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Around the ships : seas hanging o'er the shores, An arduous battle rose around the dead;
And at Prothænor shook the trembling spear:
Go, guide thy darksome steps to Pluto's dreary hall! But there no pass the crossing belts afford,
He said, and sorrow touch'd each Argive breast; (One braced his shield, and one sustain'd his sword.) The soul of Ajax burn'd above the rest. Then back the disappointed Trojan drew,
As by his side the groaning warrior fell,
The wings of death o'ertook thee on the dart.
Full on the juncture of the neck and head,
The dropping head first tumbled to the plain. But whirling on, with many a fiery round,
So just the stroke, that yet the body stood Smokes in the dust, and ploughs into the ground. 480 Erect, then roll'd along the sands in blood. As when the bolt red hissing from above,
Here, proud Polydamas, here turn thy eyes! Darts on the consecrated plant of Jove,
(The towering Ajax loud insulting cries :) 550 The mountain-oak in flaming ruin lies,
Say, is this chief extended on the plain, Black from the blow, and smokes of sulphur rise, A worthy vengeance for Prothænor slain? Stilf with amaze the pale beholders sland, Mark well his port; his figure, and his face, And own the terrors of the almighty hand! Nor speak him vulgar, nor of vulgar race; So lies great Hector prostrate on the shore; Some lines, methinks, may make his lineage known, His slacken'd hand deserts the lance it bore; Antenor's brother, or perhaps his son. His following shield the fallen chief o'erspread; He spake, and smiled severe, for well he knew Beneath his helmet dropp'd his fainting head; 490 The bleeding youth : Troy sadden'd at the view. His load of armour, sinking to the ground,
But furious Acamas avenged his cause; Clanks on the field; a dead and hollow sound. As Promachus his slaughter'd brother draws. 560 Loud shouts of triumph fill the crowded plain; He pierced his heart-Such fate attends you all, Greece sees, in hope, Troy's great defender slain : Proud Argives ! destined by our arms to fall. All spring to seize him ; storms of arrows fly; Not Troy alone, but haughty Greece shall share And thicker javelins intercept the sky.
The toils, the sorrows, and the wounds of war. In vain an iron tempest hisses round;
Behold your Promachus deprived of breath, He lies protected and without a wound.
A victim owed to my brave brother's death. Polydamas, Agenor the divine,
Not unappeased he enters Pluto's gate, The pious warrior of Anchises' line,
500 Who leaves a brother to revenge his fate. And each bold leader of the Lycian band,
Heart-piercing anguish struck the Grecian host, With covering shields (a friendly circle) stand. But touch'd the breast of bold Peneleus most; 570 His mournful followers, with assistant care, At the proud boaster he directs his course ; The groaning hero to his chariot bear;
The boaster flies, and shuns superior force. His foaming coursers, swifter than the wind, But young lioneus received the spear; Speed to the town, and leave the war behind. Dioneus, his father's only care :
When now they touch'd the mead's enamellid side, (Phorbas the rich, of all the Trojan train Where gentle Xanthus rolls his easy tide,
Whom Hermes loved, and taught the arts of gain :) With watery drops the chief they sprinkle round, Full in his eye the weapon chanced to fall, Placed on the margin of the flowery ground. 510 And from the fibres scoop'd the rooted ball, Raised on his knees, he now ejects the gore ; Drove through the neck, and hurl'd him to the plain : Now faints anew, low-sinking on the shore ; He lifts his miserable arms in vain!
580 By fits he breathes, half views the fleeting skies, Swift his broad falchion fierce Peneleus spread, And seals again, by fits, his swimming eyes. And from the spouting shoulders struck his head;
Soon as the Greeks the chief's retreat beheld, To earth at once the head and helmet fly; With double fury each invades the field.
