Thus as she spoke, in Helen's breast arose Fond recollection of her former Lord, Her home, and parents; o'er her head she threw A snowy veil; and shedding tender tears She issu'd forth, not unaccompanied; For with her went fair AEthra, Pittheus' child, And stag-ey'd Clymene, her maidens twain. They quickly at the Scaean gate arriv'd.
Attending there on aged Priam, sat, The Elders of the city; Panthous, And Lampus, and Thymaetes; Clytius, Bold Icetaon, and Ucalegon, With sage Antenor, wise in council both: All these were gather'd at the Scaean gate; By age exempt from war, but in discourse Abundant, as the cricket, that on high From topmost boughs of forest tree sends forth His delicate music; so on Ilium's tow'rs Sat the sage chiefs and councillors of Troy. Helen they saw, as to the tow'r she came; And "'tis no marvel," one to other said, "The valiant Trojans and the well-greav'd Greeks For beauty such as this should long endure The toils of war; for goddess-like she seems; And yet, despite her beauty, let her go, Nor bring on us and on our sons a curse."
Thus they; but aged Priam Helen call'd: "Come here, my child, and sitting by my side, From whence thou canst discern thy former Lord, His kindred, and thy friends (not thee I blame, But to the Gods I owe this woful war), Tell me the name of yonder mighty chief Among the Greeks a warrior brave and strong: Others in height surpass him; but my eyes A form so noble never yet beheld, Nor so august; he moves, a King indeed!"
To whom in answer, Helen, heav'nly fair: "With rev'rence, dearest father, and with shame I look on thee: oh would that I had died That day when hither with thy son I came, And left my husband, friends, and darling child, And all the lov'd companions of my youth: That I died not, with grief I pine away. But to thy question; I will tell thee true; Yon chief is Agamemnon, Atreus' son, Wide-reigning, mighty monarch, ruler good, And valiant warrior; in my husband's name, Lost as I am, I call'd him brother once."
She spoke: th' old man admiring gaz'd, and cried, "Oh bless'd Atrides, child of happy fate, Favour'd of Heav'n! how many noble Greeks Obey thy rule! In vine-clad Phrygia once I saw the hosts of Phrygian warriors wheel Their rapid steeds; and with them, all the bands Of Otreus, and of Mygdon, godlike King, Who lay encamp'd beside Sangarius' stream: I too with them was number'd, in the day When met them in the field the Amazons, The woman-warriors; but their forces all Reach'd not the number of the keen-ey'd Greeks."
Ulysses next the old man saw, and ask'd, "Tell me again, dear child, who this may be, In stature less than Atreus' royal son, But broader-shoulder'd, and of ampler chest. His arms are laid upon the fertile plain, But he himself is moving through the ranks, Inspecting, like a full-fleec'd ram, that moves Majestic through a flock of snow-white ewes."
To whom Jove's offspring, Helen, thus replied: "The wise Ulysses that, Laertes' son: Though bred in rugged Ithaca, yet vers'd In ev'ry stratagem, and deep device." "O woman," then the sage Antenor said, "Of these thy words I can the truth avouch; For hither when on thine account to treat, Brave Menelaus and Ulysses came, I lodg'd them in my house, and lov'd them both, And studied well the form and mind of each. As they with Trojans mix'd in social guise, When both were standing, o'er his comrade high With broad-set shoulders Menelaus stood; Seated, Ulysses was the nobler form: Then, in the great Assembly, when to all Their public speech and argument they fram'd, In fluent language Menelaus spoke, In words though few, yet clear; though young in years, No wordy babbler, wasteful of his speech: But when the skill'd Ulysses rose to speak, With down-cast visage would he stand, his eyes Bent on the ground; the staff he bore, nor back He wav'd, nor forward, but like one untaught, He held it motionless; who only saw Would say that he was mad, or void of sense; But when his chest its deep-ton'd voice sent forth, With words that fell like flakes of wintry snow, No mortal with Ulysses could compare: Then little reck'd we of his outward show."
At sight of Ajax next th' old man enquir'd; "Who is yon other warrior, brave and strong, Tow'ring o'er all with head and shoulders broad?"
To whom, in answer, Helen, heav'nly fair: "Gigantic Ajax that, the prop of Greece; And by his side Idomeneus of Crete Stands godlike, circled round by Cretan chiefs. The warlike Menelaus welcom'd him Oft in our palace, when from Crete he came. Now all the other keen-ey'd Greeks I see, Whom once I knew, and now could call by name; But two I miss, two captains of the host, My own two brethren, and my mother's sons, Castor and Pollux; Castor, charioteer Unrivalled, Pollux, matchless pugilist. In Lacedaemon have they stay'd behind? Or can it be, in ocean-going ships That they have come indeed, but shun to join The fight of warriors, fearful of the shame, And deep disgrace that on my name attend?" Thus she; but they beneath the teeming earth In Lacedaemon lay, their native land.
Meanwhile the heralds through the city bore The treaty off'rings to the Gods; the lambs, And genial wine, the produce of the soil, In goat-skin flasks: therewith a flagon bright, And cups of gold, Idaeus brought, and stood Beside the aged King, as thus he spoke: "Son of Laomedon, arise! the chiefs Of Trojan warriors and of brass-clad Greeks Call for thy presence on the battle-plain To swear a truce; where Paris in the midst And warlike Menelaus stand prepar'd With the long spear for Helen and the spoils Of war to combat, that whoe'er may prove The better man in fight, may bear away The woman and the spoils in triumph home; While we, the rest, in peace and friendship sworn, Shall still possess the fertile plains of Troy; And to their native Argos they return. For noble steeds and lovely women fam'd."
He said; the old man shuddered at his words: But to his comrades gave command forthwith. To yoke his car; and they his word obey'd. Priam, ascending, gather'd up the reins, And with Antenor by his side, the twain Drove through the Scaean gate their flying steeds.
But when between th' opposing ranks they came, Alighting from the car, they mov'd on foot Between the Trojan and the Grecian hosts. Uprose then Agamemnon, King of men, Uprose the sage Ulysses; to the front The heralds brought the off'rings to the Gods, And in the flagon mix'd the wine, and pour'd The hallowing water on the monarchs' hands. His dagger then the son of Atreus drew, Suspended, as was wont, beside the hilt Of his great sword; and from the victim's head He cut the sacred lock, which to the chiefs Of Troy and Greece the heralds portion'd out. Then with uplifted hands he pray'd aloud: "O Father Jove! who rul'st from Ida's height, Most great! most glorious! and thou Sun, who see'st And hearest all things! Rivers! and thou Earth! And ye, who after death beneath the earth Your vengeance wreak on souls of men forsworn, Be witness ye, and this our cov'nant guard. If Menelaus fall by Paris' hand, Let him retain both Helen and the spoil, While in our ships we take our homeward way; If Paris be by Menelaus slain, Troy shall surrender Helen and the spoil, With compensation due to Greece, that so A record may to future days remain. But, Paris slain, if Priam and his sons The promis'd compensation shall withhold, Then here, my rights in battle to assert, Will I remain, till I the end achieve."
Thus as he spoke, across the victims' throats He drew the pitiless blade, and on the ground He laid them gasping, as the stream of life Pour'd forth, their vigour by the blade subdued. Then, from the flagon drawn, from out the cups The wine they pour'd; and to th' eternal Gods They pray'd; and thus from Trojans and from Greeks Arose the joint petition; "Grant, O Jove! Most great! most glorious! grant, ye heav'nly pow'rs, That whosoe'er this solemn truce shall break, Ev'n as this wine we pour, their hearts' best blood, Theirs and their children's, on the earth be pour'd, And strangers in subjection take their wives!"
Thus they; but Jove, unyielding, heard their pray'r. The rites perform'd, then aged Priam spoke: "Hear me, ye Trojans, and ye well-greav'd Greeks! To Ilium's breezy heights I now withdraw, For that mine eyes will not endure the sight Of warlike Menelaus and my son Engag'd in deadly combat; of the two Which may be doom'd to death, is only known To Jove, and to th' immortal pow'rs of Heav'n."
Thus spoke the godlike King; and on the car He plac'd the consecrated lambs; himself Ascending then, he gather'd up the reins, And with Antenor by his side, the twain To Ilium's walls retrac'd their homeward way.
Then Hector, son of Priam, measur'd out, With sage Ulysses join'd, th' allotted space; Next, in the brass-bound helmet cast the lots, Which of the two the first should throw the spear. The crowd, with hands uplifted, to the Gods, Trojans and Greeks alike, address'd their pray'r: "O Father Jove! who rul'st from Ida's height, Most great! most glorious! grant that whosoe'er On both our armies hath this turmoil brought May undergo the doom of death, and we, The rest, firm peace and lasting friendship swear."
Thus they; great Hector of the glancing helm, With eyes averted, shook the casque; and forth Was cast the lot of Paris; on the ground The rest lay down by ranks, where near to each Were rang'd his active steeds, and glitt'ring arms. Then o'er his shoulders fair-hair'd Helen's Lord, The godlike Paris, donn'd his armour bright: First on his legs the well-wrought greaves he fix'd, Fasten'd with silver clasps; his ample chest A breastplate guarded, by Lycaon lent, His brother, but which fitted well his form. Around his shoulders slung, his sword he bore, Brass-bladed, silver-studded; then his shield Weighty and strong; and on his firm-set head A helm he wore, well wrought, with horsehair plume That nodded, fearful, o'er his brow; his hand Grasp'd the firm spear, familiar to his hold. Prepar'd alike the adverse warrior stood.
They, from the crowd apart their armour donn'd, Came forth: and each, with eyes of mutual hate, Regarded each: admiring wonder seiz'd The Trojan warriors and the well-greav'd Greeks, As in the centre of the measur'd ground They stood oppos'd, and pois'd their quiv'ring spears. First Paris threw his weighty spear, and struck Fair in the midst Atrides' buckler round, But broke not through; upon the stubborn targe Was bent the lance's point; then thus to Jove, His weapon hurling, Menelaus pray'd: "Great King, on him who wrought me causeless wrong, On Paris, grant that retribution due My arm may bring; that men in days to come May fear their host to injure, and repay With treach'rous wile his hospitable cares."
