Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

A steer of five years' age, large limb'd, and fed,
To Jove's high altars Agamemnon led:
There bade the noblest of the Grecian peers;
And Nestor first, as most advanc'd in years.
Next came Idomeneus, and Tydens' son,
Ajax the less, and Ajax Telamon;
Then wise Ulysses in his rank was plac'd;
And Menelaus came unbid, the last.

The chiefs surround the destin'd beast, and take
The sacred offering of the salted cake.
When thus the king prefers his solemn prayer:
"Oa thou! whose thunder rends the clouded air,
Who in the Heaven of Heavens has fix'd thy throne,
Supreme of gods! unbounded and alone!
Hear! and before the burning Sun descends,
Before the Night her gloomy veil extends,
Low in the dust be laid yon hostile spires,
Be Priam's palace sunk in Grecian fires,
In Hector's breast be plung'd this shining sword,
And slaughter'd heroes groan around their lord!"
Thus pray'd the chief; his unavailing prayer
Great Jove refus'd, and tost in empty air:
The god averse, while yet the fumes arose,
Prepar'd new toils, and doubled woes on woes.
Their prayers perform'd, the chiefs the rite pursue,
The barley sprinkled, and the victim slew,
The limbs they sever from th' enclosing hide,
The thighs, selected to the gods, divide.
On these, in double cauls involv'd with art,
The choicest morsels lie from every part.
From the cleft wood the crackling flames aspire,
While the fat victim feeds the sacred fire.
The thighs thus sacrific'd, and entrails drest,
Th' assistants part, transfix, and roast the rest;
Then spread the tables, the repast prepare,
Each takes his seat, and each receives his share.
Soon as the rage of hunger was supprest,
The generous Nestor thus the prince addrest:

"Now bid thy heralds sound the loud alarms,
And call the squadrons sheath'd in brazen arms:
Now seize th' occasion, now the troops survey,
And lead to war when Heaven directs the way."
He said; the monarch issued his commands;
Straight the loud heralds call the gathering bands.
Tas chiefs enclose their king: the host divide,
Ia tribes and nations rank'd on either side.
High in the midst the blue-ey'd virgin flies;
From rank to rank she darts her ardent eyes:
The dreadful ægis, Jove's immortal shield,
Baz`d on her arm, and lighten'd all the field:
Round the vast orb an undred serpents roll'd,
Fucra'd the bright fringe, and seem'd to burn in gold.
With this each Grecian's manly breast she warms,
Swells their bod hearts, and strings their nervous
No more they sigh, inglorious, to return, farms;
Bit breathe revenge, and for the combat burn.

As on some mountain, through the lofty grove, The crackling flames ascend, and blaze above; The fires expanding as the winds arise, Shoot their long beams, and kindle half the skies: So trom the polish'd arms, and brazen shields, A gleamy splendour flash'd along the fields.

Not less their number than th' embody'd cranes,
Or milk-white swans in Asia's watery plains,
That o'er the windings of Cäyster's springs,
Stretch their long necks, and clap their rustling
Now tower aloft, and course in airy rounds; [wings;
Now light with noise; with noise the field resounds.
Thus numerons and confus'd, extending wide,
The legions crowd Scamander's flowery side;
With rushing troops the plains are cover'd o'er,
And thundering footsteps shake the sounding shore.
Along the river's level meads they stand,
Thick as in spring the flowers adorn the land,
Or leaves the trees; or thick as insects play,
The wandering nation of a summer's day,
That, drawn by milky steams, at evening hours,
In gather'd swarms surround the rural bowers;
From pail to pail with busy murmur run
The gilded legions, glittering in the Sun.
So throng'd, so close, the Grecian squadrons stood
In radiant arms, and thirst for Trojan blood.
Each leader now his scattered force conjoins
In close array, and forms the deepening lines.
Not with more ease, the skilful shepherd swain
Collects his flocks from thousands on the plain.
The king of kings, majestically tall,

Towers o'er his armies, and outshines them all;
Like some proud bull that round the pastures leads
His subject-herds, the monarch of the meads.
Great as the gods, th' exalted chief was seen,
His strength like Neptune, and like Mars his mien,
Jove o'er his eyes celestial glories spread,
And dawning conquest play'd around his head.

