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door. F° r " lt: was tnus l ^ e Greeks placed their dead iu
the porches of their hcufes, as likewife in Italy.

In port am rigidos calces extendi?: Perfius*

- P.ecepitque ad limina greffim

Corpus v.hi exanimi pofihtm PaHmtis Jcztz*

ztrvahat fcnkr—

^ 3

Revenge is all my foul ! no meaner care,
Int'reft, or thought, has room to harbour there ;
DeftrudHon be my feaft, and mortal wounds,
And fcenes of blood, and agonizing founds.

O firft of Greeks (UlyfTes thus rejoin'd) 215

The bed and bravcft of the warrior-kind !
Thy praife it is in dreadful camps to Ihine,
But old experience and calm wifdom, mine.
Then hear my counfel, and to reafon yield,
The bravefl: foon are fatiate of the field ; 220

Tho' vaft the heaps that flrow the crimfon plain,
The bloody harveft brings but little gain :
The fcale of conqueft ever wav'ring lies,
Great Jove but turns it, and the victor dies !
The great, the bold, by thoufands daily fall, 225

And endlefs were the grief, to weep for all.
Eternal forrows what avails to (hed ?
Greece honours not with folemn fafts the dead :
Enough, when death demands the brave, to pay
The tribute of a melancholy day. 230

Thus we are told by Suetonius, of the body of Atfguftus

-Equefter ordo fufcepit, urbique intulit, at que in ve-

ftibulo domus collocavlt.

y . 221 . Tbo* vafl the heaps, etc.] UlyfTes's expre/Iion
in the original is very remarkable; he calls xaxaf^v,
Jlraw or chaff, fuch as are killed in the battel; and he
calls «>»tov, the crop, fuch as make their efcape. This
is very conformable to the language of holy fcripture,
wherein thofe who perifh are called chaff t and thofe who
are faved are called corn. Dacier.

Book XIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 19

One chief with patience to the grave refign'd,

Our care devolves on others left behind.

Let gen'rous food fupplies of ftrength produce,

Let rifing fpirits flow from fprightly juice,

Let their warm heads with fcenes of battel glow, 235

And pour new furies on the feebler foe.

Yet a fhort interval, and none (hall dare

Expect a fecond fummons to the war;

Who waits for that, the dire effect (hall find,

If trembling in the mips he lags behind. 24Q

Embodied, to the battel let us bend,

And all at once on haughty Troy defcend.

And now the delegates UlyfTes fent,
To bear the prefents from the royal tent.
The fons of Neftor, Phyleus' valiant heir, 245

Thias and Merion, thunderbolts of war,
With Lycomedes of Crekmtian ltrain,
And Melanippus, form'd the chofen train.
Swift as the word was giv'n, the youths obey'd;
Twice ten bright vafes in the midft they laid ; 2$Q

f, 237. None /ball dare

Expefl a fecond fummons to the war.1
This is very artful ; UlylTes, to prevail upon Achilles to
let the troops take repalt, and yet in fome fort to fecond
his impatience, gives with the fame breath orders for
battel, by commanding the troops to march, and expect
no farther orders. Thus though the troops go to take
repair, it looks as if they do not lofe a moment's time,
but are going to put themfelves in array of battel,

2 o H O ME R's ILIAD. Book XIX.

A row of fix fair tripods then fucceeds ;

And twice the number of high-bounding fleeds ;

Sev'n captives next a lovely line compofe ;

The eighth Brifeis, like the blooming rote,

Clos'd the bright band : great Ithacus, before, 255

Firft of the train, the golden talents bore;

The reft in public view the chiefs difpofe,

A fplendid fcene ! then Agamemnon rofe :

The boar Talthybius held : the Grecian lord

Drew the broad cntlace (heath 'd btiide K is fword: 160

The ftubborn bridles from the victim's brow

He crops, and off'ring meditates his vow.

His hands uplifted to th' attefting fides,

On heav'n's broad marble roof were fix'd his eyes,

The folemn words, a deep attention draw, 265

And Greece around fate thrili'd with facred awe.

Witnefs thou firft ! thou greateft pow'r above I
All-good, all-wife, and ali-furvcying- Jove !
And mother-earth, and heav'n's revolving light,
And ye, fell furies of the realms of nigvt, 27®. I

"Who rule the dead, and horrid woes prepare
For perjur'd kin:;?, and all who faTiely Hvear Y
The biack-ey'd maid inviolate removes,
Pure and unconfc".-.: &i of my manly loves.
If this be fal r e, heav'n all its vengeance flied, 27$

And levell'd thunder ftrike my guilty head !

With that, His weapon deep inflicts the wound j
The bleeding favage tumbles to the ground^

Book XIX. H O M E R's ILIA D. 21

The facred herald rolls the victim (lain

(A feaft for nth) into the foming main. 22o

Then thus Achilles. Hear, ye Greeks ! and know
Whate'er we feel, 'tis Jove inflicts the woe :
Not elfe Atrides could our rage inflame,
Nor from my arms, unwilling, force the dame.
'Twas Jove's high will alone, o'er-ruling all, 285

That doom'd ourftrife, and doom'd the Greeks to falli
Go then, ye chiefs ! indulge the genial rite ;
Achilles waits ye, and expects the fight.

The fpeedy council at his word adjourn'd :
To their black vcffels all the Greeks return'd. 290

Achilles fought his tent. His train before
March 'd onward, bending with the gifts they bore.
Thofe in the tents the fquires indubious fpread :
The foaming courfers to the ftails they led.
To their new feats the female captives move ; 295

Brifeis, radiant as the queen of love,
Slow as me pad, beheld with fad furvey
Where gafh'd with cruel wounds, Patroclus lay.

i/. 280. Rolls the victim into the main."] For it was
not lawful to eat the flefh of the victims facrificed in
confirmation of oaths; fuch were victims of malediction.

f. 281. Hear, ye Greeks, etc.] Achilles, to let them
fee that heisintirely appeafed, j unifies Agamemnon him-
felf, and enters into the reafons with which that prince
had coloured his fault. But in that judication he
perfectly well preferves his character, and illuftrates the
advantage he has over that king who offended him.

22 HOME R's ILIA D. Book XIX.

Prone on the body fell the heav'nly fair,

Beat her fad breaft, and tore her golden hair; 300

All beautiful -in grief, her humid eyes

Shining with tears, (he lifts, and thus me cries.

Ah youth for ever dear, for ever kind,
Once tender friend of my diftracled mind !
I left thee frefli in life, in beauty gay ; 505

Now find thee cold, inanimated clay !
What woes my wretched race of life attend?
Sorrows on forrows, never doom'd to end !
The firft lov'd confort of my virgin bed
Before thefe eyes iniatal battel bled : 31*

My three brave brothers in one mournful day
» All trod the dark, irremeable way :
Thy friendly hand uprear'd me from the plain,
And dry'd my forrows for a hufband flam;
Achilles' care you promis'd I mould prove, 315

The firft, the deareft partner of his love,

f. 303. etc, The lamentation of Br'tfeis over Patro-
c!us.~] This fpeech (fays Dionyfius of Hal i earn aftiis) is
not without its artifice : while Brifeis feerns only to be
deploring Patrocius, fhe reprefents to Achilles who
frands by, the breach of the promifes he had made her,
and upbraids him with the neglect he had been guilty of
in refigning her up to Agamemnon. He adds, that
Achilles hereupon acknowleges the juftice of her com-
plaint, and makes anfwer that his promifes mould be
performed: it was a (lip in that great critic's memory,
for the verfe he cites is not in this part of the author,

[jftpl cV^r^caTJa^ivojv, Part 2.3

jr. 315. Achilles* care you promts' V, etc.] In thefe
days when our manners are fo different from thofe of

Book XIX. H O M ER'sILlAD, 23

That rites divine ihould ratify the band,

And make me emprefs in his native land.

Accept thefe grateful tears ! for thee they flow,

For thee, that ever felt another's woe ! 320

Her fitter captives echo'd groan for groan,
Nor mourn 'd Patroclus' fortunes, but their own.
The leaders prefs'd the chief on every fide;
Unmov'd, he heard them, and with fighs deny'd.

