Homer's Iliad online

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Dreadful they come, and bend their rage on thee :
Lo, the brave heir of old Lycaon's line.
And great ^neas, sprung from race divine !
Enough is given to fame. Ascend thy car,
And save a life, the bulwark of our war."

At this the hero cast a gloomy look,
Fix'd on the chief with scorn, and thus he spoke :

"Me dost thou bid to shun the coming fight? 310

Me would'st thou move to base, inglorious flight?
Know, 'tis not honest in my soul to fear.
Nor was Tydides bom to tremble here.
I hate the cumbrous chariot's slow advance.
And long the distance of the flying lance ;
But while my nerves are strong, my force entire,
Thus front the foe, and emulate my sire.
Nor shall yon steeds, that fierce to fight convey
Those threatening heroes, bear them both away;
One chief at least beneath this arm shall die ; * S20

So Pallas tells me, and forbids to fly.


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But if she dooms, and if no god withstand,

That both shall fall by one victorious hand,

Then heed my words : my horses here detain,

Fix'd to the chai'iot by the straitenM rein ;

Swift to Eneas' empty seat proceed.

And seize the coursers of ethereal breed :

The race of those, which once the thundering god

For ravish'd Ganymede on Tros bestow'd,

The best that e'er on earth's broad surface run, 83f

Beneath the rismg or the setting sun.

Hence great Anchises stole a breed, unknown

By mortal mares, from fierce Laomedon:

Four of this race his ample stalls contain,

And two transport ^neas o'er the plain.

These, were the rich immortal prize our own,

Through the wide world should make our glory known."

Thus, while they spoke, the foe came furious on,
And stem Lycaon's warlike race begun :
** Prince, thou art met. Though late in vain assail'd, 340
The spear may .enter where the arrow fail'd."

He said : then shook the ponderous lance, and flung;
On his broad shield the sounding weapon rung.
Pierced the tough orb, and in his cuirass hung.
*He bleeds ! the pride of Greece !" the boaster cries :
"Our triumph now the mighty warrior lies!"

** Mistaken vaunter !" Diomed replied ;
•'Thy dart has err'd, and now my spear be tried :
Ye 'scape not both ; one, headlong from his car,
With hostile blood shall glut the god of war." 350

He spoke ; and, rising, hurl'd his forceful dart.
Which, driven by Pallas, pierced a vital part:
Full in his face it enter'd, and betwixt
The nose and eye-ball the proud Lycian fix'd ;
Crash'd all his jaws, and cleft the tongue within.
Till the bright point look'd out beneath the chin.
Headlong he falls, his helmet knocks the ground ;
Earth groans beneath him, and his Arms resound ;
The starting coursers tremble with affright ;
T le soul indignant seeks the realms of night. 300

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To guard his slaughtered friend ^neas flies,
His spear extending where the carcase lies ;
Watchful he wheels, protects it every way, .
As the grim lion stalks around his prey.
O'er the fall'n trunk his ample shield displayed,
He hides the hero with his mighty shade,
And threats aloud : the Greeks with longing eyes
Behold at distance, but forbear the prize.
Then fierce Tydides stoops ; and from the fields,
Heaved with vast force, a rocky fragment wields : 870
Not two strong men th' enormous weight could raise.
Such men as live in these degenerate days.
He swung it round ; and, gathering strength to throw,
Discharged the ponderous ruin at the foe.
Where to the hip th' inserted thigh unites.
Full on the bone the pointed marble lights ;
Through both the tendons broke the rugged stone.
And stripp'd the skin, and crack'd the solid bone.
Sunk on his knees, and staggering with his pains.
His falling bulk his bended arm sustains ; 380

Lost in the dizzy mist the warrior lies,
A sudden cloud comes swimmmg o'er his eyes.
There the brave chief, who mighty numbers sway'd,
Oppressed had sunk to death's etei*nal shade ;
But heavenly Venus, mindful of the love
She bore Anchises in the Idsean grove.
His danger views with anguish and despair.
And guards her oflfspring with a mother's care :
About her much-loved son her arms she throws —
Her arms, whose whiteness match the falling snows. 390
Screen'd from the foe behind her shining veil.
The swords wave harmless, and the javelins fail :
Safe through the rushing horse, and feather'd flight
Of sounding shafts, she bears him from the fight.

