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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Translations from Homer

The Iliad. Book V. The Acts of Diomed

  • The Argument
  • Diomed, assisted by Pallas, performs wonders in this day’s battle. Pandarus wounds him with an arrow, but the Goddess cures him, enables him to discern Gods from mortals, and prohibits him from contending with any of the former, excepting Venus. Æneas joins Pandarus to oppose him. Pandarus is killed, and Æneas in great danger but for the assistance of Venus; who, as she is removing her son from the fight, is wounded on the hand by Diomed. Apollo seconds her in his rescue, and, at length, carries off Æneas to Troy, where he is healed in the temple of Pergamus. Mars rallies the Trojans, and assists Hector to make a stand. In the mean time Æneas is restored to the field, and they overthrow several of the Greeks; among the rest Tlepolemus is slain by Sarpedon. Juno and Minerva descend to resist Mars; the latter incites Diomed to go against that God; he wounds him, and sends him groaning to Heaven.
  • The first battle continues through this book. The scene is the same as in the former.

  • BUT Pallas now Tydides’ soul inspires,

    Fills with her force, and warms with all her fires,

    Above the Greeks his deathless fame to raise,

    And crown her hero with distinguish’d praise.

    High on his helm celestial lightnings play,

    His beamy shield emits a living ray;

    Th’ unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies,

    Like the red star that fires th’ autumnal skies,

    When fresh he rears his radiant orb to sight,

    And bathed in Ocean shoots a keener light.

    Such glories Pallas on the Chief bestow’d,

    Such, from his arms, the fierce effulgence flow’d:

    Onward she drives him, furious to engage,

    Where the fight burns, and where the thickest rage.

    The sons of Dares first the combat sought,

    A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault;

    In Vulcan’s fane the father’s days were led;

    The sons to toils of glorious battle bred;

    These, singled from their troops, the fight maintain;

    These from their steeds, Tydides on the plain.

    Fierce for renown the brother Chiefs draw near,

    And first bold Phegeus casts his sounding spear,

    Which o’er the warrior’s shoulder took its course,

    And spent in empty air its erring force.

    Not so, Tydides, flew thy lance in vain,

    But pierced his breast, and stretch’d him on the plain.

    Seiz’d with unusual fear, Idæus fled,

    Left the rich chariot, and his brother dead;

    And had not Vulcan lent celestial aid,

    He too had sunk to death’s eternal shade;

    But in a smoky cloud the God of Fire

    Preserv’d the son, in pity to the sire.

    The steeds and chariot, to the navy led,

    Increas’d the spoils of gallant Diomed.

    Struck with amaze and shame, the Trojan crew

    Or slain, or fled, the sons of Dares view;

    When by the blood-stain’d hand Minerva press’d

    The God of Battles, and this speech address’d:

    ‘Stern Power of War! by whom the mighty fall,

    Who bathe in blood, and shake the lofty wall!

    Let the brave Chiefs their glorious toils divide;

    And whose the conquest mighty Jove decide:

    While we from interdicted fields retire,

    Nor tempt the wrath of Heav’n’s avenging Sire.’

    Her words allay th’ impetuous warrior’s heat,

    The God of Arms and Martial Maid retreat;

    Remov’d from fight, on Xanthus’ flowery bounds

    They sat, and listen’d to the dying sounds.

    Meantime, the Greeks the Trojan race pursue,

    And some bold chieftain every leader slew:

    First Odius falls and bites the bloody sand,

    His death ennobled by Atrides’ hand;

    As he to flight his wheeling car address’d,

    The speedy jav’lin drove from back to breast.

    In dust the mighty Halizonian lay,

    His arms resound, the spirit wings its way.

    Thy fate was next, O Phæstus! doom’d to feel

    The great Idomeneus’ protended steel;

    Whom Borus sent (his son and only joy)

    From fruitful Tarne to the fields of Troy.

    The Cretan Jav’lin reach’d him from afar,

    And pierc’d his shoulder as he mounts his car;

    Back from the car he tumbles to the ground,

    And everlasting shades his eyes surround.

    Then died Scamandrius, expert in the chase,

    In woods and wilds to wound the savage race;

    Diana taught him all her sylvan arts,

    To bend the bow, and aim unerring darts;

    But vainly here Diana’s arts he tries,

    The fatal lance arrests him as he flies;

    From Menelaus’ arm the weapon sent,

    Thro’ his broad back and heaving bosom went:

    Down sinks the warrior with a thund’ring sound,

    His brazen armour rings against the ground.

    Next artful Phereclus untimely fell;

    Bold Merion sent him to the realms of Hell.

    Thy father’s skill, O Phereclus, was thine,

    The graceful fabric and the fair design;

    For, lov’d by Pallas, Pallas did impart

    To him the shipwright’s and the builder’s art.

    Beneath his hand the fleet of Paris rose,

    The fatal cause of all his country’s woes;

    But he, the mystic will of Heav’n unknown,

    Nor saw his country’s peril, nor his own.

    The hapless artist, while confused he fled,

    The spear of Merion mingled with the dead.

    Thro’ his right hip, with forceful fury cast,

    Between the bladder and the bone it pass’d;

    Prone on his knees he falls with fruitless cries,

    And death in lasting slumber seals his eyes.

    From Meges’ force the swift Pedæus fled,

    Antenor’s offspring from a foreign bed;

    Whose gen’rous spouse, Theano, heav’nly fair,

    Nurs’d the young stranger with a mother’s care.

    How vain those cares! when Meges in the rear

    Full in his nape infix’d the fatal spear;

    Swift thro’ his crackling jaws the weapon glides,

    And the cold tongue and grinning teeth divides.

    Then died Hypsenor, gen’rous and divine,

    Sprung from the brave Dolopion’s mighty line,

    Who near ador’d Scamander made abode,

    Priest of the stream, and honour’d as a God.

    On him, amidst the flying numbers found,

    Eurypylus inflicts a deadly wound;

    On his broad shoulder fell the forceful brand,

    Thence glancing downward lopp’d his holy hand,

    Which stain’d with sacred blood the blushing sand.

    Down sunk the priest: the purple hand of death

    Closed his dim eye, and Fate suppress’d his breath.

    Thus toil’d the Chiefs, in diff’rent parts engaged,

    In ev’ry quarter fierce Tydides raged,

    Amid the Greek, amid the Trojan train,

    Rapt thro’ the ranks he thunders o’er the plain;

    Now here, now there, he darts from place to place,

    Pours on the rear, or lightens in their face.

    Thus from high hills the torrents swift and strong

    Deluge whole fields, and sweep the trees along;

    Thro’ ruin’d moles the rushing wave resounds,

    O’erwhelms the bridge, and bursts the lofty bounds;

    The yellow harvests of the ripen’d year,

    And flatted vineyards, one sad waste appear!

    While Jove descends in sluicy sheets of rain,

    And all the labours of mankind are vain.

