attends                 975
 Ulysses ever with a mother's care.
   Loud laugh'd the Grecians. Then, the remnant prize
 Antilochus receiving, smiled and said.
   Ye need not, fellow-warriors, to be taught
 That now, as ever, the immortal Gods                           980
 Honor on seniority bestow.
 Ajax is elder, yet not much, than I.
 But Laertiades was born in times
 Long past, a chief coëval with our sires,
 Not young, but vigorous; and of the Greeks,                    985
 Achilles may alone with him contend.
   So saying, the merit of superior speed
 To Peleus' son he gave, who thus replied.
   Antilochus! thy praise of me shall prove
 Nor vain nor unproductive to thyself,                          990
 For the half-talent doubled shall be thine.
   He spake, and, doubling it, the talent placed
 Whole in his hand. He glad the gift received.
 Achilles, then Sarpedon's arms produced,
 Stripp'd from him by Patroclus, his long spear,                995
 Helmet and shield, which in the midst he placed.
 He stood erect, and to the Greeks he cried.
   I call for two brave warriors arm'd to prove
 Each other's skill with weapons keen, this prize
 Disputing, next, in presence of us all.                       1000
 Who first shall through his armor reach the skin
 Of his antagonist, and shall draw his blood,
 To him this silver-studded falchion bright
 I give; the blade is Thracian, and of late
 Asteropæus wore it, whom I slew.                              1005
 These other arms shall be their common meed,
 And I will banquet both within my tent.
   He said, then Telamonian Ajax huge
 Arose, and opposite the son arose
 Of warlike Tydeus, Diomede the brave.                         1010
 Apart from all the people each put on
 His arms, then moved into the middle space,
 Lowering terrific, and on fire to fight.
 The host look'd on amazed. Approaching each
 The other, thrice they sprang to the assault,                 1015
 And thrice struck hand to hand. Ajax the shield
 Pierced of his adversary, but the flesh
 Attain'd not, baffled by his mail within.
 Then Tydeus' son, sheer o'er the ample disk
 Of Ajax, thrust a lance home to his neck,                     1020
 And the Achaians for the life appall'd
 Of Ajax, bade them, ceasing, share the prize.
 But the huge falchion with its sheath and belt--
 Achilles them on Diomede bestow'd.
   The hero, next, an iron clod produced                       1025
 Rough from the forge, and wont to task the might
 Of King Eëtion; but, when him he slew,
 Pelides, glorious chief, with other spoils
 From Thebes convey'd it in his fleet to Troy.
 He stood erect, and to the Greeks he cried.                   1030
   Come forth who also shall this prize dispute!
 How far soe'er remote the winner's fields,
 This lump shall serve his wants five circling years;
 His shepherd shall not, or his plower, need
 In quest of iron seek the distant town,                       1035
 But hence he shall himself their wants supply.[25]
 Then Polypoetes brave in fight arose,
 Arose Leonteus also, godlike chief,
 With Ajax son of Telamon. Each took
 His station, and Epeüs seized the clod.                       1040
 He swung, he cast it, and the Grecians laugh'd.
 Leonteus, branch of Mars, quoited it next.
 Huge Telamonian Ajax with strong arm
 Dismiss'd it third, and overpitch'd them both.
 But when brave Polypoetes seized the mass                     1045
 Far as the vigorous herdsman flings his staff
 That twirling flies his numerous beeves between,[26]
 So far his cast outmeasured all beside,
 And the host shouted. Then the friends arose
 Of Polypoetes valiant chief, and bore                         1050
 His ponderous acquisition to the ships.
   The archers' prize Achilles next proposed,
 Ten double and ten single axes, form'd
 Of steel convertible to arrow-points.
 He fix'd, far distant on the sands, the mast                  1055
 Of a brave bark cerulean-prow'd, to which
 With small cord fasten'd by the foot he tied
 A timorous dove, their mark at which to aim.
 [27]Who strikes the dove, he conquers, and shall bear
 These double axes all into his tent.                          1060
 But who the cord alone, missing the bird,
 Successful less, he wins the single blades.
   The might of royal Teucer then arose,
 And, fellow-warrior of the King of Crete,
 Valiant Meriones. A brazen casque                             1065
 Received the lots; they shook them, and the lot
 Fell first to Teucer. He, at once, a shaft
 Sent smartly forth, but vow'd not to the King[28]
 A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock.
 He therefore (for Apollo greater praise                       1070
 Denied him) miss'd the dove, but struck the cord
 That tied her, at small distance from the knot,
 And with his arrow sever'd it. Upsprang
 The bird into the air, and to the ground
 Depending fell the cord. Shouts rent the skies.               1075
 Then, all in haste, Meriones the bow
 Caught from his hand holding a shaft the while
 Already aim'd, and to Apollo vow'd
 A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock.
 He eyed the dove aloft, under a cloud,                        1080
 And, while she wheel'd around, struck her beneath
 The pinion; through her and beyond her pass'd
 The arrow, and, returning, pierced the soil
 Fast by the foot of brave Meriones.
 She, perching on the mast again, her head                     1085
 Reclined, and hung her wide-unfolded wing,
 But, soon expiring, dropp'd and fell remote.
 Amazement seized the people. To his tent
 Meriones the ten best axes bore,
 And Teucer the inferior ten to his.[29]                       1090
   Then, last, Achilles in the circus placed
 A ponderous spear and caldron yet unfired,
 Emboss'd with flowers around, its worth an ox.
 Upstood the spear-expert; Atrides first,
 Wide-ruling Agamemnon, King of men,                           1095
 And next, brave fellow-warrior of the King
 Of Crete, Meriones; when thus his speech
 Achilles to the royal chief address'd.
   Atrides! (for we know thy skill and force
 Matchless! that none can hurl the spear as thou)              1100
 This prize is thine, order it to thy ship;
 And if it please thee, as I would it might,
 Let brave Meriones the spear receive.
   He said; nor Agamemnon not complied,
 But to Meriones the brazen spear                              1105
 Presenting, to Talthybius gave in charge
 The caldron, next, his own illustrious prize.



                             THE ILIAD.
                             BOOK XIV.



                ARGUMENT OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH BOOK.


Priam, by command of Jupiter, and under conduct of Mercury, seeks Achilles in his tent, who admonished previously by Thetis, consents to accept ransom for the body of Hector. Hector is mourned, and the manner of his funeral, circumstantially described, concludes the poem.



                             BOOK XXIV.


