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The stunning stroke bis stubborn nerves unbound: To their own hands commit the frantic scene,
Hast thou not yet, insatiate fury! known Him, thus retreating, Artemis upbraids,
And yields to ocean's hoary sire the prize ? Thus meets thy broken faith with just disgrace, How vain that martial pomp and dreadful show And partial aid to Troy's perfidious race.
Of pointed arrows and the silver bow !
550 The goddess spoke and turn'd her eyes away, Now boast no more in yon celestial bower, That beaming round diffused celestial day. Thy force can match the great earth-shaking power. Jove's Cyprian daughter stooping on the land, Silent he heard the queen of woods upbraid: Lent to the wounded god her tender hand: Not so Saturnia bore the vaunting maid: Slowly he rises, scarcely breathes with pain, But furious thus : What insolence has driven And propp'd on her fair arm, forsakes the plain. Thy pride to face the majesty of heaven? This the bright empress of the heavens survey'd 490 What though, by Jove the female plague design'd, And, scoffing, thus to war's victorious maid : Fierce to the feeble race of woman-kind, Lo! what an aid on Mars's side is seen!
The wretched matron feels thy piercing dart; The smiles' and loves' unconquerable queen! Thy sex's tyrant with a tiger's heart?
560 Mark with what insolence, in open view,
What though tremendous, in the woodland chase, She moves : let Pallas, if she dares, pursue. Thy certain arrows pierce the savage race?
Minerva smiling heard, the pair o'ertook, How dares thy rashness on the powers divine And slightly on her breast the wanton struck : Employ those arms, or match thy force with mine? She unresisting fell, (her spirits fled ;)
Learn hence no more unequal war to wagem On earth together lay the lovers spread.
She said, and seized her wrists with eager rage: And like these heroes be the fate of all
500 These in her left hand lock'd, her right untied, (Minervia cries) who guard the Trojan wall! 'The bow, the quiver, and its plumy pride. To Grecian gods such let the Phrygians be, About her temples flies the busy bow; So dread, so fierce, as Venus is to me;
Now here, now there, she winds her from the blow: Then from the lowest stone shall Troy be moved. The scattering arrows rattle from the case, 571 Thus she; and Juno with a smile approved. Drop round, and idly mark the dusty place.
Meantime to mix in more than mortal fight, Swift from the field the baffled huntress flies, The god of ocean dares the god of light.
And scarce restrains the torrent in her eyes : What sloth has seized us when the fields around So when the falcon wings her way above, Ring with conflicting powers, and heaven returns the To the cleft cavern speeds the gentle dove, sound?
(Not fated yet to die) there safe retreats, Shall, ignominous, we with shame retire, 510 Yet still her heart against the marble beats. No deed performn'd, to our Olympian sire ?
To her Latona hastes with tender care, Come, prove thy arm ! for first the war to wage, Whom Hermes, viewing thus declines the war: 580 Suits not my greatness or superior age;
How shall I face the dame who gives delight Rash as thou art to prop the Trojan throne To him whose thunders blacken heaven with night? (Forgetful of my wrongs and of thy own,)
Go matchless goddess ! triumph in the skies, And guard the race of proud Laomedon!
And boast my conquest while I yield the prize. Hast thou forgot how, at the monarch's prayer, He spoke and pass'd: Latona, stooping low, We shared the lengthen'd labours of a year ? Collects the shatter'd shafts and fallen bow, Troy's walls I raised (for such were Jove's commands.) That glittering on the dust, lay here and there; And yon proud bulwarks grew beneath my hands : Dishonour'd relics of Diana's war. Thy lask it was to feed the bellowing droves 521 Then swift pursued her to her bless'd abode, Along fair Ida's vales and pendent groves.