He said, and poising, hurl'd his weighty spear: Full in the midst it struck the buckler round; Right through the buckler pass'd the sturdy spear, And through the gorgeous breastplate, and within Cut through the linen vest; but Paris, back Inclining, stoop'd, and shunn'd the doom of death.
Atrides then his silver-studded sword Rearing on high, a mighty blow let fall On Paris' helm; but shiv'ring in his hand In countless fragments new the faithless blade. Then thus to Jove, with eyes uplift to Heav'n, Atrides made his moan: "O Father Jove! Of all the Gods, the most unfriendly thou! On Paris' head I hop'd for all his crimes To wreak my vengeance due; but in my grasp My faithless sword is shatter'd, and my spear Hath bootless left my hand, nor reached my foe." Then onward rushing, by the horsehair plume He seiz'd his foeman's helm, and wrenching round Dragg'd by main force amid the well-greav'd Greeks. The broider'd strap, that, pass'd beneath his beard, The helmet held, the warrior's throat compress'd: Then had Atrides dragg'd him from the field, And endless fame acquir'd; but Venus, child Of Jove, her fav'rite's peril quickly saw. And broke the throttling strap of tough bull's hide. In the broad hand the empty helm remained. The trophy, by their champion whirl'd amid The well-greav'd Greeks, his eager comrades seiz'd; While he, infuriate, rush'd with murd'rous aim On Priam's son; but him, the Queen of Love (As Gods can only) from the field convey'd, Wrapt in a misty cloud; and on a couch, Sweet perfumes breathing, gently laid him down; Then went in search of Helen; her she found, Circled with Trojan dames, on Ilium's tow'r: Her by her airy robe the Goddess held, And in the likeness of an aged dame Who oft for her, in Sparta when she dwelt, Many a fair fleece had wrought, and lov'd her well, Address'd her thus: "Come, Helen, to thy house; Come, Paris calls thee; in his chamber he Expects thee, resting on luxurious couch, In costly garb, with manly beauty grac'd: Not from the fight of warriors wouldst thou deem He late had come, but for the dance prepar'd, Or resting from the dance's pleasing toil."
She said, and Helen's spirit within her mov'd; And when she saw the Goddess' beauteous neck, Her lovely bosom, and her glowing eyes, She gaz'd in wonder, and address'd her thus: "Oh why, great Goddess, make me thus thy sport? Seek'st thou to bear me far away from hence To some fair Phrygian or Maeonian town, If there some mortal have thy favour gain'd? Or, for that Menelaus in the field Hath vanquish'd Paris, and is willing yet That I, his bane, should to his home return; Here art thou found, to weave again thy wiles! Go then thyself! thy godship abdicate! Renounce Olympus! lavish here on him Thy pity and thy care! he may perchance Make thee his wife—at least his paramour! But thither go not I! foul shame it were Again to share his bed; the dames of Troy Will for a byword hold me; and e'en now My soul with endless sorrow is possess'd."
To whom in anger heav'nly Venus spoke: "Incense me not, poor fool! lest I in wrath Desert thee quite, and as I heretofore Have lov'd, so make thee object of my hate; And kindle, 'twixt the Trojans and the Greeks, Such bitter feuds, as both shall wreak on thee."
She said; and trembled Helen, child of Jove; She rose in silence; in a snow-white veil All glitt'ring, shrouded; by the Goddess led She pass'd, unnotic'd by the Trojan dames. But when to Paris' splendid house they came, Thronging around her, her attendants gave Their duteous service; through the lofty hall With queenly grace the godlike woman pass'd. A seat the laughter-loving Goddess plac'd By Paris' side; there Helen sat, the child Of aegis-bearing Jove, with downcast eyes, Yet with sharp words she thus address'd her Lord: "Back from the battle? would thou there hadst died Beneath a warrior's arm, whom once I call'd My husband! vainly didst thou boast erewhile Thine arm, thy dauntless courage, and thy spear The warlike Menelaus should subdue! Go now again, and challenge to the fight The warlike Menelaus. Be thou ware! I warn thee, pause, ere madly thou presume With fair-hair'd Menelaus to contend! Soon shouldst thou fall beneath his conqu'ring spear."
To whom thus Paris: "Wring not thus my soul With keen reproaches: now, with Pallas' aid, Hath Menelaus conquer'd; but my day Will come: I too can boast my guardian Gods. But turn we now to love, and love's delights; For never did thy beauty so inflame My sense; not when from Lacedaemon first I bore thee in my ocean-going ships, And revell'd in thy love on Cranae's isle, As now it fills my soul with fond desire."
He said, and led her to the nuptial couch; Her Lord she follow'd; and while there reclin'd Upon the richly-inlaid couch they lay, Atrides, like a lion baffled, rush'd Amid the crowd, if haply he might find The godlike Paris; but not one of all The Trojans and their brave allies could aid The warlike Menelaus in his search; Not that, for love, would any one that knew Have screen'd him from his anger, for they all Abhorr'd him as the shade of death: then thus Outspoke great Agamemnon, King of men: "Hear me, ye Trojans, Dardans, and Allies! With warlike Menelaus rests, 'tis plain, The prize of vict'ry: then surrender ye The Argive Helen and the spoils of war, With compensation due to Greece, that so A record may to future days remain."
Thus he; the Greeks, assenting, cheer'd his words.
THE BREACH OF THE TRUCE, AND THE FIRST BATTLE.
The Gods deliberate in council concerning the Trojan war: they agree upon the continuation of it, and Jupiter sends down Minerva to break the truce. She persuades Pandarus to aim an arrow at Menelaus, who is wounded, but cured by Machaon. In the mean time some of the Trojan troops attack the Greeks. Agamemnon is distinguished in all the parts of a good general; he reviews the troops, and exhorts the leaders, some by praises, and others by reproofs. Nestor is particularly celebrated for his military discipline. The battle joins, and great numbers are slain on both sides.
The same day continues through this, as through the last book; as it does also through the two following, and almost to the end of the seventh book. The scene is wholly in the field before Troy.
On golden pavement, round the board of Jove, The Gods were gather'd; Hebe in the midst Pour'd the sweet nectar; they, in golden cups, Each other pledg'd, as down they look'd on Troy. Then Jove, with cutting words and taunting tone, Began the wrath of Juno to provoke: "Two Goddesses for Menelaus fight, Thou, Juno, Queen of Argos, and with thee Minerva, shield of warriors; but ye two Sitting aloof, well-pleased it seems, look on; While laughter-loving Venus, at the side Of Paris standing, still averts his fate, And rescues, when, as now, expecting death. To warlike Menelaus we decree, Of right, the vict'ry; but consult we now What may the issue be; if we shall light Again the name of war and discord fierce, Or the two sides in peace and friendship join. For me, if thus your gen'ral voice incline, Let Priam's city stand, and Helen back To warlike Menelaus be restor'd."
So spoke the God; but seated side by side, Juno and Pallas glances interchang'd Of ill portent for Troy; Pallas indeed Sat silent; and, though inly wroth with Jove, Yet answer'd not a word; but Juno's breast Could not contain her rage, and thus she spoke: "What words, dread son of Saturn, dost thou speak? How wouldst thou render vain, and void of fruit, My weary labour and my horses' toil, To stir the people, and on Priam's self, And Priam's offspring, bring disastrous fate? Do as thou wilt! yet not with our consent."
To whom, in wrath, the Cloud-compeller thus: "Revengeful! how have Priam and his sons So deeply injur'd thee, that thus thou seek'st With unabated anger to pursue, Till thou o'erthrow, the strong-built walls of Troy? Couldst thou but force the gates, and entering in On Priam's mangled flesh, and Priam's sons, And Trojans all, a bloody banquet make. Perchance thy fury might at length be stayed. But have thy will, lest this in future times 'Twixt me and thee be cause of strife renew'd. Yet hear my words, and ponder what I say: If e'er, in times to come, my will should be Some city to destroy, inhabited By men beloved of thee, seek not to turn My wrath aside, but yield, as I do now, Consenting, but with heart that ill consents; For of all cities fair, beneath the sun And starry Heaven, the abode of mortal men, None to my soul was dear as sacred Troy, And Priam's self, and Priam's warrior race. For with drink-off'rings due, and fat of lambs, My altar still hath at their hands been fed; Such honour hath to us been ever paid."
To whom the stag-ey'd Juno thus replied: "Three cities are there, dearest to my heart; Argos, and Sparta, and the ample streets Of rich Mycenae; work on them thy will; Destroy them, if thine anger they incur; I will not interpose, nor hinder thee; Mourn them I shall; reluctant see their fall, But not resist; for sovereign is thy will. Yet should my labours not be fruitless all; For I too am a God; my blood is thine; Worthy of honour, as the eldest born Of deep-designing Saturn, and thy wife; Thine, who o'er all th' Immortals reign'st supreme. But yield we each to other, I to thee, And thou to me; the other Gods will all By us be rul'd. On Pallas then enjoin That to the battle-field of Greece and Troy She haste, and so contrive that Trojans first May break the treaty, and the Greeks assail."
She said: the Sire of Gods and men complied, And thus with winged words to Pallas spoke: "Go to the battle-field of Greece and Troy In haste, and so contrive that Trojans first May break the treaty, and the Greeks assail."
