« ZurückWeiter »
Yet what a race, ere Greece to Ilion came,
See him, in Troy, the pious care decline,
In riches once, in children once excell'd;
But since the god his hand has pleased to turn,
What sees the sun, but hapless heroes' falls ? 620
These unavailing sorrows o'er the dead: See him in me, as helpless and as old,
Thou canst not call him from the Stygian shore, Though not so wretched : there he yields to me, But thou, alas! may’st live, to suffer more! The first of men in sovereign misery!
To whom the king: Oh favour'd of the skies! Thus forced to kneel, thus groveling to embrace 630 Here let me grow to earth! since Hector lies The scourge and ruin of my realm and race; On the bare beach deprived of obsequies. Suppliant my children's murderer to implore, Oh give me Hector! to my eyes restore And kiss those hands yet reeking with their gore ! His corse, and take the gifts; I ask no more. 700
These words soft pity in the chief inspire, Thou, as thou may'st, these boundless stores enjoy; Touch'd with the dear remembrance of his sire; Safe may'st thou sail, and turn thy wrath from Then with his hand (as prostrate still he lay)
Move me no more (Achilles thus replies,
Nor seek by tears my steady soul to bend; But great Achilles different passions rend,
To yield thy Hector I myself intend : And now his sire he mourns, and now his friend. For know, from Jove my goddess-mother came The infectious softness through the heroes ran; (Old Ocean's daughter, silver footed dame;) 710 One universal solemn shower began;
Nor com'st thou but by heaven ; nor com'st alone; They bore as heroes, but they felt as man.
Some god impels with courage not thy own; Satiate at length with unavailing woes,
No human hand the weighty gates unbarr'd, From the high throne divine Achilles rose;
Nor could the boldest of our youth have dared The reverend monarch by the hand he raised; To
pass our out-works, or elude the guard. On his white beard and form majestic gazed, 650 Cease: lest neglectful of high Jove's command, Not unrelenting : then serene began
I show thee, king! thou tread'st on hostile land; With words to soothe the miserable man.
Release my knees, thy suppliant art give o'er, Alas! what weight of anguish hast thou known! And shake the purpose of my soul no more. Unhappy prince! thus guardless and alone
The sire obey'd him, trembling and o'erawed, 720 To pass through foes, and thus undaunted face Achilles, like a lion, rush'd abroad; The man whose fury has destroy'd thy race! Automedon and Alcimus attend Heaven sure has arm'd thee with a heart of steel, (Whom most he honour'd since he lost his friend) A strength proportion'd to the woes you feel. These to unyoke the mules and horses went, Rise then : Jet reason mitigate your care;
And led the hoary herald to the tent; To mourn avails not; man is born to bear; 660 Next heap'd on high the numerous presents bear Such is, alas! the gods' severe decree;
(Great Hector's ransom) from the polish'd car. They, only they, are blest, and only free.
Two splendid mantles, and a carpet spread, Two urns by Jove's high throne have ever stood, They leave, to cover and enwrap the dead. The source of evil one, and one of good;
Then call the bandınaids, with assistant toil From thence the cup of mortal man he fills, To wash the body, and anoint with oil, Blessings to these, to those distributes ills ;
Apart from Priam ; lest the unhappy sire, To most, he mingles both. The wretch decreed Provoked to passion, once more rouse to ire To taste the bad, unmix'd, is curst indeed;
The stern Pelides; and nor sacred age, Pursued by wrongs, by meagre famine driven, Nor Jove's command should check the rising rage. He wanders, outcast both of earth and heaven. 670 This done, the garments o'er the corse they spread: The happiest taste not happiness sincere,
Achilles lifts it to the funeral bed ; But find the cordial draught is dash'd with care. Then, while the body on the car they laid, Who more than Peleus shone in wealth and He groans, and calls on loved Patroclus' shade: power!
If, in that gloom which never light must know, 740 What stars concurring blest his natal hour! The deeds of mortals touch the ghosts below; A realm, a goddess to his wishes given;
O friend! forgive me, that I thus fulfil Graced by the gods with all the gifts of heaven: (Restoring Hector) Heaven's upquestion'd will. One evil yet o'ertakes his latest day:
The gifts the father gave, be ever thine, No race succeeding to imperial sway:
To grace thy manes, and adorn thy shrine. An only son ; and he (alas !) ordain'd,
He said, and, entering, took his seat of state, To fall untimely in a foreign land.
