The Iliad Of Homer: Translated Into English Blank Verse: Book XX.

A poem by William Cowper

Argument Of The Twentieth Book.


By permission of Jupiter the Gods descend into the battle, and range themselves on either side respectively. Neptune rescues Æneas from death by the hand of Achilles, from whom Apollo, soon after, rescues Hector. Achilles slays many Trojans.



The Grecians, thus, before their lofty ships
Stood arm'd around Achilles, glorious Chief
Insatiable with war, and opposite
The Trojans on the rising-ground appear'd.[1]
Meantime, Jove order'd Themis, from the head
Of the deep-fork'd Olympian to convene
The Gods in council. She to every part
Proceeding, bade them to the courts of Jove.[2]
Nor of the Floods was any absent thence
Oceanus except, or of the Nymphs
Who haunt the pleasant groves, or dwell beside
Stream-feeding fountains, or in meadows green.
Within the courts of cloud-assembler Jove
Arrived, on pillar'd thrones radiant they sat,
With ingenuity divine contrived
By Vulcan for the mighty Sire of all.
Thus they within the Thunderer's palace sat
Assembled; nor was Neptune slow to hear
The voice of Themis, but (the billows left)
Came also; in the midst his seat he took,
And ask'd, incontinent, the mind of Jove.[3]
King of the lightnings! wherefore hast thou call'd
The Gods to council? Hast thou aught at heart
Important to the hosts of Greece and Troy?
For on the battle's fiery edge they stand.
To whom replied Jove, Sovereign of the storms,
Thou know'st my council, Shaker of the shores!
And wherefore ye are call'd. Although ordain'd
So soon to die, they interest me still.
Myself, here seated on Olympus' top,
With contemplation will my mind indulge
Of yon great spectacle; but ye, the rest,
Descend into the field, Trojan or Greek
Each to assist, as each shall most incline.
For should Achilles in the field no foe
Find save the Trojans, quickly should they fly
Before the rapid force of Peleus' son.
They trembled ever at his look, and since
Such fury for his friend hath fired his heart,
I fear lest he anticipate the will
Of Fate, and Ilium perish premature.
So spake the son of Saturn kindling war
Inevitable, and the Gods to fight
'Gan move with minds discordant. Juno sought
And Pallas, with the earth-encircling Power
Neptune, the Grecian fleet, with whom were join'd
Mercury, teacher of all useful arts,
And Vulcan, rolling on all sides his eyes
Tremendous, but on disproportion'd legs,
Not without labor hard, halting uncouth.
Mars, warrior-God, on Ilium's part appear'd
With Phoebus never-shorn, Dian shaft-arm'd,
Xanthus, Latona, and the Queen of smiles,
Venus. So long as the immortal Gods
Mixed not with either host, Achaia's sons
Exulted, seeing, after tedious pause,
Achilles in the field, and terror shook
The knees of every Trojan, at the sight
Of swift Achilles like another Mars
Panting for blood, and bright in arms again.
But when the Olympian Powers had enter'd once
The multitude, then Discord, at whose voice
The million maddens, vehement arose;
Then, Pallas at the trench without the wall
By turns stood shouting, and by turns a shout
Sent terrible along the sounding shore,
While, gloomy as a tempest, opposite,
Mars from the lofty citadel of Troy
Now yell'd aloud, now running o'er the hill
Callicolone, on the Simois' side.
Thus the Immortals, ever-blest, impell'd
Both hosts to battle, and dire inroad caused
Of strife among them. Sudden from on high
The Sire of Gods and men thunder'd; meantime,
Neptune the earth and the high mountains shook;
Through all her base and to her topmost peak
Ida spring-fed the agitation felt
Reeling, all Ilium and the fleet of Greece.
Upstarted from his throne, appall'd, the King
Of Erebus, and with a cry his fears
Through hell proclaim'd, lest Neptune, o'er his head
Shattering the vaulted earth, should wide disclose
To mortal and immortal eyes his realm
Terrible, squalid, to the Gods themselves
A dreaded spectacle; with such a sound
The Powers eternal into battle rush'd.[4]
Opposed to Neptune, King of the vast Deep,
Apollo stood with his wing'd arrows arm'd;
Pallas to Mars; Diana shaft-expert,
Sister of Phoebus, in her golden bow
Rejoicing, with whose shouts the forests ring
To Juno; Mercury, for useful arts
Famed, to Latona; and to Vulcan's force
The eddied River broad by mortal men
Scamander call'd, but Xanthus by the Gods.
