Copyright
Homer.

Homer's Iliad online

. (page 9 of 41)
Online LibraryHomerHomer's Iliad → online text (page 9 of 41)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Stung with the shame, within the winding way,

To bar his passage, fifty warriors lay;

Two heroes led the secret squadron on,

Maeon the fierce, and hardy Lycophon ;

Those fifty slaughtered in the gloomy vale,

He spared but one to bear the dreadful tale.

Such Tydeus was, and such his martial fire — 45C

Gods I how thp son degenerates from the sire !"

No words the godlike Diomed retum'd.
But heard respectful, and in secret burn'd.
Not so fierce Capaneus' undaunted son ;
Stem as his sire, the boaster thus begun :

" What needs, O monarch, this invidious praise,
Ourselves to lessen, while our sires you raise?
Dare to be just, Atrides I and confess
Our valour equal, though our fury less.
With fewer troops we storm'd the Theban wall, 40C

And happier saw the sevenfold city fall.
In impious acts the guilty father died :
The sons subdued, for Heaven was on their side.
Far more than heirs of all our parent's fam6.
Our glories darken their diminished name."

To him Tydides thus : " My friend, forbear :
Suppress thy passion, and the king revere :
His high concern may well excuse this rage.
Whose cause we follow, and whose war we wage ;
His the first praise, were Ilion's towers o'erthrown, 471
And, if we fail, the chief disgrace his own.
Let him the Greeks to hardy toils excite,
*Tis ours to labour in the glorious fight"

He spoke ; and ardent on the trembling ground
Spnmg from his car ; his ringing arms resound.
D re was the clang, and dreadful from afar.
Of arm'd Tydides rushing to the war.



Digitized



by Google



THE ILIAD, BOOK IV. IQl

As when the winds, ascending by degrees,

First move the whitening surface of the seas.

The billows float in order to the shore, 480

The wave behind rolls on the wave before :

Till, with the gi'owing storm, the deeps arise,

Foam o'er the rocks, and thunder to the skies :

So to the fight the thick battalions throng.

Shields urged on shields, and men drove men along ;

Sedate and silent move the numerous bands ;

No sound, no whisper, but their chiePs commands ;

Those only heard ; with awe the rest obey,

As if some god had snatch'd their voice away.

Not so the Trojans : from their host ascends 490

A general shout that all the region rends.
As when the fleecy flocks unnumber'd stand
In wealthy folds, and wait the milker's hand,
The hollow vales incessant bleating fills,
The lambs reply from all the neighbouring hills :
Such clamours rose from various nations round ;
Mix*d was the murmur, and confused the sound.
Each host now joins, and each a god inspires ;
These Mars incites, and those Minerva fires.
Pale Flight around, and dreadful Terror reign, 500

And Discord raging bathes the purple plahi ;
Discord ! dire sister of the slaughtering power,
Small at her birth, but rising every hour.
While scarce the skies her horrid head can bound,
She stalks on earth, and shakes the world around ;
The nations bleed, where'er her steps she turns.
The groan still deepens and the combat bums.
Now shield vnih shield, with helmet helmet closed.
To armour armour, lance to lance opposed.
Host against host with shadowy squadrons drew, 510
The sounding darts in iron tempest flew ;
Victors and vanquish'd join promiscuous cries,
And shrilling shouts and dying groans arise ;
With streaming blood the slippery fields are dyed,
And slaughtered heroes swell the dreadful tide.



Digitized



by Google



102 THE (LIAD, BOOK IV.

As torrents roll, increased by numerous rills,
With rage impetuous down their echoing hills ;
Rush to the vale, and, pour d along the plain,
Roar through a thousand channels to the main ;
The distant shepherd trembling hears the sound : 52(1
So mix both hosts, and so their cries* rebound.

