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Book XIII.
Book XIV.
Book XV.
Book XVI.
Book XVII.
Book XVHI.
Book XIX.
Book XX.
Book XXI.
Book XXII.
Book XXHI.
Book XXTV.

• •• •• •• • ♦•















Neptune, concerned for the loss of the Grecians, upon seeing the
fortification forced by Hector (who had entered the gate near
the station of the Ajaces), assumes the shape of Calchas, and in-
spires those heroes to oppose him ; then, in the form of one of
the generals, encourages the other Greeks who had retired to
their vessels. The Ajaces form their troops into a close phalanx,
and put a stop to Hector and the Trojans. Several deeds of
valour are performed; Merioues, losing his spear in the en-
counter, repairs to seek another at the tent of Idomeneus ; this
occasions a conversation between these two warriors, who return
together to the battle. Idomeneus signalizes his courage
above the rest; he kills Othryoneus, Asius, and Alca-
thous ; Deiphobus and iEneas march against him, and at length
Idomeneus retires. Meneliius wounds Helenus and kills Pei-
sander. The Trojans are repulsed in the left wing. Hector still
keeps his ground against the Ajaces, till, being galled by the Lo-
crian slingers and archers, Polydamas advises to call a council of
war: Hector approves his advice, but goes first to rally the Tro-
jans ; upbraids Paris, rejoins Polydamas, meets Ajax again, and
renews the attack.

The eight-and-twentieth day still continues. The scene is between
the Grecian wall and the sea-shore.



TT7IIEN Jove liad Hector and the Trojans brouglit

Close to tlie sliips, lie left them tliere to toil
And strife continuous ; turning his keen glance
To view far off th' equestrian tribes of Thrace,
The -warlike Mysians, and the men who feed 5

On milk of mares, thence Hippemolgi term'd ;
A peaceful race, the justest of mankind.
On Troy he turn'd not once his piercing glance ;
JSTor deem'd he any God would dare to give
To Trojans or to Greeks his active aid. 10

Ko careless watch the monarch JSTeptune kept :
Wond'ring, he view'd the battle, where he sat
Aloft on wooded Samos' topmost peak,
Samos of Thrace ; whence Ida's heights he saw,
And Priam's city, and the ships of Greece. 15



Tliitlier ascended from the sea, lie sat ;
And thence the Greeks,by Trojans overborne,
Pitying he saw, and deeply wroth with Jove.
Then down the mountain's craggy side he pass'd
With rapid step ; and as he mov'd along, 20

Beneath th' immortal feet of Ocean's Lord
Quak'd the hnge mountain and the shadowy wood.
Three strides he took ; the fourth, he reach'd his goal,
JSigsd ; where on the margin of the bay
His temple stood, all glitt'ring, all of gold, 25

Imperishable ; there arriv'd, he yok'd
Eeneath his car the brazen-footed steeds.
Of swiftest flight, with manes of flowing gold.
All clad in gold, the golden lash he grasp'd
Of curious work, and mounting on his car, 30

Skimm'd o'er the waves ; from all the depths below
GamboU'd around the monsters of the deep.
Acknowledging their King ; the joyous sea
Parted her waves; swift flew the bounding steeds,
Nor was the brazen axle wet with spray, 35

When to the ships of Greece their Lord they bore.
Down in the deep recesses of the sea


A spacious cave there is, wliicli lies midway
'Twixt Teuedos and Imbros' rocky isle :
Til' Eartli-sliaking l^eptune tliere his coursers stay'd,
Loos'd from the chariot, and before them plac'd 41
Ambrosial provender ; and round their feet
Shackles of gold, which none might break nor loose,
That there they might await their Lord's return ;
Then to the Grecian army took his way. 45

Meantime, by Hector, son of Priam, led.
Like fire, or whirlwind, press'd the Trojans on,
AYith furious zeal, and shouts and clamour hoarse ;
In hopes to take the ships, and all the chiefs
To slay beside them ; but from Ocean's depths 50
Uprose th' Earth-shaker, Circler of the Earth,
To Calchas' likeness and deep voice conform'd,
And rous'd the fainting Greeks ; th' Ajaces first.
Themselves with ardour fill'd, he thus address'd :
" 'Tis yours, Ajaces, fill'd with courage high, 55

Discarding chilly fear, to save the Greeks :
Elsewhere I dread not much the Trojan force.
Though they in crowds have scal'd the lofty wall ;
The well-greav'd Greeks their onset may defy.