The lance, yet sticking through the bleeding eye, Oilean Ajax first his javelin sped,
The victor seized ; and as aloft he shook
Such, as the house of Promachus must know; 500
Lei doleful tidings greet his mother's ear,
The god beheld him with a pitying look, Such, as to Promachus' sad spouse we bear; And thus, incensed, to fraudful Juno spoke: When we victorious shall to Greece return,
O thou, still adverse to the eternal will,
Dreadful he spake, then toss'd the head on high; Thy arts have made the godlike Hector yield,
field. And dread the ruin that impends on all.
Canst thou, unhappy in thy wiles ! withstand 21 Daughters of Jove! that on Olympus shine, Our power immense, and brave the almighty hand ? Ye all-beholding, all-recording Nine !
600 Hast thou forgot, when, bound and fix'd on high, O say, when Neptune made proud llion yield, From the vast concave of the spangled sky, What chief, what hero, first imbued the field ? I hung thee trembling in a golden chain, Of all the Grecians what immortal name,
And all the raging gods opposed in vain? And whose blest trophies will ye raise to fame? Headlong I hurl'd them from the Olympian hall,
Thou first, great Ajax! on the ensanguined plain Stunn'd in the whirl, and breathless with the fall. Laid'st Hyrtjus, leader of the Mysian train. For godlike Hercules these deeds were done, Phalces and Hermer, Nestor's son o'erthrew. Nor seem'd the vengeance worthy such a son: Bold Merion Morys and Hippotion slew.
When by thy wiles induced, fierce Boreas toss'd
The shipwreck'd hero on the Coan coast,
And sent to Argos, and his native shore.
Hear this, remember, and our fury dread,
Thy soft deceits, and well-dissembled love.
The Thunderer spoke: imperial Juno mourn'd, Ajar the less, of all the Grecian race
And, trembling, these submissive words return'd : 40 Skill'd in pursuit, and swiftest in the chase.
By every oath that powers immortal ties,
Through the drear realms of gliding ghosts below;
By the dread honours of thy sacred head,
And that unbroken vow, our virgin-bed !
Not by my arts the ruler of the main The fifik Battle, at the Ships; and the Acts of Ajar. Steeps Troy in blood, and rages round the plain ; Jupiter awaking, sees the Trojans repulsed from the By his own ardour, his own pity sway'd, trenches, Hector in a swoon, and Neptune at the head to help his Greeks; he fought and disobey'd : 50 of the Greeks: he is highly incensed at the artifice of Else had thy Juno better counsels given, Juno, who appeases him by her submissions; she is And taught submission to the sire of heaven. then sent to Iris and Apollo. Juno repairing to the assembly of the gods, attempts with extraordinary
Think'st thou with me, fair empress of the skies? address to incense them against Jupiter; in particular (The immortal father with a smile replies ;) she touches Mars with a violent resentment: he is Then soon the haughty sea-god shall obey, ready to take arins, but is prevented by Minerva. Iris Nor dare to act, but when we point the way. and Apollo obey the orders of Jupiter; Iris commands If truth inspires thy tongue, proclaim our will Neptune to leave the battle, to which, after much re. To yon bright synod on the Olympian hill : luctance and passion, he consents. Apollo re-inspires Our high decree let various Iris know, Herior with vigour, brings him back to the battle,
60 marebes before him with his agis, and turns the for: And call the god that bears the silver bow. tune of the fight. He breaks down great part of the Let her descend, and from the embattled plain Grecian wall: the Trojans rush in and attempt to fire Command the sea-god to his watery reign: the first line of the fleet, but are, as yet, repelled by While Phæbus hastes great Hector to prepare the greater Ajax with a prodigious slaughter.
To rise afresh, and once more wake the war,
And calls his senses from the verge of death.
