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Do this, my Phoenix, 'tis a generous part;
And share my realms, my honours, and my heart. 780
Let these return : our voyage, or our stay,
Rest undetermined till the dawning day."

Jle ceased. Then order'd for the sage's bed
A warmer couch with numerous carpets spread.
With that, stern Ajax his long silence broke,
And thus, impatient, to Ulysses spoke :

** Hence let us go. Why waste we time in vain ?
See what effect our low submissions gain 1
liiked or not liked, liis words we must relate,
The Greeks expect them, and our heroes wait 74C

Proud as he is, that iron heart retains
Its stubborn purpose, and his friends disdains.
Stpru and unpitying 1 if a brother bleed.
On just atonement, we remit the deed ;


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A sire the slaughter of his son forgives ;

The price of blood discharged, the murderer lives

The haughtiest hearts at length their rage resign,

And gifts can conquer every soul but thine.

The gods that unrelenting breast have steel'd,

And cursed thee with a mind that cannot yield,. ., 750

One woman-slave was ravish'd from thy arms ;

Lo, seven are offer'd, and of equal charms.

Then hear, Achilles I be of better mind ;

Revere thy roof) and to thy guests be kind ;

And know the men, of all the Grecian host, i

Who honour worth, and prize thy valour most." f

"Oh, soul of battles, and thy people's guide T
(To Ajax thus the first of Greeks replied :)
"Well hast thou spoke ! but at the tyrant's name,
My rage rekindles, and my soul's on flame : 760

'Tis just resentment, and becomes the brave ;
Disgraced, dishonoured, like the vilest slave !
Return then, heroes 1 and our answer bear:
The glorious combat is no more my care ;
Not till, amid yon sinking navy slain,
The blood of Greeks shall dye the sable main.;
Not till the flames, by Hector's fury thrown,
Consume your vessels, and approach my own :
Just there, th' impetuous homicide shall stand.
There cease his battle, and there feel our hand." 770

This said, each prince a double goblet crown'd,
And cast a large libation on the ground :
Then to their vessels, through the gloomy shades,
The chiefs return ; divine Ulysses leads.
Meantime, Achilles' slaves prepared a bed.
With fleeces, carpets, and sofl linen spread :
There, till the sacred morn restored the day.
In slumbers sweet the reverend Phoenix lay.
But in his inner tent, an ampler space,
Achilles slept ; and in his warm embrace 780

Fair Diomed^ of the Lesbian race.
Last, for Patroclus was the couch prepared.
Whose nightly joys the beauteous Iphis shared ; _^

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Achilles to his friend consign'd her charms,
When Scyros fell before his conquering arms.

And now th' elected chiefs, whom Greece had sent,
Pass'd through the hosts, and reach'd the royal lent.
Then rising all, with goblets in their hands,
The peers, and leaders of th' Achaian bands^
Hail'd their return. Atrides first begun : 79

"Say, what success? divine Laertes' son!
Achilles' high resolves declare to all ; •

Returns the chie^ or must our navy fall?"

"Great king of nations !" Ithacus replied,
" Fix'd is his wrath, unconquer'd is his pride ;
He slights thy friendship, thy proposals scorns^
And, thus implored, with fiercer fury burns.
To save our army, and our fleets to free.
Is not his care ; but left to Greece and thee.
Your eyes shall view, when moming paints the sky, 800
Beneath his oars the whitening billows fly,
Us, too, he bids our oars and sails employ,
Nor hope the fall of heaven-protected Troy:
For Jove o'ershades her with his arm divine,
Inspires her war, and bids her glory shine.
Such was his word : what farther he declared.
The sacred heralds and great Ajax heard.
But Phoenix in his tent the chief retains,
Safe to transport him to his native plains,
When morning dawns : if other he decree, 810

His age is sacred, and his choice is free."

Ulysses ceased. The great Achaian host.
With sorrow seized, in consternation lost.
Attend the stern reply. Tydides broke
The general silence, and undaunted spoke :

"Why should we gifts to proud Achilles send ?
Or strive with prayers his haughty soul to bend?
His country's woes he glories to deride,
And prayers will burst that swelling heart with pride.
Be the fierce impulse of his rage obey'd ; 820

Our battles let him, or desert, or aid :


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Then let him arm when Jove or he think fit;

That, to his madness, or to Heaven commit.

What for ourselves we can, is always ours ;

This night let due repast refresh our powers,

(For strength consists in spirit and in blood,

And those are owed to generous wine and food ;)

But when the rosy messenger of day

Strikes the blue mountains with her golden ray,

Ranged at the ships, let all our squadrons shine fUlO

In flaming arms, a long-extended line :

In the dread front let great Atrides stand.