Yet greatly fear I lest we suffer loss, 6C

Where that fierce, fiery madman, Hector, leads,
Who boasts himself the son of Jove most high.
But may some God your hearts inspire, yourselves
Firmly to stand, and cheer your comrades on ;
So from your swiftly-sailing ships ye yet 65

May drive the foe, how bold soe'er he be.
Though by Olympian Jove himself upheld."
^.^ So spake th' Earth-shaker, Circler of the Earth,
And with his sceptre touching both the chiefs,
Fill'd them with strength and courage, and their limbs.
Their feet and hands, with active vigour strung ; 71
Then like a swift- wing'd falcon sprang to flight.
Which down the sheer face of some lofty rock
Swoops on the plain to seize his feather'd 'pvej :
So swiftly l!^eptune left the chiefs ; him first 75

Departing, knew Oileus' active son.
And thus the son of Telamon addressed :
" Ajax, since some one of th' Olympian Gods,
In likeness of a seer, hath hither come
To urge us to tlie war (no Calchas he, 80

Our augur Heav'n-inspir'd ; for well I mark'd



His movements, as he went ; and of a God

'Tis easy to discern the outward signs),

I feel fresli spirit kindled in my breast,

And new-born vigom- in my feet and hands." 85

Whom answer'd thus the son of Telamon :
" My hands too grasp with firmer hold the spear,
My spirit like thine is stirr'd ; I feel my feet
Instinct with fiery life ; nor should I fear
With Hector, son of Priam, in his might 90

Alone to meet, and grapple to the death."

Such was their mutual converse, as they joy'd
In the fierce transport by the God inspir'd.
Keptune, meanwhile, the other Greeks arous'd.
Who, to the ships withdrawn, their wasted strength
Eecruited ; for their limbs were faint with toil, 96
And grief was in their hearts, as they beheld
The Trojan hosts that scal'd the lofty wall ;
They saw, and from their eyes the teardrops fell.
Of safety desp'ratc ; but th' Earth-shaking God 100
Amid their ranks appearing, soon restor'd
Their firm array ; to Teucer first he came.
To Leitus, and valiant Peneleus,


Tlioas, Deipynis, Meriones,

And young Antiloclius, brave warriors all, 105

And. to tbe chiefs liis "vrino-ed words addressed :

" Shame on ye, Grecian youths ! to you I look'd
As to our ships' defenders ; but if ye
Shrink from the perilous battle, then indeed
Our day is come, to be by Troy subdu'd. 110

O Heav'n ! a sad and wondrous sight is this,
A sight I never deem'd my eyes should see,
Our ships assail'd by Trojan troops ; by those
"Who heretofore have been as tim'rous hinds
Amid the forest depths, the helpless prey 115

Of jackals, pards, and wolves ; they here and there,
Uncertain, heartless, unresisting, fly :
Such were the Trojans once ; nor dard abide,
'No, not an hour, the strength and arms of Greece ;
And these are they, who now beside our ships, 120
Far fi'om their citv walls, maintain the fio-ht,
Embolden'd bv our great commander's fault,
And slackness of the people, who, with him
Offended, scarce are brought to guard oui* ships.
And, feebly fighting, are beside them slain. 125


E'en thougli tlie mighty monarcTi, Atreus' son,

Wide-ruling Agamemnon, "be in trutli

Wholly to blame in this, that he hath wrong'd

The son of Pcleus, yet 'tis not for us

Our courage to relax. Arouse ye then ! 130

A brave man's spirit its vigour soon regains.

Tliat ye, the best and bravest of the host.

Should stand aloof thus idly, 'tis not well;

If meaner men should from the battle shrink,

I migljt not blame them ; but that such as ye 135

Should falter, indignation fills my soul.

