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Condemned to sufier the fiill force of fate,
And drain the dregs of heaven's relentless hate !
Gods ! shall one raging hand thus level all ?
What numbers fell ! what numbers yet shall fall ! 430
What power divine shall Hector's wrath assuage?
Still swells the slaughter, and still glows the rage !"

So spake th' imperial regent of the skies ;
To whom the goddess with the azure eyes :

" Long since had Hector stain'd these fields with gcre,
Stretch'd by some Ajrgive on his native shore ;



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THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII. 188

But He above, the sire of heaven, withstands.
Mocks our attempts, and slights our just demands*
The stubborn god, inflexible and hard.
Forgets my service and deserved reward : 440

Saved I for this his favourite son,* distressed.
By stem Eury stheus with long labours press'd ?
He begg'd, with tears he begg'd, in deep dismay;
I shot from heaven, €md gave his arm the day.
Oh, had my wisdom known this dire event.
When to grim Pluto's gloomy gates he went,
The triple dog had never felt his chain,
Nor Styx been cross'd, nor hell explored in Vam.
Averse to me, of all his heaven of gods.
At Thetis' suit the partial Thunderer nods. 450

To grace her gloomy, fierce, resenting son.
My hopes are frustrate, and my Greeks undone.
Some fiiture day, perhaps, he may be moved
To call his blue-eyed maid his best-beloved.
Haste, launch thy chariot, through yon ranks to ride I
Myself will arm, and thunder at thy side.
Then, goddess 1 say, shall Hector glory then
(That terror of the Greeks, that man of men,)
When Juno's self, and Pallas shall appear.
All dreadful in the crimson walks of war ? 4G0

That mighty Trojan then, on yonder shore.
Expiring, pale, and terrible no more.
Shall feast the fowls, and glut the dogs with gore T
She ceased, and Juno rein'd the steeds with care
(Heaven's awful empress, Saturn's other heir) ;
Pallas, meanwhile, her various veil unbound.
With flowers adom'd, with art immortal crown'd ;
The radiant robe her sacred fingers wove.
Floats in rich waves, and spreads the court of Jove.
Her father's arms her mighty limbs invest, 470

His cuirass blazes on her ample breast

* Heienlei.

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184 *rHE ILIAD, BOOK VIII.

The vigorous power the trembling car ascends ;
Shook by her arm, the massy javelin bends ;
Huge, ponderous, strong ! that, when her fury bums,
Proud tyrants humbles, and whole hosts o'ertums.

Satumia lends the lash ; the coursers fly ;
Smooth glides the chariot through the liquid sky.
Heaven's gates spontaneous open to the powers.
Heaven's golden gates, kept by the winged Hours ;
Commissioned in alternate watch they stand, 48G

The sun's bright portals and the skies command ;
Close or unfold th' eternal gates of day.
Bar heaven with clouds, or roll those clouds away.
The sounding hinges ring, the clouds divide ;
Prone down the steep of heaven their course they guide.
But Jove, incensed, from Ida's top survey'd.
And thus enjoin'd the many-colour'd maid :

" Thaumantia ! mount the winds, and stop their car !
Against the Highest who shall wage the war?
If fiirious yet they dare the vain debate, 400

Thus have I spoke, and what I speak is fate :
Their coursers crush'd beneath the wheels shall lie.
Their car in fragments scattered o'er the sky !
My lightning these rebellious shall confound.
And hurl them, flaming, headlong to the ground,
Condemn'd for ten revolving years to weep
The wounds impress'd by burning thunder deep.
So shall Minerva learn to fear our ire,
Nor dare to combat her's and Nature's sire.
For Juno, headstrong and imperious still, 60C

She claims some title to transgress our will."

Swift as the wind, the various-colour'd maid
From Ida's top her golden wings display'd ;
To great Olympus' shining gates she flies,
There meets the chariot rushing down the skies ;
Restrains their progress from the bright abodes.
And speaks the mandate of the sire of gods :

" What frenzy, goddesses ! what rage can move
Celestial minds to tempt the wrath of Jove !



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THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII 185

Desist, obedient to his high command : 510

This is his word : and know, his word shall stand.

His lightning your rebellion shall confound,

And hurl you headlong, flaming, to the ground :

Your horses crushed beneath the wheels shall lie.

Your car in fragments scattered o'er the sky :

Yourselves condemnM ten rolling years to weep

The wounds impressed by burning thunder deep.

So shall Minerva learn to fear his ire.

Nor dare to combat her's and Nature's sire.

For Juno, headstrong and imperious still, 520

She claims some title to transgress his will :

But thee, what desperate insolence has driven

To lift thy lance agamst the king of heaven?**

Then, mounting on the pinions of the wind.