So Gods encounter'd Gods. But most desire
Achilles felt, breaking the ranks, to rush
On Priameian Hector, with whose blood
Chiefly his fury prompted him to sate
The indefatigable God of war.
But, the encourager of Ilium's host
Apollo, urged Æneas to assail
The son of Peleus, with heroic might
Inspiring his bold heart. He feign'd the voice
Of Priam's son Lycaon, and his form
Assuming, thus the Trojan Chief address'd.
Æneas! Trojan leader! where are now
Thy vaunts, which, banqueting erewhile among
Our princes, o'er thy brimming cups thou mad'st,
That thou would'st fight, thyself, with Peleus' son?
To whom Æneas answer thus returned.
Offspring of Priam! why enjoin'st thou me
Not so inclined, that arduous task, to cope
With the unmatch'd Achilles? I have proved
His force already, when he chased me down
From Ida with his spear, what time he made
Seizure of all our cattle, and destroy'd
Pedasus and Lyrnessus; but I 'scaped
Unslain, by Jove himself empower'd to fly,
Else had I fallen by Achilles' hand,
And by the hand of Pallas, who his steps
Conducted, and exhorted him to slay
Us and the Leleges.[5] Vain, therefore, proves
All mortal force to Peleus' son opposed;
For one, at least, of the Immortals stands
Ever beside him, guardian of his life,
And, of himself, he hath an arm that sends
His rapid spear unerring to the mark.
Yet, would the Gods more equal sway the scales
Of battle, not with ease should he subdue
Me, though he boast a panoply of brass.
Him, then, Apollo answer'd, son of Jove.
Hero! prefer to the immortal Gods
Thy Prayer, for thee men rumor Venus' son
Daughter of Jove; and Peleus' son his birth
Drew from a Goddess of inferior note.
Thy mother is from Jove; the offspring, his,
Less noble of the hoary Ocean old.
Go, therefore, and thy conquering spear uplift
Against him, nor let aught his sounding words
Appal thee, or his threats turn thee away.
So saying, with martial force the Chief he fill'd,
Who through the foremost combatants advanced
Radiant in arms. Nor pass'd Anchises' son
Unseen of Juno, through the crowded ranks
Seeking Achilles, but the Powers of heaven
Convened by her command, she thus address'd.
Neptune, and thou, Minerva! with mature
Deliberation, ponder the event.
Yon Chief, Æneas, dazzling bright in arms;
Goes to withstand Achilles, and he goes
Sent by Apollo; in despite of whom
Be it our task to give him quick repulse,
Or, of ourselves, let some propitious Power
Strengthen Achilles with a mind exempt
From terror, and with force invincible.
So shall he know that of the Gods above
The mightiest are his friends, with whom compared
The favorers of Ilium in time past,
Who stood her guardians in the bloody strife,
Are empty boasters all, and nothing worth.
For therefore came we down, that we may share
This fight, and that Achilles suffer nought
Fatal to-day, though suffer all he must
Hereafter, with his thread of life entwined
By Destiny, the day when he was born.
But should Achilles unapprized remain
Of such advantage by a voice divine,
When he shall meet some Deity in the field,
Fear then will seize him, for celestial forms
Unveil'd are terrible to mortal eyes.
To whom replied the Shaker of the shores.
Juno! thy hot impatience needs control;
It ill befits thee. No desire I feel
To force into contention with ourselves
Gods, our inferiors. No. Let us, retired
To yonder hill, distant from all resort,
There sit, while these the battle wage alone.
But if Apollo, or if Mars the fight
Entering, begin, themselves, to interfere
Against Achilles, then will we at once
To battle also; and, I much misdeem,
Or glad they shall be soon to mix again
Among the Gods on the Olympian heights,
By strong coercion of our arms subdued.
So saying, the God of Ocean azure-hair'd
Moved foremost to the lofty mound earth-built
Of noble Hercules, by Pallas raised
And by the Trojans for his safe escape,
What time the monster of the deep pursued
The hero from the sea-bank o'er the plain.
There Neptune sat, and his confederate Gods,
Their shoulders with impenetrable clouds
O'ermantled, while the city-spoiler Mars
Sat with Apollo opposite on the hill
Callicolone, with their aids divine.
So, Gods to Gods in opposite aspect
Sat ruminating, and alike the work
All fearing to begin of arduous war,
While from his seat sublime Jove urged them on.