 The games all closed, the people went dispersed
 Each to his ship; they, mindful of repast,
 And to enjoy repose; but other thoughts
 Achilles' mind employ'd: he still deplored
 With tears his loved Patroclus, nor the force                    5
 Felt of all-conquering sleep, but turn'd and turn'd
 Restless from side to side, mourning the loss
 Of such a friend, so manly, and so brave.
 Their fellowship in toil; their hardships oft
 Sustain'd in fight laborious, or o'ercome                       10
 With difficulty on the perilous deep--
 Remembrance busily retracing themes
 Like these, drew down his cheeks continual tears.
 Now on his side he lay, now lay supine,
 Now prone, then starting from his couch he roam'd               15
 Forlorn the beach, nor did the rising morn
 On seas and shores escape his watchful eye,
 But joining to his chariot his swift steeds,
 He fasten'd Hector to be dragg'd behind.
 Around the tomb of Menoetiades                                  20
 Him thrice he dragg'd; then rested in his tent,
 Leaving him at his length stretch'd in the dust.
 Meantime Apollo with compassion touch'd
 Even of the lifeless Hector, from all taint
 Saved him, and with the golden ægis broad                       25
 Covering, preserved him, although dragg'd, untorn.
   While he, indulging thus his wrath, disgraced
 Brave Hector, the immortals at that sight
 With pity moved, exhorted Mercury
 The watchful Argicide, to steal him thence.                     30
 That counsel pleased the rest, but neither pleased
 Juno, nor Neptune, nor the blue-eyed maid.
 They still, as at the first, held fast their hate
 Of sacred Troy, detested Priam still,
 And still his people, mindful of the crime                      35
 Of Paris, who when to his rural hut
 They came, those Goddesses affronting,[1] praise
 And admiration gave to her alone
 Who with vile lusts his preference repaid.
 But when the twelfth ensuing morn arose,                        40
 Apollo, then, the immortals thus address'd.
   Ye Gods, your dealings now injurious seem
 And cruel. Was not Hector wont to burn
 Thighs of fat goats and bullocks at your shrines?
 Whom now, though dead, ye cannot yet endure                     45
 To rescue, that Andromache once more
 Might view him, his own mother, his own son,
 His father and the people, who would soon
 Yield him his just demand, a funeral fire.
 But, oh ye Gods! your pleasure is alone                         50
 To please Achilles, that pernicious chief,
 Who neither right regards, nor owns a mind
 That can relent, but as the lion, urged
 By his own dauntless heart and savage force,
 Invades without remorse the rights of man,                      55
 That he may banquet on his herds and flocks,
 So Peleus' son all pity from his breast
 Hath driven, and shame, man's blessing or his curse.[2]
 For whosoever hath a loss sustain'd
 Still dearer, whether of his brother born                       60
 From the same womb, or even of his son,
 When he hath once bewail'd him, weeps no more,
 For fate itself gives man a patient mind.
 Yet Peleus' son, not so contented, slays
 Illustrious Hector first, then drags his corse                  65
 In cruel triumph at his chariot-wheels
 Around Patroclus' tomb; but neither well
 He acts, nor honorably to himself,
 Who may, perchance, brave though he be, incur
 Our anger, while to gratify revenge                             70
 He pours dishonor thus on senseless clay.
   To whom, incensed, Juno white-arm'd replied.
 And be it so; stand fast this word of thine,
 God of the silver bow! if ye account
 Only such honor to Achilles due                                 75
 As Hector claims; but Hector was by birth
 Mere man, and suckled at a woman's breast.
 Not such Achilles; him a Goddess bore,
 Whom I myself nourish'd, and on my lap
 Fondled, and in due time to Peleus gave                         80
 In marriage, to a chief beloved in heaven
 Peculiarly; ye were yourselves, ye Gods!
 Partakers of the nuptial feast, and thou
 Wast present also with thine harp in hand,
 Thou comrade of the vile! thou faithless ever!                  85
   Then answer thus cloud-gatherer Jove return'd.
 Juno, forbear. Indulge not always wrath
 Against the Gods. They shall not share alike,
 And in the same proportion our regards.
 Yet even Hector was the man in Troy                             90
 Most favor'd by the Gods, and him no less
 I also loved, for punctual were his gifts
 To us; mine altar never miss'd from him
 Libation, or the steam of sacrifice,
 The meed allotted to us from of old.                            95
 But steal him not, since by Achilles' eye
 Unseen ye cannot, who both day and night
 Watches[3] him, as a mother tends her son.
 But call ye Thetis hither, I would give
 The Goddess counsel, that, at Priam's hands                    100
 Accepting gifts, Achilles loose the dead.
   He ceased. Then Iris tempest-wing'd arose.
 Samos between, and Imbrus rock-begirt,
 She plunged into the gloomy flood; loud groan'd
 The briny pool, while sudden down she rush'd,                  105
 As sinks the bull's[4] horn with its leaden weight,
 Death bearing to the raveners of the deep.
 Within her vaulted cave Thetis she found
 By every nymph of Ocean round about
 Encompass'd; she, amid them all, the fate                      110
 Wept of her noble son ordain'd to death
 At fertile Troy, from Phthia far remote.
 Then, Iris, drawing near, her thus address'd.
   Arise, O Thetis! Jove, the author dread
 Of everlasting counsels, calls for thee.                       115
   To whom the Goddess of the silver feet.
 Why calls the mighty Thunderer me? I fear,
 Oppress'd with countless sorrows as I am,
 To mingle with the Gods. Yet I obey--
 No word of his can prove an empty sound.                       120
   So saying, the Goddess took her sable veil
 (Eye ne'er beheld a darker) and began
 Her progress, by the storm-wing'd Iris led.
 On either hand the billows open'd wide
 A pass before them; they, ascending soon                       125
 The shore, updarted swift into the skies.
 They found loud-voiced Saturnian Jove around
 Environ'd by the ever-blessed Gods
 Convened in full assembly; she beside
 Her Father Jove (Pallas retiring) sat.                         130
 Then, Juno, with consolatory speech,
 Presented to her hand a golden cup,
 Of which she drank, then gave it back again,
 And thus the sire of Gods and men began.
   Goddess of ocean, Thetis! thou hast sought                   135
 Olympus, bearing in thy bosom grief
 Never to be assuaged, as well I know.
 Yet shalt thou learn, afflicted as thou art,
 Why I have summon'd thee. Nine days the Gods,
 Concerning Hector's body and thy own                           140
 Brave city-spoiler son, have held dispute,
 And some have urged ofttimes the Argicide
 Keen-sighted Mercury, to steal the dead.
 But I forbade it for Achilles' sake,
 Whom I exalt, the better to insure                             145
 Thy reverence and thy friendship evermore.
 Haste, therefore, seek thy son, and tell him thus,
 The Gods resent it, say (but most of all
 Myself am angry) that he still detains
 Amid his fleet, through fury of revenge,                       150
 Unransom'd Hector; so shall he, at length,
 Through fear of me, perchance, release the slain.
 Myself to generous Priam will, the while,
 Send Iris, who shall bid him to the fleet
 Of Greece, such ransom bearing as may soothe                   155
 Achilles, for redemption of his son.
   So spake the God, nor Thetis not complied.
 Descending swift from the Olympian heights
 She reach'd Achilles' tent. Him there she found
 Groaning disconsolate, while others ran                        160
 To and fro, occupied around a sheep
 New-slaughter'd, large, and of exuberant fleece.
 She, sitting close beside him, softly strok'd
 His cheek, and thus, affectionate, began.
   How long, my son! sorrowing and mourning here,               165
 Wilt thou consume thy soul, nor give one thought
 Either to food or love? Yet love is good,
 And woman grief's best cure; for length of days
 Is not thy doom, but, even now, thy death
 And ruthless destiny are on the wing.                          170
 Mark me,--I come a lieger sent from Jove.
 The Gods, he saith, resent it, but himself
 More deeply than the rest, that thou detain'st
 Amid thy fleet, through fury of revenge,
 Unransom'd Hector. Be advised, accept                          175
 Ransom, and to his friends resign the dead.
   To whom Achilles, swiftest of the swift.
 Come then the ransomer, and take him hence;
 If Jove himself command it,--be it so.
   So they, among the ships, conferring sat                     180
 On various themes, the Goddess and her son;
 Meantime Saturnian Jove commanded down
 His swift ambassadress to sacred Troy.
   Hence, rapid Iris! leave the Olympian heights.
 And, finding noble Priam, bid him haste                        185
 Into Achaia's fleet, bearing such gifts
 As may assuage Achilles, and prevail
 To liberate the body of his son.
 Alone, he must; no Trojan of them all
 May company the senior thither, save                           190
 An ancient herald to direct his mules
 And his wheel'd litter, and to bring the dead
 Back into Ilium, whom Achilles slew.
 Let neither fear of death nor other fear
 Trouble him aught, so safe a guard and sure                    195
 We give him; Mercury shall be his guide
 Into Achilles' presence in his tent.
 Nor will himself Achilles slay him there,
 Or even permit his death, but will forbid
 All violence; for he is not unwise                             200
 Nor heedless, no--nor wilful to offend,
 But will his suppliant with much grace receive.[5]
   He ceased; then Iris tempest-wing'd arose,
 Jove's messenger, and, at the gates arrived
 Of Priam, wo and wailing found within.                         205
 Around their father, in the hall, his sons
 Their robes with tears water'd, while them amidst
 The hoary King sat mantled, muffled close,
 And on his venerable head and neck
 Much dust was spread, which, rolling on the earth,             210
 He had shower'd on them with unsparing hands.
 The palace echoed to his daughters' cries,
 And to the cries of matrons calling fresh
 Into remembrance many a valiant chief
 Now stretch'd in dust, by Argive hands destroy'd.              215
 The messenger of Jove at Priam's side
 Standing, with whisper'd accents low his ear
 Saluted, but he trembled at the sound.
   Courage, Dardanian Priam! fear thou nought;
 To thee no prophetess of ill, I come;                          220
 But with kind purpose: Jove's ambassadress
 Am I, who though remote, yet entertains
 Much pity, and much tender care for thee.
 Olympian Jove commands thee to redeem
 The noble Hector, with an offering large                       225
 Of gifts that may Achilles' wrath appease.
 Alone, thou must; no Trojan of them all
 Hath leave to attend thy journey thither, save
 An ancient herald to direct thy mules
 And thy wheel'd litter, and to bring the dead                  230
 Back into Ilium, whom Achilles slew.
 Let neither fear of death nor other fear
 Trouble thee aught, so safe a guard and sure
 He gives thee; Mercury shall be thy guide
 Even to Achilles' presence in his tent.                        235
 Nor will himself Achilles slay thee there,
 Or even permit thy death, but will forbid
 All violence; for he is not unwise
 Nor heedless, no--nor wilful to offend,
 But will his suppliant with much grace receive.                240
   So spake the swift ambassadress, and went.
 Then, calling to his sons, he bade them bring
 His litter forth, and bind the coffer on,
 While to his fragrant chamber he repair'd
 Himself, with cedar lined and lofty-roof'd,                    245
 A treasury of wonders into which
 The Queen he summon'd, whom he thus bespake.
   Hecuba! the ambassadress of Jove
 Hath come, who bids me to the Grecian fleet,
 Bearing such presents thither as may soothe                    250
 Achilles, for redemption of my son.
 But say, what seems this enterprise to thee?
 Myself am much inclined to it, I feel
 My courage prompting me amain toward
 The fleet, and into the Achaian camp.                          255
   Then wept the Queen aloud, and thus replied.
 Ah! whither is thy wisdom fled, for which
 Both strangers once, and Trojans honor'd _thee_?
 How canst thou wish to penetrate alone
 The Grecian fleet, and to appear before                        260
 His face, by whom so many valiant sons
 Of thine have fallen? Thou hast an iron heart!
 For should that savage man and faithless once
 Seize and discover thee, no pity expect
 Or reverence at his hands. Come--let us weep                   265
 Together, here sequester'd; for the thread
 Spun for him by his destiny severe
 When he was born, ordain'd our son remote
 From us his parents to be food for hounds
 In that chief's tent. Oh! clinging to his side,                270
 How I could tear him with my teeth! His deeds,
 Disgraceful to my son, then should not want
 Retaliation; for he slew not him
 Skulking, but standing boldly for the wives,
 The daughters fair, and citizens of Troy,                      275
 Guiltless of flight,[6] and of the wish to fly.
   Whom godlike Priam answer'd, ancient King.
 Impede me not who willing am to go,
 Nor be, thyself, a bird of ominous note
 To terrify me under my own roof,                               280
 For thou shalt not prevail. Had mortal man
 Enjoin'd me this attempt, prophet, or priest,
 Or soothsayer, I had pronounced him false
 And fear'd it but the more. But, since I saw
 The Goddess with these eyes, and heard, myself,                285
 The voice divine, I go; that word shall stand;
 And, if my doom be in the fleet of Greece
 To perish, be it so; Achilles' arm
 Shall give me speedy death, and I shall die
 Folding my son, and satisfied with tears.                      290
   So saying, he open'd wide the elegant lids
 Of numerous chests, whence mantles twelve he took
 Of texture beautiful; twelve single cloaks;
 As many carpets, with as many robes,
 To which he added vests, an equal store.                       295
 He also took ten talents forth of gold,
 All weigh'd, two splendid tripods, caldrons four,
 And after these a cup of matchless worth
 Given to him when ambassador in Thrace;
 A noble gift, which yet the hoary King                         300
 Spared not, such fervor of desire he felt
 To loose his son. Then from his portico,
 With angry taunts he drove the gather'd crowds.
   Away! away! ye dregs of earth, away!
 Ye shame of human kind! Have ye no griefs                      305
 At home, that ye come hither troubling _me_?
 Deem ye it little that Saturnian Jove
 Afflicts me thus, and of my very best,
 Best boy deprives me? Ah! ye shall be taught
 Yourselves that loss, far easier to be slain                   310
 By the Achaians now, since he is dead.
 But I, ere yet the city I behold
 Taken and pillaged, with these aged eyes,
 Shall find safe hiding in the shades below.
   He said, and chased them with his staff; they left           315
 In haste the doors, by the old King expell'd.
 Then, chiding them aloud, his sons he call'd,
 Helenus, Paris, noble Agathon,
 Pammon, Antiphonus, and bold in fight
 Polites, Dios of illustrious fame,                             320
 Hippothoüs and Deiphobus--all nine
 He call'd, thus issuing, angry, his commands.
   Quick! quick! ye slothful in your father's cause,
 Ye worthless brood! would that in Hector's stead
 Ye all had perish'd in the fleet of Greece!                    325
 Oh altogether wretched! in all Troy
 No man had sons to boast valiant as mine,
 And I have lost them all. Mestor is gone
 The godlike, Troilus the steed-renown'd,
 And Hector, who with other men compared                        330
 Seem'd a Divinity, whom none had deem'd
 From mortal man derived, but from a God.
 These Mars hath taken, and hath left me none
 But scandals of my house, void of all truth,
 Dancers, exact step-measurers,[7] a band                       335
 Of public robbers, thieves of kids and lambs.
 Will ye not bring my litter to the gate
 This moment, and with all this package quick
 Charge it, that we may hence without delay?
   He said, and by his chiding awed, his sons                   340
 Drew forth the royal litter, neat, new-built,
 And following swift the draught, on which they bound
 The coffer; next, they lower'd from the wall
 The sculptured boxen yoke with its two rings;[8]
 And with the yoke its furniture, in length                     345
 Nine cubits; this to the extremest end
 Adjusting of the pole, they cast the ring
 Over the ring-bolt; then, thrice through the yoke
 They drew the brace on both sides, made it fast
 With even knots, and tuck'd[9] the dangling ends.              350
 Producing, next, the glorious ransom-price
 Of Hector's body, on the litter's floor
 They heap'd it all, then yoked the sturdy mules,
 A gift illustrious by the Mysians erst
 Conferr'd on Priam; to the chariot, last,                      355
 They led forth Priam's steeds, which the old King
 (In person serving them) with freshest corn
 Constant supplied; meantime, himself within
 The palace, and his herald, were employ'd
 Girding[10] themselves, to go; wise each and good.             360
 And now came mournful Hecuba, with wine
 Delicious charged, which in a golden cup
 She brought, that not without libation due
 First made, they might depart. Before the steeds
 Her steps she stay'd, and Priam thus address'd.                365
   Take this, and to the Sire of all perform
 Libation, praying him a safe return
 From hostile hands, since thou art urged to seek
 The Grecian camp, though not by my desire.
 Pray also to Idæan Jove cloud-girt,                            370
 Who oversees all Ilium, that he send
 His messenger or ere thou go, the bird
 His favorite most, surpassing all in strength,
 At thy right hand; him seeing, thou shalt tend
 With better hope toward the fleet of Greece.                   375
 But should loud-thundering Jove his lieger swift
 Withhold, from me far be it to advise
 This journey, howsoe'er thou wish to go.
   To whom the godlike Priam thus replied.
 This exhortation will I not refuse,                            380
 O Queen! for, lifting to the Gods his hands
 In prayer for their compassion, none can err.
   So saying, he bade the maiden o'er the rest,
 Chief in authority, pour on his hands
 Pure water, for the maiden at his side                         385
 With ewer charged and laver, stood prepared.
 He laved his hands; then, taking from the Queen
 The goblet, in his middle area stood
 Pouring libation with his eyes upturn'd
 Heaven-ward devout, and thus his prayer preferr'd.             390
   Jove, great and glorious above all, who rulest,
 On Ida's summit seated, all below!
 Grant me arrived within Achilles' tent
 Kindness to meet and pity, and oh send
 Thy messenger or ere I go, the bird                            395
 Thy favorite most, surpassing all in strength,
 At my right hand, which seeing, I shall tend
 With better hope toward the fleet of Greece.
   He ended, at whose prayer, incontinent,
 Jove sent his eagle, surest of all signs,                      400
 The black-plumed bird voracious, Morphnos[11] named,
 And Percnos.[11] Wide as the well-guarded door
 Of some rich potentate his vans he spread
 On either side; they saw him on the right,
 Skimming the towers of Troy; glad they beheld                  405
 That omen, and all felt their hearts consoled.
   Delay'd not then the hoary King, but quick
 Ascending to his seat, his coursers urged
 Through vestibule and sounding porch abroad.
 The four-wheel'd litter led, drawn by the mules                410
 Which sage Idæus managed, behind whom
 Went Priam, plying with the scourge his steeds
 Continual through the town, while all his friends,
 Following their sovereign with dejected hearts,
 Lamented him as going to his death.                            415
 But when from Ilium's gate into the plain
 They had descended, then the sons-in-law
 Of Priam, and his sons, to Troy return'd.
 Nor they, now traversing the plain, the note
 Escaped of Jove the Thunderer; he beheld                       420
 Compassionate the venerable King,
 And thus his own son Mercury bespake.
   Mercury! (for above all others thou
 Delightest to associate with mankind
 Familiar, whom thou wilt winning with ease                     425
 To converse free) go thou, and so conduct
 Priam into the Grecian camp, that none
 Of all the numerous Danaï may see
 Or mark him, till he reach Achilles' tent.
   He spake, nor the ambassador of heaven                       430
 The Argicide delay'd, but bound in haste
 His undecaying sandals to his feet,
 Golden, divine, which waft him o'er the floods
 Swift as the wind, and o'er the boundless earth.
 He took his rod with which he charms to sleep                  435
 All eyes, and theirs who sleep opens again.
 Arm'd with that rod, forth flew the Argicide.
 At Ilium and the Hellespontic shores
 Arriving sudden, a king's son he seem'd,
 Now clothing first his ruddy cheek with down,                  440
 Which is youth's loveliest season; so disguised,
 His progress he began. They now (the tomb
 Magnificent of Ilus past) beside
 The river stay'd the mules and steeds to drink,
 For twilight dimm'd the fields. Idæus first                    445
 Perceived him near, and Priam thus bespake.
   Think, son of Dardanus! for we have need
 Of our best thought. I see a warrior. Now,
 Now we shall die; I know it. Turn we quick
 Our steeds to flight; or let us clasp his knees                450
 And his compassion suppliant essay.
   Terror and consternation at that sound
 The mind of Priam felt; erect the hair
 Bristled his limbs, and with amaze he stood
 Motionless. But the God, meantime, approach'd,                 455
 And, seizing ancient Priam's hand, inquired.
   Whither, my father! in the dewy night
 Drivest thou thy mules and steeds, while others sleep?
 And fear'st thou not the fiery host of Greece,
 Thy foes implacable, so nigh at hand?                          460
 Of whom should any, through the shadow dun
 Of flitting night, discern thee bearing forth
 So rich a charge, then what wouldst thou expect?
 Thou art not young thyself, nor with the aid
 Of this thine ancient servant, strong enough                   465
 Force to repulse, should any threaten force.
 But injury fear none or harm from me;
 I rather much from harm by other hands
 Would save thee, thou resemblest so my sire.
   Whom answer'd godlike Priam, hoar with age.                  470
 My son! well spoken. Thou hast judged aright.
 Yet even me some Deity protects
 Thus far; to whom I owe it that I meet
 So seasonably one like thee, in form
 So admirable, and in mind discreet                             475
 As thou art beautiful. Blest parents, thine!
   To whom the messenger of heaven again,
 The Argicide. Oh ancient and revered!
 Thou hast well spoken all. Yet this declare,
 And with sincerity; bear'st thou away                          480
 Into some foreign country, for the sake
 Of safer custody, this precious charge?
 Or, urged by fear, forsake ye all alike
 Troy's sacred towers! since he whom thou hast lost,
 Thy noble son, was of excelling worth                          485
 In arms, and nought inferior to the Greeks.
   Then thus the godlike Priam, hoary King.
 But tell me first who _Thou_ art, and from whom
 Descended, loveliest youth! who hast the fate
 So well of my unhappy son rehearsed?                           490
   To whom the herald Mercury replied.
 Thy questions, venerable sire! proposed
 Concerning noble Hector, are design'd
 To prove me. Him, not seldom, with these eyes
 In man-ennobling fight I have beheld                           495
 Most active; saw him when he thinn'd the Greeks
 With his sharp spear, and drove them to the ships.
 Amazed we stood to notice him; for us,
 Incensed against the ruler of our host,
 Achilles suffer'd not to share the fight.                      500
 I serve Achilles; the same gallant bark
 Brought us, and of the Myrmidons am I,
 Son of Polyctor; wealthy is my sire,
 And such in years as thou; six sons he hath,
 Beside myself the seventh, and (the lots cast                  505
 Among us all) mine sent me to the wars.
 That I have left the ships, seeking the plain,
 The cause is this; the Greeks, at break of day,
 Will compass, arm'd, the city, for they loathe
 To sit inactive, neither can the chiefs                        510
 Restrain the hot impatience of the host.
   Then godlike Priam answer thus return'd.
 If of the band thou be of Peleus' son,
 Achilles, tell me undisguised the truth.
 My son, subsists he still, or hath thy chief                   515
 Limb after limb given him to his dogs?
   Him answer'd then the herald of the skies.
 Oh venerable sir! him neither dogs
 Have eaten yet, nor fowls, but at the ships
 His body, and within Achilles' tent                            520
 Neglected lies. Twelve days he so hath lain;
 Yet neither worm which diets on the brave
 In battle fallen, hath eaten him, or taint
 Invaded. He around Patroclus' tomb
 Drags him indeed pitiless, oft as day                          525
 Reddens the east, yet safe from blemish still
 His corse remains. Thou wouldst, thyself, admire
 Seeing how fresh the dew-drops, as he lies,
 Rest on him, and his blood is cleansed away
 That not a stain is left. Even his wounds                      530
 (For many a wound they gave him) all are closed,
 Such care the blessed Gods have of thy son,
 Dead as he is, whom living much they loved.
   So he; then, glad, the ancient King replied.
 Good is it, oh my son! to yield the Gods                       535
 Their just demands. My boy, while yet he lived,
 Lived not unmindful of the worship due
 To the Olympian powers, who, therefore, him
 Remember, even in the bands of death.
 Come then--this beauteous cup take at my hand--                540
 Be thou my guard, and, if the Gods permit,
 My guide, till to Achilles' tent I come.
   Whom answer'd then the messenger of heaven.
 Sir! thou perceivest me young, and art disposed
 To try my virtue; but it shall not fail.                       545
 Thou bidd'st me at thine hand a gift accept,
 Whereof Achilles knows not; but I fear
 Achilles, and on no account should dare
 Defraud him, lest some evil find me next.
 But thee I would with pleasure hence conduct                   550
 Even to glorious Argos, over sea
 Or over land, nor any, through contempt
 Of such a guard, should dare to do thee wrong.
   So Mercury, and to the chariot seat
 Upspringing, seized at once the lash and reins,                555
 And with fresh vigor mules and steeds inspired.
 Arriving at the foss and towers, they found
 The guard preparing now their evening cheer,
 All whom the Argicide with sudden sleep
 Oppress'd, then oped the gates, thrust back the bars,          560
 And introduced, with all his litter-load
 Of costly gifts, the venerable King.
 But when they reached the tent for Peleus' son
 Raised by the Myrmidons (with trunks of pine
 They built it, lopping smooth the boughs away,                 555
 Then spread with shaggy mowings of the mead
 Its lofty roof, and with a spacious court
 Surrounded it, all fenced with driven stakes;
 One bar alone of pine secured the door,
 Which ask'd three Grecians with united force                   570
 To thrust it to its place, and three again
 To thrust it back, although Achilles oft
 Would heave it to the door himself alone;)
 Then Hermes, benefactor of mankind,
 That bar displacing for the King of Troy,                      575
 Gave entrance to himself and to his gifts
 For Peleus' son design'd, and from the seat
 Alighting, thus his speech to Priam turn'd.