Say, virgins, seated round the throne divine,
All-knowing goddesses! immortal nine! [height,
Since Earth's wide regions, Heaven's unmeasur'd
And Hell's abyss, hide nothing from your sight,
(We, wretched mortals! lost in doubts below,
But guess by rumour, and but boast we know)
Oh, say what heroes, fir'd by thirst of fame,
Or urg'd by wrongs, to Troy's destruction came?
To count them all, demands a thousand tongues,
A throat of brass, and adamantine lungs.
Daughters of Jove, assist! inspir'd by you
The mighty labour dauntless I pursue:
What crowded armies, from what climes they bring,
Their names, their numbers, and their chiefs, I sing.


The hardy warriors whom Boeotia bred, Penelius, Leitus, Prothoënor led: With these Arcesilaus and Clonius stand, Equal in arms, and equal in command. These head the troops that rocky Aulis yields, And Eteon's hills, and Hyrie's watery fields, And Schoenos, Scholos, Græa near the main, And Mycalessia's ample piny plain. Those who on Peteon or lesion dwell, Or Harma where Apollo's prophet fell; Heleon and Hylè, which the springs o'erflow; And Medeon lofty, and Ocalea low; Or in the meads of Haliartus stray, Or Thespis sacred to the god of day. Onchestus, Neptune's celebrated groves ; Cope, and Thisbè, fam'd for silver doves, For flocks Erythræ, Glissa for the vine; Platea green, and Nysa the divine. And they whom Thebe's well-built walls enclose, Where Myde, Entresus, Coronè rose ; And Arnè rich, with purple harvests crown'd; And Anthedon, Beotia's utmost bound.

Full fifty ships they send, and each conveys
Twice sixty warriors through the foaming seas.
To these succeed Aspledon's martial train,
Who plough the spacious Orchomenian plain.
Two valiant brothers rule th' undaunted throng,
Iälmen and Ascalaphus the strong :
Sons of Astyochè, the heavenly fair,
Whose virgin charms subdued the god of war
(In Actor's court as she retir'd to rest,

The strength of Mars the blushing maid comprest).
Their troops in thirty sable vessels sweep,
With equal oars, the hoarse-resounding deep.
The Phocians next in forty barks repair,
Epistrophus and Schedius head the war.
From those rich regions where Cephissus leads
His silver current through the flowery meads;
From Panopea, Chrysa the divine,
Where Anemoria's stately turrets shine,
Where Pytho, Daulis, Cyparissus stood,
And fair Lilæa views the rising flood.
These, rang'd in order on the floating tide,
Close on the left, the bold Baotians' side.

Fierce Ajax led the Locrian squadrons on,
Ajax the less, Oileus' valiant son;
Skill'd to direct the flying dart aright;
Swift in pursuit, and active in the fight;
Him, as their chief, the chosen troops attend,
Which Bessa, Thronus, and rich Cynos send :
Opus, Calliarus, and Scarphe's bands

And those who dwell where pleasing Augia stands,
And where Boägrius floats the lowly lands,
Or in fair Taphe's sylvan seats reside:
In forty vessels cut the liquid tide.
Euboea next her martial sons prepares,
And sends the brave Abantes to the wars:
Breathing revenge, in arms they take their way
From Chalcis' walls, and strong Eretria;
Th' Isteian fields for generous vines renown'd,
The fair Carystos, and the Styrian ground;
Where Dios from her towers o'erlooks the plain,
And high Cerinthus views the neighbouring main.
Down their broad shoulders falls a length of hair;
Their hands dismiss not the long lance in air;
But with protended spears in fighting fields,
Pierce the tough corselets and the brazen shields:
Twice twenty ships transport the warlike bands,
Which bold Elphenor, fierce in arms, commands.

Full fifty more from Athens stem the main,
Led by Mnestheus through the liquid plain.
(Athens the fair, where great Erectheus sway'd,
That ow'd his nature to the blue-ey'd maid,
But from the teeming furrow took his birth,
The mighty offspring of the foodful Earth.
Him Pallas plac'd amidst her wealthy fane,
Ador'd with sacrifice and oxen slain;
Where, as the years revolve, her altars blaze,
And all the tribes resound the goddess' praise)
No chief like thee, Mnestheus! Greece could yield,
To marshal armies in the dusty field,
Th' extended wings of battle to display,
Or close th' embody'd host in firm array.
Nestor alone, improv'd by length of days,
For martial conduct bore an equal praise.