His words fresh impulse gave to Pallas' zeal, And from Olympus' heights in haste she sped; Like to a meteor, that, of grave portent To warring armies or sea-faring men, The son of deep-designing Saturn sends, Bright-flashing, scatt'ring fiery sparks around, The blue-ey'd Goddess darted down to earth, And lighted in the midst; amazement held The Trojan warriors and the well-greav'd Greeks; And one to other look'd and said, "What means This sign? Must fearful battle rage again, Or may we hope for gentle peace from Jove, Who to mankind dispenses peace and war?" Such was the converse Greeks and Trojans held. Pallas meanwhile, amid the Trojan host, Clad in the likeness of Antenor's son, Laodocus, a spearman stout and brave, Search'd here and there, if haply she might find The godlike Pandarus; Lycaon's son She found, of noble birth and stalwart form, Standing, encircled by his sturdy band Of bucklered followers from AEsepus' stream, She stood beside him, and address'd him thus:
"Wilt thou by me be ruled, Lycaon's son? For durst thou but at Menelaus shoot Thy winged arrow, great would be thy fame, And great thy favour with the men of Troy, And most of all with Paris; at his hand Thou shalt receive rich guerdon, when he hears That warlike Menelaus, by thy shaft Subdued, is laid upon the fun'ral pyre. Bend then thy bow at Atreus' glorious son, Vowing to Phoebus, Lycia's guardian God, The Archer-King, to pay of firstling lambs An ample hecatomb, when home return'd In safety to Zeleia's sacred town." Thus she; and, fool, he listen'd to her words. Straight he uncas'd his polish'd bow, his spoil Won from a mountain ibex, which himself, In ambush lurking, through the breast had shot, True to his aim, as from behind a crag He came in sight; prone on the rock he fell; With horns of sixteen palms his head was crown'd; These deftly wrought a skilful workman's hand, And polish'd smooth, and tipp'd the ends with gold. He bent, and resting on the ground his bow, Strung it anew; his faithful comrades held Their shields before him, lest the sons of Greece Should make their onset ere his shaft could reach The warlike Menelaus, Atreus' son. His quiver then withdrawing from its case, With care a shaft he chose, ne'er shot before, Well-feather'd, messenger of pangs and death; The stinging arrow fitted to the string, And vow'd to Phoebus, Lycia's guardian God, The Archer-King, to pay of firstling lambs An ample hecatomb, when home return'd In safety to Zeleia's sacred town. At once the sinew and the notch he drew; The sinew to his breast, and to the bow The iron head; then, when the mighty bow Was to a circle strain'd, sharp rang the horn, And loud the sinew twang'd, as tow'rd the crowd With deadly speed the eager arrow sprang.
Nor, Menelaus, was thy safety then Uncar'd for of the Gods; Jove's daughter first, Pallas, before thee stood, and turn'd aside The pointed arrow; turn'd it so aside As when a mother from her infant's cheek, Wrapt in sweet slumbers, brushes off a fly; Its course she so directed that it struck Just where the golden clasps the belt restrain'd, And where the breastplate, doubled, check'd its force. On the close-fitting belt the arrow struck; Right through the belt of curious workmanship It drove, and through the breastplate richly wrought, And through the coat of mail he wore beneath, His inmost guard and best defence to check The hostile weapons' force; yet onward still The arrow drove, and graz'd the hero's flesh. Forth issued from the wound the crimson blood. As when some Carian or Maeonian maid, With crimson dye the ivory stains, designed To be the cheek-piece of a warrior's steed, By many a valiant horseman coveted, As in the house it lies, a monarch's boast, The horse adorning, and the horseman's pride: So, Menelaus, then thy graceful thighs, And knees, and ancles, with thy blood were dy'd.
Great Agamemnon shudder'd as he saw The crimson drops out-welling from the wound; Shudder'd the warlike Menelaus' self; But when not buried in his flesh he saw The barb and sinew, back his spirit came.
Then deeply groaning, Agamemnon spoke, As Menelaus by the hand he held, And with him groan'd his comrades: "Brother dear, I wrought thy death when late, on compact sworn, I sent thee forth alone for Greece to fight; Wounded by Trojans, who their plighted faith Have trodden under foot; but not in vain Are solemn cov'nants and the blood of lambs, The treaty wine outpoured, and hand-plight given, Wherein men place their trust; if not at once, Yet soon or late will Jove assert their claim; And heavy penalties the perjured pay With their own blood, their children's, and their wives'. So in my inmost soul full well I know The day shall come when this imperial Troy, And Priam's race, and Priam's royal self, Shall in one common ruin be o'erthrown; And Saturn's son himself, high-throned Jove, Who dwells in Heav'n, shall in their faces flash His aegis dark and dread, this treach'rous deed Avenging; this shall surely come to pass. But, Menelaus, deep will be my grief, If thou shouldst perish, meeting thus thy fate. To thirsty Argos should I then return By foul disgrace o'erwhelm'd; for, with thy fall, The Greeks will mind them of their native land; And as a trophy to the sons of Troy The Argive Helen leave; thy bones meanwhile Shall moulder here beneath a foreign soil. Thy work undone; and with insulting scorn Some vaunting Trojan, leaping on the tomb Of noble Menelaus, thus shall say: 'On all his foes may Agamemnon so His wrath accomplish, who hath hither led Of Greeks a mighty army, all in vain; And bootless home with empty ships hath gone, And valiant Menelaus left behind;' Thus when men speak, gape, earth, and hide my shame."
To whom the fair-hair'd Menelaus thus With, cheering words: "Fear not thyself, nor cause The troops to fear: the arrow hath not touch'd A vital part: the sparkling belt hath first Turn'd it aside, the doublet next beneath, And coat of mail, the work of arm'rer's hands."
To whom the monarch Agamemnon thus: "Dear Menelaus, may thy words be true! The leech shall tend thy wound, and spread it o'er With healing ointments to assuage the pain."
He said, and to the sacred herald call'd: "Haste thee, Talthybius! summon with all speed The son of AEsculapius, peerless leech, Machaon; bid him hither haste to see The warlike Menelaus, chief of Greeks, Who by an arrow from some practis'd hand, Trojan or Lycian, hath receiv'd a wound; A cause of boast to them, to us of grief."
He said, nor did the herald not obey, But through the brass-clad ranks of Greece he pass'd, In search of brave Machaon; him he found Standing, by buckler'd warriors bold begirt, Who follow'd him from Trica's grassy plains. He stood beside him, and address'd him thus: "Up, son of AEsculapius! Atreus' son, The mighty monarch, summons thee to see The warlike Menelaus, chief of Greeks, Who by an arrow from some practis'd hand, Trojan or Lycian, hath receiv'd a wound; A cause of boast to them, to us of grief."
Thus he; and not unmov'd Machaon heard: They thro' the crowd, and thro' the wide-spread host, Together took their way; but when they came Where fair-hair'd Menelaus, wounded, stood, Around him in a ring the best of Greece, And in the midst the godlike chief himself, From the close-fitting belt the shaft he drew, Breaking the pointed barbs; the sparkling belt He loosen'd, and the doublet underneath, And coat of mail, the work of arm'rer's hand. But when the wound appear'd in sight, where struck The stinging arrow, from the clotted blood He cleans'd it, and applied with skilful hand The herbs of healing power, which Chiron erst In friendly guise upon his sire bestowed.
While round the valiant Menelaus they Were thus engag'd, advanc'd the Trojan hosts: They donn'd their arms, and for the fight prepar'd. In Agamemnon then no trace was seen Of laggard sloth, no shrinking from the fight, But full of ardour to the field he rush'd. He left his horses and brass-mounted car (The champing horses by Eurymedon, The son of Ptolemy, Peiraeus' son, Were held aloof), but with repeated charge Still to be near at hand, when faint with toil His limbs should fail him marshalling his host. Himself on foot the warrior ranks array'd; With cheering words addressing whom he found With zeal preparing for the battle-field: "Relax not, valiant friends, your warlike toil; For Jove to falsehood ne'er will give his aid; And they who first, regardless of their oaths, Have broken truce, shall with their flesh themselves The vultures feed, while we, their city raz'd, Their wives and helpless children bear away."
But whom remiss and shrinking from the war He found, with keen rebuke lie thus assail'd; "Ye wretched Greeks, your country's foul reproach, Have ye no sense of shame? Why stand ye thus Like timid fawns, that in the chase run down, Stand all bewildered, spiritless and tame? So stand ye now, nor dare to face the fight. What! will ye wait the Trojans' near approach, Where on the beach, beside the hoary deep, Our goodly ships are drawn, and see if Jove Will o'er you his protecting hand extend?"
As thus the King the serried ranks review'd, He came where thronging round their skilful chief Idomeneus, the warlike bands of Crete Were arming for the fight; Idomeneus, Of courage stubborn as the forest boar, The foremost ranks array'd; Meriones The rearmost squadrons had in charge; with joy The monarch Agamemnon saw, and thus With accents bland Idomeneus address'd:
"Idomeneus, above all other Greeks, In battle and elsewhere, I honour thee; And in the banquet, where the noblest mix The ruddy wine for chiefs alone reserved, Though others drink their share, yet by thy side Thy cup, like mine, still new replenished stands To drink at pleasure. Up then to the fight, And show thyself the warrior that thou art."
To whom the Cretan King, Idomeneus: "In me, Atrides, thou shalt ever find, As at the first I promis'd, comrade true; But go, and stir the other long-haired Greeks To speedy battle; since the Trojans now The truce have broken; and defeat and death Must wait on those who have their oaths forsworn."
He said, and Agamemnon went his way Rejoicing; through the crowd he pass'd, and came Where stood th' Ajaces; them, in act to arm, Amid a cloud of infantry he found; And as a goat-herd from his watch-tow'r crag Beholds a cloud advancing o'er the sea, By Zephyr's breath impell'd; as from afar He gazes, black as pitch, it sweeps along O'er the dark ocean's face, and with it brings A hurricane of rain; he, shudd'ring, sees, And drives his flock beneath the shelt'ring cave: So thick and dark, about th' Ajaces stirr'd, Impatient for the war, the stalwart youths, Black masses, bristling close with spear and shield.
Well pleas'd, the monarch Agamemnon saw, And thus address'd them: "Valiant chiefs, to you, The leaders of the brass-clad Greeks, I give ('Twere needless and unseemly) no commands; For well ye understand your troops to rouse To deeds of dauntless courage; would to Jove, To Pallas and Apollo, that such mind As is in you, in all the camp were found; Then soon should Priam's lofty city fall, Tak'n and destroy'd by our victorious hands."
Thus saying, them he left, and onward mov'd. Nestor, the smooth-tongu'd Pylian chief, he found The troops arraying, and to valiant deeds His friends encouraging; stout Pelagon, Alastor, Chromius, Haemon, warlike Prince, And Bias bold, his people's sure defence. In the front rank, with chariot and with horse, He plac'd the car-borne warriors; in the rear, Num'rous and brave, a cloud of infantry, Compactly mass'd, to stem the tide of war, Between the two he plac'd th' inferior troops, That e'en against their will they needs must fight. The horsemen first he charg'd, and bade them keep Their horses well in hand, nor wildly rush Amid the tumult: "See," he said, "that none, In skill or valour over-confident, Advance before his comrades, nor alone Retire; for so your lines were easier forc'd; But ranging each beside a hostile car, Thrust with your spears; for such the better way; By men so disciplin'd, in elder days Were lofty walls and fenced towns destroy'd."
