Page:Homer - Iliad, translation Pope, 1909.djvu/315

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951—1000

BOOK XVI

313

The last black remnant of so bright a line;
Apollo dreadful stops thy middle way;
Death calls, and heaven allows no longer day!
For lo! the god in dusky clouds enshrined,
Approaching, dealt a staggering blow behind.
The weighty shock his neck and shoulders feel;
His eyes flash sparkles, his stunned senses reel
In giddy darkness; far to distance flung,
His bounding helmet on the champaign rung.
Achilles' plume is stained with dust and gore,
That plume which never stooped to earth before;
Long used, untouched, in fighting fields to shine,
And shade the temples of the man divine;
Jove dooms it now on Hector's helm to nod;
Not long—for fate pursues him, and the god.
His spear in shivers falls: his ample shield
Drops from his arm: his baldric strews the field:
The corselet his astonished breast forsakes;
Loose is each joint; each nerve with horror shakes;
Stupid he stares, and all assistless stands:
Such is the force of more than mortal hands!
A Dardan youth there was, well known to fame,
From Panthus sprung, Euphorbus was his name;
Famed for the manage of the foaming horse,
Skilled in the dart, and matchless in the course:
Full twenty knights he tumbled from the car,
While yet he learned his rudiments of war.
His venturous spear first drew the hero's gore;
He struck, he wounded, but he durst no more;
Nor, though disarmed, Patroclus' fury stood,
But swift withdrew the long-protended wood,
And turned him short, and herded in the crowd.
Thus by an arm divine, and mortal spear,
Wounded at once, Patroclus yields to fear,
Retires for succour to his social train,
And flies the fate which heaven decreed, in vain.
Stern Hector, as the bleeding chief he views,
Breaks through the ranks, and his retreat pursues:
The lance arrests him with a mortal wound;
He falls, earth thunders, and his arms resound.
With him all Greece was sunk; that moment all
Her yet surviving heroes seemed to fall.
So, scorched with heat, along the desert shore,
The roaming lion meets a bristly boar,
Fast by the spring; they both dispute the flood,
With flaming eyes and jaws besmeared with blood;
At length the sovereign savage wins the strife,
And the torn boar resigns his thirst and life.
Patroclus thus, so many chiefs o'erthrown,

So many lives effused, expires his own.