    So raged Tydides, boundless in his ire,

    Drove armies back, and made all Troy retire.

    With grief the leader of the Lycian band

    Saw the wide waste of his destructive hand:

    His bended bow against the Chief he drew;

    Swift to the mark the thirsty arrow flew,

    Whose forky point the hollow breastplate tore,

    Deep in his shoulder pierc’d, and drank the gore;

    The rushing stream his brazen armour dyed,

    While the proud archer thus exulting cried:

    ‘Hither, ye Trojans, hither drive your steeds!

    Lo! by our hand the bravest Grecian bleeds.

    Not long the deathful dart he can sustain;

    Or Phœbus urged me to these fields in vain.’

    So spoke he, boastful; but the winged dart

    Stopp’d short of life, and mock’d the shooter’s art.

    The wounded Chief, behind his car retired,

    The helping hand of Sthenelus required;

    Swift from his seat he leap’d upon the ground,

    And tugg’d the weapon from the gushing wound;

    When thus the King his guardian Power address’d,

    The purple current wand’ring o’er his vest:

    ‘O progeny of Jove! unconquer’d maid!

    If e’er my godlike sire deserv’d thy aid,

    If e’er I felt thee in the fighting field;

    Now, Goddess, now, thy sacred succour yield.

    Oh give my lance to reach the Trojan knight,

    Whose arrow wounds the Chief thou guard’st in fight;

    And lay the boaster grov’ling on the shore,

    That vaunts these eyes shall view the light no more.’

    Thus pray’d Tydides, and Minerva heard,

    His nerves confirm’d, his languid spirits cheer’d;

    He feels each limb with wonted vigour light;

    His beating bosom claims the promis’d fight.

    ‘Be bold’ (she cried), ‘in every combat shine,

    War be thy province, thy protection mine;

    Rush to the fight, and every foe control;

    Wake each paternal virtue in thy soul:

    Strength swells thy boiling breast infused by me,

    And all thy godlike father breathes in thee!

    Yet more, from mortal mists I purge thy eyes,

    And set to view the warring deities.

    These see thou shun, thro’ all th’ embattled plain,

    Nor rashly strive where human force is vain.

    If Venus mingle in the martial band,

    Her shalt thou wound: so Pallas gives command.’

    With that, the Blue-eyed Virgin wing’d her flight;

    The hero rush’d impetuous to the fight;

    With tenfold ardour now invades the plain,

    Wild with delay, and more enraged by pain.

    As on the fleecy flocks, when hunger calls,

    Amidst the field a brindled lion falls;

    If chance some shepherd with a distant dart

    The savage wound, he rouses at the smart,

    He foams, he roars; the shepherd dares not stay,

    But trembling leaves the scatt’ring flocks a prey.

    Heaps fall on heaps; he bathes with blood the ground,

    Then leaps victorious o’er the lofty mound.

    Not with less fury stern Tydides flew,

    And two brave leaders at an instant slew;

    Astynous breathless fell, and by his side

    His people’s pastor, good Hypenor, died;

    Astynous’ breast the deadly lance receives,

    Hypenor’s shoulder his broad falchion cleaves.

    Those slain he left; and sprung with noble rage

    Abas and Polyïdus to engage;

    Sons of Eurydamas, who, wise and old,

    Could fates foresee, and mystic dreams unfold;

    The youths return’d not from the doubtful plain,

    And the sad father tried his arts in vain;

    No mystic dream could make their fates appear,

    Tho’ now determin’d by Tydides’ spear.

    Young Xanthus next, and Thoön felt his rage,

    The joy and hope of Phænops’ feeble age;

    Vast was his wealth, and these the only heirs

    Of all his labours, and a life of cares.

    Cold death o’ertakes them in their blooming years,

    And leaves the father unavailing tears:

    To strangers now descends his heapy store,

    The race forgotten, and the name no more.

    Two sons of Priam in one chariot ride,

    Glitt’ring in arms, and combat side by side.

    As when the lordly lion seeks his food

    Where grazing heifers range the lonely wood,

    He leaps amidst them with a furious bound,

    Bends their strong necks, and tears them to the ground:

    So from their seats the brother Chiefs are torn,

    Their steeds and chariots to the navy borne.

    With deep concern divine Æneas view’d

    The foe prevailing and his friends pursued;

    Thro’ the thick storm of singing spears he flies,

    Exploring Pandarus with careful eyes.

    At length he found Lycaön’s mighty son;

    To whom the Chief of Venus’ race begun:

    ‘Where, Pandarus, are all thy honours now,

    Thy winged arrows and unerring bow,

    Thy matchless skill, thy yet unrivall’d fame,

    And boasted glory of the Lycian name?

    Oh pierce that mortal! if we mortal call

    That wondrous force by which whole armies fall;

    Or God incens’d, who quits the distant skies

    To punish Troy for slighted sacrifice;

    (Which oh avert from our unhappy state!

    For what so dreadful as celestial hate)?

    Whoe’er he be, propitiate Jove with prayer;

    If man, destroy; if God, entreat to spare.’

    To him the Lycian: ‘Whom your eyes behold,

    If right I judge, is Diomed the bold.

    Such coursers whirl him o’er the dusty field,

    So towers his helmet, and so flames his shield.

    If ’t is a God, he wears that Chief’s disguise;

    Or if that Chief, some guardian of the skies,

    Involv’d in clouds, protects him in the fray,

    And turns unseen the frustrate dart away.

    I wing’d an arrow, which not idly fell;

    The stroke had fix’d him to the gates of Hell;

    And, but some God, some angry God withstands,

    His fate was due to these unerring hands.

    Skill’d in the bow, on foot I sought the war,

    Nor join’d swift horses to the rapid car.

    Ten polish’d chariots I possess’d at home,

    And still they grace Lycaön’s princely dome:

    There veil’d in spacious coverlets they stand;

    And twice ten coursers wait their lord’s command.

    The good old warrior bade me trust to these,

    When first for Troy I sail’d the sacred seas;

    In fields, aloft, the whirling car to guide,

    And thro’ the ranks of death triumphant ride.

    But vain with youth, and yet to thrift inclin’d,

    I heard his counsels with unheedful mind,

    And thought the steeds (your large supplies unknown)

    Might fail of forage in the straiten’d town;

    So took my bow and pointed darts in hand,

    And left the chariots in my native land.

    ‘Too late, O friend! my rashness I deplore;

    These shafts, once fatal, carry death no more.

    Tydeus’ and Atreus’ sons their points have found,

    And undissembled gore pursued the wound.

    In vain they bled: this unavailing bow

    Serves not to slaughter, but provoke the foe.

    In evil hour these bended horns I strung,

    And seiz’d the quiver where it idly hung.

    Curs’d be the fate that sent me to the field,

    Without a warrior’s arms, the spear and shield!

    If e’er with life I quit the Trojan plain,

    If e’er I see my spouse and sire again,

    This bow, unfaithful to my glorious aims,

    Broke by my hand, shall feed the blazing flames.’

