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Black death attends behind the Grecian wall, | To godlike Hector and his matchless might 200 And great Idomeneus shall boast thy fall.
Was owed the glory of the destined fight. Fierce to the left he drives, where from the plain Like deeds of arms through all the forts were tried, The flying Grecians strove their ships to gain; And all the gates sustain'd an equal tide ; Swift through the wall their horse and chariots passid, Through the long walls the stony showers were heard, The gates half-opend to receive the last.
The blaze of flames, the flash of arms appear'd. Thither, exulting in his force, he flies :
The spirit of a god my breast inspire,
To guard the gates, iwo mighty chiefs attend, 141 And all her guardian gods, in deep dismay,
E'en .yet the dauntless Lapithæ maintain And that Leonteus, like the god of war.
The dreadful pass, and round them heap the slain. As two tall oaks, before the wall they rise ; First Damasus, by Polypætes' steel Their roots in earth, their heads amidst the skies : Pierced through his helmet's brazen visor, fell; Whose spreading arms with leafy honours crown'd, The weapon drank the mingled brains and gore; Forbid the tempest, and protect the ground; The warrior sinks, tremendous now no more! High on the hill appears their stately form,
Next Ormenus and Pylon yield their breath; And their deep roots for ever brave the storm. 150 Nor less Leonteus strews the field with death: So graceful these, and so the shock they stand, First through the belt Hippomachus he gored, Of raging Asius, and his furious band.
Then sudden waved his unresisted sword; 220 Orestes, Acamas, in front appear,
Antiphates, as through the ranks he broke, And nomaus and Thoön close the rear.
The falchion struck, and fate pursued the stroke; In vain their clamours shake the ambient fields, lämenus, Orestes, Menon, bled; In vain around them beat their hollow shields; And round him rose a monument of dead. The fearless brothers on the Grecians call,
Meantime, the bravest of the Trojan crew, To guard their navies, and defend the wall. Bold Hector and Polydamas pursue ; E'en when they saw Troy's sable troops impend, Fierce with impatience on the works to fall, And Greece tumultuous from her towers descend, And wrap in rolling flames the feet and wall. Forth from the portals rush'd the intrepid pair, 161 These on the farther bank now stood and gazed, Opposed their breasts, and stood themselves the war. By heaven alarm'd, by prodigies amazed : 230 So two wild boars spring furious from their den, A signal omen stopp'd the passing host, Roused with the cries of dogs and voice of men; Their martial fury in their wonder lost. On every side the crackling trees they tear, Jove's bird on sounding pinions beat the skies; And root the shrubs, and lay the forest bare ; A bleeding serpent of enormous size They gnash their tusks, with fire their eye-balls roll, His talons truss'd: alive, and curling round, Till some wide wound lets out their mighty soul. He stung the bird, whose throat received the wound: Around their heads the whistling javelins sung,
Mad with the smart he drops the fatal prey, With sounding strokes their brazen targets rung; 170 In airy circles wings his painful way, Fierce was the fight, while yet the Grecian powers Floats on the winds, and rends the heavens with cries : Maintain'd the walls, and mann'd the lofty towers : Amidst the host the fallen serpent lies.
240 To save their fleet, the last efforts they try, They, pale with terror, mark its spires unroll'd, And stones and darts in mingled tempests fly. And Jove's portent with beating hearts behold.
As when sharp Boreas blows abroad, and brings Then first Polydamus the silence broke, The dreary winter on his frozen wings;
Long weigh'd the signal, and to Hector spoke : Beneath the low-hung clouds the sheets of snow How oft, my brother, thy reproach I bear, Descend, and whiten all the fields below:
For words well-meant, and sentiments sincere ! So fast the darts on either army pour,
True to those counsels which I judge the best,
In peace and war, in council and in fight; 250
But tends to raise that power which I obey. In powers immortal who shall now believe ? Then hear my words, nor may my words be vain: Can those too flatter, and can Jove deceive ? Seek not, this day, the Grecian ships to gain? What man could doubt but Troy's victorious power, For sure to warn us Jove his omen sent, Should humble Greece, and this her fatal hour? And thus my mind explains its clear event: But like when wasps from hollow crannies drive, The victor eagle, whose sinister flight To guard the entrance of their common bive, 190 Retards our host, and fills our hearts with fright, Darkening the rock, while with unwearied wings Dismiss'd his conquest in the middle skies, They strike the assailants, and infix their stings; Allow'd to seize, but not possess the prize; 260 A race determined, that to death contend:
Thus though we gird with fires the Grecian fleet, So fierce these Greeks their last retreats defend. Though these proud bulwarks tumble at our feet, Gods ! shall two warriors only guard their gates, Toils unforeseen, and fiercer are decreed; Repel an army, and defraud the fates?
