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Each azure sister of the silver flood ;
All but old Ocean, hoary sire ! who keeps
His ancient seat beneath the sacred deeps.
On marble thrones with lucid columns crown'd
(The work of Vulcan) sat the powers around.
Ev'n he* whose trident sways the watery reign,
Heard the loud summons, and forsook the main, 20

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432 THi:* jLIAD, BOOK XX.

Assumed his throne amid the bright abodes,
And questioned thus the sire of men and gods:

" W hat moves the god who heaven and earth commands,
And grasps the thunder in his awful hands,
Thus to convene the whole ethereal state?
Is Greece and Troy the subject in debate?
Already met, the lowering hosts appear,
And death stands ardent on the edge of war."

"'Tis true," the cloud-compelling power replies,
"This day we call the council of the skies 90

In care of human race; ev'n Jove's own eye
Sees with regret unhappy mortals die.
Far on 01y%|pus* top in secret state
Ourself will sit, and see the hand of Fate
Work out our will. Celestial powers I descend.
And, as your minds direct, your succour lend
To either host Troy soon must lie o'erthrown.
If uncontrolM Achilles fights alone:
Their troops but lately durst not meet his eyes:
What can they now, if in his rage he rise? 40

Assist them, gods ! or Ilion's sacred wall
May fall this day, though Fate forbids the fall."

He said; and fired their heavenly breasts with rage:
On adverse parts the warring gods engage.
Heaven's awful queen ; and he whose azure round
Girds the vast globe; the maid in arms renown'd;
Hermes, of profitable arts the sire;
And Vulcan, the black sovereign of the fire ;
These to the fleet repair with instant flight;
The vessels tremble as the gods ahght 60

In aid of Troy, Latona, Phcebus, came.
Mars fiery-helm'd, the laughter-loving dame,
Xanthus, whose streams in golden currents flow.
And the chaste huntress of the silver bow. *
Ere yet the gods their various aids employ.
Each Argive bosom swelled with manly joy.
While great Achilles (terror of the plain).
Long lost to battle, shone in arms again.


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Dreadful he stood in front of all his host;

Pale Troy beheld, and seem'd already lost; 60

Her bravest heroes pant with inward fear,

And trembling see another god of war.

But when the powers descending swell'd the fight.
Then tumult rose; fierce rage and pale affright
Varied each face; then Discord sounds alarms,
Earth echoes, and the nations rush to arms. .
Now through the trembling shores Minerva calls,
And now she thunders from the Grecian walls.
Mars, hovering o'er his Troy, his terror shrouds
In gloomy tempests and a night of clouds: 70

Now through each Trojan heart he fury pours
With voice divine, from Ilion's topmost towers:
Now shouts to Simois from her beauteous hill;
The mountain shook, the rapid streams stood still :
Above, the sire of gods his thunder rolls.
And peals on peals redoubled rend the poles.
Beneath, stem Neptune shakes the solid ground;
The forests wave, the mountains nod around ;
Through all their summits tremble Ida's woods,
.And from their sources boil her hundred floods. SO

Troy's turrets totter on the rocking plain;
And the toss'd navies beat the heaving main.
Deep in the dismal regions of the dead,
Th' infernal monarch rear'd his horrid head,
Leap'd firom his throne, lest Neptune's arm should lay
His dark dominions open to the day.
And pour in light on Pluto's drear abodes, ^
Abhorred by men, and dreadful ev'n to gods.

Such war th' immortals wage; such horrors rend
The world's vast concave, when the gods contend. 90
First, silver-shafted Phoebus took the plain
Against blue Neptune, monarch of the main:
The god of arms his giant bulk display'd.
Opposed to Pallas, War's triumphant maid
Against Latona march'd the son of May;
The quiver'd Dian, sister of the Day,
19 Co


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(Her golden arrows sounding at her side,)

Satumia, majesty of heaven, defied.

