Whom answer'd thus the valiant Diomed: "I know thee, Goddess, who thou art; the child Of aegis-bearing Jove: to thee my mind I freely speak, nor aught will I conceal. Nor heartless fear, nor hesitating doubt, Restrain me; but I bear thy words in mind, With other of th' Immortals not to fight: But should Jove's daughter, Venus, dare the fray, At her I need not shun to throw my spear. Therefore I thus withdrew, and others too Exhorted to retire, since Mars himself I saw careering o'er the battle-field."
To whom the blue-ey'd Goddess, Pallas, thus: "Thou son of Tydeus, dearest to my soul, Fear now no more with Mars himself to fight, Nor other God; such aid will I bestow. Come then; at him the first direct thy car; Encounter with him hand to hand; nor fear To strike this madman, this incarnate curse, This shameless renegade; who late agreed With Juno and with me to combat Troy, And aid the Grecian cause; who now appears, The Greeks deserting, in the Trojan ranks."
Thus Pallas spoke, and stretching forth her hand Backward his comrade Sthenelus she drew From off the chariot; down in haste he sprang. His place beside the valiant Diomed The eager Goddess took; beneath the weight Loud groan'd the oaken axle; for the car A mighty Goddess and a Hero bore. Then Pallas took the whip and reins, and urg'd Direct at Mars the fiery coursers' speed.
The bravest of th' AEtolians, Periphas, Ochesius' stalwart son, he just had slain, And stood in act to strip him of his arms. The helmet then of Darkness Pallas donn'd, To hide her presence from the sight of Mars: But when the blood-stain'd God of War beheld Advancing tow'rd him godlike Diomed, The corpse of stalwart Periphas he left, There where he fell, to lie; while he himself Of valiant Diomed th' encounter met. When near they came, first Mars his pond'rous spear Advane'd beyond the yoke and horses' reins, With murd'rous aim; but Pallas from the car Turn'd it aside, and foil'd the vain attempt.
Then Diomed thrust forward in his turn His pond'rous spear; low on the flank of Mars, Guided by Pallas, with successful aim, Just where the belt was girt, the weapon struck: It pierc'd the flesh, and straight was back withdrawn: Then Mars cried out aloud, with such a shout As if nine thousand or ten thousand men Should simultaneous raise their battle-cry: Trojans and Greeks alike in terror heard, Trembling; so fearful was the cry of Mars. As black with clouds appears the darken'd air, When after heat the blust'ring winds arise, So Mars to valiant Diomed appear'd, As in thick clouds lie took his heav'nward flight. With speed he came to great Olympus' heights, Th' abode of Gods; and sitting by the throne Of Saturn's son, with anguish torn, he show'd Th' immortal stream that trickled from the wound, And thus to Jove his piteous words address'd:
"O Father Jove, canst thou behold unmov'd These acts of violence? the greatest ills We Gods endure, we each to other owe Who still in human quarrels interpose. Of thee we all complain; thy senseless child Is ever on some evil deed intent. The other Gods, who on Olympus dwell, Are all to thee obedient and submiss; But thy pernicious daughter, nor by word Nor deed dost thou restrain; who now excites Th' o'erbearing son of Tydeus, Diomed, Upon th' immortal Gods to vent his rage. Venus of late he wounded in the wrist, And, as a God, but now encounter'd me: Barely I 'scap'd by swiftness of my feet; Else, 'mid a ghastly heap of corpses slain, In anguish had I lain; and, if alive, Yet liv'd disabl'd by his weapon's stroke."
Whom answer'd thus the Cloud-compeller, Jove, With look indignant: "Come no more to me, Thou wav'ring turncoat, with thy whining pray'rs: Of all the Gods who on Olympus dwell I hate thee most; for thou delight'st in nought But strife and war; thou hast inherited Thy mother, Juno's, proud, unbending mood, Whom I can scarce control; and thou, methinks, To her suggestions ow'st thy present plight. Yet since thou art my offspring, and to me Thy mother bore thee, I must not permit That thou should'st long be doom'd to suffer pain; But had thy birth been other than it is, For thy misdoings thou hadst long ere now Been banish'd from the Gods' companionship."
He said: and straight to Paeon gave command To heal the wound; with soothing anodynes He heal'd it quickly; soon as liquid milk Is curdled by the fig-tree's juice, and turns In whirling flakes, so soon was heal'd the wound. By Hebe bath'd, and rob'd afresh, he sat In health and strength restor'd, by Saturn's son.
Mars thus arrested in his murd'rous course, Together to th' abode of Jove return'd The Queen of Argos and the blue-ey'd Maid.
THE EPISODES OF GLAUCUS AND DIOMED, AND OF HECTOR AND ANDROMACHE.
The gods having left the field, the Grecians prevail. Helenus, the chief augur of Troy, commands Hector to return to the city, in order to appoint a solemn procession of the Queen and the Trojan matrons to the temple of Minerva, to entreat her to remove Diomed from the fight. The battle relaxing during the absence of Hector, Glaucus and Diomed have an interview between the two armies; where, coming to the knowledge of the friendship and hospitality past between their ancestors, they make exchange of their arms. Hector, having performed the orders of Helenus, prevailed upon Paris to return to the battle, and taken a tender leave of his wife Andromache, hastens again to the field.
The scene is first in the field of battle, between the rivers Simois and Scamander, and then changes to Troy.
The Gods had left the field, and o'er the plain Hither and thither surg'd the tide of war, As couch'd th' opposing chiefs their brass-tipp'd spears, Midway 'twixt Simois' and Scamander's streams.
First through the Trojan phalanx broke his way The son of Telamon, the prop of Greece, The mighty Ajax; on his friends the light Of triumph shedding, as Eusorus' son He smote, the noblest of the Thracian bands, Valiant and strong, the gallant Acamas. Full in the front, beneath the plumed helm, The sharp spear struck, and crashing thro' the bone, The warrior's eyes were clos'd in endless night.
Next valiant Diomed Axylus slew, The son of Teuthranes, who had his home In fair Arisba; rich in substance he, And lov'd of all; for, dwelling near the road, He op'd to all his hospitable gate; But none of all he entertain'd was there To ward aside the bitter doom of death: There fell they both, he and his charioteer, Calesius, who athwart the battle-field His chariot drove; one fate o'ertook them both.
Then Dresus and Opheltius of their arms Euryalus despoil'd; his hot pursuit AEsepus next, and Pedasus assail'd, Brothers, whom Abarbarea, Naiad nymph, To bold Bucolion bore; Bucolion, son Of great Laomedon, his eldest born, Though bastard: he upon the mountain side, On which his flocks he tended, met the nymph, And of their secret loves twin sons were born; Whom now at once Euryalus of strength And life depriv'd, and of their armour stripp'd.
By Polypoetes' hand, in battle strong, Was slain Astyalus; Pidutes fell, Chief of Percote, by Ulysses' spear; And Teucer godlike Aretaon slew. Antilochus, the son of Nestor, smote With gleaming lance Ablerus; Elatus By Agamemnon, King of men, was slain, Who dwelt by Satnois' widely-flowing stream, Upon the lofty heights of Pedasus. By Leitus was Phylacus in flight O'erta'en; Eurypylus Melanthius slew.
Then Menelaus, good in battle, took Adrastus captive; for his horses, scar'd And rushing wildly o'er the plain, amid The tangled tamarisk scrub his chariot broke, Snapping the pole; they with the flying crowd Held city-ward their course; he from the car Hurl'd headlong, prostrate lay beside the wheel, Prone on his face in dust; and at his side, Poising his mighty spear, Atrides stood. Adrastus clasp'd his knees, and suppliant cried, "Spare me, great son of Atreus! for my life Accept a price; my wealthy father's house A goodly store contains of brass, and gold, And well-wrought iron; and of these he fain Would pay a noble ransom, could he hear That in the Grecian ships I yet surviv'd."
His words to pity mov'd the victor's breast; Then had he bade his followers to the ships The captive bear; but running up in haste. Fierce Agamemnon cried in stern rebuke;
"Soft-hearted Menelaus, why of life So tender? Hath thy house receiv'd indeed Nothing but benefits at Trojan hands? Of that abhorred race, let not a man Escape the deadly vengeance of our arms; No, not the infant in its mother's womb; No, nor the fugitive; but be they all, They and their city, utterly destroy'd, Uncar'd for, and from mem'ry blotted out."
Thus as he spoke, his counsel, fraught with death, His brother's purpose chang'd; he with his hand Adrastus thrust aside, whom with his lance Fierce Agamemnon through the loins transfix'd; And, as he roll'd in death, upon his breast Planting his foot, the ashen spear withdrew.
Then loudly Nestor shouted to the Greeks: "Friends, Grecian heroes, ministers of Mars! Loiter not now behind, to throw yourselves Upon the prey, and bear it to the ships; Let all your aim be now to kill; anon Ye may at leisure spoil your slaughter'd foes."
With words like these he fir'd the blood of all. Now had the Trojans by the warlike Greeks In coward flight within their walls been driv'n; But to AEneas and to Hector thus The son of Priam, Helenus, the best Of all the Trojan seers, address'd his speech: "AEneas, and thou Hector, since on you, Of all the Trojans and the Lycian hosts, Is laid the heaviest burthen, for that ye Excel alike in council and in fight, Stand here awhile, and moving to and fro On ev'ry side, around the gates exhort The troops to rally, lest they fall disgrac'd, Flying for safety to their women's arms, And foes, exulting, triumph in their shame. Their courage thus restor'd, worn as we are, We with the Greeks will still maintain the fight, For so, perforce, we must; but, Hector, thou Haste to the city; there our mother find, Both thine and mine; on Ilium's topmost height By all the aged dames accompanied, Bid her the shrine of blue-ey'd Pallas seek; Unlock the sacred gates; and on the knees Of fair-hair'd Pallas place the fairest robe In all the house, the amplest, best esteem'd; And at her altar vow to sacrifice Twelve yearling kine that never felt the goad, So she have pity on the Trojan state, Our wives, and helpless babes, and turn away The fiery son of Tydeus, spearman fierce, The Minister of Terror; bravest he, In my esteem, of all the Grecian chiefs: For not Achilles' self, the prince of men, Though Goddess-born, such dread inspir'd; so fierce His rage; and with his prowess none may vie."