Greece chased by Troy e'en to Achilles' fleet,
Vanquish'd at last by Hector's lance he lies. Rognd the wide fields he cast a careful view, Then, nor till then, shall great Achilles rise: There saw the Trojans fly, the Greeks pursue : And lo! that instant godlike Hector dies. These proud in arms, those scatter'd o'er the plain; From that great hour the war's whole fortune turns, And, midst the war, the monarch of the main. 10 Pallas assists, and lofty Ilion burns. Nol far, great Hector on the dust he spies Not till that day shall Jove relax his rage, (His sad associates round with weeping eyes,) Nor one of all the heavenly host engage Ejecting blood, and panting yet for breath,
In aid of Greece. The promise of a god 80 His senses wandering to the verge of death. I gave, and seal'd it with the almighty nod,
Achilles' glory to the stars to raise ;
Back to the skies wouldst thou with shame be driver, Such was our word, and Fate the word obeys. And in thy guilt involve the host of heaven ? 151
The trembling queen (the almighty order given) Mion and Greece no more shall Jove engage; Swift from the Idean surmit shot to heaven. The skies would yield an ampler scene of rage, As some way-faring man, who wanders o'er Guilty and guiltless find an equal fate, In thought a length of lands he trod before, And one vast ruin whelm the Olympian state. Sends forth his active mind from place to place, Cease then thy offspring's death unjust to call: Joins hill to dale, and measures space with space, Heroes as great have died, and yet shall fall. So swift flew Juno to the blest abodes,
90 Why should heaven's law with foolish man comply, If thought of man can match the speed of gods. Exempted from the race ordain d to die? There sat the powers in awful synod placed : This menace fix'd the warrior to his throne; 180 They bow'd, and made obeisance as she passid, Sullen he sai, and curb'd the rising groan. Through all the brazen dome: with goblets crown'd, Then Juno call d Jore's orders to obey) They hail her queen; the nectar streams around. The winged Iris, and the god of day. Fair Themis first presents the golden bowl, Go wait the Thunderer's will (Saturnia cried,) And anxious asks what cares disturb her soul ? On yon tall summit of the fountful Ide:
To whom the white-arm'd goddess thus replies : There in the Father's awful presence stand, * Enough thou know'et the tyrant of the skies, Receive, and erecute his dread command. Severely bent his purpose to fulfil,
100 She said, and sat: the god that gilds the day, Unmoved his mind, and unrestrain'd his will. And various Iris, wing their airy way. Go thou, the feasts of heaven attend thy call; Swift as the wind, to Ida's hills they came Bid the crown'd nectar circle round the hall; (Fair nurse of fountains and of savage game.) But Jove shall thunder through the ethereal dome, There sat the Eternal: he whose nod controuls Such stern decrees, such threaten'd woes to come, The trembling world, and shakes the steady poles. As soon shall freeze mankind with dire surprise, Veil'd in a mist of fragrance him they found, And damp the eternal banquets of the skies. With clouds of gold and purple circled round.
The goddess said, and sullen took her place; Well-pleased the Thunderer saw their earnest care, Blank horror sadden'd each celestial face:
And prompt obedience to the queen of air ;
Thus she proceeds- Attend, ye powers above! Bid him from fight to his own deeps repair,
Our elder birthright, and superior sway.
How shall his rashness stand the dire alarms, Shakes all the thrones of heaven, and bends the poles. If heaven's omnipotence descend in arms ? Submiss immortals ! all he wills, obey; 120 Strives he with me, by whom his power was given? And thou, great Mars, begin and show the way. And is there equal to the lord of heaven? Behold Ascalaphus! behold him die,
The Almighty spoke; the goddess wing'd her flight But dare not murmur, dare not vent a sigh; To sacred Mion from the ldæan height.