With these appear the Salaminian bands,
Whom the gigantic Telamon commands;
In twelve black ships to Troy they steer their course,
And with the great Athenians join their force.

Next move to war the generous Argive train,
From high Træzenè, and Maseta's plain,
And fair Ægina circled by the main:

Whom strong Tyrinthès' lofty walls surround,
And Epidaur with viny harvests crown'd;
And where fair Asinen and Hermion show
Their cliffs above, and ample bay below.
These by the brave Euryalus were led,
Great Sthenelus, and greater Diomed,
But chief Tydides bore the sovereign sway;
In four-score barks they plough the watery way.
The proud Mycenè arms her martial powers,
Cleonè, Corinth, with imperial towers,
Fair Aræthyrea, Ornia's fruitful plain,
And Ægeon, and Adrastus' ancient reign;
And those who dwell along the sandy shore,
And where Pellenè yields her fleecy store,
Where Helicè and Hyperesia lie,
And Gonoëssa's spires salute the sky.
Great Agamemnon rules the numerous band,
A hundred vessels in long order stand,
And crowded nations wait his dread command.
High on the deck the king of men appears,
And his refulgent arms in triumph wears;
Proud of his host, unrivall'd in his reign,
In silent pomp he moves along the main.

His brother follows, and to vengeance warms
The hardy Spartans exercis'd in arms;
Phares and Brysia's valiant troops, and those
Whom Lacedæmon's lofty hills enclose :
Or Messe's towers for silver doves renown'd,
Amycle, Laäs, Augia's happy ground,
And those whom Oetylos' low walls contain,
And Helos, on the margin of the main :
These, o'er the bending ocean, Helen's cause,
In sixty ships with Menelaus draws:
Eager and loud from man to man he flies,
Revenge and fury flaming in his eyes;
While vainly fond, in fancy oft he hears
The fair one's grief, and sees her falling tears.
In ninety sail, from Pylos' sandy coast,
Nestor the sage conducts his chosen host;
From Amphigenia's ever fruitful land;
Where Epy high, and little Pteleon stand;
Where beauteous Arenè her structures shows,
And Thryon's walls Alpheus' streams enclose:
And Dorion, fam'd for Thamyris' disgrace,
Superior once of all the tuneful race,
Till, vain of mortals empty praise, he strove
To match the seed of cloud-compelling Jove!
Too daring bard! whose unsuccessful pride
Th' immortal Muses in their art defy'd.
Th' avenging Muses of the light of day
Depriv'd his eyes, and snatch'd his voice away;
No more his heavenly voice was heard to sing,
His hand no more awak'd the silver string.

Where under high Cyllenè, crown'd with wood,
The shaded tomb of old Egyptus stood;
From Ripè, Stratie, Tegca's bordering towns,
The Phenean fields, and Orchomenian downs,
Where the fat herds in plenteous pasture rove;
And Stymphalus with her surrounding grove,
Parrhasia, on her snowy cliffs reclin'd,
And high Enispè shook by wintery wind,
And fair Mantinea's ever-pleasing site;
In sixty sail th' Arcadian bands unite.
Bold Agapenor, glorious at their head,
(Ancæus' son) the mighty squadron led.
Their ships supply'd by Agamemnon's care,
Through roaring seas the wondering warriors

[blocks in formation]

Those, where fair Elis and Buprasium join; Whom Hyrmin, here, and Myrsinus confine, And bounded there where o'er the vallies rose The Olenian rock; and where Alisium flows; Beneath four chiefs (a numerous army) came: The strength and glory of th' Epean name. In separate squadrons these their train divide, Each leads ten vessels through the yielding tide, One was Amphimachus, and Thalphius one (Eurytus' this, and that Teätus' son); Diores sprung from Amarynceus' line; And great Polyxenus, of force divine.