The champain all was fill'd, and with the blaze
Illumined wide of men and steeds brass-arm'd,
And the incumber'd earth jarr'd under foot
Of the encountering hosts. Then, two, the rest
Surpassing far, into the midst advanced
Impatient for the fight, Anchises' son
Æneas and Achilles, glorious Chief!
Æneas first, under his ponderous casque
Nodding and menacing, advanced; before
His breast he held the well-conducted orb
Of his broad shield, and shook his brazen spear.
On the other side, Achilles to the fight
Flew like a ravening lion, on whose death
Resolved, the peasants from all quarters meet;
He, viewing with disdain the foremost, stalks
Right on, but smitten by some dauntless youth
Writhes himself, and discloses his huge fangs
Hung with white foam; then, growling for revenge,
Lashes himself to battle with his tail,
Till with a burning eye and a bold heart
He springs to slaughter, or himself is slain;
So, by his valor and his noble mind
Impell'd, renown'd Achilles moved toward
Æneas, and, small interval between,
Thus spake the hero matchless in the race.
Why stand'st thou here, Æneas! thy own band
Left at such distance? Is it that thine heart
Glows with ambition to contend with me
In hope of Priam's honors, and to fill
His throne hereafter in Troy steed-renown'd?
But shouldst thou slay me, not for that exploit
Would Priam such large recompense bestow,
For he hath sons, and hath, beside, a mind
And disposition not so lightly changed.
Or have the Trojans of their richest soil
For vineyard apt or plow assign'd thee part
If thou shalt slay me? Difficult, I hope,
At least, thou shalt experience that emprize.
For, as I think, I have already chased
Thee with my spear. Forgettest thou the day
When, finding thee alone, I drove thee down
Headlong from Ida, and, thy cattle left
Afar, thou didst not dare in all thy flight
Turn once, till at Lyrnessus safe arrived,
Which city by Jove's aid and by the aid
Of Pallas I destroy'd, and captive led
Their women? Thee, indeed, the Gods preserved
But they shall not preserve thee, as thou dream'st
Now also. Back into thy host again;
Hence, I command thee, nor oppose in fight
My force, lest evil find thee. To be taught
By suffering only is the part of fools.
To whom Æneas answer thus return'd.
Pelides! hope not, as I were a boy,
With words to scare me. I have also taunts
At my command, and could be sharp as thou.
By such reports as from the lips of men
We oft have heard, each other's birth we know
And parents; but my parents to behold
Was ne'er thy lot, nor have I thine beheld.
Thee men proclaim from noble Peleus sprung
And Thetis, bright hair'd Goddess of the Deep;
I boast myself of lovely Venus born
To brave Anchises; and his son this day
In battle slain thy sire shall mourn, or mine;
For I expect not that we shall depart
Like children, satisfied with words alone.
But if it please thee more at large to learn
My lineage (thousands can attest it true)
Know this. Jove, Sovereign of the storms, begat
Dardanus, and ere yet the sacred walls
Of Ilium rose, the glory of this plain,
He built Dardania; for at Ida's foot
Dwelt our progenitors in ancient days.
Dardanus was the father of a son,
King Ericthonius, wealthiest of mankind.
Three thousand mares of his the marish grazed,
Each suckling with delight her tender foal.
Boreas, enamor'd of no few of these,
The pasture sought, and cover'd them in form
Of a steed azure-maned. They, pregnant thence,
Twelve foals produced, and all so light of foot,
That when they wanton'd in the fruitful field
They swept, and snapp'd it not, the golden ear;
And when they wanton'd on the boundless deep,
They skimm'd the green wave's frothy ridge, secure.
From Ericthonius sprang Tros, King of Troy,
And Tros was father of three famous sons,
Ilus, Assaracus, and Ganymede
Loveliest of human kind, whom for his charms
The Gods caught up to heaven, there to abide
With the immortals, cup-bearer of Jove.
Ilus begat Laomedon, and he
Five sons, Tithonus, Priam, Clytius,
Lampus, and Hicetaon, branch of Mars.
Assaracus a son begat, by name
Capys, and Capys in due time his son
Warlike Anchises, and Anchises me.
But Priam is the noble Hector's sire.[6]
Such is my lineage, and such blood I boast;
But valor is from Jove; he, as he wills,
Increases or reduces it in man,
For he is lord of all. Therefore enough--
Too long like children we have stood, the time
Consuming here, while battle roars around.