Dear friends, from this remissness must accrue

Yet greater evils ; but with gen'rous shame

And keen remorse let each man's breast be fiU'd ;

Fierce is the struggle ; in his pride of strength 140

Hector has forced the gates and massive bars.

And raging, 'mid the ships maintains the war."

Thus ITeptune on the Greeks, reproving, calPd :
Then round th' Ajaces twain were cluster'd thick
The serried files, whose firm array nor Mars, 145

Kor spirit-stirring Pallas might reprove :
For there, the bravest all, in order due,

8 HOMER'S ILIAD. Book xni.

Waited the Trojan charge bj Hector led :

^ — 0t —

Spear close by spear , and shield b y shield o'erlaid.
Buckler to bnckler press'd, and helm to helm, 150
And man to man ; the horsehair plumes above,
Tliat nodded on the warriors' glitt'ring crests.
Each other touch'd ; so closely massed they stood.
Backward, by many a stalwart hand, were drawn
The spears, in act to hurl ; their eyes and minds 155
Turn'd to the front, and eager for the fray.
On pour'd the Trojan masses ; in the van
Hector straight forward urg'd his furious course.
As some huge boulder, from its rocky bed
Detach'd, and by the wintry torrent's force 160

Hurl'd down the cliff's steep face, when constant rains
The massive rock's fii*m hold have undermin'd ;
YVitli giant bounds it flies ; the crashing wood
Resounds beneath it ; still it hurries on,
Until, arriving at the level plain, , 165

Its headlong impulse check'd, it rolls no more ;
So Hector, threat'ning now through ships and tents,
E'en to the sea, to force his murd'rous way,
Anon, confronted by that phalanx firm.


Halts close before it ; while the sons of Greece, lYO
With thrust of sword and cfOiible-pointed spears,
Stave off his onset ; he a little space
Withdrew, and loudly on the Trojans call'd :

" Trojans, and Lycians, and ye Dardans fam'd
In close encounter, stand ye firm ! not long 175

The Greeks, though densely mass'd, shall bar my way,
But soon, methinks, before my spear shall quail,
If from the chief of Gods my mission be,
From Jove the Thund'rer, royal Juno's Lord."

His words fresh courage rais'd in ev'ry breast ; 180
On loftiest deeds intent, Deiphobus,
The son of Priam, from the foremost ranks,
His shield's broad orb before him borne, advanc'd
With airy step, protected by the shield :
At him Meriones with glitt'ring spear 185

Took aim, nor miss'd his mark ; the shield's broad orb
Of tough bull's-hide it struck ; but pass'd not throuo-h,
For near the head the sturdy shaft was snapp'd.
Yet from before his breast Deiphobus
Held at arm's length his shield i for much he fear'd
The weapon of Meriones ; but he 191


Back to his comrades' slielt'ring ranks -svithdrew,
Griev'd at ids baffled lio;^es and broken spear.
Tben tow'rd tlie skips he bent bis steps, to seek
Another spear, which in his tent remain'd. 105

The rest, 'mid wild uproar, maintain'd the fight.

There Teucer first, the son of Telamon,
A warrior slew, the son of Mentor, Lord
Of uum'rons horses, Imbrius, spearman skill'd.
In former days, ere came the sons of Greece, 200

He in Pedceus dwelt, and had to wife
Medesicaste, Priam's bastard child ;
But when the well-trimm'd ships of Greece appear'd,
Beturn'd to Troy ; and there, rever'd by all,
With Priam dwelt, who lov'd him as a son. 205

Him Tencer witli his lance below the ear
Stabb'd, and drew back the weapon ; down he fell,
As by the woodman's axe, on some high peak.
Falls a proud ash, conspicuous from afar,
Scatt'ring its tender foliage on the ground ; 210

He fell ; and loud his burnish'd armour rang.
Forth Teucer sprang to seize the spoil ; at whom.
Advancing, Hector aim'd his glitt'ring spear ;


He saw, and, stooping, shunn'd the brazen death

A little space ; but through the breast it struck 215

Amphimachus, the son of Cteatus,

The son of Actor, hastenino- to the fio-ht :

Thund'ring he fell, and loud his ai-mour rang.

