Page images
[blocks in formation]



What frenzy, Goddelles! what rage can move
Celestial minds to tempt the wrath of Jove?
Defift, obedient to his high command;
This is his word: and know, his word fhall stand.
His lightning your rebellion fhall confound,
And url you headlong, flaming to the ground:
Your horfes crush'd beneath the wheels fhall lie,
Your car in fragments fcatter'd o'er the sky:
Yourfelves condemn'd ten rolling years to weep
The wounds imprefs'd by burning thunder deep.
So fhall Minerva learn to fear his ire,
Nor dare to combat her's and nature's Sire.
For Juno, headstrong and imperious still,
She claims fome title to tranfgrefs his will.
But thee what defperate infolence has driven,
To lift thy lance against the King of heaven?
Then, mounting on the pinions of the wind,
She flew; and Juno thus her rage refign'd:


There stood the chariot, beaming forth its rays,
Till with a fnowy veil he screen'd the blaze.
He, whose all-confcious eyes the world behold,

Th' eternal Thunderer fat thron'd in gold;
High heaven the footstool of his feet he makes,
And wide beneath him all Olympus shakes.
Trembling afar th' offending Powers appear'd,
Confus'd and filent, for his frown they fear'd. 555
He faw their foul, and thus his word imparts:
Pallas and Juno! fay, why heave your hearts?
Soon was your battle o'er: proud Troy retir'd
Before your face, and in your wrath expir'd.
But know, whoe'er almighty power withstand! 560
Unmatch'd our force, unconquer'd is our hand:
Who fhall the Sovereign of the fkies controul?
Not all the Gods that crown the starry pole.
Your hearts fhall tremble, if our arms we take,
And each immortal nerve with horror thake. 565
For thus I (poke, and what I speak shall stand;
What power foe'er provokes our lifted hand,
On this our hill no more fhall hold his place;
Cut off, and exil'd, from th' æthereal race.


Juno and Pallas, grieving, hear the doom, 570
But feaft their fouls on Ilion's woes to come.
Though fecret anger fwell'd Minerva's breaft,
The prudent Goddefs yet her wrath repreft:
But Juno, impotent of rage, replies:
What haft thou faid, Oh tyrant of the skies!
Strength and omnipotence inveft thy throne;
'Tis thine to punish; ours to grieve alone.
For Greece we grieve, abandon'd by her fate,
To drink the dregs of thy unmeafur'd hate:
From fields forbidden we fubmifs refrain,
With arms una'ding fee our Argives flain;
Yet grant our counfels ftill their breafts may


[blocks in formation]



O daughter of that God, whofe arm can wield
Th' avenging bolt, and fhake the dreadful shield!
No more let beings of fuperior birth
Contend with Jove for this low race of earth:
Triumphant now, now miferably flain,
They breathe or perifh as the Fates ordain,
But Jove's high counfels full effect shall find;



The morning fun, awak'd by loud alarms,
Shall fee th' Almighty Thunderer in arms.
What heaps of Argives then shall load the plain,
Those radiant eyes fhall view, and view in vain.
Nor fhall great Hector ceafe the rage of fight, 590
The navy flaming, and thy Greeks in flight,
Ev'n till the day, when certain fates ordain

nd, ever conftant, ever rule mankind. neds of That fern Achiles (his Patrocios faim) }


Adorn'd with manes of gold, and heavenly bright.
The hours unloos'd them, panting as they stood,
And heap'd their mangers with ambrofial food.
There ty'd, they reft in high celeftial ftalls;
The chariot propt against the chryftal walls.
The penfive Goddeffes, abafh'd, control'd,
Mix with the Gods, and fill their feats of gold.
And now the Thunderer meditates his flight
From Ida's fummits to th' Olympian height,
Swifter than thought the wheels inftinctive fly,
Flame through the vast of air, and reach the sky.

"Tw ́s Neptune's charge his courfers to unbrace,
And fix the car on its immortal bafe;



For fuch is fate, nor canft thou turn its course 595
With all thy rage, with all thy rebel force.
Fly, if thou wilt, to earth's remoteft bound,
Where on the utmost verge the feas refound;
Where curs'd läpetus and Saturn dwell,

Faft by the brink, within the fteams of hell; 600
No fun e'er gilds the gloomy horrours there;
No chearful gales refresh the lazy air;
There arm once more the bold Titanian band;
And arm in vain; for what I will shall stand.

