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tall summit of the fountful Ide: There in the father's awful presence stand, Receive, and execute his dread command.”
She said, and sat; the god that gilds the day,
And various Iris, wing their airy way.
Swift as the wind, to Ida's hills they came
(Fair nurse of fountains, and of savage game),
There sat the eternal; he whose nod controls
The trembling world, and shakes the steady poles.
Veil'd in a mist of fragrance him they found,
With clouds of gold and purple circled round.
Well-pleased the Thunderer saw their earnest care,
And prompt obedience to the queen of air ;
Then (while a smile serenes his awful brow)
Commands the goddess of the showery bow:
“ Iris : descend, and what we here ordain,
Report to yon mad tyrant of the main.
Bid him from fight to his own deeps repair,
Or breathe from slaughter in the fields of air.
If he refuse, then let him timely weigh
Our elder birthright, and superior sway,
How shall his rashness stand the dire alarms,
If heaven's omnipotence descend in arins ?
Strives he with me, by whom his power was given,
And is there equal to the lord of heaven?”.
The all-mighty spoke; the goddess wing'd her flight
To sacred Ilion from the Idæan height.
Swift as the rattling hail, or fleecy snows,
Drive through the skies, when Boreas fiercely blows;
So from the clouds descending Iris falls,
And to blue Neptune thus the goddess calls :
" Attend the mandate of the sire above ! In me behold the messenger of Jove : He bids thee from forbidden wars repair To thine own deeps, or to the fields of air. This if refused, he bids thee timely weigh His elder birthright, and superior sway. How shall thy rashness stand the dire alarms If heaven's omnipotence descend in arms ?. Striv'st thou with him by whom all power is given ? And art thou equal to the lord of heaven?
“What means the haughty sovereign of the skies? (The king of ocean thus, incensed, replies) Rule as he will his portion'd realms on high; No vassal god, nor of his train, am I. Three brother deities from Saturn came, And ancient Rhea, earth's immortal came :
Assign’d by lot, our triple rule we know;
Infernal Pluto sways the shades below;
O’er the wide clouds, and o'er the starry plain,
Ethereal Jove extends his high domain ;
My court beneath the hoary waves I keep,
And hush the roarings of the sacred deep;
Olympus, and this earth, in common lie:
What claim has here the tyrant of the sky ?
Far in the distant clouds let him control,
And awe the younger brothers of the pole ;
There to his children his commands be given,
The trembling, servile, second race of heaven.”
“ And must I then (said she), O sire of floods !
Bear this fierce answer to the king of gods ?
Correct it yet, and change thy rash intent;
A noble mind disdains not to repent.
To elder brothers guardian fiends are given,
To scourge the wretch insulting them and heaven.”
“Great is the profit (thus the god rejoin'd)
When ministers are blest with prudent mind :
Warn’d by thy words, to powerful Jove I yield,
And quit, though angry, the contended field:
Not but his threats with justice I disclaim,
The same our honors, and our birth the same.
If yet, forgetful of his promise given
To Hermes, Pallas, and the queen of heaven,
To favor Ilion, that perfidious place,
He breaks his faith with half the ethereal race;
Give him to know, unless the Grecian train
Lay yon proud structures level with the plain,
Howe'er the offence by other gods be pass’d,
The wrath of Neptune shall forever last.”
Thus speaking, furious from the field he strode,
And plunged into the bosom of the flood.
The lord of thunders, from his lofty height
Beheld, and thus bespoke the source of light:
“ Behold ! the god whose liquid arms are hurl'd
Around the globe, whose earthquakes rock the world,
Desists at length his rebel-war to wage,
Seeks his own seas, and trembles at our rage ;
Else had my wrath, heaven thrones all shaking round,
Burn'd to the bottom of his seas profound :
And all the gods that round old Saturn dwell
Had heard the thunders to the deeps of hell.
Well was the crime, and well the vengeance spared;
Even power immense had found such battle hard.
Go thou, my son! the trembling Greeks alarm,
Shake my broad ægis on thy active arm,
Be godlike Hector thy peculiar care,
Swell his bold heart, and urge his strength to war :
Let Ilion conquer, till the Achaian train
Fly to their ships and Hellespont again :
Then Greece shall breathe from toils.” The godhead said;
His will divine the son of Jove obey'd.
Not half so swift the sailing falcon flies,
That drives a turtle through the liquid skies,
As Phæbus, shooting from the Idæan brow,
Glides down the mountain to the plain below.
There Hector seated by the stream he sees,
His sense returning with the coming breeze ;
Again his pulses beat, his spirits rise ;
Again his loved companions meet his eyes ;
Jove thinking of his pains, they pass'd away,
To whom the god who gives the golden day :
“Why sits great Hector from the field so far ? What grief, what wound, withholds thee from the war?"
The fainting hero, as the vision bright
Stood shining o'er him, half unseald his sight:
“What blest immortal, with commanding breath,
Thus wakens Hector from the sleep of death?
