Homer's Iliads in English

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HOMER'S ILIADS. TRANSLATED OUT OF GREEK by THOMAS HOBBES OF MALMESBURY.[edit]

LIB. I.[edit]


The discontent and secession of Achilles.
O goddess sing what woe the discontent
Of Thetis’ son brought to the Greeks; what souls
Of heroes down to Erebus it sent,
Leaving their bodies unto dogs and fowls;
Hobbes1839: 5Whilst the two princes of the army strove,
King Agamemnon and Achilles stout.
That so it should be was the will of Jove,
But who was he that made them first fall out?
Apollo; who incensed by the wrong
Hobbes1839: 10To his priest Chryses by Atrides done,
Sent a great pestilence the Greeks among;
Apace they died, and remedy was none.
For Chryses came unto the Argive fleet,
With treasure great his daughter to redeem;
Hobbes1839: 15And having in his hands the ensigns meet,
That did the priestly dignity beseem,
A golden sceptre and a crown of bays,
Unto the princes all made his request;
But to the two Atrides chiefly prays,
Hobbes1839: 20Who of the Argive army were the best.
O sons of Atreus, may the Gods grant you
A safe return from Troy with victory;
And you on me compassion may shew,
Receive these gifts and set my daughter free;
Hobbes1839: 25And have respect to Jove’s and Leto’s son.
To this the princes all gave their consent,
Except King Agamemnon. He alone,
And with sharp language from the fleet him sent;
Old man, said he, let me not see you here
Hobbes1839: 30Now staying, or returning back again,
For fear the golden sceptre which you bear,
And chaplet hanging on it, prove but vain.
Your daughter shall to Argos go far hence,
And make my bed, and labour at the loom,
Hobbes1839: 35And take heed you no farther me incense,
Lest you return not safely to your home.
[2]
Frighted with this, away the old man went;
And often as he walked on the sand,
His prayers to Apollo up he sent.
Hobbes1839: 40Hear me, Apollo, with thy bow in hand,
That honour’d art in Tenedos and Chryse,
And unto whom Cylla great honour bears,
If thou accepted hast my sacrifice,
Pay th’ Argives with thy arrows for my tears.
Hobbes1839: 45His prayer was granted by the deity;
Who with his silver bow and arrows keen,
Descended from Olympus silently
In likeness of the sable night unseen.
His bow and quiver both behind him hang,
Hobbes1839: 50The arrows chink as often as he jogs,
And as he shot the bow was heard to twang,
And first his arrows flew at mules and dogs.
But when the plague into the army came,
Perpetual was the fire of funerals;
Hobbes1839: 55And so nine days continued the same.
Achilles on the tenth for counsel calls;
And Juno ’twas that put it in his head,
Who for the Argive army was afraid:
The lords to counsel being gathered,
Hobbes1839: 60Up stood Achilles, and thus to them said,
We must, I think, Atrides, run from hence,
Since war and plague consume us both at once,
Let’s think on how to stay the pestilence,
Or else at Troy resolve to leave our bones.
Hobbes1839: 65Let’s with some priest or prophet here advise,
That knows the pleasure of the gods above,
Or some that at expounding dreams are wise,
For also dreams descend on men from Jove:
That we may from him know Apollo’s mind,
Hobbes1839: 70If we for sacrifice be in arrear,
Or if he will for lambs and goats be kind,
And to destroy us from henceforth forbear.
Achilles then sat down, and Chalchas rose,
That was of great renown for augury,
Hobbes1839: 75And any thing was able to disclose,
That had been, is, or should hereafter be;
And guided had the Greeks to Ilium;
Achilles, said he, since you me command
To tell you why this plague is on us come,
Hobbes1839: 80Swear you will save me both with word and hand.
Of all the Greeks it will offend the best;
Who though his anger for awhile he smother,
Will not, I fear, long time contented rest,
But will revenged be some time or other.
Hobbes1839: 85Chalchas, replied Achilles, do not fear,
But what the god has told you bring to light:
[3]
By Phœbus, not a man shall hurt you here,
As long as I enjoy my life and sight;
Though Agamemnon be the man you dread,
Hobbes1839: 90Who is of all the army most obeyed.
The prophet by these words encouraged,
Said what before to say he was afraid.
’Tis not neglect of vow or sacrifice
That doth the God Apollo thus displease;
Hobbes1839: 95But that we do his priest so much despise,
As not his child for ransom to release.
And more, till she be to her father sent,
And with a hecatomb, and ransomless,
The anger of the god will not relent,
Hobbes1839: 100Nor will the sickness ’mongst the people cease.
This said, he sat. The king look’d furiously,
And anger flaming stood upon his eyes,
While many black thoughts on his heart did lie;
And to the prophet Chalchas thus replies:
Hobbes1839: 105Unlucky prophet, that didst never yet
Good fortune prophecy to me, but ill,
And ever with a mind against me set
Inventest prophecies to cross my will;
And now again you fain would have it thought,
Hobbes1839: 110Because I would not let Chryseis go,
The gifts refusing which her father brought,
Therefore this plague was sent amongst us now.
With Clytemnestra she may well contend,
For person, or for beauty, or for art;
Hobbes1839: 115Yet so, to send her home I do intend,
For of our loss I bear the greatest part.
But you must then some prize for me provide;
Shall no man unrewarded go but I?
This said, Achilles to the king replied,
Hobbes1839: 120Atrides, that on booty have your eye,
You know divided is, or sold the prey
Which never can resumed be again.
But send her home. When we shall have sack’d Troy,
Your loss shall be repaid with triple gain.
Hobbes1839: 125No, said Atrides, that I never meant;
D’ye think ’tis fit that you your shares retain?
And only mine unto the God be sent,
That unrewarded none but I remain?
I thought it reason th’ Argives should collect
Hobbes1839: 130Amongst themselves the value (how they list)
And give it me before they did expect
This prize of mine should be by me dismist.
If they’ll do that, ’tis well. If not, I’ll go
To your, or Ajax, or Ulysses’ tent,
Hobbes1839: 135And take his prize, and right myself will so,
Wherewith I think he will not be content.
[4]
But since there’s time enough to speak of this,
Let’s ready make a ship with able rowers,
And th’ hecatomb, to go with fair Chryseis,
Hobbes1839: 140And, to direct, one of the counsellors;
Ajax, Idomeneus, Ulysses, or
Yourself may go, Achilles, if you please,
And do the business you are pleading for,
And, if you can, th’ offended God appease.
Hobbes1839: 145O impudence! Achilles then replied,
What other of th’ Achæans willingly,
Will, when you only for yourself provide,
Go where you bid, or fight with th’ enemy?
Against the Trojans I no quarrel have.
Hobbes1839: 150In Pthia plund’ring they were never seen,
Nor ever thence my kine or horses drave,
Nor could; the sea and great hills are between.
Only for yours and Menelaus’ sake,
To honour gain for you we came to Troy,
Hobbes1839: 155Whereof no notice, dogs-head, now you take,
But threaten me my prize to take away;
Which by my labour I have dearly bought,
And by th’ Achæans given me has been.
And when the city Troy we shall have got,
Hobbes1839: 160Your share will great, mine little be therein.
For though my part be greatest in the pain,
Yet when unto division we come,
You will expect the greatest part o’ th’ gain,
And that with little I go weary home.
Hobbes1839: 165Then farewell Troy. To sea I’ll go again,
And back to Pthia. Then it will be seen
When you without me shall at Troy remain,
What honour and what riches you shall win.
Go when you will, said Agamemnon, fly,
Hobbes1839: 170I’ll not entreat you for my sake to stay.
When you are gone more honour’d shall be I,
Nor Jove, I hope, will with you go away.
In you I shall but lose an enemy
That only loves to quarrel and to fight.