With fiery Vulcan last in battle stands

The sacred flood that rolls on golden sands; 100'

Xanthus his name with those of heavenly birth,

But call'd Scamander by the sons of earth.

While thus the gods in various league engage;
Achilles glow'd with more than mortal rage:
Hector he sought; in search of Hector turn'd
His eyes around ; for Hector only bum'd ;
And burst like lightning through the ranks, and vow'd
To glut the god of battles with his blood.

^neas was the first who dared to stay;
Apollo wedged him in the warrior's way, 1 10

But swell'd his bosom with undaunted might.
Half-forced and half-persuaded to the fight
Like young Lycaon, of the royal line,
In voice and aspect seem'd the power divine,
And bade the chief reflect how, late, with scorn.
In distant threats he braved the goddess-born.

Then thus the -hero of Anchises' strain:
**To meet Pelides, you persuade in vain;
Already have I met, nor void of fear
Observed the fury of his flying spear; Vzu

From Ida's woods he chased us to the field.
Our force he scatter'd, and our herds he kill'd:
Lymessus, Pedasus, in ashes lay ; .
But, Jove assisting, I survived the day:
Else had I sunk, oppressM in fatal fight.
By fierce Achilles and Minerva's might.
Where'er he moved, the goddess shone before,
And bathed his brazen lance in hostile gore.
What mortal man Achilles can sustain?
Th' immortals guard him through the dreadful plain, 180
And sufler not his dart to fall in vain.
Were God my aid, this arm should check his power,
Though strong in battle as a brazen tower."

To whom the son of Jove: "That (Jod implore,
And be what great Achilles was before.

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From heavenly Venus thou deriv'st thy strain.

And he but from a sister of the main;

An ancient sea-god father of his line,

But Jove himself the sacred source of thine.

Then lift thy weapon for a noble blow, 140

Nor fear the vaunting of a mortal foe."

This saia, and spirit breathed into his breast.
Through the thick troops th' embolden'd hero pressed ;
His venturous act the white-arm'd queen surveyed.
And thus, asseihblmg all the powers, she said:

"Behold an action, gods! that claims your care;
Lo, great iEneas rushing to the war!
Against Pelides he directs his course,
Phoebus impels, and Phoebus gives him force.
Restrain his bold career: at least, t* attend 150

Our favoured hero, let some power descend.
To guard his life and add to his renown.
We, the great armament of heaven, came down.
Hereafter let him fall as fates design,
That spun so short his life's illustrious line:
But let some adverse god now cross his way.
Give him to know what powers assist this day:
For how shall mortal stand the dire alarms,
When heaven's refulgent host appear in arms?"

Thus she; and thus the god v/hose force can make 160
The solid globe's eternal basis i^^hake:

"Against the might of man, so feeble^known,
Why should celestial powers exert their own?
Suffice, from yonder mount to view the scene.
And leave to war the fate^a of mortal men.
But if th' Armipotent, or god of light.
Obstruct Achilles, or commence the fight,
Thence on the gods of Troy we swift descend:
Full soon, I doubt not, shall the conflict end;
And these, in ruin and confusion hurl'd, 170

Yield to our conquering arms the lower world.**

Thus having said, the tyrant of the sea,
Cerulean Neptune, rose, and led the way.


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Advanced upon the field there stood a mound
Of earth congested, wall'd and trench'd around :
In elder times to guard Alcides made,
(The work of Trojans with Minerva's aid,)
What-time a vengeful monster of the main
Swept the wide shore, and drove him to the plain.

Here Neptune and the gods of Greece repair, 180

With clouds encompass'd, and a veil of air:
The adverse powers, around Apollo laid,
Crown the fair hills that silver Simois shade.
In circle close each heavenly party sate.
Intent to form the future scheme of fate;
But mix not yet in fight, though Jove on high
Gives the loud signal, and the heavens reply.