Nor Sthenelus, with unassisting hands,
Remain'd unheedful of his lord's commands :
His panting steeds, removed from out the war,
He fix'd with straiteu'd traces to tlie car;


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Next, rushing to the Dardan spoil, detains

The heavenly coursers with the flowing manes : 400

These, in proud triumph to the fleet convey'd.

No longer now a Trojan lord obeyed. %

That charge to bold Deipylus he gave,

(Whom most he loved, as brave men love the brave,;

Then mounting on his car, resumed the rein.

And followed where Tydides swept the plain.

Meanwhile (his conquest ravish'd from his eyes),
The raging chief in chase of Venus flies :
No goddess she commission'd to the field.
Like Pallas dreadful with her sable shield, 410

Or fierce Bellona thundering at the wall,
While flames ascend, and mighty ruins &11 ;
He knew soft combats suit the tender dame.
New to the field, and still a foe to fame.
Through breaking ranks his fiirious course he bends.
And at the goddess his broad lance extends ;
Through her bright veil the daring weapon drove,
Th' ambrosial veil which all the Graces wove ;
Her snowy hand the razing steel profaned.
And the transparent skin with crimson stainM ; 420

From the clear vein a stream immortal flowed.
Such stream as issues from a wounded god :
Pure emanation ; uncorrupted flood ;
Unlike our gross, diseased, terrestrial blood :
(For not the bread of man their life sustains.
Nor wine's inflaming juice supplies their veins.)
With tender shriek the goddess fiird the place.
And dropp'd her ofispring from her weak embrace.
Him Phcebus took: he casts a cloud around
The fainting chie^ and wards the mortal wound. 480

Then with a voice that shook .the vaulted skies.
The king insults the goddess as she flies :
•*I11 with Jove's daughter bloody fights agree.
The field of combat is no scene for thee ;
Gro, let thy own soft sex employ thy care,
(5o, lull the coward, or delude the fair:


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Taught by this stroke^ renounce the war*s alarms,
And learn to tremble at the name of arms."

Tydides thus. The goddess, seized with dread.
Confused, distracted, from the conflict fled. 440

To aid her, swift the winged Iris flew.
Wrapt in a mist above the warring crew;
The queen of love with faded charms she founds
Pale was her cheek, and livid look'd the wound.
To Mars, who sat remote, they bent their way.
Far on the left, with clouds involved, he lay;
Beside him stood his lance, distain'd with gore.
And, rein'd with gold, his foaming steeds before.
Low at his knee, she begg'd with streaming eyes
Her brother's car, to mount the distant skies, 450

And showed the wound by fierce Tydides given,
A mortal man, who dares encounter heaven.
Stem Mars attentive hears the queen complain.
And to her hand commits the golden rein ;
She mounts the seat, oppressM with silent wo,.
Driven by the goddess of the painted bow.
The lash resounds, the rapid chariot flies.
And in a moment scales the lofty skies :
There stopp'd the car, and there the coursers stood.
Fed by fair Iris with ambrosia] food. 46C

Before her mother. Love's bright queen appears,
O'erwhelmed with anguish, and dissolved in tears ;
She raised her in her arms, beheld her bleed.
And ask'd, what god had wrought this guilty deed?

Then she : "This insult firom no god I found :
An impious mortal gave the daring wound 1
Behold the deed of haughty Diomed !
'Twas in her son's defence the mother bled.
The war with Troy no more the Grecians wage.
But with the gods, the immortal gods, engage." 47C

Dion6 then: "Thy wrongs with patience bear.
And share those griefs inferior powers must share .
Unnumber'd woes mankind from us sustain.
And men with woes afflict the gods again.