Hobbes1839: 175The Gods have given you strength I not deny.
Go ’mongst your myrmidons and use your might.
I care not for you, nor your anger fear,
For after I have sent away Chryseis,
And satisfi’d the God, I’ll not forbear
Hobbes1839: 180To fetch away from you the fair Briseis,
And that by force. For I would have you see
How much to mine inferior is your might,
And others fear t’ oppose themselves to me.
This swell’d Achilles’ choler to the height,
Hobbes1839: 185And made him study what to do were best,
To draw his sword and Agamemnon kill,
[5]
Or take some time his anger to digest.
His sword was drawn, yet doubtful was his will.
But Juno, that of both of them took care,
Hobbes1839: 190Sent Pallas down, who coming stood behind
Achilles, and laid hold upon his hair.
Whereat Achilles wond’ring in his mind,
Turn’d back, and by the terror of her eyes
Knew her; but by none else perceiv’d was she.
Hobbes1839: 195Come you, said he, to see the injuries
That are by Agamemnon done to me?
So great, O Goddess Pallas, is his pride,
As I believe it cost him will his life.
I hither came, Athena then reply’d,
Hobbes1839: 200To put an end to this unlucky strife.
From heaven I hither was by Juno sent,
That loves you both, and of you both takes care,
Drawing of swords and bloodshed to prevent.
But as for evil words you need not spare.
Hobbes1839: 205For the wrong done you he shall trebly pay
Another time. Hold then. Your sword forbear.
I must then, said Achilles, you obey,
Tho’ wrong’d. Who hears not Gods, the Gods not hear.
This said, his mighty sword again he sheath’d,
Hobbes1839: 210And Pallas up unto Olympus flew.
Achilles still nothing but choler breath’d,
And Agamemnon thus revil’d anew.
Dog’s-face, and drunkard, coward that thou art,
That hat’st to lead the people out to fight;
Hobbes1839: 215Nor yet to lie in ambush hast the heart,
And painfully watch in the field all night.
But thou to take from other men their due,
Safe lying in the camp, more pleasure hast.
But fools they are that ruled are by you,
Hobbes1839: 220Or else this injury had been your last.
But this I’ll say, and with an oath make good.
(Now by this sceptre, which hath left behind
The stock whereon it once grew in the wood,
And never more shall have nor leaf nor rind,
Hobbes1839: 225And by Achæan princes now is borne
By whom Jove’s laws to th’ people carried be.)
You hear now what a great oath I have sworn:
If ere the Acheans shall have need of me,
And Agamemnon cannot them relieve,
Hobbes1839: 230When Hector fills the field with bodies slain,
And Agamemnon only for them grieve,
They my assistance wish for shall in vain.
This said, Achilles threw the sceptre down
That stuck all over was with nails of gold;
Hobbes1839: 325And Nestor rose, of Pyle that wore the crown,
Wise and sweet orator and captain old.
[6]
His words like honey dropped from his tongue.
Two ages he in battle honour gain’d.
For all that while he youthful was and strong,
Hobbes1839: 240And with the third age now in Pyle he reign’d.
What grief t’ Achæa coming is, said he,
O Gods, what joy to Priam and his seed,
How glad will all the Trojans be to see
You two, that all the rest in pow’r exceed,
Hobbes1839: 245With your own hands shed one another’s blood!
I elder am, do then as I advise.
For I conversed have with men as good,
That yet my counsel never did despise.
Perithous and Dryas were great men,
Hobbes1839: 250And Polyphemus and Exadius,
Such as for strength I ne’er shall see again;
And so were Cæneus, and Theseus,
The strongest of mankind were these, and slew
The strongest of wild beasts that haunt the wood.
Hobbes1839: 255These strong men I convers’d withal and knew;
And with them also I did what I could.
With these no other could contend in fight.
Yet they from Pyle thought fit to call me forth
Far off; nor ever did my counsel slight.
Hobbes1839: 260Think not therefore my counsel nothing worth.
Atrides take not from him, though you can,
The damsel which the Greeks have given him.
Forbear the king, Pelides. For the man
Whom Jove hath crown’d is made of Jove a limb.
Hobbes1839: 265Though you be strong, and on a Goddess got,
Atrides is before you in command.
Atrides, be but you to peace once brought,
T’ appease Achilles I will take in hand,
Who is (while we are lying here) our wall.
Hobbes1839: 270To this Atrides answered again,
I nothing can deny of this at all.
But he amongst us thinks he ought to reign,
And give the law to all as he thinks fit.
But I am certain that shall never be.
Hobbes1839: 275He well can fight; the Gods have granted it,
But they ne’er taught him words of infamy.
Then interrupting him, Achilles said,
I were a wretch and nothing worth indeed,
If I whatever you command obey’d.
Hobbes1839: 280I will no more to what you say take heed.
But this I tell you, if you take away
The damsel which is mine by your own gift,
I do not mean for that to make a fray
Amongst the Greeks, or once my hand to lift.
Hobbes1839: 285Fetch her yourself, Atrides, but take heed
Against my will you nothing else take there.
[7]
Try; that th’ Achæans may see how you speed,
And how your black blood shall run down my spear.
Thus in disorder the assembly ends.
Hobbes1839: 290Achilles to his own ships took his way,
Patroclus with him and his other friends.
And Agamemnon then without delay
Launched a bark, and in go row’rs twice ten.
Aboard the maid and th’ hecatomb they lay.
Hobbes1839: 295Ulysses went commander of the men.
And swiftly then the ship cuts out her way.
And then Atrides th’ army purifi’d,
And threw into the sea the purgament.
Then sacrific’d o’ th’ sands by the sea side
Hobbes1839: 300A hecatomb. To heaven up went the scent,
And busy were the people. But the king
Still on his quarrel with Achilles thought,
And how Briseis from his tent to bring.
For what he threaten’d he had not forgot.
Hobbes1839: 305But sent Talthybius and Eurybates
T’ Achilles’ tent to fetch Briseis thence.
(Two public servants of the king were these,
Ordained to carry his commandments.)
If he refuse, said he, to let her go,
Hobbes1839: 310I’ll thither go myself with greater force
And take her thence, whether he will or no.
Which, angry as he is, will vex him worse.
The messengers, though not well pleased, went
Unto the fleet o’ th’ Myrmidons, and there
Hobbes1839: 315They found Achilles sitting by his tent.
Well pleas’d he was not. And they silent were,
And stood still, struck with fear and reverence.
Achilles seeing that, spake first, and said,
Come near. To me you have done no offence.
Hobbes1839: 320Go you, Patroclus, and lead forth the maid,
And give her to these men, that they may be
To Gods and men, and to th’ unbridled man,
My witnesses, when they have need of me
To save th’ Achæans, which he never can.
Hobbes1839: 325For what can he devise of any worth?
Or how can he the Greeks in battle save?
This said, Patroclus led Briseis forth,
And to Atrides’ messengers her gave.
She with them went, though much against her heart.
Hobbes1839: 330Achilles from his friends went off and pray’d.
And sitting with his face to the sea apart
Weeping, unto his mother Thetis said,
Mother, though Jove have given me so small
A time of life, I could contented be,
Hobbes1839: 335Had I not been dishonoured withal,
And forc’d to bear such open injury.
[8]
Thetis in the inmost closets of the deep,
Sat with the old God Nereus, and heard.
And not enduring long to hear him weep,
Hobbes1839: 340Above the sea like to a mist appear’d,
And by him sat, and strok’d his head, and said,
Why weep you, child? What is’t that grieves you so?
Tell me, speak out. Of what are you afraid?
Come, whatsoever ’tis let me it know.
Hobbes1839: 345Mother, said he, ’tis not to you unknown,
When we took Thebe, and had brought away
The captives and the riches of the town,
Chryseis fell t’ Atrides for his prey.
