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

A poem by William Cowper

Argument Of The Fourth Book.

In a Council of the Gods, a dispute arises between Jupiter and Juno, which is at last compromised, Jove consenting to dispatch Minerva with a charge to incite some Trojan to a violation of the truce. Minerva descends for that purpose, and in the form of Laodocus, a son of Priam, exhorts Pandarus to shoot at Menelaus, and succeeds. Menelaus is wounded, and Agamemnon having consigned him to the care of Machaon, goes forth to perform the duties of commander-in-chief, in the encouragement of his host to battle. The battle begins.

Now, on the golden floor of Jove's abode
The Gods all sat consulting; Hebe them,
Graceful, with nectar served;[1] they pledging each
His next, alternate quaff'd from cups of gold,
And at their ease reclined, look'd down on Troy,
When, sudden, Jove essay'd by piercing speech
Invidious, to enkindle Juno's ire.
Two Goddesses on Menelaus' part
Confederate stand, Juno in Argos known,
Pallas in Alalcomene;[2] yet they
Sequester'd sit, look on, and are amused.
Not so smile-loving Venus; she, beside
Her champion station'd, saves him from his fate,
And at this moment, by her aid, he lives.
But now, since victory hath proved the lot
Of warlike Menelaus, weigh ye well
The matter; shall we yet the ruinous strife
Prolong between the nations, or consent
To give them peace? should peace your preference win,
And prove alike acceptable to all,
Stand Ilium, and let Menelaus bear
Helen of Argos back to Greece again.
He ended; Juno and Minerva heard,
Low-murmuring deep disgust; for side by side
They forging sat calamity to Troy.
Minerva through displeasure against Jove
Nought utter'd, for with rage her bosom boil'd;
But Juno check'd not hers, who thus replied.
What word hath pass'd thy lips, Jove most severe!
How? wouldst thou render fruitless all my pains?
The sweat that I have pour'd? my steeds themselves
Have fainted while I gather'd Greece in arms
For punishment of Priam and his sons.
Do it. But small thy praise shall be in heaven.
Then her the Thunderer answer'd sore displeased.
Ah shameless! how have Priam and his sons
So much transgress'd against thee, that thou burn'st
With ceaseless rage to ruin populous Troy?
Go, make thine entrance at her lofty gates,
Priam and all his house, and all his host
Alive devour; then, haply, thou wilt rest;
Do even as thou wilt, that this dispute
Live not between us a consuming fire
For ever. But attend; mark well the word.
When I shall also doom in future time
Some city to destruction, dear to thee,
Oppose me not, but give my fury way
As I give way to thine, not pleased myself,
Yet not unsatisfied, so thou be pleased.
For of all cities of the sons of men,
And which the sun and stars from heaven behold,
Me sacred Troy most pleases, Priam me
Most, and the people of the warrior King.
Nor without cause. They feed mine altar well;
Libation there, and steam of savory scent
Fail not, the tribute which by lot is ours.
Him answer'd, then, the Goddess ample-eyed,[3]
Majestic Juno: Three fair cities me,
Of all the earth, most interest and engage,
Mycenæ for magnificence renown'd,
Argos, and Sparta. Them, when next thy wrath
Shall be inflamed against them, lay thou waste;
I will not interpose on their behalf;
Thou shalt not hear me murmur; what avail
Complaint or force against thy matchless arm?
Yet were it most unmeet that even I
Should toil in vain; I also boast a birth
Celestial; Saturn deeply wise, thy Sire,
Is also mine; our origin is one.
Thee I acknowledge Sovereign, yet account
Myself entitled by a twofold claim
To veneration both from Gods and men,
The daughter of Jove's sire, and spouse of Jove.
Concession mutual therefore both thyself
Befits and me, whom when the Gods perceive
Disposed to peace, they also shall accord.
Come then.--To yon dread field dispatch in haste
Minerva, with command that she incite
The Trojans first to violate their oath
By some fresh insult on the exulting Greeks.
So Juno; nor the sire of all refused,
But in wing'd accents thus to Pallas spake.