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The mighty Mars, in mortal fetters bound,

And lodged in brazen dungeons under ground,

Full thirteen moons imprison'd, roar'd in vain :

Otus and Ephidtes held the chain :

Perhaps had perish'd ; had not Hermes* care

Restored the groaning god to upper air. 480

Great Juno's self has borne her weight of pain,

Th' imperial partner of the heavenly reign ;

Amphjrtrion's son infix'd the deadly dart.

And fill'd with anguish her immortal heart

Ev'n hell's grim king Alcides' power confess'd.

The shaft found entrance in his iron breast ;

To Jove's high palace for a cure he fled,

Pierced in his ovm dominions of the dead.

Where Phaeon, sprinkling heavenly balm around,

Assuaged the glowing pangs, and closed the wound. 490

Rash, impious man ! to stain the bless'd abodes.

And drench his arrows in the blood of gods !

But thou (though Pallas urged thy frantic deed)

Whose spear ill-fated makes a goddess bleed.

Know thou, whoe'er with heavenly power contends.

Short is his date, and soon his glory ends ;

Prom fields of death when late he shall retire.

No infant on his kne^ shall call him sire.

Strong as thou art, some god may yet be found.

To stretch thee pale and gasping on the ground ; ^«0

Thy distant wife, ^gial6 the fair.

Starting firom sleep with a distracted air.

Shall rouse thy slaves, and her lost lord deplore,

The brave, the great, the glorious, now no more !"

This said, she wiped from Venus' wounded palm
The sacred ichor, and infused the balm.
Juno and Pallas with a smile survey'd.
And thus to Jove began the blue-eyed maid :

"Permit thy daughter, gracious Jove I to tell
How this mischance the Cyprian queen befell. 510

As late she tried with passion to inflame
The trader bosom of a Grecian dame,


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Allured the fair with moving thoughts of joy,
To quit her country for some youth of Troy ;
The clasping zone, with golden buckles bound,
Razed her soft hand with this lamented wound."

The sire of gods and men superior smiled,
And, calling Venus, thus addi*ess'd his child :
•* Not these, O daughter, are thy proper cares.
Thee milder arts befit, and softer wars ; 520

Sweet smiles are thine, and kind endearing charms:
To Mars and Pallas leave the deeds of arms."

Thus they in heaven : while on the plain below
The fierce Tydides charged his Dardan foe,
Flush'd with celestial blood pursued his way.
And fearless dared the threatening god of day:
Already in his hopes he saw him kill'd.
Though screen'd behind Apollo's mighty shield.
Thrice, rushing fiirious, at the chief he struck ;
His blazing buckler thrice Apollo shook : 530

He tried the fourth : when, breaking from the cloud,
A more than mortal voice was heard aloud :

"Oh, son of Tydeus, cease ! be wise, and see
How vast the difference of the gods and thee ;
Distance immense ! between the powers that shine
Above — eternal, deathless, and divine —
And mortal man ! a wretch of humble birth
A short-lived reptile in the dust of earth."

So spoke the god who darts celestial fires :
He dreads his fiiry, and some steps retires. 540

Then Phoebus bore the chief of Venus* race
To Troy's high fane, and to his holy place ;
Latona there and Phoebe heal'd the wound.
With vigour arm'd him, and with glory crown'd.
This done, the patron of the silver bow
A phantom raised, the same in shape and ishow
With great ^neas ; such the form he bore.
And such in fight the radiant arms he wore.
Around the spectre bloody wars are waged.
And Greece and Troy with clashing shields engaged. 550


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Meantime^ on Uion's tower Apollo stood,
And, calling Mars, thus urged the raging god :

"Stem power of arms, by whom the mighty fall ;
• Who bath'st in blood, and shak'st th' embattled wall,
Rise in thy wrath ! to hell's abhorr'd abodes
Dispatch yon Greek, and vindicate the gods.
First rosy Venus felt his brutal rage ;
Me next he charged, and dares all heaven engage :
The wretch would brave high heaven's immortal sire,
His triple thunder, and his bolts of fire." 5G0

