The Iliad of Homer (Pope)/Book 20

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BOOK XX

THE ARGUMENT

THE BATTLE OF THE GODS, AND THE ACTS OF ACHILLES

Jupiter, upon Achilles' return to the battle, calls a council of the gods, and permits them to assist either party. The terrors of the combat described when the deities are engaged. Apollo encourages Æneas to meet Achilles. After a long conversation, these two heroes encounter; but Æneas is preserved by the assistance of Neptune. Achilles falls upon the rest of the Trojans, and is upon the point of killing Hector, but Apollo conveys him away in a cloud. Achilles pursues the Trojans with a great slaughter.
The same day continues. The scene is in the field before Troy.

THUS round Pelides, breathing war and blood,
Greece sheathed in arms, beside her vessels stood;
While, near impending from a neighbouring height,
Troy's black battalions wait the shock of fight.
Then Jove to Themis gives command, to call
The gods to council in the starry hall:
Swift o'er Olympus' hundred hills she flies,
And summons all the senate of the skies.
These, shining on, in long procession come
To Jove's eternal adamantine dome.
Not one was absent, not a rural power
That haunts the verdant gloom, or rosy bower;
Each fair-haired dryad of the shady wood,
Each azure sister of the silver flood;
All but old Ocean, hoary sire I who keeps
His ancient seat beneath the sacred deeps.
On marble thrones with lucid columns crowned,
The work of Vulcan, sat the powers around;
E'en he, whose trident sways the watery reign,
Heard the loud summons, and forsook the main,
Assumed his throne amid the bright abodes,
And questioned thus the sire of men and gods:
"What moves the god who heaven and earth commands,
And grasps the thunder in his awful hands,
Thus to convene the whole ethereal state?
Is Greece and Troy the subject in debate?
Already met, the lowering hosts appear,
And death stands ardent on the edge of war."
"'Tis true," the cloud-compelling Power replies, "This day we call the council of the skies
In care of human race; e'en Jove's own eye
Sees with regret unhappy mortals die.
Far on Olympus' top in secret state
Ourself will sit, and see the hand of fate
Work out our will. Celestial powers! descend,
And, as your minds direct, your succour lend
To either host. Troy soon must lie o'erthrown,
If uncontrolled Achilles fights alone:
Their troops but lately durst not meet his eyes;
What can they now, if in his rage he rise?
Assist them, gods! or Ilion's sacred wall
May fall this day, though fate forbids the fall."
He said, and fired their heavenly breasts with rage:
On adverse parts the warring gods engage.
Heaven's awful queen; and he whose azure round
Girds the vast globe; the Maid in arms renowned;
Hermes, of profitable arts the sire,
And Vulcan, the black sovereign of the fire:
These to the fleet repair with instant flight;
The vessels tremble as the gods alight.
In aid of Troy, Latona, Phoebus came,
Mars fiery-helmed, the laughter-loving dame,
Xanthus, whose streams in golden currents flow,
And the chaste huntress of the silver bow.
Ere yet the gods their various aid employ,
Each Argive bosom swelled with manly joy,
While great Achilles, terror of the plain,
Long lost to battle, shone in arms again.
Dreadful he stood in front of all his host;
Pale Troy beheld, and seemed already lost;
Her bravest heroes pant with inward fear,
And trembling see another god of war.
But when the powers descending swelled the fight,
Then tumult rose; fierce rage and pale affright
Varied each face; then discord sounds alarms,
Earth echoes, and the nations rush to arms.
Now through the trembling shores Minerva calls,
And now she thunders from the Grecian walls.
Mars, hovering o'er his Troy, his terror shrouds
In gloomy tempests, and a night of clouds:
Now through each Trojan heart he fury pours
With voice divine from Ilion's topmost towers;
Now shouts to Simois, from her beauteous hill;
The mountain shook, the rapid stream stood still.
Above, the sire of gods his thunder rolls,
And peals on peals redoubled round the poles.
Beneath, stern Neptune shakes the solid ground;
The forests wave, the mountains nod around;
Through all their summits tremble Ida's woods,
And from their sources boil her hundred floods.
Troy's turrets totter on the rocking plain;
And the tossed navies beat the heaving main.
Deep in the dismal regions of the dead,
The infernal monarch reared his horrid head,
Leaped from his throne, lest Neptune's arm should lay
His dark dominions open to the day,
And pour in light on Pluto's drear abodes,
Abhorred by men, and dreadful e'en to gods.