Thus he, experienc'd in the wars of old; Well pleas'd, the monarch Agamemnon saw, And thus address'd him; "Would to Heav'n, old man, That, as thy spirit, such too were thy strength And vigour of thy limbs; but now old age, The common lot of mortals, weighs thee down; Would I could see some others in thy place, And thou couldst still be numbered with the young!"
To whom Gerenian Nestor thus replied: "Atrides, I too fain would see restor'd The strength I once possess'd, what time I slew The godlike Ereuthalion; but the Gods On man bestow not all their gifts at once; I then was young, and now am bow'd with age, Yet with the chariots can I still go forth, And aid with sage advice: for such the right And privilege of age; to hurl the spear Belongs to younger men, who after me Were born, who boast their vigour unimpair'd."
He said; and Agamemnon went his way, Rejoicing: to Menestheus next he came, The son of Peteus, charioteer renown'd; Him found he, circled by th' Athenian bands, The raisers of the war-cry; close beside The sage Ulysses stood, around him rang'd, Not unrenown'd, the Cephalonian troops: The sound of battle had not reach'd their ears; For but of late the Greek and Trojan hosts Were set in motion; they expecting stood, Till other Grecian columns should advance, Assail the Trojans, and renew the war.
Atrides saw, and thus, reproachful, spoke: "O son of Peteus, Heav'n-descended King! And thou too, master of all tricky arts, Why, ling'ring, stand ye thus aloof, and wait For others coming? ye should be the first The hot assault of battle to confront; For ye are first my summons to receive, Whene'er the honour'd banquet we prepare: And well ye like to eat the sav'ry meat, And, at your will, the luscious wine-cups drain: Now stand ye here, and unconcern'd would see Ten columns pass before you to the fight."
To whom, with stern regard, Ulysses thus: "What words have pass'd the barrier of thy lips, Atrides? how with want of warlike zeal Canst thou reproach us? when the Greeks again The furious war shall waken, thou shalt see (If that thou care to see) amid the ranks Of Troy, the father of Telemachus In the fore-front: thy words are empty wind."
Atrides saw him chafed, and smiling, thus Recalled his former words: "Ulysses sage, Laertes' high-born son, not over-much I give thee blame, or orders; for I know Thy mind to gentle counsels is inclin'd; Thy thoughts are one with mine; then come, henceforth Shall all be well; and if a hasty word Have pass'd, may Heaven regard it as unsaid."
Thus saying, them he left, and onward mov'd. The son of Tydeus, valiant Diomed, Standing he found amid his warlike steeds And well-built cars; beside him, Sthenelus, The son of Capaneus; Atrides saw, And thus address'd him with reproachful words: "Alas! thou son of Tydeus, wise and bold, Why crouch with fear? why thus appall'd survey The pass of war? not so had Tydeus crouch'd; His hand was ever ready from their foes To guard his comrades; so, at least, they say Whose eyes beheld his labours; I myself Nor met him e'er, nor saw; but, by report, Thy father was the foremost man of men. A stranger to Mycenae once he came, With godlike Polynices; not at war, But seeking succour for the troops that lay Encamp'd before the sacred walls of Thebes; For reinforcements earnestly they sued; The boon they ask'd was granted them, but Jove With unpropitious omens turn'd them back. Advancing on their journey, when they reach'd Asopus' grassy banks and rushes deep, The Greeks upon a mission Tydeus sent: He went; and many Thebans there he found Feasting in Eteocles' royal hall: Amid them all, a stranger and alone, He stood unterrified, and challeng'd all To wrestle with him, and with ease o'erthrew: So mighty was the aid that Pallas gave. Whereat indignant, they, on his return, An ambush set, of fifty chosen youths; Two were their leaders; Haemon's godlike son, Maeon, and Lycophontes, warrior brave, Son of Autophonus; and these too far'd But ill at Tydeus' hand; he slew them all: Maeon alone, obedient to the Gods, He spar'd, and bade him bear the tidings home. Such Tydeus was: though greater in debate, His son will never rival him in arms."
He said: brave Diomed in silence heard, Submissive to the monarch's stern rebuke; Then answer'd thus the son of Capaneus: "Atrides, speak not falsely: well thou know'st The truth, that we our fathers far surpass. The seven-gated city, Thebes, we took, With smaller force beneath the wall of Mars, Trusting to heav'nly signs, and fav'ring Jove, Where they by blind, presumptuous folly fail'd; Then equal not our fathers' deeds with ours."
To whom thus Diomed, with stern regard: "Father, be silent; hearken to my words: I blame not Agamemnon, King of men, Who thus to battle stirs the well-greav'd Greeks: His will the glory be if we o'ercome The valiant Trojans, and their city take; Great too his loss if they o'er us prevail: Then come, let us too for the fight prepare."
He said; and from the car leap'd down in arms: Fierce rang the armour on the warrior's breast, That ev'n the stoutest heart might quail with fear.
As by the west wind driv'n, the ocean waves Dash forward on the far-resounding shore, Wave upon wave; first curls the ruffled sea With whit'ning crests; anon with thund'ring roar It breaks upon the beach, and from the crags Recoiling flings in giant curves its head Aloft, and tosses high the wild sea-spray: Column on column, so the hosts of Greece Pour'd, ceaseless, to the war; to each the chiefs Their orders gave; the rest in silence mov'd: Nor would ye deem that mighty mass endued With power of speech, so silently they moved In awe of their great captains: far around Flashed the bright armour they were girt withal.
On th' other hand, the Trojans, as the flocks That in the court-yard of some wealthy Lord In countless numbers stand, at milking-time, Incessant bleating, as their lambs they hear; So rose their mingled clamours through the camp; For not one language nor one speech was there, But many nations call'd from distant lands: These Mars inspir'd, and those the blue-ey'd Maid; And Fear, and Flight, and Discord unappeas'd, Of blood-stain'd Mars the sister and the friend: "With humble crest at first, anon her head, "While yet she treads the earth, affronts the skies. The gage of battle in the midst she threw, Strode through the crowd, and woe to mortals wrought. When to the midst they came, together rush'd Bucklers and lances, and the furious might Of mail-clad warriors; bossy shield on shield Clatter'd in conflict; loud the clamour rose. Then rose too mingled shouts and groans of men Slaying and slain; the earth ran red with blood. As when, descending from the mountain's brow, Two wintry torrents, from their copious source Pour downward to the narrow pass, where meet Their mingled waters in some deep ravine, Their weight of flood; on the far mountain's side The shepherd hears the roar; so loud arose The shouts and yells of those commingling hosts.
First 'mid the foremost ranks Antilochus A Trojan warrior, Echepolus, slew, A crested chief, Thalesius' noble son. Beneath his horsehair-plumed helmet's peak The sharp spear struck; deep in his forehead fix'd It pierc'd the bone; then darkness veil'd his eyes, And, like a tow'r, amid the press he fell. Him Elephenor, brave Abantian chief, Son of Chalcodon, seizing by the feet, Dragg'd from beneath the darts, in haste to strip His armour off; but short-liv'd was th' attempt; For bold Agenor mark'd him as he drew The corpse aside, and with his brass-tipp'd spear Thrust through his flank, unguarded, as he stoop'd, Beside his shield; and slack'd his limbs in death. The spirit was fled; but hotly o'er him rag'd The war of Greeks and Trojans; fierce as wolves They fought, man struggling hand to hand with man.
Then Ajax Telamon a stalwart youth, Son of Anthemion, Simoisius, slew; Whose mother gave him birth on Simois' banks, When with her parents down from Ida's heights She drove her flock; thence Simoisius nam'd: Not destined he his parents to repay Their early care; for short his term of life, By godlike Ajax' mighty spear subdued. Him, to the front advancing, in the breast, By the right nipple, Ajax struck; right through, From front to back, the brass-tipp'd spear was driv'n, Out through the shoulder; prone in dust he fell; As some tall poplar, grown in marshy mead, Smooth-stemm'd, with branches tapering tow'rd the head; Which with the biting axe the wheelwright fells, To bend the felloes of his well-built car; Sapless, beside the river, lies the tree; So lay the youthful Simoisius, felled By godlike Ajax' hand. At him, in turn, The son of Priam, Antiphus, encas'd In radiant armour, from amid the crowd His jav'lin threw; his mark, indeed, he miss'd; But through the groin Ulysses' faithful friend, Leucus, he struck, in act to bear away The youthful dead; down on the corpse he fell, And, dying, of the dead relax'd his grasp. Fierce anger, at his comrade's slaughter, filled Ulysses' breast; in burnished armour clad Forward he rush'd; and standing near, around He look'd, and pois'd on high his glitt'ring lance: Beneath his aim the Trojans back recoil'd; Nor vainly flew the spear; Democoon, A bastard son of Priam, met the blow: He from Abydos came, his high-bred mares There left to pasture; him Ulysses, fill'd With fury at his lov'd companion's death, Smote on the head; through either temple pass'd The pointed spear, and darkness veil'd his eyes. Thund'ring he fell, and loud his armour rang. At this the Trojan chiefs, and Hector's self, 'Gan to give ground: the Greeks with joyful shouts Seiz'd on the dead, and forward urg'd their course. From Ilium's heights Apollo, filled with wrath, Look'd down, and to the Trojans shouted loud: "Uprouse ye, valiant Trojans! give not way Before the Greeks; their bodies are not stone, Nor iron, to defy your trenchant swords; And great Achilles, fair-hair'd Thetis' son, Fights not, but o'er his anger broods apart." So from the city call'd the heav'nly voice; The Greeks, meanwhile, all-glorious Pallas fir'd, Mov'd 'mid the tumult, and the laggards rous'd.