191 Thy own loved boasted offspring lies o'erthrown, Swift as the rattling hail, or tieecy snows, If that loved boasted offspring be thy own. Drives through the skies, when Boreas fiercely blows:
Stern Mars, with anguish for his slaughter'd son, So from the clouds descending Iris falls; Smote his rebelling breast, and fierce begun: And to blue Neptune thus the goddess calls: Thus then, immortals! thus shall Mars obey;
Attend the mandate of the sire above, Forgive me, gods, and yield iny vengeance way: In me behold the messenger of Jove: Descending first to yon forbidden plain, 130 He bids thee from forbidden wars repair The god of battles dares avenge the slain;
To thy own deeps, or to the ficlds of air. Dares, though the thunder bursting o'er my head, This is refused, he bids thee timely weigh
200 Should burl me blazing on those heaps of dead. His elder birthright, and superior sway.
With that, he gives command to Fear and Flight How shall thy rashness stand the dire alarms, To join his rapid coursers for the fight :
If heaven's omnipotence descend in arms? Then, grim in arms, with hasty vengeance flies; Striv'st thou with him, by whom all power is given ? Arms, that reflect a radiance through the skies. And art thou equal to the lord of heaven? And now had Jove, by bold rebellion driven,
What means the haughty sovereign of the skies?
Infernal Pluto sways the shades below:
And hush the roaring of the sacred deep:
Olympus, and this earth, in common lie:
|The mighty Ajax with a deadly blow What claim has here the tyrant of the sky?
Had almost sunk me to the shades below ?
And must I then (said she,) () sire of foods! Behold! thy Phæbus shall his arms employ, 290
Inspire thy warriors then with manly force,
And to the ships impel thy rapid horse:
scourge the wretch insulting them and heaven : And drive the Grecians headlong to the sea.
With ample strokes he rushes to the flood, 300
His head now freed, he tosses to the skies;
He snuffs the females in the well-known plain,
Invade the mountain-goat, or branching hind;
Close in the rock (not fated yet to die;)
Behold! the god whose liquid arms are hurl'd So Greece, that late in conquering troops pursued,
250 Soon as they see the furious chief appear, Deeks his own seas, and trembles at our rage ; Forgot to vanquish, and consent to fear. L.se had my wrath, heaven's thrones all shaking Thoas with grief observed his dreadful course, round,
Thoas, the bravest of the Ætolian force;
Skill'd to direct the javelin's distant flight, 320
power immense had found such battle hard, Gods! what portent (he cried) these eyes invades!
We saw him, late, by thundering Ajax kill'd: Re godlike Hector thy peculiar care,
260 What god restores him to the frighted field; Swell his bold heart, and urge his strength to war: And, not content that half of Greece lie slain, Let llion conquer, till the Achaian train
Pours new destruction on her sons again? Fly to their ships and flellespont again :
He comes not, Jove! without thy powerful will; 330 Then Greece shall breathe from toils—The godhead Lo! still he lives, pursues, and conquers still! said,
Yet hear my counsel, and his worst withstand: His will divine the son of Jove obey'd.
The Greeks' main body to the fleet command;
But let the few whom brisker spirits warm,
270 The warrior spoke, the listening Greeks obey, His sense returning with the coming breeze; Thickening their ranks, and form a deep array. Again his pulses beat, his spirits rise;
Each Ajax, Teucer, Merion, gave command,
Full on the front the pressing Trojans bear,
350 Buiked Greece in sluughter, and her battle gored, Portentous shone, and shaded all the field;
Vulcan to Jove the immortal gift consign'd, |Thus vanish'd, at thy touch, the towers and walls; To scatter hosts and terrify mankind.