Reproach is cheap. Easily might we cast
Gibes at each other, till a ship that asks
A hundred oars should sink beneath the load.
The tongue of man is voluble, hath words
For every theme, nor wants wide field and long,
And as he speaks so shall he hear again.
But we--why should we wrangle, and with taunts
Assail each other, as the practice is
Of women, who with heart-devouring strife
On fire, start forth into the public way
To mock each other, uttering, as may chance,
Much truth, much falsehood, as their anger bids?
The ardor of my courage will not slack
For all thy speeches; we must combat first;
Now, therefore, without more delay, begin,
That we may taste each other's force in arms.[7]
So spake Æneas, and his brazen lance
Hurl'd with full force against the dreadful shield.
Loud roar'd its ample concave at the blow.
Not unalarm'd, Pelides his broad disk
Thrust farther from him, deeming that the force
Of such an arm should pierce his guard with ease.
Vain fear! he recollected not that arms
Glorious as his, gifts of the immortal Gods,
Yield not so quickly to the force of man.
The stormy spear by brave Æneas sent,
No passage found; the golden plate divine
Repress'd its vehemence; two folds it pierced,
But three were still behind, for with five folds
Vulcan had fortified it; two were brass;
The two interior, tin; the midmost, gold;
And at the golden one the weapon stood.[8]
Achilles next, hurl'd his long shadow'd spear,
And struck Æneas on the utmost verge
Of his broad shield, where thinnest lay the brass,
And thinnest the ox-hide. The Pelian ash
Started right through the buckler, and it rang.
Æneas crouch'd terrified, and his shield
Thrust farther from him; but the rapid beam
Bursting both borders of the ample disk,
Glanced o'er his back, and plunged into the soil.
He 'scaped it, and he stood; but, as he stood,
With horror infinite the weapon saw
Planted so near him. Then, Achilles drew
His falchion keen, and with a deafening shout
Sprang on him; but Æneas seized a stone
Heavy and huge, a weight to overcharge
Two men (such men as are accounted strong
Now) but he wielded it with ease, alone.
Then had Æneas, as Achilles came
Impetuous on, smitten, although in vain,
His helmet or his shield, and Peleus' son
Had with his falchion him stretch'd at his feet,
But that the God of Ocean quick perceived
His peril, and the Immortals thus bespake.
I pity brave Æneas, who shall soon,
Slain by Achilles, see the realms below,
By smooth suggestions of Apollo lured
To danger, such as he can ne'er avert.
But wherefore should the Chief, guiltless himself,
Die for the fault of others? at no time
His gifts have fail'd, grateful to all in heaven.
Come, therefore, and let us from death ourselves
Rescue him, lest if by Achilles' arm
This hero perish, Jove himself be wroth;
For he is destined to survive, lest all
The house of Dardanus (whom Jove beyond
All others loved, his sons of woman born)
Fail with Æneas, and be found no more.
Saturnian Jove hath hated now long time
The family of Priam, and henceforth
Æneas and his son, and his sons' sons,
Shall sway the sceptre o'er the race of Troy.
To whom, majestic thus the spouse of Jove.
Neptune! deliberate thyself, and choose
Whether to save Æneas, or to leave
The hero victim of Achilles' ire.
For Pallas and myself ofttimes have sworn
In full assembly of the Gods, to aid
Troy never, never to avert the day
Of her distress, not even when the flames
Kindled by the heroic sons of Greece,
Shall climb with fury to her topmost towers.
She spake; then Neptune, instant, through the throng
Of battle flying, and the clash of spears,
Came where Achilles and Æneas fought.
At once with shadows dim he blurr'd the sight
Of Peleus' son, and from the shield, himself,
Of brave Æneas the bright-pointed ash
Retracting, placed it at Achilles' feet.
Then, lifting high Æneas from the ground,
He heaved him far remote; o'er many a rank
Of heroes and of bounding steeds he flew,
Launch'd into air from the expanded palm
Of Neptune, and alighted in the rear
Of all the battle where the Caucons stood.
Neptune approach'd him there, and at his side
Standing, in accents wing'd, him thus bespake.
What God, Æneas! tempted thee to cope
Thus inconsiderately with the son
Of Peleus, both more excellent in fight
Than thou, and more the favorite of the skies?
From him retire hereafter, or expect
A premature descent into the shades.
But when Achilles shall have once fulfill'd
His destiny, in battle slain, then fight
Fearless, for thou canst fall by none beside.
