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He faid; Saturnia, ardent to obey,
Lash'd her white steeds along th' aërial way.
Swift down the steep of heaven the chariot rolls,
Between th' expanded earth and starry poles.
Far as a shepherd, from some point on high, 960
O'er the wide main extends his boundless eye;
Through such a space of air, with thundering sound,
At every leap th' immortal coursers bound:
Troy now they reach'd, and touch'd those banks divine
Where silver Simoïs and Scamander join. 965
There Juno stoppid, (and her fair steeds unloos’d)
Of air condens’d a vapour circumfus'd :
For these, impregnate with celestial dew
On Simuïs' brink ambrosial herbage grew.
Thence to relieve the fainting Argive throng,
970 Smooth as the failing doves, they glide along.
The best and bravest of the Grecian band
(A warlike circle) round Tydides stand :
Such was their look as lions bath'd in blood,
Or foaming boars, the terrour of the wood. 975
Heaven's empress mingles with the mortal croud,
And shouts, in Stentor's founding voice, aloud :
Stentor the strong, endued with brazen lungs,
Whose throat surpass’d the force of fifty tongues.
Inglorious Argives ! to your race a shame,
And only men in figure and in name!
Once from the walls your timorous foes engag'd,
While fierce in war divine Achilles rag'd;
Now iffuing fearless they possess the plain,
Now win the shores, and scarce the feas remain. 985
Her speech new fury to their hearts convey'd ; While near Tydides stood th’ Athenian maid ; The king beside his panting steeds the found, O'erspent with toil, reposing on the ground : To cool his glowing wound he sat apart (The wound inflicted by the Lycian dart) ; Large drops of sweat from all his limbs descend; Beneath his ponderous shield his finews bend, Whose ample belt, that o'er his shoulders lay, He eas'd, and wash'd the clotted gore away. 995 The Goddess leaning o'er the bending yoke, Beside his coursers, thus her filence broke:
Degenerate prince ! and not of Tydeus' kind, Whose little body lodg'd a mighty mind; Foremost he press’d in glorious toils to Mare, And scarce refrain'd when I forbade the war. Alone, unguarded, once he dar'd to go And feast, encircled by the Theban foe; There bray'd, and vanquish’d, many a hardy knight; Such nerves I gave him, and such force in fight. 1005 Thou too no less haft been my constant care ; Thy hands I arm’d, and sent thee forth to war : But thee or fear deters, or sloth detains; No drop of all thy father warms thy veins.
The chief thus answer'd mild: Immortal maid ! I own thy presence, and confess thy aid. Not fear, thou know'st, withholds me from the plains, Nor Noth hath seiz’d me, but thy word restrains : From warring Gods thou bad'st me turn my spear, And Venus only found resistance here.
Hence, Goddess ! heedful of thy high commands,
Loth I gave way, and warn'd our Argive bands :
For Mars, the homicide, these
With Naughter red, and raging round the field.
Then thus Minerva. Brave Tydides, hear!
Not Mars himself, nor aught immortal, fear..
Full on the God impel thy foaming horse :
Pallas commands, and Pallas lends thee force.
Rash, furious, blind, from these to those he flies,
And every fide of wavering combat tries ; 1025
Large promise makes, and breaks the promise made;
Now gives the Grecians, now the Trojans aid.
She said, and to the steeds approaching near,
Drew from his feat the martial charioteer,
The vigorous power the trembling car ascends, 1036
Fierce for revenge, and Diomed attends.
The groaning axle bent beneath the load;
So great a Hero, and fo great a God.
She snatch'd the reins, the lash'd with all her force,
And full on Mars impell’d the foaming horse :
But first to hide her heavenly visage spread
Black Orcus' helmet o'er her radiant head.
Just then gigantic Periphas lay flain,
The strongest warriour of th' Ætolian train ;
The God, who New him, leaves his proftrate prize
Stretch'd where he fell, and at Tydides Nies.
Now, rushing fierce, in equal arms appear,
The daring Greek; the dreadful God of war!
Full at the chief, above his courser's head,
From Mars's arm th’ enormous weapon fled : 1045
Pallas oppos'd her hand, and caus'd to glance,
Far from the car, the strong immortal lance.
Then threw, the force of Tydeus' warlike fon;
The javelin hiss’d; the Goddess urg'd it on :
Where the broad cincture girt his armour round, 1050
It pierc'd the God: his groin receiv'd the wound.
From the rent skin the warriour tugs again
The smoaking steel. Mars bellows with the pain :
Loud as the roar encountering armies yield,
When shouting millions shake the thundering field.
Both armies start, and trembling gaze around;
And earth and heaven rebellow to the found.
As vapours blown by Auster's sultry breath,
Pregnant with plagues, and shedding feeds of death,
Beneath the rage of burning Sirius rise,
Choke the parch'd earth, and blacken all the skies;
In such a cloud the God from combat driven,
High o'er the dusty whirlwind scales the heaven.
Wild with his pain, he fought the bright abodes,
There sullen fate beneath the Sire of Gods, 1065
Show'd the celestial blood, and with a groan
Thus pour'd his plaints before th' immortal throne :
Can Jove, supine, flagitious facts survey, And brook the furies of this daring day? For mortal men celestial powers engage,
1070 And Gods on Gods exert eternal rage. From thee, O father ! all these ills we bear, And thy fell daughter with the shield and spear : Thou gav'st that fury to the realms of light, Pernicious, wild, regardless of the right, 1075
All heaven beside reveres thy sovereign (way,
*Thy voice we hear, and thy behests obey :
'Tis hers t' offend, and ev'n offending share
Thy breast, thy counsels, thy distinguish'd care :
So boundless the, and thou so partial grown, 1080
Well may we deem the wondrous birth thy own.
Now frantic Diomed, at her command,
Against th' Immortals lifts his raging hand:
The heavenly Venus first his fury found,
Me next encountering, me he dar'd to wound; 1085
Vanquish'd I fled : ev'n I the God of fight,
From mortal madness fcarce was fav’d by flight.
Else hadst thou feen me fink on yonder plain,
Heap'd round, and heaving under loads of flain!
Or, pierc'd with Grecian darts, for ages lie, 1090
Condemn’d to pain, though fated not to die.
Him thus upbraiding, with a wrathful look
The Lord of thunders view'd, and stern bespoke :
To me, perfidious! this lamenting strain ?
Of lawless force shall lawless Mars complain? 1095
Of all the Gods who tread the spangled skies,
Thou most unjust, most odious in our eyes !
Inhuman discord is thy dire delight,
The waste of laughter, and the rage of fight.
No bound, no law, thy fiery temper quells,
And all thy mother in thy soul rebels.
In vain our threats, in vain our power we use;
She gives th' example, and her son pursues.
Yet long th' inflicted pangs thou shalt not mourn,
Sprung since thou art from Jove, and heavenly born.