Meanwhile, the rushing armies hide the ground ;
The trampled centre yields a hollow sound:
Steeds cased in mail, and chiefs in armour bright, 190
The gleamy champaign glows with brazen light.
Amid both hosts (a dreadful space !) appear —
There, great Achilles, bold iEneas here.
With towering strides iEneas first advanced;
The nodding plumage on his helmet danced;
Spread o*er his breast the fencing shield he bore.
And, as he moved, his javelin flamed before.
Not so Pelides: furious to engage,
He rush'd impetuous. Such the lion's rage,
Who, viewing first his foes with scornful eyes, 200

Though all in arms the peopled city rise.
Stalks careless on, with unregarding pride;
Till at the length, by some brave youth defied.
To his bold spear the savage turns alone.
He murmurs fury with a hollow groan;
He grins, he foams, he rolls his eyes around ;
Lash'd by his tail, his heaving sides resound ;
He calls up all his rage ; he grinds his teeth.
Resolved on vengeance, or resolved on death:
So fierce Achilles on iEneas flies; 210

So stands iEneas, and his force defies.


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Ere yet the stem encounter jom'd, began
The seed of Thetis thus to Venus* son:

"Why comes iEneas through the ranks so far?
Seeks he to meet Achilles' arm in war,
In hope the realms of Priam to enjoy,
And prove his merits to the throne of Troy?
Grant that beneath thy lance Achilles dies,
The partial monarch may refuse the prize:
Sons he has many: those thy pride may quell; 220

And 'tis his fault to love those sons too well.
Or in reward of thy victorious hand.
Has Troy proposed some spacious track of land?
An ample forest, or a fair domain,
Of hill for vines, and arable for grain?
Ev'n this, perhaps, will hardly prove thy lot.
But can Achilles be so soon forgot?
Once, as I think, you saw this brandish'd spear,
And then the great iEneas seem'd to fear:
With hearty haste from Ida's mount he fled, 230

Nor, till he reach'd Lymessus, tum'd his head.
Her lofiy walls not long our progress staid:
Those, Pallas, Jove, and we, in ruins laid:
In Grecian chains her captive race were cast;
'Tis true the great iEneas fled too fast.
Defrauded of my conquest once before.
What then I lost, the gods this day restore.
Go: while thou may'st, avoid the threatening fat»,
Fools stay to feel it, and are wise too late."

To this Anchises' son: "Such words employ 240

To one that fears thee — some un warlike boy ;
Such we disdain: the best may be defied
With mean reproaches, and unmanly pride;
Unworthy the high race from which we came.
Proclaimed so loudly by the voic^ of fame:
Each from illustrious fathers draws his line;
Each goddess-born; half-human, half-divine.
Thetis' this day, or Venus' offspring dies,
And tears shall trickle from celestial eyes:


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For ^hen two heroes, thus derived, contend, 250

'Tis not in words the glorious strife can end.

If yet thou farther seek to learn my birtli,

(A tale resounding through the spacious earth,)

Hear how the glorious origin we prove

From ancient Dardanus, the first from Jove:

Dardania's walls he raised ; for Ilion then

(The city since of many-languaged men)

Was not. The natives were content to till

The shady foot of Ida's fountful hill.

From Dardanus great Erichthonius springs, 260

The richest once of Asia's wealthy kings;

Three thousand mares his spacious pastures bred

Three thousand foals beside their mothers fed.

Boreas, enamour'd of the sprightly train,

ConcealM his godhead in a flowing mane,

With voice dissembled to his loves he neigh'd,

And coursed the dappled beauties o'er the mead:

Hence sprung twelve others of unrival'd kind.

Swift as their mother mares and father wind. 270

These, lightly skimming when they swept the plain.

Nor plied the grass, nor bent the tender grain ;

And when along the level seas they flew,

Scarce on the surface curl'd the briny dew.

Such Erichthonius was: from him there came

The sacred Tros, of whom the Trojan name.

Three sons renowri'd adom'd his nuptial bed,

Ilus, Assaracus, and Ganymed:

The matchless Ganymed, divinely fair.

