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That adverse gods commit to stern debate 341 Safe in her sides the hecatomb they stow'd,
Then swiftly sailing, cut the liquid road.
The host to expiate, next the king prepares, 410 Nor think your Nestor's years and wisdom vain. With pure lustrations, and with solemn prayers. A godlike race of heroes once I knew,
Wash'd by the briny wave, the pious train Such as no more these aged eyes shall view! Are cleansed, and cast the ablutions in the main. Lives there a chief to match Pirithous' fame, Along the shore whole hecatombs were laid, Dryas the bold, or Ceneus' deathless name; And bulls and goats to Phæbus' altars paid. Theseus, endued with more than mortal might, The sable fumes in curling spires arise, Or Polyphemus, like the gods in fight? 350 And waft their grateful odours to the skies. With these of old to toils of battle bred,
The army thus in sacred rites engaged, In early youth my hardy days I led;
Atrides still with deep resentment raged. Fired with the thirst which virtuous envy breeds, To wait bis will two sacred heralds stood, 420 And smit with love of honourable deeds.
Talthybius and Eurybates the good. Strongest of men, they pierced the mountain boar, Haste to the fierce Achilles' tent (he cries ;) Ranged the wild deserts red with monsters' gore,
Thence bear Briseis as our royal prize : And from their hills the shaggy Centaurs tore.
Submit he must! or, if they will not part, Yet these with soft persuasive arts I sway'd;
Ourself in arms shall tear her from his heart. When Nestor spoke, they listen'd and obey'd. The unwilling heralds act their lord's commands ; If in my youth e'en these esteem'd me wise, 360 Pensive they walk along the barren sands : Do you, young warriors, hear my age advise. Arrived, the hero in his tent they find, Atrides, seize not on the beauteous slave;
With gloomy aspect, on his arm reclined. That prize the Greeks by common suffrage gave :
At awful distance long they silent stand, 430 Nor thou, Achilles, treat our prince with pride; Loath to advance, or speak their hard command; Let kings be just, and sovereign power preside.
Decent consusion! This the godlike man Thee, the first honours of the war adorn,
Perceived, and thus with accent mild began : Like gods in strength, and of a goddess born;
With leave and honour enter our abodes,
Ye sacred ministers of men and gods !
but your imperious lord I blame. So shall authority with strength be join'd.
Patroclus, haste, the fair Briseis bring; Leave me, O king! to calm Achilles' rage ; Conduct my captive to the haughty king. Rule thou thyself, as more advanced in age.
But witness, heralds, and proclaim my vow, 440 Forbid it, gods! Achilles should be lost,
Witness to gods above, and men below!
This said, he ceased. The king of men replies: That lawless tyrant whose commands you bear,
The raging chief, in frantic passion lost,
Unskill'd to judge the future by the past, Him must our hosts, our chiefs, ourselves obey ? In blood and slaughter shall repent at last. What king can bear a rival in his sway?
Patroclus now the unwilling beauty brought; 450 Grant that the gods his matchless force have given; She, in soft sorrows and in pensive thought, Has foul reproach a privilege from heaven? Pass'd silent, as the heralds held her hand,
Here on the monarch's speech Achilles broke And oft look'd back, slow moving o'er the strand. And furious thus, and interrupting, spoke :
Not so his loss the fierce Achilles bore; Tyrant! I well deserved thy galling chain,
But sad retiring to the sounding shore, To live thy slave, and still to serve in vain,
O'er the wild margin of the deep he hung, Should I submit to each unjust decree;
390 That kindred deep from whence his mother sprung; Command thy vassals, but command not me.
There, bathed in tears of anger and disdain, Seize on Briseïs, whom the Grecians doom'd Thus loud lamented to the stormy main : My prize of war, yet tamely see resumed :
O parent goddess ! since in early bloom
460 And seize secure ; no more Achilles draws Thy son must fall, by too severe a doom; His conquering sword in any woman's cause;
Sure, to so short a race of glory born, The gods command me to forgive the past;
Great Jove in justice should this span adorn : But let this first invasion be the last :
Honour and farne at least the Thunderer owed; For know, thy blood, when next thou darest in And ill he pays the promise of a god, vade,
If yon proud monarch thus thy son defies, Shall stream in vengeance on my reeking blade. Obscures my glories, and resumes my prize. At this they ceased : the stern debate expired: 400
Far in the deep recesses of the main, The chiefs in sullen majesty retired.