She flew; and Juno thus her rage resigned :

"Oh ! daughter of that god whose arm can wield
Th' avenging bolt, and shake the dreadful shield I
No more let beings of superior birth
Contend with Jove for this low race of earth.
Triumphant now, now miserably slain, 630

They breathe or perish as the Fates ordain.
But Jove's high counsels full eflect shall find ;
And, ever constant, ever rule mankind.'*

She spoke, and backward tumM her steeds of light,
Adom'd with manes of gold, and heavenly bright.
The Hours unloosed them, panting as they stood,
And heap'd their mangers with ambrosial food.
There tied, they rest in high celestial stalls ;
The chariot propp'd against the crystal walls.
The pensive goddesses, abash'd, control'd, 6^10

Mix with the gods, and fill their seats of gold.
And now the Thunderer meditates his flight
From Ida's summits to th' Olympian height :
Swifter than thought the wheels instinctive fly.
Flame through the vast of air, and reach, the sky.
'Twas Neptune's cnarge his coursers to unbrace.
And fix the car on its immortal base ;



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186 THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII.

There stood .the cianot, beaming forth its rays,

Till with a snowy veil he screened the blaze.

He, whose ^U-conscious eyes the world behold, 550

Th' eternal Thunderer, sat enthroned in gold ;

High heaven the footstool of his feet he makes.

And wide beneath him all Olympus shakes.

Trembling afar th' offending powers appear'd,

Confused and silent, for his frown they fear'd.

He' saw their soul, and thus his word imparts :

"Pallas and Juno ! say, why heave your hearts t

Soon was your battle o'er : prolyl Troy retired

Before your face, and in your wrath expired.

But know, whoe'er almighty power withstand, 560

Unmatch'd our force, unconquer'd is our hand I

Who shall the sovereign of the skies control?

Not all the gods that crown the starry pole.

Your hearts shall tremble, if our arms we take,

And each immortal nerve with horror shake.

For thus I speak, and what I speak shall stand :

What power soe'er provokes our lifted hand,

On this our hill no more shall hold his place,

Cut ofl^ and exiled from th' ethereal race."

■Juno and Pallas, grieving, hear the doom, 570

But feast their souls on Uion's woes to come.
Though secret anger swell'd Minerva's breast.
The prudent goddess yet her wrath repress'd :
But Juno, impotent of rage, replies :
" What hast thou said, oh tyrant of the skies 1
Strength and omnipotence invest thy throne :
'Tis thine to punish ; ours to grieve alone.
For Greece we grieve, abandon'd by her fate,
To drink the dregs of thy unmeasured hate :
From fields forbidden we submiss refrain, 58C

With arms unaiding see our Argives slain ;
Yet grant our counsels still their breasts may move
Lest all should perish in the rage of Jove."

The goddess thus. And thus the god replies.
Who swells the clouds, and blackens all the skies :



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THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII. ]87

' Tlio morning sun, awaked by loud al firms,

Shall see th' almighty Thunderer in arms :

What heaps of Argives then shall load the plam,

Those radiant eyes shall view, and view in vain.

Nor shall great Hector cease the rage of fight, 590

The navy flaming, and thy Greeks in flight,

Ev'n till the day when certain fates ordain

That stem Achilles — his Patroclus slain —

Shall rise in vengeance, and lay waste the plain I

For such is fate, nor canst thou turn its course

With all thy rage, with all thy rebel force.

Fly, if thou wilt, to earth's remotest bound.

Where on her utmost verge the seas resound ;

Where cursed lapetus and Saturn dwell.

Fast by the brink, within the steam of hell ; 600

No Sim e'er gilds the gloomy horrors there ;

No cheerful gales refresh the lazy air ;

There arm once more the bold Titanian band.

And arm in vain, for what I will shall stand P

Now deep in ocean sunk the lamp of light.
And drew behind the cloudy veil of night :
The conquering Trojans mourn his beams decayed ;
The Greeks, rejoicing, bless the fiiendly shade.

The victors keep the field ; and Hector calls
A martial council near the navy walls : 610

These to Scamander's bank apart he led,
Where thinly scatter'd lay the heaps of dead.
Th' assembled chiefs, descending on the ground,
Attend his order, and their prince surround.
A massy spear he bore, of mighty strength ;
Of full ten cubits was the lance's length ;
The point was brass, refulgent to behold,
Fix'd to the wood, with circlmg rings of gold ;
The noble Hector on this lance reclined,
And, bending forward, thus revealed his mind : 620

" Ye valiant Trojans, with attention hear !
Ye Dardan bands, and generous aids, give ear I



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X88 THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII.