Begone; swift fly to yonder field; incite
The Trojans first to violate their oath
By some fresh insult on the exulting Greeks.
The Goddess heard, and what she wish'd, enjoin'd,
Down-darted swift from the Olympian heights,
In form a meteor, such as from his hand
Not seldom Jove dismisses, beaming bright
And breaking into stars, an omen sent
To mariners, or to some numerous host.
Such Pallas seem'd, and swift descending, dropp'd
Full in the midst between them. They with awe
That sign portentous and with wonder view'd,
Achaians both and Trojans, and his next
The soldier thus bespake. Now either war
And dire hostility again shall flame,
Or Jove now gives us peace. Both are from Jove.
So spake the soldiery; but she the form
Taking of brave Laodocus, the son
Of old Antenor, throughout all the ranks
Sought godlike Pandarus.[4] Ere long she found
The valiant son illustrious of Lycaon,
Standing encompass'd by his dauntless troops,
Broad-shielded warriors, from Æsepus' stream
His followers; to his side the Goddess came,
And in wing'd accents ardent him bespake.
Brave offspring of Lycaon, is there hope
That thou wilt hear my counsel? darest thou slip
A shaft at Menelaus? much renown
Thou shalt and thanks from all the Trojans win,
But most of all, from Paris, prince of Troy.
From him illustrious gifts thou shalt receive
Doubtless, when Menelaus he shall see
The martial son of Atreus by a shaft
Subdued of thine, placed on his funeral pile.
Come. Shoot at Menelaus, glorious Chief!
But vow to Lycian Phoebus bow-renown'd
A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock,
To fair Zeleia's[5] walls once safe restored.
So Pallas spake, to whom infatuate he
Listening, uncased at once his polished bow.[6]
That bow, the laden brows of a wild goat
Salacious had supplied; him on a day
Forth-issuing from his cave, in ambush placed
He wounded with an arrow to his breast
Dispatch'd, and on the rock supine he fell.
Each horn had from his head tall growth attain'd,
Full sixteen palms; them shaven smooth the smith
Had aptly join'd, and tipt their points with gold.
That bow he strung, then, stooping, planted firm
The nether horn, his comrades bold the while
Screening him close with shields, lest ere the prince
Were stricken, Menelaus brave in arms,
The Greeks with fierce assault should interpose.
He raised his quiver's lid; he chose a dart
Unflown, full-fledged, and barb'd with pangs of death.
He lodged in haste the arrow on the string,
And vow'd to Lycian Phoebus bow-renown'd
A hecatomb, all firstlings of the flock,
To fair Zeleia's walls once safe restored.
Compressing next nerve and notch'd arrow-head
He drew back both together, to his pap
Drew home the nerve, the barb home to his bow,
And when the horn was curved to a wide arch,
He twang'd it. Whizz'd the bowstring, and the reed
Leap'd off, impatient for the distant throng.
Thee, Menelaus, then the blessed Gods
Forgat not; Pallas huntress of the spoil,
Thy guardian then, baffled the cruel dart.
Far as a mother wafts the fly aside[7]
That haunts her slumbering babe, so far she drove
Its course aslant, directing it herself
Against the golden clasps that join'd his belt;
For there the doubled hauberk interposed.
The bitter arrow plunged into his belt.
It pierced his broider'd belt, stood fixt within
His twisted hauberk, nor the interior quilt,
Though penetrable least to arrow-points
And his best guard, withheld it, but it pass'd
That also, and the Hero's skin inscribed.
Quick flowed a sable current from the wound.
As when a Carian or Mæonian maid
Impurples ivory ordain'd to grace
The cheek of martial steed; safe stored it lies,
By many a Chief desired, but proves at last
The stately trapping of some prince,[8] the pride
Of his high pamper'd steed, nor less his own;
Such, Menelaus, seem'd thy shapely thighs,
Thy legs, thy feet, stained with thy trickling blood.
Shudder'd King Agamemnon when he saw
The blood fast trickling from the wound, nor less
Shudder'd himself the bleeding warrior bold.