The god of battle issues on the plain,
Stirs all the ranks, and fires the Trojan train ;
In form like Acaroas, the Thracian guide.
Enraged, to Troy's retiring chiefs he cried :

** How long, ye sons of Priam, will ye fly.
And unrevenged see Priam's people die?
Still unresisted shall the foe destroy.
And stretch the slaughter to the gates of Troy?
Lo ! brave JSneas suiks beneath his wound,
Not godlike Hector more in arms renowned. 670

Haste all, and take a generous warrior's part."
He said ; new courage swell'd each hero's heart.

Sarpedon first his ardent soul expressed,
And, tum'd to Hector, these bold words address'd :

**Say, chief I is all thy ancient valour lost?
Where are thy threats, and where thy glorious boast,
That propped alone by Priam's race should stand
Troy's sacred walls, nor need a foreign hand?
Now, now thy country calls her wonted friends.
And the proud vaunt in just derision ends : 580

Remote they stand, while alien troops engage,
Like trembling hounds before the lion's rage. •
Far distant hence I held my wide command.
Where foaming Xanthus laves the Lycian land.
With ample wealth (the wish of mortals) blest,
A beauteous wife, and infant at her breast ;
With those I left whatever dear could be ;
Greece, if she conquers, nothing wms from me.

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Yet first in fight my Lycian bands I cheer,

And long to meet this mighty man ye fear ; 690

While Hector idle stands, nor bids the brave

Their wives, their infants, and their altars save.

Haste, warrior, haste ! preserve thy threatened state ;

Or one vast burst of all-involving fate

Full o'er your towers shall fall, and sweep away

Sons, sires, and wives, an undistinguish'd prey.

Rouse all thy Trojans, urge thy aids to fight ;

These claim thy thoughts by day, thy watch by nigh: :

With force incessant the brave Greeks oppose ;

Such cares thy firiends deserve, and such thy foes/* 600

Stung to the heart, the generous Hector hears ;
But just reproof with decent silence bears.
From his proud car the prince impetuous springs,
On earth he leaps ; his brazen armour rings.
Two shming spears are brandished in his hands :
Thus arm'd, he animates his drooping bands,
Revives their ardour, turns their steps from flight,
Ana wakes anew the dying flames of fight.
They turn, they stand, the Greeks their fury dare,
Condense their powers, and wait the growing war 610

As when, on Ceres' sacred floor, the swain
Spreads the wide fan to clear the golden grain.
And the light chaflF, before the breezes borne,
Ascends in clouds firom ofi* the heapy com ;
The gray dust, rising with collected winds,
Drives o'er the barn, and whitens all the hinds ;
So, white with dust, the Grecian host appears,
From trampling steeds, and thundering charioteers
The dusky clouds from laboured earth arise,
And roll in smoking volumes to the skies ; 620

Mars hovers o'er them with his sable shield ;
And adds new honours to the darken'd field :
Pleased with his charge, and ardent to fulfil.
In Troy's defence, Apollo's heavenly will :
Soon as from fight the blue-eyed maid retires.
Each Trojan bosom with new warmth he fires.

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And DOW the god, irom forth his sacred fane.

Produced ^neas to the shouting train ;

Alive, unharmed, with all his peers around.

Erect he stood, and vigorous from his wound : (530

Inquiries none they made ; the dreadful day

No pause of words admits — no dull delay;

Fierce Discord storms, Apollo loud exclaims,

Fame calls, Mars thunders, and the field 's in flames.

Stem Diomed with either Ajax stood.
And great Ulysses, bathed in hostile blood.
Embodied close, the labouring Grecian train
The fiercest shock of charging hosts sustain.
Unmoved and silent, the whole war they wait.
Serenely dreadful, and as fix*d as fate. 640

So when th' embattled clouds, in dark array.
Along the skies their gloomy lines display;
When now the North his boisterous rage has spent.
And peaceful sleeps the liquid element ;
The low-hung vapours, motionless and still.
Rest on the summits of the shaded hill ;
Till the mass scatters as the winds arise.
Dispersed and broken through the ruffled skies.

Nor was the general wanting to his train ;
From troop to troop he toils through all the plain. 650
** Ye Greeks, be men ! the charge of battle bear !
Your brave associates and yourselves revere 1
Let glorious acts, more glorious acts inspire.
And catch from breast to breast the noble fire I
On valour's side, the odds of combat lie,
The brave live glorious, or lamented die ;
The wretch who trembles in the field of fame.
Meets death, and worse than death, eternal shame.'*

These words he seconds with his flying lance.
To meet whose point was strong Deicoon's chance, 660
iBneas' friend, and in his native place
Honour'd and loved like Priam's royal race :
Long had he fought the foremost in the field.
But now the monarch's lance transpierced his shield *

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His shield too weak the furious dart to stay,
Through his broad belt the weapon forced its way;
The grizly wound dismiss'd his soul to hell,
His arms around him rattled as he fell.

Then fierce ^neas, brandishing his blade,
In dust Orsilochus and Crethon laid, C7(

Whose sire Diocleus, -wealthy, brave, and great.
In well-built Pherae held his lofty seat : ^

Sprung from Alpheus* plenteous stream, that yields
Increase of harvests to the Pylian fields.
He got Orsilochus, Diocleus he ;
And these descended in the third degree.
Too early expert in the martial toil.
In sable ships they left their native soil,
T' avenge Atrides : now, untimely slain,
They fell with glory on the Phrygian plain. 680

So two young mountain lions, nursed with blood.
In deep recesses of the gloomy wood,
Rush fearless to the plains, and uncontrol'd
Depopulate the stalls, and waste the fold ;
Till pierced at distance from their native den,
O'erpower'd they fall beneath the force of men.
Prostrate on earth their beauteous bodies lay.
Like mountain firs, as tall and straight as they.
Great Menelaus views with pitying eyes,
Lifts his bright lance, and at the victor flies ; 690

Mars urged him on ; yet, ruthless in his hate.
The gods but urged him to provoke his fate.
He thus advancing, Nestor's valiant son
Shakes for his danger, and neglects his own :
Struck with the thought, should Helen's lord be slain.
And all his country's glorious labours vain.
Already met, the threatening heroes stand ;
The spears already tremble in their hand :
In rush'd Antilochus, his aid to bring,
And fall or conquer by the Spartan king. 700

These seen, the Dardan backward tum'd liis course,
Brave as he was, and shunn'd unequal force.


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The breathless bodies to the Greeks they drew,

Then mix'd in combat, and their toils renew.

First, Pylsemenes, great in battle, bled.

Who, sheath'd in Crass, the Paphlagonians led.

Atrides mark'd him where sublime he stood ;

Fix'd in his throat, the javelin drank his blood.

The faithful Mydon, as he turn'd from fight

His flying coursers, sunk to endless night : 710

A broken rock by Nestor's son was thrown :

His bended arm received the falling stone.

From his numb'd hand the ivory-studded reins,

Dropp*d in the dust, are trail'd along the plains :

Meanwhile, his temples feel a deadly wound ;

He groans in death, and pondrous sinks to ground ;

Deep drove his helmet in the sands, and there

The head stood fix'd, the quivering legs in air.

Till trampled flat beneath the coursers' feet :

The youthfijl victor mounts his empty seat, 720

And bears the prize in triumph to the fleet :

Great Hector saw, and, raging at the view.
Pours on the Greeks ; the Trojan troops pursue :
He fires his host vnth animating cries.
And brings along the furies of the skies.
Mars, stern destroyer ! and Bellona dread,
Flame in the front, and thunder at their head :
This swells the tumult, and the rage of fight ;
That shakes a spear that casts a dreadful light.
Where Hector march'd, the god of battles shined, 730
Now storm'd before him, and now raged behind.

Tydides paused amidst his full career ;
Then first the hero's manly breast knew fear.
As when some simple swain his cot forsakes.
And wide through fens an unknown journey takes ;
If chance a swelling brook his passage stay.
And foam impervious cross the wanderer's way,
Confused he stops, a length of country pass'd,
Eyes the rough waves, and, tired, returns at last :
Amazed no less the great Tydides stands ; 740

He stay'd, and, turning, thus address'd his bands:

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" No wonder, Greeks, that all to Hector yield :
Secure of favouring gods, he takes the field ;
His strokes they second, and avert our spears :
Behold where Mars in mortal arms appears 1
Retire, then, warriors, but sedate and slow ;
Retire, but with your faces to the foe.
Trust not too much your unavailing might :
'Tis not with Troy, but with the gods ye fight."

Now near the Greeks the black battalions drew; 75C
And first two leaders valiant Hector slew !
His force Anchialus and Mnesthes found.
In every art of glorious war renown'd ;
In the same car the chiefs to combat ride,
And fought united, and united died.
Struck at the sight, the mighty Ajax glows
With thirst of vengeance, and assaults the foes.
His massy spear, with matchless fury sent.
Through Amphius' belt and heaving belly went :
Amphius, Apaesus' happy soil possess'd, 700

With herds abounding, and with treasure bless'd ;
But fate resistless firom his country led
The chief, to perish at his people's head. \

Shook with his fall, his brazen armour rung ;
And fierce to seize it, conquering Ajax sprung
Aroimd his head an iron tempest rain'd ;
A wood of spears his ample shield sustained ;
Beneath one foot the yet warm corpse he press'd.
And drew his javelin from the bleeding breast.
He could no more ; the showering darts denied 77(1

To spoil his glittering arms and plumy pride.
Now foes on foes came pouring on the fields.
With bristling lances, and compacted shields ;
Till, in the steely circle straitened round.
Forced he gives way, and sternly quits the ground.

While thus they strive, Tlepolemus the great.
Urged by the force of unresisted fate.
Burns with desire Sarpedon's strength to prove,
Alcides' oflTspring meets the son of Jove.


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SheatliM in bright arms each adverse chief came on, 780
Jove's great descendant, and his greater son.
Prepared for combat, ere the lance he toss'd.
The daring Rhodian vents his haughty boast :

** What brings this Lycian counsellor so far.
To tremble at our arms, not mix in war?
Know thy vain self; nor let their flattery move,
Who style thee son of cloud-compelling Jove.
How far unlike those chiefs of race divine !
How vast the difference of their deeds and thine !
Jove got such heroes as my sire, whose soul 790

No fear could daunt, nor earth nor hell control ;
Troy felt his arm, and yon proud ramparts stand
Raised on the ruins of his vengeful hand :
With six small ships, and but a slender train,
He left the town a wide-deserted plain.
But what art thou? who deedless look'st around.
While unrevenged thy Lycians bite the ground i
Small aid to Troy thy feeble force can be.
But, wert thou greater, thou must yield to me.
Pierced by my spear, to endless darkness go ! 800

I make this present to the shades below."

The son of Hercules, the Rhodian guide,
Thus haughty spoke. The Lycian king replied :

**Thy sire, O prince ! o'ertum'd the Trojan state.
Whose perjured monarch well deserved his fate ;
Those heavenly steeds the hero sought so far.
False he detained, the just reward of war.
Nor so content, the generous chief defied
With base reproaches and unmanly pride.
But you, unworthy the high race you boast, 8IC

Shall raise my glory when thy own is lost:
Now meet thy fate, and, by Sarpedon slain.
Add one more ghost to Pluto's gloomy reign."

He said. Both javelins at an instant flew;
Both struck, both wounded ; but Sarpedon's slew:
Full in the boaster's neck the weapon stood,
TransfiVd his throat, and drank the vital blood ;

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