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I saw his coursers in proud triumph go,
Lest the fierce steeds, not yet to battles bred, Swift as the wind, and white as winter snow: Should start, and tremble at the heaps of dead. Rich silver plates his shining car infold :
Now twelve despatch'd, the monarch last they found; His solid arms, refulgent fiame with gold :
Tydides' falchion fix'd him to the ground. No mortal shoulders suit the glorious load, 510 Just then a deadful dream Minerva sent; Celestial panoply, to grace a god!
A warlike form appear'd before his tent, J et me, unhappy, to your fleet be borne,
Whose visionary steel his bosom tore :
580 Or leave me here, a captive's fate to mourn,
So dream'd the monarch, and awaked no more In cruel chains ; till your return reveal
Ulysses now the snowy steeds detains, The truth or falsehood of the news I tell.
And leads them, fasten'd by the silver reins; To this Tydides, with a gloomy frown:
These, with his bow unbent, he lash'd along;
Sternly he spoke; and as the wretch prepared Drag off the car where Rhesus' armour lay, 590
Regard thy safety, and depart in peace;
Haste to the ships, the gotten spoil enjoy, The wolf's grey hide, the unbended bow and spear; Nor tempt too far the hostile gods of Troy. These great Ulysses lifting to the skies,
530 The voice divine confess'd the martial maid; To favouring Pallas dedicates the prize.
In haste he mounted, and her word obey'd ; Great queen of arms! receive this hostile spoil, The coursers fly before Ulysses' bow,
600 And let the Thracian steeds reward our toil : Swift as the wind, and white as winter snow. Thee first of all the heavenly host we praise;
Not unobserved they pass'd : the god of light O speed our labours, and direct our ways !
Had watch'd his Troy, and mark'd Minerva's fight, This said, the spoils, with dropping gore defaced, Saw Tydeus' son with heavenly succour blest, High on a spreading tamarisk he placed :
And vengeful anger fill'd his sacred breast. Then heap'd with reeds and gather'd boughs the plain. Swift to the Trojan camp descends the power, To guide their foosteps to the place again. 539 And wakes Hippocoön in the morning hour,
Thro' the still night they cross the devious fields (On Rhesus' side accustom'd to attend,
An empty space where late the coursers stood,
Where late the spoils of Hector's spy were laid, The man, the coursers, and the car behold! Ulysses stopp'd ; to him Tydides bore
620 Described by Dolon, with the arms of gold. The trophy, dropping yet with Dolon's gore: Now, brave Tydides! now thy courage try,
Then mounts again : again their nimble feet Approach the chariot, and the steeds untie; The coursers ply, and thunder towards the fleet. Or if thy soul aspire to fiercer deeds,
Old Nestor first perceived the approaching sound, Urge thou the slaughter, while I seize the steeds. Bespeaking thus the Grecian peers around: Pallas (this said) her hero's bosom warms,
Methinks the noise of trampling steeds I hear, Breathed in his heart, and strung his nervous arms;
Thickening this way, and gathering on my ear; Where'er he pass'd, a purple stream pursued : 560 Perhaps some horses of the Trojan breed, His thirsty falchion, fat with hostile blood, |(So may, ye gods! my pious hopes succeed) Bathed all his footsteps, dyed the fields with gore, The great Tydides and Ulysses bear,
630 And a low groan remurmur'd through the shore. Return'd triumphant with this prize of war. So the grim lion, from his nightly den,
Yet much I fear (ah, may that fear be vain!) O'erleaps the fences, and invades the pen : The chiefs out-number'd by the Trojan train; On sheep or goats, resistless in his way,
Perhaps, e'en now pursued, they seek the shore ; He falls, and foaming rends the guardless prey. Or, oh! perhaps these heroes are no more. Nor stopp'd the fury of his vengeful hand
Scarce had he spoke, when lo! the chiefs appear, Pill twelve lay breathless of the Thracian band. And spring to earth; the Greeks dismiss their fear: Ulysses following, as his partner slew,
570 With words of friendship and extended hands, Back by the foot each slaughter'd warrior drew; They greet the kings; and Nestor first demands : The milk-white coursers studious to convey
Say thou, whose praises all our host proclaim, 640 Safe to the ships, he wisely clear'd the way;
| Thou living glory of the Grecian name!