Where aged Ocean holds his watery reign, Achilles with Patroclus took his way,
The goddess-mother heard. The waves divide: 470 Where near his tents his hollow vessels lay. And like a mist she rose above the tide; Meantime Atrides launch'd with numerous oars Beheld him mouroing on the naked shores, A well-rigg'd ship for Chrysa's sacred shores : And thus the sorrows of his soul explores : High on the deck was fair Chryseis placed, Why grieves my son ? Thy anguish let me share, And sage Ulysses with the conduct graced : Reveal the cause, and trust a parent's care.
He, deeply sighing, said: To tell my woe, Why have I born thee with a mother's throes, Is but to mention what too well you know. To fates averse, and nursed for future woes? From Thebè, sacred to Apollo's name,
So short a space the light of heaven to view! (Aëtion's realm,) our conquering army came, So short a space! and billd with sorrow too! With treasure loaded and triumphant spoils, 480 O might a parent's careful wish prevail, Whose just division crown'd the soldier's toils ; Far, far from Ilion should thy vessels sail ! But bright Chryseïs, heavenly prize! was led, And thou, from camps rernote, the danger shun, By vote selected, to the general's bed.
alas ! ton nearly threats my son. The priest of Phæbus sought by gifts to gain Yet (what I can) to move thy suit I'll go 550 His beauteous daughter from the victor's chain; To great Olympus crown'd with fleecy snow. The fleet he reach'd, and lowly bending down, Meantime, secure within thy ships, from far Held forth the sceptre and the laurel crown, Behold the field, nor mingle in the war. Entreaung all: but chief implored for grace, The sire of gods and all the ethereal train, The brother-kings of Atreus' royal race:
On the warm limits of the farthest main, The generous Greeks their joint consent declare, 490 Now mix with mortals, nor disdain to grace The priest to reverence, and release the fair. The feasts of Æthiopia's blameless race; Not so Atrides : he, with wonted pride,
Twelve days the powers indulge the genial rite, The sire insulted, and his gifts denied.
Returning with the twelfth revolving light. The insulted sire (his god's peculiar care)
Then will I mount the brazen dome, and move 560 To Phæbus pray'd, and Phæbus heard the prayer: The high tribunal of immortal Jove. A dreadful plague ensues; the avenging darts
The goddess spoke: the rolling waves unclose : Incessant fly, and pierce the Grecian hearts. Then down the deep she plunged from whence she A prophet then, inspired by heaven, arose,
And left him sorrowing on the lonely coast, (rose, And points the crime, and thence derives the woes. In wild resentment for the fair he lost Myself the first the assembled chiefs incline 500 In Chrysa's port now sage Ulysses rode; To avert the vengeance of the power divine ; Beneath the deck the destined victims stow'd; Then rising in his wrath, the monarch storm'd; The sails they furl'd, they lash'd the mast aside, Incensed he threaten'd, and his threats perform d: And dropp'd their anchors, and the pinnace tied. The fair Chryseis to her sire was sent,
Nest on the shore their hecatomb they land, 570 With offer'd gifts to make the god relent;
Chryseis last descending on the strand.
Where at his solemn altar, as the maid
A suppliant I from great Atrides come: Urge all the ties to former service owed,
Unransom'd here receive the spotless fair;
At this, the sire embraced the maid again,
Then near the altar of the darting king,
And smile propitious, and unbend thy bow. Conjure him far to drive the Grecian train,
So Chryses pray'd. Apollo heard his prayer : To hurl them headlong to their feet and main, And now the Greeks their hecatomb prepare ; To heap the shores with copious death, and bring Between their horns the salted barley threw,
600 The Greeks to know the curse of such a king : And with their heads to heaven the victims slew : Let Agamemnon lift his haughty head
The limbs they sever from the enclosing hide; O'er all his wide dominion of the dead,
The thighs, selected to the gods, divide : And mourn in blood, that e'er he durst disgrace On these, in double cauls involved with art, The boldest warrior of the Grecian race.