He said, nor uncomplying, Hector heard His brother's counsel; from his car he leap'd In arms upon the plain; and brandish'd high His jav'lins keen, and moving to and fro The troops encourag'd, and restor'd the fight. Rallying they turn'd, and fac'd again the Greeks: These ceas'd from slaughter, and in turn gave way, Deeming that from the starry Heav'n some God Had to the rescue come; so fierce they turn'd. Then to the Trojans Hector call'd aloud:
"Ye valiant Trojans, and renown'd Allies, Quit you like men; remember now, brave friends, Your wonted valour; I to Ilium go To bid our wives and rev'rend Elders raise To Heav'n their pray'rs, with vows of hecatombs."
Thus saying, Hector of the glancing helm Turn'd to depart; and as he mov'd along, The black bull's-hide his neck and ancles smote, The outer circle of his bossy shield.
Then Tydeus' son, and Glaucus, in the midst, Son of Hippolochus, stood forth to fight; But when they near were met, to Glaucus first The valiant Diomed his speech address'd: "Who art thou, boldest man of mortal birth? For in the glorious conflict heretofore I ne'er have seen thee; but in daring now Thou far surpassest all, who hast not fear'd To face my spear; of most unhappy sires The children they, who my encounter meet. But if from Heav'n thou com'st, and art indeed A God, I fight not with the heav'nly powers. Not long did Dryas' son, Lycurgus brave, Survive, who dar'd th' Immortals to defy: He, 'mid their frantic orgies, in the groves Of lovely Nyssa, put to shameful rout The youthful Bacchus' nurses; they, in fear, Dropp'd each her thyrsus, scatter'd by the hand Of fierce Lycurgus, with an ox-goad arm'd. Bacchus himself beneath the ocean wave In terror plung'd, and, trembling, refuge found In Thetis' bosom from a mortal's threats: The Gods indignant saw, and Saturn's son Smote him with blindness; nor surviv'd he long, Hated alike by all th' immortal Gods. I dare not then the blessed Gods oppose; But be thou mortal, and the fruits of earth Thy food, approach, and quickly meet thy doom."
To whom the noble Glaucus thus replied: "Great son of Tydeus, why my race enquire? The race of man is as the race of leaves: Of leaves, one generation by the wind Is scattered on the earth; another soon In spring's luxuriant verdure bursts to light. So with our race; these flourish, those decay. But if thou wouldst in truth enquire and learn The race I spring from, not unknown of men; There is a city, in the deep recess Of pastoral Argos, Ephyre by name: There Sisyphus of old his dwelling had, Of mortal men the craftiest; Sisyphus, The son of AEolus; to him was born Glaucus; and Glaucus in his turn begot Bellerophon, on whom the Gods bestow'd The gifts of beauty and of manly grace. But Proetus sought his death; and, mightier far, From all the coasts of Argos drove him forth, To Proetus subjected by Jove's decree. For him the monarch's wife, Antaea, nurs'd A madd'ning passion, and to guilty love Would fain have tempted him; but fail'd to move The upright soul of chaste Bellerophon. With lying words she then address'd the King: 'Die, Proetus, thou, or slay Bellerophon, Who basely sought my honour to assail.' The King with anger listen'd to her words; Slay him he would not; that his soul abhorr'd; But to the father of his wife, the King Of Lycia, sent him forth, with tokens charg'd Of dire import, on folded tablets trac'd, Pois'ning the monarch's mind, to work his death. To Lycia, guarded by the Gods, he went; But when he came to Lycia, and the streams Of Xanthus, there with hospitable rites The King of wide-spread Lycia welcom'd him. Nine days he feasted him, nine oxen slew; But with the tenth return of rosy morn He question'd him, and for the tokens ask'd He from his son-in-law, from Proetus, bore. The tokens' fatal import understood, He bade him first the dread Chimaera slay; A monster, sent from Heav'n, not human born, With head of lion, and a serpent's tail, And body of a goat; and from her mouth There issued flames of fiercely-burning fire: Yet her, confiding in the Gods, he slew. Next, with the valiant Solymi he fought, The fiercest fight that e'er he undertook. Thirdly, the women-warriors he o'erthrew, The Amazons; from whom returning home, The King another stratagem devis'd; For, choosing out the best of Lycia's sons, He set an ambush; they return'd not home, For all by brave Bellerophon were slain. But, by his valour when the King perceiv'd His heav'nly birth, he entertain'd him well; Gave him his daughter; and with her the half Of all his royal honours he bestow'd: A portion too the Lycians meted out, Fertile in corn and wine, of all the state The choicest land, to be his heritage. Three children there to brave Bellerophon Were born; Isander, and Hippolochus, Laodamia last, belov'd of Jove, The Lord of counsel; and to him she bore Godlike Sarpedon of the brazen helm. Bellerophon at length the wrath incurr'd Of all the Gods; and to th' Aleian plain Alone he wander'd; there he wore away His soul, and shunn'd the busy haunts of men. Insatiate Mars his son Isander slew In battle with the valiant Solymi: His daughter perish'd by Diana's wrath. I from Hippolochus my birth derive: To Troy he sent me, and enjoin'd me oft To aim at highest honours, and surpass My comrades all; nor on my father's name Discredit bring, who held the foremost place In Ephyre, and Lycia's wide domain. Such is my race, and such the blood I boast."
He said; and Diomed rejoicing heard: His spear he planted in the fruitful ground, And thus with friendly words the chief address'd:
"By ancient ties of friendship are we bound; For godlike OEneus in his house receiv'd For twenty days the brave Bellerophon; They many a gift of friendship interchang'd; A belt, with crimson glowing, OEneus gave; Bellerophon a double cup of gold, Which in my house I left when here I came. Of Tydeus no remembrance I retain; For yet a child he left me, when he fell With his Achaians at the gate of Thebes. So I in Argos am thy friendly host; Thou mine in Lycia, when I thither come: Then shun we, e'en amid the thickest fight, Each other's lance; enough there are for me Of Trojans and their brave allies to kill, As Heav'n may aid me, and my speed of foot; And Greeks enough there are for thee to slay, If so indeed thou canst; but let us now Our armour interchange, that these may know What friendly bonds of old our houses join." Thus as they spoke, they quitted each his car; Clasp'd hand in hand, and plighted mutual faith. Then Glaucus of his judgment Jove depriv'd, His armour interchanging, gold for brass, A hundred oxen's worth for that of nine.
Meanwhile, when Hector reach'd the oak beside The Scaean gate, around him throng'd the wives Of Troy, and daughters, anxious to enquire The fate of children, brothers, husbands, friends; He to the Gods exhorted all to pray, For deep the sorrows that o'er many hung. But when to Priam's splendid house he came, With polish'd corridors adorn'd—within Were fifty chambers, all of polish'd stone, Plac'd each by other; there the fifty sons Of Priam with their wedded wives repos'd; On th' other side, within the court were built Twelve chambers, near the roof, of polish'd stone, Plac'd each by other; there the sons-in-law Of Priam with their spouses chaste repos'd; To meet him there his tender mother came, And with her led the young Laodice, Fairest of all her daughters; clasping then His hands, she thus address'd him: "Why, my son, Why com'st thou here, and leav'st the battle-field? Are Trojans by those hateful sons of Greece, Fighting around the city, sorely press'd? And com'st thou, by thy spirit mov'd, to raise, On Ilium's heights, thy hands in pray'r to Jove? But tarry till I bring the luscious wine, That first to Jove, and to th' Immortals all, Thou mayst thine off'ring pour; then with the draught Thyself thou mayst refresh; for great the strength Which gen'rous wine imparts to men who toil, As thou hast toil'd, thy comrades to protect."
To whom great Hector of the glancing helm: "No, not for me, mine honour'd mother, pour The luscious wine, lest thou unnerve my limbs, And make me all my wonted prowess lose. The ruddy wine I dare not pour to Jove With hands unwash'd; nor to the cloud-girt son Of Saturn may the voice of pray'r ascend From one with blood bespatter'd and defil'd. Thou, with the elder women, seek the shrine Of Pallas; bring your gifts; and on the knees Of fair-hair'd Pallas place the fairest robe In all the house, the amplest, best esteem'd; And at her altar vow to sacrifice Twelve yearling kine, that never felt the goad; So she have pity on the Trojan state, Our wives, and helpless babes; and turn away The fiery son of Tydeus, spearman fierce, The Minister of Terror; to the shrine Of Pallas thou; to Paris I, to call If haply he will hear; would that the earth Would gape and swallow him! for great the curse That Jove thro' him hath brought on men of Troy, On noble Priam, and on Priam's sons. Could I but know that he were in his grave, Methinks my sorrows I could half forget."