The bold Antilochus the slaughter led,
The first who struck a valiant Trojan dead :
At great Echepolus the lance arrives.
Razed his high crest, and through his helmet drives ;
Warm'd in the brain the brazen weapon lies,
And shades eternal settle o'er his eyes.
So sinks a tower, that long assaults had stood
Of force and fire ; its walls besmear'd with blood.
Him the bold leader * of the Abantian throng 530

Seized to despoil, and dragged the corpse along :
But while he strove to tug th' inserted dart,
Agenor's javelin reach'd the hero's heart.
His flank, unguarded by his ample shield.
Admits the lance : he falls, and spurns the field ;
The nerves, unbraced, support his limbs no more :
The soul comes floating in a tide of gore.
Trojans and Greeks now gather round the slahi ;
The war renews, the warriors bleed again ;
As o'er their prey rapacious wolves engage 540

Man dies on man, and all is blood and rage.

In blooming youth fair Simolsius fell.
Sent by great Ajax to the shades of hell :
Fair Simoisius, whom his mother bore
Amid the flocks on silver Simois' shore:
The nymph, descending from the hills of Ide,
To seek her parents on his flowery side,
Brought forth the babe, their common care and joy.
And thence from Simois named the lovely boy.
Short was his date: by dreadful Ajax slain, 650

He falls, and renders all their cares in vain I

* Elpheaor.

Digitized by CjOOQ IC



THE ILIAD, BOOK ivr. io3

So falls a poplar, that in watery ground

Raised high the head, with stately branches crown'd,

(Feird by some artist with his shining steel,

To shape the circle of the bending wheel ;)

Cut down, it lies — tall, smooth, and largely spread —

With all its beauteous honours on its head ;

There, left a subject to the wind and rain.

And scorch'd by suns, it withers on the plain :

Thus, pierced by Ajax, Simoisius lies 560

Stretch'd on the shore, and thus neglected dies.

At Ajax, Antiphus his javelin threw;
The pointed lance with erring fury flew,
And Leucas, loved by wise Ulysses, slew.
He drops the corpse of Simoisius slain.
And sinks a breathless carcase on the plain.
This saw Ulysses, and, with grief enraged.
Strode where the foremost of the foes engaged :
Arm'd with his spear, he meditates the wound.
In act to throw ; but, cautious, look'd around. 570

Struck at his sight, the Trojans backward drew.
And, trembling, heard the javelin as it flew.
A chief stood nigh, who from Abydos came,
Old Priam's son, Democoon was his name ;
The weapon enter'd close above his ear.
Cold through his temples glides the whizzing spear ;
With piercing shrieks the youth resigns his breath.
His eye-balls darken with the shades of death ;
Ponderous he falls ; his clanging arms resound ;
And his broad buckler rings against the ground. 580

Seized with aflfright the boldest foes appear ;
Ev'n godlike Hector seems himself to fear;
Slow he gave way, the rest tumultuous fled ;
The Greeks with shouts press on, and spoil the dead.

But Phoebus now from Ilion's towering height
Shines forth reveal'd, and animates the fight.
"Trojans, be bold, and force with force oppose ;
Your foaming steeds urge headlong on the foes i



Digitized



by Google



C04 THE ILIAD, BOOK IV.

Nor are their bodies rocks, nor ribb'd with steel :
Your weapons enter, and your strokes they feel. SOT

Have ye forgot what seem'd your dread before ?
The great, the fierce Achilles fights no more/*

Apollo thus, from Ilion's lofty towers,
Array'd in terrors, roused the Trojan powers :
While War's fierce goddess fires the Grecian foe.
And shouts and thunders in the fields below.
Then great Diores fell, by doom divine.
In vain his valour and illustrious line.
A broken rock* the force of Pirus threw
(Who firom cold iEnos led the Thracian crew) ; 600

Full on his ankle droppM the ponderous stone.
Burst the strong nerves, and crash'd the solid bone :
Supine he tumbles on the crimson sands.
Before his helpless friends and native bands.
And spreads for aid his unavailing hands.
The foe rush'd furious, as he pants for breath.
And through his navel drove the pointed death ;
His gushing entrails smoked upon the ground.
And the warm life came issuing from the wound.