Now deep in ocean funk the lamp of light, 615
And drew behind the cloudy veil of night:
The conquering Trojans mourn his beams de-

The Greeks, rejoicing, bless the friendly shade.


The victors keep the field; and Hector calls A martial council near the navy walls: These to Scamander's banks apart he led, Where, thinly scatter'd, lay the heaps of dead, Th' affembled chiefs, defcending on the ground, Attend his order, and their prince furround. A maffy fpear he bore of mighty strength, Of full ten cub ts was the lance's length; The point was brass, refulgent to behold, Fix'd to the wood with circling rings of gold: The noble Hector on this lance reclin'd, And, bending forward, thus reveal'd his mind:


[blocks in formation]


And warn their children from a Trojan war.
Now through the circuit of our Ilion wall,
Let facred heralds found the folemn call;
To bid the fires with hoary honours crown'd,
And beardless youths, our battlements furround.
Firm be the guard, while distant lie our powers,
And let the matrons hang with lights the towers:
Left, under cover of the midnight shade,
Th' infidious foe the naked town invade.
Suffice, to-night, these orders to obey;
A nobler charge fhall rouze the dawning day.
The Gods, I trust, shall give to Hector's hand,
From these detefted foes to free the land,
Who plow'd, with fates averse, the watery way;

For Trojan vultures a predeftin'd prey.
Our common fafety must be now the care;
But foon as morning paints the fields of air,




Sheath'd in bright arms let every troop engage,
And the fir'd fleet behold the battle rage,
Then, then shall Hector and Tydides prove,
Whofe fates are heavieft in the scales of Jove:
To-morrow's light (oh hafte the glorious morn!)
Shall fee his bloody fpoils in triumph borne;
With this keen javelin fhall his breast be gor'd,

And proftrate heroes bleed around their lord.
Certain as this, oh! might my days endure,
From age inglorious, and black death fccure;
So might my life and glory know no bound,
Like Pallas worthipp'd, like the fun renown'd!

As the next dawn, the laft they fhall enjoy,
Shall crush the Greeks, and end the woes of Troy.
The leader fpoke. From all his hoft around
Shouts of applaufe along the fhores refound.
Each from the yoke the fmoking fteeds unty'd,

And fix'd their headstalls to his chariot fide.
Fat fheep and oxen from the town are led,
With generous wine, and all-fattaining bread.
Full hecatombs lay burning on the shore ;
The winds to heaven the curling vapours bore.


Ungrateful offering to th' immortal powers!
Whofe wrath hung heavy o'er the Trojan towers;
Nor Priam nor his fons obtain'd their grace;
Proud Troy they hated, and her guilty race.
The troops exulting fat in order round,
And beaming fires illumin'd all the ground;
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night!
O'er heaven's clear azure fpreads her facred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep ferene,
And not a cloud o'ercats the folemn fcene; 690
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And ftars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole;
O'er the dark trees a yellower vendure shed,
And tip with filver every mountain's head;
Then thine the vales, the rocks in profpect rife,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies:
The confcious fwains, rejoicing in the fight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light:
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays:
The long reflections of the diftant fires
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the fpires.
A thoufand piles the dufky horrours gild,
And shoot a shady luftre o'er the field.
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,
Whose umber'd arms, by fits, thick flashes send;
Loud neigh the courfers o'er their heaps of corn;
And ardent warriours wait the rifing morn.



[blocks in formation]





The Embally to Achilles.

AGAMEMNON, after the last day's defeat, proposes to the Greeks to quit the fiege, and return to their country. Diomed oppofes this; and Neftor feconds him, praising his wifdom and refolution: he orders the guard to be ftrengthened, and a council fummoned to deliberate what measures are to be followed in this emergency. Agamemnon purfues this advice: and Neftor farther prevails upon him to fend Ambaffadors to Achilles, in order to move him to a reconciliation. Ulyffes and Ajax are made choice of, who are accompanied by old Phoenix. They make, each of them, very moving and preffing peeches; but are rejected, with roughness, by Achilles, who, notwithstanding, retains Phoenix in his tent. The Ambafadors return unsuccessfully to the camp; and the troops betake themselves to fleep.

This book, and the next following, take up the space of one night, which is the twenty-feventh from the beginning of the poem. The scene lies on the fea shore, the flation of the Grecian fhips.


HUS joyful Troy maintain'd the watch of night;


While fear, pale comrade of inglorious flight,
And heaven-bred horrour, on the Grecian part,
Sat on each face, and fadden'd every heart.
As from his cloudy dungeon iffuing forth,
A double tempeft of the weft and north
Swells o'er the fea, from Thracia's frozen fhore,
Heaps waves on waves, and bids th' gean roar;
This way and that, the boiling deeps are toft;
Such various paffions urge the troubled hoft.
Great Agamemnon griev'd above the rest;
Superiour forrows fwell'd his royal breaft;
Himfelf his orders to the heralds bears,

To bid to council all the Grecian peers;



Ye fons of Greece! partake your leader's care;
Fellows in arms, and princes of the war!
Of partial Jove too juftly we complain,
And heavenly oracles believ'd in vain.
A fafe return was promis'd to our toils,
With conqueft honour'd, and enrich'd with

Now thameful flight alone can fave the host;
Our wealth, our people, and our glory lost.
So Jove decrees, Almighty Lord of all!
Jove, at whofe nod whole empires rife or fall,
Who fhakes the feeble props of human truft,
And towers and armies humbles to the dust.
Hafte then, for ever quit these fatal fields,
Hafte to the joys our native country yields;

But bid in whispers: thefe furround the chief, 15 Spread all your canvas, all your oars employ;

In folemn fadnefs, and majestic grief.
The king amidst the mournful circle rofe;
Down his wan cheek a briny torrent flows:
So filent fountains, from a rock's tall head,
In fable streams foft-trickling waters shed.
With more than vulgar grief he flood oppreft,
Words, mix'd with fighs, thus bursting from his





Nor hope the fall of heaven-defended Troy.
He faid; deep filence held the Grecian band,
Silent, unmov'd, in dire difmay they stand, ́
A penfive fcene! till Tydeus' warlike fon
Roll'd on the king his eyes, and thus begun :
When kings advife us to renounce our fame,
First let him speak, who first has fuffer'd shame.

If I oppofe thee, prince, thy wrath with-hold, 45
The laws of council bid my tongue be bold.
Thou first, and thou alone, in fields of fight,
Durst brand my courage, and defame my might:
Nor from a friend th' unkind reproach appear'd,
The Greeks stood witnefs, all our army heard. 50
The Gods, O chief! from whom our honours

The Gods have made thee but by halves a king.
They gave thee fceptres, and a wide command,
They gave dominion o'er the seas and land;
The noblest power that might the world controul

They gave thee not-a brave and virtuous foul.
Is this a general's voice, that would suggest
Fears like his own to every Grecian breaft?
Confiding in our want of worth, he ftands;
And if we fly, 'tis what our king commands. 60
Go thou, inglorious! from th' embattled plain;
Ships thou haft ftore, and nearest to the main ;
A nob'er care the Grecians fhall employ,
To combat, conquer, and extirpate Troy.
Here Greece shall stay; or, if all Greece retire,



Myfelf will stay, till Troy or I expire;
Myfelf and Sthenelus will fight for fame;
God bade us fight, and 'twas with God we came.
He ceas'd; the Greeks loud acclamations raife,
And voice to voice refounds Tydides praife.
Wife Neftor then his reverend figure rear'd;
He spoke; the host in still attention heard:
O truly great! in whom the Gods have join'd
Such ftrength of body with fuch force of mind;
In conduct, as in courage, you excel,
Still first to act what you advise so well.
Those wholesome counfels which thy wisdom



[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]



O king the counfels of my age attend;
With thee my cares begin, in thee must end;
Thee, prince! it fits alike to speak and hear,
Pronounce with judgment, with regard give ear,
To fee no wholesome motion be withstood,
And ratify the best for public good.
Nor, though a meaner give advice, repine,
But follow it, and make the wisdom thine.
Hear then a thought, not now conceiv'd in haste,
At once my present judgment, and my paft: 140
When from Pelides' tent you forc'd the maid,
I first oppos'd, and faithful durft diffuade;
But bold of foul, when headlong fury fir'd,
You wrong'd the man, by men and Gods ad-

Now feek fome means his fatal wrath to end, 145
With prayers to move him, or with gifts to bend.
To whom the king: With juftice haft thou

A prince's faults, and I with reafon own..
That happy man, whom Jove ftill honours moɔst,
Is more than armies, and himself an hoft.
Bleft in his love, this wond'rous hero ftands;
Heaven fights his war, and humbles all our bands.
Fain would my heart, which err'd through fran-

tic rage,


The wrathful chief and angry Gods affuage.
If gifts immenfe his mighty foul can bow,
Hear, all ye Greeks, and witness what I vow:

Ten weighty talents of the pureft gold,
And twice ten vafes of refulgent mold;
Seven facred tripods, whofe unfully'd frame
Yet knows no office, nor has felt the flame: 160
Twelve steeds unmatch'd in fleetnefs and in force,
And ftill victorious in the dufty courfe;
(Rich were the man whofe ample ftores exceed
The prizes purchas'd by their winged speed).
Seven lovely captives of the Lesbian line,
Skill'd in each art, unmatch'd, in form divine;
The fime I chofe for more than vulgar charms,
When Lefbos funk beneath the hero's arms:
All thefe, to buy his friendship, fhall be paid,
And, join'd with thefe, the long-contefted maid;



With all her charms, Brifeis I refign,
And folemn fwear thofe charms were never mine:
Untouch'd the stay'd, uninjur'd the removes,
Pure from my arms, and guiltlefs of my loves.
Thefe, instant, fhall be his; and if the Powers 175
Give to our arms proud Ilion's hoftile towers,
Then fhall be ftore (when Greece the fpoil di-

With gold and brafs his loaded navy's fides,
Befides, full twenty nymphs of Trojan race
With copious love fhall crown his warm em-
Such as himself will choofe; who yield to none,
Or yield to Helen's heavenly charms alone.
Yet hear me farther: when our wars are o'er,
If fafe we land on Argos' fruitful thore,
There fhall he live my fon, our honours fhare, 185
And with Oreftes' felf divide my care.
Yet more-three daughters in my court are bred,
And each well worthy of a royal bed;
Laodicé and Iphigenia fair,

And bright Chryfothemis with golden hair; 190
Her let him choofe, whoin most his eyes approve;
I afk no prefents, no reward for love:
My felf will give the dower; fo vaft a ftore
As never father gave a child before.
Seven ample cities fhall confefs his fway,
Him Enopé, and Phære him obey,
Cardamylé with ample turrets crown'd,
And facred Pedafus for vines renown'd;



pea fair, the paftures Hira yields,
And rich Antheia with her flowery fields:
The whole extent to Pylos' fandy plain,
Along the verdant margin of the main.
There heifers graze, and labouring oxen toil;
Bold are the men, and generous is the foil;
There shall he reign with power and juftice

And rule the tributary realms around.
All this I give, his vengeance to controul,
And fure all this may move his mighty foul.
Pluto, the grifly God, who never spares,
Who feels no mercy, and who hears no prayers,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Now pray to Jove to grant what Greece demands;

Pray, in deep filence, and with pureft hands.


He faid, and all approv'd. The heralds bring
The cleaning water from the living spring.
The youth with wine the facred goblets crown'd,
And large libations drench'd the fands around.

The rite perform'd, the chiefs their thirst allay,
Then from the royal tent they take their way;
Wife Neftor turns on each his careful eye,
Forbids t' offend, inftructs them to apply,
Much he advis'd them all, Ulyffes moft,
To deprecate the chief, and fave the host.
Through the still night they march, and hear the



[blocks in formation]

Of polish'd filver was its coftly frame) :
With this he fooths his angry foul, and fings
Th' immortal deeds of heroes and of kings. 20
Patroclus only of the royal train,


Plac'd in his tent, attends the lofty strain :
Full oppofite he fate, and liften'd long,
In filence waiting till he ceas'd the song,
Unfeen the Grecian embaffy proceeds
To his high tent; the great Ulyffes leads,
Achilles, ftarting, as the chiefs he 'spy'd,
Leap'd from his feat, and laid the harp afide.
With like furprize arofe Menoetius' fon :
Pelides grafp'd their hands, and thus begun : 260
Princes, all hail! whatever brought you here,
Or ftrong neceffity, or urgent fear;
Welcome, though Greeks! for not as foes ye


To me more dear than all that bear the name.

With that, the chiefs beneath his roof he led,


And plac'd in feats with purple carpets spread.
Then thus-Patroclus, crown a larger bowl,
Mix purer wine, and open every foul.
Of all the warriours yonder host can send,
Thy friend most honours these, and these thy


He faid; Patroclus o'er the blazing fire, Heaps in a brazen vafe three chines entire: The brazen vafe Automedon fuftains, Which flesh of porket, theep, and goat, cont


« EelmineJätka »