Then forward Ilector sprang, in hopes to seize

The brazen helm, that fitted Avell the brow 220

Of brave Amphimachus ; but Ajax met

Th' advance of Ilector with his glitt'ring spear ;

Himself he reach'd not, all in dazzling brass

Encas'd ; but pressing on his bossy shield

Drove by main force beyond where lay the dead : 225

Them both the Greeks withdrew ; th' Athenian chiefs

Stychius and brave Menestheus, bore away

Amid the ranks of Greece Ampliimachus ;

"While, as two lions high above the ground

Bear through the brushwood in their jaws a goat, 230

Snatch'd from the sharp-fang'd dogs' protecting care :

So, fill'd with warlike rage, th' Ajaces twain

Lifted on high, and of its armoui' stripp'd

The corpse oflmbrius ; and Oileus' son,

Griev'd at Amphimachus, his comrade's death, 235


Cut from tlie tender neck, and like a ball

Sent whirling through the crowd the sever'd head ;

And in the dust at Hector's feet it fell.

Then, for his grandson slain, fiei'ce anger fiU'd

The breast of JSTejDtune ; through the tents of Greece

And ships he pass'd, the Greeks encouraging, 241

And ills preparing for the sons of Troj.

Him met Idomeneus, the warrior King,

Leaving a comrade, from the battle field,

Wounded behind the knee, but newly brought ; 245

Borne by his comrades, to the leech's care

He left him, eager to rejoin the fray ;

"Whom by his tent th' Earth-shaking God address'd,

The voice assuming of Andrasmon's son.

Who o'er th' ^tolians, as a God rever'd, 250

In Plcuron reign'd, and lofty Calydon :

" Where now, Idomeneus, sage Cretan chief,
Are all the vaunting threats, so freely pour'd
Against the Trojans by the sons of Greece ? "

To wliom the Cretan King, Idomeneus : 255

" Thoas, on none, so far as I may judge.
May blame be cast ; v/e all our duties know ;


Nor see I one by heartless fear restrain'd,

jSTor hanging back, and flinching from the war :

Yet by th' overruling will of Satm-n's son 260

It seems decreed that here the Greeks should Ml,

And far from Argos lie in nameless graves.

But, Thoas, as thyself art ever staunch,

Nor slow the laggards to reprove, thy work

Remit not now ; but rouse each sev'ral man." 265

To whom Earth-shaking JSTeptune thus replied :
" Idomcneus, may he from Troy return
No more, but here remain to glut the dogs,
If such there be, from this day's fight who shrinks.
But haste thee, don thine arms ; great need is now
To hasten, if in aught we two may serve : 271

E'en meaner men, united, courage gain ;
But we the bravest need not fear to meet."

He said, and to the strife of men return'd.
Within his well-constructed tent arriv'd, 275

Straight donn'd Idomeneus his armour bright :
Two spears he took ; and, like the lightning's flash.
Which, as a sign to men, the hand of Jove
Hurls downwards from Olympus' ghtt'ring heights ;


"Whose dazzling radiance far around is tliiown ; 280
Flasli'd, as the warrior ran, his armour bright.
Him met Meriones, his follower brave,
Close to the tent ; to seek a spear he came ;
To whom Idomeneus : " Meriones,
Swift-footed son of Molus, comrade dear, 285

"Why com'st thou here, and leav'st the battle field ?
Hast thou some wound receiv'd, whereof the pain
Subdues thy spirit ? or com'st thou, to the field
To summon me ? unsummon'd, well thou know'st
I better love the battle than the tent." 290

"Whom answer'd thus the sage Meriones :
" Idomeneus, the brass-clad Cretans' King,
I come to seek a spear, if hajDly such
"Within thy tent be found ; for, in the fight,
That which I lately bore, e'en now I broke 295

Against the shield of brave Deiphobus."

To whom Idomeneus, the Cretan King :
" Of spears, or one, or twenty, if thou list,
Thou there mayst find against the polish'd wall.
The spoil of Trojans slain ; for with my foes 300

'Tis not my wont to wage a distant war.


Thence have I store of spears, and bossy shields,
And crested helms, and breastplates polish'd bright."

Whom answer'd thus the sasre Meriones :
" I*^or are my tent and dark-ribb'd ship devoid 305
Of Trojan spoils ; but they are far to seek ;
ISTor deem I that my hand is slack in figlit ;
For 'mid the foremost in the glorious strife
I stand, whene'er is heard the battle cry.
My deeds by others of the brass-clad Greeks 310

May not be noted ; but thou know'st them well."

To whom Idomeneus, the Cretan King :
" WJiat need of this ? thy prowess well I know ;
For should we choose our bravest throug-h the fleet
To man the secret ambush, surest test 315

Of warriors' courage, where is manifest
The difF'rence 'twixt the coward and the brave ;
(The coward's colour. changes, nor his soul
"Within his breast its even balance keeps.
But changing still, from foot to foot he shifts, 32C
And in his bosom loudly beats his heart,
Ey[)ecting death ; and chatter all his teeth :
The brave man's colour changes not ; no fear


He knows, tlie ambnsli ent'ring ; all his pray'r

Is that the hour of battle soon may come) 323

E'en there, thy conrage none might call in doubt.

Shouldst thou from spear or sword receive a wound,

ISTot on thy neck behind, nor on tliy back

Would fall the blow, but on thy breast, in front.

Still pressing onward 'mid the foremost ranks. 330

But come, prolong we not this idle talk,

Like babblers vain, who scorn might justly move :

Haste to my tent, and there select thy spear."

He said : and from the tent Meriones,
Yaliant as Mars, his spear selected straight, 335

And, eager for the fray, rejoin'd his chief.
As Mars, the bane of men, goes forth to war,
Attended by his strong, unfearing son,
Terror, Avho shakes the bravest warrior's soul ;
They two, from Thrace, against the Ephyri, 340

Or haughty Phlegyans arm ; nor hear alike
The pray'rs of both the combatants, one side
With vict'ry crowning ; so to battle went
Those leaders twain, in dazzling arms array 'd :
Then thus Meriones his chief address'd : 345


" Son of Deucalion, say if on the right,
Or on the centre of the gen'ral host.
Our onset should be made, or on the left ;
For there, methinks, most succour need the Greeks."

To whom Idomeneus, the Cretan chief: 350

" Others there are the centre to defend,
Th' Ajaces both, and Teuccr, of the Greeks
Best archer, good too in the standing fight ;
These may for Hector full em^Dloyment find,
Brave as he is, and eager for the fray ; 355

E'en for his com*age 'twere a task too hard.
Their might to conquer, and resistless hands,
And burn the ships, if Saturn's son himself
Fire not, and 'mid the shipping throw the torch.
Great Ajax Telamon to none would yield, 360

Of mortal birth, by earthly food sustain'd,
By spear or pond'rous stone assailable ;
In hand to hand encounter, scarce surpass'd
By Peleus' son Achilles ; though with him
In speed of foot he might not hope to vie. 365

Then on the left let us our onset make ;
And quickly learn if we on others' heads

VOL. II. c

28 HOMER'S ILIAD. Book xni

Are doom'd to win renown, or tliey on ours."

He said : and, brave as Mars, Merioues,
Tliitlier Avhere L.e directed, led tlie way. 3T0

Kow when, attended thus, Idomeneus,
Like blazing fire, in dazzling arms appear'd,
Around him throng'd, with rallying cries, the Greeks,
And rag'd beside the ships the balanc'd fight.
As, when the dust lies deepest on the roads, 375
Before the boist'rous winds the storm drives fast,
And hio;h at once the whirlino; clouds are toss'd :
So was the fight confus'd ; and in the throng
Each man with keen desire of slaughter burn'd.
Bristled the deadly strife with pond'rous spears, 380
"Wielded with dire intent ; the brazen gleam
Dazzled the sight, by flashing helmets cast,
And breastplates polish'd bright, and ghtt'ring shields
Commingling ; stern of heart indeed were he,
"Who on that sight with joy, not pain, could gaze.
Dire evil then on mortal warriors brought 386
The diverse minds of Saturn's mighty sons :
To Hector and the Trojans Jove design'd,
In honour of Achilles, swift of foot.