Where all confused, she sought the sovereign god ; 590 But when the circling seasons in their train Weeping she grasp'd his knees: the ambrosial vest Brought back the grateful day that crown'd our pain, Shook with her sighs, and panted on her breast. With menace stern the fraudful king defied
The sire superior smiled; and bade her show Our latent godhead, and the prize denied :
What heavenly hand had caused his daughter's woe. Mad as he was he threaten'd servile bands,
Abash'd she names his own imperial spouse ; And doom'd us exiles far in barbarous lands. And the pale crescent fades upon her brows. Incensed we heaveaward fed with swiftest wing, Thus they above : while swiftly gliding down, And destined vengeance on the perjured king. 530 Apollo enters lion's sacred town: Dost thou for this afford proud Ilion grace,
The guardian god now trembled for her wall, And not like us infest the faithless race;
And fear'd the Greeks, though Fate forbade her fall. Like us, their present, future sons destroy,
Back to Olympus from the war's alarms 601 And from its deep foundations heave their Troy? Return'd the shining bands of gods in arms: Apollo thus: To combat for mankind,
Some proud in triumphs, some with rage on fire ; Il suits the wisdom of celestial mind :
And take their thrones around the ethereal sire. For what is man? Calamitous by birth,
Through blood through death, Achilles still proceeds They owe their life and nourishment to earth; O'er slaughter'd heroes, and o'er rolling steeds. Like yearly leaves, that now with beauty crown'd, As when avenging flames with fury driven Smile on the sun ; now wither on the ground. 540 lon guilty towns, exert tl.e wrath of Ileaven;
The pale inhabitants, some fall, some fly;
One only soul informs that dreadful frame, And the red vapours purple all the sky: 610 And Jove's sole favour gives him all his fame. So raged Achilles: death and dire dismay,
He said, and stood collected in his might; And toils, and terrors, fillid the dreadful day. And all his beating bosom claim'd the fight. High on a turret hoary Priam stands,
So from some deep-grown wood a panther starts, And marks the waste of his destructive hands; Roused from his thicket by a storm of darts : Views from his arms the Trojan's scatter'd flight, Untaught to fear or fly, he hears the sounds And the near hero rising on his sight!
Of shouting hunters and of clamorous hounds; 680 No stop, no check, no aid! With feeble pace, Though struck, though wounded, scarce perceives And settled sorrow on his aged face,
You to whose care our city gates belong, And tears his hunter, or beneath him dies.
Confronts Achilles, and awaits the war,
Disdainful of retreat: high-held before, But when within the walls our troops take breath, His shield (a bread circumference) he bore Lock fast the brazen bars, and shut out death. Then graceful as he stood in act to throw Thus charged the reverend monarch: wide were the lifted javelin, thus bespoke the foe: 690 flung
How proud Achilles glories in his fame! The opening folds: the sounding hinges rung. And hopes this day to sink the Trojan name Phæbus rush'd forth the flying bands to meet; Beneath her ruins! Know, that hope is vain: Struck slaughter back, and cover'd the retreat. 630 A thousand woes, a thousand toils remain. On heaps the Trojans crowd to gain the gate, Parents and children our just arms employ, And gladsome see their last escape from Fate. And strong and many are the sons of Troy. Thither, all parch'd with thirst, a heanless train, Great as thou art, e'en thou may'st stain with gore Hoary with dust they beat the hollow plain; These Phrygian fields, and press a foreign shore. And gasping, panting, fainting, labour on,
He said: with matchless force the javelin Aung With heavier strides that lengthen'd toward the Smote on his knee; the hollow cuishes rung 700 town.
Beneath the pointed steel : but safe from harms Enraged Achilles follows with his spear,
He stands impassive in ethereal arms. Wild with revenge, insatiable of war.
Then fiercely rushing on the daring foe, Then had the Greeks eternal praise acquired, His lifted arm prepares the fatal blow : And Troy inglorious to her walls retired : 640 But jealous of his fame, Apollo shrouds But he, the god who darts ethereal flame, *
The godlike Trojan in a veil of clouds. Shot down to save her, and redeem her fame.
Safe from pursuit, and shut from mortal view, To young Agenor force divine he gave
Dismiss'd with fame the favour'd youth withdrew. (Antenor's offspring, haughty, bold and brave :) Meanwhile the god, to cover their escape, In aid of him beside the beach he sate,
Assumes Agenor's habit, voice, and shape, 710 And wrapp'd in clouds restrain'd the hand of Fate. Flies from the furious chief in this disguise; When now the generous youth Achilles spies, The furious chief still follows where he flies. Thick beats his heart, the troubled motions rise; Now o'er the fields they stretch with lengthen'd (So ere a storm the waters heave and roll;)
strides, He stops, and questions thus his mighty soul : 650 Now urge the course where swift Scamander glides ; What! shall I fly this terror of the plain!
The god now distant scarce a stride before, Like others Ay, and be like others slain ?
Tempts his pursuit, and wheels about the shore; Vain hope to shun him by the self-same road While all the flying troops their speed employ, Yon line of slaughter'd Trojans lately trod ! And pour on heaps into the walls of Troy : No! with the common heap I scorn to fall No stop, no stay; no thought to ask, or tell What if they pass'd me to the Trojan wall, Who 'scaped by flight, or who by battle fell.
720 While I decline to yonder path that leads
'Twas tumult all, and violence of flight; To Ida's forests and surrounding shades?