But those who view fair Elis o'er the seas From the blest islands of th' Echinades, In forty vessels under Meges move, Begot by Phyleus the belov'd of Jove. To strong Dulichium from his sire he fled, And thence to Troy his hardy warriors led. Ulysses followed through the watery road, A chief, in wisdom equal to a god. With those who Cephalenia's isle enclos'd, Or till their fields along the coast oppos'd; Or where fair Ithaca o'erlooks the floods, Where high Neritos shakes his waving woods, Where Egilipa's ragged sides are seen, Crocylia rocky, and Zacynthus green. These in twelve galleys with vermillion prores, Beneath his conduct sought the Phrygian shores. Thoas came next, Andræmon's valiant son, From Pleuron's walls, and chalky Calydon, And rough Pylenè, and th' Olenian steep, And Chalcis beaten by the rolling deep. He led the warriors from th' Ætolian shore, For now the sons of Oeneus were no more! The glories of the mighty race were fled! Oeneus himself, and Meleager dead! To Thoas' care now trust the martial train, His forty vessels follow through the main.

Next eighty barks the Cretan king commands, Of Gnossus, Lyctus, and Gortyna's bands, And those who dwell where Rhytion's domes arise, Or white Lycastus glitters to the skies, Or where by Phostus silver Jardan runs ; Crete's hundred cities pour forth all her sons. These march'd, Idomeneus, beneath thy care, And Merion, dreadful as the god of war.

Tlepolemus, the son of Hercules, Led nine swift vessels through the foamy seas; From Rhodes with everlasting sunshine bright, Jalyssus, Lindus, and Camirus white. His captive mother fierce Alcides bore, From Ephyr's walls, and Selle's winding shore, Where mighty towns in ruins spread the plain, And saw their blooming warriors early slain. The hero, when to manly years he grew, Alcides' uncle, old Licymnius, slew; For this, constrain'd to quit his native place, And shun the vengeance of the Herculean race, A fleet he built, and with a numerous train Of willing exiles, wander'd o'er the main ; Where, many seas and many sufferings past, On happy Rhodes the chief arriv'd at last : There in three tribes divides his native band, And rules them peaceful in a foreign land; Increas'd and prosper'd in their new abodes, By mighty Jove, the sire of men and gods; With joy they saw the growing empire rise, And showers of wealth descending from the skies. Three ships with Nireus sought the Trojan shore, Nirgus, whom Aglaë to Charopus bore,

Nireus, in faultless shape and blooming grace,
The loveliest youth of all the Grecian race,
Pelides only match'd his early charms;
But few his troops, and small his strength in arms.
Next thirty galleys cleave the liquid plain,
Of those Calydna's sea-girt isles contain;
With them the youth of Nysyrus repair,
Casus the strong, and Carpathus the fair;
Cos, where Eurypylus possest the sway,
Till great Alcides made the realms obey:
These Antiphus and bold Phidippus bring,
Sprung from the god by Thessalus the king.
Now, Muse, recount Pelasgic Argos' powers,
From Alos, Alopè, and Trechin's towers;
From Phthia's spacious vales; and Hella, blest
With female beauty far beyond the rest.
Full fifty ships beneath Achilles' care,

Th' Achaians, Myrmidons, Hellenians bear;
Thessalians all, though various in their name;
The same their nation, and their chief the same.
But now, inglorious, stretch'd along the shore,
They hear the brazen voice of war no more;
No more the foe they face in dire array;
Close in his fleet the angry leader lay;
Since fair Briseis from his arms was torn,
The noblest spoil from sack'd Lyrnessus borne,
Then, when the chief the Theban walls o'erthrew,
And the bold sons of great Evenus slew.
There mourn'd Achilles, plung'd in depth of care,
But soon to rise in slaughter, blood, and war.