680/ Wbcre full before him reverend Priamn sate:
To whom, composed, the godlike chief begun : Then he: Now, father, sleep, but sleep not here;
750 Lest any Argive at this hour awake, And soon as morning paints the eastern skies, To ask our counsel, or our orders take) The sight is granted to thy longing eyes.
Approaching sudden to our open'd tent, 820 But now the peaceful hours of sacred night Perchance behold thee, and our grace prevent. Demand refection, and to rest invite;
Should such report thy honour'd person here,
Remains unask'd; what time the rites require
To finish all due honours to the dead, Those Cynthia's arrows stretch'd upon the plain : This, of thy grace accord : to thee are known 830 So was her pride chastised by wrath divine, The fears of llion, closed within her town; Who match'd her own with bright Latona's line; And at what distance from our walls aspire But two the goddess, twelve the queen enjoy'd; The hills of Ide, and forests for the fire. Those boasted twelve the avenging two destroy'd. Nine days to vent our sorrows I request, Steep'd in their blood, and in the dust out-spread, The tenth shall see the funeral and the feast; Nine days, neglected, lay exposed the dead: The next to raise his monument be given : None by to weep them, to inhume them none The twelfth we war, if war be doom'd by Heaven. (For Jove had turn'd the nation all to stone ;) 770 This thy request (replied the chief) enjoy: The gods themselves at length, relenting, gave Till then, our arms suspend the fall of Troy. The unhappy race the honours of a grave.
Then gave his hand at parting, to prevent 840 Herself a rock (for such was Heaven's high will) The old man's fears, and turn'd within the tent : Through deserts wild now pours a weeping rill; Where fair Briseis, bright in blooming charms, Where round the bed whence Achelois springs, Expects her hero with desiring arms. The watery fairies dance in mazy rings,
But in the porch the king and herald rest; There high on Sipylus's shaggy brow
Sad dreams of care yet wandering in their breast. She stands, her own sad monument of woe;
Now gods and men the gifts of sleep partake The rock for ever lasts, the tears for ever flow. Industrious Hermes only was awake,
Such griefs, O king! have other parents known; The king's return revolving in his mind, Remember theirs, and mitigate thy own. 780 To pass the
ramparts, and the watch to blind. The care of Heaven thy Hector has appear'd, The power descending hover'd o'er his head: 850 Nor shall he lie onwept and uninterr'd;
And sleep'st thou, father! (thus the vision said ;) Soon may thy aged cheeks in tears be drown'd, Now dost thou sleep, when Hector is restored ? And all the eyes of lion stream around.
Nor fear the Grecian foes, or Grecian lord ?
spare thy age ; and offer all in vain. Each on the coals the separate morsels lays, 790 Waked with the word, the trembling sire arose, And, hasty, snatches from the rising blaze.
And raised his friend: the god before him goes : With bread the glittering canisters they load, He joins the mules, directs them with his hand, 860 W bich round the board Automedon bestow’d: And moves in silence through the hostile land. The chief himself to each his portion placed, When now to Xanthus' yellow stream they drove And each indulging shared in sweet repast.
(Xanthus, immortal progeny of Jove,) When now the rage of hunger was represt, The winged deity forsook their view, The wondering hero eyes his royal guest :
And in a moment to Olympus flew. No less the royal guest the hero cyes,
Now shed Aurora round her saffron ray, His godlike aspect and majestic size;
Sprung through the gates of light, and gave the day: Here, youthful grace and noble fire engage; 800 Charged with their mournful Joad, to lion go And there, the mild benevolence of age.