The first in danger, as in high command."

Shouts of acclaim the listening heroes raise,
Then each to Heaven the due libations pays ;
Till sleep, descending o'er the tents, bestows
The grateful blessings of desired repose.


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The Night Adventure of Dumed and Ulysses,

iioumirT.— Upon the refaflal of Achilles to retnrm to the army, the distreai
of Agamemnon is described in the most lively manner. He takes no rest
that night, bat passes through the camp, awaking the leaders, and con-
triving all possible methods for the public safety. MenelaQs, Ncstnr,
Ulysses, and Diomed, are employed in raising the rest of the captains. They
call a council of war, and determine to send scouts into the enemy's camp,
to learn their posture, and discover their intentions. Diomed undertakes
this hazardous enterprise, and makes choice of Ulysses for his companion.
In their passage, they surprise Dolon, whom Hector had sent on a like
design to the camp of the Grecians. From him they are informed of the
situation of the Trojan and auxiliary forces, and particularly of Rhesus,
and the Thracians who were lately arrived. They pass on with success ;
kill Rhesus, with several of his officers, and seize the famous horses of
that prince, with which they return in triumph to the camp.

The same night continues i the scene lies in the two camps.

All night the chiefs before their vessels lay,
And lost in sleep the labours of the day;
All but the king : with various thoughts oppressed,
His country's cares lay rolling in his breast.
As when by lightnings, Jove's ethereal power
Foretells the rattling hail or weighty shower.
Or sends soft snows to whiten all the shore,
Or bids the brazen throat of war to roar ;
By fits one flash succeeds as one expires.
And heaven flames thick with momentary fires ; 10

So bursting frequent froto Atrides' breast.
Sighs following sighs his inward fears confessed.
Now o'er the fields, dejected, he surveys
From thousand Trojan fires the mounting blaze,
Hears in the passing wind their music blow.
And marks distinct the voices of the foe.
Now looking backwards to the fleet and coast,
Anxious he sorrows for th' endanger'd host


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He rends his hair in sacrifice to Jove,

And sues to him that ever lives above : 20

Inly he groans ; while glory and despair

Divide his heart, and wage a doubtful war.

A thousand cares his labouring breast revolves :

To seek sage Nestor now the chief resolves ;

With him, in wholesome counsels, to debate

What yet remains to save th' alBicted state.

He rose ; and first he cast his mantle round.

Next on his feet the shining sandals bound ;

A lion's yellow spoils his back conceal'd ;

His warlike hand a pointed javelin held. dO

Meanwhile, his brother, press'd with equal woes,

Alike denied the gifts of soft repose,

Latnents for Greece ; that in his cause before

So much had sufier'd, and must suffer more.

A leopard's spotted hide his shoulders spread^

A brazen helmet glitter'd on his head :

Thus (with a javelin his hand) he went

To wake Atrides in the royal tent.

Already waked, Atrides he descried,

His armour buckling at his vessel's side. 40

Joyful they met ; the Spartan thus begun :

"Why puts my brother his bright armour on?
Sends he some spy, amidst these silent hours,
To try yon camp, and watch the Trojan powers?
But say, what hero shall sustain that task,
Such bold exploits uncommon courage ask?
Guideless, alone, through night's dark shade to go,
And 'midst a hostile camp explore the foe."

To whom the king : " In such distress we stand,
No vulgar counsels our afifairs demand : .50

Greece to preserve is now no easy part.
But asks high wisdom, deep design, and art.
For Jove, averse, our humble prayer denies,
And bows nis head to Hector's sacrifice.
What eye has witnessed, or what ear believed,
In one great day, by one great arm achieved,


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Such wondrous deeds as Hector's hand has done^

And we beheld, the last revolving sun?

What honours the beloved of Jove adorn !

Sprung from no god, and of no goddess bom ! 60

Yet such his acts, as Greece unborn shall tell,

And curse the battle where their fathers fell.

" Now speed thy hasty course along the fleet,
There call great Ajax, and the prince of Crete :
Ourself to hoary Nestor will repair ;
To keep the guards on duty, be his care ;
(For Nestor's influence best that quarter guides.
Whose son with Merion o'er the watch presides.")

To whom the Spartan : " These thy orders borne.
Say, shfiJl I stay, or with despatch return?" ' 70

" There shalt thou stay," the kmg of men replied ;
Else may we miss to meet, without a guide —
The paths so many, and the camp so wide.
Still, with your voice, the slothful soldiers raise,
Urge, by their father's fame, their future praise.
Forget we now our state and lofty birth ;
Not titles here, but works, must prove our worth.
To labour is the lot of man below;
And when Jove gave us life, he gave us wo."

This said, each parted to his several cares. 80

The king to Nestor's sable ship repairs ;
The sage protector of the Greeks he found
Stretch'd in his bed, with all his arms around ;
The various-colour'd scarf, the shield he rears,
The shining helmet, and the pointed spears :
The dreadful weapons of the warrior's rage.
That, old in arms, disdain'd the peace of age.
Then leaning on his hand his watchful head.
The hoary monarch raised his eyes, and said :

"What art thou? speak ! that on designs unknown, 90
While others sleep, thus range the camp alone?
Seek'st thou some friend, or nightly sentinel?
Stand ofi", approach not, but thy purpose tell."

** Oh, son of Neleus !" thus the king rejoin'd,*
•* Pride of the Greeks, and glory of thy kind !

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Loy here the wretched Agamemnon stands,

Th' unhappy general of the Grecian bands ;

Whom Jove decrees with daily cares to bend,

And woes that only with his life shall end !

Scarce can my knees these trembling limbs sustain, 100

And scarce my heart support its load of pain.

No taste of sleep these heavy eyes have known ;

Confused and sad, I wander thus alone,

With fears distracted, with no fix'd design.

And all my people's miseries are mine.

If aught of use thy waking thoughts suggest,

(Since cares, like mine, deprive thy soul of rest,)

Impart thy counsel, and assist thy friend.

Now let us jointly to the trench descend,

At etery gate the fainting guard excite, ] 10

Tired with the toils of day and watch of night :

Else may the sudden foe our works invade,

So near, and favourM by the gloomy shade."

To him thus Nestor : ** Trust the powers above.
Nor think proud Hector's hopes confirmed by Jove :
How ill agree the views of vain mankind,
And the wise counsels of th* eternal mind !
Audacious Hector, if the gods ordain.
That great Achilles rise and rage again.
What toils attend thee, and what woes remain ! 120

Lo, faithful Nestor thy command obeys :
The care is next our other chiefs to raise ;
Ulysses, Diomed, we chiefly need ;
Meges for strength, Oileus famed for speed.
Some other be despatched of nimbler feet,
To those tall ships, remotest of the fleet.
Where lie great Ajax, and the king of Crete.
To rouse the Spartan I myself decree ;
Dear as he is to us, and dear to thee.
Yet must I tax his sloth, that claims no share 130

With his great brother in this martial care :
Him it behooved to every chief to sue.
Preventing every part performed by you ;

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For strong necessity our toils demands.
Claims all our hearts, and urges all our hands."

To whom the king : " With reverence we allc nr
Thy just rebukes, yet learn to spare them now.
My generous brother is of gentle kind,
He seems remiss, but bears a valiant mind ;
Through too much deference to our sovereign sway, 1 40
Content to follow when we lead the way.
But now, our ills industrious to prevent.
Long ere the rest, he rose, and sought my tent.
The chiefs you named, already at his call.
Prepare to meet us near the navy wall ;
Assembling there, between the trench and gates,
Near the night-guards, our chosen council waits."

" Then none," said Nestor " shall his rule withstand.
For great examples justify command."

With that, the venerable warrior rose : 150

The shining greaves his manly legs enclose ;
His purple mantle golden buckles joined.
Warm with the softest wool, and doubly lined.
Then, rushing from his tent, he snatch'd in haste
His steely lance, that lightened as he passed.
The camp he traversed through the sleeping crowd,
Stopp'd at Ulysses' tent, and call'd aloud.
Ulysses, sudden as the voice was sent.
Awakes, starts up, and issues from his tent.

" What new distress, what sudden cause of fright, 160
Thus leads you wandering in the silent night?**

"Oh, prudent chief P the Pylian sage replied,
" Wise as thou art, be now thy wisdom tried :
Whatever means of safety can be sought.
Whatever counsels can inspire our thought.
Whatever methods, or to fly or fight ;
All, all depend on this important night !"

He heard, returned, and took his painted shield
Then join'd the chiefs, and follow'd through the fie.d.
Without his tent, bold Diomed they found, 17(1

A 11 sheath'd in arms, his brave companions round :


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Each sunk in sleep, extended on 1 je field,
His head reclining on his bossy shield.
A wood of spears stood by, that, fix'd upright,
Shot from their flashing points a quivering light.
A bull's black hide composed the hero's bed ;
A splendid carpet roU'd beneath his head.
Then, with his foot, old Nestoi; gently shakes
The slumbering chief, and in these words awakes :

** Rise, son of Tydeus, to the brave and strong 180
Rest seems inglorious, and the night too long.
But sleep'st thou now? when from yon hill the foe
Hangs o'er the fleet, and shades our walls below?"

At this, soft slumber from his eyelids fled ;
The warrior saw the hoary chief, and said :

"Wondrous old man ! whose soul no respite knows,
Though years and honours bid thee seek repose.
Let younger Greeks our sleeping warriors wake ;
III fits thy age these toils to undertake."

"My friend," he answer'd, "generous is thy care ; lOt)
These toils, my subjects and my sons might bear ;
Their loyal thoughts, and pious loves conspire
To ease a sovereign, and relieve a sire :
But now the last despair surrounds our host.
No hour must pass, no moment must be lost ;
Each single Greek, in this conclusive strife.
Stands on the sharpest edge of death or life.
Yet, if my years thy kind regard engage,
Employ thy youth as I employ my age ;
Succeed to these my cares, and rouse the rest ; 200

•He serves me most, who serves his country best."

This said, the hero o'er his shoulders flung
A lion's spoils,, that to his ankles hung ;
Then seized his ponderous lance, and strode along.
Meges the bold, with Ajax, famed for speed.
The warrior roused, and to th' entrenchments led.

And now the chiefs approach the nightly guard ;
A wakeful squadron, eacfi in arms prepared :
Th' unwearied watch their listening leaders keep,
And, couching close, repel invading sleep. 210

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So faithful dogs their fleecy charge mainU. n,

With toil protected from the prowling train,

When the gaunt lioness, with hunger bold,

Springs from the mountains toward the guarded fold ;

Through breaking woods her rustling course they hear ?

Loud, and more loud, the clamours strike their ear

Of hounds and men; they Mart, they gaze around,

Watch every side, and turn to every sound.

Thus watch'd the Grecians, cautious of surprise, 220

Each voice, each motion, drew their ears and eyes ;

Each step of passing feet increased th' affright ;

And hostile Troy was ever full in sight.

Nestor with joy the wakeful band surveyed,

And thus accosted through the gloomy shade :

"'Tis well, my sons ! your nightly cares employ;
Else must our host become the scorn of Troy.
Watch thus, and Greece shall live," the hero said :
Then o'er the trench the following chieftains led.
His son, and godlike Merion, march'd behind,
(For these the princes to their council join'd.) 230

The trenches pass'd, th' assembled kings around
In silent state the consistory crown'd.
A place there was yet undefiled with gore.
The spot where Hector stopp'd his rage before,
When night, descending, from his vengeful hand
Reprieved the relics of the Grecian band :
(The plain beside with mangled corpse was spread,
And all his progress mark'd by heaps of dead.)
There sat the moumfiil kings : when Neleus' son,
The council opening, in these words begun : 240 '

"Is there,*' said he, "a chief so greatly brave.
His life to hazard, and his country save ?
Lives there a man who singly dares to go
To yonder camp, or seize some straggling foe ?
Or, favoured by the night, approach so near.
Their speech, their counsels, and designs to : ear?
If to besiege our navies they prepare,
Or Troy once more must be the Beat of wa: ?

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This could he learn, and to our peers recite,

And pass unharm'd the dangers of the night, 250

What fame were his through all succeeding days,

While PhoDbus shines, or men have tongues to praise

What gifts his grateful country would bestow !

What must not Greece to her deliverer owe !

A sable ewe each leader should provide.

With each a sable lambkin by her side ;

At every rite his share should be increased.

And his the foremost honours of the feast/'

Fear held them mute : alone untaught to fear,
Tydides spoke : "The man you seek is here. 260

Through yon black camps to bend my dangerous way,
Some god within commands, and I obey.
But let some other chosen warrior join,
To raise my hopes and second my design.
By mutual confidence, and mutual aid,
Great deeds are done, and great discoveries made .
The wise new prudence from the wise acquire
And one brave hero fans another's fire."

Contending leaders at the word arose ;
Each generous breast with emulation glows: 270

So brave a task each Ajax strove to share.
Bold Merion strove, and Nestor's valiant heir;
The Spartan wish'd the second place to gain.
And great Ulysses wish'd, nor wish'd in vain.
Then thus the king of men the contest ends :

" Thou first of warriors, and thou best of fi'iends,
Undaunted Diomed ! what chief to join
In this great enterpr'se, is only thine.
Just be thy choice, without affection made ;
To birth or office no respect be paid ; 280

Let worth determine here." The monarch spake.
And inly trembled for his brother's sake.

"Then thus," the godlike Diomed rejoin'd,
" My choice declares the impulse of my mind.
How can I doubt whil^ great U ysses stands
To lend his counsels^ and assist Dur hands !


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A chief, whose safety is Minerva's care ;

So famed, so dreadful, in the works of war I

Bless'd in his conduct, I no aid require;

Wisdom like his might pass through flames of iiie 290

" It fits thee not, before these chiefs of fame,"
Replied the sage, "to praise me or to blame;
Praise from a friend, or censure from a foe,
Are lost on hearers that our merits know.
But let us haste. Night rolls the hours away.
The reddening orient shows the coming day,
The stars shine fainter on th' ethereal plains.
And of Night's empire but a third remains."

Thus having spoke, with generous ardour press'd,
In arms terrific their huge limbs they dress'd. S0i9

A two-edged faulchion Thrasymed the brave.
And ample buckler, to Tydides gave.
Then in a leathern helm he cased his head.
Shorn of its crest, and with no plume o'erspread.
(Such as by youths, unused to arms, are worn :
No spoils enrich it, and no studs adorn.)
Next him, Ulysses took a shining sword,
A bow and quiver with bright arrows stored :
A well-proved casque, with leather braces bound,
(Thy gift, Meriones) his temples crown'd : 810

Soft wool within ; without, in order spread,
A boar's white teeth grinn'd horrid o'er his head.
This from Amyntor, rich Ormenus' son,
Autolychus by fraudful rapine won.
And gave Amphidamas : from him the prize
Molus received, the pledge of social ties ;
The helmet next by Merion was possess'd,
And now Ulysses' thoughtful temples press'd.
Thus sheath'd in arms, the council they forsake,
And dark through paths oblique their progress takts.
Just then, in sign she favour'd the j intent, 320

A long- wing'd heron great Minerva sent :
This, though surrounding shades obscured their view,
By the shrill clang and whistling wings they knew.


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A.S from the right she soar'd, Ulysses pra/d,
Hail'd the glad omen, and addressM the maid :

"Oh ! daughter of that god whose arm can wield
Th* avenging bolt, and shake Ihe dreadful shield !
Oh, thou ! for ever present in my way,
Who all my motions, all my toils survey ! 830

Safe may we pass beneath the gloomy shade,
Safe by thy succour to our ships convey'd !
And let some deed this signal night adorn,
To claim the tears of Trojans yet unborn !"

Then godlike Diomed preferr'd his prayer:
" Daughter of Jove, unconquer'd Pallas ! hear.
Great queen of arms, whose favour Tydeus won.
As thou defend'st the sire, defend the son I
When on iEsopus* banks the banded powers
Of Greece he left, and sought the Theban towers, 310
Peace was his charge ; received with peaceful show,
He went a legate, but retumM a foe :
Then help'd by thee, and covered by thy shield,
He fought with numbers, and made numbers yield.
So now be present, oh, celestial maid !
So still continue to the race thine aid I
A youthful steer shall fall beneath the stroke.
Untamed, unconscious of the galling yoke,
With ample forehead, and with spreading horns.
Whose taper tops refulgent gold adorns." 350

The heroes pray'd ; and Pallas from the skies
Accords their vow, succeeds their enterprise.
Now, like two lions panting for their prey.
With deathful thoughts they trace the dreary way.
Through the black horrors of th* ensanguined plain.
Through dust, through blood, o'er arms and hills of slain.

Nor less bold Hector, and the sons of Troy,
On high designs the wakeful hours employ;
Th' assembled peers their lofty chief enclosed,
Who thus the counsels of his breast proposed : 360

•* What glorious man, for high attempts prepared,
Dares greatly venture for a rich reward?


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Of yonder fleet a bold discovery make,

What wfitch they keep, and what resolves they take?

If, now subdued, they meditate their flight,

And, spent with toil, neglect the watch of night?

His be the chariot that shall please him most,

Of all the plunder of the vanquished host;

His the fair steeds that all the rest excel.

And his the glory to have served so well." 370

A youth there was among the tribes of Troy,
Dolon his name, Eumedes' only boy.
(Five girls besides the reverend herald told.)
Rich was the son in brass, and rich in gold ;
Not bless'd by nature with the charms of face,
But swift of foot, and matchless in the race.
" Hector !" he said, ** my courage bids me meet
This high achievement, and explore the fleet:
But first exalt thy seeptre to the skies.
And swear to grant me the demanded prize ; 380

Th' immortal coursers, and the glittering car.
That bear Pelides through the ranks of war.
Encouraged thus, no idle scout I go.
Fulfil thy wish, their whole intention know ;
Ev'n to the royal tent pursue my way.
And all their counsels, all their aims bcitray.*'

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