And how her father Chryses came to th’ fleet
Hobbes1839: 350With ransom great his daughter to redeem,
And having in his hands the ensigns meet
Which did his priestly dignity beseem,
A golden sceptre and a crown of bays,
Unto the princes all made his request.
Hobbes1839: 355But to the two Atrides chiefly prays,
Who of the Argive army were the best.
O sons of Atreus, may the Gods grant you
A safe return from Troy with victory;
And you on me compassion may shew,
Hobbes1839: 360Receive these gifts, and set my daughter free;
And have respect to Jove’s and Leto’s son.
To this the princes all gave their consent,
Except King Agamemnon. He alone,
And with sharp language from the fleet him sent.
Hobbes1839: 365Away the old man goes, and as he went,
Against the Greeks he to Apollo pray’d;
Who heard him, and the plague amongst them sent,
Which daily multitudes of them destroy’d.
Of which the prophet, being ask’d the cause,
Hobbes1839: 370Said, ’twas for th’ injury to Chryses done.
I mov’d to send her back. Then angry was
Atrides, though beside Atrides, none.
And though he too has sent her now away,
Yet what he threaten’d he has brought to pass.
Hobbes1839: 375His officers from me have forc’d my prey,
And Agamemnon now Briseis has.
And now, if ever, let me have your aid,
If you have holpen Jove with word or deed;
(For in my father’s house you oft have said,
Hobbes1839: 380That heretofore you stood him in great stead,
When other Gods to bind him had decreed,
Juno and Neptune, Pallas and the rest,
You to him came and from his bonds him freed.
For up you fetch’d Briareus, the best
Hobbes1839: 385Of Titans all, whom men Ægæon call,
The gods Briareus, with a hundred hands,
[9]
And set him next to Jove. No God at all
Then durst to Jupiter approach with bonds);
Put Jove in mind of this, and him intreat
Hobbes1839: 390The Trojan hands to fortify in fight,
And to repel the Greeks with slaughter great,
That in their goodly king they may delight,
And Agamemnon count what he hath won
By doing such dishonour to the best
Hobbes1839: 395Of th’ Argives, and that has such service done.
Ay me, said Thetis, would you could here rest
Unhurt, ungriev’d. For I have born you to
Short life. And not far from you is your fate.
And grievous ’tis to be dishonour’d too.
Hobbes1839: 400But I to Jove will all you say relate
When I go to Olympus. Till then stay,
And angry though you are, from war forbear.
To blackmoor-land the Gods went yesterday,
And twelve days hence again they will be there.
Hobbes1839: 405This said, the Goddess went away, and left
Her son Achilles with his anger striving,
For that he had been of his prize bereft.
And then Ulysses at the port arriving
Of Chryse, first his sails he furl’d, and stow’d
Hobbes1839: 410Them on the deck together with the mast;
And with their oars their ship ashore they row’d,
And out their anchors threw; and ty’d her fast.
And on the beach the men descending laid
The victims in good order on the sand.
Hobbes1839: 415When this was done, they disembark’d the maid.
And then Ulysses took her by the hand,
And brought her to the altar, where the priest
Her father stood, and to him spake, and said,
O Chryses, see, Atrides hath dismiss’d
Hobbes1839: 420Your daughter, and this hecatomb hath paid.
By Agamemnon we are hither sent
The same to offer, and t’ Apollo pray,
That he accept it will, and be content
The sickness from the Greeks to take away.
Hobbes1839: 425This said, he put Chryseis to his hand,
And he with great contentment her receiv’d.
Then all with salt and barley ready stand,
And Chryses pray’d with hands to heaven upheav’d.
Hear me, Apollo, with the silver bow,
Hobbes1839: 430That dost in Tenedos and Cylla reign,
And heardst my pray’r against the Greeks; hear now,
And from them send the pestilence again.
When Chryses had thus to Apollo pray’d,
Then pray’d they all; and salt and barley threw
Hobbes1839: 435Upon the victims; which they kill’d and flay’d.
But from the altar first they them withdrew.
[10]
And then the thighs cut off they alit in twain,
And round about they cover them with fat,
And one part on the other laid again.
Hobbes1839: 440The priest himself came when they had done that,
And burnt them on a fire of cloven wood;
And as they burning were pour’d on black wine.
Young men with spits five-branched by them stood.
When burnt the thighs were for the pow’r divine,
Hobbes1839: 445And entrails eaten, the rest cut in joints
Before the fire they roasted skilfully,
Pierced through with the spits that had five points;
And took it up when roasted thoroughly.
When ended was their work, began the feast;
Hobbes1839: 450Where nothing wanting was of what was good.
And having thirst and hunger dispossest,
And filled with sweet wine the temp’rers stood.
Then round the cups were borne; and all day long
Sitting they celebrated Phœbus’ might,
Hobbes1839: 455And magnifi’d his goodness in sweet song,
And he in his own praises took delight.
But when the sun had borne away his light,
Upon the sands they laid them down to sleep.
And when again Aurora came in sight,
Hobbes1839: 460Again they launch their ship into the deep.
A good fore-wind Apollo with them sent.
Then with her breast the ship the water tore
(Which by her down on both sides roaring went)
And soon arrived at the Trojan shore.
Hobbes1839: 465And there they drew her up again to land,
And ev’ry man went which way he thought best.
Achilles yet not able to command
The anger that still boiled in his breast,
No longer would the Greeks at council meet,
Hobbes1839: 470Nor with them any more to battle come;
But sullen sat before his tent and fleet,
Wishing to see the Argives beaten home.
Twelve times the sun had risen now and set,
The Gods t’ Olympus all returned were;
Hobbes1839: 475Thetis her son’s complaints did not forget,
But up she carried them to Jupiter.
Upon the highest top alone sat he
Of the great many-headed hill, and laid
One hand on’s breast, th’ other on his knee.
Hobbes1839: 480And in that posture thus unto him said,
O father Jove, if for you I have done
Service at any time by word or deed,
Repay it now I pray you to my son,
Whom Agamemnon hath dishonoured.
Hobbes1839: 485Short time the Fates have given him to life.
Atrides taken from him hath his prey.
[11]
Now victory unto the Trojans give
Till Agamemnon for his fault shall pay.
Thus prayed she. But Jove made no reply.
Hobbes1839: 490Nor took she off her hands; but pray’d anew;
O Jove, my prayer grant me, or deny,
That I may know what power I have in you.
Then Jove much grieved, spake to her, and said,
’Twixt me and Juno ’twill a quarrel make.
Hobbes1839: 495For she before the Gods will me upbraid,
When she shall know the Trojans’ part I take.
But go, lest she observe what you do here.
I’ll give a nod to all that you have spoken,
That you may safely trust to and not fear.
Hobbes1839: 500A nod from me is an unfailing token.
This said, with his black brows he to her nodded,
Wherewith displayed were his locks divine;
Olympus shook at stirring of his Godhead;
And Thetis from it jump’d into the brine,
Hobbes1839: 505And Jupiter unto his house went down.
The Gods arose and waited on him thither:
But unto Juno it was not unknown
That he and Thetis had conferr’d together,
Who presently to Jove her husband went,
Hobbes1839: 510And angry him rebuk’d with language keen.
You that still in my absence tricks invent,
What God hath with you now in counsel been?
Though unto me you hate to tell your mind.
Juno, said Jove, you must not hope to hear
Hobbes1839: 515All whatsoe’er it be, I have design’d.
But what I mean shall come unto the ear
Of all the Gods, you first of all shall know.
But what from all together I shall hide
Ask me no more, I will not tell you, though
Hobbes1839: 520My wife you be. Juno then thus repli’d.