He said: she, to the house returning, sent Th' attendants through the city, to collect The train of aged suppliants; she meanwhile Her fragrant chamber sought, wherein were stor'd Rich garments by Sidonian women work'd, Whom godlike Paris had from Sidon brought, Sailing the broad sea o'er, the selfsame path By which the high-born Helen he convey'd. Of these, the richest in embroidery, The amplest, and the brightest, as a star Refulgent, plac'd with care beneath the rest, The Queen her off'ring bore to Pallas' shrine: She went, and with her many an ancient dame. But when the shrine they reach'd on Ilium's height, Theano, fair of face, the gates unlock'd, Daughter of Cisseus, sage Antenor's wife, By Trojans nam'd at Pallas' shrine to serve. They with deep moans to Pallas rais'd their hands; But fair Theano took the robe, and plac'd On Pallas' knees, and to the heav'nly Maid, Daughter of Jove, she thus address'd her pray'r: "Guardian of cities, Pallas, awful Queen, Goddess of Goddesses, break thou the spear Of Tydeus' son; and grant that he himself Prostrate before the Scaean gates may fall; So at thine altar will we sacrifice Twelve yearling kine, that never felt the goad, If thou have pity on the state of Troy, The wives of Trojans, and their helpless babes."
Thus she; but Pallas answer'd not her pray'r. While thus they call'd upon the heav'nly Maid, Hector to Paris' mansion bent his way; A noble structure, which himself had built Aided by all the best artificers Who in the fertile realm of Troy were known; With chambers, hall, and court, on Ilium's height, Near to where Priam's self and Hector dwelt. There enter'd Hector, well belov'd of Jove; And in his hand his pond'rous spear he bore, Twelve cubits long; bright flash'd the weapon's point Of polish'd brass, with circling hoop of gold. There in his chamber found he whom he sought, About his armour busied, polishing His shield, his breastplate, and his bended bow. While Argive Helen, 'mid her maidens plac'd, The skilful labours of their hands o'erlook'd. To him thus Hector with reproachful words; "Thou dost not well thine anger to indulge; In battle round the city's lofty wall The people fast are falling; thou the cause That fiercely thus around the city burns The flame of war and battle; and thyself Wouldst others blame, who from the fight should shrink. Up, ere the town be wrapp'd in hostile fires."
To whom in answer godlike Paris thus: "Hector, I own not causeless thy rebuke; Yet will I speak; hear thou and understand; 'Twas less from anger with the Trojan host, And fierce resentment, that I here remain'd, Than that I sought my sorrow to indulge; Yet hath my wife, e'en now, with soothing words Urg'd me to join the battle; so, I own, 'Twere best; and Vict'ry changes oft her side. Then stay, while I my armour don; or thou Go first: I, following, will o'ertake thee soon."
He said: but Hector of the glancing helm Made answer none; then thus with gentle tones Helen accosted him: "Dear brother mine, (Of me, degraded, sorrow-bringing, vile!) Oh that the day my mother gave me birth Some storm had on the mountains cast me forth! Or that the many-dashing ocean's waves Had swept me off, ere all this woe were wrought! Yet if these evils were of Heav'n ordain'd, Would that a better man had call'd me wife; A sounder judge of honour and disgrace: For he, thou know'st, no firmness hath of mind, Nor ever will; a want he well may rue. But come thou in, and rest thee here awhile, Dear brother, on this couch; for travail sore Encompasseth thy soul, by me impos'd, Degraded as I am, and Paris' guilt; On whom this burthen Heav'n hath laid, that shame On both our names through years to come shall rest."
To whom great Hector of the glancing helm: "Though kind thy wish, yet, Helen, ask me not To sit or rest; I cannot yield to thee: For to the succour of our friends I haste, Who feel my loss, and sorely need my aid. But thou thy husband rouse, and let him speed, That he may find me still within the walls. For I too homeward go; to see once more My household, and my wife, and infant child: For whether I may e'er again return, I know not, or if Heav'n have so decreed, That I this day by Grecian hands should fall."
Thus saying, Hector of the glancing helm Turn'd to depart; with rapid step he reach'd His own well-furnished house, but found not there His white-arm'd spouse, the fair Andromache. She with her infant child and maid the while Was standing, bath'd in tears, in bitter grief, On Ilium's topmost tower: but when her Lord Found not within the house his peerless wife, Upon the threshold pausing, thus he spoke: "Tell me, my maidens, tell me true, which way Your mistress went, the fair Andromache; Or to my sisters, or my brothers' wives? Or to the temple where the fair-hair'd dames Of Troy invoke Minerva's awful name?"
To whom the matron of his house replied: "Hector, if truly we must answer thee, Not to thy sisters, nor thy brothers' wives, Nor to the temple where the fair-hair'd dames Of Troy invoke Minerva's awful name, But to the height of Ilium's topmost tow'r Andromache is gone; since tidings came The Trojan force was overmatch'd, and great The Grecian strength; whereat, like one distract, She hurried to the walls, and with her took, Borne in the nurse's arms, her infant child."
So spoke the ancient dame; and Hector straight Through the wide streets his rapid steps retrac'd. But when at last the mighty city's length Was travers'd, and the Scaean gates were reach'd, Whence was the outlet to the plain, in haste Running to meet him came his priceless wife, Eetion's daughter, fair Andromache; Eetion, who from Thebes Cilicia sway'd, Thebes, at the foot of Placos' wooded heights. His child to Hector of the brazen helm Was giv'n in marriage: she it was who now Met him, and by her side the nurse, who bore, Clasp'd to her breast, his all unconscious child, Hector's lov'd infant, fair as morning star; Whom Hector call'd Scamandrius, but the rest Astyanax, in honour of his sire, The matchless chief, the only prop of Troy. Silent he smil'd as on his boy he gaz'd: But at his side Andromache, in tears, Hung on his arm, and thus the chief address'd:
"Dear Lord, thy dauntless spirit will work thy doom: Nor hast thou pity on this thy helpless child, Or me forlorn, to be thy widow soon: For thee will all the Greeks with force combin'd Assail and slay: for me, 'twere better far, Of thee bereft, to lie beneath the sod; Nor comfort shall be mine, if thou be lost, But endless grief; to me nor sire is left, Nor honour'd mother; fell Achilles' hand My sire Eetion slew, what time his arms The populous city of Cilicia raz'd, The lofty-gated Thebes; he slew indeed, But stripp'd him not; he reverenc'd the dead; And o'er his body, with his armour burnt, A mound erected; and the mountain nymphs, The progeny of aegis-bearing Jove, Planted around his tomb a grove of elms. There were sev'n brethren in my father's house; All in one day they fell, amid their herds And fleecy flocks, by fierce Achilles' hand. My mother, Queen of Placos' wooded height, Brought with the captives here, he soon releas'd For costly ransom; but by Dian's shafts She, in her father's house, was stricken down. But, Hector, thou to me art all in one, Sire, mother, brethren! thou, my wedded love! Then pitying us, within the tow'r remain, Nor make thy child an orphan, and thy wife A hapless widow; by the fig-tree here Array thy troops; for here the city wall, Easiest of access, most invites assault. Thrice have their boldest chiefs this point assail'd, The two Ajaces, brave Idomeneus, Th' Atridae both, and Tydeus' warlike son, Or by the prompting of some Heav'n-taught seer, Or by their own advent'rous courage led."
To whom great Hector of the glancing helm; "Think not, dear wife, that by such thoughts as these My heart has ne'er been wrung; but I should blush To face the men and long-rob'd dames of Troy, If, like a coward, I could shun the fight. Nor could my soul the lessons of my youth So far forget, whose boast it still has been In the fore-front of battle to be found, Charg'd with my father's glory and mine own. Yet in my inmost soul too well I know, The day must come when this our sacred Troy, And Priam's race, and Priam's royal self Shall in one common ruin be o'erthrown. But not the thoughts of Troy's impending fate, Nor Hecuba's nor royal Priam's woes, Nor loss of brethren, numerous and brave, By hostile hands laid prostrate in the dust, So deeply wring my heart as thoughts of thee, Thy days of freedom lost, and led away A weeping captive by some brass-clad Greek; Haply in Argos, at a mistress' beck, Condemn'd to ply the loom, or water draw From Hypereia's or Messeis' fount, Heart-wrung, by stern necessity constrain'd. Then they who see thy tears perchance may say, 'Lo! this was Hector's wife, who, when they fought On plains of Troy, was Ilium's bravest chief.' Thus may they speak; and thus thy grief renew For loss of him, who might have been thy shield To rescue thee from slav'ry's bitter hour. Oh may I sleep in dust, ere be condemn'd To hear thy cries, and see thee dragg'd away!"
Thus as he spoke, great Hector stretch'd his arms To take his child; but back the infant shrank, Crying, and sought his nurse's shelt'ring breast, Scar'd by the brazen helm and horse-hair plume, That nodded, fearful, on the warrior's crest. Laugh'd the fond parents both, and from his brow Hector the casque remov'd, and set it down, All glitt'ring, on the ground; then kiss'd his child, And danc'd him in his arms; then thus to Jove And to th' Immortals all address'd his pray'r: "Grant, Jove, and all ye Gods, that this my son May be, as I, the foremost man of Troy, For valour fam'd, his country's guardian King; That men may say, 'This youth surpasses far His father,' when they see him from the fight, From slaughter'd foes, with bloody spoils of war Returning, to rejoice his mother's heart!"
Thus saying, in his mother's arms he plac'd His child; she to her fragrant bosom clasp'd, Smiling through tears; with eyes of pitying love Hector beheld, and press'd her hand, and thus Address'd her—"Dearest, wring not thus my heart! For till my day of destiny is come, No man may take my life; and when it comes, Nor brave nor coward can escape that day. But go thou home, and ply thy household cares, The loom, and distaff, and appoint thy maids Their sev'ral tasks; and leave to men of Troy And, chief of all to me, the toils of war."
Great Hector said, and rais'd his plumed helm; And homeward, slow, with oft-reverted eyes, Shedding hot tears, his sorrowing wife return'd. Arriv'd at valiant Hector's well-built house, Her maidens press'd around her; and in all Arose at once the sympathetic grief. For Hector, yet alive, his household mourn'd, Deeming he never would again return, Safe from the fight, by Grecian hands unharm'd.