His lance bold Thoas at the conqueror sent, 610

Deep in his breast above the pap it went ;
Amid the lungs was fix^d the winged wood.
And quivering in his heaving bosom stood :
Till from the dying chief, approaching near.
The -^tolian warrior tugg'd his weighty spear :
Then sudden waved his flaming faulchion round,
And gash'd his belly with a ghastly wound.
The corpse now breathless on the bloody plain.
To spoil his arms the victor strove in vain ;
The Thraciaii bands agamst the victor pressM ; 020

A grove of lances glitter'd at his breast.
Stem Thoas, glaring with revengeful eyes,
In sullen fury slowly quits the prize.

Thus fell two heroes ; one the pride of Thrace,
And one the leader of the Epeian race :



Digitized



by Google



THE ILIAD, BOOK IV. 105

Death's sabJe shade at once o'ercast their eyes,
In dust the vanquished and the victor lies.
With copious slaughter all the fields are red,
And heap'd with growing mountains of the dead.

Had some brave chief this martial scene beheld, 630
By Pallas guarded through the dreadful field ;
Might darts be bid to turn their points away.
And swords around him innocently play;
The war's whole art with wonder had he seen,
And counted heroes where he counted men.

So fought each host, with thirst of glory fired,
And crowds on crowds triumphantly expired.
6*



Digitized



by Google



BOOK V.

ITieActs of Diomed

fLMOxmrnvr, — DKmed, assisted by Pallas, perforaui wonders in this day'f
battle. Pandarus wounds him with an arrow; bat the goddess cures him,
enables him to discern gods from mortals, and prohibits him from con-
tending with any of the former, excepting Venus. iEneas joins Pandarus
to oppose him ; Pandarus is killed, and JEneas in great danger, but for the
assistance of Venus; who, as she is removing her son from the fight, is
wounded on the hand by Diomed. Apollo seconds her in his rescue, and
at length carries off JEneas to Troy, where he is healed in the temple of
Pergamus. Mars rallies the Trojans, and assists Hector to make a stand.
In the mean time, JSneas is restored to the field, and they overthrow sev-
eral of the Greeks ; among the rest, Tlepolemus is slain by Sarpedoa.
Juno and Minerva descend to resist Mars ; the latter incites Diomed to go
against that god ; he wounds him, and sends him gfroaning' to heaven.

The first battle continues through this book. The scene is the same as
in the former.

But Pallas now Tydides' soul inspires,
Fills with her force, and warms with all her fires,
Above the Greeks his deathless fame to raise.
And crown her hero with distinguished praise.
High on his helm celestial lightnings play.
His beamy shield emits a living ray;
Th' unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies,
Like the red star that fires th' autumnal skies,
When fresh he rears his radiant orb to sight,
And, bathed in ocean, shoots a keener light. 10

Such glories Pallas on the chief bestow'd ;
Such, from his arms, the fierce effulgence flowed :
Onward she drives him, furious to engage,
Where the fight bums, and where the thickest rage

The sons of Dares first the combat sought,
A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault ;
In Vulcan's fane the father's days were led,
The sons to toils of glorious battle bred :



Digitized



by Google



THE ILIAD. BOOK V. JOT

These, singled from their troops, the fight maintain,
These from their steeds, Tydides on the plain. 20

Fierce for renown, the brother-chiefs draw near,
And fii*st bold Phegeus cast his sounding spear,
Which o'er the warrior's shoulder took its course,
And spent in empty air its erring force-
Not so, Tydides, flew thy lance in vain,
But pierced his breast, and stretch'd him on the plain.
Seized with unusual fear, Idseus fled.
Left the rich chariot, and his brother dead :
And had not Vulcan lent celestial aid.
He too had sunk to death's eternal shade. 80

But in a smoky cloud the god of fire
Preserved the son, in pity to the sire.
The steeds and chariot, to the navy led.
Increased the spoils of gallant Diomed.

Struck with amaze and shame, the Trojan -crew.
Or slain or fled, the sons of Dares view;
When by the blood-stain'd hand Minerva press'd
The god of battles, and this speech address'd :

"Stem power of war I by whom the mighty faU,
Who bathe in blood, and shake the lofty wall ! 40

Let the brave chiefs their glorious toils divide,
And whose the conquest mighty Jove decide,
While we from interdicted fields retire,
Nor tempt the wrath of heaven's avenging sire."