Whom Heaven, enamour'd, snatched to upper air

To bear the cup of Jove (ethereal guest, 28C

The grace and glory of th' ambrosial feast).

The two remaining sons the line divide :

First rose Laomedon from Ilus' side:

From him Tithonius, now in cares grown old.

And Priam (bless'd with Hector brave and bold):

Clytius and Lampus, ever-honour'd pair:

And Hicetaon, thunderbolt of war


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Fioni great Assaracus sprung Capys; he

Begat Anchises, and Anchises me.

Such is our race: 'tis Fortune givet us birth, 290

But Jove alone endues the soul with worth :

He, source of power and might ! with boundless swfiy.

All human courage gives or takes away.

Long in the field of words we may contend;

Reproach is infinite, and knows no end,

Arm'd or with truth, or falsehood, right or wrong;

So voluble a weapon is the tongue:

Wounded, we wound; and neither side can fail,

For every man has equal strength to rail :

Women alone, when in the streets they jar, 800

Perhaps excel us in this wordy war;

Like us they stand encompass'd with the crowd.

And vent their anger, impotent and loud.

Cease then: our business in the field of fight

Is not to question, but to prove our might.

To all those insults thou hast ofier'd here,

Receive this answer: 'tis my flying spear."

He spoke. With all his force the javelin flung,
Fix'd deep, and loudly in the buckler rung.
Far on his out-stretch'd arm, Pelides held 810

(To meet the thundering lance) his dreadful shield.
That trembled as it stuck: nor void of fear
Saw, ere it fell, th' immeasurable spear.
His fears were vain; impenetrable charms
Secured the temper of th' ethereal arms.
Through two strong plates the point its passage helc.
But stopped and rested, by the third repel'd.
Five plates of vai'ious metal, various mould.
Composed the shield ; of brass each outward fold.
Of tin each inward, and the middle gold : 320

There stuck the lance. Then rising ere he threw.
The forceful spear of great Achilles flew.
And pierced the Dardan shield's extremest bound.
Where the shrill brass retuni'd a sharper sound:
Through the thin verge the Pelian weapon glides.
And the slight '^overing of expanded hides.

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-fineas his contracted body bends,

And o'er him high the riven targe extends,

Sees, through its parting plates, the upper air.

And at his back perceives the quivering spear: 330

A fate so near him chills his soul with fright ;

And swims before his eyes the many-colour'd light.

Achilles, rushing in with dreadful cries.

Draws his broad blade, and at ^neas flies:

iEneas, rousing as the foe came on,

(With force collected,) heaves a mighty stone ;

A mass enormous ! which in modern days

Not two of earth's degenerate sons could raise.

But ocean's god, whose earthquakes rock the ground,

Saw the distress, and moved the powers around: 340

"Lo! on the brink of fate -fineas stands,
An instant victim to Achilles' hands;
By Phoebus urged; but Phoebus has bestowed
His aid in vain ; the man o'erpowers the god.
And can ye see this righteous chief atone.
With guiltless blood, for vices not his own?
To all the gods his constant vows were paid :
Sure, though he wars for Troy, he claims our aid.
Fate wills not this; nor thus can Jove resign
The future father of the Dardan line: 350

The first great ancestor obtain'd his grace.
And still his love descends on all the race.
For Priam now, and Priam's faithless kind.
At length are odious to th' all-seeing mind ;
On great iEneas shall devolve the reign,
And sons succeeding sons the lasting line sustain.''

The great earth-shaker thus. To whom replies
Th' imperial goddess with the radiant eyes:

"Good as he is, to immolate or spare
The Dardan prince, O Neptune, be thy care : 360

Pallas and I by all that gods can bind.
Have sworn destruction to the Trojan kind ;
Not ev*n an instant to protract their fate,
Or save one member of the sinking state;


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Till her last flame be quench'd with her last gore,
And ev'n her crumbling ruins are no more."