To give the vict'iy ; yet not utterly 390

He will'd to slay before the walls of Troy

The Grecian host ; but glory to confer

On Thetis and her noble-minded son.

ISfeptnne, on th' other side, the Greeks inspir'd,

Clandestine rising from the hoary sea ; 395

For them before the Trojan host o'erborne

He saw with grief, and deeply wroth with Jove.

Equal the rank of both, their birth the same,

But Jove in wisdom, as in years, the first.

N"or ventur'd ISTeptune openly to aid 400

The cause of Greece ; but cloth'd in mortal form,

In secret still the army's courage rous'd.

This way and that they tugg'd of furious war

And balanc'd strife, where many a warrior fell, 404

The straining rope, which none might break or loose.

Then, though his hair was grizzl'd o'er with age,

Calling the Greeks to aid, Idomeneus,

Inspiring terror, on the Trojans sprang,

And slew Othryoneus, who but of late

Came from Cabesus on the alarm of war ; 410

And, welcomed as a guest in Priam's house,


The fairest of liis daughters sought to wed,

Kg portion asked, Cassandra ; mighty deeds

He promis'd, from before the walls of Troy

In their despite to drive the sons of Greece. 415

The aged Priam listen'd to his suit ;

And he, his promise trusting, fought for Troy.

Him, marching with proud step, Idomeneus

Struck with his glitt'ring spear, nor aught avail'd

His brazen breastplate ; through the middle thrust,

Thund'ring he fell : the victor vaunting cried : 421

'' Othryoneus, above all mortal men
I hold thee in respect, if thou indeed
Wilt make thy words to aged Priam good,
Who promis'd thee his daughter in return : 425

We too would offer thee a like reward ;
And give thee here to wed, from Argos brought,
Atrides' fairest daughter, if with us
Thou wilt o'erthrow the well-built walls of Troy.
Come then, on board our ocean-going ships 430

Discuss the marriage contract ; nor shall we
Bo found illib'ral of our bridal gifts."

He said, and seizing by tlie foot the slain,


Dragg'd from tlie press ; but to the rescue came

Asius, liimself on foot before his car : 435

So close his charioteer the horses held,

The J breath'd upon his shoulders ; eagerly

He sought to reach Idomeneus ; but he,

Preventing, through his gullet drove the spear.

Beneath his chin ; right through the weapon pass'd ;

He fell ; as falls an oak, or poplar tall, Ml

Or lofty pine, which on the mountain top,

For some proud ship, the woodman's axe hath hewn :

So he, before the car and horses stretch'd,

His death-cry utt'ring, clutch'd the blood-stain'd soil ;

Bewilder'd, helpless, stood his charioteer ;

Nor dar'd, escaping from the foemen's hands,

To turn his horses : him, Antilochus

Beneath the waistband struck : nor auo-ht avail'd

His brazen breastplate ; through the middle thrust,

He, from the well-wrought chariot, gasping, fell. 451

Antilochus, the noble ITestor's son.

The horses seiz'd, and from the Trojan ranks

Drove to the Grecian camp. For Asius' death

Deep griev'd, Deiphobus, approaching, hurl'd 455


Againsf Idomeneus his glitt'ring spear :
The coming weapon he beheld, and shiinn'd :
Beneath the ample circle of his shield,
With hides and brazen plates encircled round,
And by two rods sustain' d, conceal'd he stood : 460
Beneath he crouch'd, and o'er him flew the spear :
Tet harsh it grated, glancing from the shield ;
ISTor bootless from that stalwart hand it flew,
But through the midriff, close below the heart,
Hypsenor, son of Hippasus, it struck, 465

And straight relax'd his limbs ; then shouting loud,
In boastful tone, Deiphobus exclaim'd :

" Kot unavenged lies Asius ; he, methinks,
As I have found him fellowship, with joy"
Thro' Hades' strongly-guarded gates may pass." 470
He said ; the Greeks, indignant, heard his boast ;

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