Her words allay'd th' impetuous warrior's heat :
The god of arms and martial maid retreat ;
Removed from fight, on Xanthus' flowery bounds
They sat, and listened to the dying sounds.

Meantime, the Greeks the Trojan race pursue.
And some bold chieftain every leader slew: 5C

First Odius falls, and bites the bloody sand.
His death ennobled by Atrides' hand :
As he to flight his wheeling car addressed.
The speedy javelin drove from back to breast.
In dust the mighty Halizonian lay.
His arms resound, the spirit wings its way^



Digitized



by Google



108 THE ILIAD, BOOK V.

Thy fate was next, O Phcestus ! doom'd to feel
The great Idomeneus' portended steel ;
Whom Borus sent (his son and only joy)
From fruitful Tamd to the fields of Troy. 60

The Cretan javelin reach'd him from afar,
And pierced his shoulder as he mounts his car ;
Back from the car he tumbles to the ground,
And everlasting shades his eyes surround.

Then died Scamandrius, expert in the chase.
In woods and wilds to wound the savage race ;
Diana taught him all her sylvan arts,
To bend the bow, and aim unerring darts :
But vainly here Diana's art he tries.
The fatal lance arrests him as he flies : 70

From Menelaus' arm the weapon sent.
Through his broad back and heavmg bosom went ;
Down sinks the warrior with a thundering sound,
His brazen armour rings against the ground.

Next artful Phereclus untimely fell :
Bold Merion sent him to the realms of hell.
Thy father's skill, O Phereclus ! was thine,
The graceful fabric and the fair design ;
For, loved by Pallas, Pallas did impart
To him the shipwright's and the builder's art 80

Beneath his hand the fleet of Paris rose,
The fatal cause of all his country's woes ;
But he, the mystic will of Heaven unknown.
Nor saw his country's peril, nor his own.
The hapless artist, while confused he fled,
The spear of Merion mingled with the dead ;
Through his right hip, with forceful fury cast,
Between the bladder and the bone it pass'd :
Prone on his knees he falls with fruitless cries.
And death in lasting slumber seals his eyes. 00

From Meges' force the swift Pedseus fled,
Vntenor's ofispring from a foreign bed,
Whose generous spouse, Theano, heavenly fair,
Nursed the young stranger with a mother's care.



Digitized



by Google



THE ILIAD, BOOK V. 109

How vain those cares ! when Meges, in the rear.
Full in his nape infix'd the fatal spear ,
Swift through his crackling jaws the weapon glides,
And the cold tongue the grinning teeth divides.

Then died Hypsenw, generous and divine,
Sprung from the brave Dolopian's mighty line, 100

Who near adored Scamander made abode,
Priest of the stream, and honoured as a god.
On him, amidst the flying numbers found,
Eurypylus inflicts a deadly wound;
On his broad shoulders fell the forceful brand,
Then, glancing downward, lopp'd his holy hand.
Which stain'd with sacred blood the blushing sand.
Down sunk the priest : the purple hand of death
Closed his dim eye, and fate suppress'd his breath.

Thus toil'd the chiefs, in di^erent parts engaged ; 110
In every quarter fierce Tydides raged ;
Amid the Greek, amid the Trojan train.
Rapt through the ranks he thunders o'er the plain ;
Now here, now there, he darts from place to place,
Pours on the rear, or lightens in their face.
Thus from high hills the torrents, swift and strong.
Deluge whole fields, and sweep the trees along ;
Through ruin'd moles the rushing wa\ e resounds.
Overwhelms the bridge, and bursts the lofty bounds ;
The yellow harvests of the ripen'd year, 120

And flatted vineyards one sad waste appear !
While Jove descends in sluicy sheets of rain.
And all the labours of mankind are vain :
So raged Tydides, boundless in his ire.
Drove armies back, and made all Troy retire.
With grief the leader of the Lycian band*
Saw the wide waste of his destructive hand :
His bended bow against the chief he drew ;
Swift to the mark the thirsty arrow flew.
Whose forky point the hollow breastplate tore, 130

Deep in his shoulder pierced, "and drank the gore :

* Pandanis.