Say whence these coursers? by what chance be which be remembered, tending to put Patroclus upon stow'd ?
persuading Achilles to fight for bis countrymen, or at The spoil of foes, or present of a god?
least permit him to do it, clad in Achilles' armoar. Not those fair steeds so radiant and so gay,
Patroclus, in his return, meets Eurypylus also wound
ed, and assists him in that distress. That draw the burning chariot of the day.
This book opens with the eight-and-twentieth day of Old as I am, to age I scorn to yield,
the poem; and the same day, with its various actions And daily mingle in the martial field;
and adventures, is extended ibrough the twelftb, But sure till now no coursers struck my sight
thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, Like these, conspicuous through the ranks of fight. teenth, and part of the eighteenth books. The scene Some god, I deem, conferr'd the glorious prize, 650
lies in the field, near the monument of Nus. Blest as ye are, and favourites of the skies; The care of him who bids the thunder roar,
BOOK XI. And her,* whose fury bathes the world with gore. The saffron morn, with early blushes spread, Father! not so (sage Ithacus rejoin'd:)
Now rose refulgent from Tithonus' bed; The gifts of heaven are of a nobler kind.
With new-born day to gladden mortal sight, Of Thracian lineage are the steeds ye view, And gild the courts of heaven with sacred light: Whose hostile king the brave Tydides slew; When baleful Eris, sent by Jove's command, Sleeping he died, with all his guards around, The torch of discord blazing in her hand, And twelve beside lay gasping on the ground. Through the red skies her bloody sign extends, These other spoils from conquer'd Dolon came, 660 And wrapt in tempests, o'er the fleet descends. A wretch, whose swiftness was his only fame, High on Ulysses' bark, her horrid stand By Hector sent our forces to explore :
She took, and thunder'd through the seas and land. 10 He now lies headless on the sandy shore.
E'en Ajax and Achilles heard the sound, Then o'er the trench the bounding coursers flew; Whose ships remote, the guarded navy bound. The joyful Greeks with loud acclaim pursue. Thence the black fury through the Grecian throng Straight to Tydides' high pavilion borne,
With horror sounds the loud Orthian song:
The navy shakes, and at the dire alarms
The king of men his hardy host inspires
With loud command, with great example fires; 20 Now from nocturnal sweat, and sanguine stain, Ilimself first rose, himself before the rest, They cleanse their bodies in the neighbouring main : His mighty limbs in radiant armour dress’d. Then in the polish'd bath, refresh'd from toil, And first he cased his manly legs around Their joints they supple with dissolving oil, In shining greaves, with silver buckles bound : In due repast indulge the genial hour,
The beaming cuirass next adorn'd his breast, And first to Pallas the libations pour:
The same which once king Cinyras possess'd : They sit rejoicing in her aid divine,
(The fame of Greece and her assembled host And the crown'd goblet foams with floods of wine. Had reach'd that monarch on the Cyprian coast;
'Twas then, the friendship of the chief to gain,
Ten rows of azure steel the work infold,
Twice ten of tin, and twelve of ductile gold;
Three glittering dragons to the gorget rise,
Whose imitated scales against the skies The third Battle, and the Acts of Agamemnon. Reflected various light, and arching bow'd, Agamemnon having armed himself, leads the Grecians Like colour'd rainbows o'er a showery cloud, to battle: Hector prepares the Trojans to receive them; (Jove's wondrous bow, of three celestial dyes, while Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, give the signals of Placed as a sign to man amid the skies.) war. Agamemnon bears all before him; and Hector A radiant baldric o'er his shoulder tied, is commanded by Jupiter (who sends Iris for that pur. Sustain'd the sword that glitter'd at his side: 40 prose) to decline the engagement, till the king shall be wounded and retire from the field. He then makes a
Gold was the hilt, a silver sheath encased great slaughter of the enemy; Ulysses and Diomed put the shining blade, and golden hangers graced. a stop to him for a time: but the latter being wounded His buckler's mighty orb was next display'd, by Paris, is obliged to desert his companion, who is That round the warrior cast a dreadful shade. encompassed by the Trojang, wounded, and in the ut. Ten zones of brass its ample brim surround, most danger, till Menelaus and Ajax rescue him. Hec. And twice ten bosses the bright convex crown'd; tor comes against Ajax; but that hero alone opposes Tremendous Gorgon frown'd upon its field, multitudes, and rallies the Greeks. In the meantime Machaon, in the other wing of the army, is pierced within its concave hung a silver thong,
And circling terrors fill'd the expressive shield : by an arrow from Paris, and carried from the fight in
50 Nestor's chariot. Achilles (who overlooked the action On which a mimic serpent creeps along, from his ship) sends Patroclus to inquire which of the His azure length in easy waves extends, Greeks was wounded in that manner? Nestor enter. Till in three heads the embroider'd monster ends tains him in his tent with an account of the accidents Last o'er his brows his fourfold helm he placed, of the day, and a long recital of some former wars With nodding horse-hair formidably graced;
And in his hands two steely javelins wields, * Minerva.