But neck and barb observing from the flesh
Extant, he gather'd heart, and lived again.
The royal Agamemnon, sighing, grasp'd
The hand of Menelaus, and while all
Their followers sigh'd around them, thus began.[9]
I swore thy death, my brother, when I swore
This truce, and set thee forth in sight of Greeks
And Trojans, our sole champion; for the foe
Hath trodden underfoot his sacred oath,
And stained it with thy blood. But not in vain,
The truce was ratified, the blood of lambs
Poured forth, libation made, and right hands join'd
In holy confidence. The wrath of Jove
May sleep, but will not always; they shall pay
Dear penalty; their own obnoxious heads
Shall be the mulct, their children and their wives.
For this I know, know surely; that a day
Shall come, when Ilium, when the warlike King
Of Ilium and his host shall perish all.
Saturnian Jove high-throned, dwelling in heaven,
Resentful of this outrage, then shall shake
His storm-clad Ægis over them. He will;
I speak no fable. Time shall prove me true.
But, oh my Menelaus, dire distress
Awaits me, if thy close of life be come,
And thou must die. Then ignominy foul
Shall hunt me back to Argos long-desired;
For then all here will recollect their home,
And, hope abandoning, will Helen yield
To be the boast of Priam, and of Troy.
So shall our toils be vain, and while thy bones
Shall waste these clods beneath, Troy's haughty sons
The tomb of Menelaus glory-crown'd
Insulting barbarous, shall scoff at me.
So may Atrides, shall they say, perform
His anger still as he performed it here,
Whither he led an unsuccessful host,
Whence he hath sail'd again without the spoils,
And where he left his brother's bones to rot.
So shall the Trojan speak; then open earth
Her mouth, and hide me in her deepest gulfs!
But him, the hero of the golden locks
Thus cheer'd. My brother, fear not, nor infect
With fear the Grecians; the sharp-pointed reed
Hath touch'd no vital part. The broider'd zone,
The hauberk, and the tough interior quilt,
Work of the armorer, its force repress'd.
Him answer'd Agamemnon, King of men.
So be it brother! but the hand of one
Skilful to heal shall visit and shall dress
The wound with drugs of pain-assuaging power.
He ended, and his noble herald, next,
Bespake, Talthybius. Haste, call hither quick
The son of Æsculapius, leech renown'd,
The prince Machaon. Bid him fly to attend
The warlike Chieftain Menelaus; him
Some archer, either Lycian or of Troy,
A dexterous one, hath stricken with a shaft
To his own glory, and to our distress.
He spake, nor him the herald disobey'd,
But through the Greeks bright-arm'd his course began
The Hero seeking earnest on all sides
Machaon. Him, ere long, he station'd saw
Amid the shielded-ranks of his brave band
From steed-famed Tricca drawn, and at his side
With accents ardor-wing'd, him thus address'd.
Haste, Asclepiades! The King of men
Calls thee. Delay not. Thou must visit quick
Brave Menelaus, Atreus' son, for him
Some archer, either Lycian or of Troy,
A dexterous one, hath stricken with a shaft
To his own glory, and to our distress.
So saying, he roused Machaon, who his course
Through the wide host began. Arriving soon
Where wounded Menelaus stood, while all
The bravest of Achaia's host around
The godlike hero press'd, he strove at once
To draw the arrow from his cincture forth.
But, drawing, bent the barbs. He therefore loosed
His broider'd belt, his hauberk and his quilt,
Work of the armorer, and laying bare
His body where the bitter shaft had plow'd
His flesh, he suck'd the wound, then spread it o'er
With drugs of balmy power, given on a time
For friendship's sake by Chiron to his sire.
While Menelaus thus the cares engross'd
Of all those Chiefs, the shielded powers of Troy
'Gan move toward them, and the Greeks again
Put on their armor, mindful of the fight.
Then hadst thou[10] not great Agamemnon seen
Slumbering, or trembling, or averse from war,
But ardent to begin his glorious task.