More woes shall follow, and more heroes bleed. These empty accents mingled with the wind, So bodes my soul, and bids me thus advise : Nor moved great Jove's unalterable mind;
For thus a skilful seer would read the skies.
To him then Hector with disdain return'd, He stills the winds, and bids the skies to sleep; (Fierce as he spoke, his eyes with fury burn'd :) Then pours the silent tempest thick and deep: Are these the faithful councils of thy tongue ? And first the mountain tops are cover'd o'er, Thy will is partial, not thy reason wrong: 270 Then the green fields, and then the sandy shore ; Or, if the purpose of thy heart thou vent,
Bent with the weight the nodding woods are seen, Sure heaven resumes the little sense it lent. And one bright waste hides all the works of men : 34 What coward councils would thy madness move, The circling seas alone absorbing all, Against the word, the will reveal'd of Jove ? Drink the dissolving fleeces as they fall. The leading sign, the irrevocable nod,
So from each side increased the stony rain, And happy thunders of the favouring god,
And the white ruin rises o'er the plain. These shall I slight ? and guide my wavering mind Thus godlike Hector and his troops contend By wandering birds, that flit with every wind ? To force the ramparts, and the gates to rend; Ye vagrants of the sky! your wings extend, Nor Troy could conquer, nor the Greeks would yield, Or where the suns arise, or where descend; 280 Till great Sarpedon tower'd amid the field; To right, to left, unheeded take your way,
For mighty Jove inspired with martial flame While I the dictates of high heaven obey.
His matchless son, and urged him on to fame, 330 Without a sign his sword the brave man draws, In arms he shines, conspicuous from afar, And asks no omen but his country's cause. And bears alost his ample shield in air ; But why shouldst thou suspect the war's success ? Within whose orb the thick bull-hides were rollid, None fears it more, as none promotes it less: Ponderous with brass, and bound with ductile gold ; Though all our chiefs amid yon ships expire, And while two pointed javelins arm his hands, Trust thy own cowardice to escape their fire. Majestic moves along, and leads his Lycian bands. Troy and her sons may find a general grave,
So, press'd with hunger, from the mountain's brow But thou canst live, for thou canst be a slave. 290 Descends a lion on the flocks below; Yet should the fears that wary mind suggests So stalks the lordly savage o'er the plain, Spread their cold poison through our soldier's breasts, In sullen majesty, and stern disdain:
360 My javelin can revenge so base a part,
In vain loud mastiff's bay him from afar, And free the soul that quivers in thy heart. And shepherds gall him with an iron war;
Furious he spoke, and rushing to the wall, Regardless, furious, he pursues his way; Calls on his host ; his host obey the call;
He foams, he roars, he rends the panting prey With ardour follow where their leader flies :
Resolved alike, divine Sarpedon glows Redoubling clamours thunder in the skies.
With generous rage that drives him on the foes. Jove breathes a whirlwind froin the hills of Ide, Ile views the towers, and meditates their fall, And drills of dust the clouded navy hide: 300 To sure destruction dooms the aspiring wall; He fills the Greeks with terror and dismay, Then casting on his friend an ardent look, And gives great Hector the predestined day. Fired with the thirst of glory, thus he spoke : 370 Strong in themselves, but stronger in his aid,
Why boast we, Glaucus! our extended reign, Close to the works their rigid siege they laid. Where Xanthus' streams enrich the Lycian plain, In vain the mounds and massy beams defend, Our numerous herds that range the fruitful field, While these they undermine, and those they rend; And hills where vines their purple harvest yield, Upheave the piles that prop the solid wall; Our foaming bowls with purer nectar crown'd, And heaps on heaps the smoky ruins fall.
Our feasts enhanced with music's sprightly sound; Greece on her rampart stands the fierce alarms; Why on those shores are we with joy survey d, The crowded bulwarks blaze with waving arms, 310 Admired as heroes, and as gods obey'd, Shield touching shield, a long refulgent row; Unless great acts superior merit prove, Whence hissing darts, incessant, rain below. And vindicate the bountcous powers above ?
350 The bold Ajaces fly from tower to tower,
"Tis ours, the dignity they give to grace ;
Fellows in arms! whose deeds are known to fame, Such, they may cry, deserve the sovereign state,
Could all our care elude the gloomy grave,
For lust of fame I should not vainly dare To gain new glories, or augment the old.