   Oh ancient Priam! an immortal God
 Attends thee; I am Hermes, by command                          580
 Of Jove my father thy appointed guide.
 But I return. I will not, entering here,
 Stand in Achilles' sight; immortal Powers
 May not so unreservedly indulge
 Creatures of mortal kind. But enter thou,                      585
 Embrace his knees, and by his father both
 And by his Goddess mother sue to him,
 And by his son, that his whole heart may melt.
   So Hermes spake, and to the skies again
 Ascended. Then leap'd Priam to the ground,                     590
 Leaving Idæus; he, the mules and steeds
 Watch'd, while the ancient King into the tent
 Proceeded of Achilles dear to Jove.
 Him there he found, and sitting found apart
 His fellow-warriors, of whom two alone                         595
 Served at his side, Alcimus, branch of Mars
 And brave Automedon; he had himself
 Supp'd newly, and the board stood unremoved.
 Unseen of all huge Priam enter'd, stood
 Near to Achilles, clasp'd his knees, and kiss'd                600
 Those terrible and homicidal hands
 That had destroy'd so many of his sons.
 As when a fugitive for blood the house
 Of some chief enters in a foreign land,
 All gaze, astonish'd at the sudden guest,                      605
 So gazed Achilles seeing Priam there,
 And so stood all astonish'd, each his eyes
 In silence fastening on his fellow's face.
 But Priam kneel'd, and suppliant thus began.
   Think, oh Achilles, semblance of the Gods!                   610
 On thy own father full of days like me,
 And trembling on the gloomy verge of life.[12]
 Some neighbor chief, it may be, even now
 Oppresses him, and there is none at hand,
 No friend to suocor him in his distress.                       615
 Yet, doubtless, hearing that Achilles lives,
 He still rejoices, hoping, day by day,
 That one day he shall see the face again
 Of his own son from distant Troy return'd.
 But me no comfort cheers, whose bravest sons,                  620
 So late the flower of Ilium, all are slain.
 When Greece came hither, I had fifty sons;
 Nineteen were children of one bed, the rest
 Born of my concubines. A numerous house!
 But fiery Mars hath thinn'd it. One I had,                     625
 One, more than all my sons the strength of Troy,
 Whom standing for his country thou hast slain--
 Hector--his body to redeem I come
 Into Achaia's fleet, bringing, myself,
 Ransom inestimable to thy tent.                                630
 Reverence the Gods, Achilles! recollect
 Thy father; for his sake compassion show
 To me more pitiable still, who draw
 Home to my lips (humiliation yet
 Unseen on earth) his hand who slew my son.                     635
   So saying, he waken'd in his soul regret
 Of his own sire; softly he placed his hand
 On Priam's hand, and push'd him gently away.
 Remembrance melted both. Rolling before
 Achilles' feet, Priam his son deplored                         640
 Wide-slaughtering Hector, and Achilles wept
 By turns his father, and by turns his friend
 Patroclus; sounds of sorrow fill'd the tent.
 But when, at length satiate, Achilles felt
 His heart from grief, and all his frame relieved,              645
 Upstarting from his seat, with pity moved
 Of Priam's silver locks and silver beard,
 He raised the ancient father by his hand,
 Whom in wing'd accents kind he thus bespake.
   Wretched indeed! ah what must thou have felt!                650
 How hast thou dared to seek alone the fleet
 Of the Achaians, and his face by whom
 So many of thy valiant sons have fallen?
 Thou hast a heart of iron, terror-proof.
 Come--sit beside me--let us, if we may,                        665
 Great mourners both, bid sorrow sleep awhile.
 There is no profit of our sighs and tears;
 For thus, exempt from care themselves, the Gods
 Ordain man's miserable race to mourn.
 Fast by the threshold of Jove's courts are placed              660
 Two casks, one stored with evil, one with good,
 From which the God dispenses as he wills.
 For whom the glorious Thunderer mingles both,
 He leads a life checker'd with good and ill
 Alternate; but to whom he gives unmixt                         665
 The bitter cup, he makes that man a curse,
 His name becomes a by-word of reproach,
 His strength is hunger-bitten, and he walks
 The blessed earth, unblest, go where he may.
 So was my father Peleus at his birth                           670
 Nobly endow'd with plenty and with wealth
 Distinguish'd by the Gods past all mankind,
 Lord of the Myrmidons, and, though a man,
 Yet match'd from heaven with an immortal bride.
 But even him the Gods afflict, a son                           675
 Refusing him, who might possess his throne
 Hereafter; for myself, his only heir,
 Pass as a dream, and while I live, instead
 Of solacing his age, here sit, before
 Your distant walls, the scourge of thee and thine.             680
 Thee also, ancient Priam, we have heard
 Reported, once possessor of such wealth
 As neither Lesbos, seat of Macar, owns,
 Nor eastern Phrygia, nor yet all the ports
 Of Hellespont, but thou didst pass them all                    685
 In riches, and in number of thy sons.
 But since the Powers of heaven brought on thy land
 This fatal war, battle and deeds of death
 Always surround the city where thou reign'st.
 Cease, therefore, from unprofitable tears,                     690
 Which, ere they raise thy son to life again
 Shall, doubtless, find fresh cause for which to flow.
   To whom the ancient King godlike replied.
 Hero, forbear. No seat is here for me,
 While Hector lies unburied in your camp.                       695
 Loose him, and loose him now, that with these eyes
 I may behold my son; accept a price
 Magnificent, which may'st thou long enjoy,
 And, since my life was precious in thy sight,
 May'st thou revisit safe thy native shore!                     700
   To whom Achilles, lowering, and in wrath.[13]
 Urge me no longer, at a time like this,
 With that harsh note; I am already inclin'd
 To loose him. Thetis, my own mother came
 Herself on that same errand, sent from Jove.                   705
 Priam! I understand thee well. I know
 That, by some God conducted, thou hast reach'd
 Achaia's fleet; for, without aid divine,
 No mortal even in his prime of youth,
 Had dared the attempt; guards vigilant as ours                 710
 He should not easily elude, such gates,
 So massy, should not easily unbar.
 Thou, therefore, vex me not in my distress,
 Lest I abhor to see thee in my tent,
 And, borne beyond all limits, set at nought                    715
 Thee, and thy prayer, and the command of Jove.
   He said; the old King trembled, and obey'd.
 Then sprang Pelides like a lion forth,
 Not sole, but with his two attendant friends
 Alcimus and Automedon the brave,                               720
 For them (Patroclus slain) he honor'd most
 Of all the Myrmidons. They from the yoke
 Released both steeds and mules, then introduced
 And placed the herald of the hoary King.