To these the youth of Phylacè succeed,
Itona, famous for her fleecy breed,
And grassy Pteleon deck'd with cheerful greens,
The bowers of Ceres, and the sylvan scenes,
Sweet Pyrrhasus, with blooming flowrets crown'd,
And Antron's watery dens, and cavern'd ground.
These own'd as chief Protesilas the brave,
Who now lay silent in the gloomy grave:
The first who boldly touch'd the Trojan shore,
And dy'd a Phrygian lance with Grecian gore;
There lies, far distant from his native plain;
Unfinish'd, his proud palaces remain,
And his sad consort beats her breast in vain.
His troops in forty ships Podarces led,
Iphiclus' son, and brother to the dead;
Nor he unworthy to command the host;
Yet still they mourn'd their ancient leader lost.
The men who Glaphrya's fair toil partake,
Where hills encircle Babe's lowly lake,
Where Phare hears the neighbouring waters fall,
Or proud föleus lifts her airy wall,
In ten black ships embark'd for Ilion's shore,
With bold Eumylus, whom Alcestè bore:
All Pelias' race Alcestè far outshin'd,
The grace and glory of the beauteous kind.

The troops Methonè or Thaumachia yields, Olizon's rocks, or Meliboa's fields, With Philoctetes sail'd, whose matchless art, From the tough bow directs the feather'd dart. Seven were his ships; each vessel fifty row, Skill'd in his science of the dart and bow. But he lay raging on the Lemnian ground, A poisonous Hydra gave the burning wound; There groan'd the chief in agonizing pain, Whom Greece at length shall wish, nor wish in


His forces Medeon led from Lemnos' shore,
Oilens' son, whom beauteous Rhena bore.

Th' Echalian race, in those high towers contain'd, Where once Eurytus in proud triumph reign'd,

[ocr errors]



Or where her humbler turrets Tricca rears,
Or where Ithomè, rough with rocks, appears ;
In thirty sail the sparkling waves divide,
Which Podalirius and Machaon guide.
To these his skill their parent-god' imparts,
Divine professors of the healing arts.

The bold Ormenian and Asterian bands
In forty barks Eurypylus commands,
Where Titan hides his hoary head in snow,
And where Hyperia's silver fountains flow.
Thy troops, Argissa, Polypetes leads,
And Eleon, shelter'd by Olyinpus' shades,
Gyrtone's warriors; and where Orthe lies,
And Oleosson's chalky cliffs arise.

Sprung from Pirithous of immortal race,
The fruit of fair Hippodamè's embrace,

Where Typhon, prest beneath the burning load,
Still feels the fury of th' avenging God.

But various Iris, Jove's commands to bear,
Speeds on the wings of winds through liquid air;
In Priam's porch the Trojan chiefs she found,
The old consulting, and the youths around.
Polites' shape, the monarch's son, she chose,
Who from Esetes' tomb observ'd the foes,
High on the mound; from whence in prospect lay
The fields, the tents, the navy, and the bay.
In this dissembled form, she hastes to bring
Th' unwelcome message to the Phrygian king:
"Cease to consult, the time for action calls,
War, horrid war, approaches to your walls!
Assembled armies oft have I beheld;

But ne'er till now such numbers charg'd the field,

(That day when, hurl'd from Pelion's cloudy head, Thick as autumnal leaves or driving sand,

To distant dens the shaggy Centaurs fled)
With Polypates join'd in equal sway
Leontes leads, and forty ships obey.

In twenty sail the bold Perrhæbians came
From Cyphus, Guneus was their leader's name.
With these the Enians join'd, and those who freeze
Where cold Dodona lifts her holy trees;
Or where the pleasing Titaresius glides,
And into Peneus rolls his easy tides;
Yet o'er the silver surface pure they flow,.
The sacred stream unm x'd with streams below,
Sacred and awful! From the dark abodes

Styx pours

them forth, the dreadful oath of gods!
Last under Prothous the Magnesiaus stood,
Prothous the swift, of old Tenthredron's blood;
Who dwell where Pelion, crown'd with piny boughs,
Obscures the glade, and nods his shaggy brows;
Or where through flowery Tempè Peneus stray'd,
(The region stretch'd beneath his mighty shade)
In forty sable barks they stemm'd the main;
Such were the chiefs, and such the Grecian train.
Say next, O Muse! of all Achaia breeds,
Who bravest fought, or rein'd the noblest steeds?
Eumeleus' mares were foremost in the chase,
As eagles deet, and of Pheretian race:
Bred where Pieria's fruitful fountains flow,
And train'd by him who bears the silver bow.
Fierce in the fight their nostrils breathe a flame,
Their height, their colour, and their age the same,
O'er fields of death they whirl the rapid car,
And break the ranks, and thunder through the war.
Ajax in arms the first renown acquir'd,
While stern Achilles in Itis wrath retir'd
(His was the strength that mortal might exceeds,
And his, ta' unrivail'd race of heavenly steeds)..