In fighting fields, nor urge thy soul to war: 390 Urge those who stand; and those who faint, excite But since, alas! ignoble age must come, Drown Hector's vaunts in loud exhorts of fight; Disease, and death's inexorable doom ; Conquest, not safety, fill the thoughts of all ; The life which others pay, let us bestow, Seek not your fleet, but sally from the wall; And give to fame what we to nature owe; So Jove once more may drive their routed train, Brave though we fall, and honour'd if we live, And Troy lie trembling in her walls again. Or let us glory gain, or glory give!
Their ardour kindles all the Grecian powers ; He said ; bis words the listening chief inspire And now the stones descend in heavier showers. 330 With equal warmth, and rouse the warrior's fire; As when high Jove his sharp artillery forms, The troops pursue their leaders with delight, And opes his cloudy magazine of storms;
Rush to the foe, and claim the promised fight. 400 In winter’s bleak, uncomfortable reign,
Menestheus from on high the storm beheld A snowy inundation hides the plain;
Threatening the fort, and blackening the field.
Tround the walls he gazed, to view from far The chief, who fear'd some foe's insulting boast
Retired reluctant from the unfinish'd fight.
His beating breast with generous ardour glows, deaven trembles, roar the mountains, thunders all the He springs to fight, and flies upon the foes. ground.
410 Alcmaön first was doom'd his force to feel; Then thus to Thoös : Hence with speed (he said,) Deep in his breast he plunged the pointed steel; And urge the bold Ajaces to our aid:
Then, from the yawning wound with fury tore Their strength united, best may help to bear The spear, pursued by gushing streams of gore ; 480 The bloody labours of the doubtful war:
Down sinks the warrior with a thundering sound, Hither the Lycian princes bend their course, His brazen armour rings against the ground. The best and bravest of the hostile force.
Swift to the battlement the victor flies, But if too fiercely there the foes contend,
Tugs with full force, and every nerve applies; Let Telamon at least our towers defend,
It shakes; the ponderous stones disjointed yield; And Teucer haste with his unerring bow,
The rolling ruins smoke along the field.
Swift at the word, the herald speeds along And, like a deluge, rushes in the war.
490 Opposed in combat on the dusty shore.
Fix'd in his belt the feather'd weapon stood, Ye valiant leaders of our warlike bands !
And through his buckler drove the trembling wood; Your aid (said Thoös) Peteus' son demands. But Jove was present in the dire debate, Your strength, united, best may help to bear To shield his offspring, and avert his fate. The bloody labours of the doubtful war;
The prince gave back, not meditating flight, Thither the Lycian princes bend their course, But urging vengeance, and severer fight; The best and bravest of the hostile force. 430 Then, raised with hope, and fired with glory's charms, But is too fiercely here the foes contend,
His fainting squadrons to new fury warms. At least let Telamon those towers defend,
O where, ye Lycians! is the strength you boast ? And Teucer haste with his unerring bow,
Your former fame and ancient virtue lost! 500 To share the danger, and repel the foe.
The breach lies open, but your chief in vain Strait to the fort great Ajax turn'd his care, Attempts alone the guarded pass to gain : And thus bespoke his brothers of the war:
Unite, and soon that hostile fleet shall fall; Now, valiant Lycomede! exert your might, The force of powerful union conquers all. And, brave Oileus, prove your force in tight:
This just rebuke inflamed the Lycian crew, To you I trust the fortune of the field,
They join, they thicken, and the assault renew; Till by this arm the foe shall be repellid; 440 Unmoved the embodied Greeks their fury dare, That done, expect me to complete the day
And fix'd support the weight of all the war; Then, with his seven-fold shield he strode away. Nor could the Greeks repel the Lycian powers, With equal steps bold Teucer press'd the shore, Nor the bold Lycians force the Grecian towers. 510 Whose fatal bow the strong Pandion bore.
As, on the confines of adjoining grounds, High on the walls appear'd the Lycian powers, Two stubborn swains with blows dispute their Like some black tempest gathering round the towers; bounds; The Greeks, oppress'd, their utmost force unite, They tug, they sweat; but neither gain nor yield, Prepared to labour in the unequal fight;
One foot, one inch, of the contended field : The war renews, mix'd shouts and groans arise ; Thus obstinate to death they fight, they fall Tumultuous clamour mounts, and thickens in the Nor these can keep, nor those can win the wall.