His steeds, and his bright chariot brass-inlaid
He left; the snorting steeds Eurymedon,
Offspring of Ptolemy Piraïdes
Detain'd apart; for him he strict enjoin'd
Attendance near, lest weariness of limbs
Should seize him marshalling his numerous host.
So forth he went, and through the files on foot
Proceeding, where the warrior Greeks he saw
Alert, he roused them by his words the more.[11]
Argives! abate no spark of all your fire.
Jove will not prosper traitors. Them who first
Transgress'd the truce the vultures shall devour,
But we (their city taken) shall their wives
Lead captive, and their children home to Greece.
So cheer'd he them. But whom he saw supine,
Or in the rugged work of war remiss,
In terms of anger them he stern rebuked.
Oh Greeks! The shame of Argos! Arrow-doom'd!
Blush ye not? Wherefore stand ye thus aghast,
Like fawns which wearied after scouring wide
The champain, gaze and pant, and can no more?
Senseless like them ye stand, nor seek the fight.
Is it your purpose patient here to wait
Till Troy invade your vessels on the shore
Of the grey deep, that ye may trial make
Of Jove, if he will prove, himself, your shield?
Thus, in discharge of his high office, pass'd
Atrides through the ranks, and now arrived
Where, hardy Chief! Idomeneus in front
Of his bold Cretans stood, stout as a boar
The van he occupied, while in the rear
Meriones harangued the most remote.
Them so prepared the King of men beheld
With joyful heart, and thus in courteous terms
Instant the brave Idomeneus address'd.
Thee fighting, feasting, howsoe'er employed,
I most respect, Idomeneus, of all
The well-horsed Danäi; for when the Chiefs
Of Argos, banqueting, their beakers charge
With rosy wine the honorable meed
Of valor, thou alone of all the Greeks
Drink'st not by measure.[12] No--thy goblet stands
Replenish'd still, and like myself thou know'st
No rule or bound, save what thy choice prescribes.
March. Seek the foe. Fight now as heretofore,
To whom Idomeneus of Crete replied,
Atrides! all the friendship and the love
Which I have promised will I well perform.
Go; animate the rest, Chief after Chief
Of the Achaians, that the fight begin.
For Troy has scatter'd to the winds all faith,
All conscience; and for such her treachery foul
Shall have large recompence of death and wo.
He said, whom Agamemnon at his heart
Exulting, pass'd, and in his progress came
Where stood each Ajax; them he found prepared
With all their cloud of infantry behind.
As when the goat-herd on some rocky point
Advanced, a cloud sees wafted o'er the deep
By western gales, and rolling slow along,
To him, who stands remote, pitch-black it seems,
And comes with tempest charged; he at the sight
Shuddering, his flock compels into a cave;
So moved the gloomy phalanx, rough with spears,
And dense with shields of youthful warriors bold,
Close-following either Ajax to the fight.
Them also, pleased, the King of men beheld,
And in wing'd accents hail'd them as he pass'd.
Brave leaders of the mail-clad host of Greece!
I move not you to duty; ye yourselves
Move others, and no lesson need from me.
Jove, Pallas, and Apollo! were but all
Courageous as yourselves, soon Priam's towers
Should totter, and his Ilium storm'd and sack'd
By our victorious bands, stoop to the dust.
He ceased, and still proceeding, next arrived
Where stood the Pylian orator, his band
Marshalling under all their leaders bold
Alastor, Chromius, Pelagon the vast,
Hæmon the prince, and Bias, martial Chief.
Chariot and horse he station'd in the front;
His numerous infantry, a strong reserve
Right valiant, in the rear; the worst, and those
In whom he trusted least, he drove between,
That such through mere necessity might act.
First to his charioteers he gave in charge
Their duty; bade them rein their horses hard,
Shunning confusion. Let no warrior, vain
And overweening of his strength or skill,
Start from his rank to dare the fight alone,
Or fall behind it, weakening whom he leaves.
[13]And if, dismounted from his own, he climb
Another's chariot, let him not affect
Perverse the reins, but let him stand, his spear
Advancing firm, far better so employ'd.