Has fame not told, how, while my trusty sword
Bathed Greece in slaughter, and her battle gored,
The mighty Ajax with a deadly blow
Had almost sunk me to the shades below ?
Even yet, methinks, the gliding ghosts I spy,
And hell's black horrors swim before my eye.”
To him Apollo : “ Be no more dismay'd;
See, and be strong! the Thunderer sends thee aid.
Behold! thy Phæbus shall his arms employ,
Phæbus, propitious still to thee and Troy.
Inspire thy warriors then with manly force,
And to the ships impel thy rapid horse :
Even I will make thy fiery coursers way,
And drive the Grecians headlong to the sea.
Thus to bold Hector spoke the son of Jove,
And breathed immortal ardor from above.
As when the pamper'd steed, with reins unbound,
Breaks from his stall, and pours along the ground;
With ample strokes he rushes to the food,
To bathe his sides, and cool his fiery blood;
His head, now freed, he tosses to the skies ;
His mane dishevell’d o'er his shoulders flies;
He snuffs the females in the well-known plain,
And springs, exulting, to his fields again ;
Urged by the voice divine, thus Hector flew,
Full of the god; and all his hosts pursue.
As when the force of men and dogs combined
Invade the mountain goat, or branching hind;
Far from the hunter's range secure they lie
Close in the rock (not fated yet to die)
When lo! a lion shoots across the way!
They fly: at once the chasers and the prey.
So Greece, that late in conquering troops pursued,
And mark'd their progress through the ranks in blood,
Soon as they see the furious chief appear,
Forget to vanquish, and consent to fear.
Thoäs with grief observed his dreadful course,
Thoäs, the bravest of the Ætolian force ;
Skill'd to direct the javelin's distant flight,
And bold to combat in the standing fight,
Not more in councils famed for solid sense,
Than winning words and heavenly eloquence.
“Gods! what portent (he cried) these eyes invades ?
Lo! Hector rises from the Stygian shades!
We saw him, late, by thundering Ajax kill'd:
What god restores him to the frighted field;
And not content that half of Greece lie slain,
Pours new destruction on her sons again ?
He comes not, Jove ! without thy powerful will;
Lo! still he lives, pursues, and conquers still !
Yet hear my counsel, and his worst withstand:
The Greeks' main body to the fleet command;
But let the few whom brisker spirits warm,
Stand the first onset, and provoke the storm.
Thus point your arms: and when such foes appear,
Fierce as he is, let Hector learn to fear."
The warrior spoke; the listening Greeks obey,
Thickening their ranks, ard form a deep array.
Each Ajax, Teucer, Merion gave command,
The valiant leader of the Cretan band ;
And Mars-like Meges : these the chiefs excite,
Approach the foe, and meet the coming fight.
Behind, unnumber'd multitudes attend,
To flank the navy, and the shores defend.
Full on the front the pressing Trojans bear,
And Hector first came towering to the war.
Phoebus himself the rushing battle led;
A veil of clouds involved his radiant head :
High held before him, Jove's enormous shield
Portentous shone, and shaded all the field;
Vulcan to Jove the immortal gift consign'd,
To scatter hosts and terrify mankind.
The Greeks expect the shock, the clamors rise
From different parts, and mingle in the skies.
Dire was the hiss of darts, by heroes flung,
And arrows leaping from the bow-string sung;
These drink the life of generous warriors slain:
Those guiltless fall, and thirst for blood in vain.
As long as Phoebus bore unmoved the shield,
Sat doubtful conquest hovering o'er the field;
But when aloft he shakes it in the skies,
Shouts in their ears, and lightens in their eyes,
Deep horror seizes every Grecian breast,
Their force is humbled, and their fear confess'd.
So Aies a herd of oxen, scatter'd wide,
No swain to guard them, and no day to guide,
When two feil lions from the mountain come,
And spread the carnage through the shady gloom.
Impending Phoebus pours around them fear,
And Troy and Hector thunder in the rear.
Heaps fall on heaps : the slaughter Hector leads,
First great Arcesilas, then Stichius bleeds;
One to the bold Baotians ever dear,
And one Menestheus' friend and famed compeer.
Medon and läsus, Æneas sped;
from Phelus, and the Athenians led;
But hapless Medon from Orleus came;
Him Ajax honor'd with a brother's name,
Though born of lawless love : from home expelld,
A ban'sh'd man, in Phylacè he dwel?’d,
Press'd by the vengeance of an angry wife;
Troy ends at last his labors and his life.
Mecystes next Polydamas o'erthrew;
And thee, brave Clonius, great Agenor stew.
By Paris, Deiochus inglorious dies,
Pierced through the shoulder as he basely flies.
Politęs' arm laid Echius on the plain ;
Stretch'd on one heap, the victors spoil the slain.
The Greeks dismay'd, confused, disperse or fall,
Some seek the trench, some skulk behind the wall.
While these fly trembling, others pant for breath,
And o'er the slaughter stalks gigantic death.
On rush'd bold Hector, gloomy as the night;
Forbids to plunder, animates the fight,
Points to the fleet: “For, by the gods ! who flies,*