Harsh Chronides, what words of yours are these!
To ask you questions I’ll henceforth forbear,
And quietly let you do what you please.
But one thing I must tell you that I fear.
Hobbes1839: 525Thetis, I fear, has gotten your consent,
For her son’s sake the Argives to oppress.
Suspect you can, said Jove, but not prevent,
Which doth but give me cause to love you less.
Though it be true, ’twas I would have it so.
Hobbes1839: 530Therefore sit still and do as I would have you.
Lest when my mighty hands about you go,
Nor all the other Gods in heav’n shall save you.
Then Juno silent sat with grief and fear;
And all the Gods i’ th’ house of Jove did grieve.
Hobbes1839: 535But Vulcan, the renoun’d artificer,
Stood up his mother Juno to relieve.
[12]
O what will this come to at last, said he,
If you for mortals thus shall be at odds!
The tumult than the cheer will greater be.
Hobbes1839: 540What pleasure can this be unto the Gods?
And though my mother wiser be than I,
Yet thus much I’ll not doubt her to advise,
That with my father’s will she would comply,
That no such quarrel may hereafter rise.
Hobbes1839: 545For by the roots he can the world pluck up.
Therefore I pray you mother speak him fair;
He’ll soon be pleas’d. Then filled he a cup
Of nectar sweet, and bore it to her chair;
And to her said, mother, I pray you hold,
Hobbes1839: 550And do no more my father’s choler move.
If you be beaten I shall but behold,
And grieve I am not strong enough for Jove.
I would have helpt you once, when by the foot
He threw me down to Lemnos from the sky.
Hobbes1839: 555All the day long I was a falling to’t,
Where more than half dead taken up was I.
And there by th’ Sincians I was taken up.
When Vulcan had his history told out,
His mother on him smil’d, and took the cup,
Hobbes1839: 560And to the Gods he nectar bore about.
And then the Gods laught all at once outright
To see the lame and sooty Vulcan skink.
And all the day from morning unto night
Ambrosia they eat, and nectar drink.
Hobbes1839: 565Apollo played, and alternately
The Muses to him sung. When night was come,
Then gently Sleep solicited each eye,
And to his house each God departed home.
And Jupiter went up unto the bed
Hobbes1839: 570Where he at other times was wont to lie
When sleep came on him, and laid down his head
To take repose; and Juno lay him by.
[13]

LIB. II.[edit]


The dream of Agamemnon. The tempting of the army, and the catalogue of ships and commanders.
The Gods, and princes of the Argive host
Slept all night long. Jove only waking lay,
And many projects in his mind he tost,
To grace Achilles, and the Greeks annoy.
Hobbes1839: 5At last a Dream he call’d. False Dream, said he,
Go, hie to Agamemnon’s tent, and say,
Distinctly as you bidden are by me.
Bid him bring up his army now to Troy;
For now the time is come he shall it take.
Hobbes1839: 10The Gods no more thereon deliberate,
But all consented have for Juno’s sake,
No longer to delay the Trojan fate.
Then with his errand went the Dream away,
And quickly was at Agamemnon’s tent.
Hobbes1839: 15And finding him as fast asleep he lay,
Up presently unto his head he went.
And in the shape of Nestor to him spake.
Sleep you, said he, Atrides? ’Tis not fit
For him from whom the people counsel take,
Hobbes1839: 20That sleep all night upon his eyes should sit.
But Jove looks to you. Listen then to me.
For ’tis from Jove that I am to you come.
He bids you lead the army presently
Up every man to the walls of Ilium.
Hobbes1839: 25For now the time is come you shall it take.
The Gods no more thereon deliberate.
But all consented have for Juno’s sake,
No longer to delay the Trojan fate.
And therefore when you wake forget it not.
Hobbes1839: 30This said, the Dream departed. And the king
Believ’d it as an oracle, and thought
To take Troy now as sure as anything;
Vain man, presuming from a dream Jove’s will,
Who meant to th’ Greeks and Trojans yet much woe,
Hobbes1839: 35And with their carcasses the field to fill
Before the Greeks should back to Argos go.
The king awak’d, and sat upon his bed,
Puts on his coat and a great cloak upon,
Handsome and new; his dream still in his head;
[14]
The dream of Agamemnon, &c.
Hobbes1839: 40And then his silver-studded sword puts on.
And then he took his sceptre in his hand
Which formerly his ancestors had borne,
And went to th’ ships whereof he had command.
And to the Gods with light then came the morn.
Hobbes1839: 45Then Agamemnon bids to counsel call.
The cryers call’d, the Greeks together went.
But first he had with the old captains all
Consulted what to do at Nestor’s tent;
And said he dream’d that one like Nestor spake
Hobbes1839: 50To him and said, Atrides ’tis not fit
For one of whom the people counsel take
That sleep upon his eyes all night should sit.
But Jove secures you. Listen then to me,
For ’tis from him that I unto you come.
Hobbes1839: 55He bids you lead the army presently
Up every man to the walls of Ilium.
For now the time is come you shall it take,
The Gods thereon no more deliberate,
But all consented have for Juno’s sake,
Hobbes1839: 60No longer to delay the Trojan fate.
And therefore when you wake forget it not.
This said, the dream went off again, and I
How to th’ assault the army may be brought
As far as we can safely fain would try.
Hobbes1839: 65I’ll first give them advice to go away,
As if there were no hope to gain the town.
But you must then be sure to make them stay.
This said, King Agamemnon sat him down,
And Nestor rose. Captains of th’ host, said he,
Hobbes1839: 70This dream, had it been told b’another man,
Feigned and foolish would have seem’d to me.
But since the king is th’ author (if we can)
Let us persuade the people to take arms.
And having said, began to lead away.
Hobbes1839: 75And now the people coming there in swarms.
For as the bees in a fair summer’s day
Come out in clusters from the hollow rock,
And light upon the flow’rs that honey yield;
So to th’ assembly did the people flock,
Hobbes1839: 80And bristling stood with expectation fill’d.
When they sat down, it made the ground to sigh.
The lords nine criers then amongst them sent
To make them silent, or to drown their cry,
And from the press their chairs to defend.
Hobbes1839: 85With much ado at last they silent were.
Then Agamemnon took into his hand
His sceptre (which was made by Mulciber
For Jove to carry when he did command.
Jove gave it afterward to Mercury;
[15]
The tempting of the army.
Hobbes1839: 90And Mercury to Pelops gave the same.
From Pelops it went down successively
To Atreus, and to Thyestes came.
From him it came to Agamemnon’s hand,
Who many islands and all Argos sway’d.)
Hobbes1839: 95And leaning now upon it with his hand,
Unto the princes of the army said.
Servants of Mars, commanders of the Greeks,
O what great trouble Jove involves me in!
Disgracefully to send me home he seeks,
Hobbes1839: 100Although he told me I the town should win,
And now (when I have lost so many men)
It seems to play with men he takes delight.
What towns has he destroy’d, and will again
Destroy still more, to exercise his might?
Hobbes1839: 105For both to us and our posterity
’Twill be a great disgrace to go to Troy
With so great multitudes, and baffled be,
And nothing done again to come away.
If we and they should on a truce agree,
Hobbes1839: 110And one by one they muster up their men;
And we should count how many tens we be,
And make one Trojan fill out wine for ten,
Many a ten would want a man to skink,
So much in number we the town exceed.
Hobbes1839: 115But when upon their many aids I think,
I wonder less that we no better speed.
Nine years are gone; our cordage spoiled with rain:
Our ships are rotted, and our wives at home,
And children dear expect us back again.
Hobbes1839: 120Nor know we of the war what will become.
Come, then, and all agree on what I say,
Let’s put to sea, and back t’ Achæa fly.
We shall not win the town although we stay.
This said, the army with applauses high
Hobbes1839: 125Consented all (save those that had been by
In council of the princes of Achæa)
And moved were like to the billows high
That rolled are by some great wind at sea.
Or as, when in a field of well-grown wheat
Hobbes1839: 130The ears incline by a sharp wind opprest;
So bow’d the heads in this assembly great
When their consent they to the king exprest.
Then going to the ships cry’d Ha la la!
Great dust they raised, and encouraged
Hobbes1839: 135Each other to the sea his ship to draw,
And cleans’d the way to th’ water from each bed;
And straight unpropt their ships; and to the sky
Went up the noise. Then Juno sent away
Pallas. Pallas, quoth she, the Greeks will fly,
[16]
Hobbes1839: 140And Helen leave behind, for whom at Troy
So many of the Greeks their lives have lost,
And stay’d so long in vain before the town.
And then will Priam and the Trojans boast,
Unless you quickly to the ships go down.
Hobbes1839: 145Go quickly then, try if you can prevail,
With hopeful words to stay them yet ashore,
And take away their sudden list to sail,
And let the ships lie as they did before.
This said, the Goddess leapt down to the ground,
Hobbes1839: 150From high Olympus, and stood on the sand
Where lay the Greeks. Ulysses there she found
Angry to see the people go from land.
Ulysses, said she, do you mean to fly,
And here leave Helen after so much cost
Hobbes1839: 155Of time and blood, and show your vanity;
And leave the Trojans of their rape to boast?
Speak to each one, try if you can prevail
With hopeful words to stay them on the shore,
And take away this sudden list to sail,
Hobbes1839: 160And let the ships lie where they lay before.
Ulysses then ran t’ Agamemnon’s tent,
And took his staff (the mark of chief command)
And laying by his cloak to th’ ships he went,
Amongst th’ Achæans with that staff in’s hand.
Hobbes1839: 165And when he met with any prince or peer,
He gently said, fear does not you become.
You should not only you yourself stay here,
But also others keep from flying home.
Atrides now did but the Argives try,
Hobbes1839: 170And those he sees most forward to be gone
Shall find perhaps least favour in his eye.
For of the secret council you were none.
Deep-rooted is the anger of a king,
To whom high Jove committed has the law,
Hobbes1839: 175And justice left to his distributing.
But when a common man he bawling saw,
He bang’d him with his staff, and roughly spake.
Be silent, and hear what your betters say.
For who of you doth any notice take
Hobbes1839: 180In council or in martial array?
Let one be king (we cannot all be kings)
To whom Jove gave the sceptre and the laws
To rule for him. Thus he the people brings
Off from their purpose, and to council draws.
Hobbes1839: 185Then to th’ assembly back again they pass’d,
With noise like that the sea makes when it breaks
Against the shore, and quiet were at last.
Thersites only standeth up and speaks.
One that to little purpose could say much.
[17]
Hobbes1839: 190And what he thought would make men laugh would say.
And for an ugly fellow none was such
’Mongst all the Argives that besieged Troy.
Lame of one leg he was; and look’d asquint;
His shoulders at his breast together came;
Hobbes1839: 195His head went tapering up into a point,
With straggling and short hair upon the same.
Ulysses and Achilles most him hated,
For these two princes he us’d most to chide;
And Agamemnon now aloud he rated,
Hobbes1839: 200And thereby anger’d all the Greeks beside.
What is’t, Atrides, said he, stays you here?
Your tent is full of brass; women you have
The best of all that by us taken were,
For always unto you the choice we gave.
Hobbes1839: 205Or look you for more gold that yet may come
For ransom of some prisoner whom I
Or other Greeks shall take at Ilium,
Or for some young maid to keep privately?
But kings ought not their private ease to buy
Hobbes1839: 210With public danger and a common woe.
Come, women of Achaia, let us fly,
And let him spend his gettings on the foe.
For then how much we help him he will know,
That has a better than himself disgrac’d.
Hobbes1839: 215But that Achilles is to anger slow,
That injury of his had been his last.
This said, Ulysses straightway to him went,
And with sour look, and bitter language said,
Prater, that to thyself seems eloquent,
Hobbes1839: 220How darest thou alone the king t’ upbraid?
A greater coward than thou art there’s none
’Mongst all the Greeks that came with us to Troy.
Else ’gainst the king thy tongue would not so run.
Thou seek’st but an excuse to run away.
Hobbes1839: 225Because we know not how we shall come off
As yet from Troy, must you the king upbraid,
And at the princes of the army scoff,
As if they too much honour to him paid?
But I will tell you one thing, and will do’t.
Hobbes1839: 230If here again I find you fooling thus,
Then from my shoulders let my head be cut,
Or let me lose my son Telemachus,
If I not strip you naked to the skin,
And send you soundly beaten to the ships
Hobbes1839: 235With many stripes and ugly to be seen.
This said, he basted him both back and hips.
Thersites shrugg’d, and wept, sat down, and had
His shoulders black and blue, dy’d by the staff;
Look’d scurvily. The people that were sad
[18]
Hobbes1839: 240But just before, now could not choose but laugh.
And, oh, said one t’ another standing near,
Ulysses many handsome things has done,
When we in council or in battle were,
A better deed than this is he did none,
Hobbes1839: 245That has so silenced this railing knave,
And of his peevish humour stay’d the flood,
As he no more will dare the king to brave.
And then to speak Ulysses ready stood.
Where Pallas like a crier did appear,
Hobbes1839: 250And standing by him silence did command,
That also they that sat far off might hear.
Then spake he, with the sceptre in his hand.
The people, O Atrides, go about
To put you on an act will be your shame,
Hobbes1839: 255Forgetting what they promis’d setting out,
Not to return till Troy they overcame.
But now like widow-women they complain,
Or little children longing to go home.
To be from home a month, it is a pain
Hobbes1839: 260To them that to their loving wives would come.
To sea they’d go though certain to be tost
By many a sturdy wind upon the same.
But they have now lain here nine years almost;
I cannot therefore say they are to blame.
Hobbes1839: 265But certainly after so long a stay
’Tis very shameful empty back to go.
Let us at least abide till know we may
Whether what Chalchas said be true or no.
For this we all know and are witnesses
Hobbes1839: 270(Excepting only those that since are dead)
When we from Aulis went to pass the seas,
And by contrary winds were hindered,
That there we to the gods did sacrifice
Upon an altar close unto a spring,
Hobbes1839: 275That of a plane-tree at the root did rise;
And how we saw there a prodigious thing.
A mighty serpent with a back blood-red
From out the spring glided up to the tree,
The boughs whereof were ev’ry way far spread.
Hobbes1839: 280On th’ utmost chanc’d a sparrow’s nest to be.
Young ones were in it eight, with th’ old one nine;
The old one near the nest stay’d fluttering,
And grievously the while did cry and whine.
At last the serpent catcht her by the wing.
Hobbes1839: 285And when the serpent had devour’d all nine,
He presently was turn’d into a stone;
That we might see from Jove it was a sign
Of what should afterward at Troy be done.
We were amaz’d so strange a thing to see,
[19]
Hobbes1839: 290Till Chalchas rose and did the same explain.
This is a certain sign from Jove, said he,
That he intends to do the like again.
For as the snake devour’d nine birds in all;
So nine years long we shall make war at Troy,
Hobbes1839: 295And after nine years Ilium shall fall.
But in the tenth year we shall come away.
This then said Chalchas; and all hitherto
Is come to pass. Therefore Achæans stay,
Since nothing here remaineth now to do,
Hobbes1839: 300But overcoming the old town of Troy.
This said, the people made a mighty noise,
Which bounding from the ships was twice as great,
Sounding of nothing but Ulysses’ praise.
And up then rose old Nestor from his seat.
Hobbes1839: 305Fie, fie, said he, why sit we talking here?
Where are your promises, and whither gone
Our oaths and vows? To what end did we swear?
Where be the hands that we rely’d upon?
What good will’t do to sit upon the shore,
Hobbes1839: 310How long soever be our time to stay?
Hold fast, Atrides, as you did before
The power you have; and lead us up to Troy.
A man or two you safely may neglect,
Though they dissent and secret counsel take.
Hobbes1839: 315For they’ll be able nothing to effect,
Before to Argos our retreat we make,
And know if Jove have spoken true or no.
For when we went aboard to go for Troy,
Jove light’ned to the right hand, which all know
Hobbes1839: 320A sign of granting is for what we pray.
Let none of you long therefore to be gone,
Till of some Trojan’s wife he hath his will,
And ta’en a not unfit revenge upon
The Trojans that have Helen us’d as ill.
Hobbes1839: 325But he that for all this is fiercely bent
On going home, and thinks that counsel best,
And lays hand on his ship, let him be sent
Down into Erebus before the rest.
But you, O king, think well, and take advice
Hobbes1839: 330First into tribes the army to divide,
And tribes again into fraternities,
That tribe may tribe and fellow fellow aid.
The leaders and the soldiers then you’ll know
Which of them merits praise, and which is naught.
Hobbes1839: 335And if the town you do not overthrow,
Whether on us or Jove to lay the fault.
To this Atrides answer made and said,
O Nestor, father, you exceed all men
In giving counsel. Would the Gods me aid
[20]
Hobbes1839: 340With counsellors such as you are but ten,
The town of Priam we should quickly win.
Nor had we now so long about it staid,
If Jupiter had not engag’d me in
A quarrel with Achilles for a maid.
Hobbes1839: 245But if we come but once more to agree,
The evil day from Troy will not be far.
Now take your food, that we may ready be,
And able to endure the toil of war.
Let ev’ry man now sharpen well his spear,
Hobbes1839: 350His buckler mend, and give his horses meat,
And look well to his chariot everywhere,
That we may fight all day without retreat,
For we shall fight I doubt not all day long,
And never cease as long as we can see.
Hobbes1839: 355Of many a shield sweaty will be the thong,
And spear upon the hand lie heavily;
And many horses at the chariot sweat.
But he that willingly to avoid the fight
Shall stay behind, or to the ships retreat,
Hobbes1839: 360His body shall be food for dog and kite.
This said, the people pleas’d with what was spoken,
Approv’d the same with shouts, as loud as when
Betwixt great waves and rocks the sea is broken.
Then from the assembly they return again.
Hobbes1839: 365And at their ships they sacrifice and pray
Each one to th’ God in whom he trusted most,
That he might by his favour come away
Alive, with whole limbs from the Trojan host.
But Agamemnon sacrific’d a steer
Hobbes1839: 370To Jove, of five years old, and to the feast
Call’d such as in the army princes were,
Or held to be for chivalry the best,
Nestor, Idomeneus, two Ajaces,
And the son of Tydeus Diomed,
Hobbes1839: 375The sixth Ulysses Laertiades,
And Menelaus thither came unbid.
For well he knew his brother would be sad.
About the victim then th’ assembly stands,
And in their hands they salt and barley had.
Hobbes1839: 380Then pray’d Atrides holding up his hands;
Great, glorious Jove, that dwellest in the sky,
O let not Phœbus carry hence the day
Till Priam’s palace proud in ashes lie,
And Hector sprawling in the dust of Troy,
Hobbes1839: 385And many Trojans with him. So pray’d he.
And Jove was with his sacrifice content.
But unto all his pray’r did not agree,
Intending still his labour to augment.
Whan all had pray’d, they salt and barley threw
[21]
Hobbes1839: 390Upon the victim which they kill’d and flay’d.
But from the altar they it first withdrew.
The thighs they slit, and fat upon them laid.
And burnt them in a fire of cloven wood;
The entrails o’er the fire they broiled eat,
Hobbes1839: 395The rest they roast on spits that by them stood;
And when they roasted were, fell to their meat.
When the desire of meat and drink was gone,
Nestor stood up, and to Atrides said,
Let us no longer leave the work undone,
Hobbes1839: 400Which Jupiter himself has on us laid.
Let’s call the Greeks together out of hand,
That we may make them ready for the war.
Atrides then to th’ criers gave command
T’ assemble them. They soon assembled are.
Hobbes1839: 405And then the princes went into the field,
And them in tribes and in fraternities
Distinguished. And Pallas with her shield,
(An undecaying shield and of great price,
Rais’d at the brim with orbs of beaten gold
Hobbes1839: 410An hundred, worth an hundred cows at least.)
With this the Goddess went, to make them bold,
Courage inspiring into ev’ry breast.
And now their hearts are all on fire to fight,
And vanish’d is the thought of their returning.
Hobbes1839: 415And such as of a mountain is the sight
Upon whose top a large thick wood stands burning;
Such, as they marching were, the splendour was,
And seemed to reach up unto the sky,
Reflected from so many arms of brass
Hobbes1839: 420Bright and new polished unto the eye.
As when of many sorts the long-neck’d fowls
Unto the large and flow’ry plain repair,
Through which Cayster’s water gently rolls,
In multitudes high flying in the air,
Hobbes1839: 425Then here and there fly priding in their wing,
And by and by at once light on the ground,
And with great clamour make the air to ring,
And th’ earth whereon they settle to resound;
So when th’ Acheans went up from the fleet,
Hobbes1839: 430And on their march were to the town of Troy,
The earth resounded loud with hoofs and feet.
But at Scamander’s flow’ry bank they stay,
In number like the flowers of the field,
Or leaves in spring, or multitude of flies
Hobbes1839: 435In some great dairy ’bout the vessels fill’d,
Delighted with the milk, dance, fall and rise.
The leaders then amongst them went, and brought
Them quickly into tribes and companies,
As ev’ry goat-herd quickly knows his goat
[22]
Hobbes1839: 440Whether it be another man’s or his.
And Agamemnon there amongst the rest
Was eminent. Like Jove in hea and face;
Belted like Mars; like Neptune’s was his breast.
Such beauty Jove upon the man did place.
The catalogue of ships and commanders.
Hobbes1839: 445Now, Muses, ye that in Olympus dwell,
(For Goddesses you are, and present were,
And all that pass’d at Troy can truly tell,
And we can nothing know but what we hear.)
Who of the Greeks at Troy commanded men?
Hobbes1839: 450The common soldiers you need not name,
For I should never say them o’er again,
Although I had as many tongues as Fame.
Boetia, wherein contained be
Eteonus, and Schœnus, and Scolus,
Hobbes1839: 455Aulis, Thespeia, Græa, Hyrie,
Harma, Eilesius, and Mycalessus,
Erythræ, Elion, Ocaliæ.
Hylæ, Eutresis, Thisbe, Peleon,
Platæa, Aliareus, and Copæ,
Hobbes1839: 460Coronia, Glisse, Thebe, Medeon,
Onchestus Neptune’s town, Nissa divine,
And Midias, and utmost Anthedon,
And Arne that great plenty has of wine.
The which in all made fifty ships. And those
Hobbes1839: 465Commanded were by Archesilaus,
And Prothoenor and Peneleos,
And Leitus, and with them Clonius.
The seamen in each one to six score rose.
Aspledon and Orchomenus besides
Hobbes1839: 470Did set forth twenty good black ships to sea.
Ascalaphus and Ialmenus were guides,
Begot by Mars upon Astyoche.
The towns of Phocis, Crissa, Panopea,
And Cyparissus, Python, and Daulis,
Hobbes1839: 475And on the brook of Cephisus Lilæa,
And Anemoria, and Hyampolis,
And other towns o’ th’ bank of Cephisus,
Made ready forty good ships for the seas,
Ruled by Schedius and Epistraphus
Hobbes1839: 480The sons of Iphitus Naubolides.
The Locrians the lesser Ajax led,
Of King Oileus the valiant son.
(For he was lower more than by the head
Than t’ other Ajax, son of Telamon)
Hobbes1839: 485A linen armour he wore on his breast.
But understood as well to use a spear,
Or better, than could any of the rest
That in the army of th’ Achæans were.
There went with him from Cynus and Opus,
[23]
Hobbes1839: 490From Bessa, Scarphe, Thronius, Aygiæ,
Tarphe, Calliarus, Boagrius,
Forty good ships well fitted for the sea.
Th’ Eubœans were by Elephenor led,
That dwell in Chalcis and Eretriæ,
Hobbes1839: 495Cerinthus, Dion (that holds high her head),
Carystus, Styra, and in Istiæa.
And by the name Abantes they all go,
Good men, and that in battle use the spear,
And love to pierce the armour of a foe.
Hobbes1839: 500And these on forty ships embarked were.
From Athens (who Erectheus’ people were,
Aurora’s son, by Pallas nourished
In her own temple, in which ev’ry year
Many good bulls and lambs are offered),
Hobbes1839: 505Under Menesteus fifty ships did pass,
Who for the ord’ring of a battle well
Of horse or foot the best of all men was,
Save Nestor, who in age did him excel.
From Salamis came to the Trojan shore,
Hobbes1839: 510And by the greater Ajax govern’d were,
The son of Telamon, twelve good ships more,
And lay at anchor to th’ Athenians near.
Argos, Tyrinthe, Trœzen, Asine,
And Epidaurus, and Hermione,
Hobbes1839: 515Mases and Ægina, and Eione,
Amongst them all put four score ships to sea.
Of which there were three captains, Diomed,
Euryalus, and Sthenelus. But they
By Diomed were chiefly governed.
Hobbes1839: 520For him they all commanded were t’ obey.
And from Mycenæ, Corinth, Cleonæ,
And Orthe, and Hyperesiæ,
From Sicyon, and Aræthuree,
And Gonoessa, and from Helice,
Hobbes1839: 525Pellenæ, Ægium, and all that shore,
An hundred ships were laid upon the sea;
And with King Agamemnon passed o’er,
And his peculiar command were these.
Amongst them he puts on his armour then,
Hobbes1839: 530Proud that he was of all the heroes best.
For of his own he thither brought most men,
And chief commander was of all the rest.
From Sparta, Pharæ, Messa, Brysiæ,
From about Otylus, with those from Laus,
Hobbes1839: 535Helos, Amyclæ, and from Aygiæ,
Went thirty good black ships with Menelaus.
Which from his brother’s forces stood apart,
And he amongst them heart’ning them to fight,
And breathing courage into every heart.
[24]
Hobbes1839: 540For to the Trojans he bare greatest spite.
Pylus, Arene, Cyparisseis,
Amphigenia, Æpy, and Thryus,
(Whereat a ford i’ th’ stream Alpheus is)
Elos, and Pteleus, and Dorius.
Hobbes1839: 545(Here ’twas the Muses met with Toamyris
The Thracian fiddler, which their art did slight,
And said their skill was not so good as his,
And they depriv’d him both of art and sight.)
The number of the ships those towns set forth,
Hobbes1839: 550In all amounted to four score and ten;
And led were by a captain of great worth.
’Twas Nestor the command had of these men.
From Phene, Ripe, and Orchomenus,
And from Enispe, and from Stratiæ,
Hobbes1839: 555Tege, Mantinea, Stymphalus,
And those that dwelled in Parrhasia,
(Arcadians all, and in sharp war well skill’d)
Came sixty ships by Agapenor led,
And ev’ry ship sufficiently fill’d.
Hobbes1839: 560But then the ships Atrides furnished.
The men of Helis, and Buprasium,
And all the ground enclos’d by Hyrmine,
Myrsinus, Olene, Alisium,
Amongst them all put forty ships to sea,
Hobbes1839: 565Led by Amphimachus and Thalpius,
Diores, and Polyxenus, the son
Of martial Agasthenes, and then
Ten good ships were commanded by each one.
Dulichium, and th’ isles Echinades,
Hobbes1839: 570Sent forty ships. Messes commander went
The son of Phyleus, who for his ease
Liv’d from his father there in discontent.
Ulysses also brought out twelve good ships
From Ithaca, Neritus, Ceph’lonia,
Hobbes1839: 575From Same, and from Zant, and Ægylips,
And from Epirus, and Croæylia.
Th’ Ætolians with Thoas Andræmon’s son
Sent from Pylene, and from Chalcis, and
From Olenus, Pleuron, and Calydon
Hobbes1839: 580Sent forty ships, whereof the sole command
In Thoas was. For Œneus was dead,
And Meleager; all the royal race.
Andræmon’s son their men to Troy to lead
By suffrage of the cities chosen was.
Hobbes1839: 585From Crossus, Gortys (in the isle of Crete)
Lictus, Miletus, Phæstus, Rycius,
Lycastus, and some others went a fleet
Of eighty ships with King Idomenus.
And valiant as Mars Meriones.
[25]
Hobbes1839: 590And nine good ships went with Tlepolemus
(That was the son of mighty Hercules)
From Lindus, Camirus, Ialissus.
For Hercules Tlepolemus begat
On Astyochia whom in war he won,
Hobbes1839: 595And for her many cities had laid flat.
But after Hercules was dead and gone,
Tlepolemus, now grown a man and bold,
Licymnius (his father’s uncle) slew
By th’ mother’s side, a branch of Mars, but old.
Hobbes1839: 600Then cuts down trees, and rigs a navy new,
And many men together gathered,
And wandered till to Rhodes he came at last,
And there dwelt in three tribes distributed.
Fear of his kindred made him go in haste.
Hobbes1839: 605And mightily in little time they throve,
And ev’ry day in wealth and power grew,
And favour’d were continually by Jove.
For daily he unto them riches threw.
From Syme went with Nireus ships three,
Hobbes1839: 610Nireus that was the fairest man of all
(Achilles always must excepted be)
But weak was Nireus, and his number small.
From Casus, Carpathus, and Nisyrus,
Calydnæ Islands, and the Isle of Cous
Hobbes1839: 615Went thirty ships. Two sons of Thessalus
The son of Hercules commanded those.
And the Pelasgic Argives sent to sea
From Trechis, and from Hellas, and Halus,
From Pthia, and the port of Alope,
Hobbes1839: 620Commanded by the son of Peleus,
Fifty good ships of Myrmidons, which some
Achæans, others Hellens used to call.
But these would not to any battle come.
For sullen sat ashore their general,
Hobbes1839: 625Because Briseis they had forc’d away,
Which when he won Lyrnessus, was his prize,
And did Epistrophus and Mynes slay.
There sat he then, but shall again arise.
From Inon, Phylace, and Pyrasus,
Hobbes1839: 630From Pteleus, and Antron on the sea
Went forty ships, with Protesilaus,
Which he commanded while alive was he.
But he was dead. For as he leapt to land
From out his ship, he was the first man slain
Hobbes1839: 635Of all th’ Achæans by a Trojan hand,
And left his wife to tear her hair in vain,
His house at Phylace half finished.
His soldiers chose Podarces in his place,
His younger brother, who at Troy them led.
[26]
Hobbes1839: 640A captain good; but th’ elder better was.
And they that dwelt about Boebeis Lake,
Iaolcus, Boebe, Pheræ, Glaphyræ,
Put all together, ships eleven make.
Under Eumelus these were put to sea.