Such was the discipline, in ancient times,
Of our forefathers; by these rules they fought
Successful, and laid many a city low.
So counsell'd them the venerable Chief
Long time expert in arms; him also saw
King Agamemnon with delight, and said,
Old Chief! ah how I wish, that thy firm heart
Were but supported by as firm a knee!
But time unhinges all. Oh that some youth
Had thine old age, and thou wast young again!
To whom the valiant Nestor thus replied.
Atrides, I could also ardent wish
That I were now robust as when I struck
Brave Ereuthalion[14] breathless to the ground!
But never all their gifts the Gods confer
On man at once; if then I had the force
Of youth, I suffer now the effects of age.
Yet ancient as I am, I will be seen
Still mingling with the charioteers, still prompt
To give them counsel; for to counsel youth
Is the old warrior's province. Let the green
In years, my juniors, unimpaired by time,
Push with the lance, for they have strength to boast.
So he, whom Agamemnon joyful heard,
And passing thence, the son of Peteos found
Menestheus, foremost in equestrian fame,
Among the brave Athenians; near to him
Ulysses held his station, and at hand
The Cephallenians stood, hardy and bold;
For rumor none of the approaching fight
Them yet had reach'd, so recent had the stir
Arisen in either host; they, therefore, watch'd
Till the example of some other band
Marching, should prompt them to begin the fight,
But Agamemnon, thus, the King of men
Them seeing, sudden and severe reproved.
Menestheus, son of Peteos prince renown'd,
And thou, deviser of all evil wiles!
Adept in artifice! why stand ye here
Appall'd? why wait ye on this distant spot
'Till others move? I might expect from you
More readiness to meet the burning war,
Whom foremost I invite of all to share
The banquet, when the Princes feast with me.
There ye are prompt; ye find it pleasant there
To eat your savory food, and quaff your wine
Delicious 'till satiety ensue;
But here you could be well content to stand
Spectators only, while ten Grecian troops
Should wage before you the wide-wasting war.
To whom Ulysses, with resentful tone
Dark-frowning, thus replied. What words are these
Which have escaped thy lips; and for what cause,
Atrides, hast thou call'd me slow to fight?
When we of Greece shall in sharp contest clash
With you steed-tamer Trojans, mark me then;
Then thou shalt see (if the concerns of war
So nearly touch thee, and thou so incline)
The father of Telemachus, engaged
Among the foremost Trojans. But thy speech
Was light as is the wind, and rashly made.
When him thus moved he saw, the monarch smiled
Complacent, and in gentler terms replied.
Laërtes' noble son, for wiles renown'd!
Short reprimand and exhortation short
Suffice for thee, nor did I purpose more.
For I have known thee long, that thou art one
Of kindest nature, and so much my friend
That we have both one heart. Go therefore thou,
Lead on, and if a word have fallen amiss,
We will hereafter mend it, and may heaven
Obliterate in thine heart its whole effect!
He ceased, and ranging still along the line,
The son of Tydeus, Diomede, perceived,
Heroic Chief, by chariots all around
Environ'd, and by steeds, at side of whom
Stood Sthenelus, the son of Capaneus.
Him also, Agamemnon, King of men,
In accents of asperity reproved.
Ah, son of Tydeus, Chief of dauntless heart
And of equestrian fame! why standest thou
Appall'd, and peering through the walks of war?
So did not Tydeus. In the foremost fight
His favorite station was, as they affirm
Who witness'd his exploits; I never saw
Or met him, but by popular report
He was the bravest warrior of his day.
Yet came he once, but not in hostile sort,
To fair Mycenæ, by the godlike prince
Attended, Polynices, at what time
The host was called together, and the siege
Was purposed of the sacred city Thebes.
Earnest they sued for an auxiliar band,
Which we had gladly granted, but that Jove
By unpropitious tokens interfered.
So forth they went, and on the reedy banks
Arriving of Asopus, there thy sire
By designation of the Greeks was sent
Ambassador, and enter'd Thebes. He found
In Eteocles' palace numerous guests,
The sons of Cadmus feasting, among whom,
Although a solitary stranger, stood
Thy father without fear, and challenged forth
Their best to cope with him in manly games.