Such war the immortals wage: such horrors rend
The world's vast concave, when the gods contend.
First silver-shafted Phoebus took the plain
Against blue Neptune, monarch of the main:
The god of arms his giant bulk displayed,
Opposed to Pallas, war's triumphant Maid.
Against Latona, marched the son of May;
The quivered Dian, sister of the Day,
Her golden arrows sounding at her side,
Saturnia, majesty of heaven, defied.
With fiery Vulcan last in battle stands
The sacred flood that rolls on golden sands;
Xanthus his name with those of heavenly birth,
But called Scamander by the sons of earth.
While thus the gods in various league engage,
Achilles glowed with more than mortal rage:
Hector he sought; in search of Hector turned
His eyes around, for Hector only burned;.
And burst like lightning through the ranks, and vowed
To glut the god of battles with his blood.
Æneas was the first who dared to stay;
Apollo wedged him in the warrior's way,
But swelled his bosom with undaunted might,
Half-forced and half-persuaded to the fight.
Like young Lycaon, of the royal line,
In voice and aspect, seemed the power divine;
And bade the chief reflect, how late with scorn
In distant threats he braved the goddess-born.
Then thus the hero of Anchises' strain:
"To meet Pelides you persuade in vain;
Already have I met, nor void of fear
Observed the fury of his flying spear;
From Ida's woods he chased us to the field,
Our force he scattered, and our herds he killed:
Lyrnessus, Pedasus in ashes lay;
But, Jove assisting, I survived the day.
Else had I sunk, oppressed in fatal fight,
By fierce Achilles and Minerva's might.
Where'er he moved, the goddess shone before,
And bathed his brazen lance in hostile gore.
What mortal man Achilles can sustain?
The immortals guard him through the dreadful plain,
And suffer not his dart to fall in vain.
Were God my aid, this arm should check his power,
Though strong in battle as a brazen tower."
To whom the son of Jove: "That god implore,
And be what great Achilles was before.
From heavenly Venus thou derivest thy strain,
And he but from a sister of the main;
An aged sea-god father of his line,
But Jove himself the sacred source of thine.
Then lift thy weapon for a noble blow,
Nor fear the vaunting of a mortal foe."
This said, and spirit breathed into his breast;
Through the thick troops the emboldened hero pressed:
His venturous act the white-armed queen surveyed,
And thus, assembling all the powers, she said:
"Behold an action, gods! that claims your care;
Lo, great Æneas rushing to the war;
Against Pelides he directs his course;
Phoebus impels, and Phoebus gives him force.
Restrain his bold career; at least to attend
Our favoured hero, let some Power descend.
To guard his life, and add to his renown,
We, the great armament of heaven, came down.
Hereafter let him fall, as fates design,
That spun so short his life's illustrious line;
But lest some adverse god now cross his way,
Give him to know what Powers assist this day:
For how shall mortal stand the dire alarms,
When heaven's refulgent host appear in arms?"
Thus she, and thus the god whose force can make
The solid globe's eternal basis shake:
"Against the might of man, so feeble known,
Why should celestial Powers exert their own?
Suffice, from yonder mount to view the scene,
And leave to war the fates of mortal men.
But if the armipotent, or god of light,
Obstruct Achilles, or commence the fight,
Thence on the gods of Troy we swift descend:
Full soon, I doubt not, shall the conflict end;
And these, in ruin and confusion hurled,
Yield to our conquering arms the lower world."
Thus having said, the tyrant of the sea,
Cœrulean Neptune, rose, and led the way.
Advanced upon the field there stood a mound
Of earth congested, walled, and trenched around;
In elder times to guard Alcides made,
The work of Trojans with Minerva's aid.
What time a vengeful monster of the main
Swept the wide shore, and drove him to the plain.[1]
Here Neptune and the gods of Greece repair,
With clouds encompassed, and a veil of air:
The adverse powers, around Apollo laid,
Crown the fair hills that silver Simois shade.
In circle close each heavenly party sat,
Intent to form the future scheme of fate;
But mix not yet in fight, though Jove on high
Gives the loud signal, and the heavens reply.
Meanwhile the rushing armies hide the ground;
The trampled centre yields a hollow sound:
Steeds cased in mail, and chiefs in armour bright,
The gleamy champaign glows with brazen light.
Amidst both hosts—a dreadful space—appear
There, great Achilles; bold Æneas here.
With towering strides Æneas first advanced;
The nodding plumage on his helmet danced;
Spread o'er his breast the fencing shield he bore,
And, as he moved, his javelin flamed before.
Not so Pelides: furious to engage.
He rushed impetuous. Such the lion's rage,
Who, viewing first his foes with scornful eyes,
Though all in arms the peopled city rise,
Stalks careless on, with unre gar ding pride;
Till at the length, by some brave youth defied,
To his bold spear the savage turns alone;
He murmurs fury with a hollow groan:
He grins, he foams, he rolls his eyes around;
Lashed by his tail, his heaving sides resound;
He calls up all his rage, he grinds his teeth,
Resolved on vengeance, or resolved on death;
So fierce Achilles on Æneas flies;
So stands Æneas, and his force defies.
Ere yet the stern encounter joined, begun
The seed of Thetis thus to Venus' son:
"Why comes Æneas through the ranks so far?
Seeks he to meet Achilles' arm in war,
In hope the realms of Priam to enjoy,
And prove his merits to the throne of Troy?
Grant that beneath thy lance Achilles dies,
The partial monarch may refuse the prize:
Sons he has many: those thy pride may quell;
And 'tis his fault to love those sons too well.
Or, in reward of thy victorious hand,
Has Troy proposed some spacious tract of land?
An ample forest, or a fair domain,
Of hills for vines, and arable for grain?
E'en this, perhaps, will hardly prove thy lot.
But can Achilles be so soon forgot?
Once, as I think, you saw this brandished spear,
And then the great Æneas seemed to fear.
With hearty haste from Ida's mount he fled,
Nor, till he reached Lyrnessus, turned his head.
Her lofty walls not long our progress stayed;
Those, Pallas, Jove, and we, in ruins laid:
In Grecian chains her captive race were cast;
'Tis true, the great Æneas fled too fast.
Defrauded of my conquest once before,
What then I lost, the gods this day restore.
Go; while thou may'st, avoid the threatened fate;
Fools stay to feel it, and are wise too late."
To this Anchises' son: "Such words employ
To one that fears thee, some unwarlike boy;
Such we disdain; the best may be defied
With mean reproaches and unmanly pride:
Unworthy the high race from which we came,
Proclaimed so loudly by the voice of fame;
Each from illustrious fathers draws his line;
Each goddess-born; half human, half divine.
Thetis' this day, or Venus' offspring dies,
And tears shall trickle from celestial eyes:
For when two heroes, thus derived, contend,
'Tis not in words the glorious strife can end.
If yet thou farther seek to learn my birth,
A tale resounded through the spacious earth,
Hear how the glorious origin we prove
From ancient Dardanus, the first from Jove:
Dardania's walls he raised; for Dion then,
The city since of many-languaged men,
Was not. The natives were content to till
The shady foot of Ida's fountful hill.
From Dardanus, great Erichthonius springs,
The richest once of Asia's wealthy kings;
Three thousand mares his spacious pastures bred,
Three thousand foals beside their mothers fed.
Boreas, enamoured of the sprightly train,
Concealed his godhead in a flowing mane,
With voice dissembled to his loves he neighed,
And coursed the dappled beauties o'er the mead:
Hence sprung twelve others of unrivalled kind,
Swift as their mother mares and father wind.
These lightly skimming, when they swept the plain,
Nor plied the grass, nor bent the tender grain;
And when along the level seas they flew,
Scarce on the surface curled the briny dew.
Such Erichthonius was: from him there came
The sacred Tros, of whom the Trojan name.
Three sons renowned adorned his nuptial bed,
Bus, Assaracus, and Ganymed:
The matchless Ganymed, divinely fair,
Whom heaven, enamoured, snatched to upper air,
To bear the cup of Jove, ethereal guest,
The grace and glory of the ambrosial feast.
The two remaining sons the line divide:
First rose Laomedon from Ilus' side:
From him Tithonus, now in cares grown old,
And Priam, blest with Hector, brave and bold;
Glytius and Lampus, ever-honoured pair;
And Hicetaon, thunderbolt of war.
From great Assaracus sprung Capys, he
Begat Anchises, and Anchises me,[2]
Such is our race: 'tis fortune gives us birth,
But Jove alone endues the soul with worth:
He, source of power and might! with boundless sway,
All human courage gives or takes away.
Long in the field of words we may contend,
Reproach is infinite, and knows no end,
Armed or with truth or falsehood, right or wrong,
So voluble a weapon is the tongue;
Wounded, we wound; and neither side can fail,
For every man has equal strength to rail:
Women alone, when in the streets they jar,
Perhaps excel us in this wordy war;
Like us they stand, encompassed with the crowd,
And vent their anger, impotent and loud.