If yet Achilles have a friend, whofe care 325

Is bent to pleafe him, this requefl: forbear:
Till yonder fun defcend, ah let me pay
To grief and anguilhone abftemious day.

the ancients, and we fee none of thofe difmal cataftro-
phes which laid whole kingdoms wafte, and fubjecled
princefles and queens to the power of the conqueror;
it will perhaps feem aftonlfhing, that a princefs of Rri-
feis's birth, the very day that her father, brothers, and
hufband were killed by Achilles, fhould fuffer herfelf to
be comforted, and even flattered with the hopes of be-
coming the fpoufe of the murderer. But fuch were the
manners of thofe times, as ancient hiflory tcftifies : and
a poet reprefents them as they were ; but if there was a
neceflity for juftifying them, it might be faid that flavery
was at that time fo terrible, that in truth a princefs like
Brifeis was pardonable, to chufe rather to become A»
chilles's wife than his flave. Dacier.

)h 322. Nor mourn' d Patroclus* fortunes, but their
dwti.~] Homer adds this touch to heighten the character
of Brifeis, and to fliew the difference there was between
her and the other captives. Brifeis, as a well-born
princefs, really bewailed Patroclus out of gratitude; but
the others, by pretending to bewail him, wept only out
ofintereft. Dacier.

24 H O M E R's I L I A D. BookXIX.

He fpoke, and from the warriors turn'd his face:
Yet (till the brother-kings of Atreus' race, 330

Keftot, Idomeneus, UlyfTes fage,
And Phcenix, drive to calm his grief and rage :
His rage they calm not, nor his grief controul ;
He groans, he raves, he forrows from his foul.

Thou too, Patroclus ! (thus his heart he vents) 335
Once fpread th' inviting banquet in our tents:
Thy fweet fociety, thy winning care,
Once ftay'd Achilles, rufiiing to the war.
But now alas ! to death's cold arms refign'd,
What banquet but revenge can glad my mind ? 340
What greater forrow could afflict my breaft,
What more, if hoary Peleus were deceas'd ?
Who now, perhaps, in Phthia dreads to hear
His fon's fad fate, and drops a tender tear.
What more, mould Neoptolemus the brave 345

(My only offspring) fink into the grave ?
If yet that offspring lives, (1 diftant far,
Of all negledful, wage a hateful war)
I cou'd not this, this cruel ftroke attend;
Fate claim'd Achilles, but might fpare his friend. 35*

f. 3 3 j. Thou too, Patroclus! etc J This lamentation
is finely introduced: while the generals are perfuading
him to take fome refrefliment, it naturally awakens in
his mind the remembrance of Patroclus, who had fo often
brought him food every morning before they went to
battel * this is very natural, and admirably well conceals
the art of drawing the fubjeel of his difcourfe from the
things that prcfent themfelves. Spondanus.

I hop'd

Book XIX. H O M E R's ILIAD. 2£

I hop'd Patroclus might furvive, to rear

My tender orphan with a parent's care,

From Scyros ifle conducl him o'er the mate, ^>

And glad his eyes with his paternal reign, ^

The lofty palace, and the large domain. J %$%

For Peleus breathes no more the vital air;

Or drags a wretched life of age and care,

But till the news of my fad fate invades

His haftening foul, and finks him to the fhades»

Sighing he faid : his grief the heroes join'd, 360
Each ftole a tear for what he left behind.
Their mingled grief the fire of beav'n furvey'd,
And thus, with pity, to his blue-ey'd maid.

Is then Achilles now no more thy care,
And dofi: thou thus defert the great in war \ §&|

Lo, where yon' fails their canvas wings extend,
All comfortlefs he fits, and wails his friend :
Ere thirft and want his forces have oppreft,
Hafte and infufe ambrofia in his breaft.

He fpoke, and fudden as the word of Jove, 37Q

Shot the defcending goddefs from above.

f. 351. I hop'd Patroclus might furvht, etc.] Pa-
troclus was young, and Achilles who had but a fhort
time to live, hoped that after his death his dear friend
would be as a father to his fori, and put him into the
pofleffion of his kingdom: Neoptolemus would in Pa-
troclus find Peleus and Achilles ; whereas when Patroclus
was dead, he muft be an orphan indeed. Homer is par-
ticularly admirable for the fentiments, and always fol-
lows nature. Dacier.

Vol. IV. G

a6 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XIX.

So fwift thro', aether the fhrill Harpye fprings, :

The wide air floating to her ample wings,

To great Achilles (he her flight addreft,

And pour'd divine ambrofia in his breaft, 375

With nectar Tweet, (refection of the Gods !)

Then, fwift afcending, fought the bright abodes.

Now iffued from the (hips the warrior train,
And like a deluge pour'd upon the plain.
As when the piercing blafts of Boreas blow, 380

And fcatter o'er the fields the driving fnow;
From duflsy clouds the fleecy winter flies,
Whofe dazling luftre whitens all the Ikies:
So helms fucceeding helms, fo fhields from fhields
Catch the quick beams, and brighten all the fields; 385
Broad glitt'ring breaft- plates, fpears with pointed rays
Mix in one ftream, reflecting blaze on blaze:
Thick beats the center as the courfers bound,
With fplendour flame thefkies ? and laugh the fields around.

^.384. So helms fucceeding helms, fojhl elds from /hi elds
Catch the quick beams, and brighten all the
It is probable the reader may think the words, fiining,
fplendid, and others derived from the luftre of arms, too
frequent in thefe books. My author is to anfwer for
it; but it may be alleged in his excufe, that when it
was the cuftom for every foldier to ferve in armour,
and when thofe arms were of brafs before the ufe of iron
became common, thefe images of luftre were lefs avoid-
able, and more neceifarily frequent in defcriptions of
this nature.

Book XIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 27
Full in the midft, high tow'ring o'er the reft, 390
His limbs in arms divine Achilles dreft;
Arms which the father of the fire beftow'd,
Forg'd on th' eternal anvils of the God.
Grief and revenge his furious heart infpire,
His glowing eye-balls roll with living fire; ^95

He grinds his teeth, and furious with delay
O'erlooks th' embattled hoft, and hopes the bloody day.

The lilver cuifhes firft-his thigh infold:
Then o'er his bread: was brac'd the hollow gold:
The brazen fword a various baldric ty'd, 400

That, ftarr'd with gems, hung glitt'ring at his fide;
And like the moon, the broad refulgent (hield
Blaz'd with long rays, and gleam'd athwart the field.

So to night wand'ring failors, pale with fears'
"Wide o'er the wat'ry wafte, a light appears, 4C5

Which on the far-feen mountain blazing high,
Streams from fome lonely watch-tow'r to the fky r
"With mournful eyes they gaze, and gaze again;
Loud howls the ftorm, and drives them o'er the main.

f. 390. Achilles ai*m\ng himfelf, etc.]] There is a
wonderful pomp in this defcription of Achiiles's arming
himfelf; every reader without being pointed to it, will
fee the extreme grandeur of all thefe images; but what
is particular, is, in what a noble fcale they rife one a-
bove another, and how the hero is fet ftill in a ftronger
point of light than before; till he is at laft in a manner
covered over with glories: he is at firft likened to the
moon-light, then to the flames of a beacon, then to a
comet, and laftly to the fun itfelf.

28 HO M E R's III A D. Book XIX.
Next, bis high head the helmet grac'd ; behind 41

The fweepy creft hung floating in the wind :

Like the red ftar, that from his flaming hair

Shakes down difeafes, peftiience and war ;

So ftream'd the golden honours from his head,

Trembled the fparkling plumes, and the loofe glories fhec!.
The chief beholds himfelf with wond'ring eyes j 416

His arms he poifes, and his motions tries ;

Buoy'd by fbme inward force, he feems to fwim,

And feels a pinion lifting ev'ry limb.

And now he (hakes his great paternal fpear, 42O

PondYous and huge ! which not a Greek could rear.

From Pelion's cloudy top an am entire

Old Chiron feil'd, and (hap'd it for his fire ;

A fpear which ftern Achilles only wields,

The death of heroes, and the dread of fields : 425

Automedon and Aleimus prepare
Th' immortal courfers, and the radiant car,
(The filver traces fweeping at their fide)
Their fiery mouths refplendent bridles ty'd,
The iv'ry-ftudded reins, return'd behind, 430

Wav'd o'er their backs, and to the chariot jom*d.
The charioteer then whirl'd the tafh around,
And fwiftafcended at one acYive bound.
All bright in heavnly arms, above his fquire
Achilles mounts, and fets the field on fire ; 43s

Not brighter Phoebus in th' ethereal way,
Flames from his chariot, and reftores the day,

Book XIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 29

High o'er the hoft, all terrible he (lands,

And thunders to his deeds thefe dread commands.

Xanthus and Balius ! of Podarges' flrain, 440

(Unlefs ye boaft that heav'nly race in vain)
Be fwift, be mindful of the load ye bear,
And learn to make your matter more your care :
Thro' falling fquadrons bear my flaught'ring fword,
Nor, as ye left Patroclus, leave your lord. 445

The gen'rous Xanthus, as the words he faid,
Seem'd fenfible of woe, and droop'd his head r
Trembling he flood before the golden wain,.
And bow'd to dud the honours of his mane,
When, ftrange to tell! (fo Juno will'd) he broke 450
Eternal filence, and portentous fpokc

^.450. V/henflrangeto tell! (fo Juno wflPd) helrckc
Eternal filence , and portentous /poke.']
It is remarked, in excufe of this extravagant fiction of a
horfe fpeaking, that Homer was authorized herein by
fable, tradition, and hiftory. Livy makes mention of
two oxen that fpoke on different occafions, and recites
the fpeech of one, which was, Roma cave tibi. Pliny
tells us, thefe animals were particularly gifted' this way,
J. 8. c. 49. Eft frequent in prodigiisprifcorum, bovem lo-
intum. Befides Homer had prepared us for expecting
fomething miraculous from thefe horfes of Achilles, by
reprefenting them to be immortal. We have fecn thenu
already fenfible, and weeping at the death of Patroclus, r
and we muft add to all this, that a goddefs is concerned
in working this wonder: it is Juno that does it. Op~
pian alludes to this in a beautiful paflage of his firft
book: not having the original' by me, I (hall quote
(what I believe is no lefs beautiful.) Mr^Fentcn's tran£-
ktion of it»


30 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XIX.

Achilles ! yes ! this day at leaft we bear

Thy rage infafety thro' the files of war:

But come it will, the fatal time mod come,

Kor ours the fault, but God decrees thy doom. 45$

Not thro' our crime, or flownefs in the courfe,

Fell thy Patroclus, but by heav'nly force ;

The bright far»fhooting God who gilds the day,

(Confeft we faw him) tore his arms away.

No — could our fwiftnefs o'er the winds prevail, 46*

Or beat the pinions of the weftern gale,

Of all the prone ere at ion, none difplay
A friendlier fenfe of marts fuperior fway :
Some in the filent pomp of grief complain,
for the brave chief by doom of battel /lain :
And when young Peleus in his rapid car
Rujh'd on, to rouze the thunder of the war,
With human voice infpir'd, his fteed dephr'cf
The fate impending dreadful o'er his Lord.

Cyneg. lib. I.

Spondanus and Pacier fail not to bring up Balaam's
afs on this occafion. But methinks the commentators
are at too much pains to difcharge the poet from the
imputation of extravagant fi&ion, by accounting for
wonders of this kind : I am afraid, that next to the ex-
travagance of inventing them, is that of endeavouring
to reconcile fuch ficYions to probability. Would not
one general anfwer do better, to fay once for all, that
the above-cited authors lived in the ageof wonders : The
tafte of the world has been generally turned to the
miraculous; wonders were what the people would have,
and what cot only the poefcs, but the priefts, gave them.

BookXIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 31

All were in vain — the fates thy death demand,
Due to a mortal and immortal hand.

Then ceas'd forever, by the Furies ty'd,
His fate-ful voice. TV intrepid chief reply'd 465

"With unabated rage— — So let it be !
Portents and prodigies are loft on me.
I know my fates : to die, to fee no more

My much-lov'd parents, and my native more

Enough — when heav'n ordains, I fink in night ; 470
Isow perifh Troy ! he faid, and rufh'd to fight.

f. 464. Then ceas'd for ever, by the furies t/J y

His fate-ful voice —

The poet had offended againft probability if he had
made Juno take away the voice ; for Juno (which fig-
nifies the air) is the caufe of the voice. Befides, the
poet was willing to intimate that the privation of the
voice is a thing fo difmal and melancholy, that none
but the Furies can take upon them fo cruel an employ-
ment. Euftathius.

C 33 3




The battel of the Gods, and the a&s cf Achilles.

JUP ITER upon Achilles' 's return to the battel, calls a
council of the Gods, and permits them to aj/ifl either
party. The terrors of the comb ate defcribed, taken the
deities are engaged, Apollo encourages Mneas to meet
Achilles. After a long convtrfation, thefe two heroes
encounter; but JEneas is preferved by the ajfiftance of
Neptune. Achilles falls upon the reft of the Trojans ,
and is upon the point of killing Hector, but Apollo con*
veys him away in a cloud, Achilles purfues the Trojans
with a great Jlaughier.

The fame day continues. The fcene u in the field before

'THUS round Pelides breathing war and blood,

Greece (heath 'd in arms, befide her veilels flood ;
While near impending from a neighb'ring height,
Troy's black battalions wait the mock of fight.
Then Jove to Themis gives command, to call $

The Gods to council in the ftarry hail :

f. 5. Then Jove to Themis gives command, etc.] The
poet is now to bring his hero again into aclion, and he

34 H O M E R's I L I A D, Book XX,

Swift o'er Olympus' hundred hills me flies,

And fummons all the fenate of the fkies.

Thefe mining on, in long proceflion come

To Jove's eternal adamantine dome. 10

Not one was abfent, not a rural pow'r,

That haunts the verdant gloom, or rofy bow'r,

Each fair-hair'd dryad of the fhady wood,

Each azure fitter of the filver flood;

All but old Ocean, hoary fire ! who keeps 15

His ancient feat beneath the facred deeps.

other reafon he draws from the allegory of Oceanus,
introduces him with the utmoit pomp and grandeur: the
gods are afTembled only upon this account, and Jupiter
permits feveral deities to join with the Trojans, and
hinder Achilles from over-ruling deftiny itfelf.

The circumftance offending Themis to aflemble the
gods is very beautiful ; fhe is the goddefs o^juftke ; the
Trojans by the rape of Helen, and by repeated per-
juries having broken her laws, (he is the properell: mef-
fenger to fummon a fynod to bring them to punifti-
mcnt. Euflathius.

Proclus has given a farther explanation of this. The-
mis or Juftice (fays he) is made to aflemble the gods
round Jupiter, becaufe it is from him that all the powers
of nature take their virtue, and receive their orders;
and Jupiter fends them to the relief of both parties, to
fhew that nothing falls out but by his perrniflion, and
that neither angels, nor men, nor the elements, acl but
according to the power which is given them.

f. 15. Jll but old Ocean.'] Euftathius gives two rea-
fons why Oceanus was abfent from this afTembly : the
one is becaufe he is fabled to be the original of all the
gods, and it would have been a piece of indecency for
him to fee the deities, who were all his defendants, war
upon one another by joining adverfe parties : the other

Book XX. H O M E R J s I L I A D, 3;

On marble thrones with lucid columns crown'd,
(The work of Vulcan) fate the pow'rs around.
Ev'n # he whofe trident fways the wat'ry reign,
Heard the loud fummons, and forfook the main, 29
AfTum'd his throne amid the bright abodes,
And queftion'd thus the fire of men and Gods.

What moves the God whoheav'n and earth commands,
And grafps the thunder in his awful hands,
Thus to convene the whole aethereal ftate ? 25

Is Greece and Troy the fubject in debate?
Already met, the low'ring hods appear,
And death (lands ardent on the edge of war.

'Tis true (the cloud-compelling Pow'r replies)
This day, we call the council of the (kies 30

In care of human race ; ev'n Jove's own eye
Sees with regret unhappy mortals die.
Far on Olympus' top in fecret ftate
Ourfelf will fit, and fee the hand of fate
Work out our will. Celeftial pow'rs ! defcend, 35
And as your minds direct, your fuccour lend

# Neptune,
which fignifies the element of water, and confequently
the whole element could not afcend into the iEther ;

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Online LibraryHomerThe Iliad (Volume 4) → online text (page 2 of 22)