So saying, he left the well-admonish'd Chief,
And from Achilles' eyes scatter'd the gloom
Shed o'er them by himself. The hero saw
Clearly, and with his noble heart incensed
By disappointment, thus conferring, said.
Gods! I behold a prodigy. My spear
Lies at my foot, and he at whom I cast
The weapon with such deadly force, is gone!
Æneas therefore, as it seems, himself
Interests the immortal Gods, although
I deem'd his boast of their protection vain.
I reck not. Let him go. So gladly 'scaped
From slaughter now, he shall not soon again
Feel an ambition to contend with me.
Now will I rouse the Danaï, and prove
The force in fight of many a Trojan more.
He said, and sprang to battle with loud voice,
Calling the Grecians after him.--Ye sons
Of the Achaians! stand not now aloof,
My noble friends! but foot to foot let each
Fall on courageous, and desire the fight.
The task were difficult for me alone,
Brave as I boast myself, to chase a foe
So numerous, and to combat with them all.
Not Mars himself, immortal though he be,
Nor Pallas, could with all the ranks contend
Of this vast multitude, and drive the whole.
With hands, with feet, with spirit and with might,
All that I can I will; right through I go,
And not a Trojan who shall chance within
Spear's reach of me, shall, as I judge, rejoice.
Thus he the Greeks exhorted. Opposite,
Meantime, illustrious Hector to his host
Vociferated, his design to oppose
Achilles publishing in every ear.
Fear not, ye valiant men of Troy! fear not
The son of Peleus. In a war of words
I could, myself, cope even with the Gods;
But not with spears; there they excel us all.
Nor shall Achilles full performance give
To all his vaunts, but, if he some fulfil,
Shall others leave mutilate in the midst.
I will encounter him, though his hands be fire,
Though fire his hands, and his heart hammer'd steel.
So spake he them exhorting. At his word
Uprose the Trojan spears, thick intermixt
The battle join'd, and clamor loud began.
Then thus, approaching Hector, Phoebus spake.
Henceforth, advance not Hector! in the front
Seeking Achilles, but retired within
The stormy multitude his coming wait,
Lest his spear reach thee, or his glittering sword.
He said, and Hector far into his host
Withdrew, admonish'd by the voice divine.
Then, shouting terrible, and clothed with might,
Achilles sprang to battle. First, he slew
The valiant Chief Iphition, whom a band
Numerous obey'd. Otrynteus was his sire.
Him to Otrynteus, city-waster Chief,
A Naiad under snowy Tmolus bore
In fruitful Hyda.[9] Right into his front
As he advanced, Achilles drove his spear,
And rived his skull; with thundering sound he fell,
And thus the conqueror gloried in his fall.
Ah Otryntides! thou art slain. Here lies
The terrible in arms, who born beside
The broad Gygæan lake, where Hyllus flows
And Hermus, call'd the fertile soil his own.
Thus gloried he. Meantime the shades of death
Cover'd Iphition, and Achaian wheels
And horses ground his body in the van.
Demoleon next, Antenor's son, a brave
Defender of the walls of Troy, he slew.
Into his temples through his brazen casque
He thrust the Pelian ash, nor could the brass
Such force resist, but the huge weapon drove
The shatter'd bone into his inmost brain,
And his fierce onset at a stroke repress'd.
Hippodamas his weapon next received
Within his spine, while with a leap he left
His steeds and fled. He, panting forth his life,
Moan'd like a bull, by consecrated youths
Dragg'd round the Heliconian King,[10] who views
That victim with delight. So, with loud moans
The noble warrior sigh'd his soul away.
Then, spear in hand, against the godlike son
Of Priam, Polydorus, he advanced.
Not yet his father had to him indulged
A warrior's place, for that of all his sons
He was the youngest-born, his hoary sire's
Chief darling, and in speed surpass'd them all.
Then also, in the vanity of youth,
For show of nimbleness, he started oft
Into the vanward, till at last he fell.
Him gliding swiftly by, swifter than he
Achilles with a javelin reach'd; he struck
His belt behind him, where the golden clasps
Met, and the double hauberk interposed.
The point transpierced his bowels, and sprang through
His navel; screaming, on his knees he fell,
Death-shadows dimm'd his eyes, and with both hands,
Stooping, he press'd his gather'd bowels back.