Nor linger'd Paris in his lofty halls; But donn'd his armour, glitt'ring o'er with brass, And through the city pass'd with bounding steps. As some proud steed, at well-fill'd manger fed, His halter broken, neighing, scours the plain, And revels in the widely-flowing stream To bathe his sides; then tossing high his head, While o'er his shoulders streams his ample mane. Light borne on active limbs, in conscious pride. To the wide pastures of the mares he flies; So Paris, Priam's son, from Ilium's height, His bright arms flashing like the gorgeous sun, Hasten'd, with boastful mien, and rapid step. Hector he found, as from the spot he turn'd Where with his wife he late had converse held; Whom thus the godlike Paris first address'd: "Too long, good brother, art then here detain'd, Impatient for the fight, by my delay; Nor have I timely, as thou bad'st me, come." To whom thus Hector of the glancing helm: "My gallant brother, none who thinks aright Can cavil at thy prowess in the field; For thou art very valiant; but thy will Is weak and sluggish; and it grieves my heart, When from the Trojans, who in thy behalf Such labours undergo, I hear thy name Coupled with foul reproach! But go we now! Henceforth shall all be well, if Jove permit That from our shores we drive th' invading Greeks, And to the ever-living Gods of Heav'n In peaceful homes our free libations pour."
THE SINGLE COMBAT OF HECTOR AND AJAX.
The battle renewing with double ardour upon the return of Hector, Minerva is under apprehensions for the Greeks. Apollo, seeing her descend from Olympus, joins her near the Scaean gate. They agree to put off the general engagement for that day, and incite Hector to challenge the Greeks to a single combat. Nine of the princes accepting the challenge, the lot is cast, and falls upon Ajax. These heroes, after several attacks, are parted by the night. The Trojans calling a council, Antenor proposes the delivery of Helen to the Greeks, to which Paris will not consent, but offers to restore them her riches. Priam sends a herald to make this offer, and to demand a truce for burning the dead, the last of which only is agreed to by Agamemnon. When the funerals are performed, the Greeks, pursuant to the advice of Nestor, erect a fortification to protect their fleet and camp, flanked with towers, and defended by a ditch and palisades. Neptune testifies his jealousy at this work, but is pacified by a promise from Jupiter. Both armies pass the night in feasting, but Jupiter disheartens the Trojans with thunder and other signs of his wrath.
The three-and-twentieth day ends with the duel of Hector and Ajax; the next day the truce is agreed: another is taken up in the funeral rites of the slain; and one more in building the fortification before the ships; so that somewhat above three days is employed in this book. The scene lies wholly in the field.
Thus as he spoke, from out the city gates The noble Hector pass'd, and by his side His brother Paris; in the breast of both Burnt the fierce ardour of the battle-field. As when some God a fav'ring breeze bestows On seamen tugging at the well-worn oar, Faint with excess of toil, ev'n so appear'd Those brethren twain to Troy's o'erlabour'd host.
Then to their prowess fell, by Paris' hand Menesthius, royal Areithous' son, Whom to the King, in Arna, where he dwelt, The stag-ey'd dame Phylomedusa bore; While Hector smote, with well-directed spear, Beneath the brass-bound headpiece, through the throat, Eioneus, and slack'd his limbs in death; And Glaucus, leader of the Lycian bands, Son of Hippolochus, amid the fray Iphinous, son of Dexias, borne on high By two fleet mares upon a lofty car, Pierc'd through the shoulder; from the car he fell Prone to the earth, his limbs relax'd in death. But them when Pallas saw, amid the fray Dealing destruction on the hosts of Greece, From high Olympus to the walls of Troy She came in haste; Apollo there she found, As down he look'd from Ilium's topmost tow'r, Devising vict'ry to the arms of Troy. Beside the oak they met; Apollo first, The son of Jove, the colloquy began: "Daughter of Jove, from great Olympus' heights, Why com'st thou here, by angry passion led? Wouldst thou the vict'ry, swaying here and there, Give to the Greeks? since pitiless thou see'st The Trojans slaughter'd? Be advis'd by me, For so 'twere better; cause we for today The rage of battle and of war to cease; To-morrow morn shall see the fight renew'd, Until the close of Ilium's destiny; For so ye Goddesses have wrought your will, That this fair city should in ruin fall."
To whom the blue-ey'd Goddess thus replied: "So be it, Archer-King; with like intent I from Olympus came; but say, what means Wilt thou devise to bid the conflict cease?"
To whom Apollo, royal son of Jove: "The might of valiant Hector let us move To challenge to the combat, man to man, Some Grecian warrior; while the brass-clad Greeks Their champion urge the challenge to accept, And godlike Hector meet in single fight."
He said; nor did Minerva not assent; But Helenus, the son of Priam, knew The secret counsel by the Gods devis'd; And drawing near to Hector, thus he spoke: "Hector, thou son of Priam, sage as Jove In council, hearken to a brother's words. Bid that the Greeks and Trojans all sit down, And thou defy the boldest of the Greeks With thee in single combat to contend; By revelation from th' eternal Gods, I know that here thou shalt not meet thy fate."
He said, and Hector joy'd to hear his words; Forth in the midst he stepp'd, and with his spear Grasp'd in the middle, stay'd the Trojan ranks. With one accord they sat; on th' other side Atrides bade the well-greav'd Greeks sit down; While, in the likeness of two vultures, sat On the tall oak of aegis-bearing Jove, Pallas, and Phoebus of the silver bow, With heroes' deeds delighted; dense around Bristled the ranks, with shield, and helm, and spear. As when the west wind freshly blows, and brings A dark'ning ripple o'er the ocean waves, E'en so appear'd upon the plain the ranks Of Greeks and Trojans; standing in the midst, Thus to both armies noble Hector spoke: "Hear, all ye Trojans, and ye well-greav'd Greeks, The words I speak, the promptings of my soul. It hath not pleas'd high-thron'd Saturnian Jove To ratify our truce, who both afflicts With labours hard, till either ye shall take Our well-fenc'd city, or yourselves to us Succumb beside your ocean-going ships. Here have ye all the chiefest men of Greece; Of all, let him who dares with me to fight, Stand forth, and godlike Hector's might confront. And this I say, and call to witness Jove, If with the sharp-edg'd spear he vanquish me, He shall strip off, and to the hollow ships In triumph bear my armour; but my corpse Restore, that so the men and wives of Troy May deck with honours due my funeral pyre. But, by Apollo's grace should I prevail, I will his arms strip off and bear to Troy, And in Apollo's temple hang on high; But to the ships his corpse I will restore, That so the long-hair'd Greeks with solemn rites May bury him, and to his mem'ry raise By the broad Hellespont a lofty tomb; And men in days to come shall say, who urge Their full-oar'd bark across the dark-blue sea, 'Lo there a warrior's tomb of days gone by, A mighty chief, whom glorious Hector slew:' Thus shall they say, and thus my fame shall live."
Thus Hector spoke; they all in silence heard, Sham'd to refuse, but fearful to accept. At length in anger Menelaus rose, Groaning in spirit, and with bitter words Reproach'd them: "Shame, ye braggart cowards, shame! Women of Greece! I cannot call you men! 'Twere foul disgrace indeed, and scorn on scorn, If Hector's challenge none of all the Greeks Should dare accept; to dust and water turn All ye who here inglorious, heartless sit! I will myself confront him; for success, Th' immortal Gods above the issues hold."
Thus as he spoke, he donn'd his dazzling arms. Then, Menelaus, had thine end approach'd By Hector's hands, so much the stronger he, Had not the Kings withheld thee and restrain'd. Great Agamemnon's self, wide-ruling King, Seizing his hand, address'd him thus by name: "What! Heav'n-born Menelaus, art thou mad? Beseems thee not such folly; curb thy wrath, Though vex'd; nor think with Hector to contend, Thy better far, inspiring dread in all. From his encounter in the glorious fight, Superior far to thee, Achilles shrinks; But thou amid thy comrades' ranks retire; Some other champion will the Greeks provide; And, fearless as he is, and of the fight Insatiate, yet will Hector, should he 'scape Unwounded from the deadly battle-strife, Be fain, methinks, to rest his weary limbs."
He said, and with judicious counsel sway'd His brother's mind; he yielded to his words, And gladly his attendants doff'd his arms.
Then Nestor rose, and thus address'd the Greeks: "Alas, alas! what shame is this for Greece! What grief would fill the aged Peleus' soul, Sage chief in council, of the Myrmidons Leader approv'd, who often in his house Would question me, and lov'd from me to hear Of all the Greeks the race and pedigree, Could he but learn how Hector cow'd them all! He to the Gods with hands uprais'd would pray His soul might from his body be divorc'd, And sink beneath the earth! Oh would to Jove, To Pallas and Apollo, such were now My vig'rous youth, as when beside the banks Of swiftly-flowing Celadon, the men Of Pylos with th' Arcadian spearmen fought, By Pheia's walls, around Iardan's streams. Then from the ranks, in likeness as a God, Advanc'd their champion, Ereuthalion bold. The arms of Areithous he wore: Of godlike Areithous, whom men And richly-girdled women had surnam'd The Macebearer; for not with sword or bow He went to fight, but with an iron mace Broke through the squadrons: him Lycurgus slew, By stealth, not brav'ry, in a narrow way, Where nought avail'd his iron mace from death To save him; for Lycurgus, with his spear, Preventing, thrust him through the midst; he fell Prostrate; and from his breast the victor stripp'd His armour off, the gift of brass-clad Mars; And in the tug of war he wore it oft; But when Lycurgus felt th' approach of age, He to his faithful follower and friend, To Ereuthalion gave it; therewith, arm'd, He now to combat challeng'd all the chiefs. None dar'd accept, for fear had fallen on all; Then I with dauntless spirit his might oppos'd, The youngest of them all; with him I fought, And Pallas gave the vict'ry to my arm. Him there I slew, the tallest, strongest man; For many another there beside him lay. Would that my youth and strength were now the same; Then soon should Hector of the glancing helm A willing champion find; but ye, of Greece The foremost men, with Hector fear to fight."
The old man spoke reproachful; at his words Up rose nine warriors: far before the rest, The monarch Agamemnon, King of men; Next Tydeus' son, the valiant Diomed; The two Ajaces, cloth'd with courage high; Idomeneus, and of Idomeneus The faithful follower, brave Meriones, Equal in fight to blood-stain'd Mars; with these Eurypylus, Euaemon's noble son; Thoas, Andraemon's son; Ulysses last: These all with Hector offer'd to contend. Then thus again Gerenian Nestor spoke: "Shake then the lots; on whomsoe'er it fall, Great profit shall he bring to Grecian arms, Great glory to himself, if he escape Unwounded from the deadly battle strife." He said: each mark'd his sev'ral lot, and all Together threw in Agamemnon's helm. The crowd, with hands uplifted, pray'd the Gods, And looking heav'nward, said, "Grant, Father Jove, The lot on Ajax, or on Tydeus' son, Or on Mycenae's wealthy King may fall."
Thus they: then aged Nestor shook the helm, And forth, according to their wish, was thrown The lot of Ajax; then from left to right A herald show'd to all the chiefs of Greece, In turn, the token; they who knew it not, Disclaim'd it all; but when to him he came Who mark'd, and threw it in Atrides' helm, The noble Ajax, and, approaching, placed The token in his outstretch'd hand, forthwith He knew it, and rejoic'd; before his feet He threw it down upon the ground, and said, "O friends, the lot is mine; great is my joy, And hope o'er godlike Hector to prevail. But now, while I my warlike armour don, Pray ye to Saturn's royal son, apart, In silence, that the Trojans hear ye not; Or ev'n aloud, for nought have we to fear. No man against my will can make me fly, By greater force or skill; nor will, I hope, My inexperience in the field disgrace The teaching of my native Salamis."
Thus he; and they to Saturn's royal son Address'd their pray'rs, and looking heav'nward, said: "O Father Jove, who rul'st on Ida's height! Most great! most glorious! grant that Ajax now May gain the vict'ry, and immortal praise: Or if thy love and pity Hector claim, Give equal pow'r and equal praise to both."
Ajax meanwhile in dazzling brass was clad; And when his armour all was duly donn'd, Forward he mov'd, as when gigantic Mars Leads nations forth to war, whom Saturn's son In life-destroying conflict hath involv'd; So mov'd the giant Ajax, prop of Greece, With sternly smiling mien; with haughty stride He trod the plain, and pois'd his pond'rous spear. The Greeks, rejoicing, on their champion gaz'd, The Trojans' limbs beneath them shook with fear; Ev'n Hector's heart beat quicker in his breast; Yet quail he must not now, nor back retreat Amid his comrades—he, the challenger! Ajax approach'd; before him, as a tow'r His mighty shield he bore, sev'n-fold, brass-bound, The work of Tychius, best artificer That wrought in leather; he in Hyla dwelt. Of sev'n-fold hides the pond'rous shield was wrought Of lusty bulls; the eighth was glitt'ring brass. This by the son of Telamon was borne Before his breast; to Hector close he came, And thus with words of haughty menace spoke:
"Hector, I now shall teach thee, man to man, The mettle of the chiefs we yet possess, Although Achilles of the lion heart, Mighty in battle, be not with us still; He by his ocean-going ships indeed Against Atrides nurses still his wrath; Yet are there those who dare encounter thee, And not a few; then now begin the fight."
To whom great Hector of the glancing helm: "Ajax, brave leader, son of Telamon, Deal not with me as with a feeble child, Or woman, ign'rant of the ways of war; Of war and carnage every point I know; And well I know to wield, now right, now left, The tough bull's-hide that forms my stubborn targe: Well know I too my fiery steeds to urge, And raise the war-cry in the standing fight. But not in secret ambush would I watch, To strike, by stealth, a noble foe like thee; But slay thee, if I may, in open fight."
He said; and, poising, hurl'd his pond'rous spear; The brazen cov'ring of the shield it struck, The outward fold, the eighth, above the sev'n Of tough bull's-hide; through six it drove its way With stubborn force; but in the seventh was stay'd, Then Ajax hurl'd in turn his pond'rous spear, And struck the circle true of Hector's shield; Right thro' the glitt'ring shield the stout spear pass'd, And thro' the well-wrought breastplate drove its way; And, underneath, the linen vest it tore; But Hector, stooping, shunn'd the stroke of death. Withdrawing then their weapons, each on each They fell, like lions fierce, or tusked boars, In strength the mightiest of the forest beasts. Then Hector fairly on the centre struck The stubborn shield; yet drove not through the spear; For the stout brass the blunted point repell'd. But Ajax, with a forward bound, the shield Of Hector pierc'd; right through the weapon pass'd; Arrested with rude shock the warrior's course, And graz'd his neck, that spouted forth the blood. Yet did not Hector of the glancing helm Flinch from the contest: stooping to the ground, With his broad hand a pond'rous stone he seiz'd, That lay upon the plain, dark, jagg'd, and huge, And hurl'd against the sev'n-fold shield, and struck Full on the central boss; loud rang the brass: Then Ajax rais'd a weightier mass of rock And sent it whirling, giving to his arm Unmeasur'd impulse; with a millstone's weight It crush'd the buckler; Hector's knees gave way; Backward he stagger'd, yet upon his shield Sustain'd, till Phoebus rais'd him to his feet. Now had they hand to hand with swords engag'd, Had not the messengers of Gods and men, The heralds, interpos'd; the one for Troy, The other umpire for the brass-clad Greeks, Talthybius and Idaeus, well approv'd. Between the chiefs they held their wands, and thus Idaeus both with prudent speech address'd: "No more, brave youths! no longer wage the fight: To cloud-compelling Jove ye both are dear, Both valiant spearmen; that, we all have seen. Night is at hand; behoves us yield to night."
Whom answer'd thus the son of Telamon: "Idaeus, bid that Hector speak those words: He challeng'd all our chiefs; let him begin: If he be willing, I shall not refuse."
To whom great Hector of the glancing helm: "Ajax, since God hath giv'n thee size, and strength, And skill; and with the spear, of all the Greeks None is thine equal; cease we for to-day The fight; hereafter we may meet, and Heav'n Decide our cause, and one with vict'ry crown. Night is at hand; behoves us yield to night. So by the ships shalt thou rejoice the Greeks, And most of all, thy comrades and thy friends; And so shall I, in Priam's royal town, Rejoice the men of Troy, and long-rob'd dames, Who shall with grateful pray'rs the temples throng. But make we now an interchange of gifts, That both the Trojans and the Greeks may say, 'On mortal quarrel did those warriors meet, Yet parted thence in friendly bonds conjoin'd.'"
This said, a silver-studded sword he gave, With scabbard and with well-cut belt complete; Ajax a girdle, rich with crimson dye. They parted; Ajax to the Grecian camp, And Hector to the ranks of Troy return'd: Great was the joy when him they saw approach, Alive and safe; escap'd from Ajax' might And arm invincible; and tow'rd the town They led him back, beyond their hope preserv'd; While to Atrides' tent the well-greav'd Greeks Led Ajax, glorying in his triumph gain'd.
But when to Agamemnon's tents they came, The King of men to Saturn's royal son A bullock slew, a male of five years old; The carcase then they flay'd; and cutting up, Sever'd the joints; then fixing on the spits, Roasted with care, and from the fire withdrew. Their labours ended, and the feast prepar'd, They shar'd the social meal, nor lack'd there aught. To Ajax then the chine's continuous length, As honour's meed, the mighty monarch gave. The rage of thirst and hunger satisfied, The aged Nestor first his mind disclos'd; He who, before, the sagest counsel gave, Now thus with prudent speech began, and said: "Atrides, and ye other chiefs of Greece, Since many a long-hair'd Greek hath fall'n in fight, Whose blood, beside Scamander's flowing stream, Fierce Mars has shed, while to the viewless shades Their spirits are gone, behoves thee with the morn The warfare of the Greeks to intermit: Then we, with oxen and with mules, the dead From all the plain will draw; and, from the ships A little space remov'd, will burn with fire: That we, returning to our native land, May to their children bear our comrades' bones. Then will we go, and on the plain erect Around the pyre one common mound for all; Then quickly build before it lofty tow'rs To screen both ships and men; and in the tow'rs Make ample portals, with well-fitting gates, That through the midst a carriage-way may pass: And a deep trench around it dig, to guard Both men and chariots, lest on our defence The haughty Trojans should too hardly press."
He said; and all the Kings his words approv'd. Meanwhile, on Ilium's height, at Priam's gate The Trojan chiefs a troubled council held; Which op'ning, thus the sage Antenor spoke: "Hear now, ye Trojans, Dardans, and Allies, The words I speak, the promptings of my soul. Back to the sons of Atreus let us give The Argive Helen, and the goods she brought; For now in breach of plighted faith we fight: Nor can I hope, unless to my advice Ye listen, that success will crown our arms." Thus having said, he sat; and next arose The godlike Paris, fair-hair'd Helen's Lord; Who thus with winged words the chiefs address'd: "Hostile to me, Antenor, is thy speech; Thy better judgment better counsel knows; But if in earnest such is thine advice, Thee of thy senses have the Gods bereft. Now, Trojans, hear my answer; I reject The counsel, nor the woman will restore; But for the goods, whate'er I hither brought To Troy from Argos, I am well content To give them all, and others add beside."
This said, he sat; and aged Priam next, A God in council, Dardan's son, arose, Who thus with prudent speech began, and said:
"Hear now, ye Trojans, Dardans, and Allies, The words I speak, the promptings of my soul: Now through the city take your wonted meal; Look to your watch, let each man keep his guard: To-morrow shall Idaeus to the ships Of Greece, to both the sons of Atreus, bear The words of Paris, cause of all this war; And ask besides, if from the deadly strife Such truce they will accord us as may serve To burn the dead; hereafter we may fight Till Heav'n decide, and one with vict'ry crown."
He said; and they, obedient to his word, Throughout the ranks prepar'd the wonted meal: But with the morning to the ships of Greece Idaeus took his way: in council there By Agamemnon's leading ship he found The Grecian chiefs, the ministers of Mars: And 'mid them all the clear-voic'd herald spoke:
"Ye sons of Atreus, and ye chiefs of Greece, From Priam, and the gallant sons of Troy, I come, to bear, if ye be pleas'd to hear, The words of Paris, cause of all this war: The goods which hither in his hollow ships (Would he had perish'd rather!) Paris brought, He will restore, and others add beside; But further says, the virgin-wedded wife Of Menelaus, though the gen'ral voice Of Troy should bid him. he will not restore: Then bids me ask, if from the deadly strife Such truce ye will accord us as may serve To burn the dead: hereafter we may fight Till Heav'n decide, and one with vict'ry crown."
Thus he: they all in silence heard; at length Uprose the valiant Diomed, and said; "Let none from Paris now propose to accept Or goods, or Helen's self; a child may see That now the doom of Troy is close at hand." He said; the sons of Greece, with loud applause, The speech of valiant Diomed confirm'd.
Then to Idaeus Agamemnon thus: "Idaeus, thou hast heard what answer give The chiefs of Greece—their answer I approve. But for the truce, for burial of the dead, I nought demur; no shame it is to grace With fun'ral rites the corpse of slaughter'd foes. Be witness, Jove! and guard the plighted truce."
He said: and heav'nward rais'd his staff; and back To Ilium's walls Idaeus took his way. Trojans and Dardans there in council met Expecting sat, till from the Grecian camp Idaeus should return; he came, and stood In mid assembly, and his message gave: Then all in haste their sev'ral ways dispers'd, For fuel some, and some to bring the dead. The Greeks too from their well-mann'd ships went forth, For fuel some, and some to bring the dead. The sun was newly glancing on the earth. From out the ocean's smoothly-flowing depths Climbing the Heav'ns, when on the plain they met. Hard was it then to recognize the dead; But when the gory dust was wash'd away, Shedding hot tears, they plac'd them on the wains. Nor loud lament, by Priam's high command, Was heard; in silence they, with grief suppress'd, Heap'd up their dead upon the fun'ral pyre; Then burnt with fire, and back return'd to Troy. The well-greav'd Greeks, they too, with grief suppress'd, Heap'd up their dead upon the fun'ral pyre; Then burnt with fire, and to the ships return'd.
But ere 'twas morn, while daylight strove with night, About the pyre a chosen band of Greeks Had kept their vigil, and around it rais'd Upon the plain one common mound for all; And built in front a wall, with lofty tow'rs To screen both ships and men; and in the tow'rs Made ample portals with well-fitting gates, That through the midst a carriage-way might pass: Then dug a trench around it, deep and wide, And in the trench a palisade they fix'd.
Thus labour'd thro' the night the long-hair'd Greeks: The Gods, assembled in the courts of Jove, With wonder view'd the mighty work; and thus Neptune, Earth-shaking King, his speech began: "O Father Jove, in all the wide-spread earth Shall men be found, in counsel and design To rival us Immortals? see'st thou not How round their ships the long-hair'd Greeks have built A lofty wall, and dug a trench around, Nor to the Gods have paid their off'rings due! Wide as the light extends shall be the fame Of this great work, and men shall lightly deem Of that which I and Phoebus jointly rais'd, With toil and pain, for great Laomedon."
To whom in wrath the Cloud-compeller thus: "Neptune, Earth-shaking King, what words are these? This bold design to others of the Gods, Of feebler hands, and pow'r less great than thine, Might cause alarm; but, far as light extends, Of this great work to thee shall be the fame: When with their ships the long-hair'd Greeks shall take Their homeward voyage to their native land, This wall shall by the waves be broken through, And sink, a shapeless ruin, in the sea: O'er the wide shore again thy sands shall spread, And all the boasted work of Greece o'erwhelm."
Amid themselves such converse held the Gods. The sun was set; the Grecian work was done; They slew, and shar'd, by tents, the ev'ning meal. From Lemnos' isle a num'rous fleet had come Freighted with wine; and by Euneus sent, Whom fair Hypsipyle to Jason bore. For Atreus' sons, apart from all the rest, Of wine, the son of Jason had despatch'd A thousand measures; all the other Greeks Hasten'd to purchase, some with brass, and some With gleaming iron; other some with hides, Cattle, or slaves; and joyous wax'd the feast. All night the long-hair'd Greeks their revels held, And so in Troy, the Trojans and Allies: But through the night his anger Jove express'd With awful thunderings; pale they turn'd with fear: To earth the wine was from the goblets shed, Nor dar'd they drink, until libations due Had first been pour'd to Saturn's mighty son.
Then lay they down, and sought the boon of sleep.
THE SECOND BATTLE, AND THE DISTRESS OF THE GREEKS.
Jupiter assembles a council of the deities, and threatens them with the pains of Tartarus, if they assist either side: Minerva only obtains of him that she may direct the Greeks by her counsels. The armies join battle; Jupiter on Mount Ida weighs in his balances the fates of both, and affrights the Greeks with his thunders and lightnings. Nestor alone continues in the field in great danger; Diomed relieves him; whose exploits, and those of Hector, are excellently described. Juno endeavours to animate Neptune to the assistance of the Greeks, but in vain. The acts of Teucer, who is at length wounded by Hector, and carried off. Juno and Minerva prepare to aid the Grecians, but are restrained by Iris, sent from Jupiter. The night puts an end to the battle. Hector continues in the field, (the Greeks being driven to their fortifications before the ships,) and gives orders to keep the watch all night in the camp, to prevent the enemy from re-embarking and escaping by flight. They kindle fires through all the field, and pass the night under arms.
The time of seven-and-twenty days is employed from the opening of the poem to the end of this book. The scene here (except of the celestial machines) lies in the field toward the sea-shore.
Now morn, in saffron robe, the earth o'erspread; And Jove, the lightning's Lord, of all the Gods A council held upon the highest peak Of many-ridg'd Olympus; he himself Address'd them; they his speech attentive heard.
"Hear, all ye Gods, and all ye Goddesses, The words I speak, the promptings of my soul. Let none among you, male or female, dare To thwart my counsels: rather all concur, That so these matters I may soon conclude. If, from the rest apart, one God I find Presuming or to Trojans or to Greeks To give his aid, with ignominious stripes Back to Olympus shall that God be driv'n; Or to the gloom of Tartarus profound, Far off, the lowest abyss beneath the earth, With, gates of iron, and with floor of brass, Beneath the shades as far as earth from Heav'n, There will I hurl him, and ye all shall know In strength how greatly I surpass you all. Make trial if ye will, that all may know. A golden cord let down from Heav'n, and all, Both Gods and Goddesses, your strength, apply: Yet would ye fail to drag from Heav'n to earth, Strive as ye may, your mighty master, Jove; But if I choose to make my pow'r be known, The earth itself, and ocean, I could raise, And binding round Olympus' ridge the cord, Leave them suspended so in middle air: So far supreme my pow'r o'er Gods and men."
He said, and they, confounded by his words, In silence sat; so sternly did he speak. At length the blue-ey'd Goddess, Pallas, said: "O Father, Son of Saturn, King of Kings, Well do we know thy pow'r invincible; Yet deeply grieve we for the warlike Greeks, Condemn'd to hopeless ruin; from the fight, Since such is thy command, we stand aloof; But yet some saving counsel may we give, Lest in thine anger thou destroy them quite."
To whom the Cloud-compeller, smiling, thus: "Be of good cheer, my child; unwillingly I speak, yet will not thwart thee of thy wish."
He said, and straight the brazen-footed steeds, Of swiftest flight, with manes of flowing gold, He harness'd to his chariot; all in gold Himself array'd, the golden lash he grasp'd, Of curious work; and mounting on his car, Urg'd the fleet coursers; nothing loth, they flew Midway betwixt the earth and starry heav'n. To Ida's spring-abounding hill he came, And to the crest of Gargarus, wild nurse Of mountain beasts; a sacred plot was there, Whereon his incense-honour'd altar stood: There stay'd his steeds the Sire of Gods and men Loos'd from the car, and veil'd with clouds around. Then on the topmost ridge he sat, in pride Of conscious strength; and looking down, survey'd The Trojan city, and the ships of Greece.
Meantime, the Greeks throughout their tents in haste Despatch'd their meal, and arm'd them for the fight; On th' other side the Trojans donn'd their arms, In numbers fewer, but with stern resolve, By hard necessity constrain'd, to strive, For wives and children, in the stubborn fight. The gates all open'd wide, forth pour'd the crowd Of horse and foot; and loud the clamour rose. When in the midst they met, 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. While yet 'twas morn, and wax'd the youthful day, Thick flew the shafts, and fast the people fell On either side; but when the sun had reach'd The middle Heav'n, th' Eternal Father hung His golden scales aloft, and plac'd in each The fatal death-lot: for the sons of Troy The one, the other for the brass-clad Greeks; Then held them by the midst; down sank the lot Of Greece, down to the ground, while high aloft Mounted the Trojan scale, and rose to Heav'n.  Then loud he bade the volleying thunder peal From Ida's heights; and 'mid the Grecian ranks He hurl'd his flashing lightning; at the sight Amaz'd they stood, and pale with terror shook.
Then not Idomeneus, nor Atreus' son, The mighty Agamemnon, kept their ground, Nor either Ajax, ministers of Mars; Gerenian Nestor, aged prop of Greece, Alone remain'd, and he against his will, His horse sore wounded by an arrow shot By godlike Paris, fair-hair'd Helen's Lord: Just on the crown, where close behind the head First springs the mane, the deadliest spot of all, The arrow struck him; madden'd with the pain He rear'd, then plunging forward, with the shaft Fix'd in his brain, and rolling in the dust, The other steeds in dire confusion threw; And while old Nestor with his sword essay'd To cut the reins, and free the struggling horse, Amid the rout down came the flying steeds Of Hector, guided by no timid hand, By Hector's self; then had the old man paid The forfeit of his life, but, good at need, The valiant Diomed his peril saw, And loudly shouting, on Ulysses call'd: "Ulysses sage, Laertes' godlike son, Why fliest thou, coward-like, amid the throng, And in thy flight to the aim of hostile spears Thy back presenting? stay, and here with me From this fierce warrior guard the good old man."
He said; but stout Ulysses heard him not, And to the ships pursued his hurried way. But in the front, Tydides, though alone, Remain'd undaunted; by old Nester's car He stood, and thus the aged chief address'd: "Old man, these youthful warriors press thee sore, Thy vigour spent, and with the weight of years Oppress'd; and helpless too thy charioteer, And slow thy horses; mount my car, and prove How swift my steeds, or in pursuit or flight, From those of Tros descended, scour the plain; My noble prize from great AEneas won. Leave to th' attendants these; while mine we launch Against the Trojan host, that Hector's self May know how strong my hand can hurl the spear."
He said; and Nestor his advice obey'd: The two attendants, valiant Sthenelus, And good Eurymedon, his horses took, While on Tydides' car they mounted both. The aged Nestor took the glitt'ring reins, And urg'd the horses; Hector soon they met: As on he came, his spear Tydides threw, Yet struck not Hector; but his charioteer, Who held the reins, the brave Thebaeus' son, Eniopeus, through the breast transfix'd, Beside the nipple; from the car he fell, The startled horses swerving at the sound; And from his limbs the vital spirit fled. Deep, for his comrade slain, was Hector's grief; Yet him, though griev'd, perforce he left to seek A charioteer; nor wanted long his steeds A guiding hand; for Archeptolemus, Brave son of Iphitus, he quickly found, And bade him mount his swiftly-flying car, And to his hands the glitt'ring reins transferr'd.
Then fearful ruin had been wrought, and deeds Untold achiev'd, and like a flock of lambs, The adverse hosts been coop'd beneath the walls, Had not the Sire of Gods and men beheld, And with an awful peal of thunder hurl'd His vivid lightning down; the fiery bolt Before Tydides' chariot plough'd the ground. Fierce flash'd the sulph'rous flame, and whirling round Beneath the yoke th' affrighted horses quailed.
From Nestor's hand escap'd the glitt'ring reins, And, trembling, thus to Diomed he spoke:
"Turn we to flight, Tydides; see'st thou not, That Jove from us his aiding hand withholds? This day to Hector Saturn's son decrees The meed of vict'ry; on some future day, If so he will, the triumph may be ours; For man, how brave soe'er, cannot o'errule The will of Jove, so much the mightier he."
Whom answer'd thus the valiant Diomed: "Truly, old man, and wisely dost thou speak; But this the bitter grief that wrings my soul: Some day, amid the councillors of Troy Hector may say, 'Before my presence scar'd Tydides sought the shelter of the ships.' Thus when he boasts, gape earth, and hide my shame!"
To whom Gerenian Nestor thus replied: "Great son of Tydeus, oh what words are these! Should Hector brand thee with a coward's name, No credence would he gain from Trojan men, Or Dardan, or from Trojan warriors' wives, Whose husbands in the dust thy hand hath laid."
He said, and 'mid the general rout, to flight He turn'd his horses; on the flying crowd, With shouts of triumph, Hector at their head, The men of Troy their murd'rous weapons show'r'd. Loud shouted Hector of the glancing helm: "Tydides, heretofore the warrior Greeks Have held thee in much honour; plac'd on high At banquets, and with lib'ral portions grac'd, And flowing cups: but thou, from this day forth, Shalt be their scorn! a woman's soul is thine! Out on thee, frighten'd girl! thou ne'er shalt scale Our Trojan tow'rs, and see me basely fly; Nor in thy ships our women bear away: Ere such thy boast, my hand shall work thy doom."
Thus he; and greatly was Tydides mov'd To turn his horses, and confront his foe: Thrice thus he doubted; thrice, at Jove's command, From Ida's height the thunder peal'd, in sign Of vict'ry swaying to the Trojan side. Then to the Trojans Hector call'd aloud: "Trojans, and Lycians, and ye Dardans, fam'd In close encounter, quit ye now like men; Put forth your wonted valour; for I know That in his secret counsels Jove designs Glory to me, disaster to the Greeks. Fools, in those wretched walls that put their trust, Scarce worthy notice, hopeless to withstand My onset; and the trench that they have dug, Our horses easily can overleap; And when I reach the ships, be mindful ye, To have at hand the fire, wherewith the ships We may destroy, while they themselves shall fall An easy prey, bewilder'd by the smoke."
He said, and thus with cheering words address'd His horses: "Xanthus, and, Podargus, thou, AEthon and Lampus, now repay the care On you bestow'd by fair Andromache, Eetion's royal daughter; bear in mind How she with ample store of provender Your mangers still supplied, before e'en I, Her husband, from her hands the wine-cup took. Put forth your speed, that we may make our prize Of Nestor's shield, whose praise extends to Heav'n, Its handles, and itself, of solid gold; And from the shoulders of Tydides strip His gorgeous breastplate, work of Vulcan's hand: These could we take, methinks this very night Would see the Greeks embarking on their ships."
Such was his pray'r; but Juno on her throne Trembled with rage, till great Olympus quak'd, And thus to Neptune, mighty God, she spoke: "O thou of boundless might, Earth-shaking God, See'st thou unmov'd the ruin of the Greeks? Yet they in AEgae and in Helice, With grateful off'rings rich thine altars crown; Then give we them the vict'ry; if we all Who favour Greece, together should combine To put to flight the Trojans, and restrain All-seeing Jove, he might be left alone, On Ida's summit to digest his wrath."
To whom, in anger, Neptune thus replied: "O Juno, rash of speech, what words are these! I dare not counsel that we all should join 'Gainst Saturn's son; so much the stronger he."
Such converse held they; all the space meanwhile Within the trench, between the tow'r and ships, Was closely throng'd with steeds and buckler'd men; By noble Hector, brave as Mars, and led By Jove to vict'ry, coop'd in narrow space; Who now had burnt with fire the Grecian ships, But Juno bade Atrides haste to rouse Their fainting courage; through the camp he pass'd; On his broad hand a purple robe he bore, And stood upon Ulysses' lofty ship, The midmost, whence to shout to either side, Or to the tents of Ajax Telamon, Or of Achilles, who at each extreme, Confiding in their strength, had moor'd their ships.
Thence to the Greeks he shouted, loud and clear: "Shame on ye, Greeks, base cowards, brave alone In outward semblance! where are now the vaunts Which once (so highly of ourselves we deem'd) Ye made, vain-glorious braggarts as ye were, In Lemnos' isle, when, feasting on the flesh Of straight-horn'd oxen, and your flowing cups Crowning with ruddy wine, not one of you, But for a hundred Trojans in the field, Or for two hundred, deem'd himself a match: Now quail ye all before a single man, Hector, who soon will wrap our ships in fire. O Father Jove! what sov'reign e'er hast thou So far deluded, of such glory robb'd? Yet ne'er, on this disastrous voyage bent, Have I unheeded pass'd thine altar by; The choicest off'rings burning still on each, In hopes to raze the well-built walls of Troy. Yet to this pray'r at least thine ear incline; Grant that this coast in safety we may leave, Nor be by Trojans utterly subdued."
He said; and Jove, with pity, saw his tears; And, with a sign, his people's safety vouch'd. He sent an eagle, noblest bird that flies, Who in his talons bore a wild deer's fawn: The fawn he dropp'd beside the holy shrine, Where to the Lord of divination, Jove, The Greeks were wont their solemn rites to pay. The sign from Heav'n they knew; with courage fresh Assail'd the Trojans, and the fight renew'd. Then none of all the many Greeks might boast That he, before Tydides, drove his car Across the ditch, and mingled in the fight. His was the hand that first a crested chief, The son of Phradmon, Agelaus, struck. He turn'd his car for flight; but as he turn'd, The lance of Diomed, behind his neck, Between the shoulders, through his chest was driv'n; Headlong he fell, and loud his armour rang.
Next to Tydides, Agamemnon came, And Menelaus, Atreus' godlike sons; Th' Ajaces both, in dauntless courage cloth'd; Idomeneus, with whom Meriones, His faithful comrade, terrible as Mars; Eurypylus, Euaemon's noble son; The ninth was Teucer, who, with bended bow, Behind the shield of Ajax Telamon Took shelter; Ajax o'er him held his shield; Thence look'd he round, and aim'd amid the crowd; And as he saw each Trojan, wounded, fall, Struck by his shafts, to Ajax close he press'd, As to its mother's shelt'ring arms a child, Conceal'd and safe beneath the ample targe.
