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Title: The Iliad of Homer - Translated into English Blank Verse by William Cowper
Author: Homer, 750? BC-650? BC
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Iliad of Homer - Translated into English Blank Verse by William Cowper" ***

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 | Transcriber's notes:                                             |
 |                                                                  |
 | § Transliterations of Greek text are indicated by braces {thus}. |
 |                                                                  |
 | § Footnotes to the main body of the poem, which were originally  |
 |   placed at the bottoms of the pages on which they were          |
 |   referenced, have been gathered together at the end of this     |
 |   e-text.  To more easily make use of them, you might open this  |
 |   e-text twice, and search for FOOTNOTES in the second instance. |


                           ILIAD OF HOMER,

                          BY WILLIAM COWPER.

    [Illustration, depicting Zeus (Jupiter) seated upon an eagle.]

                   EDITED BY ROBERT SOUTHEY. LL.D.

                             WITH NOTES,
                           BY M.A. DWIGHT,

                D. APPLETON & CO., 346 & 348 BROADWAY.

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849,
                           BY M.A. DWIGHT,
         in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the
                    Southern District of New York.

                                TO THE
                           RIGHT HONORABLE
                             EARL COWPER,

                      TRANSLATION OF THE ILIAD,

                       THE LATE LAMENTED EARL,
                          BENEVOLENT TO ALL,
                     HAD NOT DISDAINED TO ACCEPT
                          IS HUMBLY OFFERED,

                     TO THE MEMORY OF HIS FATHER,
                          BY HIS LORDSHIP'S

                                   WILLIAM COWPER.
    _June 4, 1791._


Whether a translation of HOMER may be best executed in blank verse or
in rhyme, is a question in the decision of which no man can find
difficulty, who has ever duly considered what translation ought to be,
or who is in any degree practically acquainted with those very
different kinds of versification. I will venture to assert that a just
translation of any ancient poet in rhyme, is impossible. No human
ingenuity can be equal to the task of closing every couplet with
sounds homotonous, expressing at the same time the full sense, and
only the full sense of his original. The translator's ingenuity,
indeed, in this case becomes itself a snare, and the readier he is at
invention and expedient, the more likely he is to be betrayed into the
widest departures from the guide whom he professes to follow. Hence it
has happened, that although the public have long been in possession of
an English HOMER by a poet whose writings have done immortal honor to
his country, the demand of a new one, and especially in blank verse,
has been repeatedly and loudly made by some of the best judges and
ablest writers of the present day.

I have no contest with my predecessor. None is supposable between
performers on different instruments. Mr. Pope has surmounted all
difficulties in his version of HOMER that it was possible to surmount
in rhyme. But he was fettered, and his fetters were his choice.
Accustomed always to rhyme, he had formed to himself an ear which
probably could not be much gratified by verse that wanted it, and
determined to encounter even impossibilities, rather than abandon a
mode of writing in which he had excelled every body, for the sake of
another to which, unexercised in it as he was, he must have felt
strong objections.

I number myself among the warmest admirers of Mr. Pope as an original
writer, and I allow him all the merit he can justly claim as the
translator of this chief of poets. He has given us the _Tale of Troy
divine_ in smooth verse, generally in correct and elegant language,
and in diction often highly poetical. But his deviations are so many,
occasioned chiefly by the cause already mentioned, that, much as he
has done, and valuable as his work is on some accounts, it was yet in
the humble province of a translator that I thought it possible even
for me to fellow him with some advantage.

That he has sometimes altogether suppressed the sense of his author,
and has not seldom intermingled his own ideas with it, is a remark
which, on this occasion, nothing but necessity should have extorted
from me. But we differ sometimes so widely in our matter, that unless
this remark, invidious as it seems, be premised, I know not how to
obviate a suspicion, on the one hand, of careless oversight, or of
factitious embellishment on the other. On this head, therefore, the
English reader is to be admonished, that the matter found in me,
whether he like it or not, is found also in HOMER, and that the matter
not found in me, how much soever he may admire it, is found only in
Mr. Pope. I have omitted nothing; I have invented nothing.

There is indisputably a wide difference between the case of an
original writer in rhyme and a translator. In an original work the
author is free; if the rhyme be of difficult attainment, and he cannot
find it in one direction, he is at liberty to seek it in another; the
matter that will not accommodate itself to his occasions he may
discard, adopting such as will. But in a translation no such option is
allowable; the sense of the author is required, and we do not
surrender it willingly even to the plea of necessity. Fidelity is
indeed of the very essence of translation, and the term itself implies
it. For which reason, if we suppress the sense of our original, and
force into its place our own, we may call our work an _imitation_, if
we please, or perhaps a _paraphrase_, but it is no longer the same
author only in a different dress, and therefore it is not translation.
Should a painter, professing to draw the likeness of a beautiful
woman, give her more or fewer features than belong to her, and a
general cast of countenance of his own invention, he might be said to
have produced a _jeu d'esprit_, a curiosity perhaps in its way, but by
no means the lady in question.

It will however be necessary to speak a little more largely to this
subject, on which discordant opinions prevail even among good judges.

The free and the close translation have, each, their advocates. But
inconveniences belong to both. The former can hardly be true to the
original author's style and manner, and the latter is apt to be
servile. The one loses his peculiarities, and the other his spirit.
Were it possible, therefore, to find an exact medium, a manner so
close that it should let slip nothing of the text, nor mingle any
thing extraneous with it, and at the same time so free as to have an
air of originality, this seems precisely the mode in which an author
might be best rendered. I can assure my readers from my own
experience, that to discover this very delicate line is difficult, and
to proceed by it when found, through the whole length of a poet
voluminous as HOMER, nearly impossible. I can only pretend to have
endeavored it.

It is an opinion commonly received, but, like many others, indebted
for its prevalence to mere want of examination, that a translator
should imagine to himself the style which his author would probably
have used, had the language into which he is rendered been his own. A
direction which wants nothing but practicability to recommend it. For
suppose six persons, equally qualified for the task, employed to
translate the same Ancient into their own language, with this rule to
guide them. In the event it would be found, that each had fallen on a
manner different from that of all the rest, and by probable inference
it would follow that none had fallen on the right. On the whole,
therefore, as has been said, the translation which partakes equally of
fidelity and liberality, that is close, but not so close as to be
servile, free, but not so free as to be licentious, promises fairest;
and my ambition will be sufficiently gratified, if such of my readers
as are able, and will take the pains to compare me in this respect
with HOMER, shall judge that I have in any measure attained a point so

As to energy and harmony, two grand requisites in a translation of
this most energetic and most harmonious of all poets, it is neither my
purpose nor my wish, should I be found deficient in either, or in
both, to shelter myself under an unfilial imputation of blame to my
mother-tongue. Our language is indeed less musical than the Greek, and
there is no language with which I am at all acquainted that is not.
But it is musical enough for the purposes of melodious verse, and if
it seem to fail, on whatsoever occasion, in energy, the blame is due,
not to itself, but to the unskilful manager of it. For so long as
Milton's works, whether his prose or his verse, shall exist, so long
there will be abundant proof that no subject, however important,
however sublime, can demand greater force of expression than is within
the compass of the English language.

I have no fear of judges familiar with original HOMER. They need not
be told that a translation of him is an arduous enterprise, and as
such, entitled to some favor. From these, therefore, I shall expect,
and shall not be disappointed, considerable candor and allowance.
Especially _they_ will be candid, and I believe that there are many
such, who have occasionally tried their own strength in this _bow of
Ulysses_. They have not found it supple and pliable, and with me are
perhaps ready to acknowledge that they could not always even approach
with it the mark of their ambition. But I would willingly, were it
possible, obviate uncandid criticism, because to answer it is lost
labor, and to receive it in silence has the appearance of stately
reserve, and self-importance.

To those, therefore, who shall be inclined to tell me hereafter that
my diction is often plain and unelevated, I reply beforehand that I
know it,--that it would be absurd were it otherwise, and that Homer
himself stands in the same predicament. In fact, it is one of his
numberless excellences, and a point in which his judgment never fails
him, that he is grand and lofty always in the right place, and knows
infallibly how to rise and fall with his subject. _Big words on small
matters_ may serve as a pretty exact definition of the burlesque; an
instance of which they will find in the Battle of the Frogs and Mice,
but none in the Iliad.

By others I expect to be told that my numbers, though here and there
tolerably smooth, are not always such, but have, now and then, an ugly
hitch in their gait, ungraceful in itself, and inconvenient to the
reader. To this charge also I plead guilty, but beg leave in
alleviation of judgment to add, that my limping lines are not
numerous, compared with those that limp not. The truth is, that not
one of them all escaped me, but, such as they are, they were all made
such with a wilful intention. In poems of great length there is no
blemish more to be feared than sameness of numbers, and every art is
useful by which it may be avoided. A line, rough in itself, has yet
its recommendations; it saves the ear the pain of an irksome monotony,
and seems even to add greater smoothness to others. Milton, whose ear
and taste were exquisite, has exemplified in his Paradise Lost the
effect of this practice frequently.

Having mentioned Milton, I cannot but add an observation on the
similitude of his manner to that of HOMER. It is such, that no person
familiar with both, can read either without being reminded of the
other; and it is in those breaks and pauses, to which the numbers of
the English poet are so much indebted both for their dignity and
variety, that he chiefly copies the Grecian. But these are graces to
which rhyme is not competent; so broken, it loses all its music; of
which any person may convince himself by reading a page only of any of
our poets anterior to Denham, Waller, and Dryden. A translator of
HOMER, therefore, seems directed by HOMER himself to the use of blank
verse, as to that alone in which he can be rendered with any tolerable
representation of his manner in this particular. A remark which I am
naturally led to make by a desire to conciliate, if possible, some,
who, rather unreasonably partial to rhyme, demand it on all occasions,
and seem persuaded that poetry in our language is a vain attempt
without it. Verse, that claims to be verse in right of its metre only,
they judge to be such rather by courtesy than by kind, on an
apprehension that it costs the writer little trouble, that he has only
to give his lines their prescribed number of syllables, and so far as
the mechanical part is concerned, all is well. Were this true, they
would have reason on their side; for the author is certainly best
entitled to applause who succeeds against the greatest difficulty, and
in verse that calls for the most artificial management in its
construction. But the case is not as they suppose. To rhyme, in our
language, demands no great exertion of ingenuity, but is always easy
to a person exercised in the practice. Witness the multitudes who
rhyme, but have no other poetical pretensions. Let it be considered
too, how merciful we are apt to be to unclassical and indifferent
language for the sake of rhyme, and we shall soon see that the labor
lies principally on the other side. Many ornaments of no easy purchase
are required to atone for the absence of this single recommendation.
It is not sufficient that the lines of blank verse be smooth in
themselves, they must also be harmonious in the combination. Whereas
the chief concern of the rhymist is to beware that his couplets and
his sense be commensurate, lest the regularity of his numbers should
be (too frequently at least) interrupted. A trivial difficulty this,
compared with those which attend the poet unaccompanied by his bells.
He, in order that he may be musical, must exhibit all the variations,
as he proceeds, of which ten syllables are susceptible; between the
first syllable and the last there is no place at which he must not
occasionally pause, and the place of the pause must be perpetually
shifted. To effect this variety, his attention must be given, at one
and the same time, to the pauses he has already made in the period
before him, as well as to that which he is about to make, and to those
which shall succeed it. On no lighter terms than these is it possible
that blank verse can be written which will not, in the course of a
long work, fatigue the ear past all endurance. If it be easier,
therefore, to throw five balls into the air and to catch them in
succession, than to sport in that manner with one only, then may blank
verse be more easily fabricated than rhyme. And if to these labors we
add others equally requisite, a style in general more elaborate than
rhyme requires, farther removed from the vernacular idiom both in the
language itself and in the arrangement of it, we shall not long doubt
which of these two very different species of verse threatens the
composer with most expense of study and contrivance. I feel it
unpleasant to appeal to my own experience, but, having no other
voucher at hand, am constrained to it. As I affirm, so I have found. I
have dealt pretty largely in both kinds, and have frequently written
more verses in a day, with tags, than I could ever write without them.
To what has been here said (which whether it have been said by others
or not, I cannot tell, having never read any modern book on the
subject) I shall only add, that to be poetical without rhyme, is an
argument of a sound and classical constitution in any language.

A word or two on the subject of the following translation, and I have

My chief boast is that I have adhered closely to my original,
convinced that every departure from him would be punished with the
forfeiture of some grace or beauty for which I could substitute no
equivalent. The epithets that would consent to an English form I have
preserved as epithets; others that would not, I have melted into the
context. There are none, I believe, which I have not translated in one
way or other, though the reader will not find them repeated so often
as most of them are in HOMER, for a reason that need not be mentioned.

Few persons of any consideration are introduced either in the Iliad or
Odyssey by their own name only, but their patronymic is given also. To
this ceremonial I have generally attended, because it is a
circumstance of my author's manner.

HOMER never allots less than a whole line to the introduction of a
speaker. No, not even when the speech itself is no longer than the
line that leads it. A practice to which, since he never departs from
it, he must have been determined by some cogent reason. He probably
deemed it a formality necessary to the majesty of his narration. In
this article, therefore, I have scrupulously adhered to my pattern,
considering these introductory lines as heralds in a procession;
important persons, because employed to usher in persons more important
than themselves.

It has been my point every where to be as little verbose as possible,
though; at the same time, my constant determination not to sacrifice
my author's full meaning to an affected brevity.

In the affair of style, I have endeavored neither to creep nor to
bluster, for no author is so likely to betray his translator into both
these faults, as HOMER, though himself never guilty of either. I have
cautiously avoided all terms of new invention, with an abundance of
which, persons of more ingenuity than judgment have not enriched our
language, but incumbered it. I have also every where used an
unabbreviated fullness of phrase as most suited to the nature of the
work, and, above all, have studied perspicuity, not only because verse
is good for little that wants it, but because HOMER is the most
perspicuous of all poets.

In all difficult places I have consulted the best commentators, and
where they have differed, or have given, as is often the case, a
variety of solutions, I have ever exercised my best judgment, and
selected that which appears, at least to myself, the most probable
interpretation. On this ground, and on account of the fidelity which I
have already boasted, I may venture, I believe, to recommend my work
as promising some usefulness to young students of the original.

The passages which will be least noticed, and possibly not at all,
except by those who shall wish to find me at a fault, are those which
have cost me abundantly the most labor. It is difficult to kill a
sheep with dignity in a modern language, to flay and to prepare it for
the table, detailing every circumstance of the process. Difficult
also, without sinking below the level of poetry, to harness mules to a
wagon, particularizing every article of their furniture, straps,
rings, staples, and even the tying of the knots that kept all
together. HOMER, who writes always to the eye, with all his sublimity
and grandeur, has the minuteness of a Flemish painter.

But in what degree I have succeeded in my version either of these
passages, and such as these, or of others more buoyant and
above-ground, and especially of the most sublime, is now submitted to
the decision of the reader, to whom I am ready enough to confess that
I have not at all consulted their approbation, who account nothing
grand that is not turgid, or elegant that is not bedizened with

I purposely decline all declamation on the merits of HOMER, because a
translator's praises of his author are liable to a suspicion of
dotage, and because it were impossible to improve on those which this
author has received already. He has been the wonder of all countries
that his works have ever reached, even deified by the greatest names
of antiquity, and in some places actually worshipped. And to say
truth, were it possible that mere man could entitle himself by
pre-eminence of any kind to divine honors, Homer's astonishing powers
seem to have given him the best pretensions.

I cannot conclude without due acknowledgments to the best critic in
HOMER I have ever met with, the learned and ingenious Mr. FUSELI.
Unknown as he was to me when I entered on this arduous undertaking
(indeed to this moment I have never seen him) he yet voluntarily and
generously offered himself as my revisor. To his classical taste and
just discernment I have been indebted for the discovery of many
blemishes in my own work, and of beauties, which would otherwise have
escaped me, in the original. But his necessary avocations would not
suffer him to accompany me farther than to the latter books of the
Iliad, a circumstance which I fear my readers, as well as myself, will
regret with too much reason.[1]

I have obligations likewise to many friends, whose names, were it
proper to mention them here, would do me great honor. They have
encouraged me by their approbation, have assisted me with valuable
books, and have eased me of almost the whole labor of transcribing.

And now I have only to regret that my pleasant work is ended. To the
illustrious Greek I owe the smooth and easy flight of many thousand
hours. He has been my companion at home and abroad, in the study, in
the garden, and in the field; and no measure of success, let my labors
succeed as they may, will ever compensate to me the loss of the
innocent luxury that I have enjoyed, as a translator of HOMER.

1. Some of the few notes subjoined to my translation of the Odyssey
   are by Mr. FUSELI, who had a short opportunity to peruse the MSS.
   while the Iliad was printing. They are marked with his initial.

                        PREPARED BY MR. COWPER,
                                FOR A
                           SECOND EDITION.

Soon after my publication of this work, I began to prepare it for a
second edition, by an accurate revisal of the first. It seemed to me,
that here and there, perhaps a slight alteration might satisfy the
demands of some, whom I was desirous to please; and I comforted myself
with the reflection, that if I still failed to conciliate all, I
should yet have no cause to account myself in a singular degree
unfortunate. To please an unqualified judge, an author must sacrifice
too much; and the attempt to please an uncandid one were altogether
hopeless. In one or other of these classes may be ranged all such
objectors, as would deprive blank verse of one of its principal
advantages, the variety of its pauses; together with all such as deny
the good effect, on the whole, of a line, now and then, less
harmonious than its fellows.

With respect to the pauses, it has been affirmed with an unaccountable
rashness, that HOMER himself has given me an example of verse without
them. Had this been true, it would by no means have concluded against
the use of them in an English version of HOMER; because, in one
language, and in one species of metre, that may be musical, which in
another would be found disgusting. But the assertion is totally
unfounded. The pauses in Homer's verse are so frequent and various,
that to name another poet, if pauses are a fault, more faulty than he,
were, perhaps, impossible. It may even be questioned, if a single
passage of ten lines flowing with uninterrupted smoothness could be
singled out from all the thousands that he has left us. He frequently
pauses at the first word of the line, when it consists of three or
more syllables; not seldom when of two; and sometimes even when of one
only. In this practice he was followed, as was observed in my Preface
to the first edition, by the Author of the Paradise Lost. An example
inimitable indeed, but which no writer of English heroic verse without
rhyme can neglect with impunity.

Similar to this is the objection which proscribes absolutely the
occasional use of a line irregularly constructed. When Horace censured
Lucilius for his lines _incomposite pede currentes_, he did not mean
to say, that he was chargeable with such in some instances, or even in
many, for then the censure would have been equally applicable to
himself; but he designed by that expression to characterize all his
writings. The censure therefore was just; Lucilius wrote at a time
when the Roman verse had not yet received its polish, and instead of
introducing artfully his rugged lines, and to serve a particular
purpose, had probably seldom, and never but by accident, composed a
smooth one. Such has been the versification of the earliest poets in
every country. Children lisp, at first, and stammer; but, in time,
their speech becomes fluent, and, if they are well taught, harmonious.

HOMER himself is not invariably regular in the construction of his
verse. Had he been so, Eustathius, an excellent critic and warm
admirer of HOMER, had never affirmed, that some of his lines want a
head, some a tail, and others a middle. Some begin with a word that is
neither dactyl nor spondee, some conclude with a dactyl, and in the
intermediate part he sometimes deviates equally from the established
custom. I confess that instances of this sort are rare; but they are
surely, though few, sufficient to warrant a sparing use of similar
license in the present day.

Unwilling, however, to seem obstinate in both these particulars, I
conformed myself in some measure to these objections, though
unconvinced myself of their propriety. Several of the rudest and most
unshapely lines I composed anew; and several of the pauses least in
use I displaced for the sake of an easier enunciation.--And this was
the state of the work after the revisal given it about seven years

Between that revisal and the present a considerable time intervened,
and the effect of long discontinuance was, that I became more
dissatisfied with it myself, than the most difficult to be pleased of
all my judges. Not for the sake of a few uneven lines or unwonted
pauses, but for reasons far more substantial. The diction seemed to me
in many passages either not sufficiently elevated, or deficient in the
grace of ease, and in others I found the sense of the original either
not adequately expressed or misapprehended. Many elisions still
remained unsoftened; the compound epithets I found not always happily
combined, and the same sometimes too frequently repeated.

There is no end of passages in HOMER, which must creep unless they are
lifted; yet in such, all embellishment is out of the question. The
hero puts on his clothes, or refreshes himself with food and wine, or
he yokes his steed, takes a journey, and in the evening preparation is
made for his repose. To give relief to subjects prosaic as these
without seeming unreasonably tumid is extremely difficult. Mr. Pope
much abridges some of them, and others he omits; but neither of these
liberties was compatible with the nature of my undertaking. These,
therefore, and many similar to these, have been new-modeled; somewhat
to their advantage I hope, but not even now entirely to my
satisfaction. The lines have a more natural movement, the pauses are
fewer and less stately, the expression as easy as I could make it
without meanness, and these were all the improvements that I could
give them.

The elisions, I believe, are all cured, with only one exception. An
alternative proposes itself to a modern versifier, from which there is
no escape, which occurs perpetually, and which, choose as he may,
presents him always with an evil. I mean in the instance of the
particle (_the_). When this particle precedes a vowel, shall he melt
it into the substantive, or leave the _hiatus_ open? Both practices
are offensive to a delicate ear. The particle absorbed occasions
harshness, and the open vowel a vacuity equally inconvenient.
Sometimes, therefore, to leave it open, and sometimes to ingraft it
into its adjunct seems most advisable; this course Mr. Pope has taken,
whose authority recommended it to me; though of the two evils I have
most frequently chosen the elision as the least.

Compound epithets have obtained so long in the poetical language of
our country, that I employed them without fear or scruple. To have
abstained from them in a blank verse translation of Homer, who abounds
with them, and from whom our poets probably first adopted them, would
have been strange indeed. But though the genius of our language favors
the formation of such words almost as much as that of the Greek, it
happens sometimes, that a Grecian compound either cannot be rendered
in English at all, or, at best, but awkwardly. For this reason, and
because I found that some readers much disliked them, I have expunged
many; retaining, according to my best judgment, the most eligible
only, and making less frequent the repetitions even of these.

I know not that I can add any thing material on the subject of this
last revisal, unless it be proper to give the reason why the Iliad,
though greatly altered, has undergone much fewer alterations than the
Odyssey. The true reason I believe is this. The Iliad demanded my
utmost possible exertions; it seemed to meet me like an ascent almost
perpendicular, which could not be surmounted at less cost than of all
the labor that I could bestow on it. The Odyssey on the contrary
seemed to resemble an open and level country, through which I might
travel at my ease. The latter, therefore, betrayed me into some
negligence, which, though little conscious of it at the time, on an
accurate search, I found had left many disagreeable effects behind it.

I now leave the work to its fate. Another may labor hereafter in an
attempt of the same kind with more success; but more industriously, I
believe, none ever will.

                          J. JOHNSON, LL.B.

I have no other pretensions to the honorable name of Editor on this
occasion, than as a faithful transcriber of the Manuscript, and a
diligent corrector of the Press, which are, doubtless, two of the very
humblest employments in that most extensive province. I have wanted
the ability to attempt any thing higher; and, fortunately for the
reader, I have also wanted the presumption. What, however, I can do, I
will. Instead of critical remark, I will furnish him with anecdote. He
shall trace from beginning to end the progress of the following work;
and in proportion as I have the happiness to engage his attention, I
shall merit the name of a fortunate editor.

It was in the darkest season of a most calamitous depression of his
spirits, that I was summoned to the house of my inestimable friend the
Translator, in the month of January, 1794. He had happily completed a
revisal of his HOMER, and was thinking of the preface to his new
edition, when all his satisfaction in the one, and whatever he had
projected for the other, in a moment vanished from his mind. He had
fallen into a deplorable illness; and though the foremost wish of my
heart was to lessen the intenseness of his misery, I was utterly
unable to afford him any aid.

I had, however, a pleasing though a melancholy opportunity of tracing
his recent footsteps in the Field of Troy, and in the Palace of
Ithaca. He had materially altered both the Iliad and Odyssey; and, so
far as my ability allowed me to judge, they were each of them greatly
improved. He had also, at the request of his bookseller, interspersed
the two poems with copious notes; for the most part translations of
the ancient Scholia, and gleaned, at the cost of many valuable hours,
from the pages of Barnes, Clarke, and Villoisson. It has been a
constant subject of regret to the admirers of "The Task," that the
exercise of such marvelous original powers, should have been so long
suspended by the drudgery of translation; and in this view, their
quarrel with the illustrious Greek will be, doubtless, extended to his

During two long years from this most anxious period, the translation
continued as it was; and though, in the hope of its being able to
divert his melancholy, I had attempted more than once to introduce it
to its Author, I was every time painfully obliged to desist. But in
the summer of ninety-six, when he had resided with me in Norfolk
twelve miserable months, the introduction long wished for took place.
To my inexpressible astonishment and joy, I surprised him, one
morning, with the Iliad in his hand; and with an excess of delight,
which I am still more unable to describe, I the next day discovered
that he had been writing.--Were I to mention one of the happiest
moments of my life, it might be that which introduced me to the
following lines:--

                     Mistaken meanings corrected,
                       admonente G. Wakefield.

  L. 429.                               that the nave
            Of thy neat wheel seem e'en to grind upon it.

  L. 865.   As when (the north wind freshening) near the bank
            Up springs a fish in air, then falls again
            And disappears beneath the sable flood,
            So at the stroke, he bounded.

  L. 1018.  Thenceforth Tydides o'er his ample shield
            Aim'd and still aim'd to pierce him in the neck.

                           Or better thus--

            Tydides, in return, with spear high-poised
            O'er the broad shield, aim'd ever at his neck,

                           Or best of all--

            Then Tydeus' son, with spear high-poised above
            The ample shield, stood aiming at his neck.

He had written these lines with a pencil, on a leaf at the end of his
Iliad; and when I reflected on the cause which had given them birth, I
could not but admire its disproportion to the effect. What the voice
of persuasion had failed in for a year, accident had silently
accomplished in a single day. The circumstance I allude to was this: I
received a copy of the Iliad and Odyssey of Pope, then recently
published by the Editor above mentioned, with illustrative and
critical notes of his own. As it commended Mr. Cowper's Translation in
the Preface, and occasionally pointed out its merits in the Notes, I
was careful to place it in his way; though it was more from a habit of
experiment which I had contracted, than from well-grounded hopes of
success. But what a fortunate circumstance was the arrival of this
Work! and by what name worthy of its influence shall I call it? In the
mouth of an indifferent person it might be Chance; but in mine; whom
it rendered so peculiarly happy, common gratitude requires that it
should be Providence.

As I watched him with an indescribable interest in his progress, I had
the satisfaction to find, that, after a few mornings given to
promiscuous correction, and to frequent perusal of the above-mentioned
Notes, he was evidently settling on the sixteenth Book. This he went
regularly through, and the fruits of an application so happily resumed
were, one day with another, about sixty new lines. But with the end of
the sixteenth Book he had closed the corrections of the year. An
excursion to the coast, which immediately followed, though it promised
an accession of strength to the body, could not fail to interfere with
the pursuits of the mind. It was therefore with much less surprise
than regret, that I saw him relinquish the "_Tale of Troy Divine_."

Such was the prelude to the last revisal, which, in the month of
January, ninety-seven, Mr. Cowper was persuaded to undertake; and to a
faithful copy, as I trust, of which, I have at this time the honor to
conduct the reader. But it may not be amiss to observe, that with
regard to the earlier books of the Iliad, it was less a revisal of the
altered text, than of the text as it stands in the first edition. For
though the interleaved copy was always at hand, and in the multitude
of its altered places could hardly fail to offer some things worthy to
be preserved, but which the ravages of illness and the lapse of time
might have utterly effaced from his mind, I could not often persuade
the Translator to consult it. I was therefore induced, in the course
of transcribing, to compare the two revisals as I went along, and to
plead for the continuance of the first correction, when it forcibly
struck me as better than the last. This, however, but seldom occurred;
and the practice, at length, was completely left off, by his
consenting to receive into the number of the books which were daily
laid open before him, the interleaved copy to which I allude.

At the end of the first six books of the Iliad, the arrival of spring
brought the usual interruptions of exercise and air, which increased
as the summer advanced to a degree so unfavorable to the progress of
HOMER, that in the requisite attention to their salutary claims, the
revisal was, at one time, altogether at a stand. Only four books were
added in the course of nine months; but opportunity returning as the
winter set in, there were added, in less than seven weeks, four more:
and thus ended the year ninety-seven.

As the spring that succeeded was a happier spring, so it led to a
happier summer. We had no longer air and exercise alone, but exercise
and Homer hand in hand. He even followed us thrice to the sea: and
whether our walks were

                    "on the margin of the land,
  O'er the green summit of the" cliffs, "whose base
  Beats back the roaring surge,"
                        "or on the shore
  Of the untillable and barren deep,"

they were always within hearing of his magic song. About the middle of
this busy summer, the revisal of the Iliad was brought to a close; and
on the very next day, the 24th of July, the correction of the Odyssey
commenced,--a morning rendered memorable by a kind and unexpected
visit from the patroness of that work, the Dowager Lady Spencer!

It is not my intention to detain the reader with a progressive account
of the Odyssey revised, as circumstantial as that of the Iliad,
because it went on smoothly from beginning to end, and was finished in
less than eight months.

I cannot deliver these volumes to the public without feeling emotions
of gratitude toward Heaven, in recollecting how often this corrected
Work has appeared to me an instrument of Divine mercy, to mitigate the
sufferings of my excellent relation. Its progress in our private hours
was singularly medicinal to his mind: may its presentment to the
Public prove not less conducive to the honor of the departed Author,
who has every claim to my veneration! As a copious life of the Poet is
already in the press, from the pen of his intimate friend Mr. Hayley,
it is unnecessary for me to enter on such extensive commendation of
his character, as my own intimacy with him might suggest; but I hope
the reader will kindly allow me the privilege of indulging, in some
degree, the feelings of my heart, by applying to him, in the close of
this Preface, an expressive verse (borrowed from Homer) which he
inscribed himself, with some little variation, on a bust of his
Grecian Favorite.

           {Ôs te patêr ô paidi, kai oupote lêsomai aute.}

                Loved as his Son, in him I early found
                A Father, such as I will ne'er forget.

1. Very few signatures had at this time been affixed to the notes; but
   I afterward compared them with the Greek, note by note, and
   endeavored to supply the defect; more especially in the last three
   Volumes, where the reader will be pleased to observe that all the
   notes without signatures are Mr. Cowper's, and that those marked
   B.C.V. are respectively found in the editions of Homer by Barnes,
   Clarke, and Villoisson. But the employment was so little to the
   taste and inclination of the poet, that he never afterward revised
   them, or added to their number more than these which follow;--In
   the Odyssey, Vol. I. Book xi., the note 32.--Vol. II. Book xv., the
   note 13.--The note 10 Book xvi., of that volume, and the note 14,
   Book xix., of the same.


It is incumbent upon the present Editor to state the reasons which
have induced him, between two editions of Cowper's HOMER, differing so
materially from each other that they might almost be deemed different
versions, to prefer the first.

Whoever has perused the Translator's letters, must have perceived that
he had considered with no ordinary care the scheme of his
versification, and that when he resolved upon altering it in a second
edition, it was in deference to the opinion of others.

It seems to the Editor that Cowper's own judgment is entitled to more
respect, than that of any, or all his critics; and that the version
which he composed when his faculties were most active and his spirits
least subject to depression,--indeed in the happiest part of his
life,--ought not to be superseded by a revisal, or rather
reconstruction, which was undertaken three years before his
death,--not like the first translation as "a pleasant work, an
innocent luxury," the cheerful and delightful occupation of hope and
ardor and ambition,--but as a "hopeless employment," a task to which
he gave "all his miserable days, and often many hours of the night,"
seeking to beguile the sense of utter wretchedness, by altering as if
for the sake of alteration.

The Editor has been confirmed in this opinion by the concurrence of
every person with whom he has communicated on the subject. Among
others he takes the liberty of mentioning Mr. Cary, whose authority
upon such a question is of especial weight, the Translator of Dante
being the only one of our countrymen who has ever executed a
translation of equal magnitude and not less difficulty, with the same
perfect fidelity and admirable skill.

In support of this determination, the case of Tasso may be cited as
curiously in point. The great Italian poet altered his Jerusalem like
Cowper, against his own judgment, in submission to his critics: he
made the alteration in the latter years of his life, and in a diseased
state of mind; and he proceeded upon the same prescribed rule of
smoothing down his versification, and removing all the elisions. The
consequence has been that the reconstructed poem is utterly neglected,
and has rarely, if ever, been reprinted, except in the two great
editions of his collected works; while the original poem has been and
continues to be in such demand, that the most diligent bibliographer
might vainly attempt to enumerate all the editions through which it
has passed.

                            EDITOR'S NOTE.

It will be seen by the Advertisement to Southey's edition of Cowper's
Translation of the Iliad, that he has the highest opinion of its
merits, and that he also gives the preference to Cowper's unrevised
edition. The Editor of the present edition is happy to offer it to the
public under the sanction of such high authority.

In the addition of notes I have availed myself of the learning of
various commentators (Pope, Coleridge, Müller, etc.) and covet no
higher praise than the approval of my judgment in the selection.

Those bearing the signature E.P.P., were furnished by my friend Miss
Peabody, of Boston. I would also acknowledge my obligations to C.C.
Felton, Eliot Professor of Greek in Harvard University. It should be
observed, that the remarks upon the language of the poem refer to it
in the original.

For a definite treatment of the character of each deity introduced in
the Iliad, and for the fable of the Judgment of Paris, which was the
primary cause of the Trojan war, the reader is referred to "Grecian
and Roman Mythology."

It is intended that this edition of the Iliad shall be followed by a
similar one of the Odyssey, provided sufficient encouragement is given
by the demand for the present volume.


                     BOOK I.           BOOK XIII.
                         II.                 XIV.
                        III.                  XV.
                         IV.                 XVI.
                          V.                XVII.
                         VI.               XVIII.
                        VII.                 XIX.
                       VIII.                  XX.
                         IX.                 XXI.
                          X.                XXII.
                         XI.               XXIII.
                        XII.                XXIV.

                           ILIAD OF HOMER,

                           TRANSLATED INTO
                         ENGLISH BLANK VERSE.

                     ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.

The book opens with an account of a pestilence that prevailed in the
Grecian camp, and the cause of it is assigned. A council is called, in
which fierce altercation takes place between Agamemnon and Achilles.
The latter solemnly renounces the field. Agamemnon, by his heralds,
demands Brisëis, and Achilles resigns her. He makes his complaint to
Thetis, who undertakes to plead his cause with Jupiter. She pleads it,
and prevails. The book concludes with an account of what passed in
Heaven on that occasion.

                  *       *       *       *       *

[The reader will please observe, that by Achaians, Argives, Danaï, are
signified Grecians. Homer himself having found these various
appellatives both graceful and convenient, it seemed unreasonable that
a Translator of him should be denied the same advantage.--TR.]

                               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

                              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

                              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

                              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.


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.


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.


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.


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

                              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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

                              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.                  560
    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

                              THE ILIAD.

                              BOOK XXII.


                        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.


    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.


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.[20]

                  *       *       *       *       *

[I cannot take my leave of this noble poem, without expressing how
much I am struck with this plain conclusion of it. It is like the exit
of a great man out of company whom he has entertained magnificently;
neither pompous nor familiar; not contemptuous, yet without much
ceremony. I recollect nothing, among the works of mere man, that
exemplifies so strongly the true style of great antiquity.]--TR.


Footnotes for Book I:
1. "Latona's son and Jove's," was Apollo, the tutelary deity of the
   Dorians. The Dorians had not, however, at this early age, become
   the predominant race in Greece proper. They had spread along the
   eastern shores of the Archipelago into the islands, especially
   Crete, and had every where signalized themselves by the Temples of
   Apollo, of which there seems to have been many in and about Troy.
   These temples were schools of art, and prove the Dorians to have
   been both intellectual and powerful. Homer was an Ionian, and
   therefore not deeply acquainted with the nature of the Dorian god.
   But to a mind like his, the god of a people so cultivated, and
   associated with what was most grand in art, must have been an
   imposing being, and we find him so represented. Throughout the
   Iliad, he appears and acts with splendor and effect, but always
   against the Greeks from mere partiality to Hector. It would perhaps
   be too much to say, that in this partiality to Hector, we detect
   the spirit of the Dorian worship, the only Paganism of antiquity
   that tended to perfect the individual--Apollo being the expression
   of the moral harmony of the universe, and the great spirit of the
   Dorian culture being to make a perfect man, an incarnation of the
   {kosmos}. This Homer could only have known intuitively.

   In making Apollo author of the plague, he was confounded with
   Helios, which was frequent afterwards, but is not seen elsewhere in
   Homer. The arrows of Apollo were "silent as light," and their
   emblem the sun's rays. The analogies are multitudinous between the
   natural and intellectual sun; but Helios and Apollo were

2. There is something exceedingly venerable in this appearance of the
   priest. He comes with the ensigns of the gods to whom he belongs,
   with the laurel wreath, to show that he was a suppliant, and a
   golden sceptre, which the ancients gave in particular to Apollo, as
   they did one of silver to Diana.

3. The art of this speech is remarkable. Chryses considers the army of
   Greeks, as made up of troops, partly from the kingdoms and partly
   from democracies, and therefore begins with a distinction that
   includes all. Then, as priest of Apollo, he prays that they may
   obtain the two blessings they most desire--the conquest of Troy and
   a safe return. As he names his petition, he offers an extraordinary
   ransom, and concludes with bidding them fear the god if they refuse
   it; like one who from his office seems to foretell their misery,
   and exhorts them to shun it. Thus he endeavors to work by the art
   of a general application, by religion, by interest, and the
   insinuation of danger.

4. Homer is frequently eloquent in his silence. Chryses says not a
   word in answer to the insults of Agamemnon, but walks pensively
   along the shore. The melancholy flowing of the verse admirably
   expresses the condition of the mournful and deserted father.

5. [So called on account of his having saved the people of Troas from
   a plague of mice, _sminthos_ in their language meaning a

6. Apollo had temples at Chrysa, Tenedos, and Cilla, all of which lay
   round the bay of Troas. Müller remarks, that "the temple actually
   stood in the situation referred to, and that the appellation of
   Smintheus was still preserved in the district. Thus far actual
   circumstances are embodied in the mythus. On the other hand, the
   action of the deity as such, is purely ideal, and can have no other
   foundation than the belief that Apollo sternly resents ill usage of
   his priests, and that too in the way here represented, viz., by
   sending plagues. This belief is in perfect harmony with the idea
   generally entertained of the power and agency of Apollo; and it is
   manifest that the idea placed in combination with certain events,
   gave birth to the story so far as relates to the god. We have not
   yet the means of ascertaining whether it is to be regarded as a
   historical tradition, or an invention, and must therefore leave
   that question for the present undecided."

7. The poet is careful to leave no prayer unanswered that has justice
   on its side. He who prays either kills his enemy, or has signs
   given him that he has been heard.

8. [For this singular line the Translator begs to apologize, by
   pleading the strong desire he felt to produce an English line, if
   possible, somewhat resembling in its effect the famous original

     {Deinê de klangê genet argyreoio bioio.}--TR.]

9. The plague in the Grecian camp was occasioned perhaps by immoderate
   heats and gross exhalations. Homer takes occasion from it, to open
   the scene with a beautiful allegory. He supposes that such
   afflictions are sent from Heaven for the punishment of evil
   actions; and because the sun was the principal agent, he says it
   was sent to punish Agamemnon for despising that god, and injuring
   his priest.

10. Hippocrates observes two things of plagues; that their cause is in
   the air, and that different animals are differently affected by
   them, according to their nature and nourishment. This philosophy is
   referred to the plagues here mentioned. First, the cause is in the
   air by means of the darts or beams of Apollo; second, the mules and
   dogs are said to die sooner than the men, partly from their natural
   quickness of smell, and partly from their feeding so near the earth
   whence the exhalations arise.

11: Juno, queen of Olympus, sides with the Grecians. Mr. Coleridge (in
   his disquisition upon the Prometheus of Æschylus, published in his
   Remains) shows very clearly by historical criticism, that Juno, in
   the Grecian religion, expressed the spirit of conservatism. Without
   going over his argument we assume it here, for Homer always
   attributes to Juno every thing that may be predicated of this
   principle. She is persistent, obstinate, acts from no idea, but
   often uses a superficial reasoning, and refers to Fate, with which
   she upbraids Jupiter. Jupiter is the intellectual power or Free
   Will, and by their union, or rather from their antagonism, the
   course of things proceeds with perpetual vicissitude, but with a
   great deal of life.--E.P.P.

12. Observe this Grecian priest. He has no political power, and
   commands little reverence. In Agamemnon's treatment of him, as well
   as Chryses, is seen the relation of the religion to the government.
   It was neither master nor slave.--E.P.P.

13. A district of Thessaly forming a part of the larger district of
   Phthiotis. Phthiotis, according to Strabo, included all the
   southern portion of that country as far as Mount OEta and the
   Maliac Gulf. To the west it bordered on Dolopia, and on the east
   reached the confines of Magnesia. Homer comprised within this
   extent of territory the districts of Phthia and Hellas properly so
   called, and, generally speaking, the dominions of Achilles,
   together with those of Protesilaus and Eurypylus.

14. {Kynôpa}.

15. {meganaides}.

16 Agamemnon's anger is that of a lover, and Achilles' that of a
   warrior. Agamemnon speaks of Chrysëis as a beauty whom he values
   too much to resign. Achilles treats Brisëis as a slave, whom he is
   anxious to preserve in point of honor, and as a testimony of his
   glory. Hence he mentions her only as "his spoil," "the reward of
   war," etc.; accordingly he relinquishes her not in grief for a
   favorite whom he loses, but in sullenness for the injury done

17. Jupiter, in the disguise of an ant, deceived Eurymedusa, the
   daughter of Cleitos. Her son was for this reason called Myrmidon
   (from {myrmêx}, an ant), and was regarded as the ancestor of the
   Myrmidons in Thessaly.--SMITH.

18. According to the belief of the ancients, the gods were supposed to
   have a peculiar light in their eyes. That Homer was not ignorant of
   this opinion appears from his use of it in other places.

19. Minerva is the goddess of the art of war rather than of war
   itself. And this fable of her descent is an allegory of Achilles
   restraining his wrath through his consideration of martial law and
   order. This law in that age, prescribed that a subordinate should
   not draw his sword upon the commander of all, but allowed a liberty
   of speech which appears to us moderns rather out of order.--E.P.P.

20. [The shield of Jupiter, made by Vulcan, and so called from its
   covering, which was the skin of the goat that suckled him.--TR.]

21. Homer magnifies the ambush as the boldest enterprise of war. They
   went upon those parties with a few only, and generally the most
   daring of the army, and on occasions of the greatest hazard, when
   the exposure was greater than in a regular battle. Idomeneus, in
   the 13th book, tells Meriones that the greatest courage appears in
   this way of service, each man being in a manner singled out to the
   proof of it.

22. In the earlier ages of the world, the sceptre of a king was
   nothing more than his walking-staff, and thence had the name of
   sceptre. Ovid, in speaking of Jupiter, describes him as resting on
   his sceptre.--SPENCE.

   From the description here given, it would appear to have been a
   young tree cut from the root and stripped of its branches. It was
   the custom of Kings to swear by their sceptres.

23. For an account of the contest between the Centaurs and Lapiths
   here referred to, see Grecian and Roman Mythology.

24. In _antiquity_, a sacrifice of a hundred oxen, or beasts of the
   same kind; hence sometimes _indefinitely_, any sacrifice of a large
   number of victims.

25. [The original is here abrupt, and expresses the precipitancy of
   the speaker by a most beautiful aposiopesis.--TR.]

26. The Iliad, in its connection, is, we all know, a glorification of
   Achilles by Zeus; for the Trojans only prevail because Zeus wishes
   to show that the reposing hero who sits in solitude, can alone
   conquer them. But to leave him this glorification entirely unmixed
   with sorrow, the Grecian sense of moderation forbids. The deepest
   anguish must mingle with his consciousness of fame, and punish his
   insolence. That glorification is the will of Zeus; and in the
   spirit of the ancient mythus, a motive for it is assigned in a
   divine legend. The sea-goddess Thetis, who was, according to the
   Phthiotic mythus, wedded to the mortal Peleus, saved Zeus, by
   calling up the giant Briareus or Ægæon to his rescue. Why it was
   Ægæon, is explained by the fact that this was a great sea-demon,
   who formed the subject of fables at Poseidonian Corinth, where even
   the sea-god himself was called Ægæon; who, moreover, was worshipped
   at several places in Euboea, the seat of Poseidon Ægæus; and whom
   the Theogony calls the son-in-law of Poseidon, and most of the
   genealogists, especially Eumelus in the Titanomachy, brought into
   relation with the sea. There is therefore good reason to be found
   in ancient belief, why Thetis called up Ægæon of all others to
   Jove's assistance. The whole of the story, however, is not
   detailed--it is not much more than indicated--and therefore it
   would be difficult even now to interpret it in a perfectly
   satisfactory manner. It bears the same relation to the Iliad, that
   the northern fables of the gods, which serve as a back-ground to
   the legend of Nibelungen, bear to our German ballad, only that here
   the separation is much greater still--MULLER.

   Homer makes use of this fable, without reference to its meaning as
   an allegory. Briareus seems to symbolize a navy, and the fable
   refers to some event in remote history, when the reigning power was
   threatened in his autocracy, and strengthened by means of his
   association with the people against some intermediate

27. {epaurôntai}.

28. [A name by which we are frequently to understand the Nile in

29. Around the sources of the Nile, and thence south-west into the
   very heart of Africa, stretching away indefinitely over its
   mountain plains, lies the country which the ancients called
   Ethiopia, rumors of whose wonderful people found their way early
   into Greece, and are scattered over the pages of her poets and

   Homer wrote at least eight hundred years before Christ, and his
   poems are well ascertained to be a most faithful mirror of the
   manners of his times and the knowledge of his age.  *  *  *  *  *

   Homer never wastes an epithet. He often alludes to the Ethiopians
   elsewhere, and always in terms of admiration and praise, as being
   the most just of men, and the favorites of the gods. The same
   allusions glimmer throug