Cease then: our business in the field of fight
Is not to question, but to prove our might.
To all those insults thou hast offered here
Receive this answer: 'tis my flying spear."
He spoke. With all his force the javelin flung,
Fixed deep, and loudly in the buckler rung.
Far on his outstretched arm Pelides held,
To meet the thundering lance, his dreadful shield,
That trembled as it stuck; nor void of fear
Saw, ere it fell, the immeasurable spear.
His fears were vain; impenetrable charms
Secured the temper of the ethereal arms.
Through two strong plates the point its passage held,
But stopped and rested, by the third repelled;
Five plates of various metal, various mould,
Composed the shield; of brass each outward fold,
Of tin each inward, and the middle gold:
There stuck the lance. Then, rising ere he threw,
The forceful spear of great Achilles flew,
And pierced the Dardan shield's extremest bound,
Where the shrill brass returned a sharper sound:
Through the thin verge the Pelian weapon glides,
And the slight covering of expanded hides.
Æneas his contracted body bends,
And o'er him high the riven targe extends,
Sees, through its parting plates, the upper air,
And at his back perceives the quivering spear:
A fate so near him chills his soul with fright,
And swims before his eyes the many-coloured light.
Achilles, rushing in with dreadful cries,
Draws his broad blade, and at Æneas flies:
Æneas, rousing as the foe came on,
With force Collected, heaves a mighty stone;
A mass enormous, which, in modern days
No two of earth's degenerate sons could raise.
But ocean's god, whose earthquakes rock the ground,
Saw the distress, and moved the powers around:
"Lo I on the brink of fate Æneas stands, on
An instant victim to Achilles' hands;
By Phoebus urged; but Phoebus has bestowed
His aid in vain: the man o'erpowers the god.
And can ye see this righteous chief atone,
With guiltless blood, for vices not his own?
To all the gods his constant vows were paid;
Sure, though he wars for Troy, he claims our aid.
Fate wills not this; nor thus can Jove resign
The future father of the Dardan line:
The first great ancestor obtained his grace,
And still his love descends on all the race.
For Priam now, and Priam's faithless kind,
At length are odious to the all-seeing mind;
On great Æneas shall devolve the reign,
And sons succeeding sons the lasting line sustain."[3]
The great earth-shaker thus: to whom replies
The imperial goddess with the radiant eyes:
"Good as he is, to immolate or spare
The Dardan prince, O Neptune, be thy care;
Pallas and I, by all that gods can bind,
Have sworn destruction to the Trojan kind;
Not e'en an instant to protract their fate,
Or save one member of the sinking state;
Till her last flame be quenched with her last gore,
And e'en her crumbling ruins are no more."
The king of ocean to the fight descends;
Through all the whistling darts his course he bends,
Swift interposed between the warriors flies,
And casts thick darkness o'er Achilles' eyes.
From great Æneas' shield the spear he drew,
And at its master's feet the weapon threw.
That done, with force divine he snatched on high
The Dardan prince, and bore him through the sky,
Smooth-gliding without step, above the heads
Of warring heroes and of bounding steeds.
Till at the battle's utmost verge they light,
Where the slow Gaucons close the rear of fight:
The godhead there, his heavenly form confessed,
With words like these the panting chief addressed:
"What power, O prince, with force inferior far
Urged thee to meet Achilles' arm in war?
Henceforth beware, nor antedate thy doom,
Defrauding fate of all thy fame to come.
But when the day decreed, for come it must,
Shall lay this dreadful hero in the dust,
Let then the furies of that arm be known,
Secure no Grecian force transcends thy own."
With that, he left him wondering as he lay,
Then from Achilles chased the mist away:
Sudden, returning with the stream of light,
The scene of war came rushing on his sight.
Then thus amazed: "What wonders strike my mind!
My spear, that parted on the wings of wind,
Laid here before me I and the Dardan lord,
That fell this instant, vanished from my sword!
I thought alone with mortals to contend,
But powers celestial sure this foe defend.
Great as he is, our arm he scarce will try,
Content for once, with all his gods, to fly.
Now then let others bleed." This said, aloud
He vents his fury, and inflames the crowd:
"O Greeks," he cries, and every rank alarms,
"Join battle, man to man, and arms to arms!
'Tis not in me, though favoured by the sky.
To mow whole troops, and make whole armies fly:
No god can singly such a host engage,
Not Mars himself, nor great Minerva's rage.
But whatsoe'er Achilles can inspire,
Whate'er of active force, or acting fire,
Whatever this heart can prompt, or hand obey;
All, all Achilles, Greeks, is yours to-day.
Through yon wide host this arm shall scatter fear,
And thin the squadrons with my single spear"
He said: nor less elate with martial joy,
The godlike Hector warmed the troops of Troy:
"Trojans, to war I think Hector leads you on;
Nor dread the vaunts of Peleus' haughty son.
Deeds must decide our fate. E'en those with words
Insult the brave, who tremble at their swords;
The weakest atheist-wretch all heaven defies,
But shrinks and shudders when the thunder flies.
Nor from yon boaster shall your chief retire,
Not though his heart were steel, his hands were fire;
That fire, that steel, your Hector should withstand,
And brave that vengeful heart, that dreadful hand."
Thus, breathing rage through all, the hero said;
A wood of lances rises round his head,
Clamours on clamours tempest all the air;
They join, they throng, they thicken to the war.
But Phœbus warns him from high heaven to shun
The single fight with Thetis' godlike son:
More safe to combat in the mingled band,
Nor tempt too near the terrors of his hand.
He hears, obedient to the god of light,
And, plunged within the ranks, awaits the fight.
Then fierce Achilles, shouting to the skies,
On Troy's whole force with boundless fury flies.
First falls Iphytion, at his army's head;
Brave was the chief, and brave the host he led;
From great Otrynteus he derived his blood,
His mother was a Nais of the flood;
Beneath the shades of Tmolus, crowned with snow,
From Hydè's walls he ruled the lands below.
Fierce as he springs, the sword his head divides;
The parted visage falls on equal sides:
With loud resounding arms he strikes the plain;
While thus Achilles glories o'er the slain:
"Lie there, Otryntides! the Trojan earth
Receives thee dead, though Gygæ[4] boast thy birth;
Those beauteous fields where Hyllus' waves are rolled,
And plenteous Hermus swells with tides of gold,
Are thine no more." The insulting hero said,
And left him sleeping in eternal shade.
The rolling wheels of Greece the body tore,
And dashed their axles with no vulgar gore.
Demoleon next, Antenor's offspring, laid.
Breathless in dust, the price of rashness paid.
The impatient steed with full descending sway
Forced through his brazen helm its furious way,
Resistless drove the battered skull before,
And dashed and mingled all the brains with gore.
This sees Hippodamas, and, seized with fright,
Deserts his chariot for a swifter flight:
The lance arrests him; an ignoble wound
The panting Trojan rivets to the ground.
He groans away his soul: not louder roars
At Neptune's shrine on Helicé's[5] high shores
The victim bull: the rocks rebellow round,
And ocean listens to the grateful sound.
Then fell on Polydore his vengeful rage,
The youngest hope of Priam's stooping age,
Whose feet for swiftness in the race surpassed;
Of all his sons, the dearest and the last.
To the forbidden field he takes his flight
In the first folly of a youthful knight;
To vaunt his swiftness wheels around the plain,
But vaunts not long, with all his swiftness slain;
Struck where the crossing belts unite behind,
And golden rings the double back-plate joined;
Forth through the navel burst the thrilling steel;
And on his knees with piercing shrieks he fell;
The rushing entrails poured upon the ground
His hands collect: and darkness wraps him round.
When Hector viewed, all ghastly in his gore,
Thus sadly slain, the unhappy Polydore;
A cloud of sorrow overcast his sight,
His soul no longer brooked the distant fight;
Full in Achilles' dreadful front he came,
And shook his javelin like a waving flame.
The son of Peleus sees, with joy possessed,
His heart high-bounding in his rising breast:
And, "Lo! the man, on whom black fates attend;
The man that slew Achilles in bis friend!
No more shall Hector's and Pelides' spear
Turn from each other in the walks of war."
Then with revengeful eyes he scanned him o'er
"Come, and receive thy fate!" He spake no more.
Hector, undaunted, thus: "Such words employ
To one that dreads thee, some unwarlike boy:
Such we could give, defying and defied,
Mean intercourse of obloquy and pride! I know thy force to mine superior far;
But heaven alone confers success in war;
Mean as I am, the gods may guide my dart,
And give it entrance in a braver heart."
Then parts the lance : but Pallas' heavenly breath
Far from Achilles wafts the winged death:
The bidden dart again to Hector flies,
And at the feet of its great master lies.
Achilles closes with his hated foe,
His heart and eyes with flaming fury glow:
But, present to his aid, Apollo shrouds
The favoured hero in a veil of clouds.
Thrice struck Pelides with indignant heart,
Thrice in impassive air he plunged the dart:
The spear a fourth time buried in the cloud,
He foams with fury, and exclaims aloud:
"Wretch! thou hast 'scaped again, once more thy flight
Has saved thee, and the partial god of light.
But long thou shalt not thy just fate withstand,
If any power assist Achilles' hand.
Fly then inglorious; but thy flight this day
Whole hecatombs of Trojan ghosts shall pay."
With that he gluts his rage on numbers slain:
Then Dryops tumbled to the ensanguined plain
Pierced through the neck: he left him panting there,
And stopped Demuchus, great Philetor's heir,
Gigantic chief! deep gashed the enormous blade,
And for the soul an ample passage made.
Laogonus and Dardanus expire,
The valiant sons of an unhappy sire;
Both in one instant from the chariot hurled,
Sunk in one instant to the nether world;
This difference only their sad fates afford,
That one the spear destroyed, and one the sword.
Nor less unpitied, young Alastor bleeds;
In vain his youth, in vain his beauty pleads:
In vain he begs thee, with a suppliant's moan,
To spare a form and age so like thy own!
Unhappy boy! no prayer, no moving art
E'er bent that fierce inexorable heart!
While yet he trembled at his knees, and cried,
The ruthless faulchion oped his tender side;
The panting liver pours a flood of gore,
That drowns his bosom till he pants no more.
Through Mulius' head then drove the impetuous spear;
The warrior falls transfixed from ear to ear.
Thy life, Echeclus I next the sword bereaves;
Deep through the front the ponderous faulchion cleaves;
Warmed in the brain the smoking weapon lies,
The purple death comes floating o'er his eyes.
Then brave Deucalion died: the dart was flung
Where the knit nerves the pliant elbow strung:
He dropped his arm, an unassisting weight,
And stood all impotent expecting fate:
Full on his neck the falling faulchion sped,
From his broad shoulders hewed his crested head:
Forth from the bone the spinal marrow flies,
And sunk in dust the corpse extended lies.
Rhigmus, whose race from fruitful Thracia came,
The son of Pireus, an illustrious name,
Succeeds to fate: the spear his belly rends;
Prone from his car the thundering chief descends;
The squire who saw expiring on the ground
His prostrate master, reined the steeds around.
His back scarce turned, the Pelian javelin gored,
And stretched the servant o'er his dying lord.
As when a flame the winding valley fills,
And runs on crackling shrubs between the hills;
Then o'er the stubble up the mountain flies,
Fires the high woods, and blazes to the skies,
This way and that the spreading torrent roars;
So sweeps the hero through the wasted shores:
Around him wide immense destruction pours,
And earth is deluged with the sanguine showers.
As with autumnal harvests covered o'er,
And thick bestrown, lies Ceres' sacred floor,
When round and round, with never-wearied pain,
The trampling steers beat out the unnumbered grain:
So the fierce coursers, as the chariot rolls,
Tread down whole ranks, and crush out heroes' souls.
Dashed from their hoofs, while o'er the dead they fly,
Black, bloody drops the smoking chariot dye:
The spiky wheels through heaps of carnage tore;
And thick the groaning axles dropped with gore.
High o'er the scene of death Achilles stood,
All grim with dust, all horrible in blood:
Yet still insatiate, still with rage on flame;
Such is the lust of never-dying fame!

  1. When Laomedon, in obedience to an oracle, exposed his daughter Hesione to a sea-monster, Hercules undertook to kill the monster; and the Trojans then built the mound as a defence to him in the combat.
  2. Æneas elaborately explains his relationship to Hector. Both were fourth in descent from Tros. It has been suggested that he thus purposely associates himself with the slayer of Patroclus in order to give a more distinct point to his defiance of Achilles. The original is more pointed than Pope's translation shows: "I boast myself to be of the same race and blood."
  3. This is the legend which Virgil uses to his own purpose in the Æneid. It actually means a dynasty reigning in the Troad.
  4. The original has, " But thy birthplace is the Gygaean lake." Hyllus was a tributary of the Hermus.
  5. Helice has been mentioned in Book viii. as a seat of the worship of Neptune. The popular belief was that the bellowing of the bull indicated the favour of the god.