The sage and king, majestically slow. Thus gazing long, the silence neither broke Cassandra first beholds, from llion's spire, 870 (A solern scene!) at length the father spoke: The sad procession of her hoary sire;
Permit me now, beloved of Jove! to steep Then as the pensive pomp advanced more near My careful temples in the dew of sleep:
(Her breathless brother stretch'd upon the bier,) For, since the day that number'd with the dead A shower of tears o'erflows her beauteous eyes, My hapless son, the dust has been my bed ; Alarming this all Nion with her cries; Soft sleep a stranger to my weeping eyes;
Turn here your steps, and here your eyes employ, My only food, my sorrows and my sighs;
Ye wretched daughters, and ye sons of Troy! Till now, encouraged by the grace you give, 810 If e'er ye rush'd in crowds, with vast delight, I share thy banquet, and consent to live.
To hail your hero glorious from the fight; With that, Achilles bade prepare the bed, Now meet him dead, and let your sorrows flow! 880 With purple soft, and shaggy carpets spread; Your common triumph, and your common woe. Forth, by the flaming lights, they bend their way, In thronging crowds they issue to the plains ; And place the couches, and the coverings lay. Nor man, nor woman, in the walls remains :
In every face the self-same grief is shown;
Sentenced, 'tis true, by his inhuman doom, 950 And Troy sends forth one universal groan. Thy noble corse was dragg'd around the tomb At Scæa's gates they meet the mourning wain, (The tomb of him thy warlike arm had slain ;) Hang on the wheels, and grovel round the slain. Ungenerous insult, impotent and vain ! The wife and mother, frantic with despair, Yet glow'st thou fresh with every living grace; Kiss his pale cheek, and rend their scatter'd hair: No mark of pain or violence of face; Thus wildly wailing at the gates they lay; 890 Rosy and fair, as Phebus' silver bow And there had sigh'd and sorrow'd out the day: Dismiss'd thee gently to the shades below! But godlike Priam from the chariot rose :
Thus spoke the dame, and melted into tears. Forbear (he cried) this violence of woes;
Sad Helen next in pomp of grief appears : First to the palace let the car proceed,
Fast from the shining sluices of her eyes
960 Then pour your boundless sorrows o'er the dead. Fall the round crystal drops, while thus she cries : The waves of people at his word divide,
Ah, dearest friend! in whom the gods had join'd Slow rolls the chariot through the following tide: The mildest manners with the bravest mind; E’en to the palace the sad pomp they wait : Yow twice ten years (unhappy years) are o'er, They weep, and place him on the bed of state. Since Paris brought me to the Trojan shore. A melancholy choir attend around,
900|(O had I perish'd ere that form divine With plaintive sighs, and music's solemn sound: Seduced this soft, this easy heart of mine!) Alternately they sing, alternate flow
Yet was it ne'er my fate, from thee to find
Thy pity check'd my sorrows in their flow :
The fate I caused for ever I bemoan;
Sad Helen has no friend, now thou art gone! Sad product now of hapless love, remains ! Through Troy's wide streets abandon'd shall I roam! Never to manly age that son shall rise,
In Troy deserted, as abhorr'd at home!
980 Or with increasing graces glad my eyes;
So spoke the fair, with sorrow-streaming eye: For Ilion now (her great defender slain)
Distressful beauty melts each stander-by; Shall sink a smoking ruin on the plain.
On all around the infectious sorrow glows; Who now protects her wives with guardian care? But Priam check'd the torrent as it rose. Who saves her infants from the rage of war? Perform, ye 'Trojans ! what the rites require, Now hostile fleets must wast those infants o'er 920 And fell the forest for a funeral pyre; (Those wives must wait them) to a foreign shore ! Twelve days, nor foes nor secret ambush dread; Thou too, my son! to barbarous climes shall go, Achilles grants these honours to the dead. The sad companion of thy mother's woe;
He spoke: and, at his word, the Trojan train, Driven hence a slave before the victor's sword; Their mules and oxen harness to the wain, 990 Condemn'd to toil for some inhuman lord:
Pour through the gates, and, fell’d from Ida's crown, Or else some Greek whose father press'd the plain, Roll back the gather'd forests to the town. Or son, or brother, by great Hector slain,
These toils continue nine succeeding days, In Hector's blood his vengeance shall enjoy, And high in air a sylvan structure raise. And hurl thee headlong from the towers of Troy. But when the tenth fair morn began to shine, For thy stern father never spared a foe: 930 Forth to the pile was borne the man divine, Thence ail these tears, and all this scene of woe ! And placed aloft: while all, with streaming eyes, Thence many evils his sad parents bore,
Beheld the flames and rolling smokes arise. His parents many, but his consort more.