Then fell Diores, Amarynceus' son: A rugged fragment of a rock had crush'd His ancle and right leg; from AEnon came The Thracian chief who hurl'd it, Peirous, son Of Imbrasus; the tendons both, and bones, The huge mass shatter'd; backward in the dust He fell, both hands extending to his friends, Gasping his life away; then quick up-ran He who the blow had dealt, and with his spear Thrust through him, by the navel; from the wound His bowels gush'd, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
But he, advancing, through the breast was struck Above the nipple, by th' AEtolian chief. Thoas; and through his lungs the spear was driv'n. Thoas approach'd, and from his breast withdrew The sturdy spear, and with his sharp-edg'd sword Across his waistband gave the mortal stroke: Yet could not touch his arms; for all around The Thracian warriors, with, their tufted crowns, Their long spears held before them, him, though stout, And strong, and valiant, kept at bay; perforce He yielded; and thus side by side were laid The two, the Thracian and th' Epeian chief; And round them many a valiant soldier lay.
Well might the deeds achieved that day deserve His praise, who through that bloody field might pass By sword or spear unwounded, by the hand Of Pallas guarded from the weapon's flight; For many a Trojan, many a Greek, that day Prone in the dust, and side by side, were laid.
THE ACTS OF DIOMED.
Diomed, assisted by Pallas, performs wonders in this day's battle. Pandarus wounds him with an arrow, but the goddess cures him, enables him to discern gods from mortals, and prohibits him from contending with any of the former, excepting Venus. AEneas joins Pandarus to oppose him, Pandarus is killed, and AEneas in great danger but for the assistance of Venus; who, as she is removing her son from the fight, is wounded on the hand by Diomed. Apollo seconds her in his rescue, and, at length, carries off AEneas to Troy, where he is healed in the temple of Pergamus. Mars rallies the Trojans, and assists Hector to make a stand. In the mean time AEneas is restored to the field, and they overthrow several of the Greeks; among the rest Tlepolemus is slain by Sarpedon. Juno and Minerva descend to resist Mars; the latter incites Diomed to go against that god; he wounds him, and sends him groaning to heaven.
The first battle continues through this book. The scene is the same as in the former.
Such strength, and courage then to Diomed, The son of Tydeus, Pallas gave, as rais'd, 'Mid all the Greeks, the glory of his name. Forth from his helm arid shield a fiery light There flash'd, like autumn's star, that brightest shines When newly risen from his ocean bath. So from the warrior's head and shoulders flash'd That fiery light, as to the midst he urg'd His furious course, where densest masses fought.
There was one Dares 'mid the Trojan host, The priest of Vulcan, rich, of blameless life; Two gallant sons he had, Idaeus nam'd, And Phegeus, skill'd in all the points of war. These, parted from the throng, the warrior met; They on their car, while he on foot advanc'd. When near they came, first Phegeus threw his spear; O'er the left shoulder of Tydides pass'd The erring weapon's point, and miss'd its mark. His pond'rous spear in turn Tydides threw, And not in vain; on Phegeus' breast it struck, Full in the midst, and hurl'd him from the car. Idaeus from the well-wrought chariot sprang, And fled, nor durst his brother's corpse defend. Nor had he so escap'd the doom of death, But Vulcan bore him safely from the field, In darkness shrouded, that his aged sire Might not be wholly of his sons bereav'd. The car Tydides to his comrades gave, And bade them to the ships the horses drive.
Now when the Trojans Dares' sons beheld, The one in flight, the other stretch'd in death, Their spirits within them quail'd; but Pallas took The hand of Mars, and thus address'd the God: "Mars, Mars, thou bane of mortals, blood-stain'd Lord, Razer of cities, wherefore leave we not The Greeks and Trojans to contend, and see To which the sire of all will vict'ry give; While we retire, and shun the wrath of Jove?"
Thus saying, from the battle Mars she led, And plac'd him on Scamander's steepy banks.
The Greeks drove back the Trojan host; the chiefs Slew each his victim; Agamemnon first, The mighty monarch, from his chariot hurl'd Hodius, the sturdy Halizonian chief, Him, as he turn'd, between the shoulder-blades The jav'lin struck, and through his chest was driv'n; Thund'ring he fell, and loud his armour rang.
On Phaestus, Borus' son, Maeonian chief, Who from the fertile plains of Tarna came, Then sprang Idomeneus; and as he sought To mount upon his car, the Cretan King Through his right shoulder drove the pointed spear; He fell; the shades of death his eyes o'erspread, And of his arms the followers stripp'd his corpse.
The son of Atreus, Menelaus, slew Scamandrius, son of Strophius, sportsman keen, In woodcraft skilful; for his practis'd hand Had by Diana's self been taught to slay Each beast of chase the mountain forest holds. But nought avail'd him then the Archer-Queen Diana's counsels, nor his boasted art Of distant aim; for as he fled, the lance Of Menelaus, Atreus' warlike son, Behind his neck, between the shoulder-blades, His flight arresting, through his chest was driv'n. Headlong he fell, and loud his armour rang.
Phereclus by Meriones was slain, Son of Harmonides, whose practis'd hand Knew well to fashion many a work of art; By Pallas highly favour'd; he the ships For Paris built, first origin of ill, Freighted with evil to the men of Troy, And to himself, who knew not Heav'n's decrees. Him, in his headlong flight, in hot pursuit Meriones o'ertook, and thrust his lance Through his right flank; beneath the bone was driv'n The spear, and pierc'd him through: prone on his knees, Groaning, he fell, and death his eyelids clos'd.
Meges Pedaeus slew, Antenor's son, A bastard born, but by Theano rear'd With tender care, and nurtur'd as her son, With her own children, for her husband's sake. Him, Phyleus' warrior son, approaching near, Thrust through the junction of the head and neck; Crash'd through his teeth the spear beneath the tongue; Prone in the dust he gnash'd the brazen point.
Eurypylus, Euaemon's noble son, Hypsenor slew, the worthy progeny Of Dolopion brave; Scamander's priest, And by the people as a God rever'd: Him, as he fled before him, from behind Eurypylus, Euaemon's noble son, Smote with the sword; and from the shoulder-point The brawny arm he sever'd; to the ground Down fell the gory hand; the darkling shades Of death, and rig'rous doom, his eyelids clos'd.
Thus labour'd they amid the stubborn fight; But of Tydides none might say to whom His arm belong'd, or whether with the hosts Of Troy or Greece he mingled in the fight: Hither and thither o'er the plain he rush'd, Like to a wintry stream, that brimming o'er Breaks down its barriers in its rapid course; Nor well-built bridge can stem the flood, nor fence guards the fertile fields, as down it pours Its sudden torrent, swoll'n with rain from Heav'n, And many a goodly work of man destroys: So back were borne before Tydides' might The serried ranks of Troy, nor dar'd await, Despite their numbers, his impetuous charge.
Him when Lycaon's noble son beheld Careering o'er the plain, the serried ranks Driving before him, quick at Tydeus' son He bent his bow; and onward as he rush'd, On the right shoulder, near the breastplate's joint, The stinging arrow struck; right through it pass'd, And held its way, that blood the breastplate stain'd. Then shouted loud Lycaon's noble son: "Arouse ye, valiant Trojans, ye who goad Your flying steeds; the bravest of the Greeks Is wounded, nor, I deem, can long withstand My weapon, if indeed from Lycia's shore By Phoebus' counsel sent I join'd the war."
Thus he, vain-glorious; but not so was quell'd The godlike chief; back he withdrew, and stood Beside his car, and thus to Sthenelus, The son of Capaneus, his speech address'd: "Up, gentle son of Capaneus, descend From off the car, and from my shoulder draw This stinging arrow forth." He said, and down Leap'd from the chariot Sthenelus, and stood Beside him; and as forth he drew the shaft, Gush'd out the blood, and dyed the twisted mail. Then thus the valiant son of Tydeus pray'd: "Hear me, thou child of aegis-bearing Jove, Unconquer'd! if amid the deadly fight Thy friendly aid my father e'er sustain'd, Let me in turn thy favour find; and grant Within my reach and compass of my spear That man may find himself, who unawares Hath wounded me, and vainly boasting deems I shall not long behold the light of day." Thus pray'd the chief, and Pallas heard his pray'r; To all his limbs, to feet and hands alike, She gave fresh vigour; and with winged words, Beside him as she stood, address'd him thus:
"Go fearless onward, Diomed, to meet The Trojan hosts; for I within thy breast Thy father's dauntless courage have infus'd, Such as of old in Tydeus' bosom dwelt, Bold horseman, buckler-clad; and from thine eyes The film that dimm'd them I have purg'd away, That thou mayst well 'twixt Gods and men discern. If then some God make trial of thy force, With other of th' Immortals fight thou not; But should Jove's daughter Venus dare the fray Thou needst not shun at her to cast thy spear."
This said, the blue-ey'd Goddess disappear'd. Forthwith again amid the foremost ranks Tydides mingled; keenly as before His spirit against the Trojans burn'd to fight, With threefold fury now he sought the fray. As when a hungry lion has o'erleap'd The sheepfold; him the guardian of the flock Has wounded, not disabled; by his wound To rage excited, but not forc'd to fly, The fold he enters, scares the trembling sheep, That, closely huddled, each on other press, Then pounces on his prey, and leaps the fence: So pounc'd Tydides on the Trojan host. Astynous and Hypeiron then he slew, His people's guardian; through the breast of one He drove his spear, and with his mighty sword He smote the other on the collar-bone, The shoulder sev'ring from the neck and back. Them left he there to lie; of Abas then And Polyeidus went in hot pursuit, Sons of Eurydamas, an aged seer, Whose visions stay'd them not; but both were doom'd A prey to valiant Diomed to fall. Xanthus and Thoon then the hero slew, The sons of Phaenops, children of his age: He, worn with years, no other sons begot, Heirs of his wealth; they two together fell, And to their father left a load of grief, That from the battle they return'd not home, And distant kindred all his substance shar'd. On Chromius and Echemon next he fell, Two sons of Priam on one chariot borne; And as a lion springs upon a herd, And breaks the neck of heifer or of steer, Feeding in woodland glade; with such a spring These two, in vain resisting, from their car Tydides hurl'd; then stripp'd their arms, and bade His followers lead their horses to the ships.