The king of ocean to the fight descends;
Through all the whistling darts his course he bends;
Swift interposed between the warriors flies,
And casts thick darkness o'er Achilles* eyes. 370

From great ^Eneas' shield the spear he drew,
And at its master's feet the weapon threw.
That done, with force divine he snatch'd on high
The Dardan prince, and bore him through the sky.
Smooth-gliding without step above the heads
Of warring heroes and of bounding steeds ;
Till at the battle's utmost verge they light,
Where the slow Cancans close the rear of fight.
The godhead there, his heavenly form confessed.
With words like these the panting chief address'd: 880

"What power, oh prince! with force inferior far,
Urged thee to meet Achilles' arm in war?
Henceforth beware, nor antedate thy doom.
Defrauding Fate of all thy fame to come.
But when the day decreed, for come it must.
Shall lay this dreadful hero in the dust.
Let then the furies of that arm be known.
Secure no Grecian force transcends thy own."

With that, he left him, wondering as he lay;
Then from Achilles chased the mist away: 890

Sudden returning with the stream of light.
The scene of war came rushing on his sight.
Then thus amazed: "What wonders strike my mind.
My spear, that parted on the wings of wind.
Laid here before me! and the Dardan lord,
That fell this instant, vanish'd from my sword I
I thought alone with mortals to contend.
But powers celestial sure this foe defend.
Great as he is, our arm he scarce will try.
Content for once, with all his gods, to fly: 400

Now then let others bleed." — This said, aloud
lie vents his fury, and inflames the crowd:


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"Oh, (Jreeks!" he cries, and every rank alarms,

"Join battle, man to man, and arms to arms!

'T's not in me, though favour'd by the sky.

To mow whole troops, and make whole armies fly;

No god can singly such a host engage.

Not Mars himself, nor great Minerva's rage.

But whatsoe'er Achilles can inspire;

Whatever of active force or acting fire; 410

Whate'er this heart can prompt, or hand obey;

All, all Achilles, Greeks! is yours to-day:

Through yon wide host this arm shall scatter fear.

And thin the squadrons with my single spear.**

He said: nor less elate with martial joy.
The godlike Hector warm'd the troops of Troy:

"Trojans, to war! think Hector leads you on;
Nor dread the vaunts of Peleus' haughty sou.
Deeds must decide our fate. Ev*n those with words
Insult the brave, who tremble at their swords: 420

The weakest atheist-wretch all heaven defies,
But shrinks and shudders when the thunder flies.
Nor from yon boaster shall your chief retire,
Not though his heart were steel, his hand were fire;
That fire, that steel, your Hector should withstand.
And brave that vengeful heart, that dreadful hand."

Thus, breathing rage through all, the hero said ;
A wood of lances rises round his head.
Clamours on clamours tempest all the air.
They join, they throng, they thicken to the war. 480

But Phoebus warns him from high heaven to shun
The single fight with Thetis' godlike son ;
More safe to combat in the mingled band.
Nor tempt too near the terrors of his hand.
He hears, obedient to the god of light.
And, plunged within the ranks, awaits the fight.

Then fierce Achilles, shouting to the skies.
On Troy's whole force with boundless fury flies.
First falls Ip.iytion at his army's head;
Brave was the chief, and brave the host he led ; 410


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From great Dtrynteus he derived his blood:

Ilis motll^r was a nais of the flood ;

Beneath the shades of Tmolus, crown'd with snow,

From Hyde's walls he ruled the lands below.

Fierce as he springs, the sword his head divides;

The parted visage falls on equal sides:

With loud-resounding arms he strikes the plain;

While thus Achilles glories o'er the slain:

"Lie there, Otryntides! the Trojan earth
Receives thee dead, though Gygee boasts thy birth, 450
Those beauteous fields where Hyllus' waves are rolFd,
And plenteous Hermus swells with tides of gold.
Are thine no more." — Th' insulting hero said.
And left him sleeping m eternal shade.
The rolling wheels of Greece the body tore,
And dashM their axles with no vulgar gore.

Demoleon next, Antenor's offspring laid
Breathless in dust, the price of rashness paid.
Th' impatient steel, with full descending sway.
Forced through his brazen helm its furious way; 460

Resistless drove the batter'd skull before,
And dash'd and mingled all the brains with gore.
This sees Hippodamas, and, seized with fright,
Deserts his chariot for a swifter flight:
The lance arrests him: an ignoble wound
The panting Trojan rivets to the ground.
He groans away his soul; not louder roars
At Neptune's shrine on Helic^'s high shores
The victim bull : the rocks rebellow round.
And Ocean listens to the grateful sound. 470

Then fell on Polydore his vengeful rage.
The youngest hope of Priam's stooping age
(Whose feet for swiftness in the race surpass'd);
Of all his sons the dearest, and the last.
To the forbidden field he takes his flight
In the first folly of a youthful knight:
To vaunt his swiftness, wheels around the plain.
But vaunt<» not long — with all his swiftness, slain


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Struck where the crossing belts unite behind,

And golden rings the double back- plate joined, 4S0

Forth through the navel burst the thrilling steel,

And on his knees with piercing shrieks he fell ;

The rushing entrails, pour'd upon the ground.

His hands collect; and darkness wraps him round.

When Hector view'd, all ghastly in his gore.

Thus sadly slain, th' unhappy Polydore,

A cloud of sorrow overcast his sight.

His soul no longer brook'd the distant fight;

Full in Achilles' dreadful front he came.

And shook his javelin like a waving flame. 400

The son of Peleus sees, with joy possessed.
His heart high-bounding in his rising breast:

"And, lo! the man on whom black fates attend.
The man that slew Achilles, in his friend !
No more shall Hector's and Pelides' spear
Turn from each other in the walks of war." —
Then with revengeful eyes he scann'd him o*er:
"Come and receive thy fate!" — He spake no more.

Hector, undaunted, thus: "Such words employ
To one that dreads thee, some un warlike boy: 600

Such we could give, defying, and defied.
Mean intercourse of obloquy and pride !
I know thy force to mine superior far;
But Heaven alone confers success in war:
Mean as I am, the gods may guide my dart.
And give it entrance in a braver heart."

Then parts the lance: but Pallas' heavenly breath
Far from Achilles wafts the winged death:
The bidden dart again to Hector flies.
And at the feet of its great master lies. 510

Achilles closes with his hated foe,
His heart and eyes with flaming fury glow :
Bniy present to his aid, Apollo shrouds
The favour'd hero in a veil of clouds.
Thrice struck Pelides with indignant heart.
Thrice in impassive air he plunged the dart:


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The spear a fourth time buried in the cloud;
He foams with fury, and exclaims aloud:

"Wretch! thou hast 'scaped again; once more thy flight
Has saved thee and the partial god of ligjht. 620

But long thou shalt not thy just fate withstand,
If any power assist Achilles' hand.
Fly, then, inglorious I but thy flight this day
Whole hecatombs of Trojan ghosts shall pay.**

With that, he gluts his rage on numbers slain:
Then Dryops tumbled to th' ensanguined plain.
Pierced through the neck: he left him panting there,
And stopp'd Demuchus, great Philetor's heir.
Gigantic chief! deep gash'd th' enormous blade,
And for the soul an ample passage made. 530

Laogonus and Dardanus expire.
The valiant sons of an unhappy sire;
Both in one instant from the chariot hurl'd,
Sunk in one instant to the nether world ;
This difference only their sad fates afford,
That one the spear destroy'd, and one the swo: d.

Nor less unpitied young Alastor bleeds:
In vain hid youth, in vain his beauty pleads;
In vain he begs thee with a suppliant's moan.
To spare a form, an age, so like thy own ! 54(

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