And sudden joy confused, and mix'd affright:
The Death of Hector.
stays to oppose Achilles. Priam is struck at his apHere, and in public view, to meet my fate. 6701 proach, and tries to persuade his son to re-enter the Yet sure he too is mortal! he may feel
town. Hecuba joins her entreaties, but in vain. Hec
tor consults within himself what measures to take : (Like all the sons of earth) the force of steel;
but at the advance of Achilles, his resolution fails him, and he flies: Achilles pursues bim thrice round the walls of Troy. The gods debate concerning the fate of
Hector; at length Minerva descends to the aid of Implacable Achilles ! might'st thou be Achilles. She deludes Hector in the shape of Deipho. To all the gods no dearer than to me! bus; he stands the combat, and is slain. Achilles
The vultures wild should scatter round the shore, drags the dead body at his chariot, in the sight of And bloody dogs grow fiercer from thy gore. Priam and Hecuba. Their lamentations, tears, and despair. Their cries reach the ears of Andromache, How many valiant sons I late enjoy'd, who, ignorant of this, was retired into the inner part Valiant in vain ! by thy cursed arm destroy'd : of the palace; she mounts up to the walls, and beholds Or worse than slaughter'd, sold in distant isles her de d husband. She swoons at the spectacle. Her To shameful bondage and unworthy toils. excess of grief and lamentations.
Two while I speak my eyes in vain explore, The thirtieth day still continues. The scene lies under Two from one mother sprung, my Polydore, the walls, and on the battlements of Troy.
And loved Lycaon : now perhaps no more!
Oh! if in yonder hostile camp they live,
What heaps of gold, what treasures would I give!
(Their grandsire's wealth by right of birth their own, Thus to their bulwarks, smit with panic fear, Consign'd his daughter with Lelegia's throne:) The herded lians rush like driven deer;
But if (which Heaven forbid) already lost, 70 There safe they wipe the briny drops away, All pale they wander on the Stygian coast, And drown in bowls the labour of the day.
What sorrows then must their sad mother know! Close to the walls advancing o'er the fields What anguish I! unutterable woe! Beneath one roof of well-compacted shields, Yet less that anguish, less to her, to me, March bending on the Greeks' embodied powers, Less to all Troy, if not deprived of thee. Far-stretching in the shade of Trojan towers. Yet shun Achilles ! enter yet the wall; Great Hector singly staid; chain'd down by Fate, And spare thyself, thy father, spare us all! There fix'd he stood before the Scæan gate; 10 Save thy dear life; or if a soul so brave Still his bold arms determined to employ,
Neglect that thought, thy dearer glory save. The guardian still of long-defended Troy.
Pity, while yet I live, these silver hairs ! Apollo now to tired Achilles turns ;
While yet thy father feels the woes he bears,
Great Jove has placed, sad spectacle of pain !
My bleeding infants dash'd against the floor;
The last sad relic of my ruin'd state,
And stain the pavement of my regal hall; Powerful of godhead, and of fraud divine:
Where famish'd dogs, late guardians of my door, Mean fame, alas! for one of heavenly strain, Shall lick their mangled master's spatter'd gore. To cheat a mortal who repines in vain.
30 Yet for my sons I thank ye, gods ! 'twas well: Then to the city, terrible and strong,
Well have they perish’d, for in fight they fell. With high and haughty steps he tower'd along. Who dies in youth and vigour dies the best, 100 So the proud courser, victor of the prize,
Struck through with wounds, all honest on the breast. To the near goal with double ardour flies.
But when the Fates, in fulness of their rage, Him, as he blazing shot across the field,
Spurn the hoar head of unresisting age, The careful eyes of Priam first beheld.
In dust the reverend lineaments deform,
And pour to dogs the life blood scarcely warm:
40 He said, and acting what no words could say, Terrific glory! for his burning breath
Rent from his head the silver locks away. Taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death. With him the mournful mother bears a part; 110 So flamed his fiery mail. Then wept the sage ; Yet all their sorrows turn not Hector's heart: He strikes his reverend head now white with age : The zone unbraced, her bosom she display'd; He lifts his wither'd arms; obtests the skies; And thus, fast falling the salt tears, she said: He calls his much-loved son with feeble cries :
Have mercy on me, O my son! revere The son resolved Achilles force to dare,
The words of age ; attend a parent's prayer ! Full at the Scæan gate expects the war :
If ever thee in these fond arms I press'd,
Ah stay not, stay not! guardless and alone; But by our walls secured repel the foe..
Shouldst thou (but Heaven avert it!) shouldst thou And stretch'd beneath that fury of the plain.