 They lighten'd next the litter of its charge                   725
 Inestimable, leaving yet behind
 Two mantles and a vest, that, not unveil'd,
 The body might be borne back into Troy.
 Then, calling forth his women, them he bade
 Lave and anoint the body, but apart,                           730
 Lest haply Priam, noticing his son,
 Through stress of grief should give resentment scope,
 And irritate by some affront himself
 To slay him, in despite of Jove's commands.[14]
 They, therefore, laving and anointing first                    735
 The body, cover'd it with cloak and vest;
 Then, Peleus' son disposed it on the bier,
 Lifting it from the ground, and his two friends
 Together heaved it to the royal wain.
 Achilles, last, groaning, his friend invoked.                  740
   Patroclus! should the tidings reach thine ear,
 Although in Ades, that I have released
 The noble Hector at his father's suit,
 Resent it not; no sordid gifts have paid
 His ransom-price, which thou shalt also share.                 745
   So saying, Achilles to his tent return'd,
 And on the splendid couch whence he had risen
 Again reclined, opposite to the seat
 Of Priam, whom the hero thus bespake.
   Priam! at thy request thy son is loosed,                     750
 And lying on his bier; at dawn of day
 Thou shalt both see him and convey him hence
 Thyself to Troy. But take we now repast;
 For even bright-hair'd Niobe her food
 Forgat not, though of children twelve bereft,                  755
 Of daughters six, and of six blooming sons.
 Apollo these struck from his silver bow,
 And those shaft-arm'd Diana, both incensed
 That oft Latona's children and her own
 Numbering, she scorn'd the Goddess who had borne               760
 Two only, while herself had twelve to boast.
 Vain boast! those two sufficed to slay them all.
 Nine days they welter'd in their blood, no man
 Was found to bury them, for Jove had changed
 To stone the people; but themselves, at last,                  765
 The Powers of heaven entomb'd them on the tenth.
 Yet even she, once satisfied with tears,
 Remember'd food; and now the rocks among
 And pathless solitudes of Sipylus,
 The rumor'd cradle of the nymphs who dance                     770
 On Acheloüs' banks, although to stone
 Transform'd, she broods her heaven-inflicted woes.
 Come, then, my venerable guest! take we
 Refreshment also; once arrived in Troy
 With thy dear son, thou shalt have time to weep                775
 Sufficient, nor without most weighty cause.
   So spake Achilles, and, upstarting, slew
 A sheep white-fleeced, which his attendants flay'd,
 And busily and with much skill their task
 Administ'ring, first scored the viands well,                   780
 Then pierced them with the spits, and when the roast
 Was finish'd, drew them from the spits again.
 And now, Automedon dispensed around
 The polish'd board bread in neat baskets piled,
 Which done, Achilles portion'd out to each                     785
 His share, and all assail'd the ready feast.
 But when nor hunger more nor thirst they felt,
 Dardanian Priam, wond'ring at his bulk
 And beauty (for he seem'd some God from heaven)
 Gazed on Achilles, while Achilles held                         790
 Not less in admiration of his looks
 Benign, and of his gentle converse wise,
 Gazed on Dardanian Priam, and, at length
 (The eyes of each gratified to the full)
 The ancient King thus to Achilles spake.                       795
   Hero! dismiss us now each to our bed,
 That there at ease reclined, we may enjoy
 Sweet sleep; for never have these eyelids closed
 Since Hector fell and died, but without cease
 I mourn, and nourishing unnumber'd woes,                       800
 Have roll'd me in the ashes of my courts.
 But I have now both tasted food, and given
 Wine to my lips, untasted till with thee.
   So he, and at his word Achilles bade
 His train beneath his portico prepare                          805
 With all dispatch two couches, purple rugs,
 And arras, and warm mantles over all.
 Forth went the women bearing lights, and spread
 A couch for each, when feigning needful fear,[15]
 Achilles thus his speech to Priam turn'd.                      810
   My aged guest beloved; sleep thou without;
 Lest some Achaian chief (for such are wont
 Ofttimes, here sitting, to consult with me)
 Hither repair; of whom should any chance
 To spy thee through the gloom, he would at once                815
 Convey the tale to Agamemnon's ear,
 Whence hindrance might arise, and the release
 Haply of Hector's body be delay'd.
 But answer me with truth. How many days
 Wouldst thou assign to the funereal rites                      820
 Of noble Hector, for so long I mean
 Myself to rest, and keep the host at home?
   Then thus the ancient King godlike replied.
 If thou indeed be willing that we give
 Burial to noble Hector, by an act                              825
 So generous, O Achilles! me thou shalt
 Much gratify; for we are shut, thou know'st,
 In Ilium close, and fuel must procure
 From Ida's side remote; fear, too, hath seized
 On all our people. Therefore thus I say.                       830
 Nine days we wish to mourn him in the house;
 To his interment we would give the tenth,
 And to the public banquet; the eleventh
 Shall see us build his tomb; and on the twelfth
 (If war we must) we will to war again.                         835
   To whom Achilles, matchless in the race.
 So be it, ancient Priam! I will curb
 Twelve days the rage of war, at thy desire.[16]
   He spake, and at his wrist the right hand grasp'd
 Of the old sovereign, to dispel his fear.                      840
 Then in the vestibule the herald slept
 And Priam, prudent both, but Peleus' son
 In the interior tent, and at his side
 Brisëis, with transcendent beauty adorn'd.
   Now all, all night, by gentle sleep subdued,                 845
 Both Gods and chariot-ruling warriors lay,
 But not the benefactor of mankind,
 Hermes; him sleep seized not, but deep he mused
 How likeliest from amid the Grecian fleet
 He might deliver by the guard unseen                           850
 The King of Ilium; at his head he stood
 In vision, and the senior thus bespake.
   Ah heedless and secure! hast thou no dread
 Of mischief, ancient King, that thus by foes
 Thou sleep'st surrounded, lull'd by the consent                855
 And sufferance of Achilles? Thou hast given
 Much for redemption of thy darling son,
 But thrice that sum thy sons who still survive
 Must give to Agamemnon and the Greeks
 For _thy_ redemption, should they know thee here.              860
   He ended; at the sound alarm'd upsprang
 The King, and roused his herald. Hermes yoked
 Himself both mules and steeds, and through the camp
 Drove them incontinent, by all unseen.
   Soon as the windings of the stream they reach'd,             865
 Deep-eddied Xanthus, progeny of Jove,
 Mercury the Olympian summit sought,
 And saffron-vested morn o'erspread the earth.