Hobbes1839: 645From rugged Olizon and Melibœa,
The towns Methone and Thomacia sent
Seven ships of fifty oars apiece to sea,
And Philoctetes their commander went.
But him the Achæans left in Lemnos isle,
Hobbes1839: 650In cruel torment bitten by a snake.
And of his ships medon took charge the while.
But better care of him the Greeks will take.
From Tricca then, and from Methone steep,
And from Oechalia (seat of Euritus),
Hobbes1839: 655Thirty good ships to Troy went o’er the sea,
By Machaon led and Podalirius,
Two skilful sons of Æsculapius.
From chalky Titanus Hyperia, and
Astirius, and from Ormenius,
Hobbes1839: 660Eurypilus did forty ships command.
And from the towns Argissa and Gyrtone,
From Oloosson, Orthe on the Hill,
With those that sent were from the town Elone,
So many went as forty ships did fill.
Hobbes1839: 665And had two leaders. Polypœtes one,
Son of Perithous the son of Jove,
And gotten by him was the day whereon
He and the Lapiths ’gainst the Centaurs strove,
And drave them from the mountain Pelion.
Hobbes1839: 670The other leader was Leontius,
Whose father was Capaneus, who the son
Was of the valiant Lapith Cœneus.
The Ænians and Perrhibœans bold
Did two-and-twenty good black ships set out,
Hobbes1839: 675From hollow Cyphus, and Dodona cold,
And other habitations about
The pleasant river Titaretius,
That into Peneus runs, but doth not mix,
But glides like oil at top of Peneus,
Hobbes1839: 680For Titaretius is a branch of Styx.
These Gonneus led. Then the Magnesians sent
From towns upon the banks of Peneus,
And sides of Pelion mountain eminent,
Forty good ships under swift Prothous.
Hobbes1839: 685These were the leaders of the Achæan forces.
O Goddess, tell me now who was the best
In battle of the leaders, and whose horses
In swiftness and in force excell’d the rest.
Eumelus, his two horses did surpass
[27]
Hobbes1839: 690(Though they were females) all the rest for speed;
Their colour, age, and stature equal was,
Sprung in Pieria from Apollo’s breed,
That terror drew about as swift as wind.
’Mongst Greeks the greater Ajax had no peer.
Hobbes1839: 695For now Achilles had the war declin’d,
Whom none in prowess equall’d or came near,
Nor other horses could with his compare.
But at his ships he discontented stay’d,
And full of spite which he th’ Atrides bare,
Hobbes1839: 700Whilst on the beach idle his soldiers play’d
At who could furthest throw a dart or stone.
The horses loosely wander’d here and there
Amongst the people, and had riders none,
Or upon lote and cinquefoil feeding were.
Hobbes1839: 705But the Achæans to Scamander march’d
Swiftly as when a fire runs o’er a plain
Which Phœbus had with a long summer parch’d,
And going made the ground to groan again,
As when Jove angry lasheth Arimy,
Hobbes1839: 710Which men say of Typhæus is the bed,
The earth therewith is made to groan and sigh,
So groan’d the ground when they to Troy were led.
Then Jove unto the Trojans Iris sent,
Who old and young were then at Priam’s gate
Hobbes1839: 715Assembled with the king in parliament.
Over their heads stood Iris as they sate.
Her voice was like to that of Priam’s son
Polytes, that was watching at the tomb
Of old Æsuites, there to wait upon
Hobbes1839: 720The coming of the Greeks to Ilium.
Old man, said she, you love to hear men preach
As in a time of peace. But now ’tis war.
The Greeks no more lie idle on the beach,
But at your gates, and numberless they are,
Hobbes1839: 725As sands by the sea-side, or leaves in spring.
And to the city now they bring the war.
Hector, to you this counsel now I bring.
Within the city many people are
To aid you come of divers languages.
Hobbes1839: 730Let them that hither led them lead them here,
Arm, and command them each one as he please.
When she had done, dismiss’d the people were.
Hector to open all the gates commands,
And with great clamour horse and foot come out.
Hobbes1839: 735Before the city a high pillar stands,
To which the field lies open round about;
And Battiea called was by men;
Which ’mongst the Gods another name did bear,
Myrinna’s sepulchre. And there again
[28]
Hobbes1839: 740The Trojans and their succours muster’d were.
The Trojans were by Hector led. The best
In battle, and in number most were these,
With spear in hand, and brass on back and breast.
The Dardans were commanded by Æneas,
Hobbes1839: 745(Anchises’ son; but Venus was his mother;
Amongst the hills of Ida got he was.)
And joint commanders with him were two other
Brave men, Archilochus and Acamas.
And of Zeleia the inhabitants,
Hobbes1839: 750Which of Mount Ida lieth at the foot,
And on the river of Æsopus stands,
Under command of Pandarus were put,
Son of Lycaon, and that well knew how
To make an arrow in the air fly true.
Hobbes1839: 755Phœbus himself had given him a bow,
And how to use the same none better knew.
Th’ Adrasteians and the men of Apæsus,
Of Pityeia and Tereia hill
Were by Adrastus led and Amphius,
Hobbes1839: 760Two sons of Merops, that had mighty skill
In prophecy, and both of them forbad
Themselves to venture in the war at Troy.
But Fate a greater power with them had,
And made them go, but brought them not away.
Hobbes1839: 765The people of Percosia, and they
That dwell upon the banks of Practius,
Arisbe, Sestus, Abydus, obey
The orders of their leader Asius
The son of Hyrtacus, whose chariot
Hobbes1839: 770By horses great and black as any coal,
And on it he to Ilium was brought;
And of Selleis race each one a foal.
Larissa was Pelasgic by descent.
Under Pylæus and Hyppothous,
Hobbes1839: 775Two stout Pelasgic leaders these were sent,
Who both the grandsons were of Teutomus.
The Thracians on this side Hellespont,
Were led by Pirus and by Achamas.
O’ th’ Cycon who do these oppose in front
Hobbes1839: 780Trœzenus’ son Euphemus leader was.
From Amydon that standeth on the side
Of Axius, the fairest stream that flows,
The Pœons came. Pyrechmus them did guide,
And arm’d they were with arrows and with bows.
Hobbes1839: 785The Enneti in Paphlagonia,
From whence proceedeth of wild mules the race,
Parthenius’ brook and the town Coronia,
Cytorus, Sesamus, and the high place
Of th’ Erithius, and of Ægyalus
[29]
Hobbes1839: 790The charge was given to Pylomenus,
And of the Halizons t’ Epistrophus,
But not alone; join’d with him was Dius
Of Alybe, where is a silver mine.
The leaders of the Mysians were Chronis,
Hobbes1839: 795And Enomus. Both of them could divine
By flight of birds, though they foresaw not this
That in Scamander stream they both should die,
Slain by Achilles who there massacred
Many a Trojan, many a good ally,
Hobbes1839: 800Which to the sea the river carried.
The Phrygians from Ascania, far off,
Were led by Phorcys and Ascanius;
And battle lov’d. But the commanders of
The Mæones, Mesthles and Antiphus,
Hobbes1839: 805The two sons were of old Pylomenes,
Both of them born upon Gygæna lake,
(At th’ foot of Tmolus dwell the Mæones.)
Amphimachus and Nastes charge did take
Of those of Caria, people of rude tongue;
Hobbes1839: 810And of Miletus, and the hill Phtheiron,
And of the towns that seated are among
The windings of Mæander, and upon
Mount Mycale. And Nastes carried gold
Unto the battle, like a child or sot;
Hobbes1839: 815Wherewith his life he did not buy but sold.
For slain he was; his gold Achilles got,
And left him lying at the river dead.
The succours by the Lycians sent to Troy,
By Glaucus were and King Sarpedon led.
Far off they dwelt, and a long march had they.