Soon as Aurora, daughter of the dawn, Why gav'st thou not to me thy dying band ? With rosy lustre streak'd the dewy lawn; 1000 And why received not I thy last command ? Again the mournful crowds surround the pyre, Some word thou wouldst have spoke, which, sadly and quench with wine the yet remaining fire. dear,
The snowy bones his friends and brothers place My soul might keep, or utter with a tear;
(With tears collected) in a golden vase; Which never, never, could be lost in air,
The golden vase in purple palls they rollid, Fix'd in my heart, and oft repeated there!
Of softest texture, and inwrought with gold. Thus to her weeping maids she makes her moan. Last o'er the urn the sacred earth they spread, Her weeping handmaids echo groan for
groan. 940 And raised the tomb, memorial of the dead.
And sadly shared the last sepulchral feast,
|And peaceful slept the inighty Hector's shade.
We have now passed through the Miad, and seen land, at last returned in si fety to Ithaca, which is the the anger of Achilles, and the terrible effects of it, at subject of Homer's Odyssey. an end. As that only was the subject of the poern, I must end these remarks by discharging my 'utv and the nature of epic poetry would not permit our to two of my friends, which is the more an indispenauthor to proceed to the event of the war, it may, sable piece of justice, as the one of them is since perhaps, be acceptable to the common reader, to dead: the merit of their kindness to me will appear give a short account of what happened to Troy infinitely the greater, as the task they undertook was and the chief actors of this poem, after the conclusion in its own nature, of much more labour than either of it.
pleasure or reputation. The larger part of the erI need not mention that Troy was taken soon after tracts from Eustathius together with several excellent the death of Hector, by the stratagem of the wooden observations, were sent me by Mr. Broome; and the horse, the particulars of which are described by Vir- whole essay upon Homer was written, upon such gil in the second book of the Æneis.
memoirs as I had collected, by the late Dr. Parnell, Achilles fell before Troy, by the hand of Paris, by archdeacon of Clogher in Ireland: how very much the shot of an arrow in his heel, as Hector had pro- that gentleman's friendship prevailed over his genius, phesied at his death, Book xxii.
in detaining a writer of his spirit in the drudgery of The unfortunate Priam was killed by Pyrrhus the removing the rubbish of past pedants, will soon apson of Achilles.
pear to the world, when they shall see those beautiful Ajay, after the death of Achilles, had a contest pieces of poetry, the publication of which he left to with Ulysses for the armour of Vulcan; but, being my charge, almost with his dying breath. defeated in his aim, he slew himself through indig. For what remains, I beg leave to be excused from nation.
the ceremonies of taking leave at the end of my work; Helen, after the death of Paris, married Deïphobus and from embracing myself or others with any dehis brother, and at the taking of Troy, betrayed him, fences or apologies about it. But instead of raising a in order to reconcile herself to Menelaus, her first vain monument to myself, of the merits or difficulties husband, who received her again into favour. of it (which must be left to the world, to truth, and
Agamemnon at his return was barbarously mur. to posterity,) let me leave behind me a memorial of dered by Ægysthus, at the instigation of Clytemnes- my friendship, with one of the most valuable men, as tra, his wife, who, in his absence, had dishonoured well as finest writers, of my age and country: one his bed with Ægysthus.
who has tried, and knows by his own experience how Diomed, afier the fall of Troy, was expelled his hard an undertaking it is to do justice to Homer; and own country, and scarce escaped with life from his one who, I am sure, sincerely rejoices with me at the adulterous wife Ægiale; but at last was received by period of my labours. To him, therefore, having Daunus in Apulia, and shared his kingdom: it is un brought this long work to a conclusion, 1 desire to certain how he died.
dedicate it; and to have the honour and satisfaction Nestor lived in peace, with his children, in Pylos, of placing together in this manner, the names of Mr. his native country.
CONGREVE, and of Ulysses also, after innumerable troubles by sea and March 25, 1720.
A. POPE. 363