 They, loud lamenting, to the city drove
 Their steeds; the mules close follow'd with the dead.          870
 Nor warrior yet, nor cinctured matron knew
 Of all in Ilium aught of their approach,
 Cassandra sole except. She, beautiful
 As golden Venus, mounted on the height
 Of Pergamus, her father first discern'd,                       875
 Borne on his chariot-seat erect, and knew:
 The herald heard so oft in echoing Troy;
 Him also on his bier outstretch'd she mark'd,
 Whom the mules drew. Then, shrieking, through the streets
 She ran of Troy, and loud proclaim'd the sight.                880
 Ye sons of Ilium and ye daughters, haste,
 Haste all to look on Hector, if ye e'er
 With joy beheld him, while he yet survived,
 From fight returning; for all Ilium erst
 In him, and all her citizens rejoiced.                         885
   She spake. Then neither male nor female more
 In Troy remain'd, such sorrow seized on all.
 Issuing from the city-gate, they met
 Priam conducting, sad, the body home,
 And, foremost of them all, the mother flew                     890
 And wife of Hector to the bier, on which
 Their torn-off tresses with unsparing hands
 They shower'd, while all the people wept around.
 All day, and to the going down of day
 They thus had mourn'd the dead before the gates,               895
 Had not their Sovereign from his chariot-seat
 Thus spoken to the multitude around.
   Fall back on either side, and let the mules
 Pass on; the body in my palace once
 Deposited, ye then may weep your fill.                         900
   He said; they, opening, gave the litter way.
 Arrived within the royal house, they stretch'd
 The breathless Hector on a sumptuous bed,
 And singers placed beside him, who should chant
 The strain funereal; they with many a groan                    905
 The dirge began, and still, at every close,
 The female train with many a groan replied.
 Then, in the midst, Andromache white-arm'd
 Between her palms the dreadful Hector's head
 Pressing, her lamentation thus began.                          910
   [17]My hero! thou hast fallen in prime of life,
 Me leaving here desolate, and the fruit
 Of our ill-fated loves, a helpless child,
 Whom grown to manhood I despair to see.
 For ere that day arrive, down from her height                  915
 Precipitated shall this city fall,
 Since thou hast perish'd once her sure defence,
 Faithful protector of her spotless wives,
 And all their little ones. Those wives shall soon
 In Grecian barks capacious hence be borne,                     920
 And I among the rest. But thee, my child!
 Either thy fate shall with thy mother send
 Captive into a land where thou shalt serve
 In sordid drudgery some cruel lord,
 Or haply some Achaian here, thy hand                           925
 Seizing, shall hurl thee from a turret-top
 To a sad death, avenging brother, son,
 Or father by the hands of Hector slain;
 For he made many a Grecian bite the ground.
 Thy father, boy, bore never into fight                         930
 A milky mind, and for that self-same cause
 Is now bewail'd in every house of Troy.
 Sorrow unutterable thou hast caused
 Thy parents, Hector! but to me hast left
 Largest bequest of misery, to whom,                            935
 Dying, thou neither didst thy arms extend
 Forth from thy bed, nor gavest me precious word
 To be remember'd day and night with tears.
   So spake she weeping, whom her maidens all
 With sighs accompanied, and her complaint                      940
 Mingled with sobs Hecuba next began.
   Ah Hector! dearest to thy mother's heart
 Of all her sons, much must the Gods have loved
 Thee living, whom, though dead, they thus preserve.
 What son soever of our house beside                            945
 Achilles took, over the barren deep
 To Samos, Imbrus, or to Lemnos girt
 With rocks inhospitable, him he sold;
 But thee, by his dread spear of life deprived,
 He dragg'd and dragg'd around Patroclus' tomb,                 950
 As if to raise again his friend to life
 Whom thou hadst vanquish'd; yet he raised him not.
 But as for thee, thou liest here with dew
 Besprinkled, fresh as a young plant,[18] and more
 Resemblest some fair youth by gentle shafts                    955
 Of Phoebus pierced, than one in battle slain.
   So spake the Queen, exciting in all hearts
 Sorrow immeasurable, after whom
 Thus Helen, third, her lamentation pour'd.
   [19]Ah dearer far than all my brothers else                  960
 Of Priam's house! for being Paris' spouse,
 Who brought me (would I had first died!) to Troy,
 I call thy brothers mine; since forth I came
 From Sparta, it is now the twentieth year,
 Yet never heard I once hard speech from thee,                  965
 Or taunt morose, but if it ever chanced,
 That of thy father's house female or male
 Blamed me, and even if herself the Queen
 (For in the King, whate'er befell, I found
 Always a father) thou hast interposed                          970
 Thy gentle temper and thy gentle speech
 To soothe them; therefore, with the same sad drops
 Thy fate, oh Hector! and my own I weep;
 For other friend within the ample bounds
 Of Ilium have I none, nor hope to hear                         975
 Kind word again, with horror view'd by all.
   So Helen spake weeping, to whom with groans
 The countless multitude replied, and thus
 Their ancient sovereign next his people charged.
   Ye Trojans, now bring fuel home, nor fear                    980
 Close ambush of the Greeks; Achilles' self
 Gave me, at my dismission from his fleet,
 Assurance, that from hostile force secure
 We shall remain, till the twelfth dawn arise.
   All, then, their mules and oxen to the wains                 985
 Join'd speedily, and under Ilium's walls
 Assembled numerous; nine whole days they toil'd,
 Bringing much fuel home, and when the tenth
 Bright morn, with light for human kind, arose,
 Then bearing noble Hector forth, with tears                    990
 Shed copious, on the summit of the pile
 They placed him, and the fuel fired beneath.
   But when Aurora, daughter of the Dawn,
 Redden'd the east, then, thronging forth, all Troy
 Encompass'd noble Hector's pile around.                        995
 The whole vast multitude convened, with wine
 They quench'd the pile throughout, leaving no part
 Unvisited, on which the fire had seized.
 His brothers, next, collected, and his friends,
 His white bones, mourning, and with tears profuse             1000
 Watering their cheeks; then in a golden urn
 They placed them, which with mantles soft they veil'd
 Mæonian-hued, and, delving, buried it,
 And overspread with stones the spot adust.
 Lastly, short time allowing to the task,                      1005
 They heap'd his tomb, while, posted on all sides,
 Suspicious of assault, spies watch'd the Greeks.
 The tomb once heap'd, assembling all again
 Within the palace, they a banquet shared
 Magnificent, by godlike Priam given.                          1010
 Such burial the illustrious Hector found.