    To whom the leader of the Dardan race:

    ‘Be calm, nor Phœbus’ honour’d gift disgrace.

    The distant dart be prais’d, tho’ here we need

    The rushing chariot, and the bounding steed.

    Against yon hero let us bend our course,

    And, hand to hand, encounter force with force.

    Now mount my seat, and from the chariot’s height

    Observe my father’s steeds, renown’d in fight;

    Practis’d alike to turn, to stop, to chase,

    To dare the shock, or urge the rapid race:

    Secure with these, thro’ fighting fields we go,

    Or safe to Troy, if Jove assist the foe.

    Haste, seize the whip, and snatch the guiding rein;

    The warrior’s fury let this arm sustain:

    Or if to combat thy bold heart incline,

    Take thou the spear, the chariot’s care be mine.’

    ‘O Prince’ (Lycaön’s valiant son replied),

    ‘As thine the steeds, be thine the task to guide.

    The horses, practis’d to their lord’s command,

    Shall hear the rein and answer to thy hand.

    But if, unhappy, we desert the fight,

    Thy voice alone can animate their flight:

    Else shall our fates be number’d with the dead,

    And these, the victor’s prize, the triumph led.

    Thine be the guidance then: with spear and shield

    Myself will charge this terror of the field.’

    And now both heroes mount the glitt’ring car;

    The bounding coursers rush amidst the war.

    Their fierce approach bold Sthenelus espied,

    Who thus, alarm’d, to great Tydides cried:

    ‘O friend! two Chiefs of force immense I see,

    Dreadful they come, and bend their rage on thee:

    Lo the brave heir of old Lycaön’s line,

    And great Æneas, sprung from race divine!

    Enough is giv’n to Fame. Ascend thy car;

    And save a life, the bulwark of our war.’

    At this the hero cast a gloomy look,

    Fix’d on the Chief with scorn, and thus he spoke:

    ‘Me dost thou bid to shun the coming fight?

    Me wouldst thou move to base, inglorious flight?

    Know, ’t is not honest in my soul to fear,

    Nor was Tydides born to tremble here.

    I hate the cumbrous chariot’s slow advance,

    And the long distance of the flying lance:

    But while my nerves are strong, my force entire,

    Thus front the foe, and emulate my sire.

    Nor shall yon steeds, that fierce to fight convey

    Those threat’ning heroes, bear them both away;

    One Chief at least beneath this arm shall die;

    So Pallas tells me, and forbids to fly.

    But if she dooms, and if no God withstand,

    That both shall fall by one victorious hand;

    Then heed my words: my horses here detain,

    Fix’d to the chariot by the straiten’d rein;

    Swift to Æneas’ empty seat proceed,

    And seize the coursers of ethereal breed,

    The race of those, which once the Thund’ring God

    For ravish’d Ganymede on Tros bestow’d,

    The best that e’er on earth’s broad surface run

    Beneath the rising or the setting sun.

    Hence great Anchises stole a breed, unknown

    By mortal mares, from fierce Laömedon:

    Four of this race his ample stalls contain,

    And two transport Æneas o’er the plain.

    These, were the rich immortal prize our own,

    Thro’ the wide world should make our glory known.’

    Thus while they spoke, the foe came furious on,

    And stern Lycaön’s warlike race begun:

    ‘Prince, thou art met. Tho’ late in vain assail’d,

    The spear may enter where the arrow fail’d.’

    He said, then shook the pond’rous lance, and flung;

    On his broad shield the sounding weapon rung,

    Pierc’d the tough orb, and in his cuirass hung.

    ‘He bleeds! the pride of Greece’ (the boaster cries),

    ‘Our triumph now the mighty warrior lies!’

    ‘Mistaken vaunter!’ Diomed replied;

    ‘Thy dart has err’d, and now my spear be tried:

    Ye ’scape not both; one headlong from his car,

    With hostile blood shall glut the God of War.’

    He spoke, and, rising, hurl’d his forceful dart,

    Which, driv’n by Pallas, pierc’d a vital part;

    Full in his face it enter’d, and betwixt

    The nose and eyeball the proud Lycian fix’d:

    Crash’d all his jaws, and cleft the tongue within,

    Till the bright point look’d out beneath the chin.

    Headlong he falls, his helmet knocks the ground;

    Earth groans beneath him, and his arms resound;

    The starting coursers tremble with affright;

    The soul indignant seeks the realms of night.

    To guard his slaughter’d friend, Æneas flies,

    His spear extending where the carcass lies,

    Watchful he wheels, protects it every way,

    As the grim lion stalks around his prey.

    O’er the fall’n trunk his ample shield display’d,

    He hides the hero with his mighty shade,

    And threats aloud: the Greeks with longing eyes

    Behold at distance, but forbear the prize.

    Then fierce Tydides stoops; and, from the fields

    Heav’d with vast force, a rocky fragment wields.

    Not two strong men th’ enormous weight could raise,

    Such men as live in these degen’rate days.

    He swung it round; and, gath’ring strength to throw,

    Discharged the pond’rous ruin at the foe.

    Where to the hip th’ inserted thigh unites,

    Full on the bone the pointed marble lights;

    Thro’ both the tendons broke the rugged stone.

    And stripp’d the skin, and crack’d the solid bone.

    Sunk on his knees, and stagg’ring with his pains,

    His falling bulk his bended arms sustains;

    Lost in a dizzy mist the warrior lies;

    A sudden cloud comes swimming o’er his eyes.

    There the brave Chief, who mighty numbers sway’d,

    Oppress’d had sunk to death’s eternal shade:

    But heav’nly Venus, mindful of the love

    She bore Anchises in th’ Idæan grove,

    His danger views with anguish and despair,

    And guards her offspring with a mother’s care.

    About her much-lov’d son her arms she throws,

    Her arms whose whiteness match the falling snows.

    Screen’d from the foe behind her shining veil,

    The swords wave harmless, and the jav’lins fail:

    Safe thro’ the rushing horse, and feather’d flight

    Of sounding shafts, she bears him from the fight.

    Nor Sthenelus, with unassisting hands,

    Remain’d unheedful of his lord’s commands:

    His panting steeds, remov’d from out the war,

    He fix’d with straiten’d traces to the car.

    Next, rushing to the Dardan spoil, detains

    The heav’nly coursers with the flowing manes:

    These, in proud triumph to the fleet convey’d,

    No longer now a Trojan lord obey’d.

    That charge to bold Deïpylus he gave

    (Whom most he lov’d, as brave men love the brave),

    Then, mounting on his car, resumed the rein,

    And follow’d where Tydides swept the plain.

    Meanwhile (his conquest ravish’d from his eyes)

    The raging Chief in chase of Venus flies:

    No Goddess she commission’d to the field,

    Like Pallas dreadful with her sable shield,

    Or fierce Bellona thund’ring at the wall,

    While flames ascend, and mighty ruins fall;

    He knew soft combats suit the tender dame,

    New to the field, and still a foe to fame.

