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The wounded bird, ere yet she breath'd her last, The form so pleasing, and the heart so kind,
wrought, From the pleased crowd new peals of thunder rise, What seas they measured, and what fields they fought: And to the ships brave Merion bears the prize. All pass'd before him in remembrance dear,
To close the funeral games, Achilles last Thought follows thought, and tear succeeds to tear. A massy spear amid the circle placed,
And now supine, now prone, the hero lay,
Now shifts his side, impatient for the day:
The chariot flies, and Hector trails behind. With joy Pelides saw the honour paid,
And thrice, Patroclus ! round thy monument Rose to the monarch, and respectful said:
Was Hector dragg’d, then hurried to the tent. Thee first in virtue, as in power supreme, There sleep at last o'ercomes the hero's eyes; O king of nations ! all thy Greeks proclaim; While foul in dust the unhonour'd carcass lies, In every martial game thy worth attest,
But not deserted by the pitying skies: And know thee both their greatest and their best. For Phæbus watch'd it with superior care, 30 Take then the prize, but let brave Merion bear Preserved from gaping wounds and tainting air; This beamy javelin in thy brother's war.
And ignominious as it swept the field, Pleased from the hero's lips his praise to hear, 1060 Spread o'er the sacred corse his golden shield. The king to Merion gives the brazen the spear: All Heaven was moved, and Hermes will'd to go But set apart for sacred use, commands
By stealth to snatch him from the insulting foe: The glittering charger to Talthybius' hands. But Neptune this, and Pallas this denies,
And the unrelenting empress of the skies :
40 BOOK XXIV.
Won by destructive lust (reward obscene)
Their charms rejected for the Cyprian queen.
But wben the tenth celestial morning broke,
To heaven assembled thus Apollo spoke:
Unpitying powers! how oft each holy fane body. Jupiter sends Thetis to Achilles, to dispose him Has Hector tinged with blood of victims slain ! for the restoring of it; and Iris to Priam, to encourage And can ye still his cold remains pursue ? him to go in person, and treat for it. The old king, Still grudge his body to the Trojans' view? notwithstanding the remonstrances of his queen, Deny to consort, mother, son and sire, makes ready for the journey, to which he is encour. The last sad honours of a funeral fire ? aged by an open from Jupiter. He sets forth in his Is then the dire Achilles all your care ?
50 chariot, with a waggon loaded with presents under That iron heart, inflexibly severe; the charge of Idæus, the herald. Mercury descends in a lion, not a man, who slaughters wide the stiape of a young man, and conducts him to the pavilion of Achilles. Their conversation on the way.
In strength of rage and impotence of pride; Priam finds Achilles at his table, casts hiroself at his Who hastes to murder with a savage joy, feet, and begs for the body of his son. Achilles, moved Invades around, and breathes but to destroy. with compassion, grants bis request, detains him one Shame is not of his soul; nor understood, night in his tent, and the next morning sends him home The greatest evil and the greatest good. with the body; the Irojans run out to meet bim. Still for one loss he rages unresign'd, The lamentations of Andromache, Hecuba, and Helen, Repugnant to the lot of all mankind; with the solemnities of the funeral.
60 The time of twelve days is employed in this book while Heaven dooms each mortal, and its will is done :
To lose a friend, a brother, or a son, the body of Hector lies in the tent of Achilles; and as
then dismiss their care; many more are spent in the truce allowed for his in. Awhile they sorrow, terment. The scene is partly in Achilles' camp, and Fate gives the wound, and man is born to bear. partly in Troy.
But this, insatiate, the commission given,
Lo how his rage dishonest drags along
Hector's dead earth, insensible of wrong!
70 And pleasing slumbers quiet all their care. Are doom'd both heroes (Juno thus replies) Not go Achilles ; he to grief resign'd,
If Thetis son must no distinction know,
Achilles of your own ethereal race,
10 Springs from a goddess by a man's embrace,
(A goddess by ourself to Peleus given,
We will, thy son himself the corse restore, A min divine, and chosen friend of Heaven.) And to his conquest add this glory more. To
grace those nuptials from the bright abode, 80 Then hie thee to him, and our mandate bear: Yourselves were present; where this minstrel god Tell him he tempts the wrath of heaven too far: (Well pleased to share the feast) amid the quire Nor let him more (our anger if he dread) Stood proud to hymn, and tune his youthful lyre. Vent his mad vengeance on the sacred dead : 150
Then thus the Thunderer checks the imperial dame : But yield to ransom and the father's prayer.
Whate'er his honour asks or heart demands. llector deserves of all the Trojan race:
His word the silver-footed queen attends,
And echoing groans that shook the lotty tent.
His friends prepare the victim, and dispose Howe'er, by stealth to snatch the corse away, Repast unheeded, while he vents his woes; 160 We will not : Thetis guards it night and day. The goddess seats her by her pensive son, But haste and summon to our courts above
She press'd his hand, and tender thus begun: The azure queen: let her persuasion move
How long, unhappy! shall thy sorrows flow; Her furious son from Priam to receive
And thy heart waste with life-consuming woe: The proffer'd ransom, and the corse to leave. Mindless of food, or love, whose pleasing reign He added not; and Iris from the skies
Soothes weary life and softens human pain ? Swift as a whirlwind, on the message flies, 100 O snatch the moments yet within thy power; Meteorous the face of ocean sweeps,
Not long to live, indulge the amorous hour! Refulgent gliding o'er the sable deeps.
Lo! Jove himself (for Jove's command I bear) Between where Samos wide his forests spreads, Forbids to tempt the wrath of Heaven too far. 170 And rocky Imbrus litis its pointed heads,
No longer then (his fury if thou dread) Down plunged the maid (the parted waves re Detain the relics of great Hector dead; sound :)
Nor vent on senseless earth thy vengeance vain : She plunged, and instant shot the dark profound. But yield to ransom, and restore the slain. As, bearing death in the fallacious bait,
To whom Achilles: Be the ransom given, From the bent angle sinks the leaden weight; And we submit, since such the will of Heaven. So pass'd the goddess through the closing wave, While thus they communed, from the Olympian Where Thetis sorrow'd in her sacred cave; 110 bowers There placed amidst her melancholy train
Jove orders Iris to the Trojan towers. (The blue-hair'd sisters of the sacred main,) Haste, winged goddess ! to the sacred town, Pensive she sat, revolving fates to come,
And urge her monarch to redeem his son ; 180 And wept her godlike son's approaching doom. Alone the Dian ramparts let him leave,
Then thus the goddess of the painted bow; And bear what stern Achilles may receive : Arise, O Thetis ! from thy seats below:
Alone, for so we will: no Trojan near; 'Tis Jove that calls. And why (the dame replies) Except, to place the dead with decent care, Calls Jove his Thetis to the hated skies?
Some aged herald, who with gentle hand Sad object as I am for beavenly sight!
May the slow mules and funeral car command. Ah, may my sorrows ever shun the lighı! 120 Nor let him death, nor let him danger dread, How e'er be heaven's almighty sire obey'd
Safe through the foe by our protection led : She spake, and veil'd her head in sable shade, Him Hermes to Achilles shall convey, Which flowing long, her graceful person clad; Guard of his life and partner of his way.
190 And forth she paced majestically sad.
Fierce as he is, Achilles' self shall spare Then through the world of waters they repair His age, nor touch one venerable hair: (The way fair Iris led) to upper air.
Some thought there must be in a soul so brave, The deeps dividing, o'er the coast they rise, Some sense of duty, some desire to save. And touch with momentary fight the skies. Then down her bow the winged Iris drives, There in the lightning's blaze the sire they found, And swift at Priam's mournful court arrives; And all the gods in shining synod round. 130 Where the sad sons beside their father's throne Thetis approach'd with anguish in her face Sate bathed in tears, and answered groan with (Minerva rising, gave the mourner place,)
groan. E'en Juno sought her sorrows to console,
And all amidst them lay the hoary sire And offer'd from her hand the nectar bowl:
(Sad scene of woe!) His face his wrapp'd attire 200 She tasted, and resign'd it: then began
Conceal'd from sight; with frantic hands he spread The sacred sire of gods and mortal man :
A shower of ashes o'er his neck and head. Thou comest, fair Thetis, but with grief o'ercast; From room to room his pensive daughters roam; Maternal sorrows; long, ah long to last!
Whose shricks and clamours fill the vaulted dome. Suffice, we know and we partake thy cares : Mindful of those who, late their pride and joy, But yield to Fate, and hear what Jove declares. 140 Lie pale and breathless round the fields of Troy! Nine days are past, since all the court above Before the king Jove's messenger appears, lo Hector's cause have moved the ear of Jove: And thus in whispers greets his trembling ears : 'Twas voted, Hermes from his godlike foe
Fear not, oh father! no ill news I bear; By stealth should bear him, but wo will'd not 60 : From Jove I come, Jove makes thee siill his care ; 210
For Hector's sake these walls he bids thee leave, One cold embrace at least may be allowed,
From forth his open'd stores, this said, he drew
As many vests, as many mantles told, May the slow mules and funeral car command. And twelve fair veils, and garments stiff with gold. Nor shalt thou death, nor shalt thou danger dread; Two tripods next, and twice two chargers shine, Safe through the foe by his protection led : With ten pure talents from the richest mine ; Thee Hermes to Pelides shall convey,
And last a large well-labour'd bowl had place Guard of thy life and partner of thy way. 220 (The pledge of treaties once with friendly Thrace.) Fierce as he is, Achilles self shall spare
Seem'd all too mean the stores he could employ, Thy age, nor touch one venerable hair;
For one last look to buy him back to Troy! 290 Some thought there must be in a soul so brave, Lo! the sad father, frantic with his pain, Some sense of duty, some desire to save.
Around him furious drives his menial train : She spoke, and vanish'd. Priam bids prepare In vain each slave with duteous care attends; His gentle mules, and harness to the car;
Each office hurts him, and each face offends. There, for the gifts, a polish'd casket lay: What make ye here, officious crowds ? (he cries) His pious sons the king's command obey.
Hence! por obtrude your anguish on my eyes.
No, you must feel him too: yourself must fall;
Nor is great Hector lost by me alone;
Your sole defence, your guardian power, is gone!
I see the ruins of your smoking town!
The hoary monarch thus : Her piercing cries He said, and feebly drives his friends away:
The sorrowing friends his frantic rage obey. 310
Inglorious sons of an unbappy sire ! Those hands yet red with Hector's noble gore! 250 Why did not all in Hector's cause expire ? Alas! my lord! he knows not how to spare, Wretch that I am! my bravest offspring slain, And what his mercy, thy slain sons declare ; You, the disgrace of Priam's house, remain: 320 So brave! so many fallen! To calm his rage Mestor the brave, renown'd in ranks of war, Vain were thy dignity, and vain thy age.
With Troilus, dreadful on his rushing car, No-pent in this sad palace, let us give
And last great Hector, more than man divine, To grief the wretched days we have to live. For sure he seem'd not of terrestrial line ! Still, still for Hector let our sorrows flow,
All those relentless Mars untimely slew, Born to his own and to his parents' woe!
And left me these, a soft and servile crew, Doom'd from the hour his luckless life begun, 260 Whose days the feast and wanton dance employ To dogs, to vultures, and to Peleus' son!
Gluttons and flatterers, the contempt of Troy! Oh! in his dearest blood might I allay
Why teach ye not my rapid wheels to run, My rage, and these barbarities repay!
And speed my journey to redeem my son ? 330 For ah! could Hector merit thus, whose breath The sons their father's wretched age revere, Expired not meanly in inactive death?
Forgive his anger, and produce the car. He pour'd his latest blood in manly fight,
High on the seat the cabinet they bind : And fell a hero in his country's right.
The new made car, with solid beauty shined; Seek not to stay me, nor my soul affright Box was the yoke, emboss'd with costly pains, With words of omen, like a bird of night
And hung with ringlets to receive the reins; (Replied, unmoved, the venerable man ;)
Nine cubits long, the traces swept the ground; "Tis Heaven commands me, and you urge in vain. These to the chariot's polish'd pole they bound, Had any mortal voice the injunction laid, 271 Then fix'd a ring the running reins to guide Nor augur, priest, nor seer, had been obey'd. And close beneath the gather'd ends were tied. 340 A present goddess brought the high command; Next with the gifts (the price of Hector slain) I saw, I heard her, and the word shall stand. The sad attendants load the groaning wain: I go, ye gods ! obedient to your call:
Last to the yoke the well-matched mules they bring, If in yon camp your power have doom'd my fall, (The gift of Mysia to the Trojan king.) Content-by the same hand let me expire! But the fair horses, long his darling care, Add to the slaughter'd son the wretched sire! Himself received, and harness'd to his car:
Grieved as he was, he not this task denied : Go, guard the sire : the observing foe prevent,
And safe conduct him to Achilles' tent.
O'er the wide earth and o'er the boundless main ; 42
Take this, and pour to Jove : that, safe from harms, Thus arm'd, swift Hermes steers his airy way,
Now twilight veil'd the glaring face of day,
360 And clad the dusky fields in sober grey; His winged messenger to send from high,
What time the herald and the hoary king And lead thy way with heavenly augury:
(Their chariots stopping at the silver spring, 430 Let the strong sovereign of the plumy race That circling Ilus' ancient marble flows,) Tower on the right of yon ethereal space.
Allow'd the mules and steeds a short repose. That sign beheld, and strengthened from above, Through the dim shade the herald first espies Boldly pursue the journey mark'd by Jove ; A man's approach, and thus to Priam cries : But if the God his augury denies,
I mark some foe's advance : 0 king beware; Suppress thy impulse, nor reject advice.
This hard adventure claims thy utmost care ; 'Tis just, (said Priam) to the sire above
For, much I fear, destruction hovers nigh;
He spoke, and bade the attendant handmaid bring Or, old and helpless, at his feet to fall,
(Two wretched suppliants,) and for mercy call ? 440 (Her ready hands the ewer and basin held :)
The afflicted monarch shivered with despair; Then took the golden cup his queen had fill'd; Pale grew his face, and upright stood his hair : On the mid pavement pours the rosy wine, Sunk was his heart ; his colour went and came : Uplifts his eyes, and calls the power divine : A sudden trembling shook his aged frame:
Oh first, and greatest ! heaven's imperial lord ! When Hermes, greeting, touch'd his royal hand, On lofty Ida's holy hill adored!
And gently thus accosts with kind demand : To stern Achilles now direct my ways,
Say whither, father! when each mortal sight And teach him mercy when a father prays. 380 Is seal'd in sleep, thou wander'st through the nigbt ? If such thy will, despatch from yonder sky
Why roam thy mules and steeds the plains along, Thy sacred bird, celestial augury !
Through Grecian focs, so numerous and so strong ? Let the strong sovereign of the plumy race
What couldst thou hope, should these thy treasures Tower on the right of yon ethereal space :
view; So shall thy suppliani, strengthen'd from above, These, who with endless hate thy race pursue ? Fearless pursue the journey mark'd by Jove. For what defence, alas! couldst thou provide;
Jove heard his prayer, and from the throne on high Thyself not young, a weak old man thy guide ? Despatch'd his bird, celestial augury !
Yet suffer not thy soul to sink with dread; The swift-wing'd chaser of the feather'd game, From me no harm shall touch thy reverend head; And known to gods by Percnos' lofty name. 390 From Greece I'll guard thee too; for in those lines Wide as appears some palace-gate display'd, The living image of my father shines. So broad his pinions stretch'd their ample shade, Thy words, that speak benevolence of mind, As stooping dexter with resounding wings
Are true, my son! (the godlike sire rejoin'd ;) 460 The imperial bird descends in airy rings.
Great are my hazards : but the gods survey A dawn of joy in every face appears ;
My steps, and send thee, guardian of my way. 'The mourning matron dries her timorous tears : Hail, and be blest ! For scarce of mortal kind Swift on his car the impatient monarch sprung ; Appear thy form, thy feature, and thy mind. The brazen portal in his passage rung.
Nor true are all thy words, nor erring wide The mules preceding draw the loaded wain, (The sacred messenger of heaven replied, Charged with the gifts : Idæus holds the rein: 400 But say, convey'st thou through the lonely plains The king himself his gentle steeds controuls, What yet most precious of thy store remains, And through surrounding friends the chariot rolls. To lodge in safety with some friendly hand : On his slow wheels the following people wait, Prepared, perchance, to leave thy native land? 470 Mourn at each step, and give him up to fate; Or fly'st thou now ?-What hopes can Troy retain, With hands uplifted, eye him as he pass'd,
Thy matchless son, her guard and glory, slain ? And gaze upon him as they gazed their last.
The king, alarm'd: Say what, and whence thou Now forward fares the father on his way,
410 Thus Priam spoke, and Hermes thus replied:
Oft have these eyes that godlike Hector view'd If e cry pity touch'd thee for mankind,
In glorious fight, with Grecian blood imbrued: 430
I saw him when, like Jove, his flames he toss'd On these the virtue of his wand he tries,
Then heaved the massy gates, removed the bars, Forbade assistance, and enjoy'd the fire.
And o'er the trenches led the rolling cars. 550 For him I serve, of Myrmidonian race;
Unseen, through all the hostile camp they went,
Of fir the roof was raised, and cover'd o'er
Large was the door, whose well-compacted strength For with the morn the Greeks attack your walls : A solid pine-tree barr’d, of wonderous length; Sleepless they sit, impatient to engage,
Scarce three strong Greeks could lift its mighty And scarce their rulers check the martial rage.
weight, If then thou art of stern Pelides' train
But great Achilles singly closed the gate. (The mournful monarch thus rejoin'd again,) This Hermes (such the power of gods) set wide; Ah, tell me truly, where, oh! where are laid Then swift alighted the celestial guide, My son's dear relics! what befalls him dead ? And thus, reveald-Hear, prince ! and understand Have dogs dismember'd (on the naked plains,) Thou owest thy guidance to no mortal hand; Or yet unmangled rest his cold remains ? 500 Hermes I am, descended from above,
O favour'd of the skies! (thue answer'd the The king of arts, the messenger of Jove.
Nor stand confess'd to frail mortality.
570 Untouch'd by worms, untainted by the air.
Adjure him by his father's silver hairs, Still as Aurora's ruddy beam is spread,
His son, his mother ! urge him to bestow
Thus having said, he vanish'd from his eyes,
The king, confirm'd from heaven, alighted there,
And found Achilles in his inner tent; Some hand divine, preserves him ever fair ; There sate the hero ; Alcimus the brave, 580 Or all the host of heaven, to whom he led
And great Automedon, attendance gave ; A life so grateful, still regard him dead.
These served his person at the royal feast : Thus spoke to Priam the celestial guide,
Around, at awful distance, stood the rest. And joyful thus the royal sire replied:
Unseen by these, the king his entry made; Blest is the man who pays the gods above
And, prostrate now before Achilles laid, The constant tribute of respect and love; 520 Sudden (a venerable sight) appears : Those who inhabit the Olympian bower
Embraced his knees, and bathed his hands in tears: My son forgot not, in exalted power;
Those direful hands his kisses press'd, imbrued And Heaven, that every virtue bears in mind, E'en with the best, the dearest of his blood ! E'en to the ashes of the just is kind.
As when a wretch (who, conscious of his crime, But thou, O generous youth! this goblet take, Pursued for murder, flies his native clime)
591 A pledge of gratitude, for Hector's sake;
Just gains some frontier, breathless, pale, amazed! And while the favouring gods our steps survey, All gaze, all wonder : thus Achilles gazed ? Safe to Pelides' tent conduct my way.
Thus stood the attendants stupid with surprise : To whom the latent god : O king, forbear All mute, yet seem to question with their eyes; To tempt my youth, for apt is youth to err : 530 Each look'd on other, none the silence broke, But can I, absent from my prince's sight,
Till thus at last the kingly suppliant spoke : Take gifts in secret that must shun the light?
Ah think, thon favour'd of the powers divine,
His trembling limbs, his helpless person, see !
Yet now, perhaps, some turn of human fate
Expels him helpless from his peaceful state; O'er pathless forests or the roaring main. 540 Think, from some powerful foe thou see'st him fly
He said, then took the chariot at a bound, And beg protection with a feeble cry. And spatch'd the reins, and whirl'd the lash Yet still one comfort in his soul may rise : around:
He hears his son still lives to glad his eyes; Before the inspiring god that urged them on, And, hearing, still may hope a better day 610 The coursers tly with spirit not their own. May send him thee, to chase that foe away. And now they reach'd the naval walls, and found No comfort to my griefs, no hopes remain, The guards repasting, while the bowls go round. The best, the bravest of my sons are sluio!
And as the crime,