That blaze to beaven, and lighten all the fields.
That instant Juno and the martial maid,
Then, nor till then, the Greeks' impulsive might In happy thunders promised Greece their aid; Pierced the black phalanx, and let in the light. High o'er the chief they clash'd their arms in air, Great Agamemnon then the slaughter led, And, leaning from the clouds, expect the war. 60) And slew Bienor at his people's head :
Close to the limits of the trench and mound, Whose squire Oïleus, with a sudden spring, The fiery coursers to their chariots bound
Leap'd from the chariot to revenge his king, 130 The squires restrain'd: the foot, with those who wield But in his front he felt the fatal wound, The lighter arms, rush forward to the field. Which pierced his brain, and stretch'd him on the To second these, in close array combined,
ground. The squadrons spread their sable wings behind. Atrides spoil'd, and left them on the plain : Now shouts and tumults wake the tardy sun, Vain was their youth, their glittering armour vain : As with the light the warriors' toils begun.
Now soil'd with dust, and naked to the sky, E'en Jove, whose thunder spoke his wrath, distilld Their snowy limbs and beauteous bodies lie. Red drops of blood o'er all the fatal field; 70 Two sons of Priam next to battle move, The woes of men unwilling to survey,
The product, one of marriage, one of love ; And all the slaughters that must stain the day. In the same car the brother-warriors ride, Near llus' tomb in order ranged around,
This took the charge to combat, that to guide: 140 The Trojan lines possess'd the rising ground. Far other task, than when they wont to keep, There wise Polydamas and Hector stood;
On Ida's tops, their father's fleecy sheep! Æneas, honour'd as a guardian god;
These on the mountains once Achilles found, Bold Polybus, Agenor the divine ;
And captive led, with pliant osiers bound; The brother warriors of Antenor's line;
Then to their sire for ample sums restored ; With youthful Acamas, whose beauteous face, But now to perish by Atrides' sword : And fair proportion match'd the ethereal race. 80 Pierced in the breast, the base-born Isus bleeds; Great Hector, cover'd with his spacious shield, Cleft through the head, his brother's fate succeeds. Plies all the troops, and orders all the field. Swift to the spoil the hasty victor falls, As the red star now shows his sanguine fires And stripp'd, their features to his mind recalls. 150 Through the dark clouds, and now in night retires ; The Trojans see the youths untimely die, Thus through the ranks appear'd the godlike man, But helpless tremble for themselves, and fly. Plunged in the rear, or blazing in the van;
So when a lion, ranging o'er the lawns, While streamy sparkles, restless as he flies, Finds, on some grassy lair, the couching fawns, Flash from his arms as lightning from the skies. Their bones he cracks, their reeking vitals draws, As sweating reapers in some wealthy field,
And grinds the quivering flesh with bloody jaws; Ranged in two bands, their crooked weapons wield, The frighted hind beholds, and dares not stay, Bear down the furrows, till their labours meet; 91 But swift through rustling thickets bursts her way: Thick fall the heapy harvests at their feet : All drown'd in sweat the panting mother flies, So Greece and Troy the field of war divide,
And the big tears roll trickling from her eyes. 160 And falling ranks are strew'd on every side.
Amidst the tumult of the routed train,
They shook with fear, and dropp'd the silken rein : Swells the red horrors of this direful plain:
Then in their chariot on their knees they fall, The gods in peace their golden mansions fill, And thus with lifted hands for mercy call: 170 Ranged in bright order on the Olympian hill: Oh spare our youth, and for the life we owe, But general murmurs told their griefs above, Antimachus shall copious gifts bestow; And each accused the partial will of Jove.