Them Tydeus vanquish'd easily, such aid
Pallas vouchsafed him. Then the spur-arm'd race
Of Cadmus was incensed, and fifty youths
In ambush close expected his return.
Them, Lycophontes obstinate in fight,
Son of Autophonus, and Mæon, son
Of Hæmon, Chief of godlike stature, led.
Those also Tydeus slew; Mæon except,
(Whom, warned from heaven, he spared, and sent him home
With tidings of the rest) he slew them all.
Such was Ætolian Tydeus; who begat
A son in speech his better, not in arms.
He ended, and his sovereign's awful voice
Tydides reverencing, nought replied;
But thus the son of glorious Capaneus.
Atrides, conscious of the truth, speak truth.
We with our sires compared, superior praise
Claim justly.[15] We, confiding in the aid
Of Jove, and in propitious signs from heaven,
Led to the city consecrate to Mars
Our little host, inferior far to theirs,
And took seven-gated Thebes, under whose walls
Our fathers by their own imprudence fell.
Their glory, then, match never more with ours.
He spake, whom with a frowning brow the brave
Tydides answer'd. Sthenelus, my friend!
I give thee counsel. Mark it. Hold thy peace.
If Agamemnon, who hath charge of all,
Excite his well-appointed host to war,
He hath no blame from me. For should the Greeks
(Her people vanquished) win imperial Troy,
The glory shall be his; or, if his host
O'erpower'd in battle perish, his the shame.
Come, therefore; be it ours to rouse at once
To action all the fury of our might.
He said, and from his chariot to the plain
Leap'd ardent; rang the armor on the breast
Of the advancing Chief; the boldest heart
Had felt emotion, startled at the sound.
As when the waves by Zephyrus up-heaved
Crowd fast toward some sounding shore, at first,
On the broad bosom of the deep their heads
They curl on high, then breaking on the land
Thunder, and o'er the rocks that breast the flood
Borne turgid, scatter far the showery spray;
So moved the Greeks successive, rank by rank,
And phalanx after phalanx, every Chief
His loud command proclaiming, while the rest,
As voice in all those thousands none had been
Heard mute; and, in resplendent armor clad,
With martial order terrible advanced.
Not so the Trojans came. As sheep, the flock
Of some rich man, by thousands in his court
Penn'd close at milking time, incessant bleat,
Loud answering all their bleating lambs without,
Such din from Ilium's wide-spread host arose.
Nor was their shout, nor was their accent one,
But mingled languages were heard of men
From various climes. These Mars to battle roused,
Those Pallas azure-eyed; nor Terror thence
Nor Flight was absent, nor insatiate Strife,
Sister and mate of homicidal Mars,
Who small at first, but swift to grow, from earth
Her towering crest lifts gradual to the skies.
She, foe alike to both, the brands dispersed
Of burning hate between them, and the woes
Enhanced of battle wheresoe'er she pass'd.
And now the battle join'd. Shield clash'd with shield[16]
And spear with spear, conflicting corselets rang,
Boss'd bucklers met, and tumult wild arose.
Then, many a yell was heard, and many a shout
Loud intermix'd, the slayer o'er the maim'd
Exulting, and the field was drench'd with blood.
As when two winter torrents rolling down
The mountains, shoot their floods through gulleys huge
Into one gulf below, station'd remote
The shepherd in the uplands hears the roar;
Such was the thunder of the mingling hosts.
And first, Antilochus a Trojan Chief
Slew Echepolus, from Thalysias sprung,
Contending valiant in the van of Troy.
Him smiting on his crested casque, he drove
The brazen lance into his front, and pierced
The bones within; night overspread his eyes,
And in fierce battle, like a tower, he fell.
Him fallen by both feet Calchodon's son
Seized, royal Elephenor, leader brave
Of the Abantes, and in haste to strip
His armor, drew him from the fight aside.