Their manly breasts are pierced with many a wound, Fierce Ajax first the advancing host invades, 450 Loud strokes are heard, and rattling arms resound; And sends the brave Epicles to the shades, The copious slaughter covers all the shore, Sarpedon's friend ; across the warrior's way, And the high ramparts drop with human gore, 520 Rent from the walls, a rocky fragment lay ;
As when two scales are charged with doubtful In modern ages not the strongest swain
loads, Could heave the unwieldy burden from the plain. From side to side the trembling balance nods He poised, and swung it round; then, toss'd on high, While some laborious matron, just and poor, li fiew with force, and labour'd up the sky ;
With nice exactness weighs her woolly store,) Full on the Lycian's helmet thundering down, Till, poised aloft, the resting beam suspends The pondrous ruin crush'd his batter'd crown. 460 Each equal weight ; nor this, nor that, descends: Az skilful divers from some airy steep,
So stood the war, till Hector's matchless might Headlong descend, and shoot into the deep, With fates prevailing, turn'd the scale of fight. So falls Epicles; then in groans expires,
Fierce as a whirlwind up the wall he flies, And murmuring to the shades the soul retires. And fires his host with loud repeated cries : 530 While to the ramparts daring Glaucus drew, Advance, ye Trojans ! lend your valiant hands, From Teucer's hand a winged arrow flew;
Haste to the fleet, and toss the blazing brands. The bearded shaft the destined passage found,
They hear, they run; and gathering at his call, And on his naked arm inflicts a wound.
Raise scaling engines, and ascend the wall:
Around the works a wood of glittering spears
Then turn'd to Thracia from the field of fight, Shoots up, and all the rising host appears.
Those eyes that shed insufferable light, A ponderous stone bold Hector heaved to throw, To where the Mysians prove their martial force, Pointed above, and rough and gross below: And hardy Thracians tame the savage horse; Not two strong men the enormous weight could raise, And where the far-famed Hippemolgian strays, Such men as live in these degenerate days. 540 Renown'd for justice and for length of days; 10 Yet this, as easy as a swain could bear
Thrice happy race! that, innocent of blood, The snowy fleece, he toss'd, and shook in air: From milk, innoxious, seek their simple food; For Jove upheld, and lighten'd of its load
Jove sees delighted; and avoids the scene The unwieldy rock, the labour of a god.
Of guilty Troy, of arms, and dying men: Thus arm'd before the folded gates he came, No aid, he deems, to either host is given, Of massy substance, and stupendous frame; While his high law suspends the powers of heaven. With iron bars and brazen hinges strong,
Meantime the monarch of the watery main* On lofty beams of solid timber hung:
Observed the Thunderer, nor observed in vain. Then, thundering through the planks with forceful In Samothracia, on a mountain's brow, sway,
Whose waving woods o'erhung the deeps below, 20 Drives the sharp rock; the solid beams give way, 550 He sate; and round him cast his azure eyes, The folds are shatter'd; from the crackling door Where Ida's misty tops confusedly rise; Leap the resounding bars, the flying hinges roar. Below, fair lion's glittering spires were seen; Now rushing in, the furious chief appears,
The crowded ships and sable seas between. Gloomy as night! and shakes two shining spears : There, from the crystal chambers of the main A dreadful gleam from his bright armour came, Emerged, he sate, and mourn'd his Argives slain. And from his eye-balls flash'd the living flame. At Jove incensed, with grief and fury stung, He moves a god, resistless in his course,
Prone down the rocky steep he rush'd along;
Far in the bay his shining palace stands,
Fleet as the winds, and deck'd with golden manes.
Refulgent arms his mighty limbs infold,
Immortal arms of adamant and gold.
40 The fourth Battle continued, in which Neptune assists
He sits superior, and the chariot flies : the Greeks: the acts of Idomeneus.
His whirling wheels the glassy surface sweep; Neptune, concerned for the loss of the Grecians, upon Gambol around him on the watery way;
The enormous monsters rolling o'er the deep, sceing the fortification forced by Hector (who had en. tered the gate near the station of the Aja xes) assumes
And heavy whales in awkward measures play: the shape of Calcbas, and inspires those heroes to op. The sea subsiding spreads a level plain, pose him: then, in the form of one of the generals, Exults, and owns the monarch of the main; encourages the other Greeks, who had retired to their The parting waves before his coursers fly; vessels. The Ajaxes form their troops in a close pha. The wondering waters leave his axle dry. lanx, and put a stop to Hector and the Trojans. Seve. Deep in the liquid regions lies a cave; ral deeds of valour are performed ; Meriones loosing Between where Tenedos the surges lave, his spear in the encounter, repairs to seek another at And rocky Imbrus breaks the rolling wave: the tent of Idomeneus: this occasions a conversation There the great ruler of the azure round between these two warriors, who return together to the battle. Idomeneus signalizes his courage above Stopp'd his swift chariot, and his steeds unbound, the rest; he kills Othryoneus, Asius, and Alcathous; Fed with ambrosial herbage from his hand, Deiphobus and Æneas march against him, and at And link'd their fetlocks with a golden band, length Idomeneus retires. Menelaus wounds Helenus Infrangible, immortal : there they stay, and kills Pisander. The Trojans are repulsed in the The father of the floods pursues his way, left wing; Hector still keeps his ground against the Where, like a tempest darkening heaven around, Ajaxes, till
, being galled by the Locrian slingers and Or fiery deluge that devours the ground, archers, Polydamas advises to call a council of war. The impatient Trojans, in a gloomy throng, Hector approves his advice, but goes first to rally the Trojans; upbraids Paris, rejoins Polydamas, meets Embattled roll'd, as Hector rush'd along : Ajax again, and renews the attack.