But Thetis' son now shine in arms no more;

His troops, neglected on he san ly shore,

In empty air their sportive javelins throw,
Or whirl the disk, or bend an idle bow:
Unstained with blood his cover d chariots stand;
Th' immortal coursers graze along the strand;
But the brave chiers th' inglorious life deplor'd,
And wondering o'er the camp, requir'd their lord.
Now, like a deluge, cov ning all around,
The shining armies swept along the ground:
Swift as a floo' of fire, when storms arise,
Floats the wide field, and blazes to the skies.
Earth groan'd beneath them, as when angry Jove
Huns down the forky lightning from above,
On Arimè when he the thunder throws,
And fires Typhæus with redoubled blows,

[blocks in formation]

The moving squadrons blacken all the strand.
Thou, godlike Hector! all thy force employ,
Assemble all th' united bands of Troy ;
In just array let every leader call

The foreign troops: this day demands them all.
The voice divine the mighty chief alarms;
The council breaks, the warriors rush to arms.
The gates unfolding pour forth all their train,
Nations on nations fill the dusky plain.
Men, steeds, and chariots, shake the trembling
The tumult thickens, and the skies resound.
Amidst the plain in sight of Ilion stands
A rising mount, the work of human hands;
(This for Myrinne's tomb th' immortals know,
Though call'd Batiea in the world below)
Th' auxiliar troops and Trojan hosts appear.
Beneath their chiefs in martial order here,

The godlike Hector, high above the rest,
Shakes his huge spear, and nods his plumy crest:
In throngs around his native bands repair,
And groves of lances glitter in the air.

Divine Encas brings the Dardan race,
Anchises' son by Venus' stol'n embrace,
Born in the shades of Ida's secret grove,
(A mortal mixing with the queen of love) :
Archilochus and Acama divide
The warrior's toils and combat by his side.
Who fair Zeleia's wealthy valleys till,
Fast by the foot of Ida's sacred hill,
Or drink, Esepus, of thy sable flood,
Were led by Pandarus, of royal blood;
To whom his art Apollo deign'd to show,
Grac'd with the presents of his shafts and bow.
From rich Apæsus' and Adrestia's towers,
High Teree's summits, and Pityea's bowers;
From these the congregated troops obey
Young Amphius' and Adrastus' equal sway:
Old Merops' sons; whom, skill'd in fates to come,
The sire forewarn'd, and prophesy'd their doom:
Fate urg'd them on! the sire forewarn'd in vain,
They rush'd to war, and perish'd on the plain.

From Practius' stream, Percote's pasture lands,
And Sestos and Abydos' neighbouring strands,
From great Arisba's walls and Selle's coast,
Asius Hyrtacides conducts his host:
High on his car he shakes the flowing reins,
His fiery coursers thunder o'er the plains.

The fierce Pelasgi next, in war renown'd,
March from Larissa's ever-fertile ground:
In equal arms their brother leaders shine
Hippothous bold, and Pyleus the divine.

Next Acamus and Pyrous lead their hosts,
In dread array, from Thracia's wintery coasts;

Round the bleak realms where Hellespontus roars,
And Boreas beats the hoarse-resounding shores.
With great Euphemus the Ciconians move,
Sprung from Træzenian Ceus, lov'd by Jove.
Pyrachmus the Pæonian troops attend,
Skill'd in the fight, their crooked bows to bend:
From Axius' ample bed he leads them on,
Axius, that laves the distant Amydon;
Axius, that swells with all his neighbouring rills,
And wide around the floating region tills.

The Paphlagonians Pylmenes rules,
Where rich Henetia breeds her savage mules,
Where Erythinus' rising clifts are seen,
Thy groves of box, Cytorus! ever green;
And where gyalus and Cromna lie,
And lofty Sesamus invades the sky:
And where Parthenius, roll'd through banks of
Reflects her bordering palaces and bowers. [flowers,
Here march'd in arms the Halizonian band,
Whom Odius and Epistrophus command,
From those far regions where the Sun refines
The ripening silver in Alybean mines.