But short was that attempt. Him so employ'd
Dauntless Agenor mark'd, and as he stoop'd,
In his unshielded flank a pointed spear
Implanted deep; he languid sunk and died.
So Elephenor fell, for whom arose
Sharp conflict; Greeks and Trojans mutual flew
Like wolves to battle, and man grappled man.
Then Telamonian Ajax, in his prime
Of youthful vigor Simöisius slew,[17]
Son of Anthemion. Him on Simoïs' banks
His mother bore, when with her parents once
She came from Ida down to view the flocks,
And thence they named him; but his parents'
He lived not to requite, in early youth
Slain by the spear of Ajax famed in arms.
For him advancing Ajax at the pap
Wounded; right through his shoulder driven the point
Stood forth behind; he fell, and press'd the dust.
So in some spacious marsh the poplar falls
Smooth-skinn'd, with boughs unladen save aloft;
Some chariot-builder with his axe the trunk
Severs, that he may warp it to a wheel
Of shapely form; meantime exposed it lies
To parching airs beside the running stream;
Such Simöisius seemed, Anthemion's son,
Whom noble Ajax slew. But soon at him
Antiphus, son of Priam, bright in arms,
Hurl'd through the multitude his pointed spear.
He erred from Ajax, but he pierced the groin
Of Leucus, valiant warrior of the band
Led by Ulysses. He the body dragg'd
Apart, but fell beside it, and let fall,
Breathless himself, the burthen from his hand.
Then burn'd Ulysses' wrath for Leucus slain,
And through the foremost combatants, array'd
In dazzling arms, he rush'd. Full near he stood,
And, looking keen around him, hurl'd a lance.
Back fell the Trojans from before the face
Dispersed of great Ulysses. Not in vain
His weapon flew, but on the field outstretch'd
A spurious son of Priam, from the shores
Call'd of Abydus famed for fleetest mares,
Democoon; him, for Leucus' sake enraged,
Ulysses through both temples with his spear
Transpierced. The night of death hung on his eyes,
And sounding on his batter'd arms he fell.
Then Hector and the van of Troy retired;
Loud shout the Grecians; these draw off the dead,
Those onward march amain, and from the heights
Of Pergamus Apollo looking down
In anger, to the Trojans called aloud.
Turn, turn, ye Trojans! face your Grecian foes.
They, like yourselves, are vulnerable flesh,
Not adamant or steel. Your direst dread
Achilles, son of Thetis radiant-hair'd,
Fights not, but sullen in his fleet abides.[18]
Such from the citadel was heard the voice
Of dread Apollo. But Minerva ranged
Meantime, Tritonian progeny of Jove,
The Grecians, rousing whom she saw remiss.
Then Amarynceus' son, Diores, felt
The force of fate, bruised by a rugged rock
At his right heel, which Pirus, Thracian Chief,
The son of Imbrasus of Ænos, threw.
Bones and both tendons in its fall the mass
Enormous crush'd. He, stretch'd in dust supine,
With palms outspread toward his warrior friends
Lay gasping life away. But he who gave
The fatal blow, Pirus, advancing, urged
Into his navel a keen lance, and shed
His bowels forth; then, darkness veil'd his eyes.
Nor Pirus long survived; him through the breast
Above the pap, Ætolian Thoas pierced,
And in his lungs set fast the quivering spear.
Then Thoas swift approach'd, pluck'd from the wound
His stormy spear, and with his falchion bright
Gashing his middle belly, stretch'd him dead.
Yet stripp'd he not the slain, whom with long spears
His Thracians hairy-scalp'd[19] so round about
Encompassed, that though bold and large of limb
Were Thoas, from before them him they thrust
Staggering and reeling in his forced retreat.
They therefore in the dust, the Epean Chief
Diores, and the Thracian, Pirus lay
Stretch'd side by side, with numerous slain around.
Then had Minerva led through all that field
Some warrior yet unhurt, him sheltering safe
From all annoyance dread of dart or spear,
No cause of blame in either had he found
That day, so many Greeks and Trojans press'd,
Extended side by side, the dusty plain.

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