    Thro’ breaking ranks his furious course he bends,

    And at the Goddess his broad lance extends;

    Thro’ her bright veil the daring weapon drove,

    Th’ ambrosial veil, which all the Graces wove:

    Her snowy hand the razing steel profaned,

    And the transparent skin with crimson stain’d.

    From the clear vein a stream immortal flow’d,

    Such stream as issues from a wounded God;

    Pure emanation! uncorrupted flood;

    Unlike our gross, diseas’d, terrestrial blood;

    (For not the bread of man their life sustains,

    Nor wine’s inflaming juice supplies their veins).

    With tender shrieks the Goddess fill’d the place;

    And dropp’d her offspring from her weak embrace.

    Him Phœbus took: he casts a cloud around

    The fainting Chief, and wards the mortal wound.

    Then with a voice that shook the vaulted skies,

    The King insults the Goddess as she flies:

    ‘Ill with Jove’s daughter bloody fights agree,

    The field of combat is no scene for thee:

    Go, let thy own soft sex employ thy care,

    Go, lull the coward, or delude the fair.

    Taught by this stroke, renounce the war’s alarms,

    And learn to tremble at the name of arms.’

    Tydides thus. The Goddess, seiz’d with dread,

    Confused, distracted, from the conflict fled.

    To aid her, swift the winged Iris flew,

    Wrapt in a mist above the warring crew.

    The Queen of Love with faded charms she found,

    Pale was her cheek, and livid look’d the wound.

    To Mars, who sat remote, they bent their way;

    Far on the left, with clouds involv’d he lay;

    Beside him stood his lance, distain’d with gore,

    And, rein’d with gold, his foaming steeds before:

    Low at his knee, she begg’d, with streaming eyes,

    Her brother’s car, to mount the distant skies,

    And shew’d the wound by fierce Tydides giv’n,

    A mortal man, who dares encounter Heav’n.

    Stern Mars attentive hears the Queen complain,

    And to her hand commits the golden rein:

    She mounts the seat, oppress’d with silent woe,

    Driv’n by the Goddess of the Painted Bow.

    The lash resounds, the rapid chariot flies,

    And in a moment scales the lofty skies.

    There stopp’d the car, and there the coursers stood,

    Fed by fair Iris with ambrosial food.

    Before her mother, Love’s bright Queen appears,

    O’erwhelm’d with anguish and dissolv’d in tears;

    She rais’d her in her arms, beheld her bleed,

    And ask’d what God had wrought this guilty deed?

    Then she: ‘This insult from no God I found,

    An impious mortal gave the daring wound!

    Behold the deed of haughty Diomed!

    ’T was in the son’s defence the mother bled.

    The war with Troy no more the Grecians wage;

    But with the Gods (th’ immortal Gods) engage.’

    Dione then: ‘Thy wrongs with patience bear,

    And share those griefs inferior Powers must share;

    Unnumber’d woes mankind from us sustain,

    And men with woes afflict the Gods again.

    The mighty Mars, in mortal fetters bound,

    And lodg’d in brazen dungeons under ground,

    Full thirteen moons imprison’d roar’d in vain;

    Otus and Ephialtes held the chain;

    Perhaps had perish’d, had not Hermes’ care

    Restored the groaning God to upper air.

    Great Juno’s self has borne her weight of pain,

    Th’ imperial partner of the heav’nly reign;

    Amphitryon’s son infix’d the deadly dart,

    And fill’d with anguish her immortal heart.

    Ev’n Hell’s grim King Alcides’ power confess’d,

    The shaft found entrance in his iron breast;

    To Jove’s high palace for a cure he fled,

    Pierc’d in his own dominions of the dead;

    Where Pæon, sprinkling heav’nly balm around,

    Assuaged the glowing pangs and closed the wound.

    Rash, impious man! to stain the bless’d abodes,

    And drench his arrows in the blood of Gods!

    But thou (tho’ Pallas urged thy frantic deed),

    Whose spear ill-fated makes a Goddess bleed,

    Know thou, whoe’er with heav’nly power contends,

    Short is his date, and soon his glory ends;

    From fields of death when late he shall retire,

    No infant on his knees shall call him sire.

    Strong as thou art, some God may yet be found,

    To stretch thee pale and gasping on the ground;

    Thy distant wife, Ægiale the fair,

    Starting from sleep with a distracted air,

    Shall rouse thy slaves, and her lost lord deplore,

    The brave, the great, the glorious, now no more!’

    This said, she wiped from Venus’ wounded palm

    The sacred ichor, and infused the balm.

    Juno and Pallas with a smile survey’d,

    And thus to Jove began the Blue-eyed Maid:

    ‘Permit thy daughter, gracious Jove! to tell

    How this mischance the Cyprian Queen befel.

    As late she tried with passion to inflame

    The tender bosom of a Grecian dame,

    Allured the Fair with moving thoughts of joy,

    To quit her country for some youth of Troy;

    The clasping zone, with golden buckles bound,

    Razed her soft hand with this lamented wound.’

    The Sire of Gods and men superior smiled,

    And, calling Venus, thus address’d his child:

    ‘Not these, O daughter, are thy proper cares,

    Thee milder arts befit, and softer wars;

    Sweet smiles are thine, and kind endearing charms;

    To Mars and Pallas leave the deeds of arms.’

    Thus they in Heav’n. While on the plain below

    The fierce Tydides charged his Dardan foe,

    Flush’d with celestial blood pursued his way,

    And fearless dared the threat’ning God of Day;

    Already in his hopes he saw him kill’d,

    Tho’ screen’d behind Apollo’s mighty shield.

    Thrice, rushing furious, at the Chief he struck;

    His blazing buckler thrice Apollo shook:

    He tried the fourth: when, breaking from the cloud,

    A more than mortal voice was heard aloud:

    ‘O son of Tydeus, cease! be wise, and see

    How vast the diff’rence of the Gods and thee;

    Distance immense! between the Powers that shine

    Above, eternal, deathless, and divine,

    And mortal man! a wretch of humble birth,

    A short-lived reptile in the dust of earth.’

    So spoke the God who darts celestial fires;

    He dreads his fury, and some steps retires.

    Then Phœbus bore the chief of Venus’ race

    To Troy’s high fane, and to his holy place;

    Latona there and Phœbe heal’d the wound;

    With vigour arm’d him, and with glory crown’d.

    This done, the patron of the silver bow

    A phantom rais’d, the same in shape and show

    With great Æneas; such the form he bore,

    And such in fight the radiant arms he wore.

    Around the spectre bloody wars are waged,

    And Greece and Troy with clashing shields engaged.

    Meantime on Ilion’s tower Apollo stood,

    And, calling Mars, thus urged the raging God:

    ‘Stern Power of Arms, by whom the mighty fall,

    Who bathe in blood, and shake th’ embattled wall!

