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And round the camp, and round the Theban | Around the pile the wid’ning circle grows; walls,
As, spreading, in some vale, a deluge flows,
Of this the Spartan chief, his native bands, And floats the level lands on ev'ry side.
“ Dread sov'reign, hear! whose unresisted His native bands the hero thus addrest,
sway While sighs incessant labor'd from his breast, The fates of inen and mortal things obey:
!« The chief of Argos, warriors ! first demands From thee the virtue of the hero springs; Funereal honours from our grateful hands; Thine is the glory and the pow'r of kings. For hint this lofty structure is decreed,
If e'er by thee, and virgin Pallas, led, And ev'ry rite in order shall succeed :
To noble deeds this gen'rous youth was bred : His dear remains in my pavilion rest;
If love to men, or piety, possest, Nor can Adrastus at the rites assist ;
With highest purpose, bis undaunted breast; Whu to despairs and phrenzy has resign'd, Command the winds in bolder gusts to rise, By age and grief subdu'd, his generous mind : And bear the flames, I kindle, to the skies." The other princes of the army wait
The hero thus; and with the fun'ral brand
He said; and to his tent the warriors led, Spreads the quick blaze : the ruler of the sky
flame. Each rite domestic hast'ned to prepare.
The favour of the gods the nations own,
First on the top the fun'ral bed they place; O'er the pale asies treniulously glow.
With wine, the smoke, and burning embers lay'd;
By awe divine subdu’d, the warriors stand; For him who farthest shoots, the destined prize.
Heroes, approach !” Atrides thus aloud, Till thus Atrides: “Sure th' immortal gos, * Stand forth, distingnished from the circling The glorious synod of the blest abodes,
* Atrides thus: and, further to angment This bow, worth tienty oxen, is decreed
Crete's valiant monarch to the prize aspird ; Fo, such high merit, public tears should now; Teucer for shooting fam'd; and Merion strong, And Grer ce assembled pour a foot of woe. W'hose force enormous drag'd a bull along: Now set as all his obsequies attend ;
Prompt to contend, and rais'd with hope, they
But in his tent, indulging sari despair,
Straight in a casque the equal lots were The arrow sprung; but erring took its way, thrown;
Far to the left, where oozy marshes lay, Each hero with his name had mark'd his own : And groves of reeds; where slow Ismenus strays, These, mix'd with care, the chief of Sparta drew; and winds, through thickets green, his watry Idmenëus's the first he knew : Teucer, with hope inspir'd, the second claim'd : Abash'd the youth, with painful steps, retires ; The third Oileus, much for shooting fam'd; And now Ulysses to the prize aspires. Next claim'd the wearer of the seven-fold shield, In silence thus the prudent warrior pray'd, Though young in arms, distinguish'd in the field; | And, in his heart, address'd the martial maid: Ulysses I thine çame next; and, last of all, "Great queen of arts ! on thee my hopes depend; Bold Merion with a smile receiv'd his ball. With favour, to thy suppliant's suit, attend !