The choicest morsels lay from every part. Unhappy son! (fair Thetis thus replies, 540 The priest himself before his altar stands, While tears celestial trickle from her eyes) And burns the offering with his holy bands,
Pours the black wine, and sees the flames aspire; • Neptune.
| The youths with instruments surround the fire :
The thighs thus sacrificed, and entrails dress’d, 610|But part in peace, secure thy prayer is sped:
The nod that ratifies the will divine,
680 Each takes his seat, and each receives his share. The faithful, fix'd, irrevocable sign; When now the rage of hunger was repress'd, This seals thy suit, and this fulfils thy vowsWith pure libations they conclude the feast; He spoke, and awful bends his sable brows; The youths with wine the copious goblets crown'd, Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod; And pleas'd dispense the flowing bowls around. The stamp of fate, and sanction of the god : With hymns divine the joyous banquet ends, High heaven with trembling the dread signal took, The Pæans lengthen'd till the sun descends; And all Olympus to the centre shook. The Greeks, restored, the grateful notes prolong; 620 Swift to the seas profound the goddess flies, Apollo listens, and approves the song.
Jove to his starry mansion in the skies. 'Twas night; the chiefs beside their vessel lie, The shining synod of the immortals wait 690 Till rosy morn had purpled o'er the sky:
The coming god, and from their thrones of state
All, but the god's imperious queen alone :
What favourite goddess then those cares divides, The stern Achilles, steadfast in his hate;
Which Jove in prudence from his consort hides ? Nor mix'd in combat, nor in council join'd;
To this the Thunderer : Seek not thou to find But wasting cares lay heavy on his mind : The sacred counsels of almighty mind: In his black thoughts revenge and slaughter roll, Involved in darkness lies the great decree, And scenes of blood rise dreadful in his soul. 639 Nor can the depths of fate be pierced by thee.
Twelve days were past, and now the dawning light What fits thy knowledge, thou the first shalt know; The gods had summond to the Olympian height: The first of gods above and men below; Jove first ascending from the watery bowers, But thou, nor they, shall search the thoughts that roll Leads the long order of ethereal powers.
Deep in the close recesses of my soul.
711 When like the morning mist in early day,
Full on the sire the goddess of the skies Rose from the flood the daughter of the sea; Roll'd the large orbs of her majestic eyes, And to the seats divine her flight address'd. And thus return'd: Austere Saturnius, say, There, far apart, and high above the rest,
From whence this wrath, or who controuls thy sway? The Thunderer sat; where old Olympus shrouds Thy boundless will, for me, remains in force, His hundred heads in heaven, and props the clouds. And all thy counsels take the destined course. Suppliant the goddess stood: one hand she placed 650 But 'tis for Greece I fear: for late was seen Beneath his beard, and one his knees embraced. In close consult the silver-footed queen. If e'er, O father of the gods! (she said,)
Jove to his Thetis nothing could deny,
720 My words could please thee, or my actions aid; Nor was the signal vain that shook the sky. Some marks of honour on my son bestow,
What fatal favour has the goddess won, And pay in glory what in life you owe.
To grace her fierce inexorable son ? Fame is at least by heavenly promise due
Perhaps in Grecian blood to drench the plain, To life so short, and now dishonour'd too.
And glut his vengeance with my people slain. Avenge this wrong, oh ever just and wise!
Then thus the god : Oh restless fate of pride, Let Greece be humbled, and the Trojans rise; That strives to learn what heaven resolves to hide ! 'Till the proud king, and all the Achaian race, 660 Vain is the search, presumptuous and abhorr'd, Shall heap with honours him they now disgrace. Anxious to thee, and odious to thy lord. Thus Thetis spoke: but Jove in silence held, Let this suffice, the immutable decree
730 The sacred counsels of his breast conceald. No force can shake : what is, that ought to be. Not so repulsed, the goddess closer press'd, Goddess, submit, nor dare our will withstand, Still grasp'd his knees, and urged the dear request. But dread the power of this avenging hand : O sire of gods and men ! thy suppliant hear; The united strength of all the gods above Refuse, or grant: for what has Jove to fear? In vain resist the omnipotence of Jove. Or, oh! declare, of all the powers above,
The Thunderer spoke, nor durst the queen reply; Is wretched Thetis least the care of Jove ? A reverend horror silenced all the sky. She said: and sighing thus the god replies, 670 The feast disturb’d, with sorrow Vulcan saw Who rolls the thunder o'er the vaulted skies : His mother menaced, and the gods in awe;
What hast thou ask'd ? Ah why should Jove engage Peace at his heart, and pleasure his design,
Thus interposed the architect divine :
Let men their days in senseless strife employ ;
We, in eternal peace, and constant joy.
Thou, goddess-mother, with our sire comply,
BOOK II. Nor break the sacred union of the sky;
Now pleasing sleep had seald each mortal eye, Lest, roused to rage, he shake the blest abodes,
Stretch'd in the tents the Grecian leaders lie, Launch the red lightning, and dethrone the gods. If you submit, the Thunderer stands appeased; 750 The immortals slumber'd on their thrones above;
All, but the ever-wakeful eyes of Jove. The gracious power is willing to be pleased.
To honour Thetis' son he bends his care,
And plunge the Greeks in all the woes of war:
Then bids an empty phantom rise to sight,
And thus commands the vision of the night : Goddess (he cried) be patient and obey:
Fly hence, deluding dream! and light as air, Dear as you are, if Jove his arm extend, |To Agamemnon's ample tent repair.
10 I can but grieve, unable to defend.
Bid hirn in arms draw forth the embattled train, What god so daring in your aid to move,
Lead all his Grecians to the dusty plain.
Declare, e'en now 'tis given him to destroy
The lofty towers of wide-extended Troy.
At Juno's suit the heavenly factions end. Nor till the sun descended, touch'd the ground:
Destruction hangs o'er yon devoted wall, Breathless I fell, in giddy motion lost;
And nodding lion waits the impending fall. The Sinthians raised me on the Lemnian coast.
Swift as the word the vain illusion fled, He said, and to her hands the goblet heaved,
Descends, and hovers o'er Atrides' head; 20 Which, with a smile, the white-arm'd queen re
Clothed in the figure of the Pylian sage, ceived.
Renown'd for wisdom, and revered for age; Then to the rest he fill'd; and in his turn,
Around his temples spreads his golden wing, Each to his lips applied the nectar'd urn.
And thus the flattering dream deceives the king : Vulcan with awkward grace his office plies, 770
Canst thou, with all a monarch's cares oppress'd, And undistinguish'd laughter shakes the skies.
Oh Atreus' son! canst thou indulge thy rest? Thus the blest gods the genial day prolong,
Ill fits a chief who mighty nations guides, In feasts ambrosial, and celestial song.
Directs in council, and in war presides,
To whom its safety a whole people owes,
30 Meantime the radiant sun, to mortal sight
Monarch, awake! 'tis Jove's command I bear,
Thou, and thy glory, claim his heavenly care.
In just array draw forth the embattled train,
Lead all thy Grecians to the dusty plain;
E'en now, O king! 'tis given thee to destroy
Destruction hangs o'er yon devoted wall,
And nodding lion waits th' impending fall. 40
Awake, but waking, this advice approve, The Trial of the Army, and Catalogue of the Forces.
And trust the vision that descends from Jove.
The phantom said ; then vanish’d from his sight, Jupiter in pursuance of the request of Thetis, sends a Resolves to air, and mises with the night. deceitful vision to Agamemnon, persuading him to lead the army to battle; in order to make the Greeks
A thousand schemes the monarch's mind employ; sensible of their want of Achilles. The general who Elate in thought, he sacks untaken Troy: is deluded with the hopes of taking Troy without his Vain as he was, and to the future blind; assistance, but fears the army was discouraged by his Nor saw what Jove and secret fate design’d; absence and the late plague, as well as by the length What mighty toils to either host remain, of time, contrives to make trial of their disposition by What scenes of grief, and numbers of the slain! 50 a stratagem. He first communicates his design to the Eager he rises, and in fancy hears princes in council, that he would propose a return to The voice celestial murmuring in his ears. the soldiers, and that they should put a stop to them first on his limbs a slender vest he drew, if the proposal was embraced. Then he assembles the mtole host, and upon moving for a return to Greece. Around him next the regal mantle threw, They unanimously agree to it, and run to prepare the The embroider'd sandals on his feet were tied : ships
. They are detained by the management of Ulys. The starry faulchion glitter'd at his side ; $%, who chastises the insolence of Thersites. The And last his arm the massy sceptre loads, assembly is recalled, several speeches made on the oc: Unstain'd, immortal, and the gift of gods. tasion, and at length the advice of Nestor followed. Now rosy morn ascends the court of Jove, which was to make a general muster of the troops, Lifts up her light, and opens day above.
60 and to divide them into their several nations, before the king despatch'd his heralds with commands they proceeded to battle. This gives occasion to the poet to enumerate all the forces of the Greeks and
and summon all the bands : Trojans, in a large catalogue.
The gathering hosts the monarch's word obey; The time employed in this book consists not entirely of While to the fleet Atrides bends his way. one day. The scene lies in the Grecian camp, and upon In his black ship the Pylian prince he found; the wea-shore; toward the end, it removes to Troy. There calls a senate of the peers around :
The assembly placed, the king of men expressid And now the mark of Agamemnon's reiga
Friends and confederates ! with attentive ear On this bright sceptre now the king reclined,
Heroes of Greece, and brothers of the war! Whose visionary form like Nestor came,
Of partial Jove with justice I complain,
And heavenly oracles believed in vain.
Now shameful fight alone can save the host,
Our blood, our treasure, and our glory lost.
Oh lasting shame in every future age!
Repulsed and baffled by a feeble foe.
And Greece triumphant held a general feast,
All rank'd by tens; whole decads when they dine And nodding lion waits the impending fall. 90 Must want a Trojan slave to pour the wine. This hear observant, and the gods obey !
But other forces have our hopes o'erthrown, The vision spoke, and pass'd in air away.
And Troy prevails by armies not her own. 16
He spoke, and sat; when Nestor rising said Love, duty, safety, summon us away,
His deep design unknown, the hosts approve And join to rouse the sons of Greecc to arms. Atrides' speech. The mighty numbers move.
Thus spoke the sage. The kings without delay So roll the billows to the Icarian shore, Dissolve the council, and their chief obey:
From east and south where winds begin to roar, The sceptred rulers lead : the following host, Burst their dark mansions in the clouds and sweep Pour’d forth by thousands, darkens all the coast. 110 The whitening surface of the ruffled deep. As from some rocky cliff the shepherd sees
And as on corn when western gusts descend, Clustering in heaps on heaps the driving bees, Before the blast the lofty harvests bend; 180 Rolling, and blackening, swarms succeeding swarms, Thus o'er the field the moving host appears, With deeper murmurs and more hoarse alarms; With nodding plumes and groves of waving spears. Dusky they spread, a close embodied crowd, The gathering murmur spreads, their trampling feet And o'er the vale descends the living cloud. Beat the loose sands, and thicken to the fleet. So, from the tents and ships, a lengthening train With long-resounding cries they urge the train Spreads all the beach, and wide o'ershades the plain : To fit the ships, and launch into the main. Along the region runs a deafening sound : They toil, they sweat, thick clouds of dust arise, Beneath their footsteps groans the trembling ground: The doubling clamours echo to the skies. Fame fies before, the messenger of Jove, 121 E'en then the Greeks had left the hostile plain, And shining soars, and claps her wings above. And fate decreed the fall of Troy in vain ; 190 Nine sacred heralds now, proclaiming loud But Jove's imperial queen their flight survey'd, The monarch's will, suspend the listening crowd. And sighing thus bespoke the blue-eyed maid : Soon as the throngs in order ranged appear,
Shall then the Grecians fiy ? O dire disgrace! And fainter murmurs died upon the ear,
And leave unpunish'd this persidious race ?
And bravest chiefs, in Helen's quarrel slain,
No: let my Greeks, unmoved by vain alarms,
Nor let one sail be hoisted on the main.