    Rise in thy wrath! to Hell’s abhorr’d abodes

    Despatch yon Greek, and vindicate the Gods.

    First rosy Venus felt his brutal rage;

    Me next he charged, and dares all Heav’n engage:

    The wretch would brave high Heav’n’s immortal Sire,

    His triple thunder, and his bolts of fire.’

    The God of Battles issues on the plain,

    Stirs all the ranks, and fires the Trojan train:

    In form like Acamas, the Thracian guide,

    Enraged, to Troy’s retiring Chiefs he cried:

    ‘How long, ye sons of Priam! will ye fly,

    And unrevenged see Priam’s people die?

    Still unresisted shall the foe destroy,

    And stretch the slaughter to the gates of Troy?

    Lo, brave Æneas sinks beneath his wound,

    Not godlike Hector more in arms renown’d:

    Haste all, and take the gen’rous warrior’s part.’

    He said; new courage swell’d each hero’s heart.

    Sarpedon first his ardent soul express’d,

    And, turn’d to Hector, these bold words address’d:

    ‘Say, Chief, is all thy ancient valour lost?

    Where are thy threats, and where thy glorious boast,

    That, propp’d alone by Priam’s race should stand

    Troy’s sacred walls, nor need a foreign hand?

    Now, now thy country calls her wanted friends,

    And the proud vaunt in just derision ends.

    Remote they stand, while alien troops engage,

    Like trembling hounds before the lion’s rage.

    Far distant hence I held my wide command,

    Where foaming Xanthus laves the Lycian land,

    With ample wealth (the wish of mortals) bless’d,

    A beauteous wife, and infant at her breast;

    With those I left whatever dear could be;

    Greece, if she conquers, nothing wins from me.

    Yet first in fight my Lycian bands I cheer,

    And long to meet this mighty man ye fear;

    While Hector idle stands, not bids the brave

    Their wives, their infants, and their altars, save.

    Haste, Warrior, haste! preserve thy threaten’d state;

    Or one vast burst of all-involving Fate

    Full o’er your towers shall fall, and sweep away

    Sons, sires, and wives, an undistinguish’d prey.

    Rouse all thy Trojans, urge thy aids to fight;

    These claim thy thoughts by day, thy watch by night:

    With force incessant the brave Greece oppose;

    Such care thy friends deserve, and such thy foes.’

    Stung to the heart the gen’rous Hector hears,

    But just reproof with decent silence bears.

    From his proud car the Prince impetuous springs;

    On earth he leaps; his brazen armour rings.

    Two shining spears are brandish’d in his hands;

    Thus arm’d, he animates his drooping bands,

    Revives their ardour, turns their steps from flight,

    And wakes anew the dying flames of fight.

    They turn, they stand: the Greeks their fury dare,

    Condense their powers, and wait the growing war.

    As when, on Ceres’ sacred floor, the swain

    Spreads the wide fan to clear the golden grain,

    And the light chaff, before the breezes borne,

    Ascends in clouds from off the heapy corn;

    The grey dust, rising with collected winds,

    Drives o’er the barn, and whitens all the hinds:

    So, white with dust, the Grecian host appears,

    From trampling steeds, and thund’ring charioteers

    The dusky clouds from labour’d earth arise,

    And roll in smoking volumes to the skies.

    Mars hovers o’er them with his sable shield,

    And adds new horrors to the darken’d field;

    Pleas’d with this charge, and ardent to fulfil,

    In Troy’s defence, Apollo’s heav’nly will:

    Soon as from fight the Blue-eyed Maid retires,

    Each Trojan bosom with new warmth he fires.

    And now the God, from forth his sacred fane,

    Produced Æneas to the shouting train;

    Alive, unharm’d, with all his peers around,

    Erect he stood, and vig’rous from his wound:

    Inquiries none they made; the dreadful day

    No pause of words admits, no dull delay;

    Fierce Discord storms, Apollo loud exclaims,

    Fame calls, Mars thunders, and the field’s in flames.

    Stern Diomed with either Ajax stood,

    And great Ulysses, bathed in hostile blood.

    Embodied close, the lab’ring Grecian train

    The fiercest shock of charging hosts sustain;

    Unmov’d and silent, the whole war they wait,

    Serenely dreadful, and as fix’d as Fate.

    So, when th’ embattled clouds in dark array

    Along the skies their gloomy lines display,

    When now the North his boist’rous rage has spent,

    And peaceful sleeps the liquid element,

    The low-hung vapours, motionless and still,

    Rest on the summits of the shaded hill;

    Till the mass scatters as the winds arise,

    Dispers’d and broken thro’ the ruffled skies.

    Nor was the Gen’ral wanting to his train;

    From troop to troop he toils thro’ all the plain:

    ‘Ye Greeks, be men! the charge of battle bear;

    Your brave associates and yourselves revere!

    Let glorious acts more glorious acts inspire,

    And catch from breast to breast the noble fire!

    On valour’s side the odds of combat lie,

    The brave live glorious, or lamented die:

    The wretch who trembles in the field of fame,

    Meets death, and worse than death, eternal shame.’

    These words he seconds with his flying lance,

    To meet whose point was strong Deicoön’s chance:

    Æneas’ friend, and in his native place

    Honour’d and lov’d like Priam’s royal race;

    Long had he fought, the foremost in the field;

    But now the monarch’s lance transpierc’d his shield:

    His shield too weak the furious dart to stay,

    Thro’ his broad belt the weapon forced its way;

    The grisly wound dismiss’d his soul to Hell,

    His arms around him rattled as he fell.

    Then fierce Æneas, brandishing his blade,

    In dust Orsilochus and Crethon laid,

    Whose sire Diocleus, wealthy, brave, and great,

    In well-built Pheræ held his lofty seat:

    Sprung from Alpheus, plenteous stream! that yields

    Increase of harvests to the Pylian fields:

    He got Orsilochus, Diocleus he,

    And these descended in the third degree.

    Too early expert in the martial toil,

    In sable ships they left their native soil,

    T’ avenge Atrides; now, untimely slain,

    They fell with glory on the Phrygian plain.

    So two young mountain lions, nurs’d with blood

    In deep recesses of the gloomy wood,

    Rush fearless to the plains, and uncontroll’d

    Depopulate the stalls and waste the fold;

    Till, pierc’d at distance from their native den,

    O’erpower’d they fall beneath the force of men.

    Prostrate on earth their beauteous bodies lay,

    Like mountain firs, as tall and straight as they.

    Great Menelaus views with pitying eyes,

    Lifts his bright lance, and at the victor flies;

    Mars urged him on; yet, ruthless in his hate,

    The God but urged him to provoke his fate.

    He thus advancing, Nestor’s valiant son

    Shakes for his danger, and neglects his own;

    Struck with the thought, should Helen’s lord be slain,

    And all his country’s glorious labours vain.

    Already met, the threat’ning heroes stand;

    The spears already tremble in their hand;

    In rush’d Antilochus, his aid to bring,

    And fall or conquer by the Spartan King.

    These seen, the Dardan backward turn’d his course,

    Brave as he was, and shunn’d unequal force.

    The breathless bodies to the Greeks they drew;

    Then mix in combat, and their toils renew.

    First Pylæmenes, great in battle, bled,

    Who, sheathed in brass, the Paphlagonians led.

    Atrides mark’d him where sublime he stood;

    Fix’d in his throat, the jav’lin drank his blood.

    The faithful Mydon, as he turn’d from fight

    His flying coursers, sunk to endless night:

    A broken rock by Nestor’s son was thrown;

    His bended arm receiv’d the falling stone;

    From his numb’d hand the ivory-studded reins,

    Dropp’d in the dust, are trail’d along the plains:

    Meanwhile his temples feel a deadly wound;

    He groans in death, and pond’rous sinks to ground:

    Deep drove his helmet in the sands, and there

    The head stood fix’d, the quiv’ring legs in air,

    Till trampled flat beneath the coursers’ feet:

    The youthful victor mounts his empty seat,

    And bears the prize in triumph to the fleet.

    Great Hector saw, and, raging at the view,

    Pours on the Greeks; the Trojan troops pursue

    He fires his host with animating cries,

    And brings along the furies of the skies.

    Mars, stern destroyer! and Bellona dread,

    Flame in the front, and thunder at their head:

    This swells the tumult and the rage of fight;

    That shakes a spear that casts a dreadful light;

    Where Hector march’d, the God of Battles shined,

    Now storm’d before him, and now raged behind.

    Tydides paus’d amidst his full career;

    Then first the hero’s manly breast knew fear.

    As when some simple swain his cot forsakes,

    And wide thro’ fens an unknown journey takes;

    If chance a swelling brook his passage stay,

    And foam impervious cross the wand’rer’s way,

    Confused he stops, a length of country past,

    Eyes the rough waves, and, tired, returns at last:

    Amazed no less the great Tydides stands;

    He stay’d, and, turning, thus address’d his bands:

    ‘No wonder, Greeks, that all to Hector yield:

    Secure of fav’ring Gods, he takes the field;

    His strokes they second, and avert our spears:

    Behold where Mars in mortal arms appears!

    Retire then, warriors, but sedate and slow;

    Retire, but with your faces to the foe.

    Trust not too much your unavailing might;

    ’T is not with Troy, but with the Gods, ye fight.’

    Now near the Greeks the black battalions drew;

    And first, two leaders valiant Hector slew:

    His force Anchialus and Mnesthes found,

    In ev’ry art of glorious war renown’d:

    In the same car the Chiefs to combat ride,

    And fought united, and united died.

    Struck at the sight, the mighty Ajax glows

    With thirst of vengeance, and assaults the foes.

    His massy spear, with matchless fury sent,

    Thro’ Amphius’ belt and heaving belly went:

    Amphius Apæsus’ happy soil possess’d,

    With herds abounding, and with treasure bless’d;

    But fate resistless from his country led

    The Chief, to perish at his people’s head.

    Shook with his fall, his brazen armour rung,

    And fierce, to seize it, conqu’ring Ajax sprung;

    Around his head an iron tempest rain’d;

    A wood of spears his ample shield sustain’d;

    Beneath one foot the yet warm corpse he press’d,

    And drew his jav’lin from the bleeding breast:

    He could no more; the show’ring darts denied

    To spoil his glitt’ring arms, and plumy pride.

    Now foes on foes came pouring on the fields,

    With bristling lances, and compacted shields;

    Till, in the steely circle straiten’d round,

    Forc’d he gives way, and sternly quits the ground.

    While thus they strive, Tlepolemus the great,

    Urged by the force of unresisted Fate,

    Burns with desire Sarpedon’s strength to prove;

    Alcides’ offspring meets the son of Jove.

    Sheathed in bright arms each adverse Chief came on,

    Jove’s great descendant, and his greater son.

    Prepared for combat, ere the lance he toss’d,

    The daring Rhodian vents his haughty boast:

    ‘What brings this Lycian counsellor so far,

    To tremble at our arms, not mix in war?

    Know thy vain self; nor let their flatt’ry move,

    Who style thee son of cloud-compelling Jove.

    How far unlike those Chiefs of race divine!

    How vast the diff’rence of their deeds and thine!

    Jove got such heroes as my sire, whose soul

    No fear could daunt, nor Earth nor Hell control.

    Troy felt his arm, and yon proud ramparts stand.

    Rais’d on the ruins of his vengeful hand:

    With six small ships, and but a slender train,

    He left the town a wide deserted plain.

    But what art thou, who deedless look’st around,

    While unrevenged thy Lycians bite the ground?

    Small aid to Troy thy feeble force can be;

    But wert thou greater, thou must yield to me,

    Pierc’d by my spear, to endless darkness go!

    I make this present to the shades below.’

    The son of Hercules, the Rhodian guide,

    Thus haughty spoke. The Lycian King replied:

    ‘Thy sire, O Prince! o’erturn’d the Trojan state,

    Whose perjured monarch well deserv’d his fate;

    Those heav’nly steeds the hero sought so far,

    False he detain’d, the just reward of war:

    Nor so content, the gen’rous Chief defied,

    With base reproaches and unmanly pride.

    But you, unworthy the high race you boast,

    Shall raise my glory when thy own is lost:

    Now meet thy fate, and, by Sarpedon slain,

    Add one more ghost to Pluto’s gloomy reign.’

    He said: both jav’lins at an instant flew:

    Both struck, both wounded, but Sarpedon’s slew:

    Full in the boaster’s neck the weapon stood,

    Transfix’d his throat, and drank the vital blood;

    The soul disdainful seeks the caves of night,

    And his seal’d eyes for ever lose the light.

    Yet not in vain, Tlepolemus, was thrown

    Thy angry lance; which, piercing to the bone

    Sarpedon’s thigh, had robb’d the Chief of breath,

    But Jove was present, and forbade the death.

    Borne from the conflict by his Lycian throng,

    The wounded hero dragg’d the lance along

    (His friends, each busied in his sev’ral part,

    Thro’ haste, or danger, had not drawn the dart).

    The Greeks with slain Tlepolemus retired;

    Whose fall Ulysses view’d, with fury fired;

    Doubtful if Jove’s great son he should pursue,

    Or pour his vengeance on the Lycian crew.

    But Heav’n and Fate the first design withstand,

    Nor this great death must grace Ulysses’ hand.

    Minerva drives him on the Lycian train;

    Alastor, Cromius, Halius, strew’d the plain,

    Albander, Prytanis, Noëmon fell;

    And numbers more his sword had sent to Hell,

    But Hector saw; and, furious at the sight,

    Rush’d terrible amidst the ranks of fight.