Nor must thy corse lie honour'd on the bier, No less fore-right the rapid chase they held
Where the high watch-tower overlooks the plain : So they, while down their cheeks the torrents Now where the fig-trees spread their umbrage broad, roll;
(A wider compass,) smoke along the road. But fis'd remains the purpose of his soul :
Next by Scamander's double source they bound, Resolved he stands, and with a fiery glance Where two famed fountains burst the parted ground; Expects the hero's terrible advance.
This hot through scorching clefts is seen to rise, So roll'd up in his den, the swelling snake 130 With exhalations steaming to the skies ; Beholds the traveller approach the brake;
That the green banks in summer's heat o'erflows, When fed with noxious herbs his turgid veins Like crystal clear, and cold as winter snows. 200 Have gather'd half the poisons of the plains ; Each gushing fount a marble cistern fills, He burns, he stiffens with collected ire,
Whose polish'd bed receives the falling rills; And his red eye-balls glare with living fire. Where Trojan dames (ere yet alarm'd by Greece) Beneath a turret, on his shield reclined,
Wash'd their fair garments in the days of peace. He stood, and question d thus his mighty mind : By these they pass'd, one chasing, one in flight:
Where lies my way? To enter in the wall ? (The mighty fled, pursued by stronger might.) Honour and shame the ungenerous thought recall: Swift was the course; no vulgar prize they play, Shall proud Polydamas before the gate 140 No vulgar victim must reward the day, Proclaim his counsels are obey'd too late,
(Such as in races crown the speedy strife,) Which timely follow'd but the former night, The prize contended was great Hector's life. 210 What numbers had been saved by Hector's flight ? As when some hero's funerals are decreed That wise advice rejected with disdain,
In grateful honour of the mighty dead; I feel my folly in my people slain.
Where high rewards the vigorous youth infiame Methinks my suffering country's voice I hear, (Some golden tripod, or some lovely dame ;) But most her worthless sons insult my ear,
The panting coursers swiftly turn the goa), On my rash courage charge the chance of war, And with them turns the raised spectator's soul: And blame those virtues which they cannot share. Thus three times round the Trojan wall they fly: No-If I e'er return, return I must
150 The gazing gods lean forward from the sky; Glorious, my country's terror laid in dust :
To whom, while eager on the chase they look, Or if I perish, let her see me fall
The sire of mortals and immortals spoke : 220 In field at least, and fighting for her wall.
Unworthy sight! the man beloved of Heaven, And yet suppose these measures I forego,
Behold, inglorious round yon city driven ! Approach unarm’d and parley with the foe, My heart partakes the generous Hector's pain; The warrior-shield, the helm, and lance, lay down, Hector, whose zeal whole hecatombs has slain, And treat on terms of peace to save the town: Whose grateful fumes the gods received with joy, The wife withheld, the treasure ill-detain'd From Ida's summits and the towers of Troy : (Cause of the war, and grievance of the land, Now see him flying! to his fears resign'd, With honourable justice to restore;
160 And Fate and fierce Achilles close behind. And add half lion's yet remaining store,
Consult, ye powers ! ('tis worthy your debate) Which Troy shall sworn produce ; that injured Greece Whether to snatch him from impending Fate, 230 May share our wealth, and leave our walls in peace. Or let him bear, by stern Pelides slain, But why this thought ? Unarm'd if I should go, (Good as he is,) the lot imposed on man? What hope of mercy from this vengeful foe,
Then Pallas thus : Shall he whose vengeance forms But woman-like to fall, and fall without a blow? The forky bolt, and blackeris heaven with storms, We greet not here as man conversing man, Shall be prolong one Trojan's forfeit breath? Met at an oak, or journeying o'er a plain ;
A man, a mortal, pre-ordain'd to death? No season now for calm familiar talk,
And will no murmurs fill the courts above? Like youths and maidens in an evening walk; 170 No gods indignant blame their partial Jove ? War is our business, but to whom is given
Go then (return'd the sire) without delay, To die or triumph, that determine Heaven! Exert thy will: I give the fates their way. 240
Thus pondering, like a god the Greek drew nigh, Swift at the mandate pleased Tritonia flies, His dreadful plumage nodded from on high; And stoops impetuous from the cleaving skies. The Pelian javelin in his better hand
As through the forest o'er the vale and lawn, Shot trembling rays that glitter'd o'er the land; The well-breathed beagle drives the flying fawn; And on his breast the beamy splendours shone, In vain he tries the covert of the brakes, Like Jove's own lightning or the rising sun. Or deep beneath the trembling thicket shakes; As Hector sees, unusual terrors rise,
Sure of the vapour in the tainted dews, Struck by some god, he fears, recedes, and flies ; 180 The certain hound his various maze pursues: He leaves the gates, he leaves the walls behind : Thus step by step, where'er the Trojan wheeld, Achilles follows like the winged wind.