There mighty Chromis led the Mysian train,
And augur Ennomus, inspir'd in vaio;
For stern Achilles lopt his sacred head,
Roll'd down Scamander with the vulgar dead.
Phoreis and brave Ascanins here unite
The Ascanian Phrygians, eager for the fight.
Of those who round Maonia's realms reside,
Or whom the vales in shades of Tinolus hide,
Mestles and Antiphus the charge partake;
Born on the banks of Gyges' silent lake.
There, from the fields where wild Mæander flows,
High Mycale, and Latmos' shady brows,
And proud Miletes, came the Carian throngs,
With mingled clamours, and with barbarous

Amphimachus and Naustes guide the train,
Naustes the bold, Amphimachus the vain,
Who, trick'd with gold, and glittering on his car,
Rode like a woman to the field of war,
Fool that he was; by fierce Achilles slain,
The river swept him to the briny main:
There whelm'd with waves the gaudy warrior lies;
The valiant victor seiz'd the golden prize.

The forces last in fair array succeed,
Which blameless Glaucus and Sarpedon lead;
The warlike bands that distant Lycia yields,
Where gulphy Xanthus foams along the fields.

[blocks in formation]

for the conditions of the combat. The duel ensues: wherein Paris being overcome, he is snatched away in a cloud by Venus, and transported to his apartment. She then calls Helen from the walls, and brings the lovers together. Agamemnon, on the part of the Grecians, demands the restoration of Helen, and the performance of the articles.

The three and twentieth day still continues throughout this book. The scene is sometimes in the fields before Troy, and sometimes in Troy, itself.

THUS by their leader's care each martial band
Moves into ranks, and stretches o'er the land.
With shouts the Trojans rushing from afar,
Proclaim'd their motions, and provok'd the war;
So when inclement winter vex the plain
With piercing frosts, or thick-descending rain,
To warmer seas, the cranes einbody'd fly,
With noise, and order, through the mid-way

To pigmy nations wounds and death they bring,
And all the war descends upon the wing.
But silent, breathing rage, resolv'd and skill'd
By mutual aids to fix a doubtful field,
Swift march the Grecks: the rapid dust around
Darkening arises from the labour'd ground.
Thus from his flaggy wings when Notus sheds
A night of vapours round the mountain-heads,
Swift gliding mists the dusky fields invade,
To thieves more grateful than the midnight shade;
While scarce the swains their feeding flocks survey,
Lost and confus'd amidst the thicken'd day:
So, wrapt in gathering dust, the Grecian train,
A moving cloud, swept on, and hid the plain.

Now front to front the hostile armies stand,
Eager of fight, and only wait command:
When, to the van, before the sons of fame
Whom Troy sent forth, the beauteous Paris came,
In form a god! the panther's speckled hide.
Flow'd o'er his armour with an easy pride,
His bended bow across his shoulders flung,
His sword beside him negligently hung,
Two pointed spears he shook with gallant grace,
And dar'd the bravest of the Grecian race.

As thus, with glorious air and proud disdain,
He boldly stalk'd, the foremost on the plain,
Him Menelaus, lov'd of Mars, espies,
With heart elated, and with joyful eyes:
So joys a lion, if the branching deer,
Or mountain goat, his bulky prize, appear;
Eager he seizes and devours the slain,
Prest by bold youths and baying dogs in vain.
Thus fond of vengeance, with a furious bound,
In clanging arms he leaps upon the ground
From his high chariot: him, approaching near,
The beauteous champion views with marks of fear;
Smit with a conscious sense, retires behind,
And shuns the fate he well deserv'd to find.
As when some shepherd, from the rustling trees
Shot forth to view, a scaly serpent sees;
Trembling and pale, he starts with wild affright,
And all confus'd precipitates his flight:
So from the king the shining warrior flies,
And plung'd amid the thickest Trojans lies.

As god-like Hector sees the prince retreat,
He thus upbraids him with a generous heat:

« PreviousContinue »