Him when AEneas saw amid the ranks Dealing destruction, through the fight and throng Of spears he plung'd, if haply he might find The godlike Pandarus; Lycaon's son He found, of noble birth and stalwart form, And stood before him, and address'd him thus: "Where, Pandarus, are now thy winged shafts, Thy bow, and well-known skill, wherein with thee Can no man here contend? nor Lycia boasts, Through all her wide-spread plains, a truer aim; Then raise to Jove thy hands, and with thy shaft Strike down this chief, whoe'er he be, that thus Is making fearful havoc in our host, Relaxing many a warrior's limbs in death: If he be not indeed a God, incens'd Against the Trojans for neglected rites; For fearful is the vengeance of a God."
Whom answer'd thus Lycaon's noble son: "AEneas, chief and councillor of Troy, Most like in all respects to Tydeus' son He seems; his shield I know, and visor'd helm, And horses; whether he himself be God, I cannot tell; but if he be indeed The man I think him, Tydeus' valiant son, He fights not thus without the aid of Heav'n; But by his side, his shoulders veiled in cloud, Some God attends his steps, and turns away The shaft that just hath reach'd him; for ev'n now A shaft I shot, which by the breastplate's joint Pierc'd his right shoulder through: full sure I deem'd That shaft had sent him to the shades, and yet It slew him not; 'tis sure some angry God. Nor horse have I, nor car on which to mount; But in my sire Lycaon's wealthy house Elev'n fair chariots stand, all newly built, Each with its cover; by the side of each Two steeds on rye and barley white are fed; And in his well-built house, when here I came, Lycaon, aged warrior, urg'd me oft With horses and with chariots high upborne, To lead the Trojans in the stubborn fight; I hearken'd not—'twere better if I had— Yet fear'd I lest my horses, wont to feed In plenty unstinted, by the soldiers' wants Might of their custom'd forage be depriv'd; I left them there, and hither came on foot, And trusting to my bow: vain trust, it seems; Two chiefs already have I struck, the sons Of Tydeus and of Atreus; with true aim Drawn blood from both, yet but increas'd their rage. Sad was the hour when down from where it hung I took my bow, and hasting to the aid Of godlike Hector, hither led my troops; But should I e'er return, and see again My native land, my wife, my lofty hall, Then may a stranger's sword cut off my head, If with these hands I shatter not, and burn, The bow that thus hath fail'd me at my need."
Him answer'd thus AEneas, chief of Troy: "Speak thou not thus; our fortunes shall not change Till thou and I, with chariot and with horse, This chief encounter, and his prowess prove; Then mount my car, and see how swift my steeds. Hither and thither, in pursuit or flight, From those of Tros descended, scour the plain. So if the victory to Diomed, The son of Tydeus, should by Jove be giv'n, We yet may safely reach the walls of Troy. Take thou the whip and reins, while I descend To fight on foot; or thou the chief engage, And leave to me the conduct of the car."
Whom answer'd thus Lycaon's noble son: "AEneas, of thy horses and thy car Take thou the charge; beneath th' accustomed hand, With more assurance would they draw the car, If we from Tydeus' son be forced to fly; Nor, struck with panic, and thy voice unheard, Refuse to bear us from the battle-field; So should ourselves be slain, and Tydeus' son In triumph drive thy horses to the ships. But thou thy horses and thy chariot guide, While I his onset with my lance receive."
Thus saying, on the car they mounted both, And tow'rd Tydides urg'd their eager steeds. Them Sthenelus beheld, the noble son Of Capaneus, and to Tydides cried: "Oh son of Tydeus, dearest to my soul, Two men I see, of might invincible, Impatient to engage thee; Pandarus, Well skill'd in archery, Lycaon's son; With him. AEneas, great Anchises' son, Who from immortal Venus boasts his birth. Then let us timely to the car retreat, Lest, moving thus amid the foremost ranks, Thy daring pay the forfeit of thy life."
To whom brave Diomed with stern regard: "Talk not to me of flight! I heed thee not! It is not in my nature so to fight With skulking artifice and faint retreat; My strength is yet unbroken; I should shame To mount the car; but forward will I go To meet these chiefs' encounter; for my soul Pallas forbids the touch of fear to know. Nor shall their horses' speed procure for both A safe return, though one escape my arm. This too I say, and bear my words in mind; By Pallas' counsel if my hap should be To slay them both, leave thou my horses here, The reins attaching to the chariot-rail, And seize, and from the Trojans to the ships Drive off the horses in AEneas' car; From those descended, which all-seeing Jove On Tros, for Ganymede his son, bestow'd: With these may none beneath the sun compare. Anchises, King of men, the breed obtain'd By cunning, to the horses sending mares Without the knowledge of Laomedon. Six colts were thus engender'd: four of these In his own stalls he rear'd; the other two Gave to AEneas, fear-inspiring chief: These could we win, our praise were great indeed."
Such converse while they held, the twain approach'd, Their horses urg'd to speed; then thus began, To Diomed, Lycaon's noble son:
"Great son of Tydeus, warrior brave and skill'd, My shaft, it seems, has fail'd to reach thy life; Try we then now what hap attends my spear." He said; and, poising, hurl'd his pond'rous spear, And struck Tydides' shield; right through the shield Drove the keen weapon, and the breastplate reach'd. Then shouted loud Lycaon's noble son: "Thou hast it through the flank, nor canst thou long Survive the blow; great glory now is mine."
To whom, unmov'd, the valiant Diomed: "Thine aim hath failed, I am not touch'd; and now I deem we part not hence till one of ye Glut with his blood th' insatiate Lord of War."
He said: the spear, by Pallas guided, struck Beside the nostril, underneath the eye; Crash'd thro' the teeth, and cutting thro' the tongue Beneath the angle of the jaw came forth: Down from the car he fell; and loudly rang His glitt'ring arms: aside the startled steeds Sprang devious: from his limbs the spirit fled. Down leap'd AEneas, spear and shield in hand, Against the Greeks to guard the valiant dead; And like a lion, fearless in his strength, Around the corpse he stalk'd, this way and that, His spear and buckler round before him held, To all who dar'd approach him threat'ning death, With fearful shouts; a rocky fragment then Tydides lifted up, a mighty mass, Which scarce two men could raise, as men are now: But he, unaided, lifted it with ease. With this he smote AEneas near the groin, Where the thigh-bone, inserted in the hip, Turns in the socket-joint; the rugged mass The socket crush'd, and both the tendons broke, And tore away the flesh: down on his knees, Yet resting on his hand, the hero fell; And o'er his eyes the shades of darkness spread. Then had AEneas, King of men, been slain, Had not his mother, Venus, child of Jove, Who to Anchises, where he fed his flocks, The hero bore, his peril quickly seen: Around her son she threw her snowy arms, And with a veil, thick-folded, wrapt him round, From hostile spears to guard him, lest some Greek Should pierce his breast, and rob him of his life.
She from the battle thus her son removed; Nor did the son of Capaneus neglect The strict injunction by Tydides giv'n; His reins attaching to the chariot-rail, Far from the battle-din he check'd, and left, His own fleet steeds; then rushing forward, seiz'd, And from the Trojans tow'rd the camp drove off, The sleek-skinn'd horses of AEneas' car. These to Deipylus, his chosen friend, He gave, of all his comrades best esteem'd, Of soundest judgment, tow'rd the ships to drive. Then, his own car remounting, seiz'd the reins, And urg'd with eager haste his fiery steeds, Seeking Tydides; he, meanwhile, press'd on In keen pursuit of Venus; her he knew A weak, unwarlike Goddess, not of those That like Bellona fierce, or Pallas, range Exulting through the blood-stain'd fields of war.
Her, searching thro' the crowd, at length he found, And springing forward, with his pointed spear A wound inflicted on her tender hand. Piercing th' ambrosial veil, the Graces' work, The sharp spear graz'd her palm below the wrist. Forth from the wound th' immortal current flow'd, Pure ichor, life-stream of the blessed Gods; They eat no bread, they drink no ruddy wine, And bloodless thence and deathless they become. The Goddess shriek'd aloud, and dropp'd her son; But in his arms Apollo bore him off In a thick cloud envelop'd, lest some Greek Might pierce his breast, and rob him of his life. Loud shouted brave Tydides, as she fled: "Daughter of Jove, from battle-fields retire; Enough for thee weak woman to delude; If war thou seek'st, the lesson thou shalt learn Shall cause thee shudder but to hear it nam'd." Thus he; but ill at ease, and sorely pain'd, The Goddess fled: her, Iris, swift as wind, Caught up, and from the tumult bore away, Weeping with pain, her fair skin soil'd with blood.
Mars on the left hand of the battle-field She found, his spear reclining by his side, And, veil'd in cloud, his car and flying steeds. Kneeling, her brother she besought to lend The flying steeds, with golden frontlets crown'd: "Dear brother, aid me hence, and lend thy car To bear me to Olympus, seat of Gods; Great is the pain I suffer from a wound Receiv'd from Diomed, a mortal man, Who now would dare with Jove himself to fight."
He lent the steeds, with golden frontlets crown'd; In deep distress she mounted on the car: Beside her Iris stood, and took the reins, And urg'd the coursers; nothing loth they flew, And soon to high Olympus, seat of Gods, They came: swift Iris there the coursers stay'd, Loos'd from the chariot, and before them plac'd Ambrosial forage: on her mother's lap, Dione, Venus fell; she in her arms Embrac'd, and sooth'd her with her hand, and said: "Which of the heav'nly pow'rs hath wrong'd thee thus, My child, as guilty of some open shame?"