There swift Achilles compass'd round the field. 250 Thus at the panting dove a falcon flies
Oft as to reach the Dardan gates he bends, (The swiftest racer of the liquid skies ;)
And hopes the assistance of his pitying friends Just when he holds or thinks he holds his prey, (Whose showering arrows, as he coursed below, Obliquely wheeling through the aërial way, From the high turrets might oppress the foe,) With open beak and shrilling cries he springs, So oft Achilles turns him to the plain : And aims his claws and shoots upon his wings; He eyes the city, but he eyes in vain.
As men in slumber seem with speedy pace
Let heaven's high power be call'd to arbitrate
The just conditions of this stern debate
What god, O inuse! assisted Hector's force, No vile dishonour shall thy corse pursue ;
The rest to Greece uninjured I'll restore : Endued his knees with strength, his nerves with Now plight thy mutual oath, I ask no more. power:
Talk not of oaths (the dreadful chief replies, And great Achilles, lest some Greek's advance While anger flash'd from his disdainful eyes :) Should snatch the glory from his lifted lance, Detested as thou art, and ought to be, Sign'd to the troops to yield his foe the way, Nor oath nor pact Achilles plights with thee. And leave untouch'd the honours of the day. 270 Such pacts as lambs and rabid wolves combine, Jove lifts the golden balances that show
Such leagues as men and furious lions join, The fates of mortal men and things below; To such I call the gods! one constant state Here each contending hero's lot he tries,
Of lasting rancour and eternal hate;
310 And weighs with equal band their destinies. No thought but rage and never-ceasing strise, Low sinks the scale surcharged with Hector's fate; Till death extinguish rage, and thought, and life. Heavy with death it sinks, and hell receives the weight. Rouse then thy forces this important hour,
Then Phæbus left him. Fierce Minerva flies Collect thy soul, and call forth all thy power. To stern Pelides, and triumphing cries :
No farther subterfuge, no farther chance; Oh, loved of Jove! this day our labours cease, 'Tis Pallas, Pallas gives thee to my lance. And conquest blazes with full beams on Greece. 280 Each Grecian ghost by thee deprived of breath Great Hector falls : that Hector famed so far, Now hovers round, and calls thee' to thy death. Drunk with renown, insatiable of war,
He spoke, and launch'd the javelin at the foe: Falls by thy hand and mine ; nor force nor flight But Hector shunn'd the meditated blow: 350 Shall more avail him, nor his god of light.
He stoop'd, while o'er his head the flying spear See where in vain he supplicates above,
Sung innocent, and spent its force in air.
Minerva watch'd it falling on the land,
Unseen of Hector, who, elate with joy,
Prince! you have miss'd. My fate depends on Heaven. (Her face, her gesture, and her arms the same) To thee presumptuous as thou art, unknown In show and aid, by hapless Hector's side
Or what must prove my fortune or thy own.
360 Approach'd, and greets him thus with voice belied: Boasting is but an art our fears to blind, Too long, O Hector, have I borne the sight And with false terror sink another's mind. Of this distress, and sorrow'd in thy flight:
But know, whatever fate I am to try, It fits us now a noble stand to make,
By no dishonest wound shall Hector die;
I shall not fall a fugitive at least,
End all my country's woes, deep buried in thy heart! Long tried, long loved ; much loved, but honour'd The weapon flew, its course unerring held; more,
Unerring, but the heavenly shield repell'd 370 Since you of all our numerous race alone
The mortal dart; resulting with a bound
From off the ringing orb, it struck the ground.
In vain, for no Deïphobus was there,
I deem'd Deïphobus had heard my call, Or to his arm our bloody trophies yield.
But he secure lies guarded in the wall. Fraudful she said ; then swiftly march'd before : A god deceived me: Pallas, 'twas thy deed : The Dardan hero shuns his foe no more.
Death and black Fate approach! 'tis I must bleed. Sternly they met. The silence Hector broke; No refuge now, no succour from above, His dreadful plumage nodded as he spoke: Great Jove deserts me, and the son of Jove, Enough, 0 son of Peleus! Troy has view'd
Propitious once, and kind! then welcome Fate! Her walls thrice circled, and her chief pursued : 'Tis true I perish, yet I perish great: But now some god within me bids me try
Yet in a mighty deed I shall espire, Thine, or my fate : I kill thee, or I die. 320 Let future ages hear it and admire! Yet on the verge of battle let us stay,
Fierce at the word his weighty sword he drew, And for a moment's space suspend the day; And all-collected on Achilles flew.