Say then, who first of all the Trojans fell By Teucer's arrows slain? Orsilochus, And Ophelestes, Daetor, Ormenus, And godlike Lycophontes, Chromius, And Amopaon, Polyaemon's son, And valiant Melanippus: all of these, Each after other, Teucer laid in dust. Him Agamemnon, with his well-strung bow Thinning the Trojan ranks, with joy beheld, And, standing at his side, address'd him thus: "Teucer, good comrade, son of Telamon, Shoot ever thus, if thou wouldst be the light And glory of the Greeks, and of thy sire, Who nursed thine infancy, and in his house Maintain'd, though bastard; him, though distant far, To highest fame let thine achievements raise. This too I say, and will make good my word: If by the grace of aegis-bearing Jove, And Pallas, Ilium's well-built walls we raze, A gift of honour, second but to mine, I in thy hands will place; a tripod bright, Or, with their car and harness, two brave steeds, Or a fair woman who thy bed may share."
To whom in answer valiant Teucer thus: "Most mighty son of Atreus, why excite Who lacks not zeal? To th' utmost of my pow'r Since first we drove the Trojans back, I watch, Unceasing, every chance to ply my shafts. Eight barbed arrows have I shot e'en now, And in a warrior each has found its mark; That savage hound alone defeats my aim."
At Hector, as he spoke, another shaft He shot, ambitious of so great a prize: He miss'd his aim; but Priam's noble son Gorgythion, through the breast his arrow struck, Whom from AEsyme brought, a wedded bride Of heavenly beauty, Castianeira bore. Down sank his head, as in a garden sinks A ripen'd poppy charg'd with vernal rains; So sank his head beneath his helmet's weight. At Hector yet another arrow shot Teucer, ambitious of so great a prize; Yet this too miss'd, by Phoebus turn'd aside; But Archeptolemus, the charioteer Of Hector, onward hurrying, through the breast It struck, beside the nipple; from the car He fell; aside the startled horses swerv'd; And as he fell the vital spirit fled. Deep, for his comrade slain, was Hector's grief; Yet him, though griev'd at heart, perforce he left, And to Cebriones, his brother, call'd, Then near at hand, the horses' reins to take; He heard, and straight obey'd; then Hector leap'd Down from his glitt'ring chariot to the ground, His fearful war-cry shouting; in his hand A pond'rous stone he carried; and, intent To strike him down, at Teucer straight he rush'd. He from his quiver chose a shaft in haste, And fitted to the cord; but as he drew The sinew, Hector of the glancing helm Hurl'd the huge mass of rock, which Teucer struck Near to the shoulder, where the collar-bone Joins neck and breast, the spot most opportune, And broke the tendon; paralys'd, his arm Dropp'd helpless by his side; upon his knees He fell, and from his hands let fall the bow. Not careless Ajax saw his brother's fall, But o'er him spread in haste his cov'ring shield. Two faithful friends, Mecisteus, Echius' son, And brave Alastor, from the press withdrew, And bore him, deeply groaning, to the ships.
Then Jove again the Trojan courage fir'd, And backward to the ditch they forc'd the Greeks. Proud of his prowess, Hector led them on; And as a hound that, fleet of foot, o'ertakes Or boar or lion, object of his chase, Springs from behind, and fastens on his flank, Yet careful watches, lest he turn to bay: So Hector press'd upon the long-hair'd Greeks, Slaying the hindmost; they in terror fled. But, pass'd at length the ditch and palisade, With loss of many by the Trojans slain, Before the ships they rallied from their flight, And one to other call'd: and one and all With hands uplifted, pray'd to all the Gods; While Hector, here and there, on ev'ry side His flying coursers wheel'd, with eyes that flash'd Awful as Gorgon's, or as blood-stain'd Mars.
Juno, the white-arm'd Queen, with pity mov'd, To Pallas thus her winged words address'd: "O Heav'n, brave child of aegis-bearing Jove, Can we, ev'n now, in this their sorest need, Refuse the Greeks our aid, by one subdued, One single man, of pride unbearable, Hector, the son of Priam, who e'en now, Hath caus'd them endless grief?" To whom again The blue-ey'd Goddess, Pallas, thus replied: "I too would fain behold him robb'd of life, In his own country slain by Grecian hands; But that my sire, by ill advice misled, Rages in wrath, still thwarting all my plans; Forgetting now how oft his son I sav'd, Sore wearied with the toils Eurystheus gave. Oft would his tears ascend to Heav'n, and oft From Heav'n would Jove despatch me to his aid; But if I then had known what now I know, When to the narrow gates of Pluto's realm He sent him forth to bring from Erebus Its guardian dog, he never had return'd In safety from the marge of Styx profound. He holds me now in hatred, and his ear To Thetis lends, who kiss'd his knees, and touch'd His beard, and pray'd him to avenge her son Achilles; yet the time shall come when I Shall be once more his own dear blue-ey'd Maid. But haste thee now, prepare for us thy car, While to the house of aegis-bearing Jove I go, and don my armour for the fight, To prove if Hector of the glancing helm, The son of Priam, will unmov'd behold Us two advancing o'er the pass of war; Or if the flesh of Trojans, slain by Greeks, Shall sate the maw of rav'ning dogs and birds."
She said: the white-arm'd Queen her word obey'd. Juno, great Goddess, royal Saturn's child, The horses brought, with golden frontlets crown'd; While Pallas, 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. The 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 wrath 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 close the veil of cloud; Through these th' excited horses held their way.
From Ida's heights the son of Saturn saw, And, fill'd with wrath, the heav'nly messenger, The golden-winged Iris, thus bespoke: "Haste thee, swift Iris; turn them back, and warn That farther they advance not: 'tis not meet That they and I in war should be oppos'd. This too I say, and will make good my words: Their flying horses I will lame; themselves Dash from their car, and break their chariot-wheels; And ten revolving years heal not the wound Where strikes my lightning; so shall Pallas learn What 'tis against her father to contend. Juno less moves my wonder and my wrath; Whate'er I plan, 'tis still her wont to thwart." Thus he: from Ida to Olympus' height The storm-swift Iris on her errand sped. At many-ridg'd Olympus' outer gate She met the Goddesses, and stay'd their course, And thus convey'd the sov'reign will of Jove:
"Whither away? what madness fills your breasts? To give the Greeks your succour, Jove forbids; And thus he threatens, and will make it good: Your flying horses he will lame; yourselves Dash from the car, and break your chariot-wheels; And ten revolving years heal not the wounds His lightning makes: so, Pallas, shalt thou learn What 'tis against thy father to contend. Juno less moves his wonder and his wrath; Whate'er he plans, 'tis still her wont to thwart; But over-bold and void of shame art thou, If against Jove thou dare to lift thy spear."
Thus as she spoke, swift Iris disappear'd. Then Juno thus to Pallas spoke: "No more, Daughter of aegis-bearing Jove, can we For mortal men his sov'reign will resist; Live they or die, as each man's fate may be; While he, 'twixt Greeks and Trojans, as 'tis meet, His own designs accomplishing, decides." She said, and backward turn'd her horses' heads. The horses from the car the Hours unyok'd, And safely tether'd in the heav'nly stalls; The car they rear'd against the inner wall, That brightly polish'd shone; the Goddesses Themselves meanwhile, amid th' Immortals all, With, sorrowing hearts on golden seats reclin'd.
Ere long, on swiftly-rolling chariot borne, Jove to Olympus, to th' abode of Gods, From Ida's height return'd: th' earth-shaking God, Neptune, unyok'd his steeds; and on the stand Secur'd the car, and spread the cov'ring o'er. Then on his golden throne all-seeing Jove Sat down; beneath his feet Olympus shook. Juno and Pallas only sat aloof; No word they utter'd, no enquiry made. Jove knew their thoughts, and thus address'd them both: "Pallas and Juno, wherefore sit ye thus In angry silence? In the glorious fight No lengthen'd toil have ye sustain'd, to slay The Trojans, whom your deadly hate pursues. Not all the Gods that on Olympus dwell Could turn me from my purpose, such my might, And such the pow'r of my resistless hand; But ye were struck with terror ere ye saw The battle-field, and fearful deeds of war. But this I say, and bear it in your minds, Had I my lightning launch'd, and from your car Had hurl'd ye down, ye ne'er had reach'd again Olympus' height, th' immortal Gods' abode."
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? Well do we know thy pow'r invincible, Yet deeply grieve we for the warlike Greeks, Condemn'd to hopeless ruin: from the fight, Since such is thy command, we stand aloof; But yet some saving counsel may we give, Lest in thine anger thou destroy them quite."
To whom the Cloud-compeller thus replied: "Yet greater slaughter, stag-ey'd Queen of Heav'n, To-morrow shalt thou see, if so thou list, Wrought on the warrior Greeks by Saturn's son; For Hector's proud career shall not be check'd Until the wrath of Peleus' godlike son Beside the ships be kindled, in the day When round Patroclus' corpse, in narrow space, E'en by the vessels' sterns, the war shall rage. Such is the voice of destiny: for thee, I reck not of thy wrath; nor should I care Though thou wert thrust beneath the lowest deep Of earth and ocean, where Iapetus And Saturn lie, uncheer'd by ray of sun Or breath of air, in Tartarus profound. Though there thou wert to banishment consign'd, I should not heed, but thy reproaches hear Unmov'd; for viler thing is none than thou." He said, but white-arm'd Juno answer'd not.
The sun, now sunk beneath the ocean wave, Drew o'er the teeming earth the veil of night. The Trojans saw, reluctant, day's decline; But on the Greeks thrice welcome, thrice invoked With earnest prayers, the shades of darkness fell.