Whom answer'd thus the laughter-loving Queen; "The haughty son of Tydeus, Diomed, Hath wounded me, because my dearest son, AEneas, from the field I bore away. No more 'twixt Greeks and Trojans is the fight, But with the Gods themselves the Greeks contend." To whom Dione, heav'nly Goddess, thus: "Have patience, dearest child; though much enforc'd, Restrain thine anger: we, in Heav'n who dwell, Have much to bear from mortals; and ourselves Too oft upon each other suff'rings lay. Mars had his suff'rings; by Aloeus' sons, Otus and Ephialtes, strongly bound, He thirteen months in brazen fetters lay: And there had pin'd away the God of War, Insatiate Mars, had not their step-mother, The beauteous Eriboea, sought the aid Of Hermes; he by stealth releas'd the God, Sore worn and wasted by his galling chains. Juno too suffer'd, when Amphitryon's son Through her right breast a three-barb'd arrow sent: Dire, and unheard of, were the pangs she bore. Great Pluto's self the stinging arrow felt, When that same son of aegis-bearing Jove Assail'd him in the very gates of hell, And wrought him keenest anguish; pierc'd with pain To high Olympus, to the courts of Jove, Groaning, he came; the bitter shaft remain'd Deep in his shoulder fix'd, and griev'd his soul. But soon with soothing ointments Paeon's hand (For death on him was powerless) heal'd the wound. Accurs'd was he, of daring over-bold, Reckless of evil deeds, who with his bow Assail'd the Gods, who on Olympus dwell. The blue-ey'd Pallas, well I know, has urg'd Tydides to assail thee; fool and blind! Unknowing he how short his term of life Who fights against the Gods! for him no child Upon his knees shall lisp a father's name, Safe from the war and battle-field return'd. Brave as he is, let Diomed beware He meet not some more dangerous foe than thee. Then fair AEgiale, Adrastus' child, The noble wife of valiant Diomed, Shall long, with lamentations loud, disturb The slumbers of her house, and vainly mourn Her youthful Lord, the bravest of the Greeks."
She said; and wip'd the ichor from, the wound; he hand was heal'd, the grievous pains allay'd. But Juno and Minerva, looking on, With words of bitter mock'ry Saturn's son Provok'd: and thus the blue-ey'd Goddess spoke: "O Father! may I speak without offence? Venus, it seems, has sought to lead astray Some Grecian woman, and persuade to join Those Trojans, whom she holds in high esteem; And, as her hand the gentle dame caress'd, A golden clasp has scratched her slender arm."
Thus she: and smil'd the Sire of Gods and men; He call'd the golden Venus to his side, And, "Not to thee, my child," he said, "belong The deeds of war; do thou bestow thy care On deeds of love, and tender marriage ties; But leave to Mars and Pallas feats of arms."
Such converse while they held, brave Diomed Again assail'd AEneas; well he knew Apollo's guardian hand around him thrown; Yet by the God undaunted, on he press'd To slay AEneas, and his arms obtain. Thrice was his onset made, with murd'rous aim; And thrice Apollo struck his glitt'ring shield; But when, with godlike force, he sought to make His fourth attempt, the Far-destroyer spoke In terms of awful menace: "Be advis'd, Tydides, and retire; nor as a God Esteem thyself; since not alike the race Of Gods immortal and of earth-born men."
He said; and Diomed a little space Before the Far-destroyer's wrath retir'd: Apollo then AEneas bore away Far from the tumult; and in Pergamus, Where stood his sacred shrine, bestow'd him safe. Latona there, and Dian, Archer-Queen, In the great temple's innermost recess, Gave to his wounds their care, and sooth'd his pride. Meanwhile Apollo of the silver bow A phantom form prepar'd, the counterpart Of great AEneas, and alike in arms: Around the form, of Trojans and of Greeks, Loud was the din of battle; fierce the strokes That fell on rounded shield of tough bull's-hide, And lighter targe, before each warrior's breast. Then thus Apollo to the God of War: "Mars! Mars! thou bane of mortals, blood-stain'd Lord, Razer of cities, wer't not well thyself To interpose, and from the battle-field Withdraw this chief, Tydides? such his pride, He now would dare with Jove himself to fight. Venus, of late, he wounded in the wrist; And, like a God, but now confronted me." He said, and sat on Ilium's topmost height: While Mars, in likeness of the Thracian chief, Swift Acamas, amid the Trojan ranks Mov'd to and fro, and urg'd them to the fight. To Priam's Heav'n-descended sons he call'd; "Ye sons of Priam, Heav'n-descended King, How long will ye behold your people slain? Till to your very doors the war be brought? AEneas, noble-soul'd Anchises' son, In like esteem with Hector held, is down; On to his aid! our gallant comrade save!"
He said; his words fresh courage gave to all: Then thus Sarpedon, in reproachful tone, Address'd the godlike Hector; "Where is now, Hector, the spirit that heretofore was thine? 'Twas once thy boast that ev'n without allies Thyself, thy brethren, and thy house, alone The city could defend: for all of these I look in vain, and see not one; they all, As curs around a lion, cow'r and crouch: We, strangers and allies, maintain the fight. I to your aid, from lands afar remote, From Lycia came, by Xanthus' eddying stream; There left a cherish'd wife, and infant son, And rich possessions, which might envy move; Yet I my troops encourage; and myself Have play'd my part, though nought have I to lose, Nought that the Greeks could drive or bear away; But thou stand'st idly by; nor bidd'st the rest Maintain their ground, and guard their wives and homes. Beware lest ye, as in the meshes caught Of some wide-sweeping net, become the prey And booty of your foes, who soon shall lay Your prosp'rous city level with the dust. By day and night should this thy thoughts engage, With constant pray'r to all thy brave allies, Firmly to stand, and wipe this shame away."
He said; and Hector felt the biting speech; Down from his car he leap'd; and through the ranks, Two jav'lins brandishing, he pass'd, to arms Exciting all, and rais'd his battle-cry. The tide was turn'd; again they fac'd the Greeks: In serried ranks the Greeks, undaunted, stood. As when the wind from off a threshing-floor, Where men are winnowing, blows the chaff away; When yellow Ceres with the breeze divides The corn and chaff, which lies in whit'ning heaps; So thick the Greeks were whiten'd o'er with dust, Which to the brazen vault of Heav'n arose Beneath the horses' feet, that with the crowd Were mingled, by their drivers turn'd to flight. Unwearied still, they bore the brunt; but Mars The Trojans succouring, the battle-field Veil'd in thick clouds, from ev'ry quarter brought. Thus he of Phoebus of the golden sword Obey'd th' injunction, bidding him arouse The courage of the Trojans, when he saw Pallas approaching to support the Greeks.
Then from the wealthy shrine Apollo's self AEneas brought, and vigour fresh infus'd: Amid his comrades once again he stood; They joy'd to see him yet alive, and sound, And full of vigour; yet no question ask'd: No time for question then, amid the toils Impos'd by Phoebus of the silver bow, And blood-stain'd Mars, and Discord unappeas'd.
Meanwhile Ulysses, and th' Ajaces both, And Diomed, with courage for the fight The Grecian force inspir'd; they undismay'd Shrank not before the Trojans' rush and charge; In masses firm they stood, as when the clouds Are gather'd round the misty mountain top By Saturn's son, in breathless calm, while sleep The force of Boreas and the stormy winds, That with their breath the shadowy clouds disperse; So stood the Greeks, nor shunn'd the Trojans' charge. Through all the army Agamemnon pass'd, And cried, "Brave comrades, quit ye now like men; Bear a stout heart; and in the stubborn fight, Let each to other mutual succour give; By mutual succour more are sav'd than fall; In timid flight nor fame nor safety lies."
Thus he: and straight his jav'lin threw, and struck A man of mark, AEneas' faithful friend, Deicoon, the son of Pergasus, By Troy, as ever foremost in the field, In equal honour held with Priam's sons. His shield the monarch Agamemnon struck; The shield's defence was vain; the spear pass'd through Beneath the belt, and in his groin was lodg'd; Thund'ring he fell, and loud his armour rang.
On th' other side, AEneas slew two chiefs, The bravest of the Greeks, Orsilochus And Crethon, sons of Diocles, who dwelt In thriving Phera; rich in substance he, And from the mighty River Alpheus trac'd His high descent, who through the Pylian land His copious waters pours; to him was born Orsilochus, of num'rous tribes the chief; To him succeeded valiant Diocles; To whom were born twin sons, Orsilochus And Crethon, skill'd in ev'ry point of war. They, in the vigour of their youth, to Troy Had sail'd amid the dark-ribb'd ships of Greece, Of Atreus' sons the quarrel to uphold; But o'er them both the shades of death were spread. As two young lions, by their tawny dam Nurs'd in the mountain forest's deep recess, On flocks and herds their youthful fury pour, With havoc to the sheepfolds, till themselves Succumb, o'ermaster'd by the hand of man: So fell these two beneath AEneas' hand, And like two lofty pines in death they lay.
The warlike Menelaus saw their fall With pitying eye; and through the foremost ranks With brandish'd spear advanc'd, by Mars impell'd, Who hop'd his death by great AEneas' hand. Him Nestor's son, Antilochus, beheld, And hasten'd to his aid; for much he fear'd Lest ill befall the monarch, and his death Deprive them of their warlike labours' fruit. They two, with force combined of hand and spear, Press'd onward to the fight; Antilochus His station keeping close beside the King. Before the two combined, AEneas fear'd, Bold warrior as he was, to hold his ground. The slain they drew within the Grecian lines, Placed in their comrades' hands, and turning back Amid the foremost mingled in the fray. Then, brave as Mars, Pylaemenes they slew, The buckler'd Paphlagonians' warlike chief; Him Menelaus, hand to hand engag'd, Pierc'd with a spear-thrust through the collar-bone; While, with a pond'rous stone, Antilochus Full on the elbow smote Atymnius' son, Mydon, his charioteer, in act to turn His fiery steeds to flight; down from his hands Fell to the ground the iv'ry-mounted reins. On rush'd Antilochus, and with his sword Across the temples smote him; gasping, he Upon his neck and shoulders from the car Pitch'd headlong; and (for there the sand was deep) Awhile stood balanc'd, till the horses' feet Dash'd him upon the ground; Antilochus, The horses seizing, drove them to the ships.
Hector beheld athwart the ranks, and rush'd, Loud shouting, to th' encounter; at his back Follow'd the thronging bands of Troy, by Mars And fierce Bellona led; she by the hand Wild Uproar held; while Mars a giant spear Brandish'd aloft: and stalking now before, Now following after Hector, urg'd them on. Quail'd at the sight the valiant Diomed: As when a man, long journeying o'er the plain, All unprepar'd, stands sudden on the brink Of a swift stream, down rushing to the sea, Boiling with foam, and back recoils; so then Recoil'd Tydides, and address'd the crowd: "O friends, we marvel at the might display'd By Hector, spearman skill'd and warrior bold; But still some guardian God his steps attends, And shields from danger; now beside him stands, In likeness of a mortal, Mars himself. Then turning still your faces to your foes, Retire, nor venture with the Gods to fight."
He said; the Trojans now were close at hand, And, mounted both upon a single car, Two chiefs, Menesthes and Anchialus, Well skill'd in war, by Hector's hand were slain.
With pitying eyes great Ajax Telamon Beheld their fall; advancing close, he threw His glitt'ring spear; the son of Selagus It struck, Amphius, who in Paesus dwelt, In land and substance rich; by evil fate Impell'd, to Priam's house he brought his aid. Below the belt the spear of Ajax struck, And in his groin the point was buried deep; Thund'ring he fell; then forward Ajax sprang To seize the spoils of war; but fast and fierce The Trojans show'r'd their weapons bright and keen, And many a lance the mighty shield receiv'd. Ajax, his foot firm planted on the slain, Withdrew the brazen spear; yet could not strip His armour off, so galling flew the shafts; And much he fear'd his foes might hem him in, Who closely press'd upon him, many and brave; And, valiant as he was, and tall, and strong, Still drove him backward; he perforce retired.
Thus labour'd they amid the stubborn fight. Then evil fate induc'd Tlepolemus, Valiant and strong, the son of Hercules, Heav'n-born Sarpedon to confront in fight. When near they came, of cloud-compelling Jove Grandson and son, Tlepolemus began: "Sarpedon, Lycian chief, what brings thee here, Trembling and crouching, all unskill'd in war? Falsely they speak who fable thee the son Of aegis-bearing Jove; so far art thou Beneath their mark who claim'd in elder days That royal lineage: such my father was, Of courage resolute, of lion heart. With but six ships, and with a scanty band, The horses by Laomedon withheld Avenging, he o'erthrew this city, Troy, And made her streets a desert; but thy soul Is poor, thy troops are wasting fast away; Nor deem I that the Trojans will in thee (Ev'n were thy valour more) and Lycia's aid Their safeguard find; but vanquish'd by my hand, This day the gates of Hades thou shalt pass."
To whom the Lycian chief, Sarpedon, thus: "Tlepolemus, the sacred walls of Troy Thy sire o'erthrew, by folly of one man, Laomedon, who with injurious words His noble service recompens'd; nor gave The promis'd steeds, for which he came from far. For thee, I deem thou now shalt meet thy doom Here, at my hand; on thee my spear shall win Renown for me, thy soul to Hades send."
Thus as Sarpedon spoke, Tlepolemus Uprais'd his ashen spear; from both their hands The pond'rous weapons simultaneous flew. Full in the throat Tlepolemus receiv'd Sarpedon's spear; right through the neck it pass'd, And o'er his eyes the shades of death were spread. On th' other side his spear Sarpedon struck On the left thigh; the eager weapon pass'd Right through the flesh, and in the bone was fix'd; The stroke of death his father turn'd aside. Sarpedon from the field his comrades bore, Weigh'd down and tortured by the trailing spear, For, in their haste to bear him to his car, Not one bethought him from his thigh to draw The weapon forth; so sorely were they press'd.
The Greeks too from the battle-field convey'd The slain Tlepolemus; Ulysses saw, Patient of spirit, but deeply mov'd at heart; And with conflicting thoughts his breast was torn, If first he should pursue the Thund'rer's son, Or deal destruction on the Lycian host. But fate had not decreed the valiant son Of Jove to fall beneath Ulysses' hand; So on the Lycians Pallas turn'd his wrath. Alastor then, and Coeranus he slew, Chromius, Alcander, Halius, Prytanis, Noemon; nor had ended then the list Of Lycian warriors by Ulysses slain; But Hector of the glancing helm beheld; Through the front ranks he rush'd, with burnish'd crest Resplendent, flashing terror on the Greeks; With joy Sarpedon saw his near approach, And with imploring tones address'd him thus:
"Hector, thou son of Priam, leave me not A victim to the Greeks, but lend thine aid: Then in your city let me end my days. For not to me is giv'n again to see My native land; or, safe returning home, To glad my sorrowing wife and infant child."
Thus he; but Hector, answ'ring not a word, Pass'd on in silence, hasting to pursue The Greeks, and pour destruction on their host.
Beneath the oak of aegis-bearing Jove His faithful comrades laid Sarpedon down, And from his thigh the valiant Pelagon, His lov'd companion, drew the ashen spear. He swoon'd, and giddy mists o'erspread his eyes: But soon reviv'd, as on his forehead blew, While yet he gasp'd for breath, the cooling breeze.
By Mars and Hector of the brazen helm The Greeks hard-press'd, yet fled not to their ships, Nor yet sustain'd the fight; but back retir'd Soon as they learned the presence of the God. Say then who first, who last, the prowess felt Of Hector, Priam's son, and mail-clad Mars? The godlike Teuthras first, Orestes next, Bold charioteer; th' AEtolian spearman skill'd, Trechus, OEnomaus, and Helenus, The son of OEnops; and Oresbius, girt With sparkling girdle; he in Hyla dwelt, The careful Lord of boundless wealth, beside Cephisus' marshy banks; Boeotia's chiefs Around him dwelt, on fat and fertile soil. Juno, the white-arm'd Queen, who saw these two The Greeks destroying in the stubborn fight, To Pallas thus her winged words address'd: "O Heav'n! brave child of aegis-bearing Jove, Vain was our word to Menelaus giv'n. That he the well-built walls of Troy should raze, And safe return, if unrestrain'd we leave Ferocious Mars to urge his mad career. Come then; let us too mingle in the fray."
She said: and Pallas, blue-ey'd Maid, complied. Offspring of Saturn, Juno, heav'nly Queen, Herself th' immortal steeds caparison'd, Adorn'd with golden frontlets: to the car Hebe the circling wheels of brass attach'd, Eight-spok'd, that on an iron axle turn'd; The felloes were of gold, and fitted round With brazen tires, a marvel to behold; The naves were silver, rounded every way: The chariot-board on gold and silver bands Was hung, and round it ran a double rail: The pole was all of silver; at the end A golden yoke, with golden yoke-bands fair: And Juno, all on fire to join the fray, Beneath the yoke the flying coursers led.
Pallas, the child of aegis-bearing Jove, Within her father's threshold dropp'd her veil, Of airy texture, work of her own hands; The cuirass donn'd of cloud-compelling Jove, And stood accoutred for the bloody fray. Her tassell'd aegis round her shoulders next She threw, with Terror circled all around; And on its face were figur'd deeds of arms, And Strife, and Courage high, and panic Rout; There too a Gorgon's head, of monstrous size, Frown'd terrible, portent of angry Jove: And on her head a golden helm she plac'd, Four-crested, double-peak'd, whose ample verge A hundred cities' champions might suffice: Her fiery car she mounted: in her hand A spear she bore, long, weighty, tough; wherewith The mighty daughter of a mighty sire Sweeps down the ranks of those her hate pursues.
Then Juno sharply touch'd the flying steeds: Forthwith spontaneous opening, grated harsh The heavenly portals, guarded by the Hours, Who Heav'n and high Olympus have in charge To roll aside, or draw the veil of cloud. Through these th' excited horses held their way. They found the son of Saturn, from the Gods Sitting apart, upon the highest crest Of many-ridg'd Olympus; there arriv'd, The white-arm'd Goddess Juno stay'd her steeds, And thus address'd the Sov'reign Lord of Heav'n:
"O Father Jove! canst thou behold unmov'd The violence of Mars? how many Greeks, Reckless and uncontroll'd, he hath destroy'd; To me a source of bitter grief; meanwhile Venus and Phoebus of the silver bow Look on, well pleas'd, who sent this madman forth, To whom both law and justice are unknown. Say, Father Jove, shall I thine anger move, If with disgrace I drive him from the field?"
To whom the Cloud-compeller thus replied: "Go, send against him Pallas; she, I know, Hath oft inflicted on him grievous pain.".
He said: the white-arm'd Queen with joy obey'd; She urg'd her horses; nothing loth, they flew Midway between the earth, and starry Heav'n: Far as his sight extends, who from on high Looks from his watch-tow'r o'er the dark-blue sea, So far at once the neighing horses bound. But when to Troy they came, beside the streams Where Simois' and Scamander's waters meet, The white-arm'd Goddess stay'd her flying steeds, Loos'd from the car, and veil'd in densest cloud. For them, at bidding of the river-God, Ambrosial forage grew: the Goddesses, Swift as the wild wood-pigeon's rapid flight, Sped to the battle-field to aid the Greeks. But when they reach'd the thickest of the fray, Where throng'd around the might of Diomed The bravest and the best, as lions fierce, Or forest-boars, the mightiest of their kind, There stood the white-arm'd Queen, and call'd aloud, In form of Stentor, of the brazen voice, Whose shout was as the shout of fifty men:
"Shame on ye, Greeks, base cowards! brave alone In outward semblance; while Achilles yet Went forth to battle, from the Dardan gates The Trojans never ventur'd to advance, So dreaded they his pond'rous spear; but now Far from the walls, beside your ships, they fight."
She said: her words their drooping courage rous'd. Meanwhile the blue-ey'd Pallas went in haste In search of Tydeus' son; beside his car She found the King, in act to cool the wound Inflicted by the shaft of Pandarus: Beneath his shield's broad belt the clogging sweat Oppress'd him, and his arm was faint with toil; The belt was lifted up, and from the wound He wip'd the clotted blood: beside the car The Goddess stood, and touch'd the yoke, and said:
"Little like Tydeus' self is Tydeus' son: Low was his stature, but his spirit was high: And ev'n when I from combat rashly wag'd Would fain have kept him back, what time in Thebes He found himself, an envoy and alone, Without support, among the Thebans all, I counsell'd him in peace to share the feast: But by his own impetuous courage led, He challenged all the Thebans to contend With him in wrestling, and o'erthrew them all With ease; so mighty was the aid I gave. Thee now I stand beside, and guard from harm, And bid thee boldly with the Trojans fight. But, if the labours of the battle-field O'ertask thy limbs, or heartless fear restrain, No issue thou of valiant Tydeus' loins."