Press'd with incumbent force, the Cretan lord By thee my infant arms were taught to throw Strain'd the stiff bow, and bent it to the cord; The dart with certain aim, and bend the bow: Then, from the full-stor'd quiver, chose with art, Oft on my little hands, immortal maid ! Wing'd for th' aerial flight, a pointed dart. To guide the shaft, thy mighty hands were laid : Theseus commands the warriors to divide, Now, goddess, aid me, while I strive for fame; Who crowded thick and press'd on ev'ry side; Wing the swift weapon, and assert my claim." Straight they retire; as, at the word of Jove, He pray'd: the goddess, at his suit, descends; From day's bright face the scatt'ring clouds re- And present from th' Olympian courts attends, move;
With force divine bis manly limbs she strung. And through the host appear'd a spacious way,
The bow he strain'd: the starting arrow sung ; Where woods and fields in distant prospect lay. As when the sire of gods, with wrathful hand, With force immense, the Cretan monarch drew, Drives the swift lightning and the forked brand, Stretch'd the tough cord, and strain’d the cir- To waste the labours of the careful swains, cling yew;
Consume the mountain flocks,or scorch the plains; From his firm gripe the starting arrow sprung, With sudden glare appears the fiery ray; The stiff bow crack'd, the twanging cordage sung. Nothought can trace it through th’ ethereal way: Up the light air the bissing weapon flies, So swift thy winged shaft, Ulysses! flew, Pierces the winds, and streams along the skies: Nor couk! the following eye its speed pursue. Far to the distant plain it swiftly drove; The flight of Teucer's arrow far surpast, The host stood wond'ring as it rush'd above: Upon a rural hearth it pitch'd at last, Descending there upon a mount it stood; To Ceres built; where swaios, in early spring, A depth of soil receiv'd the trembling wood. With joy were wont their annual gifts to bring ; Applause from all, tumultuous shouts declare, When first to view, above the furrow'd plain, By echoes wafted through the trembling air. With pleasing verdure, rose the springing grain, Such joy the hero feels, as praise inspires, Through all the host applauding shouts resound; And to the circle of the kings retires.
The hills repeat them, and the woods around. The valiant Teucer next receiv'd the bow,
The bended bow bold Merion next assumes, And to Apollo thus address'd a vow :
A shaft selects, and smooths its purple plumes : " Hear me, dread king! whose unresisted sway He plac'd it on the string, and bending low, Controls the Sun, and rules the course of day; With all his force collected, strain’d the bow. Great patron of the bow ! this shaft impel; Up the light air the starting arrow sprung; And hecatombs my gratitude shall tell ; The tough bow crack’d; the twanging cordage Soon as to Salamis our martial pow'rs
sung. Return, victorious, from the Theban tow'rs." Beyond the reach of sight the weapon drove, He said, and bid the winged arrow fly;
And tow'r'd ainid th' ethereal space above :
Under the wing it reach'd her with a wound; From north to south it marks th' ethereal space, Screaming she wheel'd, then tumbled to the And wouds and mountains fill its wide embrace :
ground. Beyond the Cretan shaft, it reach'd the plain; And thus the youth: “Illustrious chiefs ! I claim As far before, as now a shepherd swain,
If not the prize, at least superior fame: Hurlid from a sling, the sounding fint can throw, | Ungovern'd strength alone the arrow sends; From his young charge, to drive the deadly crow. To hit the mark, the shooter's art coinmends.* Oilean Ajax next the weapon claimd,
lu mirthful mood the hero thus address:d ; For skill above the rest, and practice fam'd; And all their favour and applause express'd. But Phoebus, chief and patron of the art,
“ Ulysses ! take the bow,” Atrides cries, Retarded in its fight the winged dart :
“ The silver bowl, brare 'Tencer! be tiny prize. Fur, nor by pray’rs, nor boly vows, he strove, In ev'ry art, my friends! you all excel; Of grateful sacrifice, the god to more.
And each deserves a pr ze for shooting well: Downwards he turn'd it, where a cedar fair For though the first rewards the victors claim, Hlad shot its spiring top aloft in air ;
Glory ye merit all, and Jasting fame.” Caught in a bough the quiv'ring weapon stood, He said ; and pond'ring in his grateful mind, Nor forc'da passage through the closing woud. Distingaish'd honoris for the dead design'd. Ajax the next appear'd upon the plane,
“Warriors of Greece,and valiant aids from far, With strength intaught, and emulous ir vai; Our firm associates in the works of war! With sidewy arms the solid yew he berids; Here from a nuek the 'Theban stream descends, Near and more weat approach the doubling ends: | And to a lake its silver current sends ;
Whose surface smooth, unruffled by the breeze, For near and nearer still Ulysses prest;
Pallas approach'd; behind a cloud concealid,
Aspire to victory, in ev'ry game.
Are lightly valu'd by the good and wise :
Contented to obtain the second place.”
The weary Sainian grasp'd the welcome soil. His brother's ardour purpos'd to restrain, But far behind the Spartan warrior lay, Airides strove, and counsel'd thus, in rain : Fatigu'd, and fainting, in the wat'ry way.
Desist, my brother! shun th' unequal strise; Thrice struggling, from the lake, his head he For late you stood upon the verge of life:
rear'd; No mortal inan his vigour can retain,
And thrice, imploring aid, his voice was heard. When nowing wounds hare empty'd ev'ry veio. The Cretan monarch bastes the yonth to save, If now you perish in the wat'ry way,
And Ithacus agajn d.vides the wave; Grief uson grief shall cloud this mournful day: With force renew'd their maniy limbs they ply; Desisi, respect my counsel, and be wise; And from their breasts the whitning billows fly. Suincoiber Spartan in your place will rise.” Full in the midst a rocky isle dirides To change his brother's purpose thus he try'd; The liquid space, and parts the silver tides ; Bet nothing word, the gen'rous youth reply'd : Ouce cultivaied, now with thickets green “ Brotber! in vain you urge me to forbear, O’erspread, two hillocks and a vale between. From love and fond affection prompt to fear; Here dwelt an aged swain; his cottage stood For firm, as e'er before, my limbs remain, Uuder the cliffs, encompass'd by a wood. To reash the fluid waves, or scour the plain.” From poverty secure, he heard afar,
He said, and went before. The heroes inove In peace profound, the tumults of the war. To the dark corert of a neighbring grove; Mending a net before his rural gate, Which to the bank its shady walks extends, From otber toils repos'd, the peasant sat; Where mixing with the lake a rivilet ends,
When first the voice of Menelaus came, Prompt to contend, their purple robes they loose, By er’ning breezes wafted from the s' ream. Their figurd rests and gold embroider'd shoes ; llastning, his skiff he loos’d, and spread the sail; And through tbe grove descending to the strand, Some present god supply'd a prosp'rous gale: Along the flowry bank in order stand.
For, as the Spartan chief, with toil subdu'd, As when, in some fair temple's sacred shrive, Hopeless of life, was siuking in the flood, A statue stands, express’d by skill divine, The swain approach'd, and in his barge receivid Apolly's or the herald-pou’rs, who brings Him safe from danger inminent retrier'd. Jove's mighty mandates on his airy wings ;? Upon a willow's trunk Thersites sat, The form majestic awes the bending crowd: Contempt in laughter fated to create, In port and stature such, the heroes stood. Where, bending from a hollow bank, it hung, Starting at once, with equal strokes, they and rooted to the mould'ring surface clung; steep
He saw Atrides safe! and thus aloud, Thọ sironth expanse, and shoot into the deep; With leer malign, address'd the list’ning crowd. The Cretan chief, exerting all his force,
“ Here on the flowry turf a hearth shall stand; His rivals far surpass’d, and led the course; A hecatomb the fav'ring gods demand, Eehird Atrides, emulous of fame;
Who sav'd Atrides in this dire debate, Clearcbus next; and fast Ulysses came. And snatch'd the hero from the jaws of fate : And now they measur'd back the wat'ry space,
Witbout his aid we all might quit the field; And saw from far the limits of the race.
Ulysses, Ajax, and Tydides, yield: Ulysses then, with thirst of glory fir'd,
His inighty arm alone the host defends, The Samian left, and to the prize aspir’d; But dire disaster still the chief attends : Who, emulous, and dreading to be last,
Last Suu beheld him vanquish'd on the plain; With equal speed, the Spartan hero pass'd. Then warriors sav'd him, now a shepherd Swaine Alarm'd, the Cretan monarch strove, with pain, Defend him still from persecuting fate! His doubtful hopes of conquest to maintain ; Protect the hero who protects the state ; Exerting ev'ry nerve, his limbs he ply'd,
In martial conflicts watch with prudent tear, And wishing, from afar, the shore descry'd: And, when he swims, let help be always near !"
He said; and, scorn and laughter to excite, Or shall I try, by one deciding blows,
The daring deed, in after ages, blame,
Has call'd the Theban warriors to the field; A load of soil came thund'ring on his head,
Against the town I'll lead my martial pow'rs, Slipt from the bank : along the winding shore,
And fire with faming brands her hated tow'rs: With laughter loud he heard the echoes roar,
The bane of Greece, wheuce dire debate arose When from the lake his crooked form he rear'd: To bid the peaceful nations first be foes; With borrour pale, with bloating clay besmear'd: Where Tydeus fell, and many beroes more, Then clamb'ring by the trunk, in sad dismay,
Banish'd untimely to the Stygian shore. Which half immers'd with all its branches lay,
The peblic voice of Greece for vengeance calls; Confounded, to the tents he sculk'd along,
And shall applaud the stroke by which she falls." Amid the shouts and insults of the throng.
He purpos'd: but the gods, who bonour right, Now cloth’d in public view the heroes stand,
Deny'd to treason what is due to might. With sceptres grac'd, the ensigns of command. When from the east appear'd the morning fair, The Cretan monarch, as his prize, assumes
The Theban warriors to the woods repair, The polish'd helmet, crown'd with waving plumes, Fearless, unarin'd ; with many a harness'd wain, - The silver mail, the buckler's weighty round, The woody heights were crowded and the plain, Th’ embroider'd belt, with golden buckles bound. Tydides saw; and, issuing from his tent, The second prize Laertes' son receiv'd,
In arms compleat, to call his warriors, went. With less applause from multitudes deceiv'd;
Their leader's martial voice the soldiers heard The first he could have purchas'd; but declin'd Each in his tent, and at the call appear'd And yielded, to the martial maid resign'd.
In shining arms. Deiphobus began, Thus they. The Thebans, near the eastern
For virtue fam'd, a venerable man. Around their pyres in silent sorrow wait: [gate: | Him Tydeus lov'd; and in his faithful hand Hopeless and sad they mourn’d their heroes slain, Had plac'd the sceptre of supreme command, The best and bravest on their native plain.
To rule the state; when, from his native tow'rs, The king himself, in deeper sorrow, mourn'd;
To Thebes the hero led his martial pow'rs ; With rage and mingled grief his bosom burn'd. His son, an infant, to his care resign'd, Like the grim lion, when his offspring slain
With sage advice to form his tender mind. He sees, and round him drawn the hunter's train; The hero thus: “Illustrious chief! declare Couch'd in the shade with fell intent he lies,
What you intend, and whither point the war. And glares upon the foes with burning eyes:
The truce cominenc'd you cannot, and be just, Such Creon seem'd: hot indignation drain'd
The Thebans now assault, who freely trust Grief's wat’ry sources, and their fow restrain'd. To public faith engag'd: unarm’d they go Upon a turret o'er the gate he stood,
Far through the woods and plains, nor fear a And saw the Argives, like a shady wood,
foe." Extended wide, and dreading fraud design'd,
His leader's purpose thus the warrior try'd; Still to the plain his watchful eyes confind,
And, inly vex'd, Tydides thus reply'd: Suspicious from his hatred, and the pow'r
“Father! thy words from ignorance proceed; Of restless passions, which his heart devour :
The truce I swore not, nor approv'd the deed, And when at ev'n's approach the host retir'd,
The rest are hound, and therefore must remain And from the labours of the day respird,
Ling’ring inactive on this hostile plain : Within the walls he drew his martial pow'rs,
The works of war abandon'd, let them shed And kept with striciest watch the gates and tow'rs. Their unavailing sorrows o'er the dead :
Soon as the night possess'd th' ethereal plain, Or aim the dart, or hurl the disk in air; And o'er the nations stretch'd her silent reign, Some paltry presents shall the victors share. The guards were plac'd, and to the gentle sway
Warriors we came, in nobler strife to dare; Of sleep sublu'd, the weary warriors lay. To fight and conquer in the lists of war; Tydides only wak’d, by anxious care
To conquer Thebe3: and Jove himself ordains, Distracted, still he mourn’d his absent fair, With wreaths of triumph, to reward our pains. Deeming her lost; his slighted counsel mov'd Wide to receive us stand the Theban gates ; Lasting resentment, anıl i he truce approv'd: A spacious entry, open'd by the fates, Cuntending passions shook his mighty frame;
To take destruction in; their turrets stand As warring winds impel the ocean's stream, Defenceless, and expect the flaming brand. When south and ease with mingled rage contend, Now let us snatch th'occasion while we may, And in a tempest on the deep descend :
Years waste in vain and perish by delay, Now, stretch'd upon the couch, supine he lay; That, Thebes o'erthrown, our tedious toils may Then, rising anxious, wish'd the morning ray.
cease, Impatient thus, at last, his turbid mind,
And we behuld our native walls in peace." By various counsels variously inclin'd,
Tydides thus: the ancient warrior burns The chief address'd: “ Or shall I now recall With indignation just, and thus returns : Th’ Etolian warriors from the Theban wall; “ ( son! unworthy of th' illustrious line Obey the warning by a goddess giv'n,
From which you spring: your sire's reproach Nor slight her counsel dictated from Hear'n?
Did I e'er teach you, justice to disclaim; Ere yet their vengeance falls, the powrs invoke
Make sound advice a stranger to your ear."
Disorder wild the mingling ranks confounds, Should yield io execute what you command; The voice of sorrow mix'd with angry sounds. Yet would not I, obedient to thy will,
On ev'ry side against the chief appears
A brazen bulwark rais'd of shields, and spears,
As the good shepherd spares his tender flock,
The warlike son of Tydeus straight resign'd, As from a lion's rage the swains retire, To dire disorder, all bis mighty mind,
When dreadful o'er the mangled prey he stands, And sudden wrath; as when the troubled air, By brandish'd darts unaw'd and flaming brands. From kindle lightning, sbines with fiery glare : And now the flame of sudden rage supprest, With fury so inflam'd, the hero barnd,
Remorse and sorrow stung the hero's breast. And frowning to Dëiphobns return'd: [aim, Distracted through the scatt'ring crowd he went, “ I know thee, wretch ! and mark thy constant and sought the dark recesses of his tent; To teach the host their leader thus to blame. He enter'd: but the menial servants, bred Long have I bornc your pride ; your rev'rend To wait his coming, straight with borrour fled. age,
[rage: Against the ground he dash'd bis bloody dart; A guardian's name, suppress'd my kindling And utter'd thus the swellings of his heart : But to protect your insolence, no more
“Why fly my warriors ? why the menjal train, Shall these avail, and skreep it as before.” Who joy'd before to meet me from the plain,
He said ; and more his fury to provoke, Why shun they now their lord's approach; nor Replying thus, the aged warrior spoke :
bring, “ Vain youth! unmov'd thy angry threats 1 To wash my bloody hands, the cleansing spring hear;
Too well, alas ! my fatal rage they know, When tyrants threaten, slaves alone should fear: To them more dreadful now than to the foe ; To me is ev'ry servile part unknown,
No enemy, alas ! this spear has stain'd;
With hostile gore in glorious battle drain'd:
If wise and good, why did thy hand impart
So fierce an impulse to this bounding heart?
Hence, by the madness of my rage o'erthrowna
My father's friend lies murderd, and my own." Till, righteously fulfil/d, the truce expire He said; and, yielding to his fierce despair, Which Heav'n bas witness'd and the sacred fire." With both his bands he rent his rooted hair ;
He said; and, by his sharp reproaches stung, And where his locks in shining ringlets grew,
His warriors stood assembled on the plain
Ulysses soon the dire disorder beard;