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Glows celestial red, and thus replies :
“ Is this a scene of love ? On Ida's height,
Exposed to mortal and immortal sight!
Our joys profaned by each familiar eye;
The sport of heaven, and fable of the sky
How shall I e'er review the blest abodes,
Or mix among the senate of the gods ?
Shall I not think, that, with disorder'd charms,
All heaven beholds me recent from thy arms ?
With skill divine has Vulcan form'd thy bower,
Sacred to love and to the genial hour;
If such thy will, to that recess retire,
In secret there indulge thy soft desire.”
She ceased; and, smiling with superior love,
Thus answer'd mild the cloud-compelling Jove :
“Nor god nor mortal shall our joys behold,
Shaded with clouds, and circumfused in gold;
Not even the sun, who darts through heaven his
And whose broad eye the extended earth surveys.
Gazing he spoke, and, kindling at the view,
His eager arms around the goddess threw.
Glad Earth perceives, and from her bosom pours
Unbidden herbs and voluntary flowers :
Thick new-born violets a soft carpet spread,
And clustering lotos swell’d the rising bed,
And sudden hyacinths the turf bestrow, *
And flamy crocus made the mountain glow.
There golden clouds conceal the heavenly pair,
Steep'd in soft joys and circumfused with air;
Celestial dews, descending o'er the ground,
Perfume the mount, and breathe ambrosia round:
At length, with love and sleep's soft power oppress'd,
The panting thunderer nods, and sinks to rest.
Now to the navy borne on silent wings,
To Nepțune's ear'soft Sleep his message brings ;
Beside him sudden, unperceived, he stood,
And thus with gentle words address’d the god :
“Now, Neptune ! now, the important hour employ,
To check a while the haughty hopes of Troy :
While Jove yet rests, while yet my vapors shed
The golden vision round his sacred head;
For Juno's love, and Somnus' pleasing ties,
Hove closed those awful and eternal eyes !”
Milton has emulated this passage, in describing the couch of our first parents :-
“ Underneath the violet,
Crocus, and hyacinth with rich inlay,
'Brodier'd the ground.”—“ Paradise Lost,"' iv. 709.
Thus having said, the power of slumber flew,
On human lids to drop the balmy dew.
Neptune, with zeal increased, renews his care,
And towering in the foremost ranks of war,
Indignant thus-4“ Oh once of martial fame
O Greeks ! If yet ye can deserve the name !
This half-recover'd day shall Troy obtain ?
Shall Hector thunder at your ships again?
Lo! still he vaunts, and threats the fleet with fires
While stern Achilles in his wrath retires.
One hero's loss too tamely you deplore,
Be still yourselves, and ye shall need no more.
Oh yet, if glory any
Brace on your firmest helms, and stand to arms:
His strongest spear each valiant Grecian wield,
Each valiant Grecian seize his broadest shield;
Let to the weak the lighter arms belong,
The ponderous targe be wielded by the strong.
Thus arm’d, not Hector shall our presence stay ;
Myself, ye Greeks ! myself will lead the way."
The troops assent;
their martial arms they change :
The busy chiefs their banded legions range.
The kings, though wounded, and oppress'd with pain,
With helpful hands themselves assist the train.
The strong and cumbrous arms the valiant wield,
The weaker warrior takes a lighter shield.
Thus sheath'd in shining brass, in bright array
The legions march, and Neptune leads the way:
His brandish'd falchion flames before their eyes,
Like lightning flashing through the frighted skies.
Clad in his might, the earth-shaking power 'appears;
Pale mortals tremble, and confess their fears.
Troy's great defender stands alone unawed, Arms his proud host, and dares oppose a god : And lo ! the god, and wondrous man, appear: The sea's stern ruler there, and Hector here. The roaring main, at her great master's call, Rose in huge ranks, and form'd a watery wall Around the ships : seas hanging o'er the shores, Both armies join : earth thunders, ocean roars. Not half so loud the bellowing deeps resound, When stormy winds disclose the dark profound : Less loud the winds that from the Æolian hall Roar through the woods, and make whole forests fall ; Less loud the woods, when flames in torrents pour, Catch the dry mountain, anil its shades devour: With such a rage the meeting hosts are driven,
And such a clamor shakes the sounding heaven.
The first bold javelin, urged by Hector's force
Direct at Ajax' bosom winged its course :
But there no pass the crossing belts afford
(One braced his shield, and one sustain'd his sword).
Then back the disappointed Trojan drew,
And cursed the lance that unavailing flew:
But ’scaped not Ajax; his tempestuous hand
A ponderous stone upheaving from the sand
(Where heaps laid loose beneath the warrior's feet,
Òr served to ballast, or to prop the fleet),
Toss'd round and round, the missive marble flings;
On the razed shield the fallen ruin rings,
Full on his breast and throat with force descends;
Nor deaden'd there its giddy fury spends,
But whirling on, with many a fiery round,
Smokes in the dust, and ploughs into the ground.
As when the bolt, red-hissing from above,
Darts on the consecrated plant of Jove,
The mountain-oak in flaming ruin lies,
Black from the blow, and smokes of sulphur rise:
Stiff with amaze the pale beholders stand,
And own the terrors of the almighty hand !
So lies great Hector prostrate on the shore ;
His slacken'd hand deserts the lance it bore ;
His following shield the fallen chief o'erspread ;
Beneath his helmet dropp'd his fainting head ;
His load of armor, sinking to the ground,
Clanks on the field, a dead and hollow sound.
Loud shouts of triumph fill the crowded plain;
Greece sees, in hope, Troy's great defender slain :
All spring to seize him ; storms of arrows fly,
And thicker javelins intercept the sky.
In vain an iron tempest hisses round;
He lies protected, and, without a wound. *
Polydamas, Agenor the divine,
The pious warrior of Anchises' line,
And each bold leader of the Lycian band,
With covering shields (a friendly circle) stand.
His mournful followers, with issistant care,
The groaning hero to his chariot bear;
His foaming coursers, swifter than the wind,
Speed to the town, and leave the war behind.
When now they.touch'd the mead's enameli'd side,
Where gentle Xanthus rolls his easy tide,
With watery drops the chief they sprinkle round,
Placed on the margin of the flowery ground.
Raised on his knees, he now ejects the gore ;
Now faints anew, low-sinking on the shore;
By fits he breathes, half views the fleeting skies,
And seals again, by fits, his swimming eyes,
Soon as the Greeks the chief's retreat beheld,
With double fury each invades the field.
Oïlean Ajax first his javelin sped,
Pierced by whose point the son of Enops bled
(Satnius the brave, whom beauteous Neïs bore
Amidst her flocks on Satnio's silver shore) ;
Struck through the belly's rim, the warrior lies
Supine, and shades eternal veil his eyes.
An arduous battle rose around the dead;
By turns the Greeks, by turns the Trojans bled.
Fired with revenge, Polydamas drew near,
And at Prothænor shook the trembling spear;
The driving javelin through his shoulder thrust,
He sinks to earth, and grasps the bloody dust.
“ Lo thus (the victor cries) we rule the field,
And thus their arms the race of Panthus wield :
From this unerring hand there flies no dart
But bathes its point within a Grecian heart.
Propp'd on that spear to which thou owest thy fall,
Go, guide thy darksome steps to Pluto's dreary hall."
He said, and sorrow touch'd each Argive breast:
The soul of Ajax burn'd above the rest.
As by his side the groaning warrior fell,
At the fierce foe he launch'd his piercing steel ;
The foe, reclining, shunn'd the flying death;
But fate, Archilochus, demands thy breath :
Thy lofty birth no succor could impart,
The wings of death o'ertook thee on the dart;
Swift to perform heaven's fatal will, it fled
Full on the juncture of the neck and head,
And took the joint, and cut the nerves in twain;
The dropping head first tumbled on the plain.
So just the stroke, that yet the body stood
Erect, then roll'd along the sands in blood.
“ Here, proud Polydamas, here turn thy eyes! (The towering Ajax loud-insulting cries :)
Say, is this chief extended on the plain
A worthy vengeance for Prothænor slain ?
Mark well his port! his figure and his face
Nor speak him vulgar, nor of vulgar race ;
Some lines, methinks, may make his lineage known,
Antenor's brother, or perhaps his son.”
He spake, and smiled severe, for well he knew
The bleeding youth : Troy sadden'd at the view.
But furious Acamas avenged his cause;
As Promachus his slaughter'd brother draws,
He pierced his heart- “ Such fate attends you all,
Proud Argives ! destined by our arms to fall.
Not Troy alone, but haughty Greece, shall share
The toils, the sorrows, and the wounds of war.
Behold your Promachus deprived of breath,
A victim owed to my brave brother's death.
Not unappeased he enters Pluto's gate,
Who leaves a brother to revenge his fate.”
Heart-piercing anguish struck the Grecian host, But touch'd the breast of bold Peneleus most; At the proud boaster he directs his course ; The boaster flies, and shuns superior force. But young Ilioneus received the spear ; Ilioneus, his father's only care (Phorbas the rich, of all the Trojan train Whom Hermes loved, and taught the arts of gain) : Full in his eye the weapon chanced to fall, And from the fibres scoop'd the rooted ball
Drove through the neck, and hurl'd him to the plain ;
He lifts his miserable arms in vain :
Swift his broad falchion fierce Peneleus spread,
And from the spouting shoulders struck his head ;
To earth at once the head and helmet fly ;
The lance, yet sticking through the bleeding eye,
The victor seized; and, as aloft he shook
The gory visage, thus insulting spoke :
Trojans! your great Ilioneus behold !
Haste, to his father let the tale be told :
Let his high roofs resound with frantic woe,
Such as the house of Promachus must know ;
Let doleful tidings greet his mother's ear,
Such as to Promachus' sad spouse we bear,
When we victorious shall to Greece return,
And the pale matron in our triumphs mourn.”
Dreadful he spoke, then toss’d the head on high; The Trojans hear, they tremble, and they fly : Aghast they gaze around the fleet and wall,