This day, we hoped, would wrap in conquering flam©

Greece with her ships, and crown our toils with fame ,

But darkness now, to save the cowards, falls.

And guards them trembling in their wooden walls.

Obey the Night, and use her peaceful hours

Our steeds to forage, and refresh our powers.

Straight from the town be sheep and oxen sought.

And strengthening bread, and generous wine be brought

Wide o'er the field, high blazing to the sky, 631

Let numerous fires the absent sun supply;

The flaming piles with plenteous fuel raise.

Till the bright mom her purple beam displays ;

Lest, in the silence, and the shades of night,

Greece in her sable ships attempt her flight.

Not unmolested let the wretches gain

Their lofty decks, or safely cleave the main ;

Some hostile wound let every dart bestow,

Some lasting token of the Phrygian foe ; 640

Wounds, that long hence may ask their spouses* care,

And warn their children from a Trojan war.

Now through the circuit of our Ilion wall.

Let sacred heralds sound the solemn call ;

To bid the sires, with hoary honours crown'd.

And beardless youths, our battlements surround.

Firm be the guard, while distant lie our powers,

And let the matrons hang with lights the towers :

Lest, under cover of the midnight shade,

Th' insidious foe the naked town invade. 660

Suffice, to-night, these orders to obey :

A nobler charge shall rouse the dawning day.

The gods, I trust, shall give to Hector's hand.

From these detested foes to free the land.

Who ploughed, with fates averse, the watery way,

For Trojan vultures a predestined prey.

Our common safety must be now the care :.

But soon as morning paints the fields of air,

Sheath'd in bright arms let every troop engage,

And the fired fleet behold the battle rage. 660



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THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII. 189

Then, then shall Hector and Tydides prove,

Whose fates are heaviest in the scale of Jove.

To-niorrow*s light — Oh, haste the glorious mom I —

Shall see his bloody spoils in triumph borne ;

With this keen javelin shall his breast be gored.

And prostrate heroes bleed around their lord.

Certain as this, oh I might my days endure,

From age inglorious, and black death secure !

So might my life and glory know no bound.

Like Pallas worshipped, like the sun renown'd ! 670

As the next dawn, the last they shall enjoy,

Shall crush the Greeks, and end the woes of Ti oy.**

The leader spoke. From all his host around
Shouts of applause along the shores resound
Each from the yoke the smoking steeds untied,
And fix'd their head-stalls to his chariot-side.
Pat sheep and oxen from the town are led.
With generous wine, and all-sustaining bread.
Full hecatombs lay burning on the shore ;
The winds to heaven the curling vapours bore. G80

Ungrateful offering to th' immortal powers.
Whose wrath hung heavy o'er the Trojan towers !
Nor Priam nor his sons obtain'd their grace ;
Proud Troy they hated, and her guilty race.

The troops, exulting, sat in order round.
And beaming fires illumined all the ground.
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light ;
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene.
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene ; 690

Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole ;
O'er tlie dark trees a yellow verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain's head ;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies :



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190 THE ILIAD, BOOK VIII.

The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight.

Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light ;

So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,

And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays : 700

The long reflections of the distant fires

Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.

A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,

And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field.

Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend.

Whose number'd arms, by fits, thick flashes send ;

Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of com.

And ardent warriors wait the rising mom.



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BOOK IX.

The Embassy to Achilles.

ARauMBHT. — ^Agamemnon, after the last day's defeat, pre poeea tc the Oreen
to quit the aiege, and return to their country. Diomoi opp leea thui, and
Nestor seconds him, praising" his wisdom and resolution. He orders iha
guard lo bo strengthened, and a council summoned to deliberate what
measures are to be followed in this emergency. Agamemnon pursues this
adrice, and Nestor further prevails upon him to send ambassadors to
j^chilles, in order to move him to a reconciliation. Ulysses and Ajax are
made choice of, who are accompanied by old Phosnix. They make, each
of them, very moving and pressing speeches, but are rejected with rough-
ness by Achilles, who, notwithstuiding, retains Phosnix in his tent. The
ambassadors return unsuccessfully to the camp, and the troops betake
theooaelves to sleep.

Thia book, and the next following, take up the space of one night, which is
the twenty-seventh from thebeg^ning of the poem. The scene lies on
the aea-ahore, the station of the Grecian ships.