    With joy Sarpedon view’d the wish’d relief,

    And faint, lamenting, thus implored the Chief:

    ‘Oh, suffer not the foe to bear away

    My helpless corpse, an unassisted prey!

    If I, unbless’d, must see my son no more,

    My much-lov’d consort, and my native shore,

    Yet let me die in Ilion’s sacred wall;

    Troy, in whose cause I fell, shall mourn my fall.’

    He said, nor Hector to the Chief replies,

    But shakes his plume, and fierce to combat flies,

    Swift as a whirlwind drives the scatt’ring foes,

    And dyes the ground with purple as he goes.

    Beneath a beech, Jove’s consecrated shade,

    His mournful friends divine Sarpedon laid:

    Brave Pelagon, his fav’rite Chief, was nigh,

    Who wrench’d the jav’lin from his sinewy thigh.

    The fainting soul stood ready wing’d for flight,

    And o’er his eyeballs swam the shades of night;

    But Boreas rising fresh, with gentle breath,

    Recall’d his spirit from the gates of death.

    The gen’rous Greeks recede with tardy pace,

    Tho’ Mars and Hector thunder in their face;

    None turn their backs to mean ignoble flight,

    Slow they retreat, and, ev’n retreating, fight.

    Who first, who last, by Mars’ and Hector’s hand,

    Stretch’d in their blood, lay gasping on the sand?

    Teuthras the great, Orestes the renown’d

    For managed steeds, and Trechus, press’d the ground;

    Next Œnomaus, and Œnops’ offspring died;

    Oresbius last fell groaning at their side:

    Oresbius, in his painted mitre gay,

    In fat Bœotia held his wealthy sway;

    Where lakes surround low Hyle’s wat’ry plain;

    A Prince and people studious of their gain.

    The carnage Juno from the skies survey’d,

    And touch’d with grief, bespoke the Blue-eyed Maid:

    ‘Oh sight accurs’d! shall faithless Troy prevail,

    And shall our promise to our people fail?

    How vain the word to Menelaus giv’n

    By Jove’s great daughter and the Queen of Heav’n,

    Beneath his arms that Priam’s towers should fall,

    If warring Gods for ever guard the wall!

    Mars, red with slaughter, aids our hated foes:

    Haste, let us arm, and force with force oppose!’

    She spoke; Minerva burns to meet the war:

    And now Heav’n’s Empress calls her blazing car.

    At her command rush forth the steeds divine;

    Rich with immortal gold their trappings shine.

    Bright Hebe waits; by Hebe, ever young,

    The whirling wheels are to the chariot hung.

    On the bright axle turns the bidden wheel

    Of sounding brass; the polish’d axle steel.

    Eight brazen spokes in radiant order flame;

    The circles gold, of uncorrupted frame,

    Such as the Heav’ns produce: and round the gold

    Two brazen rings of work divine were roll’d.

    The bossy naves of solid silver shone;

    Braces of gold suspend the moving throne:

    The car behind an arching figure bore;

    The bending concave form’d an arch before.

    Silver the beam, th’ extended yoke was gold,

    And golden reins th’ immortal coursers hold.

    Herself, impatient, to the ready car

    The coursers joins, and breathes revenge and war.

    Pallas disrobes; her radiant veil untied,

    With flowers adorn’d, with art diversified

    (The labour’d veil her heav’nly fingers wove),

    Flows on the pavement of the court of Jove.

    Now Heav’n’s dread arms her mighty limbs invest,

    Jove’s cuirass blazes on her ample breast;

    Deck’d in sad triumph for the mournful field,

    O’er her broad shoulders hangs his horrid shield,

    Dire, black, tremendous! round the margin roll’d,

    A fringe of serpents hissing guards the gold:

    Here all the terrors of grim war appear,

    Here rages Force, here tremble Flight and Fear,

    Here storm’d Contention, and here Fury frown’d,

    And the dire orb portentous Gorgon crown’d.

    The massy golden helm she next assumes,

    That dreadful nods with four o’ershading plumes:

    So vast, the broad circumference contains

    A hundred armies on a hundred plains.

    The Goddess thus th’ imperial car ascends;

    Shook by her arm the mighty jav’lin bends,

    Pond’rous and huge; that, when her fury burns,

    Proud tyrants humbles, and whole hosts o’erturns.

    Swift at the scourge th’ ethereal coursers fly,

    While the smooth chariot cuts the liquid sky:

    Heav’n’s gates spontaneous open to the Powers,

    Heav’n’s golden gates, kept by the winged Hours;

    Commission’d in alternate watch they stand,

    The sun’s bright portals and the skies command,

    Involve in clouds th’ eternal gates of day,

    Or the dark barrier roll with ease away.

    The sounding hinges ring: on either side

    The gloomy volumes, pierc’d with light, divide.

    The chariot mounts, where deep in ambient skies

    Confused, Olympus’ hundred heads arise;

    Where far apart the Thund’rer fills his throne,

    O’er all the Gods, superior and alone.

    There with her snowy hand the Queen restrains

    The fiery steeds, and thus to Jove complains:

    ‘O Sire! can no resentment touch thy soul?

    Can Mars rebel, and does no thunder roll?

    What lawless rage on yon forbidden plain!

    What rash destruction! and what heroes slain!

    Venus, and Phœbus with the dreadful bow,

    Smile on the slaughter, and enjoy my woe.

    Mad, furious Power! whose unrelenting mind

    No God can govern, and no justice bind.

    Say, mighty Father! shall we scourge his pride,

    And drive from fight th’ impetuous homicide?’

    To whom assenting, thus the Thund’rer said:

    ‘Go! and the great Minerva be thy aid.

    To tame the monster-God Minerva knows,

    And oft afflicts his brutal breast with woes.’

    He said: Saturnia, ardent to obey,

    Lash’d her white steeds along th’ aërial way.

    Swift down the steep of Heav’n the chariot rolls,

    Between th’ expanded earth and starry poles.

    Far as a shepherd from some point on high,

    O’er the wide main extends his boundless eye;

    Thro’ such a space of air, with thund’ring sound,

    At ev’ry leap th’ immortal coursers bound.

    Troy now they reach’d, and touch’d those banks divine

    Where silver Simoïs and Scamander join.

    There Juno stopp’d, and (her fair steeds unloos’d)

    Of air condensed a vapour circumfused:

    For these, impregnate with celestial dew,

    On Simoïs’ brink ambrosial herbage grew.

    Thence to relieve the fainting Argive throng,

    Smooth as the sailing doves, they glide along.

    The best and bravest of the Grecian band

    (A warlike circle) round Tydides stand:

    Such was their look as lions bathed in blood,

    Or foaming boars, the terror of the wood.

    Heav’n’s Empress mingles with the mortal crowd,

    And shouts, in Stentor’s sounding voice, aloud:

    Stentor the strong, endued with brazen lungs,

    Whose throat surpass’d the force of fifty tongues:

    ‘Inglorious Argives! to your race a shame,

    And only men in figure and in name!

