Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

95

Troy yet may wake, and one avenging blow
Crush the dire author of his country's woe.

His filence here, with blushes, Paris breaks ;
'Tis just, my brother, what your anger speaks :
But who like thee can boaft a foul sedaté,
So firmly proof to all the shocks of fate ?
Thy force like feel a temper'd hardness shows,
Still edg’d to wound, and still untird with blows. 90
Likę steel, uplifted by some strenuous swain,
With falling woods to strow the wasted plain.
Thy gifts I praise ; nor thou despise the charms
With which a lover golden Venus arms;
Soft moving speech, and pleasing outward fhow,
No wish can gain them, but the Gods bestow.
Yet, would'st thou have the proffer'd combat stand,
The Greeks and Trojans feat on either hand;
Then let a mid-way space our hosts divide,
And on that itage of war the caufe be try'd:
By Paris there the Spartan king be fought,
For beauteous Helen and the wealth she brought :
And who his rival can in arms fubdue,
His be the fair, and his the treasure too.
Thus with a lasting league your toils

may cease, 105 And Troy possess her fertile fields in peace; Thus may the Greeks review their native lhore, Much fam’d for generous steeds, for beauty more.

He said. The challenge Hector heard with joy, Then with his fpear restrain'd the youth of Troy, 110 Held by the midst, athwart; and near the foe Advanc'd with Ateps majestically flow :

100

120

While round his dauntless head the Grecians pour
Their stones and arrows in a mingled shower.
Then thus the monarch great Atrides cry'd;

115
Forbear, ye warriours ! lay the darts aside :
A parley Hector asks, a message bears,
We know him by the various plume he wears.
Aw'd by his high command the Greeks attend,
The tumult silence, and the fight suspend.

While from the centre Hector rolls his eyes On either host, and thus to both applies: Hear, all ye Trojans, all ye Grecian bands ! What Paris, author of the war, demands. Your shining swords within the sheath restrain, 125 And pitch your lances in the yielding plain. Here in the midst, in either army's sight, He dares the Spartan king to single fight; And wills, that Helen and the ravish'd spoil That caus'd the contest, shall reward the toil.

13 Let these the brave triumphant victor grace, And differing nations part in leagues of peace. .

He spoke : in ftill fufpenfe on either side Each army stood : the Spartan chief reply'd :

Me too, ye warriours, hear, whose fatal right 135 A world engages in the toils of fight, To me the labour of the field resign; Me Paris injur’d; all the war be mine. Fall he that must, beneath his rival's arms; And live the rest, secure of future harms. 140 Two lambs, devoted by your country's rite, To Earth a fable, to the Sun a white,

Prepare

Prepare, ye Trojans ! while a third we bring
Select to Jove, th’inviolable king.
Let reverend Priam in the truce engage,

145
And add the fanction of considerate age;
His sons are faithless, headlong in debate,
And youth itself an empty wavering state :
Cool age advances venerably wise,

Turns on all hands its deep-discerning eyes; 150
Sees what befel, and what may yet befall,
Concludes from both, and best provides for all.

The nations hear, with rising hopes pofseft,
And peaceful prospects dawn in every breaft.
Within the lines they drew their steeds around,

155 And from their chariots issued on the ground : Next all, unbuckling the rich mail they wore, Lay'd their bright arms along the fable shore. On either side the meeting hosts are seen With lances fix'd, and close the space between. 160 Two heralds now, dispatch'd to Troy, invite The Phrygian monarch to the peaceful rite; Talthybius hastens to the fleet, to bring The lamb for Jove, th' inviolable king.

Meantime, to beauteous Helen, from the skies 165 The various Goddess of the rain-bow flies (Like fair Laodicè in form and face The loveliest nymph of Priam's royal race). Her in the palace, at her loom she found; The golden web her own sad story crown'd.

17 The Trojan wars she weav'd (herself the prize) And the dire triumphs of her fatal eyes,

Το

To whom the Goddess of the painted bow ;
Approach, and view the wondrous scenes below!
Each hardy Greek, and valiant Trojan knight, 175
So dreadful late, and furious for the fight,
Now rest their spears, or lean upon their shields;
Ceas d is the war, and silent all the fields.
Paris alone and Sparta's king advance,
In single fight to toss the beamy lance;

180 Each met in arms, the fate of combat tries, Thy love the motive, and thy charms the prize.

This said, the many-colour'd maid inspires Her husband's love, and wakes her former fires ; Her country, parents, all that once were dear,

185 Ruth to her thought, and force a tender tear. O’er her fair face a snowy vale lhe threw, And, softly fighing, from the loom withdrew: Her handmaids Clymenè and Æthra wait Her filent footsteps to the Scæan gate.

190 There fat the seniors of the Trojan race, (Old Priam's chiefs, and most in Priam's grace) The king the first; Thymætes at his fide; Lampus and Clytius, long in council try'd; Panthus, and Hicetäon, once the strong;

195 And next, the wisest of the reverend throng, Antenor grave, and sage Ucalegon, Lean'd on the walls, and bask'd before the fun. Chiefs, who no more in bloody fights engage; But wise through time, and narrative with age, In summer-days like grashoppers rejoice, A bloodless race, that send a feeble voice.

These,

200

21

215

These, when the Spartan queen approach'd: the tower,
In secret own'd refiftless beauty's power ::
They cried, No wonder, such celestial charms

203
For nine long years have set the world in arms;
What winning graces! what majestic mien !
She moves a Goddess, and she looks a Queen!
Yet hence, oh Heaven ! convey that fatal face,
And from destruction save the Trojan race.

The good old Priam welcom'd her, and cried :
Approach, my child, and grace thy father's fide.
See on the plain thy Grecian spouse appears,
The friends and kindred of thy former years.
No crime of thine our present sufferings draws,
Not thou, but Heaven's dispofing will, the cause;
The Gods these armies and this force enıploy, .
The hostile Gods conspire the fate of Troy,
But lift thy eyes, and say, What Greek is he
(Far as 'from hence these aged orbs can fee)
Around whose brow fuch martial graces fine,
So tall, so awful, and almost divine ?
Though some of larger ftature tread the green,
None match his grandeur and exalted mien :
He seems a monarch, and his country's pride. 225
Thus ceas!d the king; and thus the fair replied:

Before thy presence, father, I appear
With conscious shame and reverential fear.
Ah! had I died, ere to these walls I fled,
False to my country and my nuptial bed ;
My brothers, friends, and daughter left behind,
False to them all, to Paris only kind!

For

22

« ZurückWeiter »