Thus joyful Troy maintain'd the watch of night ;
While fear, pale comrade of inglorious flight.
And heaven-bred horror, on the Grecian part.
Sat on each face, and sadden'd every heart.
As, from its cloudy dungeon issuing forth,
A double tempest of the west and north
Swells o'er the sea, from Thracia's frozen shore.
Heaps waves on waves, and bids the ^gean roar ;
This way and that the boiling deeps are toss'd ;
Such various passions urged the troubled host. 10

Great Agamemnon grieved above the rest ;
Superior sorrows sweird his royal breast ;
Himself his orders to the heralds bears,
To bid to council all the Grecian peers.
But bid in whispers: these surround their chief,
In solemn sadness, and majestic grief
The king amidst the mournful circle rose ;
Down his wan cheek a briny torrent flows •



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192 THE ILIAD, BOOK IX.

So silent fountains, from a rock's tall head,
In sable streams soft-trickling waters shed. 20

With more than vulgar grief he stood oppresti'd ;
Words, mix'd with sighs, thus bursting from his breast:

"Ye sons of Greece ! partake your leaders care:
Fellows in arms, and princes of the war!
Of partial Jove too justly we complain.
And heavenly oracles believed in vain.
A safe return was promised to our toils,
With conquest honoured, and enrich'd with spoils :
Now shameful flight alone can save the host;
Our wealth, our people, and our glory lost. 1H)

So Jove decrees, almighty lord of all !
Jove, at whose nod whole empires rise or fall ;
Who shakes the feeble props of human trust,
And towers and armies humbles to the dust.
Haste then, for ever quit these fatal fields;
Haste to the joys our native country yields ;
Spread all your canvas, all your oars employ,
Nor hope the fall of heaven-defended Troy."

He said. Deep silence held the Grecian band ;
Silent, unmoved, in dire dismay they stand, 40

A pensive scene I till Tydeus' warlike son
Roird on the king his eyes, and thus begun :

"When kings advise us to renounce our fame.
First let him speak, who first has suffered shame.
If I oppose thee, prince, thy wrath withhold,
The laws of council bid my tongue be bold.
Thou first, and thou alone, in fields of fight.
Durst brand my courage, and defame my might:
Nor from a friend th' unkind reproach appear'd.
The Greeks stood witness, all our army heard. 60

The gods, oh chief! from whom our honours si)ring.
The gods have made thee but by halves a king :
They gave thee sceptres, and a wide cx)mmand ;
They gave dominion o'er the seas and land ;
The noblest power that might the world control
They gave thee not — a brave and virtuous soul



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THC ILIAD, BOOK IX.



193



Is this a general's voice, that would suggest

Fears like his own to every Grecian breast?

Confiding in our want of worth, he stands ;

And if we fly, 'tis what our king commands. CO

Go thou, inglorious, from th' embattled plain !

Ships thou hast store, and nearest to the main :

A nobler care the Grecian shall employ.

To combat, conquer, and extirpate Troy.

Here Greece shall stay ; or, if all Greece retire.

Myself will stay, till Troy or I expire ;

Myself and Sthenelus will fight for fame ;

God bade us fight, and 'twas with God we came."

He ceased. The Greeks loud acclamations raise
And voice to voice resounds Tydides' praise. '30

Wise Nestor then his reverend figure rear'd ;
He spoke ; the host in still attention heard :

"Oh, truly great ! in whom the gods have join'd
Such strength of body with such force of mind I
In conduct as in courage you excel.
Still first to act what you advise so well.
Those wholesome counsels which thy wisdom moves,
Applauding Greece with common voice approves.
Kings thou canst blame — a bold, but prudent youth —
And blame ev'n kings with praise, because with trutli, 80
And yet those years that since thy birth have run,
Would hardly style thee Nestor's youngest son.
Then let me add what yet remains behind,
A thought imfinish'd in that generous mind ;
Age bids me speak ; nor shall th' advice I bring
Distaste the people, or offend the king :

"Cursed is the man, and void of law and right,
UnwiMlhy property, unworthy light,
Unfit for public rule, or private care ;
That wretch, that monster, who delights m war; 90

Whose lust is murder, and whose horrid joy
To tear his country, and his kind destroy !
This night, refresh and fortify thy train ;
Between the trench and wall let guards remain ;
N



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194 THE ILIAD, BOOK IX.

Be that the duty of the young and bold ;

But thou, oh king, to council call the old.

Great is thy sway, and weighty are thy cares ;

Thy high commands must spirit all our wars.

With Thracian wine recruit thy honour'd guests.

For happy counsels flow from sober feasts. 100

Wise, weighty counsels aid a state distressed.

And such a monarch as can choose the best.

See ! what a blaze from hostile tents aspires !

How near our fleet approach the Trojan fires !

Who can, unmoved, behold the dreadful light?

What eye beholds them, and can close to-night?

This dreadful interval determines all ;

To-morrow Troy must flame, or Greece must fall.'*

Thus spoke the hoary sage. The rest obey :
Swift through the gates the guards direct their way. 110
His son was first to pass the lofty mound,
The generous Thrasymed, in arms renown'd :
Next him, Ascalaphus, lalmen, stood.
The double ofispring of the warrior-god.
Deipyrus, Aphareus, Merion, join.
And Lycomed, of Creon's noble line.
Seven were the leaders of the nightly bands.
And each bold chief a hundred spears commands.
The fires they light, to short repasts they fall,
Some line the trench, and others man the wall. 120

The king of men, on public counsels bent.
Convened the princes in his ample tent;
Each seized a portion of the kingly feast.
But staid his hand when thirst and hunger ceased.
Then Nestor spoke, for wisdom long approved,
And, slowly rising, thus the council moved :

" Monarch of nations I whose superior sway
Assembled states and lords of earth obey,
The laws and sceptres to thy hand are given.
And millions own the care of thee and heaven. 180

Oh, king ! the counsels of my age attend ;
With thee my cares begin, in thee must end ;



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THE ILIAD, BOOK IX. 195

Thee, prince ! it fits alike to speak and hear,

Pronounce with judgment, with regard give ear ;

To see no wholesome motion be withstood.

And ratify the best for public good.

Nor, though a meaner give advice, repine,

But follow it, and make the wisdom thine.

Hear then a thought, not now conceived in haste.

At once my present judgment, and my past: 140

When from Pelides' tent you forced the maid,

I first opposed, and, faithful, durst dissuade ;

But bold of soul, when headlong fury fired.

You wronged the man, by men and gods admired .

Now seek some means his fatal wrath to end.

With prayers to move him, or with gifts to bend."

To whom the king : " With justice hast thou shown
A prince's faults, and I with reason own.
That happy man, whom Jove still honours most.
Is more than armies, and himself a host. 150

Bless'd in his love, this wondrous hero stands,
Heaven fights his war, and humbles all our bands.
Fain would ray heart, which err'd through frantic rage.
The wrathful chief and angry gods assuage.
If gifts immense his mighty soul can bow.
Hear, all ye Greeks, and witness what I vow:

"Ten weighty talents of the purest gold.
And twice ten vases of refulgent mould ;
Seven sacred tripods, whose unsullied frame
Yet knows no office, nor has felt the flame ; 160

Twelve steeds, unmatch'd in fleetness and in force.
And still victorious in the dusty course ;
(Rich were the man whose ample stores ex.ceed
The prizes purchased by their winged speed ;)
Seven lovely captives of the Lesbian line,
Skill'd in each art, unmatch'd in form divine :
The same I chose for more than vulgar charms.
When Lesbos sunk beneath the hero's arms :
All these, to buy his friendship, shall be paid,
And, join'd with these, the long-contested maid ; 170



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106 THE ILIAD, BOOK IX.

With all her charms, Briseis I resign.

And solemn swear those charms were never mine

Untouched she stay'd', uninjured she removes,

Pure from my arms, and guiltless of my loves.

These instant shall be his ; and if the powers

Give to our arms proud Ilion*s hostile towers,

Then shall he store, when Greece the spoil divides,

With gold and brass his loaded navy's sides.

Besides, full twenty nymphs, of Trojan race.

With copious love shall crown his warm embrace ; 180

Such as himself will choose ; who yield to none.

Or yield to Helenas heavenly charms alone.

Yet hear me farther: when our wars are o'er.

If safe we land on Argos' fruitful shore,

There shall he live my son, our honours share.

And with Orestes' self divide my care.

Yet more : three daughters in my court are bred,

And each well worthy of a royal bed ;

Laodicd and Iphigenia fair,

And bright Chrysothemis with golden hair; 190

Her let him choose, whom most his eyes approve,

I ask no presents, no reward for love :

Myself will give the dower: so vast a store.

As never father gave a child before.

Seven ample cities shall confess his sway

Him Enop^, and Pherse him obey,

Cardamylft with ample turrets crown'd,

And sacred Pedasus for vines renown'd ;

iEpea fair, the pastures Hira yields.

And rich Antheia with her flowery fields : 200

The whole extent of Pylos' sandy plain.

Along the verdant margin of the main :

There heifers graze, and labouring oxen toil ;

Bold are the men, and generous is the soil ;

There shall he reign, with power and justice cr »wn'd,

And rule the tributary realms around.

All this I give, his vengeance to control,

And sure all this may move his mighty soul.



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