Digitized



by Google



110 THE ILIAD, BOOK V.

The rushing stream his brazen armour dyed,
While the proud archer thus exulting cried :
"Hither, ye Trojans ! hither drive your steeds I
Lo ! by our hand the bravest Grecian bleeds.
Not long the dreadfol dart he can sustain,
Or PhcErbus urged me to these fields in vain.**

So spoke he, boastful ; but the "Winged dart
Stopped short of life, and mock'd the shooter's art ;
The wounded chief behind his car retired, 140

The helping hand of Sthenelus required ;
Swift from his seat he leap'd upon the ground,
And tugg'd the weapon from the gushing wound ;
When thus the king his guardian power addressed,
The purple current wandering o'er his vest :

"Oh, progeny of Jove ! unconquer'd maid I
If e'er my godlike sire desejrv'd thy aid —
f e'er I felt thee in the fighting field —
Now, goddess, now thy sacred succour yield.
Oh ! give my lance to reach the Trojan knight, 150

Whose arrow wounds the chief thou guard'st in fight !
And lay the boaster groveling on the shore.
That vaunts these eyes shall view the light no more."

Thus pray'd Tydides, and Minerva heard ;
His nerves confirm'd, his languid spirit cheer'd,
He feels each limb with vaunted vigour light ;
His beating bosom claims the promised fight.
" Be bold !" she cried ; " in every combat shine ;
War be thy province — ^thy protection mine ;
Rush to the fight, and every foe control ; 16C

Wake each paternal virtue in thy soul:
Strength swells thy boiling breast, infused by me^
And all thy godlike father breathes in thee!
Yet more: from mortal mists I purge thy eyes,
And set to view the warring deities.
These see thovi shun, through all th' embattled plain.
Nor rashly strive where human force is vain.
If Venus mingle in the martial band,
Her shalt thou wound : so Pallas gives command.**



Digitized



by Google



THE ILIAD, BOOK V. m

With that, the Uue-eyed virgin wing'd her hight. 170
The hero rush'd impetuous to the fight;
With tenfold ardour now invades the plain.
Wild with delay, and more enraged by pain.
As on the fleecy flocks, when hunger calls,
Amidst the field a brindled lion falls,
If chance some shepherd with a distant dart
The savage wound, he rouses at the smart,
He foams, he roars; the shepherd dares not stay,
But trembling leaves the scattering flocks a prey;
Heaps fall on heaps; he bathes with blood the ground, 180
Then leaps victorious o'er the lofty mound:
Not with less fury stem Tydides flew,
And two brave leaders at an instant slew:
Astjmous breathless fell ; and by his side
His people's pastor, good Hypenor, died ;
Astynous' bre€Wt the deadly lance receives,
Hypenor's shoulder his broad faulchion cleaves.
Th^se slain he left; and sprung with noble rage
Abas and P olyidus to engage ;

Sons of Eury damns, who, wise and old, • 1110

Could fates foresee, and mystic dreams unfold:
The youths retum'd not from the doubtful plain,
And the sad father tried his arts in vain ;
No mystic dream could make their fates appear.
Though now determined by Tydides' spear.

Young Xanthus next, and Thoon felt his rage,
The joy and hope of Phcenops' feeble age;
Vast was his wealth, and these the only heirs
Of all his labours and a life of cares.
Cold death o'ertakes them in their blooming years, 200
And leaves the father unavailing tears :
To strangers now descends his heapy store,
The race forgotten, and the name no more.

Two sons of Priam in one chariot ride.
Glittering in arms, and combat side by side.
As when the lordly lion seeks his food
Where grazing heifers range the lonely wood.



Digitized



by Google



112 THE ILIAD, BOOK V.

He leaps amidst them with a furious bound.
Bends their strong necks, and tears them to the ground :
So from their seats the brother-chiefs are torn, 21

Their steeds and chariot to the navy borne.