The toil of thousands in a moment falls. 421 The Greeks expect the shock, the clamours rise The Grecians gaze around with wild despair, From different parts, and mingle in the skies. Confused, and weary all the powers with prayer, Dire was the hiss of darts, by heroes flung, Exhort their men with praises, threats, commands; And arrows leaping from the bow-string sung; And urge the gods with voices, eyes, and hands. These drink the life of generous warriors slain; Experienced Nestor chief obtests the skies, Those guiltless fall, and thirst for blood in vain. And weeps his country with a father's eyes: As long as Phæbus bore unmoved the shield, 360 O Jove! if ever, on his native shore, Sat doubtful Conquest hovering o'er the field; One Greek enrich'd thy shrine with offer'd gore; But when aloft he shakes it in the skies,
If e'er, in hope our country to behold,
If e'er thou sign'st our wishes with thy nod;
This day preserve our navies from the flame,
And catch'd new fury at the voice divine. Heaps fall on beaps : the slaughter Hector leads; As, when black tempests mix the seas and skies, 440 First great Arcesilas, then Stichius bleeds; The roaring deeps in watery mountains rise, One to the bold Baotians ever dear,
Above the sides of some tall ship ascend, And one Menestheus' friend, and famed compeer. Its womb they deluge, and its ribs they rend: Medon and läsus, Æneas sped;
Thus loudly roaring, and o’erpowering all, This sprung from Phelus, and the Athenians led:
Mount the thick Trojans up the Grecian wall; But hapless Medon from Oileus came;
Legions on legions from each side arise : Him Ajax honour'd with a brother's name,
Thick sound the keels; the storm of arrows flies. Though born of lawless love: from home expell’d, Fierce on the ships above, the cars below, A banish'd man, in Phylacè he dwellid, 381 These wield the mace, and those the javelin throw. Press'd by the vengeance of an angry wife;
While thus the thunder of the battle raged, 450 Troy ends, at last, his labours and his life.
And labouring armies round the works engaged, Mecystes next, Polydamas o'erthrew;
Still in the tent Patroclus sat, to tend
He sprinkles healing balms to anguish kind,
But when he saw, ascending up the feel, Stretch'd on one heap, the victors spoil the slain. Victorious Troy : then, starting from his seal, The Greeks, dismay'd, confused, disperse or fall, 390 With bitter groans his sorrows be expressid, Some seek the trench, some skulk behind the wall. He wrings his hands, he beats his manly breast. While these fly trembling, others pant for breath, Though yet thy state requires redress (he cried) 460 And o'er the slaughterer stalks gigantic Death. Depart I must : what horrors strike mine eyes ! On rush'd bold Hector, gloomy as the night; Charg'd with Achilles' high commands I go, Forbids to plunder, animates the fight,
A mournful witness of this scene of woe: Points to the fleet: For, by the gods who flies, I hasle to urge bim, by his country's care, Who dares but linger, by this hand he dies : To rise in arms and shine again in war. No weeping sister his cold eye shall close, Perhaps some favouring god his soul may bend; No friendly hand his funeral pyre compose. The voice is powerful of a faithful friend. Who stops to plunder in this signal hour, 400 He spoke : and speaking, swifter than the wind The birds shall tear him, and the dogs devour. Sprang from the tent, and left the war behind.
Furious he said; the smarting scourge resounds; The embodied Greeks the fierce attack sustain, 470 The coursers fly; the smoking chariot bounds: But strive, though numerous, to repulse in vain ! The hosts rush on; loud clamours shake the shore; Nor could the Trojans, through that firm array, The horses thunder, earth and ocean roar! Force to the fleet and tents the impervious way. Apollo, planted at the trench's bound,
As when a shipwright, with Palladian art, Push'd at the bank : down sunk the enormous mound; Smoothes the rough wood, and levels every part; Roll'd in the ditch the heapy ruin lay;
With equal hand he guides his whole design,
By the just rule, and the directing line :
cars, tumultuous pass. Preserved their line, and equal kept the war. The wondering crowds the downward level trod; Brave deeds of arms through all the ranks were tried Before them Hamed the shield, and mareh'd the god. And every ship sustained an equal tide.
481 Then with his hand he shook the mighty wall; At one proud bark, high towering o'er the fleet, And lo! the turrets nod, the bulwarks fall.
Ajax the great and godlike Hector meet; Easy, as when ashore an infant stands,
For one bright prize the matchless chiefs contend; And draws imagined houses in the sands, Nor this the ships can fire, nor that defend; The sportive wanton, pleased with some new play, One kept the sbore, and one the vessel trod; Sweeps the slight works and fashion'd domes away. That fix'd as late, the actců by a god.