    Once from the walls your tim’rous foes engaged,

    While fierce in war divine Achilles raged;

    Now, issuing fearless, they possess the plain,

    Now win the shores, and scarce the seas remain.’

    Her speech new fury to their hearts convey’d;

    While near Tydides stood th’ Athenian Maid:

    The King beside his panting steeds she found,

    O’erspent with toil, reposing on the ground:

    To cool his glowing wound he sat apart

    (The wound inflicted by the Lycian dart);

    Large drops of sweat from all his limbs descend,

    Beneath his pond’rous shield his sinews bend,

    Whose ample belt, that o’er his shoulder lay,

    He eased; and wash’d the clotted gore away.

    The Goddess, leaning o’er the bending yoke

    Beside his coursers, thus her silence broke:

    ‘Degen’rate Prince! and not of Tydeus’ kind:

    Whose little body lodg’d a mighty mind;

    Foremost he press’d in glorious toils to share,

    And scarce refrain’d when I forbade the war.

    Alone, unguarded, once he dared to go,

    And feast encircled by the Theban foe;

    There braved and vanquish’d many a hardy knight;

    Such nerves I gave him, and such force in fight.

    Thou too no less hast been my constant care;

    Thy hands I arm’d, and sent thee forth to war:

    But thee or fear deters or sloth detains;

    No drop of all thy father warms thy veins.’

    The Chief thus answer’d mild: ‘Immortal Maid!

    I own thy presence, and confess thy aid.

    Not fear, thou know’st, withholds me from the plains,

    Nor sloth hath seiz’d me, but thy word restrains:

    From warring Gods thou bad’st me turn my spear,

    And Venus only found resistance here.

    Hence, Goddess! heedful of thy high commands,

    Loth I gave way, and warn’d our Argive bands:

    For Mars, the homicide, these eyes beheld,

    With slaughter red, and raging round the field.’

    Then thus Minerva: ‘Brave Tydides, hear!

    Not Mars himself, nor aught immortal, fear.

    Full on the God impel thy foaming horse:

    Pallas commands, and Pallas lends thee force.

    Rash, furious, blind, from these to those he flies,

    And ev’ry side of wavering combat tries:

    Large promise makes, and breaks the promise made;

    Now gives the Grecians, now the Trojans aid.’

    She said, and to the steeds approaching near,

    Drew from his seat the martial charioteer.

    The vig’rous Power the trembling car ascends,

    Fierce for revenge; and Diomed attends.

    The groaning axle bent beneath the load;

    So great a Hero, and so great a God.

    She snatch’d the reins, she lash’d with all her force,

    And full on Mars impell’d the foaming horse:

    But first to hide her heav’nly visage spread

    Black Orcus’ helmet o’er her radiant head.

    Just then gigantic Periphas lay slain,

    The strongest warrior of th’ Ætolian train;

    The God who slew him leaves his prostrate prize

    Stretch’d where he fell, and at Tydides flies.

    Now rushing fierce, in equal arms, appear

    The daring Greek, the dreadful God of War!

    Full at the Chief, above his courser’s head,

    From Mars’s arm th’ enormous weapon fled:

    Pallas opposed her hand, and caus’d to glance

    Far from the car the strong immortal lance.

    Then threw the force of Tydeus’ warlike son;

    The jav’lin hiss’d; the Goddess urged it on:

    Where the broad cincture girt his armour round,

    It pierc’d the God: his groin receiv’d the wound.

    From the rent skin the warrior tugs again

    The smoking steel. Mars bellows with the pain:

    Loud, as the roar encount’ring armies yield,

    When shouting millions shake the thund’ring field.

    Both armies start, and trembling gaze around;

    And Earth and Heaven rebellow to the sound.

    As vapours blown by Auster’s sultry breath,

    Pregnant with plagues and shedding seeds of death,

    Beneath the rage of burning Sirius rise,

    Choke the parch’d earth, and blacken all the skies;

    In such a cloud the God, from combat driv’n,

    High o’er the dusty whirlwind scales the Heav’n.

    Wild with his pain, he sought the bright abodes,

    There sullen sat beneath the Sire of Gods,

    Shew’d the celestial blood, and with a groan

    Thus pour’d his plaints before th’ immortal throne:

    ‘Can Jove, supine, flagitious facts survey,

    And brook the furies of this daring day?

    For mortal men celestial Powers engage,

    And Gods on Gods exert eternal rage.

    From thee, O Father! all these ills we bear,

    And thy fell daughter with the shield and spear:

    Thou gavest that fury to the realms of light,

    Pernicious, wild, regardless of the right.

    All Heav’n beside reveres thy sov’reign sway,

    Thy voice we hear, and thy behests obey:

    ’T is hers t’ offend, and ev’n offending, share

    Thy breast, thy counsels, thy distinguish’d care:

    So boundless she, and thou so partial grown,

    Well may we deem the wondrous birth thy own.

    Now frantic Diomed, at her command,

    Against th’ immortals lifts his raging hand:

    The heav’nly Venus first his fury found,

    Me next encount’ring, me he dared to wound;

    Vanquish’d I fled: ev’n I, the God of Fight,

    From mortal madness scarce was saved by flight.

    Else hadst thou seen me sink on yonder plain,

    Heap’d round, and heaving under loads of slain;

    Or, pierc’d with Grecian darts, for ages lie,

    Condemn’d to pain, tho’ fated not to die.’

    Him thus upbraiding, with a wrathful look

    The Lord of Thunders view’d, and stern bespoke:

    ‘To me, perfidious! this lamenting strain?

    Of lawless force shall lawless Mars complain?

    Of all the Gods who tread the spangled skies,

    Thou most unjust, most odious in our eyes!

    Inhuman discord is thy dire delight,

    The waste of slaughter, and the rage of fight:

    No bound, no law, thy fiery temper quells,

    And all thy mother in thy soul rebels.

    In vain our threats, in vain our power, we use:

    She gives th’ example, and her son pursues.

    Yet long th’ inflicted pangs thou shalt not mourn,

    Sprung since thou art from Jove, and heav’nly born.

    Else, singed with lightning, hadst thou hence been thrown,

    Where chain’d on burning rocks the Titans groan.’

    Thus he who shakes Olympus with his nod;

    Then gave to Pæon’s care the bleeding God.

    With gentle hand the balm he pour’d around,

    And heal’d th’ immortal flesh, and closed the wound.

    As when the fig’s press’d juice, infused in cream,

    To curds coagulates the liquid stream,

    Sudden the fluids fix, the parts combin’d;

    Such and so soon th’ ethereal texture join’d.

    Cleans’d from the dust and gore, fair Hebe dress’d

    His mighty limbs in an immortal vest.

    Glorious he sat, in majesty restor’d,

    Fast by the throne of Heav’n’s superior Lord.

    Juno and Pallas mount the blest abodes,

    Their task perform’d, and mix among the Gods.