With deep concern divine ^neas view'd
The foe prevailing, and his friends pursued.
Through the thick storm of singing spears he flies.
Exploring Pandarus with careful eyes.
At length he found Lycaon's mighty son.
To whom the chief of Venus' race begun:

•* Where, Pandarus, are all thy honours now?
Thy winged arrows and unerring bow?
Thy matchless skill, thy yet unrival'd fame, 220

And boasted glory of the Lycian name?
Oh, pierce that mortal ! if we mortal call
That wondrous force by which whole armies fall ;
Or god incensed, who quits the distant skies
To punish Troy for slighted sacrifice ;
(Which, oh, avert from our unhappy state
For what so dreadful as celestial hate?)
Whoe'er he be, propitiate Jove with prayer:
If man, destroy; if god, entreat to spare."

To whom the Lycian: "Whom your eyes behold, 280
If right I judge, is Diomed the bold I
Such coursers whirl him o'er the dusty field.
So towers his helmet, and so flames his shield.
If 'tis a god, he wears that chiefs disguise ;
Or, if that chief, some guardian of the skies,
Involved in clouds, protects him in the fray.
And turns unseen the frustrate dart away.
I wing'd an arrow, which not idly fell,
The stroke had fixed him to the gates of hell;
And, but some god, some angry god, withstands, 21C

His fate was due to these unerring hands.
Skill'd in the bow, on foot I sought the war.
Nor join'd swifl horses to the rapid car.
Ten polish'd chariots I possess'd at home.
And still they grace Lycaon's princely dome



Digitized



by Google



THE Ii-IAD, BOOK V. 113

There reiPd in spacious coverlets they stand ;

And twice ten coursers wait their lord's command.

The good old warrior bade me trust to these,

When first for Troy I sail'd the sacred seas ;

In fields, aloft, the whirling car to guide, 260

And through the ranks of death triumphant ride.

But vain with youth, and yet to thrift inclined,

I heard his counsels with unheediul mind,

And thought the steeds (your large supplies unknc wn)

Might fail of forage in the straiten'd town;

So took my bow and pointed darts in hand,

And left the chariots in my native land.

Too late, O firiend 1 my rs^shness I deplore ;

These shafts, once fatal, carry deifth no more.

Tydeus* and Atreus* sons their points have found, 260

And undissembled gore pursued the wound.

In vain they bled : this unavailing bow

Serves not to slaughter, but provoke the foe.

In evil hour these bended horns I strung.

And seized the quiver where it idly hung.

Cursed be the fate that sent me to the field

Without the warrior's arms, the spear and shield !

If e'er with life I quit the Trojan plain,

If e'er I see my spouse and sire again,

This bow, unfaithful to my glorious aims, 270

Broke by my hand, shall feed the blazing flames."

To whom the leader of the Dardan race :
** Be calm, nor Phcebus' honour'd gift disgrace.
The distant dart be praised, though here we need
The rushing chariot and the bounding steed.
Against yon hero let us bend our course.
And, hand to hand, encounter force with force.
Now mount my seat, and from the chariot's height
Observe my father's steeds, renown'd in fight.
Practised alike to turn, to stop, to chase, 280

To dare the shock, or urge the rapid race :
Secure with these, through fighting fields we go ;
Or safe to Troy, if Jove assist the foe.

H



Digitized



by Google



114 THE ILIAD, BOOK V.

Haste, seize the whip, and snatch the guiding rein ;

The warrior's fury let this arm sustain ;

Or, if to combat thy bold heart incline,

Take thou the spear, the chariot's care be mine."

•*0h, prince !" Lycaon's valiant son replied,
"As thine the steeds, be thine the task to guide.
The horses, practised to their lord's command, 290

Shall bear the rein, and answer to thy hand.
But if, unhappy, we desert the fight.
Thy voice alone can animate their flight;
Else shall our fates be number'd with the desul.
And these, the victor's prize, in triumph led.
Thine be the guidance then : with spear and shield
Myself will charge thi^ terror of the field."

And now both heroes mount the glittering car;
The bounding coursers rush amidst the war.
Their fierce approach bold Sthenelus espied, 80C

Who thus, alarm'd, to great Tydides cried :

"Oh, friend ! two chiefs of force immense I see.



Online LibraryHomerHomer's Iliad → online text (page 9 of 41)