Soon as he hears that, not in battle slain, Meanwhile apart, superior, and alone,
The Grecian ships his captive sons detain, The eternal monarch, on his awful throne, Large heaps of brass in ransom shall be told, Wrap: in the blaze of boundless glory sat;
And steel well temper'd, and persuasive gold. And, fix’d, fulfill'd the just decrees of fate. 110 These words, attended with a flood of tears, On earth he turn'd his all-considering eyes, The youths address’d to unrelenting ears : And mark'd the spot where llion's towers arise ; The vengeful monarch gave this stem reply: The sea with ships, the fields with armies spread, If from Antimachus ye spring, ye die :
180 The victor's rage, the dying and the dead.
The daring wretch who once in council stood Thus while the morning-beams increasing bright, To shed Ulysses' and my brother's blood, O'er heaven's pure azure spread the growing light, For proffer'd peace ! and sues his seed for grace? Commutual death the fate of war confounds, No die and pay the forfeit of your race. Each adverse battle gored with equal wounds. This said, Pisander from the car he cast, Bat now (what time in some sequester’d vale, And pierced his breast: supine he breathed his The weary woodman spreads his sparing meal, 120 Jast. When his tired arms refuse the age to rear,
His brother leap'd to earth ; but as he lay, And claim a respite from the sylvan war;
The trenchant falchion lopp'd his hands away: But not till balf the prostrate forests lay
His sever'd head was toss'd among the throng, Stretch'd in long ruin, and exposed to day) And, rolling, drew a bloody trail along.
Then, where the thickest fought, the victor flew; While Agamemnon wastes the ranks around,
Fights in the front, and bathes with blood the ground,
Springs from his chariot on the trembling ground, 270 In blazing heaps the grove's old honours fall, In clanging arms : he grasps in either hand And one refulgent ruin levels all:
A pointed lance, and speeds from band to band; Before Atrides' rage so sinks the soe,
Revives their ardour, turns their steps from flight. Whole squadrons vanish, and proud heads lie low : And wakes anew the dying flames of fight. The steeds fly trembling from his waving sword : They stand to arms: the Greeks their onset dare, And many a car, now lighted of its lord,
Condense their powers, and wait the coming war. Wide o'er the field with guideless fury rolls, 209 New force, new spirit, to each breast returns : Breaking their ranks, and crushing out their souls ; The fight renew'd, with fiercer fury burns : While his keen falchion drinks the warriors' lives; The kings lead on; all fix on him their eye, More grateful, now, to vultures than their wives! And learn from him to conquer or to die. 280
Perhaps great Hector then had found his fate, Ye sacred Nine, celestial Muses ! tell, But Jove and Destiny prolong'd his date.
Who faced him first, and by his prowess fell ? Safe from the darts, the care of heaven he stood, The great Iphidamas, the bold and young, Amidst alarms, and death, and dust, and blood. From sage Antenor and Theano sprung;
Now pass the tomb where ancient Ilus lay, Whom from his youth his grandsire Cisseus bred, Through the mid field the routed urge their way. And nursed in Thrace, where snowy flocks are fed Where the wild figs the adjoining summit crown, Scarce did the down his rosy cheeks invest, That path they take, and speed to reach the town. And early honour warm his generous breast, As swift Atrides with loud shouls pursued, 221 | When the kind sire consign'd his daughter's charms Hot with his toil, and bathed in hostile blood. (Theano's sister) to his youthful arms.
290 Now near the beech-tree, and the Scæan gates, But call'd by glory to the wars of Troy, The hero halts, and his associates waits.
He leaves untasted the first fruits of joy: Meanwhile, on every side, around the plain, From his love bride departs with melting eyes, Dispersed, disorder'd, fly the Trojan train.
And swift to aid his dearer country flies. So flies a herd of beeves, that hear, dismay'd, With twelve black ships he reach'd Percopé's The lion's roaring through the midnight shade;
strand, On heaps they tumble with successless haste; Thence took the long laborious march by land. The savage seizes, draws, and rends the last; 230 Now fierce for fame before the ranks he springs, Not with less fury stern Atrides flew,
Towering in arms, and braves the king of kings. Still press'd the rout, and still the hindmost slew; Atrides first discharg'd the missive spear; Hurl'd from their cars the bravest chiefs are kill'd, The Trojan stoop'd, the javelin pass'd in air. 300 And rage, and death, and carnage, load the field. Then near the corselet, at the monarch's heart,
Now storms the victor, at the Trojan wall: With all his strength the youth directs his dart: Surveys the towers, and meditates their fall. But the broad belt, with plates of silver bound, But Jove descending shook the Idæan hills, The point rebated, and repell'd the wound. And down their summits pour'd a hundred rills: Encumber'd with the dart, Atrides stands, The unkindled lightnings in his hand he took, Till grasp'd with force, he wrenched it from his hands; And thus the many-colour'd maid bespoke: 240 At once his weighty sword discharged a wound
Iris, with haste thy golden wings display, Full on his neck, that fell'd him to the ground, To godlike Hector this our word convey.
Stretch'd in the dust the unhappy warrior lies, While Agamemnon wastes the ranks around, And sleep eternal seals his swimming eyes. Fights in the front, and bathes with blood the ground, Oh worthy better fate! oh early slain! Bid him give way; but issue forth commands, Thy country's friend; and virtuous, though in vain ! And trust the war to less important hands;
No more the youth shall join his consort's side, But when, or wounded by the spear or dart, At once a virgin, and at once a bride! That chief shall mount his chariot, and depart, No more with presents her embraces meet, Then Jove shall string his arm, and fire his breast, Or lay the spoils of conquest at her feet Then to her ships shall flying Greece be press'd, 250 On whom his passion, lavish of his store, Till to the main the burning sun descend,
Bestow'd so much, and vainly promised more! And sacred night her awful shade extend.
Unwept, uncover'd, on the plain he lay, He spoke, and Iris at his word obey'd;
While the proud victor bore his arms away. 320 On wings of winds descends the various maid. Coön, Antenor's eldest hope, was nigh: The chief she found amidst the ranks of war, Tears, at the sight, came starting from his eye, Close to the bulwarks, on his glittering car. While, pierced with grief, the much loved youth he The goddess then : O son of Priam, hear!
view'd, From love I come, and his high mandate bear. And the pale features now deform'd with blood.
Then with his spear, unseen, his time he took, Æsymnus, Agelaus; all chiefs of name;
330 Rolls sable clouds in heaps on heaps along; His brother's corpse the pious Trojan draws, Now to the skies the foaming billows rears, And calls his country to assert his cause,
Now breaks the surge, and wide the bottom bares : Defends him breathless on the sanguine field, Thus raging Hector, with resistless hands, 401 And o'er his body spreads his ample shield. O'erturns, confounds, and scatters all their bands. Alrides, marking an unguarded part,
Now the last ruin the whole host appals; Transfix'd the warrior with the brazen dart; Now Greece had trembled in her wooden walls; Prone on his brother's bleeding breast he lay, But wise Ulysses call's Tydides forth, The monarch's falchion lopp'd his head away : His soul rekindled, and awaked his worth: The social shades the same dark journey go,
And stand we deedless, O eternal shame!
The vengeful victor rages round the fields, Haste let us join, and combat side by side.
The warrior thus, and thus the friend replied: 410
350 His death ennobled by Ulysses' sword. Stung with the smart, all panting with the pain, There slain, they left them in eternal night, He mounts the car, and gives his squire the rein: Then plunged amidst the thickest ranks of fight. 420 Then with a voice which fury made more strong, So two wild boars outstrip the following hounds, And pain augmented, thus exhorts the throng : Then swift revert, and wounds return for wounds. O friends! O Greeks ! assert your honours won; Stern Hector's conquest in the middle plain Proceed, and finish what this arm begun:
Stood check'd awhile, and Greece respired again. Lo! angry Jove forbids your chief to stay,
The sons of Merops shone amidst the war: And envies half the glories of the day.
Towering they rode in one refulgent car :
Hypirochus by great Ulysses dies,
Great Jove from Ide with slaughter fills his sight,
He fled, but flying, left his life behind.
And moving armies on his march attend.
Here stand his utmost force—The warrior said : As from the cloud's deep bosom, swell’d with showers, Swift at the word his pond'rous javelin fed; A sudden storm the purple ocean sweeps,
Nor miss'd its aim, but where the plumage danced Drives the wild waves, and losses all the deeps. Razed the smooth cone, and thence obliquely glanced. Say, Muse! when Jove the Trojan's glory crown'd, Safe in his helm (the gift of Phæbus' hands) Beneath his arm what heroes bit the ground ? Without a wound the Trojan hero stands ; Askæus, Dolops, and Autonous died,
But yet so stunn'd, that, staggering on the plain, Opiles next was added 10 their side;
390 His arm and knee his sinking bulk sustain ; Then brave Hipponous famed in many a fight, O'er his dim sight the misty vapours rise, Opheltius, Orus, sunk to endless night;
And a short darkness shades his swimming eyes. 460