To the loud tumult and the barbarous cry, The eight-and-twentieth day still continues. The scene The heavens re-echo, and the shores reply; is between the Grecian wall and the sea-shore. They vow destruction to the Grecian pame,
And in their hopes the fleets already flame.
But Neptune, rising from the seas profound,
The god whose earthquakes rock the solid ground,
His shouts incessant every Greek inspire,
Ileavens! what a prodigy these eyes survey, But most the Ajaces, adding fire to fire.
Unseen, unthought, till this amazing day! 'Tis yours, 0 warriors, all our hopes to raise; Fly we at length from Troy's ofi-conquer'd bands? Oh recollect your ancient worth and praise: And falls our fleet by such inglorious hands?
140 'Tis yours to save us, if you cease to fear; A rout undisciplined, a straggling train, Flight, more than shameful, is destructive here. Not born to glories of the dusty plain : On other works though Troy with fury fall, Like frighted fawns, from hill to hill pursued, And pour her arnies o'er our batter'd wall: A prey to every savage of the wood : There Greece bas strength: but this, this part o'er Shall these, so late who trembled at your name, thrown,
Invade your camps, involve your ships in flame? Her strength were vain; I dread for you alone. 80 A change so shameful, say, what cause has wrought? Here Hector rages like the force of fire,
The soldiers' baseness, or the general's fault?
Then with his sceptre that the deep controuls, Must you be cowards if your king's unjust ?
91 I waste no anger, for they feel no shame: quarry seen, impetuous at the sight
But you, the pride, the flower of all our host, Fonh-springing instant, darts herself from high. My heart weeps blood to see your glory lost! 160 Shoots on the wing, and skims along the sky: Nor deem this day, this battle, all you lose; Such, and so swift, the power of ocean flew; A day more black, a fate more vile ensues. The wide horizon shut him from their view. Let each reflect, who prizes fame or breath, The inspiring god, Oileus' active son
On endless infamy, on instant death, Perceived the tirst, and thus to Telamon:
For lo! the fated time, the appointed shore; Some god, my friend, some god in human form, Hark! the gates burst, the brazen barriers roar! Favouring descends, and wills to stand the storm. 100 Impetuous Hector thunders at the wall; Not Calchas this, the venerable seer;
The hour, the spot, to conquer or to fall. Short as he turn'd, I saw the power appear:
These words the Grecians' fainting hearts inspire, 1 mark'd his parting, and the steps he trod;
And listeninę armies catch the godlike fire. 170 His own bright evidence reveals a god.
Fix'd at his post was each bold Ajax found, Een now some energy divine I share,
With well-ranged squadrons strongly circled round: And seem to walk on wings, and tread in air! So close their order, so disposed their fight, With equal ardour (Telamon returns)
As Pallas' self might view with fix'd delight; My soul is kindled, and my bosom burns :
Or had the god of war inclined his eyes, New rising spirits all my force alarm,
The god of war had owu'd a just surprise.
Full of the god that urged their burning breast, Heims stuck to helms, and man drove man along.
A rock's round fragment flies, with fury borne,
(Which from the stubborn stone a torrent rends,) Thoas, Deipyrus, in arins renown'd,
Precipitate the ponderous mass descends; And Merion next, the impulsive fiiry found; From steep to steep the rolling ruin bounds; Last Nestor's son the same bold ardour takes, At every shock the crackling wood resounds: While thus the god the martial fire awakes : 130 Suill gathering force, it smokes; and urged amain, Oh lasting infamy, oh dire disgrace
Whirls, leaps, and thunders down, impetuous to the To chiefs of vigorous youth and manly race!
plain: I trusted in the gods, and you, to see
There stops--So Hector. Their whole force he Brave Greece victorious, and her navy free:
proved, Ah no—the glorious combat you disclaim, Resistless when he raged, and, when he stopp'd, And one black day clouds all her former fame.