But noble Hector, soon as he beheld
His brother Polydorus to the earth
Inclined, and with his bowels in his hands,
Sightless well-nigh with anguish could endure
No longer to remain aloof; flame-like
He burst abroad,[11] and shaking his sharp spear,
Advanced to meet Achilles, whose approach
Seeing, Achilles bounded with delight,
And thus, exulting, to himself he said.
Ah! he approaches, who hath stung my soul
Deepest, the slayer of whom most I loved!
Behold, we meet! Caution is at an end,
And timid skulking in the walks of war.
He ceased, and with a brow knit into frowns,
Call'd to illustrious Hector. Haste, approach,
That I may quick dispatch thee to the shades.
Whom answer'd warlike Hector, nought appall'd.
Pelides! hope not, as I were a boy,
With words to scare me. I have also taunts
At my command, and can be sharp as thou.
I know thee valiant, and myself I know
Inferior far; yet, whether thou shalt slay
Me, or, inferior as I am, be slain
By me, is at the pleasure of the Gods,
For I wield also not a pointless beam.
He said, and, brandishing it, hurl'd his spear,
Which Pallas, breathing softly, wafted back
From the renown'd Achilles, and it fell
Successless at illustrious Hector's feet.
Then, all on fire to slay him, with a shout
That rent the air Achilles rapid flew
Toward him; but him wrapt in clouds opaque
Apollo caught with ease divine away.
Thrice, swift Achilles sprang to the assault
Impetuous, thrice the pitchy cloud he smote,
And at his fourth assault, godlike in act,
And terrible in utterance, thus exclaim'd.
Dog! thou art safe, and hast escaped again;
But narrowly, and by the aid once more
Of Phoebus, without previous suit to whom
Thou venturest never where the javelin sings.
But when we next encounter, then expect,
If one of all in heaven aid also me,
To close thy proud career. Meantime I seek
Some other, and assail e'en whom I may.
So saying, he pierced the neck of Dryops through,
And at his feet he fell. Him there he left,
And turning on a valiant warrior huge,
Philetor's son, Demuchus, in the knee
Pierced, and detain'd him by the planted spear,
Till with his sword he smote him, and he died.
Laogonus and Dardanus he next
Assaulted, sons of Bias; to the ground
Dismounting both, one with his spear he slew,
The other with his falchion at a blow.
Tros too, Alastor's son--he suppliant clasp'd
Achilles' knees, and for his pity sued,
Pleading equality of years, in hope
That he would spare, and send him thence alive.
Ah dreamer! ignorant how much in vain
That suit he urged; for not of milky mind,
Or placable in temper was the Chief
To whom he sued, but fiery. With both hands
His knees he clasp'd importunate, and he
Fast by the liver gash'd him with his sword.
His liver falling forth, with sable blood
His bosom fill'd, and darkness veil'd his eyes.
Then, drawing close to Mulius, in his ear
He set the pointed brass, and at a thrust
Sent it, next moment, through his ear beyond.
Then, through the forehead of Agenor's son
Echechlus, his huge-hafted blade he drove,
And death and fate forever veil'd his eyes.
Next, where the tendons of the elbow meet,
Striking Deucalion, through his wrist he urged
The brazen point; he all defenceless stood,
Expecting death; down came Achilles' blade
Full on his neck; away went head and casque
Together; from his spine the marrow sprang,
And at his length outstretch'd he press'd the plain.
From him to Rhigmus, Pireus' noble son,
He flew, a warrior from the fields of Thrace.
Him through the loins he pierced, and with the beam
Fixt in his bowels, to the earth he fell;
Then piercing, as he turn'd to flight, the spine
Of Areithöus his charioteer,
He thrust him from his seat; wild with dismay
Back flew the fiery coursers at his fall.
As a devouring fire within the glens
Of some dry mountain ravages the trees,
While, blown around, the flames roll to all sides,
So, on all sides, terrible as a God,
Achilles drove the death-devoted host
Of Ilium, and the champain ran with blood.
As when the peasant his yoked steers employs
To tread his barley, the broad-fronted pair
With ponderous hoofs trample it out with ease,
So, by magnanimous Achilles driven,
His coursers solid-hoof'd stamp'd as they ran
The shields, at once, and bodies of the slain;
Blood spatter'd all his axle, and with blood
From the horse-hoofs and from the fellied wheels
His chariot redden'd, while himself, athirst
For glory, his unconquerable hands
Defiled with mingled carnage, sweat, and dust.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Iliad Of Homer: Translated Into English Blank Verse: Book XX.' by William Cowper

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy